It’s Been a While…

Posted in Bands, Rehearsals on September 15, 2010 by WeeMann

…Again! I just don’t get round to blogging, although I’m finding it easier to use Twitter now that I have finally got a Smartphone.

So. Music & bands. Not with Usual Suspects any more. Not entirely sure why, except to say it seems to be bloody Lead Singer Syndrome. Mike and Steve were blamed, but both have been fine with me since (we started on Mike’s songs recently). As someone said, with singers it’s all Doh Ray Me Me ME!

Still, it means I can be more relaxed about my commitments with Alchemy, which involve a Country and Western party in a couple of weeks. Country…? No, too easy! This weekend should be interesting with various songs from outside our comfort zone being rehearsed.

Beyond that, I have plans for a new band, it’s just a case of finding the right people…

More to follow. Soon.

Promise.

Darth Vader Voices Tom Tom

Posted in Pop Culture on June 12, 2010 by WeeMann

It seems Lord Vader has been in the studio recording for Tom Tom.
Click here to see the video.

Long Time, No Blog. Some Updates.

Posted in Bands, Gigs, Pop Culture, Special Events, Updates on June 9, 2010 by WeeMann

Well, a few things have been happening in WeeWorld and I just haven’t had a chance to blog, suddenly 6 weeks have passed! So here’s a quick roundup.

Jenny completed the London Marathon in 5 hours and 14 minutes – a great achievement and one which also helped to raise over £2300 for HemiHelp.  Well done Jenny!  Last week we went on holiday to St Ives in Cornwall with Jenny and her family. Very relaxing and very welcome!

The Alchemy gig in Telford went well.  The pub was full, although there were a few faces who couldn’t make it.  Our only problem was that even though we’ve reduced the amount of gear we lug around, we still took up a large portion of the pub!  It got very hot and my fingers all but melted.  It was also the first public outing of the DoddCabs, with both Dodd and Harj using them.  They sounded great, although someone did comment that Harj’s sound was a little harsh.  We think that was due to a setting on the back of his amp, but other than this we were very happy with the outcome.  Watch this space for news of further Alchemy gigs.

Alchemy at The Duke

Talking of gigs, I’ve been playing regularly with Usual Suspects.  I’m a lot happier with the material now and feel that I’m ‘part of the band’ now rather than just the new boy.  Mike (guitar) has written a few few songs which he is demoing.  Our friend, Kev Bartlett, has recorded some drums and Mike’s asked me to do the bass.  I’m currently getting the songs in my head, getting ideas of what I want to play.  Once I’ve got an idea I can do some rough takes for Mike to OK, then I’ll heading down to The Smash Room to record them for him.  So far, one that’s grabbed my attention is a track called Queen Of Pain.  Think I can do plenty with that one.

This week further news came out about Iron Maiden’s new album.  Called The Final Frontier, it will be released on 16 August (just in time for my birthday!) and the first single was released this week as a free download.  El Dorado is up on YouTube:

It’s available from http://www.ironmaiden.com/thebigbang_2.html

To me it sounds like it has the heaviness of their earlier material mixed with Bruce’s solo material, along with the slickness of more recent outings.  I like it and can’t wait for the album.

Jenny’s Marathon Run – Tomorrow

Posted in Special Events, Updates on April 24, 2010 by WeeMann

Tomorrow sees the London Marathon starring Jenny.  It’s not too late to show your support by sponsoring her at www.virginmoneygiving.com/JennyBlower in aid of HemiHelp.

Good luck Jen, we’re all very proud of you.

Jenny & Lucy

Jenny & Lucy

Promotion

Posted in Gigs, Special Events on April 11, 2010 by WeeMann

Started work on some new artwork today:
The Return Part 1

My Boy, The Drummer

Posted in Special Events on March 19, 2010 by WeeMann

Wednesday evening saw a local music showcase promoted by the council and featuring school children from across the area. My interest? My son, Matthew, was playing African drums in his first public performance.

The whole evening was very impressive. I don’t expect musical genius at this level but, with barely an exception, every act was extremely talented.

The show kicked off with a steel band performing 4 numbers, the last of which was The Can Can. What an inspired choice of music for the steel drums – I couldn’t have predicted how good it could sound.

Matthew and his school mates were next. His school have teamed up with a nearby special school to learn African drumming. They only did 2 numbers – an African chant called Zugaloo and one called Come ‘n’ Have A Go If You Think You’re Hard Enough! which included the kids chanting the title at the end of every section. To say I was proud and impressed is an understatement. The group sounded great from start to finish.

They were followed by a school choir, a trio of trumpet players and then a solo flautist doing the 3rd movement from Sonata in Bb Op 1 by (if I recall correctly) Beethoven, before the first set was brought to a close by another school choir.

The second half contained a couple more choirs, an orchestra (including Matthew’s violin teacher) and a rock group consisting students from the local college, but the highlight of the second half was, for me, a band of primary school children including my friends’ son on bass. Sadly, their first song was Queen’s We Will Rock You, giving him little chance to show off his skills, so he instead dropped his bass resulting in a loud Clangggg! We’ve all done it at some point, so he’s just getting in his practice early and it didn’t phase him as they went into Rockin’ Robin followed by a revisited We Will Rock You, this time as a 12 bar in the vein of the previous song – despite dropping his bass, he didn’t drop a note – brilliant.

All in all it was a brilliant evening highlighting some incredible talent from some very young kids. I only wish I had started so early – I was 16 before I picked up a guitar. Matthew enjoyed himself, but was shattered by the time we got home and fell asleep in no time. His first gig was to a crowd of about 6-700 – a size of audience I’ve rarely performed to myself – and he joins my wife Karen and our daughter Chloe in having performed at the theatre, something I have yet to do.

Well done boy.

The Lostees

Posted in Pop Culture on March 18, 2010 by WeeMann

Just been sent a great image (thanks Orpheum!). It’s the characters of Lost as drawn by the Simpsons crew. Click below to open the whole thing:

End of the Tax Year

Posted in Driving Instruction on March 18, 2010 by WeeMann

Bloody accounts. I always say I’ll try to get them finished ASAP and off to my accountant and normally it’s July or August before he sees them. This last week I’ve actually been working on them and they’re pretty much up to date.

Then all I’ve got to do is worry about paying the damned bill…

Ah well, it’ll soon be next year!

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Posted in Pop Culture, Special Events on March 17, 2010 by WeeMann

I’m not Irish, I have no Irish blood in my veins (as far as I know) and I’ve only visited once (although I hope to change that).

However, today is a great excuse for drinking Guinness and listening to Thin Lizzy, so happy St Patrick’s Day and if you have Spotify, fire up this playlist, sit back and enjoy, whilst supping on a pint of the black stuff: Thin Lizzy

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Happy St Patrick's Day!

New Iron Maiden Album

Posted in Pop Culture on March 14, 2010 by WeeMann

Seems Maiden are just in the midst of finishing off their new album, due for release in the summer:

The Final Frontier

It’s being produced by Kevin Shirley, just like the last album.

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