Login / Register · View Bag

Bill’s Brain

It was accordion last night what made Bill Bates’s brains exploding.
I done ‘Zero Inches’ tried to sing and play at same time but accordion obviously too gharsly and loud so needed to do the accordion by it self then 2 drop-ins what made Bill’s brains exploding. As seen.
02-03-14-Recording-004Also made me go blurred. See.

Why people feel the urge to play accordions I just don’t know. In case you do though – here’s how.

Lovely Gig at FourPenny Shop


On Saturday I done a gig with lots of other people for a local charity Myton Hospice. It was at The Old Fourpenny Shop which is also where the session is on Thursdays. It has nice landlord Sean who often gives us drinks and sandwiches because he likes us to play. Fourpenny6

Anyway this gig was in the main bar and very crowded with lots of lovely audience hooray. Fourpenny1







First went on Jonathan Waller who is excellent guitar player and mandolin player and is organiser of session what I told you about already so no need to say it again. I joined in him seeing as I brought my keyboard.




Then on with Pete Willow who I haven’t seen for ages except on Facebox which doesn’t count as a real seeing because Bookface is not real it is just pretend. And not all of them are actually your real friends. He played with his friend John MacIntosh who was playing the bass. They done a favourite song of mine by Ry Cooder called ‘Trouble You Can’t Fool Me’ the next line is ‘I see you behind that tree’ a good song which I once learnt. Anyway very good.




Fourpenny8Fourpenny9Then who next but John Wright who is a friend of mine and his new playing-pal Hilary Wilson who writes songs. Very good with nice harmonies and everything. The pub was very loud though which made the quieter songs harder to hear – I know all about this myself! Anyway of course I joined in with them for ‘Ride On’ (a favourite song in John’s family who were there waving) and a James Taylor song ‘You Can Close Your Eyes’. All very good.



Fourpenny14Fourpenny12Then next was me. Because it was a somewhat rowdy audience I played the old trumpet and accordion thing ‘Reckless Blues’ which is actually a Bessie Smith song totally corrupted and changed by me onto accordion. Of course the audience got to do trumpet noises which they seemed to like.
Then ‘Zero Inches’ which is one of my own on accordion, Fourpenny13followed by ‘Stormy Weather’ with Jonathan on electric guitar and Mick Cox on laptop snare – this song had a technical problem which I shan’t tell you about but resulted in me having to suddenly play the trumpet at the same time as the piano. (Hint: See above to ‘No stuff on here’ photo)…Very exciting.
Fourpenny11After this ‘Fly Away’ on piano – a song I wrote when my daughter Oonagh went off around thee world to do adventuring and finding-out about stuff. I had to go ‘sshhhhhhh’ cos it was a quiet song! The audience were very obliging.
Then I got Noel Le Long up on guitar, Mick Cox on cajon and Jonathan again on electric to be my band in my Aretha Franklin type song I call ‘All We Want’ where the audience (very professional) joined in on BVs with ‘love’ on the chorus. Wish I’d recorded it! PS if you wanna hear my stuff go here. You can also go to my shop.

Fourpenny10Anyway after that ‘Under The Influence’ who are Mick Cox and Steve Boyer who are well-known in the area and often turn up at the session. Steve’s songs are catchy and hooky and we all like singing along with them.

Then on to the last turn – Chris Tobin and Dave Cook who played blues type stuff – very good to finish the night – I got up with them for the last couple of numbers on keyboard. Everyone really enjoyed them. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos but you can see them on Boxface.

In fact it was a great night all round thanks to Sean the landlord who absolutely loves the music and brought sandwiches round for us, and to Jonathan who organised the musicians and took trouble to set up PA and lights in a cramped corner for us musos, and also to Maggie Coleman for organising too (and lots of others involved see here.) Lots of dosh was raised and it was a fun event plus I had a great time hooray and hoorah.

Gig tonight!

Hooray-gig-colourGig tonight just getting ready got 13 items:

Keyboard, keyboard seat, keyboard stand, keyboard leads and pedal, guitar, trumpet, accordion, cajon, bag of bits, bag of lights, another guitar, mandolin, merch, other bag.

What fun it will be. It is a gig at The Old Fourpenny Shop on Crompton Street Warwick in aid of Myton Hospice a local charity and I will be part of the jam-packed evening together with lots of interestifying people. I shall be on at 9.30 or suchlike for about half and hour but probly might play with other people earlier on. Starts 8ish. FREE!!!!

Anyway gotta go now byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.


In The Studio

So I’ve been at Bill’s in his studio again putting the vocal on one of my rather awkwardish type songs called ‘Life Is Never’. It is played on my ‘stupid tuning’ guitar which is a Yamaha.
It was fun and we got it done.
The last shot is on the screen of the words ‘She laughed too loud’ which are in my song. This is just Bill’s way of writing it. Lovely.


Piano tuner

Yesterday I had my grand piano tuned by none other than thee famous Chris Teuten. He tunes many many pianos all over the place.

Chris-Teuten1This is him…

He always wear a suit and tie and has a interestifying case with different piano-tuning implements in. So far he has shown me how to take the keys out from the piano all in one go and check the hammers and take out dust from under etc, how to adjust the hammers so that they hit the strings properly, how to change a hammer, how to tune a note and how to tune the piano using just my thought-waves.

He says I could learn how to tune pianos without much difficulty thereby making lots of money as there are more pianos than tuners can cope with apparently but I don’t think I could do piano tuning because a) I would probably want to tune it differently to a normally-tuned piano b) I might get a slighty bit bored as you have to do all the octaves then all the fifths then the fourths and I would probably not be able to concentrate that long without getting distracted by actually playing the piano I was tuning c) I would have to tune pianos I don’t much like or pianos of people I don’t much like or both d) I would not like to wear a tie or suit e) All of these.

However Chris can do tuning and now my piano is in tune ready for Bill Bates (sound recording engineer) to come over and experiment with how he is going to record me singing with the lovely piano which has wellies on and the hinges for the lid are broken and it is almost as big as the room it’s in.

I am always most happy when my piano is just tuned as it sounds lovely. I wish I could take it with me…

Warwick Folk Club next week

I’m going to be at my local club in Warwick playing some stuff for Bill Bates’ night with friends. It’ll probably just be a couple of songs but I shall also probably play along with other people I expect.
Keith Donnelly will be there as well.



Here is what Bill looks like – you can see how nice he is. Plus he writes good songs and sings and plays the guitar…

He is excellent at doing recording as you can see from this.





Plus also here is what I look like at the moment with a 2nd hand christmas jumper on and playing the banjo which is a 5-string banjo with 4 strings…

Recording started…

Well I’ve started recording at my friend Bill Bates’ place. Heathcote Studio. He has a little well-equipped studio and has recorded albums for Keith Donnelly, Ursula Holden-Gill and others.


I recorded the vocal and guitar for a song called ‘Lay Down Your Worries’ which I wrote in 1993 – that’s a 20 year old song! It’s rather strange coming back to this song – I used to sing it quite a lot but it missed getting recorded on “Pockets On Fire’ and didn’t really fit for ‘Paper Girl’. So it’s interesting to sing it again.

I’m approaching this in a different way to how I recorded years ago. Then I went into a studio and recorded everything over a relatively short period. That meant everything had to be in perfect condition – I mean the performance and quality of playing and the arrangements and decisions on instrumentation already made etc. If you were regularly gigging then mostly all this fitted into place.



With this approach I can target songs as I go along and record the bones and then decide what I’d need to add later. This is quite interesting and I think things will become apparent! It’s quite an exciting way of recording but it will be slow-ish.


Last night I went to The Tin (formerly known as Taylor John’s) in Coventry to see Batsch (formerly known as Don’t Move) launch their new EP which was released as an mp3 download but also as a cassette.

Cassettes are back!

Batsch are Mason Le Long (my step son) on vocals, electric guitar and tambourine, Joe Carvell on bass,Matt Rheeston on drums and someone on keyboards and accordion who is nifty. They make a unique sound together which uses riffs, digs, precise intricate patterns and interlocking rhythms. It’s really hooky and dancey. And the lyrics are properly original.


Check out BandCamp for the EP

General Stuff Going On


December 2 christmas-type gigs with Dave Pegg (Fairport Convention) and PJ Wright with Brooks Williams – Banbury Mill then Priors Marston Village Hall

Birmingham Town Hall Nov 2nd as part of Dave Pegg’s 65th birthday celebration

Playing Sailing Boat with Fairport and Somewhere Over The Rainbow with Chris Short of The Churchfitters – also featuring the Strawkestra

Didmarton Bluegrass Festival with Alan Thomson (John Martyn Band and others)

Song-writing: Everybody Loves You on piano

Recording session: Accordion on ‘A Long Way To New Orleans’ on Peter Cox‘s (Go West) new album Riding The Blinds


Butlins Big Folk Weekend Skegness December singing solo set and joining with Bob Fox, Steve Tilston and Dave Pegg & PJ Wright for their sets.

2011+2012 StuFF

Playing Sailing Boat with Fairport and Somewhere Over The Rainbow with Chris Short of The Churchfitters – also featuring the Strawkestra

Didmarton Bluegrass Festival with Alan Thomson (John Martyn Band and others)

Song-writing: Everybody Loves You

Recording session: Accordion on ‘A Long Way To New Orleans’ on Peter Cox’s (Go West) new album Riding The Blinds


Butlins Big Folk Weekend Skegness December singing solo set and joining with Bob Fox, Steve Tilston and Dave Pegg & PJ Wright for their sets


I found Hedgy. He is 200g.
H x 200g = >400g = 0 (Where >0=600g+) Calculation needed is >0
H + HC (where HC=Hcarer)  x T (where T=Time) = >0
H+HC+6m (where m=months) = >0
(Where >0=life and 0=death)
Update Spring 2013
H=>0 + R (where R=released) in W (where W=Whitnash)