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Wednesday 2 October 2013

Of Opportunities and Appetites

As some of you may know, at the end of July I took the opportunity to leave my day job. I'd been there a while and as a result I got a reasonable payout - not a retiring-to-the-caribbean type payout, but a don't-need-a-new-job-straightaway kind.
A number of you who knew about this have asked me if I'm going to take this as an opportunity to try and do something professionally (i.e. full time) with the music. Some of you have even tried to persuade me to do so ;¬)

I've given it a lot of thought, and I've sat down and done the maths, and it doesn't add up.
Trying to make a living playing your own music is hard. Really hard. I know a few professional musicians, and I know a couple who are doing it sticking to their own songs. At the end of every month they're scratching around wondering how they're going to pay the rent.
And they're better and more established musicians than me.

Maybe if I was ten years younger, maybe if I didn't have the shared commitments I now have, maybe if I still had the backing from the label, maybe then (in fact probably then) I would have given it a go.

But I'm not, I do and I don't, and, to be frank, I just don't have the appetite for it anymore. I sometimes think that to succeed in the creative business you need a certain kind of delusion that gives you enough self-belief to try and persuade others to believe too. I remember hearing a radio documentary about Bob Dylan years ago where one of his friends explained how Dylan invented a back story for himself; when he went down south he told people that he was already this successful musician in New York, on the verge of breaking into the mainstream.
I don't have that kind of delusion or drive. For the past few years mostly I've just been tired.

So I'll keep doing some open mics, and the acoustic sessions with the double bass, I'll probably keep recording the odd song here and there as well, but actually, at the moment, that's enough.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Late Gig News! Wednesday night at the Snickleway

Thanks to Dan Webster it looks like I have a gig supporting him at The Snickleway Inn on Goodrumgate tomorrow night. If you're in the area it would be lovely to see you, I'll be on at about 9:45ish. I may even play some new songs.

In other news, a number of people have asked whether I'll be using my new-found freedom to do more on the music front. I'm thinking of how best to explain my thought process on this one so it will probably require a blog on its own. I promise to get that done soon.

Tuesday 21 May 2013

All quiet on the eastern front

Regular viewers of this page (once a year is regular right?) might have noticed that not a lot has been going on recently here.
This is true but not reflective of stuff.
Whilst I have done didly squat in the way of organising any formal gigs I have been continuing to play tunes at both the Habit and Rook and Gaskill for the last few months.
But that is not all, recording is still happening. Things have slowed down a touch whilst I read and attempt to apply various things from Mike Senior's Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio, but they will sound better when they're done.
Also plans are afoot for some full-band shenanigans. It's embryonic at the moment but, ever the optimist*, I'm hopeful for what may come.
I'm also hoping to kick off some stuff** playing the beast for another singer/songwriter chap as well - I would make a joke about this being another string to my bow but that would be a bit cheap wouldn't it?

So things will probably remain a bit quiet on here for the time being, but behind this staid masquerade plans are being made and wheels set in motion.
In the meantime there's still the bandcamp, soundcloud and youtube stuff that I linked to in the previous post, listen, like and share as much as you like. Especially you, you can do anything you want with it, you're cool like that.

* I'm not actually an optimist.
** Good word "stuff", very good word.

Thursday 11 April 2013

What the Sam Hell?

Every now and then I sit here and think something along the lines of "Holy Shit it's 2013!" Generally this is quickly followed by something along the lines of "Where's my jetpack dammit?"
At the moment I'm suffering something similar on a shorter-term scale and thinking "Holy crap it's April!"
When did that happen?
I take comfort in the fact that obviously I'm not the only one thinking this, even mother nature has been caught napping and has forgotten to get spring ready; so I'm keeping good company.

In fact I've been keeping a lot of good company recently, Monday night's regular slot at The Habit is giving me a solid three-hours on the double bass supporting all manner of tunes and songs and Thursday night at the Rook and Gaskill is keeping my six-string skills just about ticking over.
But that's not enough.
It's never enough.

So I've finally got off my fat posterior and put a couple of ads up on to both try and build a band for my stuff and also to offer my services on the dooble baas to some singer/songwriter type or duo. I know I need to follow this up with some paper equivalents in the various music stores and studios but it's a start.

I also took a week off recently to do some chores and a bit more recording - this ended up being doing some chores, an awful lot of drinking (I blane my brother*) and a bit of finding out a bit more about cubase and compression and noise-gating and stuff like that. No actual recording, but next time I do I'll have a better idea of what I'm doing.

So whilst I'm getting my act together for both new live stuff and new recorded stuff here's a selection of localish (Leeds-based) music you should keep an eye out for:
Sam Airey
Arthur Rigby and the Baskervilles
Hope and Social

Stay well

* For everything.

Sunday 13 January 2013

2013 a myspace odyssey

Been very quiet from me recently, sorry about that, but part of the reason is that I have been spending less time in front of the computer and more time behind an instrument. A situation I'm intending to continue this year, possibly even getting some gigs again if I can.
So, just a quick reminded of how it works:
Complete, fully produced and mastered stuff from me and Dr Jones is available from bandcamp here on a pay what you want basis:
Work in progress I'm publishing via soundcloud as that seems to suit the single-song format a bit better, you can listen to what's on the go here:
I'm also adding stuff into youtube as well if that's your preferred online music listening tool: - though google have stuck some stuff into quarantine until they confirm if I'm allowed to play my own music. I have no idea how long this will take. Anyone have any experience of this?

That's about it for now, hope your year is kicking off well and everything is coming up roses. Now where did I leave that invitation for the new myspace...