Rambling about Marshall Stacks again

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I discarded 90% of my worldly goods when I moved to Berlin  but the Marshall Stack came with me.  Death Valley Surfers had a New Year’s Eve show there at the end of 2000, and it came along in the van  (along with the other 10% of my worldly goods.)  I’d never envisioned the Stack not being a  part of my life,  but…

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Rambling About Marshall stacks

Rambling About Marshall stacks

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The wine was flowing at the birthday party, and our covers band was taking a break between sets. We were chatting to a fifty-something guest who’d renewed an old love affair with guitars and was embracing the sound technology  that hadn’t been there the first time round. He waxed lyrical about a Line 6 gizmo, which…

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The Day after the Night Before - Hamburg in the rain.

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The Night Before:

1622637_687901011272157_1624766221_nPoster by Arne

I’ll have you know my great grandmother was Irish!!

The Day after the Night Before:

Hotel checkout times aren’t synced to a muso lifestyle. Just forty-five minutes to rise and shine before the 11 a.m. checkout deadline. I luxuriate in the power shower for most of them -  ignoring …

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My Black Box. About loving Rock n Roll too much

BETWEEN SONGS

Joyryde Clapham Common GBM Union Mayday Festival 1996

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There’s plenty more where this came from here

My Black Box

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The mid nineties. My former band Joyryde had a high-profile, well-paid, socialist festival gig coming up - supporting Tom Robinson and various other worthy acts on Clapham Common in London (being fronted by  women, Joyryde occasionally netted politically correct shows by default) 

We’d recently taken on a singer, recruited via Melody Maker classified ads. Can’t say I was happy about that, but it did relieve me of vocal duties and let me focus 100% on my guitar while she did her leaping-about front-woman thing, shaking her dodgy perm as she went. However Madam not only chose to quit two days before our big show, but also  had her muso boyfriend ring up the organisers saying he’d “heard we had no singer – could his band step in?”  NO WAY!

I had 48 hours to relearn playing-and-singing-at-the-same-time on 15 songs. We  hadn’t rehearsed for over a month and my head was totally in the wrong place. I HATED that woman so-o-o-o  much. I tugged my black box of effects pedals and cables out from under the stairs, and opened it, releasing the beer, tobacco, and who-knows-what-else odours of the last show. Then came another, less-expected stink… a momentary but massive whiff of all the painful experiences, all the rejection letters, all the unreturned calls, all the humping-someone-else’s-gear-upstairs at five am, all that shitty underside of “being in a band”                           

My box, my box, my precious box – tell me what I did - Why my hands are soaked in blood each time I lift the lid                    

A defining moment in my love-hate relationship with rock’n’roll, and if nothing else came out of it, I got the germ of “Black Box” which I eventually recorded with Kathy X   Anyway I didn’t close the stinky old box. We went on to do a killer show and I was on a high for days.

You’re everything I wanted, everything I know - Wish I’d never seen you but I’ll never let you go

 2014  The “black box” - though now containing substantially fewer pedals -  has somehow outlasted all the people who tried to come between us

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The radio station I couldn’t switch off. More on my own songs here


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The radio station I couldn’t switch off. More on my own songs here

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Three A.M

Dealing with negative feelings in the day is one thing. Exploration. Action. Distraction.  Whatever. But pre dawn is  a whole different ballgame. A sudden and brutal lurch into full consciousness with no defences.

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At three a.m. the demon of negativity was on the loose, free of his daytime restraints, and he wasn’t prepared to listen to me counting my  breaths, or to wait for my autogenic training ritual.  He said “Let’s go to the funfair….”

Here’s the big dipper. Substitute the “big” with the name of whoever  has pissed you off half your life or more.

Here’s the ghost train. That’s where all the people who died hang out.

And now lets have some action. The shooting range. What I should have said to her BANG  What I should have done to them BANG What I would have said to him if I’d had the chance BANG

And when we’re done with that its time for the helterskelter. Relive the fall from grace and friction-burn your arse on the way down.

Blessed  (or cursed) with a songwriter’s imagination I started to write  Three A.M…..resulting in hours of lying stark bonkers awake, at the Real Three a.m. singing and playing the damn thing in my head…..glad to say I’ve finally nailed it.

You can hear the solo acoustic version here  (and you can download the song and lyrics NOW if you’re on my mailing list….) A full production is planned for my next album.

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Party Animal and Braindead

I did an interview a while back at  Berlin’s Szenesound Radio. Being a radio show I wasn’t expecting to be video’d but here it is……Raw Live and Unplugged. More on me and my songs here