Man-made ditch parking

Xmas came and went like a pair of flares in the night. We gathered in the warmth of ruddy faces with woollen neck bandages and frosted finger blood. News reporters blew and blew until things were out of proportion, scaring the shit out of the gogglebox junkies, while a proper disaster smashed it up on the other side of the globe. I came off an icy road and wrote my car off into a ditch. It got pulled out like a loose tooth by a mammoth tractor courtesy of Animator Nick’s pal. See the recovery.
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Poetic License – Extreme BBQing

.. I saw a man walking a whippet that was wearing a leather jacket…  I finished my Japan tour and flopped back into the UK for an Xmas Sesh special with the Legendary Mak, amid puffed out chests, loose giblets and a few pigs looking for blankets.

Last gig at Lagg time

Last gig at Lagg time - Courtesy of Paul Church

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Halloween freaks – lets not get killed

I am  in Tokyo again now after doing a couple of slots in Osaka and Kyoto, enjoying some pleasant sunny days, and experiencing Halloween fancy dress  …Japan style. A more appropriate name would be …Halloween cross dressing and homo-eroticism..

I`ll have a pint of draft please

I`ll have a pint of draft please

After taking a long journey from Kyoto to the outskirts of Osaka, I played at See Ya! a small but friendly live house where I after finishing my set, was told that my second stint would be due after a 20 min interval…..SECOND set?? So I nervously  slipped outside behind the club and started dragging out  part finished songs and a couple of covers from the depths of my mind frame to fulfill my unexpected commitment. As it happened I fudged my way through some brand new songs and finished with an ad hock looping extravaganza for which I was glad all patrons were Japanese, because the words were quite literally piffle that I was making up on the spot. .. It went down a storm tho! » Read the rest of this entry

Body popping Werewolf and Million to one odds

Hypnotize the cat itch out of me

bridge

You know you are back home in sunny Hull when you hear some rough looking bird tell her fella…” so ‘e ‘it ‘er … then ‘e took ‘er valium off ‘er … blah blah”…

Since getting back from the big trip I have spent a lot of time trying to re-adjust to the British culture so I watched Wimbledon and saw a brave Scot…I mean Brit go out in the semis. I had some gigs in lovely Lancashire and Garstang, the latter in a proper English pub next to a canal with boats and fishermen. It gave me a chance to be re-united with two welsh girls from my travels. Heather with the unshaved thighs, appeared on the Jay Z introduction montage on the big screen at Glastonbury saying… “Jay Z and Glastonbury is like Jam and Marmite”…class. I played the Riversway festival and saw a lot of people in Lycra, a steam train and was proper blown away by Prestons Mobius Loop..sounding something like a mix of Coral, Gomez, Eminem and Ska and Dan Wild a talented, young, voice-angel geezer with finger pickingtasticness.

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Roller skating in the Himalayas

lagg time carnage

I am now back in the UK after having been out of the realms of civilisation for a bit.. I finally left Japan after postponing my departure a few times due to live commitments and flight problems and headed to Delhi for a brief stop in India. I planned to meet Jedi Amanda to eat some proper samosas and to see some naughty cows.

The conclusion of my stay in Tokyo was great. I finished my last fews gigs, the highlight being at my regular haunt the Velvet sun where the following day I spent a day recording “Centre of the World” with my friend Shige who brought along some nice vintage preamps and his lovely microphones.

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Sleeping in a capsule, noodles and blossom

After hitting the shores of Japan with little idea how things would work out playing live, I have played about 20 shows altogether in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto and it feels like there is a definite momentum building.

in guesthouse Yudanaka

Guest house in Yudanaka

I just want to say hello and thanks to all the lovely people I have met and who have taken the time to come and chat and suffer my terrible Japanese. As it stands, I am going back to England at the start of June to do some recording and try to scrape some pennies together before heading back to Japan around October time for another tour with a bit more promotion and glossy paper around it. Everything was a bit spur of the moment this time but I guess thats made it all the more special.

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Skin milk, super potato and Spider Steve

Its shortly after having played an enjoyable show at the lovely intimate acoustic venue, Velvet sun in Ogikubo, Tokyo. Myself and my amigo Dan Moran are sat in his flat, with feet up, a cuppa tea, eating a scone and we are both ringing home to say happy mothers day to our mums. Yer can take the lad out of England but yer cant take England out of the Lad!!!

me and dan pre gig

Me and Dan and Natsuki at velvet sun

I have played about 6 shows here in Tokyo and am really enjoying it. Yesterday Dan made his stage debut guesting with me on A Drawer which sounded mint.  The people are friendly, the club staff are efficient and helpful and the standard of musicianship among other artists is very high. There is a huge pop culture in Japan and love it or hate it, that does come across in a lot of bands music.

I met a fine Chap called Daisuke at Velvet Sun. He came to England some time ago and was helped to book some live shows, so in kind he has helped me book a number of slots around Tokyo to contribute to my tour. That is testament to the helpfulness of the Japanese which seems to know no bounds. I have struggled finding small live houses and been rescued by fellow musicians who after consulting for directions have approached the police for me, used e-phones to find maps and guided me streets out of their way, right up to the door of the venue before saying Sayonara.

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Gigs in Japan…without Roald Dahl

So I am sitting at a dining table on a verandah in the rainforest after an amazing Lamb roast dinner listening to stories of visiting Japan with Sean Connery and Roald Dahl and of life in London in the theatre in the 60’s. That is not a situation in which yer average lad from Yorkshire often finds himself.

Despite Cyclone weather and flooded roads, I made it up to Port Douglas in the North Queensland tropics and spent two days with Diane Cilento an incredible woman who started life as the daughter of two highly respected medics in Brisbane and through her determination, went to England to study theatre at the Royal Academy. Diane went on to become a successful actress, writer and director and was nominated for an Academy Award. In addition to all this she become dubbed Mrs James Bond when she married Sean Connery which invariably lead to some problems often associated with excessive fame …people breaking into her house, stalking her kids etc..

Diane with husband and son Jason

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Shark attacks, cyclones, forest fires, Irish dancing on smack

Australia really is an island of extremes. At the moment, over 100 people have been killed in Victoria among uncontrollable forest fires and roads are blocked in the north of Queensland as Cyclone weather disrupts travel networks. I am due to meet with ex hollywood actress Diane Cilento whom I originally contacted over a year ago to ask permission to use some of her dialogue which I sampled from film “The Wickerman” for use in an Ernest track (Ernest being my former band). We have stayed in touch since and after almost meeting at an ‘exit calm’ gig in London last year, we will finally meet in person hopefully when I manage to get to Cairns. I sent Diane a copy of the Man-made album and she has offered me a gig at her rain forest theatre after the rainy season so I must return!

wicker man

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