I’m gonna start by wishing you a very happy new year. Which seems a bit strange saying that in feb but sometimes it does takes the whole of jan to establish any happiness at all ? ...and at the end of the day it’s up to you when you start your year. The Chinese prefer to start theirs on the 1st of feb. The taxman likes April 6th. You can begin again whenever you want.
I think my life is just waking up. It’s been one hell of a sleepy January, it’s been true hibernation for me. I have dropped my leaves and brought all my energy back from the tips of my branches into my trunk which is now swimming in potent hot sap ready to grow again in the spring. This all sounds very poetic but in reality means I’ve been staying in, lounging around in just my pants, fannying about on a laptop for hours on end and now I’m itching for a few gigs.
With the way that last year ended; with major ups and downs and debilitating madness I just needed a bit of predictability, a nice dry slice of boredom AKA The quiet life. I’ve actually written a ska /punk song about it! (I’ll make a little demo and share it with ya next month)
But thinking about the quiet life, it’s benefits and it’s mind numbing pitfalls I found myself listening to 6 music today (in my pants obvs) and someone on there was talking about Ravi shanker and classical Indian music. I’ve listened to his stuff for years ever since I first went to India back in 2005 and bought a knock off CD on the beach. I’ve listened and listened but never really noticed any patterns in that music. I normally just use it to zone out, have a stretch or cook something or do some work to, or to just counteract the silence in my house and the thoughts that can fill that silence.
But she went on to talk about ‘ragas’ which from what i can surmise is the Hindi way of saying “a massive jam” these improvisations usually last for around an hour a time and go through lots of phases. She said they ALWAYS have slow ominous starts where the foundations, the musical phrases are established and steadily start to build, moving through sonic ups and downs, swells, retreats and always ALWAYS ending in a magnificent storm (or something like that) she said “you can’t just go straight into a magnificent storm you have to build up to that kind of thing”
And I was like “aaaaah there it is. There I am” maybe there we ALL are? In the quiet bit at the start,
forging the phrases,
preparing the way,
redirecting the synapses,
building the foundations of an absolutely magnificent year.
So what’s IN and what’s OUT this year for me?
OUT - BULLSHIT.
Mine and other peoples. There’s too much flying about already in politics, fake news and opinionated keyboard warriors. I can’t handle any more in my own personal life. In my own space. In my own head. If that means spending a bit less time conversing with humans and a bit more time stroking dogs and looking at clouds then bring it on.
IN - YOGA.
Yoga has always been amazing since long before I was conceived and always will be amazing long after my lanky ass is deep in the ground. What an awesome way to build power and patience and make ya feel like a big sexy pretzel. I’m on the matt every day now and no one can stop me
OUT - RIC BYER.
An absolutely stonking musician and charming man i was very sad and upset initially when drummer Ric quit the band in early December. He is such a talent and a lovely man and we had just got to a great place musically as anyone who saw us live last year will agree. But Ric isn’t really up for being in a full time band that wants to write and rehearse regularly. He’s too busy with all of his other projects and unfortunately spreads himself too thin for me. Ric also lives in the arse end of nowhere and refuses to buy a car which not only takes all the fun out of touring it also takes the piss.
So good Byer my friend, I sincerely do wish you much luck and happiness and thanks for the amazing drumming.
IN - MITCH PIKE.
Speaking of amazing drumming I’ve known Mitch for yonks and he’s always been an outstanding talented musician but this last couple of years he’s ramped it up even further and is now a certified bad ass. He’s depped in both my bands over the years and in some cases raised the quality of our songs and sound even more so than the regular guy and now he’s stepping in full time this year to drum with us. Did you see the live vid we shot for ‘Little Red Runaround’ a couple of years back? That’s Mitch there funking away, so definitely go check that out.
The lad is the bollocks on the drums as you will see and I can’t wait to get on stage with him.
He also has a car. Meeooow.
OUT - NINETY NINE.
When I think of Mark Zuckerberg’s algorithms I envisage a pale little evil genius sitting on a silicone throne stroking a cat surrounded by a huge army of little blue, winged droids with teeth.
Hopefully Lord Zuckerberg’s algorithms have allowed you to view my latest vid released on Blue Monday 17th Jan.
If not, search for Ninety Nine and you will receive a few minutes light relief and maybe a bit of deja vu as you look back on your own version of our collective nightmare /stress dream /actual life on Earth
IN - OUR TIME.
We have finally finished recording and mixing this bloody song and an absolute gem it is too. Don’t expect anything hi brow or thought provoking here, it’s 3 minutes of hot, girthy, butt slapping, cowboy party music. Yeehaw!
It’s an unusual retro song and looking back I don’t know how or why it’s come to my brain but I do remember waking up from a dream with the hook “I did what I had to do and I don’t regret it” so I just went with it and built a tune around that. And it was great fun to write.
A couple of weeks back I recorded a little choir of backing singers from the local area, 5 absolute belters (including myself) who spat out a wild, wall of joy and madness which brings the track to life. You can see a few clips of this on my socials and that night at work was easily the highlight of my January.
I will be adding Summer Bright’s marvellous saxophone today then I just need to shoot a vid for it and then the track will be good to go.....Now where did I put my cowboy hat and assless chaps ???
I might leave you with that image... ?
Have a great rest of your feb. Be good to yourself, be optimistic, be tiny, be huge, be alive, and be well.
Bye for now. Andy x