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Catching Up

admin : May 19, 2015 2:53 pm : blog, Charity, Gig News, Music, News, Radio

It’s been a mad couple of months, exhausting but incredibly rewarding with some great gigs, new friends and stunning moments.
It was great to hear at the start of April that UCB were adding me to the playlist on their wireless station. I did an interview and also had an interview on BBC 3 Counties Radio on the run up to the show in Princes Risborough. It was great to get back there and see some old friends.
Then there was the southern leg of the spring tour taking in Shaftesbury, Burgess Hill and Portsmouth. In Burgess Hill we raised a bunch of cash for Hope, a local charity which was grand.

I also got to play at the Quiz Night we ran at our drop-in centre and had a great little living room gig in Cambridge.

Then it was up to Scotland for a show on Arran and I must say, never have i been so blown away by the beauty of a place. Wow!  I took my mate Jimmy with me who had his flying camera so there should be some good shots on there way soon. The show was raising money for Casa Allianza and I just heard we topped the £400 mark which is great.

Then it was off to record at the Foundry – yup, the next album is underway.   Had a good day with the masterful Sandy Jones as we settled into the new songs.

The Bothwell Bridge hotel gig was ok – booked last minute and unsure of what it was but it went well and I made some new friends.

Saturday I hung out with J.J.Gilmore as we discussed how to put the world to rights and then headed down to Saltcoats for an evening show at the SBBC in front of a fantastic crowd. The hospitality in Scotland is 2nd to none and worth the 6 hour drive.

Now I’m immersed in Coventry Motofest as stage manager for the Radio Plus stage on 30th – 31st May. I’ll be playing a full band gig that day and then looking at the Big Comfey gig in Coventry on the 5th June, a house concert the following week and then a festival on Trafalgar Square which will be excellent. I’ve written and recorded a special song for that with my mate chris Hunt. You can download it free

 

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We’ve Been The Dreamers

admin : March 8, 2015 5:24 pm : blog, Music, News

I was rather inspired by Micheal Sheen’s speech that made the news the other day. Full of a passion that politics seemed to have lost years ago. So much rang true for me. I’m pretty non-partisan when it comes to politics mainly because I have no idea what each party stands for any more. I know in theory but they all seem so middle of the road and making a mess of what they do do, deciding who to vote for is nigh impossible.


The Scottish independence episode was incredibly healthy for politics. I woke people up to a stark choice, in Scotland at least. The issue for us is that with the impending elections we don’t know what the choice is. Do we really want a middle of the road coalition between labour and conservatives? Do we really need another four years with a government that’s unable to make or implement any useful policies because of their petty bickering in a building that’s more robust than any of them have a hope of being.

Not often I rant about politics and as a Christian I know I should be praying for these guys and so I am and will. They need it that’s for sure.

Anyway, I wrote a little song taken from Michael’s speech. Do I hope you like it? Well, I at least hope that you hear the message in what is a rare exploration into political songwriting for me.

I saw a man stand up before a crowd
And when he started speaking his passion was felt
He said “We’ve been the dreamers, we’ve been the sufferers
No we are the builders!” and by God how they built
This man wasn’t scared to speak up for what he believed
And he pulled no punches and he didn’t shy
No social seduction and no cajolery
Could dull his hatred of that party line

We’ve been the dreamers, we’ve been the sufferers
No we are the builders! Now let us build

 Now our politicians so careful with what they say
Scared to upset us and acting like clowns
We all know what happens if you walk down a busy road
If you stand in the middle you’ll get knocked down
There’s no excuses for not saying what you believe
For not speaking up for what you know is right
Let what you believe in make you stand to you feet
But first of all believe in something tonight

Is it any wonder that we don’t know where to cast
These votes that were fought for when your playing these games
In your fence-sitting playgrounds there’s shame where we once stood proud
You’ve sold off our greatness and besmirched our name
There’s only one thing, one thing that you can do
To even begin the work of turning things round
When you’ve no direction we’ll make the choice for you
And show you the door, now get out, get out, get out

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The Year That’s Just Gone….

admin : December 29, 2014 6:01 pm : blog

Blimey! It’s been a busy one hasn’t it, full of highs and lows. Before we take a look back at the last 12 months I need to let you know that 2015 is going to be different. Lots has happened, I’m going to have more time to work on music stuff, touring and recording. Things that were shelved in 2014 because of unexpected events will be kiced back into life and we’ll have some fun!
So here we go….
2014-01-19 17.09.17

I got to hang out with TV presenter, exporer and top man Monty Halls. He’s great at what he does, not so good at guitar!

2015 - 7

Then I had a fantastic 3rd time return visit to The Stables. This has to be one of the best venues in the country – a real musicians venue

RobGraemeSandy

In April I had a trip to the States and a short break in Spain, then was in the studio to finish off some recording with Graeme Duffin and Sandy Jones at the Foundry in Motherwell.

2015 - 16After that the One Nation Session was finally released with the DVD of what had been a fantastic night at One Nation Studio’s in Warwick.

2015 - 6

 

Then is was festival time, Godiva, Warwick and Scargill, all jolly good fun!2015 - 11

A spate of shows from London to Northumberland followed by a show in Radio 2 with Ricky Ross

robnRickyRoss

 

And then another trip to the USA to play shows in Maryland, New Jersey, Philladelphia, Cincinatti, Pittsburgh and Nashville
2015 - 2where I met up with a couple of industry people who liked my music :)

2015 - 14

Then I got home and had a splendid time with my mates launching my new album, “Love Come Down”. It was really great, tickets completely sold out and a rocking night with a 12 peice band that raised a load of money for the Homeless drop-in we run in Coventry.

A2015 - 1ll in all it was a great year, not without it’s challenges but we covered some miles, had some National Radio plays, gigs in the US and teh UK and a couple of albums out that are doing rather well.

And together we managed to raise a decent amount of cash for some very deserving charities, making a huge difference in some peoples lives. Lets do more in 2015!

 

2105 - 13

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Common Language

admin : October 22, 2014 9:52 am : blog

I hate it when people try and put God lyrics to straight songs. It’s cheesiness in the extreme – not good! So I was horrified to wake up with with the verse of Bad Company’s “Feels Like Making Love” – Jesus, when I think about you, I think about lo-ove”. Really, really not good. But it got me thinking. It’s true, when I think about Jesus the first thing I think about is His love. Maybe I’ve been ‘conditioned’ that way after being a Christian for nearly 30 years. Despite the mess I’ve made of that it seems to me that God’s love is pretty unconditional. But I know some people, when they think about Jesus they think about the way religion or the church has messed them around.

This isn’t a blog post to put that right – I don’t think I could do that. It’s about realising we all have a different take on things, and those ‘takes’ are often justified. We just need the grace to hear each other.

We just had a big event at Ponds Forge in Sheffield. It was a long day, lots happened, lots said and plenty of folks there. It’s an annual thing our church does and this year I was part of one of the bands for the first time in a long while. I didn’t do that well with some of the songs. If they were your favorite songs and you were there, I apologise.

Some folks I’ve talked to thought the day was “the best one we’ve done yet”. The evening was a multimedia presentation with the theme of The Journey. It was well put together and thought through but lovingly demonstrated our trademark lack of proffessionalism in places, which for me is a good thing!

Others have said things like “If I wanted to see a panto I would have stayed in Northampton” and “It was a long drive for a performance”, which it was – especially with the M1 being nose to tail through the roadworks.

I love the church I’m part of because one of the things it’s built on is grace. As we work things out on this journey we’ve learnt that there’s often more than one right answer and that for some people the right answer is the wrong answer for someone else. Goodness, that gets confusing. Some folks last weekend really needed a good sermon, a message. They need interaction and they missed it because the day for them was a performance. Others needed to sit back, watch and listen and then respond to what they’d experienced in the presentation. One thing we all need is the grace to realise that deep down our need for healing, acceptance, love, forgiveness, inclusion is the same. It works itself out in different ways but we are social creatures with a need to belong. Some people may argue with that and that’s fine.

Sheffield  - Honouring the Martyrs The event on Saturday wasn’t perfect and the old addage “you can’t please everyone” seems very applicable. I guess I’m writing this knowing that a number of people who read it would have been there. Some went away feeling they missed something while others had a great time. For me it was the testimonies – two minutes of someones life story – that was enough to make the day worth it. The tribute to the martyrs and suffering Christians was incredibly powerful. If I went just for that it was worth it.

I wrote a song about this time last year called Common Language. Have a listen and have grace.

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Your Love

admin : April 1, 2014 10:26 am : blog, Music

Glen Kaiser once sang a song called Jesus Is Like An Ocean. It’s a beautiful song but one reason I love it is because it paints a picture. I love it when you can visualise a song taking you somewhere. The songs I like that I’ve written are the ones that do that for me when I’m singing them. There’s something about being transported away by a song, even temporarily, something special when it takes you to a new level of emotion or understanding.

It’s why songs mean different things to different people. I wrote a song called Dancing With Seagulls, about the times as a teenager with a lot going ong on, I needed to get away and find some space. So I’d go down the beach and chase seagulls. When I’ve sang that at gigs people have said to me afterwards, “it wasnt the beach or seagulls, but I did have a placeI’d escape to”

I’ve just recorded this song - Your Love. I’m not going to say what’s prompted it. Love does amazing things. Makes you dance, cry, laugh, hurt and be healed. In a life where we mess up and get messed up, Love wins.

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