Monthly Archives: April 2023

April Round Up….

Interesting, I was never a hippy or whatever I just briefly had the look and liked the far out music.

This from ye olde internet:

“Conflict took place in every year of the 20th Century; the world was free from the violence caused by war for only very short periods of time. It has been estimated that 187 million people died as a result of war from 1900 to the present.”

Thoughts about my relationship with music: It’s still great fun to do a good live performance or record a new song or musical work that I am pleased with. I don’t have the drive to create in the same way I used to though so more discipline is required to keep going. I suppose that’s just ageing. So now I have more time but I do spend a lot of time not doing much by my standards. But without the thinking time I guess there would be less creativity when it does start to flow. It’s in the quiet moments the mental health pixies start to agitate so that’s the difficult bit in the equation. Speaking to friends they are generally surprised at my overall level of activity.

I am enjoying opportunities to play live again and the social aspects. I do have more confidence these days though as every I go now I go on my own of course. That’s still a bit challenging.
But recording and creating music is very different of course. Both are very satisfying but very different creative processes. So internet websites and and internet radio and social media are my “gallery or concert Hall”. You can experience my art for free but you can buy it if you want to as well. Does this make sense?

The new rule is that if you make less that an £1000 turnover from self employed work you no longer need to declare it. Since lockdown I have only made about £800 from music or less PA.

A curious note: I can sing better with a corset on than off. Perhaps having the posture partially corrected makes breathing easier?

I have been rehearsing Jon Bickley as a tertiary adjunct of his Invisible Folk Club. I have not seen him for a while and also with Bob and Annette. It was a good session. I think Jon was surprised that we all remembered our parts well enough. An enjoyable and mellow couple of hours. plus quite a nice ride there and back too. Didn’t get the emergency alert on my phone though. I wonder how many people didn’t receive it?

The DeltaGypsies

I am practicing a few music bits for the Delta Gypsy mob too.

Plus started of a recording of a new tune. Did other stuff that I cant remember and feel knackered and aching again. If I go out I am OK but on my days at home I just seem to collapse in a heap. I think it is in part because I always feel a little anxious if I am going out anywhere different. Yesterday we used a rehearsal room we had not used before. It turned out OK though. Today I am tired and achy again. Weird or what. It has been raining a bit though which might explain the pains?

Its weird, I m OK say for a couple of days whilst I am doing stuff then wallop I am knocked out. maybe I am not sleeping well enough. I do dream a lot at present. Maybe I just need the spring to kick in properly. I still feel less well since Covid, but maybe its not that at. When I played with the Irish lot it was fun and I felt fine. There is a partly psychological trigger to all this I think, or feel.

So here is a spacey tune for you all and why not.
Fast Foreboding

Some random person from the internet….

A shout out to all of you folks struggling with arthritis and similar ailments. I have had a couple of really bad days, waking up at night with it and so forth. I have Ankylosing spondylitis, but also in addition my spine is twisted in 3 different directions(scoliosis, plus Kyphosis) which does not help much. As time goes on its harder to manage as I have gotten older. It also has left me with a not terribly attractive hump on one side of my back. One of the problems that occurs is that particular on waking I find it difficult to move around. That means that often my mornings are wasted. I do various exercises which help but this week has been a real struggle. So if you are having similar problems you have my sympathies’ as it’s the kind of problem that is not visible to others but can cause huge problems at times. Fortunately its only in recent years that it has started to cause real problems but at 66 I guess that is to be expected. I don’t think I will be running any marathons in the near future though.

Sun and Rain and Wind Again.

Diana (Poodle) Stone at the Piano

Wet day at the Piano again

I played a retirement home last week with Orchard our trio incarnation. It was good fun though I had the feeling some of the people there were actually younger than me and it earnt me 6 Bottles of wine worth of folding stuff which whilst not a kings or queens ransome will come in handy. The musical outlook is much less bleak than it was this time last year in terms of live performances and opportunities’ to generally which is heartening. 2 years ago I honestly thought at one point I would never be playing any gigs again. I actually have 6 acts if you include Jon Bickley the Folky and stuff with Irish Martin and the “Also Rans”). All rather different from each other and its stopped me from becoming a purely internet/bedroom artist whilst also helping with my mental and physical health generally. Like many people the covid restrictions were hard going for me and have left

I did an interesting exercise. I made a list of the people I know at present that I am actually in face to face contact with. There are 15 that I could have a good chat with about stuff and about 4 I could have a chat of a more personal sort. 13 of then are working pro or semi pro musicians or of a musical bent. So I am not doing to badly considering . That’s a lot of people by my standards. A lot of people get to my time of life and become quite isolated.
Having bipolar doesn’t help and it is very difficult on any sort of relationship/friendship from personal experience. I have what’s called “Rapid Cycling” so my mood can change from very low to quite happy (life and soul of the party) to extreme paranoia and anger though fortunately not too often these days. I can sort of function well enough but if I get over stimulated, very busy, that sort of thing it can kick off. That’s why much as I love live music I need to be a bit careful what I take on. It’s frustrating at times though. Keeping friends requires some care too.

Whist writing this I am feeling a bit ropey and hoping its not covid again so I will do a test in a moment. I have been out and in company quite a bit recently so I would like to eliminate that possibility at least. And it’s clear so that’s OK.

I am recording a very silly grungy track at present (almost moronic in its essence), because why not. Sometimes you have to. it might be rubbish, who knows? One annoying at present is the damp, I know the trees and plants need it but it really makes me ache so much and the only fix is turning the heating up or going to bed. The last few years at this time it’s been pretty warm.

Here is a song I recorded from a couple of years ago

Play Times Over

What’s to be Done?

We can’t slow down time but some people seem to just give up at a certain point in life. Perhaps they are perfectly content in some bovine manner to chew cud and wait for the slaughter house? Makes you wonder at times. I would rather be doing until I am done so to speak. But sometimes it’s difficult. Yesterday my back kicked off after I unwisely spent a couple of hours watching TV seated on the sofa and could hardly stand up. That was a shock to system dear reader without doubt. A bit of a worry.

And guess what another tune. Not quite sure what this is exactly, a sort of semi modal, jazzy thing. So here it is then, “Don’t Trust The Spring Dance”

My various band projects are steadily making progress at the moment which is very pleasing too. Beyond that is just keeping on keeping on. At the time of writing this it’s now 4 years to the day since Vicky Martin died after a gig at the Slaughtered Lamb and the whole routine of regular gigs seems a world away from what I do now. “Things ain’t what they used to be” by any means now. I have made new friends among my musical co-conspirators which is pleasing.

Spring is trying get going just about now which makes things look a little more cheery too.

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts”.

Marcus Aurelius

Roman Emperor