Tuesday, December 12, 2006


This months word children is: Manic.

The conservatory is up and just needs the floor to dry out and a few finishing touches...hopefully by christmas as it will become the dining room.

The downstairs shower room has been gutted. Louise and myself have spent hours with hammer and chisel, tapping away layers of old plasterboard on the former outside wall (now inside...the shower room is part of the extension) so we can look at a nice Claydon red brick whenever we use it. The rear garden looks like a builder’s yard at the moment, complete with old sink, toilet and shower tray...not to mention bags of rubble. I had a plan to lay floor tiles on Sunday morning, but ended up ripping up the floorboards in order to re-fit the plumbing. I eventually put some floor tiles down on Sunday evening after spending the day with my head through the floor. At least i now know what’s down there...

The band have taken a back seat since the aylesbury gig, what with the DIY run up to xmas. We are looking to tame the beast a little as it's becoming out of control, verging on motorhead territory which was never the plan. We have a new second guitarist coming in, and we want to get the vibe a little more Black Crowes / Stones style. I played on Saturday night with a soul band which was great. However, i missed our only chance to rehearse when Louise injured her eye whilst smashing the shower room wall (see above) and we spent 4 hours in oxford eye hospital. Thankfully she’s ok, but it did mean that the only time i got to play through the songs was during the gig! This actually made me play much better than i have done in a while.

The major news is that we now have a new addition to the family. We have a 5 year old Jack Russell called Amy, who has taken over the house. I wish we could have done it sooner as it’s got everyone of their buts and out on walkies. She's great fun and no trouble (unless you are a cat/dog/rabbit/badger/fox/car).

Talking of new additions, much love to Mr and Mrs C who are expecting their first born next year.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Yes...Very. Sorry!

Just trying to think whats happened since the last blog. Must try and take a leaf out of the mighty Will C's blog regime. Not too keen on the hot soup method though...

So, a-hem. Whats been going on 'ere then? Played a storming gig with Jak Dog in Aylesbury. Lots of friends came, saw, and lost the use of their ears for a week. Holy crap we were loud. My guitar sounded immense. I loved playing with Soul Beaver, but there is nothing like controlling waves of feedback. We are due to run through a bunch of new covers tomorrow night as most of the set has gone. No point having a great band if the songs are the usual suspects.

Had a great Halloween party for Scarlet and Alex's mates in the house. Covered the lounge in fake cobwebs and dunked the kids during apple bobbing. Everyone dressed up, and we blew up the back field with fireworks.
My mate Craig bought his family over on Saturday night. We walked down the hill with torches towards the playing fields and watched the Steeple Claydon firework display. It was fantastic with a huge well planned display. Walked back up the hill and Louise dished out apple crumble and custard. Yummy.

We should have a new conservatory within the next two weeks. The walls and floor are up and ready for the frame. Really looking forward to having the extra space.

Amazing sunset last night. Ran out into the fields with my camera. Another ruined pair of trainers!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Do you want a flake in that?

Never seem to have time to blog much these days. The band is taking off now (with a new bass player - Stu was great but it did not work out) and we have gigs booked, and minibuses full of people attending. Blimey!

Cracking on at a rate with the house. I painted the hall and stairs when Lou was away, laid wood flooring in the lounge, and hand-made my first cottage style wooden door today. Really pleased with it, as our doors are not standard sizes and ordering them would cost £250+ per door. God I could make a fortune!

Got free tickets from the lovely Mr H for Robbie Williams on thursday. Took Lou and Scarlet who spent the entire gig screaming 'WE LOVE YOU ROBBIE!!!'. Must say, it was brilliant. The stage was unreal. HD video screens were amazing...so clear even from the back of the MK Bowl.

The best bit was the encore. Robbie had spotted an ice cream van just before the end of the main set, and he appeared standing at the very top of the stage (VERY high...the stage, not him) with two '99' cones in his hand. He had the look of complete satisfaction as he rammed the whole thing into his face and then sang 'Let me entertain you'! Class...!

The man has 325,000 people attending the Milton Keynes gigs, millions of cd's sold across the globe, one of the best productions out on the road, but it's the joy of having 2 ICE CREAMS which is priceless!

Saturday, August 19, 2006


My ears are ringing.

The band rehearsed this afternoon (sat) with Stuart on bass. Sounded fantastic. A big slab of sound. Run through about 10 songs, most of which were the first attempts. Gave Radar Love a go and nailed it first attempt. Big smiles all round. I still need to work on my solos as i'm realy not at all happy with them.

Loaded the car at 1pm under summery skys and headed for wycombe. Passed a number of signs which read 'Event 400 yds - Warning' and counting down thereafter. Thought i'd get caught in long cues for a festival or some such major sporting event. Driving passed the final sign which read 'Charity Metal Detecting Event' I looked to the right to see a huge ploughed field stretching into the distance, covered by at least 400 people with long sticks and headphones. Very VERY bizzare! If only I was at the same spot 10 minutes later, as the sky turned biblical and unleashed a storm which literally stopped the traffic through wycombe. Street's turned to rivers within minutes. I hope the people on the hill got to safe spot, as they would have to arrange a Detectors Detecting event to find the missing!! BEEP....I've found a roman coin, and a small man wearing headphones. Wonder if its worth anything!

Rang Lou to warn her of the storm. She said there was not a cloud in the sky, but did get the rabbit inside as he's not the greatest swimmer. Not that we actually know that for sure.

Writing this in between coats of pink...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Lou takes Scarlet and Alex away on holiday next week so I get the chance to decorate the small bedroom. In pink...

Rehearsing tomorrow with Stuart, our new bass player. It's been months since we last played and I'm really looking forward to it. I've got that 'Townshend' feeling!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Alone Again Or

Alexander had a small operation on his big toe this morning. He's hobbling around in sandles with a huge comedy bandage on his toe. Everyone is attending to him, he's taken over the living room...xbox and new doctor who figures everywhere.

Louise and myself did some of the front garden one evening in the rain. Looking good...may get it finished this weekend but no great rush.

Started regular swimming now in buckingham. Realy good fun, although i've become a bad swimmer. I've not been a regular swimmer since school. Just can't get the breathing sorted out. It might be lack of fitness. I do feel much better since we started.

Looks like we have found a bass player. Just need to organise a run though to check but it's looking very good.

Arthur Lee of Love died yesterday. I listened to Forever Changes whilst driving from LA to San Francisco last year through hot dusty farmland...surreal but perfect.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hot Hot Heat

Not a huge amount happening at the moment. We've had the bathroom ripped out and our swanky new units installed. Spent all of Saturday (right up till 2.15am) painting and tiling. Woke up on Sunday morning very tired and decided that the shade of red we had chosen (salsa2) was hideous. Cue trip to B&Q. Completely redid all the walls in a much nicer Classic Red. 5 times. I love painting and will happily stay up all night if I'm in the mood, but this was a chore of the highest level. I'd spent my entire weekend in that one room and i was sick of it. Must say though...went in the bathroom today and it looks realy nice. A job well done (almost).

The best part of decorating upstairs is that I can pick up loads more digital stations on my little radio. Spent Sat and Sunday tuned into The Arrow. They played the new Cheap Trick single twice on the same day. Also, 'The Word' programme is top. David Hepworth in his loft http://www.totallyradio.com/show_pages/shows.php?show=92

The kids are off school now and are chilling out. Louise has been suffering with a nasty toothache which was finally sorted out today. I've not played a note of music in weeks. We had a band meeting on Friday night in which we sorted out a few things. Still need a bass player. Let me know if you are good enough!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun....

Monday, July 10, 2006

Who killed Bambi..?

Time has come again to raise the paintbrush of destiny and get a move on with decorating the house. We had the new windows and doors fitted on Saturday which means I have started Alexander's room. Deep blue with dayglow stars. Looks really smart and I've only just started. I'll stick a pic up once its done.

Finally sold the Ford Escort on Sunday so that's one less job out of the way. Had a nightmare day with the new car. Went to pick up Louise from Oxford and chipped the windscreen. Later on the same night Bambi decided to end it all using the front end of my car. Wrecked my fog lamp and bumper. I'm still sulking.

Band news: We have decided to let our Bass player John go. A nice chap but he was finding it a struggle to keep up with the rest of us. We move at such speed...
Found a new chap called Dave who we are due to meet this week. Sounds like the right man for the job but more news soon.

Greg Dulli brings his Twilight Singers to the UK this week. Nottingham tomorrow followed by London on Wednesday. If you like no frills, straight edge, passionate music you really need to witness the band live. If they do not move you then I'd check for a pulse.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sorry...forgot to say hello to our new viewer The Mighty Nobber!

Damn Smarch Weather

I really must update this more often as there is so much going on.
My son Craig has reached the grand old age of 18 and we put on a big party a couple of weeks ago. Spent all day cooking and running back and forth to Bicester, but come party time lots of his mates showed up and had a great time. It was brilliant to see some of mine and Louise's close mates as we do not get together with them very often. We had a big cake made in the shape of a Marshall Amp and the band Mofo came and played lots of old school metal. Rock...

Been to a couple of gigs. Myself and Rod (Marillion FOH) ventured out to the Royal Albert Hall to see Zappa Plays Zappa (stunning) and also managed to blag some passes the following day for Milton Keynes Monsters of Rock (thank you Lucy) so we spent the day eating very bad chinese food and watching Ted Nugent, Journey, Alice Cooper, Thunder and the laughable Queensryche. Headed out early to beat the traffic just as Deep Purple were starting their set. Sounded good but I was home 10 minutes later. Bliss! Always good watching Andy Ball doing a fine job during Thunder's set. Loving your work...

The following week was SAHB and Cheap Trick at the Hammy O. SAHB were good but very poor sound. The Trick were brilliant and played a longer set than the last time I saw them headline! Def Leppard were headlining but we walked out after 3 songs. Awful.

New band news! Played our first gig somewhere near London. Shithole of a pub but lots of people who did not mind if we had not worked out any solid endings to any of our tunes. We had worked them out...but some of us forgot...tut tut...
Still, how we managed to play a gig 3 weeks after meeting was a bloody miracle.
We also got a call on Friday night from the local pub in Steeple Claydon. They were running a weekend long music festival and one of the main bands had pulled out on the Saturday. After ringing round the boys I said yes and we were on to gig no 2. Great festival and good crowd but I hate playing outdoors. It sucks all the life out of the guitars and i struggled for the whole 40 minutes. My Flying V got a round of applause which made me laugh. The big firework display to mark the end of the festival is going on as I type this. Lots of energy and commitment in this band but I will be very happy once we sort out a strong set and line up...more news soon-ish.

Myself and Loubee got stuck into the back garden today. Cut down loads and discovered an extra few feet where the jungle used to be. The new double glazing goes in next Saturday and the conservatory as soon as the planning permission is granted.

Not much happening at work. The new album is sounding great. Lots of real instruments being used (which is different for Marillion...real piano) and Mike Hunter is busy issuing yellow cards or shooting people in the face. Its going to be one of their best.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Ch Ch Ch Changes

Well, it's been eventful!
Been very busy at home painting, and doing all things DIY. I was hoping to finish off the main bedroom this weekend but i've got my foot strapped up at the moment. Even driving is painful. Had a lazy(ish) day today so we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Played my last gigs for the beaver last weekend. The final show at the Cuddesdon Ball was great. It was nice to have a decent gig to bow out on.
Two days later I received an email from a band and the next day I was heading down to an audition. This always happens. I leave a band with no intention of starting afresh and then jump straight into another!
I arrived an hour early so not the best of starts. The manager of the studio let me in to set up my gear. I had been warned that they are loud so i've changed my set up to cope with this. Had 30 mins of heavy playing alone before the band showed up (i ended up doubling the volume once we started!). The guys have not played in about 3 years and are all old mates. We attempted to run through 6-7 songs just to get a feel. 3 hours later we had run through 17 odd songs and have booked a gig in 3 weeks time.
I'd forgotten what a thrill it is to play as loud and raw as possible. I drove home at 1.30am with a huge smile on my face.
I loved playing for the Beaver but you are playing songs for the crowd and not for yourselves...almost like session players. This new band took me right back to what I do best. Raw rock music, controlled feedback, it just felt so real. My amp was on max and it still was not loud enough!! The room was just a blur... It also features the best drummer i have ever played with. Jesus this guy is good. Absolute power, solid as a rock, and putting fills into songs that just kept me thinking 'Whaaaaaa?'. We're going to get kicked out of SO many venues...but f**k em!

I really missed being in a 'gang' and this made me feel like it was 1989 again. All for one and turn it up. It ain't pretty...but it's a great way of getting fit!!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Still Here...

...Normal service will resume shortly

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Well we're almost done and ready for the off, which cannot come quick enough. We've been surrounded by boxes for weeks now which grow larger by the day. One whole wall of the lounge is just a floor to ceiling wall of cardboard. I dismantled the beds today and everyone is sleeping on the floor for the remainder of our time here. Don't panic...I have put down mattresses.

The next blog should be from the new place. I hope it's not too long. (the wait...not the blog).

It looks like we will be moving on the 9th Feb. I have a gig on the 10th. There's nothing like a good challenge!

I've finally got round to sorting out my diet. I've been eating nothing but fish for over two weeks, and no chocolate or sticky puds. Just lots of Tuna, Halibut,Squid, King Prawns and masses of spinach and yummy vegetables. I've lost a bit of weight but the main thing is i've now got loads more energy and feel great. Sod treats...a bowl of zero fat greek yog with lashings of nuts, seeds and dried fruit.
I may never eat red meat again!

Current Listening: Kate Bush. A Sky of Honey (Ariel)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

600ft above sea level...

Back to work

Good day today. Plenty to do at work and no band around to disrupt the flow. Lots of orders processed and emails answered. Hurrah!
Driving home in the dark I came across a hand made sign just outside of Brill. It read Brill Oldies 87.9 fm. 30th Dec till 8th Jan. TOP! Some old blokes in a garage on the top of Brill hill playing nothing but great tunes all day (NOTHING from later than 1979). I kept the signal all the way home, eventually fading in and out, sounding much like Radio Caroline just as I parked up outside my house. The home made adverts are just so great I cannot do them justice. It sounds like they've got the wives and kids to read them out. The station is broadcasting online at www.brilloldies.com while they are on air. There is a guest in the 'studio' talking about Morris Minors as I sit here now. It fills my heart with gladness and I want to buy a bloody big radio mast and start Radio Beaver! I always knew there was something special about Brill. They do have one of the greatest windmills in the world which I pass every day.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year

Not a great Christmas. Louise's Gramp passed away just before the holidays and it was a great loss. Her aunt lives in Australia and had to spend Christmas over here sorting out the funeral and all the loose ends. Louise was very close to her Gramp and he was due to spend Christmas day with us. We did the best we could and had a nice day.

The funeral was on the 30th. My 38th birthday and also a gig day for my band. The service was really nice but I had to shoot back and forth to the gig in order to soundcheck. I was looking forward to playing but I was shattered. The power supply for my effects decided it would pack up 5 minutes before we started so I had to play everything clean. Add to this a fellow guitar player who decided it was a good time to ask if he could play 'Soul Man'. He said he did not mind if I said no and would not be offended. I apologized and said no. He was offended and continued to keep asking, all the time while I was desperately trying to find the source of the problem with my effects. In the end I told him to fuck off. Twice. He sulked away and spent the gig shouting crap from the back. Thank god I did not see him afterwards. Went home fed up and paid a visit to KFC. The only true way of finishing an awful day...
PS: I played Soul Man really fucking loud.

2am Birthday Reading: John Peel. Margrave of the Marshes. (A gift from my kids)