John Martyn: 3 albums and 5 tracks

Sep 19, 2017

First of a series following from my Inspirations series, where I’ll offer a beginners’ guide to some of the artists I love. Three albums and five tracks. A virtuoso musician with a voice to melt the coldest of hearts. (John Hillarby) Three albums Solid Air (1973) The definitive John Martyn album, where he found his … Read more

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Robert Fripp – attention, attention, attention!

Sep 18, 2017

There’s a great book to be written one day about the life and music of Robert Fripp, but it would have to be a fat one. The consistent theme of his life has been attention to detail, and it’s only in the details of the projects he’s been involved with that the insights would come. … Read more

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Being in a band – attention seeking behaviour

Sep 15, 2017

Continuing my musical life story with one of the stranger episodes- how attention-seeking ended the first band I led. By the middle of the 1980s, in Manchester, I’d got over the novelty of multitrack recording and begun to take songwriting seriously. Solitary songwriting I’d been writing songs since I was 16 but I’d always tended … Read more

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Brian Eno by Pete Forsyth (Wikimedia Commons)

Brian Eno – the beauty of the moment

Sep 12, 2017

This article suggests that there’s a running theme in Brian Eno’s work that is akin to mysticism.  I’m not claiming Eno is a mystic or a religious person in any way, in fact I’m sure he isn’t. But in the lyrics of several songs are strong suggestions of what we might call mysticism in its … Read more

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Photo of the band Quintessence in 1970

Quintessence – things look great in Notting Hill Gate

Sep 8, 2017

I don’t know what kind of image younger people have of the cusp of the 1960s/1970s. ‘Hippie’ has become somewhat of a disparaging term, if not a parody. Bummer, maaaan! In South West Scotland and Glasgow, there weren’t many people floating around talking about bliss and sitting at the feet of their guru. Billy Connolly … Read more

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Marketing your music – 5 big mistakes

Sep 6, 2017

In this post I’m going to talk about my journey in marketing my music, which just means trying to bring it to the attention of people who might like it. I’ve no great achievements to point to, but I have learned from my mistakes. If you’re a musician trying to widen your audience, maybe I … Read more

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Painted Chariot – an Incredible String Band cover by Hungry Ghosts

Aug 30, 2017

In which we decide not only to do a cover version but to write an extra verse and get the original artist to approve it. Something to Be Glad about In 1994 the editors of the tentatively launched Incredible String Band fanzine Be Glad  realised they had tapped into an expectant and enthusiastic audience. Articles … Read more

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Jethro Tull – flute dervish

Aug 28, 2017

Like a drooling maniac in a dirty old man coat, Ian Anderson’s Jethro Tull managed for a brief time to unite the prog heads and Top of the Pops boppers with some exquisite singles that still sound fresh today. Tear Gas does Tull I first heard a Jethro Tull song some time before I’d heard … Read more

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Sleeve of Moyshe McStiff album

COB – Moyshe McStiff & the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart

Aug 24, 2017

In 1972 Clive Palmer, who had left the Incredible String Band in 1967 because he wasn’t taken with their enthusiasm for world mythology, weirdness and ethnic instruments, released a classic of album of mythology, weirdness and ethnic instruments under the unforgettable title of Moyshe McStiff And The Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart. Clive Palmer … Read more

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