Tune of the spring: ‘Sometimes’ by Merchandise

Every once in a while I get to hear a tune and it grows – I guess we all do really – and so often for me these seem to be in spring and early summer for some reason. Last year, ‘Mathematics’ from Cherry Ghost hit the spot for Dave’s catchy number one.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been helping Brad from Cityscape Records put a couple of websites together, and one of their bands – Merchandise – put out their first ‘big’ single launch on Monday – and in the last few weeks, I’ve heard the single – ‘Sometimes’ – so many times but it’s one of those dreamy summer Zeitgeist moments that hits the spot for me every time at the moment. It’s uplifting, it’s twee, it’s melancholy, it’s simple, but above all, it’s just catchy and after two listens it’s inside your head for good. Great tune.

Great catchy tune – download it on the Cityscape Records website or watch the video below…

Oh, and please visit Merchandise‘s lovely website.

Podcast: My Name Isn’t…

A few weeks now since I uploaded any tunes and even longer since I made any. Enjoy this bit of fun from the Minnellium audio vaults – a mash up of Eminem and the Black Crowes’ version of ‘Hard to Handle’. They go handsomely together, eh? Watch out for those lyrics, if you’re swearword-averse.
My Name Is

Fame on another planet… ACIDplanet

A few years ago when I produced music a bit more prolifically than my current one-track-every-18-months rate, I enjoyed a bit of a following on AcidPlanet – a showcase for people making music using Sony’d Acid software.

I just found out that one of my tracks, Scientific American, is part of one of their podcasts, which has had more than 8,000 downloads during the last couple of weeks. I’ve installed security guards at the door just in case everything takes off in the rock world now. So long suckers.

More here: ACIDplanet Waveform No. 35, created by ACIDplanet.com and presented through ACIDplanet.com

Podcast: LAH

It’s a while since I uploaded a tune and even longer since I made one!

Just listening through some old stuff today and this came up… I really like it now, five years on. LAH is an acronym; someone who is currently singing her way through her favourite sound of music tracks whilst I type this… how appropriate.

‘Full of Energy, Full of Vitality, Very Happy in your Life’

Flippin hippy shit. Enjoy.


ZZ Top interview – circa 1987

Phil, my brother, and I used to watch this video COUNTLESS times after we recorded it from the Old Grey Whistle Test… I can’t believe that it’s 20 years ago! It’s worth waiting for the footage of them on a 1980 old grey whistle test recording of ‘Cheap Sunglasses’, to understand what an amazing three piece band ZZ Top were. Fantastic. Thank the good lord for Youtube.

Rabbit County – a remix

I made this absolutely AGES ago (it seems) as a remix of the beautiful and tender ‘Rabbit County’, by Oddfellows Casino. I LOVE the whole album ‘Winter Creatures’ and heartily recommend it (CD can be purchased here for only a tenner)


The very same Oddfellows Casino just brought it to my attention that I never got round to playing it to them, so here it is. It’s the only tune I think I’ve ever made that features the voice my daughter (but you’ll need to listen all the way through and listen hard!!).

Find out more about this wonderful and relatively unsung band here:


The Wedding Present, 26 October 2007, Manchester Academy

The Wedding Present, 26 October 2007, Manchester AcademyI’m not going to attempt a well written review of a gig here, I’ve got too much bias with a band that I’ve loved to follow, (pretty fervently for c. 21 years) to do a good, balanced review, but it’s nice to capture my thoughts on last night’s performance whilst fresh in my head.

TWP have never shied from gimmickry (12 singles in a year, for example, back in the 90s), and somehow they decided to take to the road to mark the 20th anniversary of their defining album, “George Best”. Great idea really; whole album, start to finish, in the right order. Like a dream gig in many ways for me.

To add to it all, the ten or so songs that they chose to sandwich George Best with were a well picked balance from the massive repertoire. ‘Blonde’ to come on to stage one-by-one, for example and a very well chosen ‘Kennedy’ to pick things up immediately after the George Best tracks.

Most surreal point of the evening was without doubt the full fluffy bunny costumed helper who came on stage with five big white number cards to count down the audience into the epic first four words of ‘Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft” (play below)

I took a few snaps on my phone but they were so poor so I had a play in photoshop – the lovely thing about gigs is the colour lights….

The Wedding Present, 26 October 2007, Manchester Academy The Wedding Present, 26 October 2007, Manchester Academy

Attraction (I’m going to stay)

A tune I had hanging about in the ‘unfinished’ folder for ages; so much so that I decided enough was enough… It’s quite a nice mix of the upbeat and the pessimistic.. but it’s really a glass half full tune…

All revved up

In a final installment of moaning about this year’s cancellation of the Three Peaks Cyclocross, I’ve made a little tune based upon some very appropriate words from a certain M. Loaf.

Young Angus

With some little boys, a life ahead full of Rock’n’Roll attitude seems inevitable. Like his namesake Angus Young, my nephew Angus seems destined for something like that. Recorded in Easter when we were playing with music on the computer together.

Podcast: “Blue Chip”

It’s a familiar story… Boy meets computer, boy loves computer, boy meets girl, computer becomes neglected, computer gets jealous.

A slightly different feel to some of my recent podcasts….

Click for lyrics

Podcast: It’s okay to be wrong

… is a new song which started life about 16 years ago in a rehearsal room in Lancaster, rehearsing with Phil and James in Inspekta Spencer. The song never came to anything, but the riff lived on in my head!

It’s very rocky. I like it, but I’m frustrated with the vocals; I think I could have done with starting it in a key that I could comfortably sing. Instead, I pressed on with recording the tracks and then it was sort of too late. So decided to record two vocals; one on a low octave and one on a high one, as a sort of can’t-win compromise. I’m very happy with the guitar sounds though. And the general arrangements. I just wish I could have done the vocals a bit better – but it’s time to move on, and anyway, it’s okay for them to be wrong.