News Chronicles

14th July 2019

14th July 2019

I had a very good holiday in Kent with my wife Elaine, son Tom and also Sasha. 

We went to lots of interesting places that I hadn't visited before, Ightham Mote, Bodiam castle and Dover castle were the most interesting ones. We were staying in Sevenoaks and on the first night we went to a pub and there was a good band playing called Dead Man's corner. The musicianship was excellent and so was the style of music. They started off with a psychedelic 60's style surf instrumental that they had composed which was probably the best live tune I've heard in ages and finished the first set with an amazing version of a Dick Dale instrumental called Nitro. Two other songs really stood out, one was a version of Then I've got Everything which was recorded by Johnny Kid and the Pirates and the other was Wondrous Place by Billy Fury. I'd never heard of these songs before and when I got back to Torquay I checked them out. The Johnny Kid and the Pirates one is excellent. Here is a link to it:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThR9YhsGnI0

I wasn't so impressed by the Billy Fury recording but I found two other artists who have done it better:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNZ4IBOuv8w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODVWDD_KLDI

I'm in the middle of reading another book, it's one I read about 38 years ago called Way Station by Clifford Simak and it's reminded me that I composed my first ever song which was called Shadow Love based around part of the story in the book. I vaguely remember playing the song on my guitar to my cousin Robert at our Nan's house in Exeter and I think he was quite impressed that I'd written a song. I never recorded the song and I now have no record of the lyrics or the tune.

Last year I wanted to write a song about the battle of Blenheim and I went back to a book about this battle by Charles Spencer. It's a very good read and I decided to check it out again as I thought it would give me the inspiration for a song. I read it again and enjoyed reading it but unfortunately there was no song idea forthcoming. This week I started composing another song. I quickly realised that the new tune idea ought to be ideal for a song about the battle of Blenheim and the words came to me


WE MARCHED EVERY DAY AND CAMPED EVERY NIGHT

THE SIZE OF OUR ARMY WAS A SPLENDID SIGHT

FROM THE LOW COUNTRIES ALONG THE RHINE

A GRIM DESTINATION IN THIS WARTIME


JOHN CHURCHILL OUR DUKE HAD A BOLD PLAN

TO STOP THE FRENCH FOR HIS QUEEN ANNE

WITH SUCH SKILL OVER MANY A MILE

HIS CLEVER DECEPTION STILL MAKES ME SMILE


THE REASON FOR FIGHTING WAS NOT UNDERSTOOD

AS I HELD MY MUSKET OF METAL AND WOOD

OF SPANISH SUCCESSION I HEARD IT SAID

IT MAKES NO REAL SENSE WHEN YOU COUNT UP THE DEAD


AND SO TO THE BATTLE THE CANNONS ROARED

THE STEEL OF THE BAYONETS THE CLASH OF THE SWORD

AT BLENHEIM THE FRENCH MADE A FATAL MISTAKE

THAT VILLAGE THE ENGLISH THEY MUST NOT TAKE


THE REASON FOR FIGHTING WAS NOT UNDERSTOOD

AS I HELD MY MUSKET OF METAL AND WOOD

OF SPANISH SUCCESSION I HEARD IT SAID

IT MAKES NO REAL SENSE WHEN YOU COUNT UP THE DEAD


THE NEWS OF DEFEAT HURT KING LOUIS' PRIDE

THE SUN KING'S BRIGHTNESS HAD SURELY DIED

IN ENGLAND THE VICTORY GREATLY ACCLAIMED

WHILST THE FRENCH GENERALS FELT SO ASHAMED


THE REASON FOR FIGHTING WAS NOT UNDERSTOOD

AS I HELD MY MUSKET OF METAL AND WOOD

OF SPANISH SUCCESSION I HEARD IT SAID

IT MAKES NO REAL SENSE WHEN YOU COUNT UP THE DEAD

7th July 2019

7th July 2019

Just got back from a very interesting holiday in Kent. I had no guitar, internet or TV so I read two books and went to lots of interesting places. I mentioned one of the books in my blog last week. Well I can't recommend it to fans of Richard III, he seemed to be a true hero until half way through the book you find out that he is really a villain. The section where Hastings gets executed was most upsetting. There is a long list of the fairly well known fictional crimes of Richard III as detailed in this novel called Queen of Silks by Vanora Bennet:-

Involved in the murder of the son of Henry VI after the battle of Tewkesbury.

Yes he did kill Henry VI in the tower of London

Yes he did kill his brother the Duke of Clarence

Makes up a plot that he was going to be ambushed and killed by the Woodvilles so that he can use this as an excuse to arrest Lord Rivers near Stony Stratford.

Makes up a plot of treason so that he can execute his friend Lord Hastings

Poisons his wife so that he can try to arrange a marriage with his niece 

But despite all of this he didn't murder the Princes in the tower! 

30th June 2019

30th June 2019


I've started recording a new instrumental idea which I am calling 'History Book Part Two in Em'. I should really stop coming up with ideas that seem to fit into a folk rock pseudo medieval/Tudor style as I've done that too much. What I really need are ones for my science fiction concept album! Having said that my stepson has been a great help this week as he brought his electronic drum kit to my house and we spent one afternoon recording him playing drums, bass and electric guitar for my 'Man who Evolved' science fiction song. Earlier in the week we recorded him playing drums for a few instrumental tunes composed by Graham Moores.

In my spare time at home I've spent quite a few hours promoting the Mortimer comedy song via the internet. Last Saturday I attended a meeting of the Devon and Cornwall branch of the Richard III Society to hear a talk given by Philip Hume of the Mortimer History Society and this included him playing the comedy song which made everyone laugh when Boycie starts talking about used cars in between the confusion of the Rogers, Hughs, Ralphs and Edmunds.

Lord Z and myself have also been busy finalising the release of the Devon Roses album. I have had confirmation that my submission to CD Baby for the digital distribution has been accepted, I've made a master CD of the audio and the artwork has been submitted for approval before it gets printed.

I'm off to Kent for a week now and I needed to find a book to read while I am there on holiday. We were in Dartmouth yesterday and I found a second hand bookshop but nothing caught my eye. I've got a few Ricardian novels that I haven't got around to reading because I feel like I've read too many and most of them always inevitably end with Henry VII winning the battle of Bosworth. One of them is about Elizabeth Lambert and her sister so I started reading it last night and I'm now on page 46 and I'm rather enjoying it. I was afraid that it was going to have too much romance in it but that doesn't seem to be the case so far. In the book written by Vanora Bennett, I've just realised that Elizabeth Lambert is called Jane Shore which isn't correct and I wonder if the author mentions this in the historical notes at the end of the book? It feels quite interesting to be reading this novel having only recently finished recording a song about Elizabeth Lambert.

23rd June 2019

Since my last blog post I've been particularly busy with recording various bits for some of my songs. Here is a bit of a list:-


  1. New comedy song about myself which Elaine has told me I am not allowed to perform in public. It made Jules laugh when I played it to her and she agreed to sing a few silly bits on it. I have also recorded Ashley Dyer playing trumpet and Rowan Curle singing a very nice harmony vocal. I now want to put together an album of my comedy songs.
  2. A song for the De Cobham 15th century reenactment group. Phil Swann has recorded some very good Irish Bouzouki for this song and I have recorded a short electric guitar solo for it.
  3. The Knights of a King is another Ricardian song which I wrote several years ago and started to record but then felt it was a bit lame after I started recording it so it never progressed. I nearly forgot about this song until I found details of it while I was in the process of trying to tidy up the files on one of my computers. Phil Swann has recorded some great slide guitar for the song and I have recorded Ashley Dyer playing trumpet and my step daughter is singing a nice backing vocal.
  4. Ricardian Dream was written about 5 years ago and I have been recording the song on and off ever since then. I recently recorded Jules Jones singing a backing vocal part to it and I've just recorded a new version of my singing for it.
  5. Driftwood is a song that was mainly written by Elaine when we used to play in a band called Just a Shadow ( 1988 – 1989 ). The song started off as a keyboard idea played by Jerry Brimicombe. He only really had just a very tiny intro for a song. I've got a recording of the song somewhere on a cassette which dates back to the 1990's and I thought it would be a nice idea to record a new version. I've recorded some acoustic guitar and Elaine singing.

16th June 2019

16th June 2019

I was given an Amazon gift voucher of £10 as a birthday present at the beginning of the month. I've spent a couple of weeks every night on the internet trawling through the vast amount of digital music on the Amazon website trying to decide which songs to purchase with the money. At one point I remembered two fantastic songs recorded by Denny Laine in the late 1960's that were on an album of obscure tracks on Decca records called Lost and Found. I spent quite a bit of time trying to find them and at one point my hopes were raised only to quickly realise it wasn't an original recording I had found from 1967 but a much newer version with boring modern keyboard sounds on it. Just to make sure I wasn't imagining it I found the 1960's versions on you tube, lovely acoustic guitar playing and orchestration. As far as I'm aware you can't buy the songs as mp3 downloads from you tube.

About 10 years ago I sold most of my records because they were taking up so much space and I didn't have a record player. I kept some of my most treasured ones like my Quicksilver Messenger Service LPs and from the money I got from the ones I sold I used the funds to buy CDs or purchase mp3 downloads. There were some songs that I particularly liked which were on obscure B sides that I owned ( 'Shame' by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky Mick and Tich is one of them ) and so I borrowed a record player from my stepson and connected it to my computer and digitised the songs into mp3 format. Remembering that I had done this and the fact that my stepdaughter bought me a record player a few years ago I thought that there was a chance that I might still have the precious Lost and Found Decca album which included those rare Denny Laine songs. So I went through the few remaining albums that I still own, that are located in various places in my house but unfortunately I can't find it. I can't believe that I could have been so stupid to not keep that album without at least checking to see if I could get those 2 songs on CD or on the internet. Surely not? What is so annoying is that the recordings of these songs do not deserve to be so obscure. The songs were on a single, 'Say you don't mind' was the brilliant A side and on the B side was the equally catchy and memorable 'Ask the people'. How on earth was this not a hit single? Probably due to the complete incompetence of the record label I would imagine. It's such a shame that you can't easily purchase these fantastic recordings on CD and the Denny Laine version is much better than the one recorded by Colin Blunstone. To cheer myself up here are the links to the songs on you tube:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1wDvhnMnck

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQDX6DRXaS4

Also found a very interesting interview with Denny Laine here:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45luNBpBO1s

If anyone reading this can help me get the 1960's mp3 recordings of these songs by Denny Laine then I would love to hear from you.

Having got that whinge out of my system I am very pleased to announce that Georgie Harman of Red Fox Illustrations has finished the album cover for the Devon Roses album 

and we've also finished recording the songs! So now we move onto the recording of History Book Part Two, Lord Z has got my latest offering called 'Gallants Bower' and he says he likes it. I've written lots of other songs that we haven't finished recording and I just hope he like these other ones as well

9th June 2019

9th June 2019

We travelled up to Ludlow to record this little ditty. Hope you enjoy it. It features ourselves and Boycie (actor John Challis)

Richard the Third Records June 2019, catalogue number R17 

Or listen here on youtube


Recorded at Rock Lee 2018, Orleton Village Hall & Other World Studios May 2019

John Challis : Boycie vocals

Boycie & LTS final

Lord Zarquon : Mellotron flute keyboards

Ashley Dyer : Trumpet

Rob Bright : Lead guitar

Ian Churchward : Acoustic rhythm guitar, electric rhythm guitar, mandolin and bass guitar

Music composed by Ian Churchward

Lyrics written by Ian Churchward and John Challis


FAR TOO MANY ROGERS

ONLY TWO HUGHS

WITH THE RALPH'S AND EDMUNDS

I'M COMPLETELY CONFUSED


ALONG CAME THE FIRST ROGER

DE MORTIMER WAS HIS NAME

NEXT CAME A RALPH

A MARCHER LORD HE BECAME

AFTER RALPH A HUGH

A MORTIMER LORD THROUGH AND THROUGH


THEN ANOTHER ROGER

THEN ANOTHER HUGH

WITH THOSE NAMES 

I BET YOU'RE CONFUSED


ALONG CAME A SECOND RALPH

WITH THAT MORTIMER NAME

NEXT ANOTHER ROGER

AT EVESHAM HE WON FAME

EDMUND HIS SECOND SON

THE LORD OF WIGMORE HE DID BECOME


THEN ANOTHER ROGER

AN EDMUND NEXT

I MUST SAY

IT'S TOO COMPLEX


USUALLY I DON'T DO THIS SORT OF THING OF COURSE

I'M MORE KNOWN FOR MY SECOND HAND CAR EXPERTISE

I'VE GOT SOME LOVELY DEALS ON MY FORECOURT 

AT THE MOMENT THAT YOU SHOULD SEE

MOST OF THEM REJECTED BY DEL BOY WHICH IS PROBABLY NOT A GOOD SIGN

I'VE GOT A LOVELY SKODA WITH A LAURA ASHLEY INTERIOR

AND A CLEAN ASHTRAY

BUT NO WHEELS, JUST A CLEAN ASHTRAY


ALONG CAME THE FIFTH ROGER

WITH THAT MORTIMER NAME

NEXT A THIRD EDMUND

A ROYAL WIFE HE DID CLAIM

THEN ANOTHER ROGER

FOLLOWED BY AN EDMUND ONCE AGAIN


FAR TOO MANY ROGERS

ONLY TWO HUGHS

WITH THE RALPH'S AND EDMUNDS

I'M COMPLETELY CONFUSED


COME ALONG MARLENE GET YOUR COAT WE'RE LEAVING

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mortimers-Boycie-Legendary-Ten-Seconds/dp/B07SSGPCCT/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=boycie+and+the+legendary+ten+seconds&qid=1560079573&s=dmusic&sr=1-1

2nd June 2019

2nd June 2019

The History Book Part One album by The Legendary Ten Seconds contains several Ricardian songs and can now be purchased from the Richard III Society Shop. Here is a link to the catalogue and the album is listed on page 10


http://www.richardiii.net/downloads/2019_04_23_catalogue.pdf 


I've written another science fiction song. This is based upon a story written by Neil R Jones called 'The Jameson Satellite'. It was first published in Amazing Stories in 1931 and the author wrote a long series of sequels about Professor Jameson and the Zoromes who are friendly aliens. They have serial numbers and letters rather than names.

26th May 2019

26th May 2019

Lord Z came over last Monday evening and we listened to the finished and mastered recordings of 'Her Household Requires' and the Mortimer comedy song. Later in the week Phil Swann sent me the wav files of the very nice 12 string acoustic guitar and mandolin that he has recorded for a song about Gallants Bower. 

My wife wrote the lyrics for this song shortly after we climbed to the top of the hill above Dartmouth castle. Gallants Bower is a fort which was constructed during the English civil war. The song was actually written years ago, perhaps about 10 years ago? I did record a version back then with my wife, Elaine singing it, but we never did anything with the recording. I am now in the process of trying to finish a new version of the song.


LOOKING DOWN FROM THE TOP OF THE HILL

OUT OF BREATH WAITING FOR YOU STILL

WHO KEPT WATCH HERE SO LONG AGO

DARTMOUTH CASTLE SO FAR BELOW


A WINDING PATH TO THIS GALLANTS BOWER

SO PEACEFUL NOW IN THIS SUNNY HOUR

THE RUINS AND BATTLES OF THE CIVIL WAR

LOOK BACK THROUGH TIME WHAT WAS IT FOR


DIG UP THE PAST WHO WON WHO LOST

THAT CIVIL WAR SUCH A TERRIBLE COST

AND NO ONE REMEMBERS AND NO ONE EVER WILL

KNOW THE NAME OF THE WATCHER ON THE HILL

19th May 2019

19th May 2019

On Monday morning Lord Z recorded Pippa singing for the song about the Household expenses of Elizabeth of York. Then in the afternoon I drove up to Ludlow with Lord Z and we stayed overnight at a Travelodge hotel. I spent most of the journey and evening listening to him going on and on about the Game of Thrones TV series. He's been telling me all about it ever since I recently started recording a song about Elizabeth Lambert's walk of shame during the reign of Richard III. He says I should watch this programme but I think I'm too busy writing songs. The Game of Thrones also sounds even more gruesome than the battle of Towton and the Wars of the Roses!

On Tuesday morning we met up with Philip Hume, secretary of the Mortimer History Society and John Challis in Orleton. We were there to record John's vocal talents for a comedy song about the Mortimers. We had booked the local village hall for this and John's wife Carol, commented about the new kitchen there, that John had opened. She said he had also opened the new toilet. Here is a link to the 2018 unveiling of this new kitchen with John as the guest of honour.

John Challis and Lord Zarquon


https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/local-hubs/south-shropshire/ludlow/2018/11/24/john-challis-opens-new-kitchen-at-village-hall-near-orleton/

12th May 2019

12th May 2019

I've sponsored Alex Birt of Abbotskerwell cricket club for an undisclosed fee for the 2019 summer season. He is a very talented young cricket player and as part of the sponsorship deal he has agreed to have his photo taken wearing my top hat and a Legendary Ten Seconds t shirt. He's already taken 2 wickets in a match at Babbacombe. 

Ian and Alex May 2019

Here is a link to the cricket club website:- http://www.abbotskerswellcc.com/squad


Lord Zarquon has finished recording two more songs for the Devon Roses album and there are now just two songs to finish. Phil Swann has recorded some electric guitar for my song about the Driverless Car track at the site of the battle of Bosworth. I hope that Lord Zarquon can complete the recording of this song for the History Book Part Two album. Further recording sessions are booked for Pippa, Fleur and Bridgit to sing on some more of my songs and I have just purchased a new and better microphone.

We are due to visit Ludlow and we have arranged a recording session with John Challis at a village hall in Orleton. The intention is to get John to help us with the recording of a comedy song for the Mortimer History Society.


© Rainbow Starshine Productions 2019 - Version 7.0.2 July 2019