This is the site for music, click here for my blog on other stuff

Friday 4 December 2009


Nothing to do with They Might Be Giants sadly, just a bit of an inconvenience in the gig tonight. The City Screen basement bar is flooded out so the gig has been moved to The Junction on Leeman Road. All tickets will be honoured there or you can get a refund from City Screen.
Sorry for any hassle.

Thursday 3 December 2009

Last Gig of the year

So we approach the end of 2009 and soon we'll be entering the some-what awkwardly named twenty-ten. And you know what i want to know? Not so much "what happened to 2009?" But rather "what they hell happened to the last decade?" I mean, really, where the hell did it go? I swear i still remember being 25...

But anyway, we must move on, so, last gig of the year coming up. Supporting Stewart King's new band Satori as they have the last of their album launch gigs and with additional support from Thom Piddock. Just five of your english pounds on the door (£4 if you buy in advance) and a good night of music shall follow.
Hope you've all had a good 2009, i shall write again next year and confirm how my various predictions for this year went...

Wednesday 11 November 2009

A brief note on classifications.

It works like this: a category 1 error is a musical error that i make on stage but no-one else (not even Dr Jones) notices; i make a lot of these. A category 2 error is a mistake i make but only Dr Jones notices (I make a few of these - i tend to get away with them because we have so few recorded tracks that people don't know the songs). A category 3 error is one that the audience notice; sadly i make a few of these as well.
Some people hardly seem to make errors at all. I've seen Boo Hewerdine play a few times and been struck by how incredibly precise he is. At one gig he played for an hour and twenty minutes and there was just one brief moment of fret-buzz in the whole set. Most people wouldn't have noticed but i was kind of fixated.
But that whole paragraph above is just filler whilst i nervously broach the idea of a fourth category of error. I propose a category 4 error should exist for the those times when it's such a collosal fuck-up that you have to re-start the song.
The reason that i find myself suggesting this new category is because a meer category 3 doesn't seem nearly enough to describe my screw up on monday. We'd got a last minute support with Eileen Rose and the Holy Wreck and i managed to open up the gig with the wrong chord and an absolute unholy balls-up of our opening song. I swore, Dr Jones laughed, we started again.
Every one else was very good though!
Enjoy the odd photo to take your mind off it...

Sunday 8 November 2009

Late notice! Gig with Eileen Rose @ Fibbers on Monday 9th

Um, the problem with writing a good subject line is that it doesn't leave you a great deal to put in the rest of the blog!
So, Dr Jones and I will be playing a support slot on monday, the headline is Eileen Rose and the Holy Wreck all the way from Nashville (is it or me or does every musician in the states seem to be from Nashville?) with additional support from Dream of Apollo.
Haven't had time to make up a flyer for this one so fire back an e-mail if you're coming and i'll get you on a £5 entry list (£10 on the door)
We'll be on at 8 so don't be late.
Stay well

Monday 19 October 2009

Gigs and buses

Just like buses, you wait ages for an update and then get 3 all at once...
Another last minute gig, but this time it's with someone who I've actually heard of (or should that be "somebody of whom I have heard? I think it should, but let's crash on)...
Yep, first time back at fibbers for a while supporting the excellent James Yorkston. Also on the bill are Mary Hampton and David Jaycock. Normally this would cost you £11 on the door but if you print off the flyer (i.e. the picture above) it's just £5. Aren't i good to you?
The only downside to all this is that because of the busy bill i'll be on pretty much on the dot of 8pm. Don't be late...

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Ripon gig (18th) cancelled, City Screen (thursday) still on!

How irritating. Apparently the venue for sunday's gig has lost its license; i'm not sure whether it's the music license or the trading license but either way we won't be playing in Ripon this weekend.
So come down and see us at city screen on thursday instead. What else were you going to do?
stay well
Debut EP Digging for Bones out now on

Thursday 8 October 2009

Gigs and stuff!

New news! Not that old re-cycled type...
Some of you have been asking when we're playing next in York, well, the answer is "next week".
Yes, fresh from the school of Giving People Plenty of Notice, Dr Jones and I will be playing at the City Screen Basement on Thursday 15th next week. We're playing alongside Heath Lanzillotti and Codeine Vacation, about whom i know nothing. But it's a fiver to get in and that's not bad for 3 acts i reckon. Music starts at 8:00.
Hot on the heels of this we have a gig in Ripon on the Sunday (18th) for those of a (slightly) more northerly bent. It's in a wine bar in the centre of town (I assume it used to be a bank?) - more details under the gigs section.
After that we're going to take a bit of a pause. We're back in the studio doing another chunk on the album shortly and it's going to be a whole load of stuff we don't usually play live; as a result i'm going to need a shed load of practice so we're taking a bit of time away from the stage.
Bear with us, we'll be back soon with a few new songs to tempt your appetite.
stay well

Sunday 27 September 2009

Life has been kind recently

It's been a while since my last update; there are many reasons for this. Some of them are good reasons, i will share some of them; some of them are not good reasons but i may still mention them briefly, so that they don't feel left out.

I've been across to Florida for a wedding, down to Hampfordshire for some camping, up to the Lakes for a gig and some walking and played my first all-night-on-my-tod gig in York. These have all been good things but have contributed to the web-silence somewhat.
The bad reasons are that work's been busy and i am so very, very lazy. But let's move on from them, they have all the recognition that they deserve.

So let's move on in a going forward manner (a phrase which, i am convinced, is only two interviews away from a politician's lips) and i shall let you know what's happening in my tiny and insignificant segment of the world.

Firstly, we have a couple more gigs lined up, one in Ripon on the 18th of October, the other in York on the 4th of December (once again i find myself in the rare position of being able to give you plenty of warning). More details can be found, strangely enough, in the gigs section.
We might also have a gig on the 30th of September at the Theater Royal in York but i really don't know what's happening with this one (for any readers new to this site, his is the kind notice and organisation i generally provide).

Secondly, work on the album will be getting a kick-start in November. I know it's been over a year since we started it, but i've got a week booked in the studio in November and i'm hoping to get the bulk of the recording finished by the end of that month. I'd still expect a further couple of months of production and stuff before we get round to actually having anything saleable but hopefully we'll be able to get something out in the first half of next year.
You'll note i'm trying to add a trace of realism into my estimates!

But anyway, because i'm going to have to write, learn and practice a whole load of new guitar, mandolin, squeezebox etc parts for the studio work, I'm not going to be booking anything in over the next couple of months. All being well, come December we will have got our recording pretty much done and i'll start touting for more gigs.
Stay well

Sunday 9 August 2009

Rhythm Section Wanted

For the past 18 months I've been working with Dr Jones on the cello and, by all accounts, that's going pretty well. We've just opened the Limetree festival and, over the past couple of years, have played supports to the likes of Great Lakes Swimmers, Langhorne Slim, Stewboss and Martin Stephenson. The first full length album with Soup records is in the works and will be out around the end of the year.
Did i say it was going pretty well?
It's going very well.
But it's time for the next step, you see, there are some songs that just don't work that well on acoustic guitar and cello. They need a bit of rhythm. Specifically they need a double bass and a drum. Maybe more than 1 drum.

So this is, in the words of They Might Be Giants, the rhythm section want ad:
Double Bass player and drummer wanted, based in the York / Leeds area, to support singer/songwriter and cellist for recording and live gigs.
You will have kit, transport, time and a genuine interest in my kind of music. I have the songs and the recording deal.

A lot of what we do is completely acoustic, so if you're looking to rock out, well, I'm sure there are plenty of other bands who'll snap you up. If you're still curious, check out and and drop me a line.

Wednesday 22 July 2009


So this weekend we play our first proper festival. Well, it's my first proper festival, i'm not certain i can speak for Dr Jones, i certainly shouldn't be able too, i mean, she's qualified and everything. But anyway, i digress...
We're opening the Green Man stage at the LimeTree festival, which (i'm hoping) will be good. But, not having done something of this scale before, i have lots of questions, will there be a proper back stage with lots of muso people? Will there be anyone there at midday friday when we play? Will i have to spend two days in the rain and mud surrounded by hippies? If you choke a smurf, what colour does it turn? Why do whales have to be so big? What's with all the questions?
Who knows, i'll update the website afterwards. Assuming the hippies haven't got me.

On other news, for those of you who are Leeds based, i'll be doing a slot at Verve bar again on the 30th, hopefully it won't be cancelled this time. No Dr Jones for this one though so a chance to drag out some of the older, darker stuff. Any requests?

Wednesday 8 July 2009

Gig cancelled

Folks, just a quick update, sadly our gig tomorrow night (9th) at Verve has been cancelled as the venue has managed to double book itself. We'll be back there before too long though, watch this space.

Sunday 21 June 2009

New Song

just a quickie for you today, i have, as you will have deduced from the heading of this piece, written a new song. Written, played through once, then straight into the phone and published.
Here is the song what i wrote:

Thursday 28 May 2009

We've actually been playing some music...

...recently. Which is a nice change. A really nice morning up at the festival on the moor in Ryedale with Roscoe La Belle, a wedding (for which we had to make some pretty heavy changes to the set list (apparently songs about dead girlfriends could be considered inappropriate)), which was fun but i'm not in a huge hurry to do any more, and another session at Verve bar over in Leeds.
Much fun to be had.
And thursday we're playing at the Red Lion in Otley.
After that i really need to get off my over-sized posterior and book some more stuff in. Any suggestions? Come along on thursday and let me know.
Also on the good news front is that work on the album should hopefully pick up again soon. We've got the ground work down but there's still a lot to do. It's working out what to take out that's the tricky bit i reckon.
Stay well all.

Monday 18 May 2009


...because it's not really news.
Quick reminder that we're playing the Red Lion in Otley again on the 4th of June. Lovely little pub, very friendly and really nice to play. We're trying to sort out a support act so if you know anyone who might be interested please let me know.
Progress on the album has been very slow recently as the day job has eaten my life. This should change a bit from next month though and hopefully things will start picking up. In the meantime the good doctor and I will be playing a wedding at the weekend. This has taken some fairly serious investigation to try and find an hour's worth of songs that aren't about death, we might have sneaked a couple of the more subtle ones in though ;¬)
In the meantime, would you like a sneak preview of the artwork for the new album? Comment and let me know

Monday 20 April 2009

Beer, Music, Food...

...What's not to like? Exactly, so it shouldn't take too much to persuade you to come down to the Ripon Cathedral Beer Festival, drink some beer, eat some food and listen to some music should it?
It's bank holiday monday (May 4th), there'll be music all afternoon and we'll be on at 12:50pm. £2 entry and kicks off at 11:30 for the usual beer festival shenanigans.
That's about all i know at the moment, i'll update the gig list details as things become clear.
stay well

Thursday 26 March 2009

Gigs and stuff

Quick update on the upcoming gigs, been very quiet from me recently but there's a couple coming up:
2nd April - Not quite april fool... Opening for TWO at the Red Lion in Otley, cracking little pub on Kirkgate.

14th April - City Screen Basement, Supporting Roscoe La Belle and with Reuben Hollebon and Lizzie Vince.
Not sure how much it'll be on the door but for 4 bands it's gonna be pretty reasonable.
And i promise you a new song!

roscoe la belle
Reuben Hollebon
Drew Stephenson (that's me by the way)
Lizzie Vince

Thursday 19 March 2009

E-mail problems and a quick bit of gig news

Just a quick note to explain the problems people are having with my e-mail at the moment. I still have a forwarding on to my old website (that no longer exists) and that's what causing the delivery failure messages. Sorry about that, i am getting the e-mails!
And a quick update on gigs, we'll be supporting Roscoe La Belle at the city screen basement in York on April the 14th. I'm afraid i don't know much about them at the moment as their website is still in construction but i'll get some more details and post them when i know.
Oh yes, and whilst we're at it i'll give you a quick update on the album. I've been back in the studio doing some of the proper vocals (still struggling a bit with this bloody cold) and we've been doing some of the drumming as well.
It's beginning to shape up...

Sunday 1 March 2009

Just like busses...

you wait a month for a post and then you get two at once. The little buggers.
But this is just a tiny post, with a video.
Oh yes, i have just written a new song and in order to remember it i have made a little video. And, stealing shamelessly from the excellent Stickboy, i have decided to post it straight up. Here it is.

Apologies for the sound quality, it's just straight into my phone, and it's only the second time i've played the song. That's how new it is. It's called Satellite.
But anyway, let me know if this is a good thing for future new songs and blogs and i shall keep doing it

So, we had a cracking little gig in Scarborough last week courtesy of the Coastival. They'll be doing a outdoor festival thing in the summer again this year, find out more here.
And speaking of festivals, Dr Jones has industriously got us a spot at this year's Limetree Festival over near Ripon on the 24th, 25th & 26th July.
Apparently it's a festival "how they used to be", so up to our knees in mud, surrounded by hippies and with no working toilets. Actually that's probably not the marketing image they intended so how about i describe it as a non-commercialised, hype-free Folk and Roots festival with some top bands from the North East. And working plumbing. And probably loads of Hippies and vast amounts of weed, but you know, clouds and silver linings and all that.
It should look something like the picture (otherwise you can sue me for false advertising).
So february has been its usual evil self but March promises to be better, no gigs planned, going to take a bit of time to go back into the studio and do the next chunk on the album, get work under control and then start setting up some more gigs from April onwards.
Stay well

Tuesday 10 February 2009

Sunny Scarborough Sundays

is what we're hoping for...
Dr Jones and I will be playing at the Coastival indoor festival in scarborough on sunday the 15th. We'll be on from 2pm (on the nail apparently - no overrun is permitted) and the excellent Jon Gomm and Edwina Hayes finish off the night.
Ollie Banks is on just before us and is definitely worth watching as well.
Sadly there are no late trains back to york so we'll have to sort out some carage instead but it should be a cracking day.
hope to see you all then and hope to be able to post an update on the album before too long.
stay well

Monday 19 January 2009

don't let the thieving bastards get away with it

Warning, this post contains lots of rude words.

Non-music related and uk-only blog tonight i'm afraid.

On thursday MPs in the UK are going to vote on whether their expenses should be exempt from the freedom of information act. This amendment to the bill has been snuck in at late notice, many MPs aren't even aware it's there.
According to a recent yougov poll 70% of the british electorate don't trust their elected representatives. No fucking wonder.
So what can you do about it?
You can write to your MP. Email them. Right now. It will take less than 5 minutes.
MP Jo Swinson has tabled an early day motion against this and needs your MPs support, fortunately the good people at have done all the hard work, click on the link here, read the article and then follow the instructions. Be polite, but be firm; they are public servants and not vice versa.
Sorry if this sounds dictatorial but if you want any of these fuckers to be accountable then we have to slap down shit like this whenever it comes up.
Hopefully my next post will be back on topic and bit less angry.

P.S. if you want a hand phrasing your letter just drop me a line.

Saturday 17 January 2009

FREE Festival!

A two-day, FREE, indoor festival down on the Yorkshire coast, organised by the good people at Acoustic Gathering. It’s an all day event for two days from midday - 10:30. Festival starts on saturday with Chris Helme and Carl Woodford headlining and we’re on sunday (about 14:30) along with Edwina Hayes and Jon Gomm. Seriously folks, if you like acoustic music, this is going to be bloody magic!
The venue is The Vitadome-Spa Complex, Scarborough, Y011 2HD (for those of you with satnavs!)
I'll be updating this as i go along with more details.

Monday 12 January 2009

due to the fact that my webhosting company has decided to call it quits the site will shortly cease to exist! (i can hear that you're upset from here) But have no fear, this is the replacement and it already exists! Yes, is alive and well and living here on google. because it's cheap...
With the demise of the webhosting however also comes the demise of the e-mail, will be no-more. If you really, really want to get in touch, please use or just comment here. I do read any comments. I may subsequently ignore them, but i do read them...

but enough of logistics

Dr Jones and I will be playing leeds again on the 5th of Feb, down at the verve bar ( on 16 merrion street. Things will kick off at about 9ish. Not sure who else is on that night but last time there were some bloody good acts (and us) so it should be a good night.

So, that's it for now, we are still working on the new album, but i really need to shrug off this bloody cold before i go back into the studio and record the vocals - they're not all supposed to sound like Tom Waits

Stay well all and remember it's .com all the way now!

Thursday 1 January 2009

A bit less shit

Is what i hope 2009 will be.
Actually that's a bit harsh, 2008 wasn't all shit, just the bits of it i spend at work. The rest was pretty good actually.
So i shouldn't complain.
But i will, because i'm like that...
But anyway, here's hoping 2009 will not the death spiral that all the papers are telling us it's going to be. I still wonder how bad the recession would be if we didn't have all the media stuffing the disaster down our throats all day. Mind you, if we weren't so morbidly fascinated by the spectacle of misfortune they might actually report some good news occasionally.
But i digress...
So i'm finally shaking off my cold, which means two things, firstly our next gig is now booked! Thursday 8th Jan at the Red Lion in Otley. Dr Jones and I will be supporting TWO and bringing a bit of death and depression to the good people of that fine town. Probably kicking off at about 8:30, get yoursen' down lad...
Secondly, having recovered a bit of my voice means back into the studio for some vocals on the new album. Which is always fun!

It is traditional at this time of year to make some predictions as to the forthcoming year, however i've had a look at my predictions from last year and since i only got one and a half right (one right and one rightish in places) i think i will stick with some more modest predictions this year:
Aston Villa will make it into the champions league at the expense of arsenal who will only manage the Uefa cup.
Gloucester will win the Rugby this year (actually win the playoff as well as just getting more points than anyone in the league. Playoffs? What a bloody stupid idea, that's what a cup is for. And whilst we're at it, who came up with the bloody spelling of gloucester anyway? But i digress, again).
One of the big 4 record labels will go bust and Nadal will win wimbledon.
That's it, just the 4 this year, much eaiser to keep track of...
Stay well all