Thursday, September 29, 2005

The 100 club, Oxford street, London.

Travelled back to my home town across London last night after the 'Who TV' show, I was exhausted. It takes me 2 hours, which isn't bad. I really enjoyed myself, and felt the whole thing went really smoothly, I just hope that didn't destroy any of the charm. I made an error in my 'useless fact' about babies, so sorry mothers I've annoyed. Hey, whoever wins them prizes is real lucky, hope you're all enjoying it.

Thanks for the compliments folks, you're really sweet. Just so you all know, I don't have anything for anyone to buy, meaning my music, but i am working on that, so if you could be just a little patient, I'll sort it out soon... It's really cool to hear you like my stuff, thanks very much.

Here's a picture of me playing 'the 100 club' in London some time in August, i was supporting 'The Casbah Club'. The venue is world famous, and everybody's played there. So, i was over the moon to be offered the slot by Simon, the frontman of 'the Casbah club', and my producer, and Pete's brother. There was some confusion as to whether i was playing, but i got the call, and played.
My brother Shaun travelled with me, cause i was nervous of travelling in London just after 7/7 the London bombings. Rene joined us later with hoards of friendly faces, Pete and Rachel came along too and were right up the front.

But just before i was going on, i realised i couldn't find my set list, so i scrawled another and went on. Although i had done a sound check, with the place packed out, it was a little hard to hear me well, i found it hard hearing myself. But people gave me a great applause at the end of each song, so i steamed on. I found difficulties re-tuning with the hum of the crowd but done quite well in retrospect. All in all, nothing to be ashamed of.
After finishing the performance i gave Rene a big cuddle. Then had a few drinks, and enjoyed the 'Casbah club'. They sounded amazing, and i was in great company.

Hope you like the picture, give me a shout. mikey

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My Recording Process.

Just got a great blog from Gary, he asked me about my recording process, something only artists ask each other. I for one, find it fascinating, how different artists go about getting the best sound they can.

I recorded my first songs onto a tape recorder. Then got a second hand Fostex 4 track, things broke on it, but i managed to keep it working. When i stayed in Rachels attic, we recorded on it, there were no buttons to press record, so i would stick my little finger in the hole.
But for a time now, i've been recording on a quarter inch tape, Tascam reel to reel 8 track. Not only have i got this for its unique velvety sound, but also the fact that its a machine and not computer, something that i just have to press once, and clonk, its recording.

Although i'm no technaphobe, i use a loop based computer program called Acid to compose drum tracks, i write these by first finding possible loops from 'Loop CDs'. The only trouble can be the amount of loops you listen to before finding the one that works, the more you listen, the less you hear. But, i don't always use a drum track, sometimes a metranone will do, or more often than not, i'll just record the song without exterior timing, this achieves a more personal, emotive recording.
I record my guitar through two 'Drawmer compressors', for stereo guitar, which i pan each side on the mixer.
The mics are 'SM 58'.
I record my vocal through a 'Focusrite compressor' and a 'Shure Beta A87' vocal mic with pop sheild,and everything then goes through a midiverb unit or effects unit, i usually have my midiverb set very low for a dryer sound. Then i have a CD burner to copy from the 8 track, 'voila la demo'.
If i do use a drum loop, i often record the drums from the computer and the stereo guitar and vocal at the same time. Then as i record, i can see where i am in the song on the computer screen. I then listen to it a thousand times, and start maybe adding some keyboard,strings,bass with a 'Roland VK 7'.
Then listen another thousand times, which reminds me, my headphones are 'AKG', and i love'em.

But recording in the London studio, with my producer 'Simon Townsend',things are slowed down, and we go for a great relaxed performance, whereas in my little demo studio at home, i just want to record the song, primarily to remember the music because i can't read music. So i keep'em in my head.

Writing and recording my music gives me a sense of purpose,also the affirmations in the songs i write help me on a day to day basis, i feel very lucky to be where i am, but i've always made sure i'd be nowhere else. whatever that bloody means?

Hope you enjoyed this blog, let me know?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Reflection (who TV performance)

I'm still finding the 'blog' thing a little hard. Although my girlfriend Rene has been playing around with my site, and creating her own one because she's jealous of all the attention i'm getting. But, getting to the point; she has found my missing 'blog'. This may help me to feel more inclined to keep typing, knowing that, it didn't get 'lost'...

Which reminds me, we're still watching the first series in the UK, but me and Rene are really enjoying it, which also ties in with the fishing story i told in Rachel's Who TV thing, when i was left on my own and kinder froze, but i haven't done too much live TV to be fair to myself. I talking about the series 'Lost' on the TV, where one of the cast is mauled by a wild boar, this episode still fresh in our heads when we both heard a snorting coming from the trees. Well if you didn't hear the story, this will mean nothing to you. Sorry about that, anyway, i will get on and blog soon, but until then, i'll post the 'blog' i thought i'd lost. Here it is...........................................

Still reeling from Who TV performance with Rachel, i really enjoyed myself and the time flew by, having Pete come in was really cool. It was a bit scary playing songs that i hadn't played for so many years, but all seemed to go well.
The response i've received from you bloggers astounded me, i'm looking forward to next week's session.

I'm feeling a little awkward writing here,i was hoping to flow a little better. i shall take it line by line.
Scanning through some of your comments to me in my head as i write now, i hope that the hurricane has passed leaving you well, and i thank you for making me feel very welcome, and loving the music.

About tunings, i use DADGAD frequently for the mood, and CGDGCE, that i discovered whilst restringing once. i love alternative tunings, it's like learning all over again. i would love to bring the banjo along but i'm still very much a beginner.
i loved all your comments and questions, you made me feel very special, thankyou. if i missed you out, don't let me get away with it.
i'm back in my home town, the other side of London, working on some songs i wrote in France just last week on holiday camping. i have a small studio at home,it's very cluttered with instruments hanging from the walls, cd's and books and this computer that connects us. I'll get some photo's.

Thanks again everyone.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Just posted my first blog, to nowhere apparently...
To recap, i wanted to thank everyone who sent me a blog,i felt very special.
And also,i really enjoyed the who tv session, it was great, a bit scary but cool.
i hope everyone's safe tonight,i know you've had some very bad weather.

i hope i can get to grips with this, Rachel opened the blog site for me last night, and i've had troubles today just accessing my own blog. Then spent an hour writing my first blog, only to have it disappear before my eyes.

i've been working on some songs i wrote in France last week on a camping holiday with my girlfriend Rene,that's where my fishing stories came from. Back now, and back in my studio at home, i love it in here,anyway, i'll save that for another time.

hope to hear from you soon, and thanks for your support and words.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Hi, I'm Mikey. Just done first WHO TV broadcast with Pete and Rachel. Give us a shout if anyones out there.