Tuesday, 28 October 2008


Stands for National Novel Writing Month and takes place in November.

I like the idea of encouraging people to write, but a 50,000 word novel in a month I think is enough to put most people off this idea, including me.  So personally I'm going to set my own writing challenge. All my writing currently consists of this blog and songs, so that's what I will be attempting. I'll say I have to write either a song or a blog each day. I'll put a minimum word limit of 500 on blogs because sometimes I do short ones, and no; a picture does not count for 1000 words.

I think I might make a video about this, help get people writing. Thoughts?

Youtube message:

Check out our new guitar site!

We are three guitar lovers who just started a new guitar site.

Our new practice routine teaches you to play guitar rather than just a bunch of songs.

Please drop by at http://spytunes.co.uk and check out all our totally free guitar lessons.

Here is our version of I'm Yours by Jason Mraz

You can master the guitar in 8 months.


Monday, 27 October 2008

Unintentional fasting.

So a whole load of youtube people met up on Saturday. I didn't go to this one for a few reasons, one of which was I had to be in Nottingham for a gig at 1:30 today so I couldn't have stayed the night without getting up early. Though I was pretty sad and jealous that I missed seeing old friends, I've been out making new ones, which made up for it.

So today was that gig that involved a 40 minute drive each way to play just three songs. I left at 2:00 (I know I was meant to be there at 1:30, shut up) and got back around midnight. Yeh - those were three LONG songs! Well it turned out that I was the last of about 12 people to play three songs so I actually played somewhere around 5:30. I didn't think it went that well but then I haven't played in quite a while and 3 songs doesn't really give you much time to get going. Still it was judged and they gave me third place, which was nice - behind a guy called Ben who I was hanging out with for most of the night and is amazing and a girl whose set I didn't really see much of but is supposedly very good too.

After the gig, a few of us went back to Sarah's (my cousin) for a little after party / music masterclass for her neighbours. We had a bit of a jam and played songs for each other. Along with Sarah and me, Ben was there and two of the judges, one of whom - an old guy named Eric - would have done well if he'd entered the competition, the other would have won it hands down. That's a folk singer called Gren Bartley who you should check out, especially if you live around Nottingham because live he is something else. He taught me to play banjo, and any day you learn to play the banjo is a good day. It's really anti-intuitive for a guitarist, he said he only cracked it when he was ill and did nothing else for a week but lie in bed and practise this strumming pattern that most of his banjo playing style is based on.

During all of this time I haven't eaten, so from breakfast just before 11am until getting home just before midnight I didn't eat a thing. I was not feeling good. I ate a meal for two and was still hungry after it, I think because I ate it so fast that I'd finished before the first mouthful had reached my growling stomach.

Well anyway it was a very good day, got a few more amazing musicians in my phone contacts, and they spoke very kindly about my abilities. The next hater comment I read will have even less affect that usual when I remember people of their talents saying nice things about me. It was also nice to see that the best musicians in the bar that night were also the nicest people. Often you hear that it goes to peoples heads or whatever... But I find usually that great musicians are nice people, it's the ones who think they are great but really aren't, they tend to be pricks.

I'll probably do another blog linking some of the awesomeness I met today but I can't be bothered to go look for them right now. So I'll just leave you with a joke, possibly the best joke ever, I'll let you be the judge.

What's brown and rhymes with snoop? Answer.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Time, Tomorrow and Towns.

As some members of my family (not me) are more organised than others (me), the relatively simple act of walking from my room to the kitchen currently involves changing not only your location in space, but in time as well.

I have yet to change my clocks so I'm still in the future, don't worry nothing much happens.

Actually I quite like this detachment from time and am considering one day changing all the clocks so they say different times for every room. I'm aware this would not really alter anything but the directions certain pieces of plastic or metal or whatever clock hands are made of point in, but unless you have a schedule or appointments to keep that really doesn't matter.

Unfortunately I believe that to be the flaw in my plan. Even I do occasionally have appointments to keep and I'm bad enough at knowing what they are when I exist in one time zone. For example I believe I'm supposed to be going to Nottingham in approximately 12 hours to play a few songs. Wait, scratch that - I have 13 hours. But I'm not sure if this is true so in about 11 hours I'm going to call and check.

The gig is the final of an open mic competition. I have to drive 40 minutes there and back to play 3 songs. That in itself is quite depressing, especially as that last sentence contained the word 'drive' and thus I won't be able to just get drunk in the afternoon which is, I believe, what Sundays are about. However the reason I'm considering, no I think I've decided on doing it, is that approximately half of the people who play will have one of their songs put onto a CD that will be sold and promoted throughout Nottingham, and though there won't be any money in that, hopefully in the long run the promotion will cover the petrol.

I stopped myself from a digression in that last paragraph but now I've begun a new one specifically to follow it. The first day of the week, or last if you look at it that way, Sunday has become something quite different to the other six. I'm not sure there's a good enough reason for this. Sometimes it's nice - the afternoon drinking that I will be missing out on tomorrow is the fault solely of the word 'drive' and not of the day, and that can be a very pleasant side to Sundays, especially in the summertime with a BBQ. For some reason it's acceptable to drink earlier than on other days. But also everything shuts early, if it opens at all. Why? I imagine religion is to blame and that is not a satisfactory explanation for an Atheist who needs a post office. Ah well, I'm sure I'll get over it. And I do like those Sunday BBQs in the summertime.

I'm watching old vlogbrothers videos while I wait for Paper Towns to be delivered. I like their videos very much and I was quite late in discovering them so I've gone back to the beginning. I'm looking forward to reading the book as well, it's been a long time since I read anything, and I love to read when I'm in the swing of it. I never usually buy books new, I either borrow from friends or buy them from charity shops. But I bought Paper Towns (and his previous two since they were pretty cheap) because I felt like it was supporting a fellow youtuber in their beyond-youtube life. Something that I hope a lot of people will be doing for me soon enough. So I have that to look forward to. Of course it won't come tomorrow - it's a Sunday.

Thursday, 23 October 2008


Sean drew me a picture and I love it.

In other news I filmed a vlog while feeding the fish but by the time I got around to editing it most of the information I relayed was no longer true.

OMG It's Dave from Blue Skies

I'm watching John Green's Paper Towns tour on blogtv and he started doing his signing and just left the laptop there for people in the queue to talk to everyone. These girls came over and we all typed 'hello' and similar greetings. Then they spoke the immortal line;

'Oh my God, it's Dave from Blue Skies.'

Epic, epic win.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Need a name

What should I call this song?

Some thoughts:

One track mind
New cliché
Unique cliché
Hurling clichés in a glass house

Or any other suggestions, in the comments please. =)

Monday, 20 October 2008


People born in 1990 are now, mostly, 18 years old.


Fuck off.

Saturday, 18 October 2008


Been recording a song the past couple of days, basically just as I teach myself to use logic (the music production software... not the study of the principles governing reliable inference). It's one I've been meaning to put on my channel for the last two months since I sung it on my indieduction video.

I made it electric and I think it has potential, though I'm listening now and can hear a lot I want to work on. I'm thinking of doing an electric version of Happy Friday (and maybe another) and selling them together as a way to get used to itunes or whatever else I may use to sell songs, before my proper EP is ready.

I've uploaded it to myspace, but currently music on myspace is working about as well as the Bush administration's economic policies (Oh yes, this blog now official counts as political/current events) and as such the song has been processing for hours and won't let me do anything, even delete it. SORT IT OUT TOM!

Anyway I uploaded it to lastfm, which is less utterly terrible. So long story short CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE DEMO!

And do let me know what you think. Leave a comment... anywhere. I'll get it.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008


Right I get asked all the time what mic/guitar/software etc, etc I use. So I'm gonna write it all here then link people to it. No need for regular blog readers to continue from this point unless you're interested in that.


I use an AKG C414 for most things. I also have an sm58 which I use for gigs and a samson C01U that was given to me by the RNLI... Don't ask. I haven't really used that one for anything other than skype.

Fender cutaway acoustic DG 14SCE
Epiphone Sheraton II
Burns Marquee
Yamaha bass stolen from my cousin
Dean acoustic bass also stolen from my cousin

Upright made by Kemble London. I know nothing more about it apart from it's beautiful.
And a midi controller keyboard, M-Audio: Axiom 61.

I only have an electric kit - a Yamaha DTXpress. I'd love an acoustic kit but they're quite loud and there's a baby next door.

I have a firewire mixer which negates the need for an external sound card, it's an Alesis multimix 12.

24 inch iMac (2.93GHz core 2 duo, 4GB RAM)

I use Logic Pro now, earlier stuff was done on Cubase.

AKG K271 headphones
Alesis proliner720 speakers
Plectrums - I like the simple nylon ones about 1mm thick (though I can't find one to check... I lose them so fast it is, at times, unbelievable). Tried hundreds and I always come back to those. Thin enough to strum, think enough to pick. Just right.
Digitech RP50 and Behringer UF100 guitar pedals.
I own approximately seven thousand jack leads.

Camera - JVC Everio
Software - Final Cut Pro. Earlier videos made in iMovieHD


If you have a question about gear that is not answered leave it as a comment and I will try to update this entry. I'll try to update it as I get new stuff as well.

Friday, 10 October 2008


That's the date, not a perfect score.

So I got my first money from youtube, I know - it's only been eight months!

Sarcasm aside I didn't expect to get anything from it when I signed up and I'd be making the videos anyway so insert your own cliché saying about me not being such an ungrateful bastard here.

Anyway I spent twice as much as I received on clothes, a haircut and a ticket to London and back this weekend. Did resist buying a nice long overcoat for winter but I still want one because they're awesome.

In town I saw a sign saying 'No pushchairs on the escalator please.' It was placed so you would see it just as you were about to get off the escalator. Very sensible.

Here's something that's nice, of all the blogs I read on google reader, which is over 50, the only people who have more readers than me are John Green, who is a writer, and Amazing Phil, who is amazing. So thank you for caring about the things I write, and for not sending me anthrax letters when I accidentally posted my address on here. In fact! Today I got sent this...

*goes to find camera*


well it's a birthday card with the words "with love on your birthday a random day of the week" typed/written, followed by, "HAI DAVE! You just got Nonjanated! ... Nicanated! ... Sent a shit card!" And in compensation for this I was given 2p and a hug made out of post it note. I try to avoid drawing punctuation/alpha-numeric pictures in this blog, but I am allowing an exception to this rule for Nic, just this once... <333333333

Possibly the best start to the day ever, apart from maybe climbing over a fence like a ninja to get to work.

I want to do a video involving sending people letters. I was gonna do it the other day but I did the texts video instead because it was easier! That's doing well, not in views - I never seem to get high views anymore, but it's top rated in all categories for the 'day' which is much longer than 24 hours for some reason.

In totally unrelated news, I am totally in love with Conor Oberst's album. It's all that drags me away from listening to Midnight Hideout lately. Oh downloads are working for me on myspace again, they aren't for everyone but if you want to download Tom's stuff or mine, as I put a bunch of new ones on my second myspace, it's worth a try. But yes, Conor Oberst, I had to record a version of Milk Thistle because it's beautiful. I put it on my second channel. I don't think I've ever mentioned my second youtube channel before, it was for private videos that I didn't care about anyone seeing other than who they were for, then I used it to test uploads sometimes, but I'm thinking of using it a bit more, maybe even linking the partnership. So I feel like blog readers deserve to be told!

Can't be bothered fitting links in so here they are:

Second youtube

Download Tom's stuff

Download my covers

Have a good night.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Bang up to date.

I was just about to go make some dinner when I heard the words 'I'm making paella, do you want some' from downstairs. Fuck yeah.

So I've used what would have been cooking time to update the links on here. I've added a lot of friends blogs that I have found since I last updated it. I like it when I find out people have blogs so if you have any suggestions then feel free to leave a comment, though I don't really read any blogs from people I don't know.

I'm so glad I started this, and I'm glad that a lot of my friends do it too, I think blogging is a great thing to do and especially good for long distance friendships. Nobody can make videos everyday (apart from Barry Aldridge, who can make nine) so it's a good way to stay close to people.

I've found that about twitter as well, I thought it more than likely I would stop using that site after a day, but it's nice to interact with people, even if it is just a line or two back and forth, just that bit of regular conversation - it's what's missing from a lot of online relationships.

So the house party tour idea went down well! I was looking at a map earlier planning a route in my head! I know it won't be for a long time, but I can't wait!

Well that's all for now. I encourage you to have a look at the links to the right of this page for some blogs, and to start one yourself if you haven't already.



Possibly the greatest idea of all time. Possibly not, but it's a belter.

The idea is a little bit stolen from Willy Mason, some of you may come to realise, but actually it came from Pav who just said to me,

"If you made a video saying 'come stay at my house, address is...' I guarantee people would come knocking"

That sentence did make more sense in context but that's not important. When I read that for some reason I thought, turn that around... Don't give out my address obviously, but get people to send me theirs and get them to organise house parties at which I will play. TOUR ORGANISED.

Ok, it would be quite a lot of work and there is the possibility of people saying they will organise a big party and then I turn up and there's two people there, But I know people who I trust in most cities in the UK so I could get friends involved. Plus I could bring some people if the hosts were happy with that. Basically I just wanna drive around the country for a few weeks with my guitar meeting various friends along the way and playing gigs in random peoples houses. Will probably wait until next summer so people are on holiday and I have a cd or two to sell, which I reckon would cover the cost.

I could get support acts too! Made up from my friends! Like I could get Tom to do some around here and Ed to play when I'm north of the border... I got loads of musical friends dotted around this beautiful country!

I'm so fucking excited right now.


Thursday, 2 October 2008

This is Tom

In the video I uploaded today I used a bit of a song that a friend of mine recorded and I would like to take the time to introduce you to him, so guys - this is Tom. Well it's his band: Midnight Hideout, which is similar to Blue Skies in that it may as well just be his name, as it's just him. I appreciate that probably nobody reading this will like his songs as much as I do (I doubt even his parents like them as much as I do!) but if someone introduced me to his music I would love them forever. As it happens nobody introduced me to his music so that's a weight lifted off the hypothetical person who might have. We actually met when we both played at some gig at the Vic in Derby, he found me on myspace before hand and that's where we keep in touch, which is basically just me telling him how good his latest song is. I swear sometimes it seems like I only login to myspace to accept friend requests from youtubers and to check to see if either he or Jack has uploaded anything new.

His music is an interesting mix of genres, if I had to settle on two I would go with acoustic and electro. The majority of the more electronic sounding songs (Including the one from my video) have been taken off his myspace to make way for a more recent 4 track EP called 'Too Calm To Crunk' which is the most stripped down acoustic sound I have heard from his recordings, though there's still an element of electronic production, especially on the opening track, 'Too white for funk'.

This was supposed to be a simple recommendation not a review, you don't need me to tell you whether you like it or not - all you need is a link, so I'll try to keep it brief. Actually I can sum up my thoughts by telling you about one of my lists.

I have a lot of lists in my head about my life - things I want to do in the future mostly. I have one that I will attempt to give a title to now: 'People I must either make an album with or go on tour with before I die.'

Ok so it's not going to be hosted by Jimmy Carr on channel 4 any time soon, but it's one of my most important lists (and those shows are shit anyway). There are currently only three people on this list, so I'm not being unrealistic and listing everyone whose music I love... although one of them does live in Australia so I'm also not expecting this list to be completed any time soon - it's a 'before I die' list for a reason.

Anyway, that was a small segue into my mind. Yes, Tom is on the list - that was the point. I may introduce you to the other two at some point, but for now, if you're interested go have a listen to Tom's myspace. The first track is a new one and less accessible than the others, so I wouldn't start there. If you're the sort of person who will decide after one track then listen to either 'Wodka Wodka Wodka' or 'crzy teens...' which I will leave you with the lyrics from.

Yu Crzy Tns Jst Dnt Knw Whr 2 Stp

All the empty houses, how they trusted us not to make a mess. We made a mess of everything.
It's so hard to clear up in the morning.

Well I'm learning to sing what I write and then I'm packing up my bags, making every night a Friday Night. Making every pub the Vic, well you know how we love the toilet circuit because the locals in the corner have got their own shit going on, so I'll never run out of material.

Well it better be a long hot summer because we've got weeks and weeks of long hot summer plans
(like road maps and transit vans).

By the wonder of the internet, clicking on this sentence will take you to Tom's myspace page where you can listen to his songs.