Ever seen a blind man cross the road?

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Ever seen a blind man cross the road?

My first ever live gig is getting closer and closer.

Just over a week to go and me and the bhoys are practicing like crazy for our short set at our inaugural gig. Continue reading “Ever seen a blind man cross the road?”

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The Wild Wild Wood?

Welcome

High tide,  mid-afternoon
People fly by in the traffic boom
Knowing just where you’re blowing
Getting to where you should be going

Last night,  Celtic made the Champions League Group Stages by the skin on their rinny-chin-chin.

After the 5-2 home win last week,  last night turned out to be a tense affair.

Essentially last weeks victory is a 2.5 goal win,  if our opponents had scored 2,  then we are through but if they had scored 3 to bring the tie to 5-5 on aggregate then Hapoel go through on the away goals rule.

I had the boys round last night,  wee practice session for an upcoming gig.

The football was on the telly,  but not-a-one of my fine church-going,  god-fearing friends showed the slightest interest until the game was nearly over.

Funny that.

Last night was our Cup Final,  most likely the biggest game of our season,  worth 30 million not including any extra money for points scored.

We played Wild Wood by Paul Weller as the game played in the background,  I’m glad it didn’t have my complete focus,  but with minutes to go,  we were all standing watching the tv and I’m certain that I was the only person praying that Hapoel didn’t score.

But we held on,  battled through 4 qualifying stages,  8 games in total, which is an absolute disgrace when this competition is called the Champions League and the 4th team in England, Spain and Germany get automatic entry.

The draw for the group stages is on Friday and I’m hoping to get one of the Madrid teams as I’ve never been and I’m due some holidays.

Celtic have found their way out of the wild wild wood.

 

Who’s the Campest Of Them All?

She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour  9 am
And I’m going to be high ….
As kite by then

I miss the Earth so much
I miss my wife …

 

Right Elton,  can I stop you right there … Naw .. I don’t miss my wife!

What are you singing about wifes for anyway? 🙂

I’ve always loved that song .. but somehow when it gets to that part I just can’t help myself.

My best pal as a kid was Jim,  his big brother Tommy was an Elton fan and beng a few years older he had money to buy albums when we didn’t,  it influences your thoughts in your formative years.

When I started working in the shipyards,  it was a rude awakening for this quiet wee guy from Govan.

That first week in the training school,   the “bigger” boys were all talking about the music they loved … Freddie Mercury of Queen was a favourite and they asked what I liked ..

“Elton John” .. I innocently replied.

“He’s a fucking poof” came the reply .. “you must be a poof too .. ”

If only they knew then that Freddie was the campest of them all.

Anyway .. Jim and Tommy and I are still good pals and after years of not seeing each other we now see each other every few months for our camping trips and  every few weeks for band practice … more so as we have a wee charity gig coming up soon .. and you can tell we need the practice!

Nothing quite like being on public display to make you raise your game.

Heres my version of Rocket Man. 

 https://m.soundcloud.com/user-535339296/rocket-man

A Band Of Angels?

A band?

Naah … You’re having a laugh mate!

His argument is that a band is any group of musicians with 3 members or more and there happens to be 4 of us sitting in my house trying to put a few tunes together.

But it’s that definition of musician which is a bit of an issue!

Okay,  I’m downplaying it a bit,  but we aren’t really a band,  more a collection of loosely-coupled pals who would like to do better than we are at the moment.

Isn’t that the same for every “band”?

Not that we want fame or fortune,  not even on the horizon or in my most secret dreams to imagine myself playing to an adoring audience.

I just like being able to play a few tunes.

We started off last year as what can only be described as a rabble,  a collection of guys trying to play the same tune in the same key and keep time.

It isn’t as easy as it first appears.

All i needs it for one guy to be out of time,  or have forgot to adjust the capo  on his guitar so that he is playing in a different key and it sounds hellish.

What you have to learn is that someone has to lead,  keep the central timing and others need to fall behind and play rhythm or lead,   not all playing the same thing at the same time.

Individually,  the guys are all talented,  to one degree or other.

But what I’ve learned is that individual talent isn’t enough when you play together.   You have to be prepared to take a back seat and let the other guys take the lead.

But that has to be reciprocated or it falls apart.

The problem with any group of people is pleasing everyone,   thats were most bands fall apart with “musical differences” .. that could be that you want to play Simon and Garfunkel and I want to play Stone Roses.

There have been times when the journey has been tough,  I personally don’t see the point in playing out-dated crap like “The Letter”, “Homeward Bound” or “The Streets Of London” .. just because its all that one of the other guys knows how to play.

It’s a group thing,  you play to your strengths,  music you like and what you think your market is and will get a positive response from a mixed crowd.  If someone doesn’t shape up then they need to ship out.   Thats really up to them.

But its coming together and we have another wee charity gig coming up.

Thats going to be a hoot,   fortunately its a few months away yet so there’s lots of time to practice and most importantly in my book agree on the arrangements of who is playing which part, without that,  its a nightmare and I’m out.

My backing piano track for Angels.

 https://soundcloud.com/user-535339296/angels
 

 

Nothing Compares 2 #Prince

Shocked by the sudden death of Prince the other day.

I’m a big fan,  he was fantastic at The Glasgow Hydro in 2014 and I had been hoping to see his Guitar and Piano gig at the Royal Concert Hall before it was cancelled citing issues with ticket touts.

Anyway,  heres my tribute,  a combination of Purple Rain and Nothing Compares 2 U,  which he also wrote although made famous by Sinead O’Conner.

An 8 bar intro,  two loops of G, Em7, Dmsus4, Cadd9 then a verse and chorus of Purple Rain followed by Nothing Compares 2 U.

The chord progressions on both these tunes are quite similar ..  F, C/E, Dm7, Gm/C .. in that they are both descending progressions,  starting with a major, passing through minor and ending in a flattened chord.

The man may have passed but his music lives on.

It’s been seven hours and 15 days ..

Going Gaga!

Did you happen to see Lady Gaga’s performance at The Academy Awards the other day?

She paid tribute to Julie Andrews and did a medley of songs from The Siund If Music. 

I got home the other night and my daughter Claire was playing it. 

She doesn’t have the vocal purity of Ms Andrews but I think she did fantastic. 

I’ve also attached the video of her playing an acoustic version of Poker Face from her BBC Live Lounge session. 

This is my particular favourite version of the song and .. Call me camp if you like but I do a pretty good version of it myself. 

Is that an embarrassing confession for a straight guy?

I was gutted when she didn’t do it when I seen her at Twickemham a few years ago.  

Too much talk and not enough music miss Gaga! 

http://youtu.be/LqGGYJxVRFI

http://youtu.be/cDCDHCOn1l8


Why does “Over The Rainbow” make me cry?

I’m sure that like me you have songs that make you cry.

Sometimes this is because of the lyrical content,  the emotion expressed,  the empathy that you feel for a situation that you’ve personally experienced.

Sometimes,  even although the lyrical content doesn’t have any particularly sad connotations,  you end up with a tear in your eye.

The song “Over The Rainbow” often referred to as “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” from the Wizard OF Oz always has that effect on me.

It’s not exactly a sad song,  more about hope,  of being in a sad place and wanting to be somewhere better.

But it always makes me cry,  I dare say that’s why it’s often used at funerals,  it conveys the notion that our loved ones are going somewhere better.

But I’ve listened to it at home,  in a good mood and it really isn’t a sad song,  so I’ve wondered why it still puts a tear in my eye.

I’m sure that you have your songs like that too.

Here’s why I reckon that this song puts a tear in my eye regardless of the lyrical content.

Continue reading “Why does “Over The Rainbow” make me cry?”