News Chronicles

23rd February 2020

 23rd February 2020

I've been thinking quite a bit about the way I go about recording my songs and the fact that I'm not in a band playing live music. 

In an ideal world I would be working with a dedicated drummer and bass player. 

As the Legendary Ten Seconds, I did try it for several years during which period there was an excellent performance at the Summer Moon festival in Kingsteignton. 

Unfortunately it was extremely difficult to find a drummer who was interested in my style of music and who wasn't already in another band. It was also very difficult to get gigs. When we did get the odd gig it was very time consuming and expensive . 

It was also very time consuming rehearsing and I ended up having two rehearsals a week because I couldn't get all of the same band members to attend the same rehearsal days. This meant that on one day I might rehearse with the bass player and then later on in the week I'd have a rehearsal with the lead guitar player. After being let down rather badly at a festival in August 2018 I decided to stop doing gigs and cancel rehearsing, and just concentrate on recording. 

Last year we recorded History Book Part One, Thrilling Blunder Stories, Devon Roses, released Instrumental Legends and recorded a comedy song with John Challis. Before that I was releasing a maximum of one album a year so on balance I think it was a good idea to scrap the gigs.

16th February 2020

16th February 2020

I've was asked by a friend for some more information about who contributed to the Podtastic album. 

Podtastic was mainly written and recorded by myself with Guy playing all of the drums. I played a little bit of percussion. 

One of my neighbours, Rob Blaikie, played some guitar on one track, the mandolin on Dorchester Fair, possibly bass on Nothing is Going Your Way, and he also played keyboards on one track. 

Dave Clifford of the Morrisons played bass on one track, Shoot the Moon, and Guy played bass on the remaining tracks. 

The harmonica on Can't Live Without you was played by someone called Simon Lane who was at school with Guy. 

There is even a very rare piece played and recorded by Roger Crompton at his house in Ellacombe, Torquay, of a tiny amount of electric guitar at the end of a song called Lose Control.

I think the best track on the album is the Travelling Medicine Show which has Guy's sister singing on it. Elaine wrote the lyrics. I had found a really interesting article about someone who lived in the USA in the late 19th century who had joined a travelling medicine show and I asked Elaine if she could write some lyrics for a song based upon the article. The only problem with the song is that it really ought to be sung by someone with a strong American accent. The lyrics for the song are superb and Elaine was really impressed with the tune that I made up to go with the lyrics. I wish I could remember the name of the person in the article that inspired the song and unfortunately I appear to have lost the magazine which contained the article.

Elaine also wrote really excellent lyrics for the song called Dorchester Fair and also sings with me on the recording. The lyrics were written first and I felt that I came up with another very strong tune to go with her excellent lyrics. Later on anther version of the song would appear on the Loyaulte me Lie album as York City Fair.

9th February 2020

9th February 2020

About ten years ago before my Production partnership with Lord Z I recorded an album called Podtastic. My wife Elaine painted the album cover.
At this time my music was featured quite a lot on independent podshows. There used to be a website where I could upload my songs and podcasters could then select songs from this website for their shows. Unfortunately this website no longer exits and it has become much more difficult to get my music featured on podshows. If a podshow played my songs then I would write and record a jingle for that show and quite often the jingle would get use. I then came up with the idea for the Podtastic album with every song having a podcast jingle at the end of it.

I recently decided to make this old album available in digital format and it can now be heard via this link

This was the last album I recorded as the Legendary Ten Seconds before I started to record songs about Richard III. I did record some further songs after this album was finished but I never got around to doing anything with them until about 5 years ago. I decided to put them on another album which I called Good Fortune which is also available to be heard on the internet

The sound quality of these albums isn't as good as the Ricardian albums, mainly because Lord Z only started helping me with my songs just before we started doing the Ricardian stuff. Lord Z is a wizard with song Mixing and Production and my albums have greatly improved since we formed our musical partnership.

2nd February 2020

2nd February 2020 

Here are the lyrics for two songs about the Torquay Pageant of 1924. Elaine wrote the lyrics for the opening verses and I wrote the rest.

The Torquay Pageant Part One

A passion for the past took the counties over

With historical pageants from Sherborne to Dover

In a seaside town in nineteen twenty four

There was a pageant, Torquay had not had one before

Off to Rock End gardens

In the June sunshine

To enjoy the pageant

To have a real good time

Now Mister Arthur Aplin a hero from the war

He was the pageant master his novels I adore

A playwright and an actor, he knew a thing or two

He said to the town, now it's up to you

Off to Rock End gardens

In the June sunshine

To enjoy the pageant

To have a real good time

Vice Admiral McCully happened to be in Torbay

He opened the pageant during his short stay

Off to Rock End gardens

In the June sunshine

To enjoy the pageant

To have a real good time

Now the pageant is forgotten and few will ever know

Of the many thousands who enjoyed the show

Yes the pageant is forgotten and few will ever know

Of the many thousands who enjoyed the show

The Torquay Pageant Part Two

Over looking Torbay on a perfect June day

26th January 2020

26th January 2020 

On Tuesday morning I went to a very interesting lecture at Torquay museum about an historical pageant which took place in Torquay in June 1924. This is something of which I did not know about and it turns out that pageants were very popular just before the first world war and also in the 1920s. My wife has now written some lyrics for a possible song about the Torquay pageant and I am also seriously considering recording a concept album about the history of Torbay.  

19th January 2020

19th January 2020 

I am feeling very pleased with myself this evening having been to the gym 5 times this week! Also haven't drunk any beer for 2 whole days in an effort to lose some weight. It has been a very enjoyable weekend. Went for a nice walk with Phil and Debby Helmore in Babbacombe yesterday morning. In the afternoon had a very good recording session with Bridgit England. I have recorded her singing on 3 more of my songs. I think the best one is the Mayflower song. At the end of the afternoon found out that Torquay United had won away from home which put me in a very good mood indeed. The day ended with a lovely evening celebrating Jerry Brimicombe's 60th birthday. Andy and Bridgit England played a great set of songs for Jerry. It was really good to see lots of old friends like Steve Honeywill and Steve Rawson. Lord Z was there as well with Jon Blackstone the bass player of the Prophets of Zarquon.

12th January 2020

12th January 2020

I've recently been reading about the bread riots which took placed in Torquay in 1847 and 1867 and this gave me the idea for some lyrics to go with a new tune idea I had. There was an interesting article which mentioned the bread riots in a local magazine called the Beach Hut. The article was written by Jack Critchlow about Torquay Museum and having read this it sparked off the idea for a song. The idea for the tune came from watching a tutorial on youtube about playing a country and western style steel guitar riff. My tune idea sounds nothing like that style of music though.

Here is a link to some information about the Torquay bread riots

The harvest was so poor

The price of bread it would soar

The potato crop and failed

Hope for the poor had not prevailed

There were riots in Torquay

In Union street like an angry sea

It was Eighteen Forty Seven

Great discontent for the poor in Devon

The price of bread so high

Could this the baker justify

A mob in Union street

The Constables had to defeat

There were riots in Torquay

In Union street like an angry sea

It was Eighteen Sixty Seven

Great discontent for the poor in Devon

A sharp rise in the price of bread

Led to a riot the newspaper said

It was bonfire night when the shops were trashed

Broken into, ransacked, trashed and smashed

5th January 2020

5th January 2020

Well it's happy new year 2020 and the sound of that feels like it is something to do with science fiction. I can remember reading 1984 in the 1970s and that future year seemed like the far future and I can still recall thinking about it walking up Shiphay Lane in Torquay and also thinking that in the year 2000 I would be nearly 40 and how old and far away that would be. Now that I am 58 being 40 sounds quite young!

It's been an interesting start to the year. I went to a new years eve party and I think I am finding it a struggle to party until midnight and prefer being at home reading a book if I have to stay up late. Yes I know I'm a boring old fart! The next day I saw Torquay United lose at the Theatre of Pain with my very good friend Jerry. Back to work in my office in Exeter the next day after being on holiday since 13th December 2019, but seemed to cope with it and getting up early in the morning in the dark. The next day on Friday felt very very tired and it was time to say farewell to Nico02. He liked the A to Z of Ashburton that I had written out for him where he will be working. This included A for Ashburton and B for bus stop etc. Absolutely hilarious if you work in my office but undoubtedly not so if you don't!

Met up with Graham Moores after work in Exeter on Friday evening and finally got around to paying him for the Thrilling Blunder Stories artwork. We talked about our music which included when Graham recorded some of the songs of Iain Smith who I was at school with at Torquay Boys Grammar School. I can still remember parts of the first day at that school quite vividly. Queueing up in the car park outside the school first thing in the morning with Nadi Jahangiri a little further along in the queue. He had a brown satchel over his shoulder. Nadi would later be the guitar player in a local punk band called Das Schnitz. This link with information about his band is very interesting.

The drummer of Das Schnitz was Kevin Perry also at the same school and in fact I was also at Sherwell Valley junior school with him. I remember being sent to detention once at that junior school and Kevin was there in the same room, also on detention mucking about with some pencils that were on his desk.

One of the other things I remember about my first day at Torquay Boys Grammar School was sitting next to Iain Smith and when I got home after seeing Graham I found this on youtube, which is one of Iain's songs which was recorded by Graham

December 29th 2019

29th December 2019 

My good friend Andy England happened to spot that the name of one of my old bands, The Morrisons, is shown on the cover of a fanzine called Blast Off. He says that he spotted it on the website of the Go Betweens. I presume that this fanzine was printed in the late 1980's when The Morrisons were featured in several fanzines after Listen to Your Heart was played on Radio One by John Peel.

Here is a link to the flexi disc of the Morrisons song Listen to Your Heart

22nd December 2019

22nd December 2019 

This week I finally got around to changing all of the 12 strings on my Rickenbacker electric guitar. The last time I did this I changed 6 of the strings and then couldn't face changing the other 6 and that must have been a few years ago! In fact the guitar was down to 11 strings because one of the top E strings had broken and all of the other strings were very rusty. To prepare myself for the great string change I watched a tutorial on youtube on how to restring a 12 string Rickenbacker guitar:-

At the beginning of the tutorial Terry of the Guitar Works Ltd ( Illinois ) says “Today we're going to do the most daunting restring that there ever will be for any guitar player and that's a Rickenbacker 12 string”. This confirmed what I had often suspected having owned my Rickenbacker for about 19 years. The tutorial is great and showed the easiest way to change the strings, most of which I had previously already worked out for myself through trial and error. Mind you changing all the strings this time still took me 4 hours and I wouldn't recommend it as something to do for the faint-hearted.

© Rainbow Starshine Productions 2020 - Version 7.0.4 February 2020