Thursday, 23 September 2010


Well then, time for my quarterly blog!

I blame twitter and a busy summer for my lack of writing. Actually, I think it's time to stop blaming things and accept that I just don't blog very often!

Since my last post I have organised and performed at Summer in the City 2010 and the first Life's a Beach (RNLI fund raiser) event, been to Stickaid to help out and just last week I got back from Europe. Tom Burns won some Interrail passes so we went and travelled around a bit... There are photos on facebook.

In between these things I've finished an album, which is now for sale. My next job is to get videos made for some of the songs from it. I'm trying to get a couple of my favourite video makers to help me out. This obviously means everything is going to take longer and be more difficult, but I think it'll be worth it when I have an end product.

I think I need videos that people pass on to their friends, and the videos I make on my own don't have that... They're just bedroom performance videos really, just with some decent editing. In order to have something with more viral possibilities, I think they need more, whether it's different styles like stop motion or animation, or more professional equipment, or a story within the video... So that's what I'm hoping to do over the coming weeks / months.

I also have the opportunity to get started on the next thing and I have no idea what that's going to be. I guess I'll just start writing and see what happens!

Right then, all caught up. Of course anyone reading this will know everything anyway! This is more for me - I like to have a record of where my life is so I can look back in the future. I might write something deeper soon, for example I'm currently terrified because I'm not sure that I'm going to be able to make enough money from music to continue doing it as a job. That'll be a fun read!

Speak to you... Next year probably.


Saturday, 10 July 2010


For two or three years there has been a really loud popping noise coming from somewhere in my room at totally arbitrary times. It's fucking annoying and even though it's happened hundreds of times it still scares the shit out of me. But the worst part was not knowing what it was... I'm a very curious person and if I hear about anything I don't understand I look it up as soon as I can... But I couldn't look this up and it drove me mad!

Well after all this time I have finally discovered the source! It's this:

I know what you're thinking; 'That's just a jar of purple liquid' Well you're quite right. It's methylated spirit, which is used to clean bass guitar strings.

For the first time ever I happened to be looking in the general direction of this jar, which lives on my windowsill, when the noise went off, and I saw the lid move! Presumably changing temperatures cause the metal to expand/contract until it reaches a point where the centre pops up or down (kind of like the test to see if a jar has been opened - the centre of the lid should be up if unopened.)

I'm well aware that nobody gives a shit about this apart from me, but I don't even care!

Today is a good day.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A New Government

I haven't blogged in a very long time, most things these days I can fit into a tweet or facebook update, but I think a change of government should provide a large enough topic to warrant a good old fashioned blog post. (Side note: I can't believe blog posts are old fashioned. When did that happen?)

My problem is now that I've found a topic big enough... Maybe it's a little too big! I don't know where to start. I guess with the era that is ending, poor old Gordon! Everyone seems to hate him and I'm not entirely sure why.

During his time in office a lot of very bad things have happened, but I struggle to believe that he is to blame for many, if any of them. The floods we had in his first month weren't his fault and the entire cock up of the global economy wasn't his fault, in fact on that front I wonder how much worse things could have been without him. It's funny while he was getting slated at home by newspapers and people who like to be angry, he was winning international awards for the work he was doing on the economy.

I'm not saying his time as PM was flawless, but we're none of us perfect, and I think he got a lot of big calls right.

But the people must have someone to blame and the buck stops with the Prime Minister. I think he was right to step down, even though I don't think it's what he deserved.

I felt for him when he was leaving with Sarah and the kids! (Who, by the way, I had never seen until today. Very impressed with that parenting.) But it's hardly the worst job too lose... Talk about a weight off! For proof of what that job can do to you take a look at Tony Blair moving into Downing Street in 1997. Yeah, now look at him leaving 10 years later... He aged about 30 years!

Anyway, for the Labour Party I think this could be a good thing. I've heard (and correct me if I'm wrong*) that no party has won four elections in a row for hundreds of years. The public grow tired and demand change no matter what that means. They now have some time to pick a new leader, re-assess their angle and hopefully be in power again in four years time after the public have had time to hate someone else for things they have no choice but to do.

Lib Dems next I think. Again, horrible situation. Loads of people hate them for doing a deal with the Tories, loads of people would have hated them for doing a deal with Labour. Personally I would have preferred a Lib-Lab coalition, and I don't agree with the idea that the legitimacy of such a deal would have been in question - that it would be a coalition of the losers - because Labour and the Lib Dems ideologies are much closer than either is to the Conservatives, so you could argue that more than 50% of people wanted a left of centre government.

However even between them, Lib-Lab fell short of a majority in terms of seats, which means they'd also have needed smaller parties to form a so called rainbow coalition. This is far from ideal, and I don't think you can overlook the importance of stability and the confidence of the markets at this time (though I do think many people will).

I understand why Clegg went with The Conservatives, and as a Lib Dem voter (even from before Nick's sterling first debate performance I should add!) I do not feel as though he has sold me out. Not yet anyway.

If the Lib Dems can secure serious electoral reform off the back of this election, it will be the biggest accomplishment the party has known for generations, and will secure them as the permanent political force that I believe they deserve to be. I was also pleased to hear that their plan to increase the threshold at which you begin to pay income tax to £10,000 was one of those that the Tories were looking at. I think that is bang on - I can't believe someone on £7,000 a year is expected to pay income tax right now.

On to the Conservatives then. Now you may have noticed if you've ever talked to me that I'm not a huge fan of the Tories. But I think there is an opportunity here to put the country before politics. (It's a lot easier to use that line when your party is set to benefit from it!)

I see nothing positive that can come out of complaining or scaremongering. In the hours since Cameron walked into number 10, I've seen that many tweets or facebook groups joined under names such as 'The Country is Doomed', 'Fuck David Cameron', 'Let's all Move to France' (Ok I made that last one up, it's not that bad!**)

Well Cameron is the Prime Minister and will be for the foreseeable future, so you're going to have to deal with that. I think the best way is to give him a chance. I have said throughout the campaign that I don't trust him or his party. I still don't, but I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. However I think more than ever it's important that people pay attention. Just because the election is over, doesn't mean politics shuts down for four years. The Tories need to know we are watching every move and judging every decision they make. If they don't deliver, especially on the concessions made to get Nick Clegg on board, then they have to know that we won't stand for it.

And on Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems who will end up in the cabinet, I urge other 'progressives' not to think of them as traitors. They are our men on the inside! They are our voice in government and they need both our support and our scrutiny to perform as such. This is how hung parliaments work, and if you want PR you'd better get used to it.

All in all, this election has not gone as I would have hoped, but it's gone better than I expected. Before the campaigns began it was almost certain to be a strong Conservative majority. We've ended up with Cameron as PM, sure, but at least there is some balance to the cabinet.

I hope people remember that whoever won this election was going to have to make very unpopular cuts (and possibly in my opinion, though none of them would admit it, raise VAT). I've seen recently images from rioting in Greece in response to government cuts, and I want to ask the rioters if they have an alternative... They have a right to be angry for sure, but if they want their country to survive at all they NEED to seriously cut budgets, and so do we. I'm not saying I expect riots... I mean Greece is in another league of debt, but I hope people can see the big picture. (LOL, yeah right!)

The most important thing to remember is that political battles are not confined to election campaigns. If you want proportional representation, or if you want to sort out the digital economy bill then get involved. Sign the petitions, go to the demonstrations, promote the cause, email your (probably new) MP. Whatever you do, please don't absolve yourself of guilt with the line 'I voted for the other lot' and permit yourself political apathy until the next election; you're more important in opposition than you were in power.

Right, it's late and I can't be bothered reading through this (a thought which I'm sure you sympathise with right now!). Feel free to leave your thoughts, I'm sure they make more sense than mine.

* Unsurprisingly I have been corrected! Kris in the comments tells me the Tories won four in a row under Thatcher/Major. I don't know where I'd heard that statistic. Probably remembered it wrong... I'm sure SOMETHING hadn't been done for hundreds of years!
** Jokes France, you're lovely and make good wine.

Friday, 5 March 2010


I made myself a website!

It's nothing too advanced, but it means I can use just one url to direct people to... It was annoying listing facebook, twitter, myspace, etc. in the side of videos. Now it's all in one place and if people want to follow me on those things they are all linked from the site.

I've held off getting a Blue Skies domain because .com and are taken (and cost in the region of £7000) and nothing else seemed right. I didn't want to use because 1) it's too long and 2) a lot of people assume that's the name of the band and I don't want to encourage that. But then I found that .fm was available and it sounded good so I bought it!

There is a 'News' section, which is essentially a blog, but I am going to keep this. This will be for my life, and that will be about the band. Granted they overlap quite a lot, but we'll see how it shapes up. Hope you check it out and add it to your feed readers and blogrolls!


Thursday, 28 January 2010

Pro Crastinator.

2010 has started pretty slowly for me. I can't seem to get motivated when it comes to recording. Because I'm right at the beginning of my next project, it seems like I have such a long way to go that I can't be bothered to start! I am in fact so at-the-beginning that I don't even know what the project is yet.

The one positive is that I've been writing quite a lot, and I've managed to keep the songs to myself, so there is plenty of new material to go along with the next release. I have about 6 songs almost fully written, and a host of half finished ones too. So now I'm wondering what to do with them. I need to make a full studio album, but that should include old songs that haven't been properly recorded yet - Blackout, Potential, Untitled, etc. And I'm not sure all of the new ones fit into that album. So my current plan (I think) is to record these new ones fairly simply - not necessarily 'live' as in the Blackout Sessions, but close to it if not actually it, and start selling them while I start on the studio album.

I've been listening to a lot of Mountain Goats in recent months and I like the idea of putting that kind of lo fi material out there, alongside a smaller number of nicely produced albums. They're more 'real' sounding - very honest, simple representations of the songs, and it encourages writing quickly; being more prolific. Releasing a really polished album every other year means you can get away with writing less than one song a month... I want to be writing one a week, releasing 4 EP/albums per year (that don't take months to create). Then maybe one studio album each year as well, that contains some songs from those other releases but with more instrumentation, and a few tracks that are exclusive to that record. That can be the one I push more - send out to radio stations, reviewers etc.

I think I'll go with that approach for now... It'll be especially useful over the next year or so as it will build up the repertoire for live shows.

I'm not entirely sure why I'm writing this down, I imagine it's quite boring if you're not me. Sorry about that.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


Went on youtube this morning and saw this large and intimidating pink box...

So five of my videos, including two of my three most viewed, have been blocked. Bad times.

Twitter is over capacity and facebook won't update... I can only assume the reason for this is the mass outcry from thousands of adoring Blue Skies fans chastising WMG for this move. The twitter servers didn't stand a chance!

Due to all of youtube's 'improvements' over the years, my channel has been growing more and more slowly (or maybe I've just got worse!) and I'm sure this will hold it back even more. Every day, those videos were a window into my channel for about 1500 people, that's where the majority of my subscribers came from.

It seems these days you either have to do something stupid that goes viral, or you have to be in one of those groups who whore each other out with those little boxes on their channels. Of course the whole world is about who you know, not what you know - so why should youtube be any different? But for a little while I felt like it was... I thought if you were really good, that would be enough.

Ah well. At least I got in early enough to build the audience that I have. If I was starting out now I wouldn't get anywhere.

Oh and if in a few years WMG are trying to sign me, please remind me of this. I think we see the music industry in very different ways and it would not be wise for me to work with them.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Just got this message...

"hi there,

im so sorry for disturbing but can i get permission from you on something ???

i want to use your videos for my affiliate programme .like this:-

I download your video on youtube , then I upload it back in youtube with additional advertistment in your videos..means for my affiliate programme...

but i dont change the content of your videos , just add my advertistment there.

*And beside I can help promote your video as well.

so can you allow me to do so ????? please reply...thank you........"

Hahaha! At least they asked.