Thursday 12 April 2018

AFTER my regular morning slot working on songs in the studio I decide to do a Facebook livestream – the latest in the songwriting process/progress updates.

I get everything set up, connection is good. But when I go live, the internet drops out after about 10 seconds. Can;t see what the problem is, other than there’s no connection. I’d announced I’d be doing the livestream so can;t really delay it..I dash over to the house and pick up from there.

The livestream’s a bit of a disaster. The guitar I grab to illustrate a developing riff and song is horribly out of tune, I;m not sitting comfortably and my banjo playing shoddy…plus I left all the new lyrics etc over in the studio. On the upside, it shows reality, which is something I think folks like in the often faceless, over-sanitised world of social media.

After lunch I have two main priorities…my accounts/tax return and USA visa stuff. I plump for the visa stuff. 

Although i have contracts for a lot of my October/November – and some future bookings through the three year period I want the O-1 visa to cover – USA tour shows, the visa petition rules have changed a bit and venues/promoters/bookers now have to expressly authorise the lawyers petitioning on my behalf to include the contracts.

That’s a pain as I’d already gone to lengths over the last few months to get the contracts in place and have all my paperwork ready to go as soon as I had the cash to pay the lawyers.

Thankfully the digital signing services of SignNow make things less of a logistical problem than in the past, but I still have to spend the rest of the day creating documents and sending them out for electronic signature.

Meantime, Margaret’s been sorting out Glasgow and Edinburgh shows for later on in November. We’ll announce them in the next week or so.

I’ve not long finished when Mikey rolls up. He’s staying over tonight ‘cos he’s working in Stirling.

We eat early as we’re hitting the local pub to have a birthday drink with Jane and a load of pals down form Dundee…and Margaret’s made a pavlova as a birthday cake.






Tuesday 13 June 2017

All About the Song panel – Dan Moore (BASCA), songwriter Mike Macdermid, Derick Mackinnon and Keren McKean – with Louise Stanners Pow (MU).

FIRST trip into Glasgow of the week. 

Margaret drops me in Milngavie and I get the train into town where I hole myself up in McDonalds with a coffee and use the wifi for a few hours.

When I’ve got most of the day’s work done – or at least under control – I go in search of shampoo. But neither the Boots in Buchanan Galleries nor the St Enoch Centre have it….so I pick up a sandwich, plonk myself down in the St Enoch Centre atrium and order the shampoo on Amazon.

I deal with another few online bits and bobs while  eat my sandwich then make my way to the Scottish Music Centre for a Musicians’ Union (MU) event.

All About the Song – co-hosted by BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors) – features an interview with songwriter Mike Macdermid followed by a listening session giving feedback to songs submitted in advance by attendees.

There’s a good turnout including a few folks I know from previous MU events. BASCA’s Dan Moore pulls lots of good info, tips and insights from the interview with Mike and the following listening session is constructive and useful for everyone, not just those getting feedback on their own songs (including myself…they were very kind!).

The event is followed by networking/drinks and, having been for all the shopping, Margaret comes to pick me up and hangs out for a while.

When we roll up home I realise I left my bag – laptop and load of other stuff – at the Scottish Music Centre. Doh!

A few phone calls and I think it’s been retrieved and safely locked away. Margaret will pick it up tomorrow.


Tuesday 6 December 2016

Tuesday 6 December 2016

It’s dark and cold outside…so I sit by the fire, work on some songs and enjoy a wee dram….

IT’S dark and cold when we drive into Glasgow and Margaret drops me at the eye hospital.

Normally my check-ups are every six months, but the recent uveitis flare-ups have made three-monthly appointments necessary for the time being. All seems to be making it’s way back to ‘normal’ and hopefully we’ll get back down to steroids every second day and keep it all under control.

All the stuff in my eyes means I can’t read or do anything of much use until early/mid-afternoon. Once I;m done at the hospital I wander into town then go into McDonalds for a coffee and free wifi…the ‘zoom’ feature on my phone and iPad let me check emails and stuff albeit a bit of a clumsy way to have to go about things.

Next stop is a wander round the shops int he hope of finding some Christmas present inspiration for Margaret but….nothing. Gonna have to dig a bit deeper to get an idea of what she might like.

There’s a few things to pick up before I head to St Enoch Business Centre to find out about their PO Box rentals. Our current PO Box – via Royal Mail – has gone up from £65 a year to over £250 and the amount of mail we get through it is negligible. We decided to do away with it but realise we need to put something in place to maintain our ‘privacy’.

I chat with the folks and the service on offer is as good as – if not better in many ways – than the Royal Mail service, so we get things underway. Looks like I’ll need to get busy changing our mailing address in countless places…and knock up some new business cards.

I have another hour or so to kill before meeting my Music+ student at the studios so another coffee it is…and my eyesight back to as near normal as it gets letting me, at last get on with a few bits and bobs of work.

The Music+ meeting is my student’s last session under the programme so I wish him well and hope to see him achieve his musical goals in coming years.

Like when we left early this morning, it’s cold and dark when we get home.

I get the fire lit and after dinner I sit with the guitar and mess with some lyrical ideas that formed in my head as I was wandering around the city earlier… a nice 18-year-old Glengoyne helps things along…



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