Nori’s Café

Nori’s Café at 3 Church Street, Leominster is a great little venue for live acoustic music. It’s becoming a semi-regular gig for me – I usually play a short solo set, then accompany other performers on dobro and guitar. Apart from several other projects, Nori has a little scratch band called The Ambling Band, and last summer we provided the music for an eccentric civic procession through Leominster.

In a revived local tradition, the bread, fish and ale at various establishments were tasted by appointees of the town council, and very loudly proclaimed of good quality by the town crier. There isn’t a fishmongers in Leominster any more, so the fish taster had to make do with some battered cod from the fish and chip shop, whilst being serenaded by accordion, banjo, guitar and tambourine. Like what they did in olden days. Anyway, I’ll be back at Nori’s on the evening of 30th November 2016.

More on Lakefest

Part of my gig on the BBC Introducing stage at Lakefest on Sunday was recorded for a session to be broadcast on Andrew Marston’s BBC Introducing in Hereford & Worcester show on the 22nd October (EDIT: this has subsequently been rescheduled for 8 pm Saturday 29th October). There’ll be four songs from the set, plus a short interview with me.

I enjoyed the experience a lot. As a guitarist, I’ve played quite a few festivals in the past, but this is the first time I’ve done it as a solo artist, performing my own songs. There were three other acts on the stage: two really talented vocal duos (Darline & Before She Calls) and a very funky 9-piece band (Population:7). We were all quite different, which I think was good for everyone – in a well-chosen line-up, the contrasts between styles and approaches can highlight every act’s strengths.

 

Lakefest

I’ve been invited to play a 40 minute set of original music on the BBC Introducing Stage at Lakefest on Sunday 14th August 2016. I think this must be on the basis of my song, The Room Is Getting Smaller, played on Andrew Marston’s show a couple of months ago. This year the festival has moved from Gloucestershire to the Deer Park of Eastnor Castle outside Ledbury, where the Big Chill used to be. I’m really looking forward to it. Here’s the line-up  for the 14th August:

Capture Sunday 14th line-up

And here’s the official video from last year. Looks good, doesn’t it?

Delicate Ways

Steve Kidd and I have finished recording a new version of my song, Delicate Ways, at his studio, Baronial Hall. We started off recording it with loads of strummy rhythm guitar, but decided to replace that with a ukulele for a sweeter sound. I added a few fingerstyle guitar arpeggios here and there, as well as a dobro solo. Steve played acoustic bass and shared backing vocal duties with me (and of course, the mix and recording are his work too). By the way, it’s worth checking out some of Steve’s soundtrack work – he writes & records music and audio for various projects including films and art installations. It’s rather cool.

Anyway, you can find Delicate Ways in the audio player in this website’s menu, and on our Sound Cloud page. Hope you enjoy it!

The Three Disagrees

I go to a few pub jam sessions around the Marches, sometimes playing a few of my own songs and sometimes joining in with other people – which has led me to start picking some bluegrass and old-time Americana from time to time on guitar and dobro. So yesterday (Saturday 25th June) I met up with friends at the bluegrass picking weekend at the Baskerville Hotel in Clyro Court.

It was a mini-festival, really. I joined in a few jams around the campsite and in the hotel. In any gathering of musicians, I’m usually the only dobro player, and I get an encouraging response just for showing up with an uncommon instrument. While I was there, Mervyn and Francis of The Three Disagrees invited me to play dobro (and sometimes guitar) with their band, along with new bass player, Gill, making us (slightly confusingly) a quartet.

We’ve got a couple of bookings coming up: supporting Grace Petrie at the Folk in the Foyer event at The Conquest Theatre in Bromyard on Saturday 13th August (20 minute set – the online listing only mentions Francis, but in fact the rest of us in his band are also playing), and at the Lamb and Flag for the Worcester Music Festival on Friday 16th September (40 minute set).  It’s really nice to be a backing instrumentalist sometimes, without having to worry about holding the whole show together on my own!

The Three Disagrees

 

The Room Is Getting Smaller

My track, The Room Is Getting Smaller, produced by Paul Hornsby in Newport, Gwent, was played by Andrew Marston on BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester last night (Saturday 30th April 2016).  You can hear the track on the audio player in the menu at the top of this page. We recorded three different takes on my acoustic guitar overdubs, and decided to use them all at once! Oh, and the BBC has given me a little badge to go on the website:

Head to bbc.co.uk/introducing, upload your music and you could have your tracks broadcast on BBC Radio