Emptying your brain

When I was supposed to be revising for my a-levels I spent quite a lot of time writing and recording loads and loads of music. I think I convinced myself that it was sort of preparation for doing music tech at uni but…I think it was probably just procrastination and displacement activity on a grand scale.

Ever since then I’ve tended to write and record stuff in bursts, and then do nothing for ages. Inevitably this usually leads to me buying and selling music equipment on a weird, perpetual 2-year cycle that switches between boundless enthusiasm and a combination of regret and ennui. Another problem is that I never really finish anything, which probably hints at some sort of deep-seated personality flaw, but I like to think is more linked to the fact that I enjoy having ideas and fleshing them out a bit more than I do actually completing a song.

Anyway, I’m not entirely sure why I’m writing this. I think that it may be as a sort of bookmark so that I can look back and remember that in the summer of 2014 I was really enthusiastic about writing music for the first time in a long time. I think it helps that being in London has meant I’ve reconnected with some of my old, music-making friends, so there is some sort of external motivation to getting things done. I also find the whole thing incredibly relaxing, although it is an amazingly effective way of losing entire evenings or even whole days.

Who knows, maybe I’ll even finish something.

Rock ness

So last weekend Becca and I toddled off to Rockness, a festival held, perhaps unsurprisingly given the name, on the banks of Loch Ness.

First things first, we were driving, or ,more accurately, I was driving as Becca is still learning. Now I realise how far Inverness is from Leeds having driven up and around there when I was driving support on the End-to-End bike ride in 2008 (http://ashmannblogs.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/bike-rides-and-vans/) but still I think my brain had blanked just how far it really is – 366 miles, 7 hours driving, mega. Although the saving grace is that it is a bloody lovely journey scenery-wise going through the Yorkshire Dales, the top of the Lake District and the Caingorms – ace! Anyways, we got there and set up the tent and drank some wine from our elegant and sophisticated boxes of wine and then wandered off to see pendulum – who were brilliant.
Saturday saw us mainly trying to recover from the Friday night and then on Sunday (in the rain) we saw the Macabees, Blondie, an amazing DJ called Benji Boko, a standup called Kevin Bridges and The Strokes – who were all very, very good.
The festival was in by far and away the most stunning location I imagine any festival could be in, surrounded by beautiful countryside, hills and of course a bloody massive loch. Add to that the fact that everyone there was incredibly friendly (apart from about 2 hours when the England match was on and everyone turned very pro-USA for a bit) and we had an excellent weekend. Rockness, recommended!

Week off

Have had a week off during which i experienced a remarkable lack of exercise, other than a bike ride on Monday where i got a bit lost, cycled with a nice old man and ended up in Wetherby.
The chap that I ended up cycling with was a retired anesthetist and a ridiculously keen cyclist (he had something like 8 bikes…not with him at the time), he said he cycled most days and paced himself according to the heart monitor he was hooked up to – he wasn’t supposed to exceed a certain pulserate – but throughout the ride he completely annihilated me, he was super fit (or i wasn’t…probably the latter).
it wasn’t too uppity-downity but i think the toils with the old man took it out of my legs and the last 5 miles round the ringroad were no fun at all

Currently listening to Kyte’s cover of Peter Gabriel’s ‘Solsbury Hill’ http://hypem.com/track/798511/Kyte+-+Solsbury+Hill+Peter+Gabriel+Cover+ which is quite lovely. we tried to get them to do a session for tapes but they proved impossible to get hold of.

Polruan tapes

Tapes is taking shape nicely, it has got:

  • a website – www.tapes-online.co.uk
  • a blog – http://tapesblog.wordpress.com
  • a myspace – www.myspace.com/tapesonline
  • As you can see it’s an electronic, intangible, web-based colossus (or something).

    Next week I’m going to Polruan which is a tiny village in Cornwall. It should be suitably brilliant, hope the snow hasn’t got in all its lane parts.


    i think i’ve finally written 4 songs that will hang together as a recording. they’re the two that are on the myspace page plus a couple of others. i’ve been trying to track down a studio in a suitably rural location to record in but am in two minds as i know i’ll be able to do a more than satisfactory job with the most basic of equipment in my own front room. would it all look a bit ridiculous when i turn up at the huge studio with just my guitar and laptop? i feel it’d be a bit of a waste of sexy, exciting equipment. but there is a massive appeal in a going to the middle of nowhere and just having the music to concentrate on…although that probably sounds a bit wanky…