And relax .. sort of

That’s The Wonder Stuff finished for 2017. It’s been a fairly quiet year which is why it’s important to have lots of plates spinning as a modern musician.

My next series of gigs is with

Levellers fiddle maestro Jon Sevink.

Our first gig is in London which is always stressful

These gigs I have acted as agent and have been badgering promoters up and down the country to sell enough tickets to make the gigs work. This is an unfortunate reality of modern touring.

As you can see the idea of musicians doing the odd show and making a tonne of money and relaxing in their mansion for the rest of the year is a myth. It’s a constant and consistent hard job to be a successful musician. But when it goes right it’s really worth it!!

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Tammy Wynettes Trailer

Here she is in all her glory.

Tammy Wynettes old touring trailer

Unfortunately it’s full of tat.

Apparently you used to be able to get in it and these artifacts were placed around the backstage area.

The general comments from the band are … what a shame this used to be so great… I guess I missed it in all it’s glory .

Unless the Levellers trashed the place last night … I’ll ask them tomorrow

It’s still and beautiful room out front though!!

I think it will sell out.

Tomorrow are are playing a festival in Somerset … stay tuned for details

Last 2 TWS shows of 2017

This year has been a quiet year for The Wonder Stuff. Which has been good. I have had a lot of time in AMSNE and we have totally renovated the place and brought in a some fantastic new talent to our cohorts.

I have also made significant in roads to making another solo record some of which has even been recorded by our production students.

We’ve had our friends Ferocious Dog visit the centre and play a special acoustic show for students recently.

Tonight’s show is in Leamington Spa Assembly rooms which I have never been to before. I hear that the dressing room is built around Tammy Wynette’s touring trailer. Stay tuned for pics and updates.

It’s festival season!!

The last of the students are filtering out of the Academy for the year having passed their courses, well done guys. It’s no rest for me though as festival season is in full swing. Last week students and myself,all played Corbridge together and from here on in; weekends are full of shouting in fields. This weekend it’s with The Wonder Stuff in Frome, Holmfirth and Reading. 


The students are really busy too! Some are embarking on s new business called Rock Works where they are teaching primary school children to rock! When you are a musician … the work never stops!!! 

‘Tis the season to be busy!

As many of you know Christmas means everyone going out a lot… that means lots of gigs. Bands also tour in December traditionally. This means that while everyone else winds down, we musos go up a  gear. It’s an especially hard time to play a lot because it’s also the season where everyone gets the cold!! But there’s no denying that Christmas is a good earner for musicians so we dose ourselves up in vitamin c and lemsip and keep going!!

I’m currently on the 4th gig of a 6 date tour with The Wonder Stuff.

Tonight we are in Manchester Ritz With Bentley Rhythm Ace, Fuzzbox and The Lottery Winners about 20 musicians on the home stretch to Christmas Eve with probably the same amount of crew doing likewise!! 

Ho ho hope it all goes well!!

If you stick at it long enough…..

I’m an old guy for a musician…. I have a promising music career behind me! 

The great thing about getting older as a musician is that you become your own tribute act!  I first burst on to the scene in the 90s But I am now playing in a band that made it in the 80s as well. And this is great for me!! 

Everyone who used to listen to the music now, feels nostalgic about their youth and wants to relive the days when they didn’t have a job, a mortgage and three kids.  So they come and see the bands they used to listen to 20 years ago…. that is to say me and my mates!!! Even better is that they all now have disposable income and can afford T shirts and Records!!!

The perfect example of this is the gig I am doing this weekend….

Here loads of us older musicians get together in Butlins and play to our older crowd without younger people laughing at our middle age spread or spoiling our time with their exuberance!!

So the bottom line is your career is not finished at 30… if you stick with it, it all comes round again …. and again …. and again 

Diversification

When you are an old musician like me that had been around the block people get tired of your Schtick! That’s why it’s always good to have a few incarnations of what you do going at once. It also means that you get to hang out with, write with and play with different people that bring out different things from you.   I get bored of travelling around solo anyway… Even if it is the most profitable way to play. I love hanging out with The Wonder Stuff as there loads of great people around to party with. 

We sometimes go out as The Wonder Stuff acoustic which is just Miles, Erica and I. That means we can play smaller venues, do quieter songs and not overkill the band gigs but still get out and play! I also play with some amazing fiddlers that aren’t in The Wonder Stuff. Ben Paley and I go out as a 2 piece and we do a lot of Appalachian tunes with an Irish lilt it’s great fun and something unique!! This weekend I will be playing with Jon Sevink of Brighton’s folk punk institution The Levellers. Jon and I have been friends for years and we do some of my tunes, some Levellers tunes and some originals we are planning to release in the future.   

Doing things like this keeps your music career fresh, provides you with different audiences and different experiences.  It also helps you to expand your earning potential, which is much needed in this climate!!