2012 Review of the year

2012 let’s wrap it up with a beautiful poetic review
Some of the highlights from what has been
A fast paced, constantly changing twelve months.
For just a minute put aside the news and a trillion
Google searches
As I present a story of always listening to your head, heart and guts.

For anyone that does want the news in brief from this truly wonderful year
Perhaps try this one, clicky linky, it can be found right here.

Embrace change, try something new was how it started
Keep an open mind throughout
Be prepared to work hard, be flexible
And question everything, leave nothing in doubt.
Grab every opportunity, make it unique to you
Have faith in your convictions, don’t put off, just do.
Tell the world to listen, to what you have to say
Be pleasant and polite each and every day
Give gratitude for everything, especially when you can’t
For that is when you need to most, feet you need to plant.
Help lots of other people but not to make you feel good
Achieve that by living healthily, and eating better food.
When the light is darkest, just before the dawn
Be dedicated to your cause, stretch, get up and yawn.

You’ve seen your worst but do not burst.

Never, ever give up, on others or on you
We’re the worlds greatest creation, there’s nothing we can’t do.
Strive for the world and everything in it
There’s nothing wrong with that
But be humble and true to yourself
You groovy crazy cat.

Not summed up your year?
Join me in 2013
Increasing knowledge and releasing fear!

FAREWELL 2012,You have been amazing.
Roll on 2013.

A Little Bit of Powder

Meet Andy. He’s the cheeky yet likeable roadie that’s brought to life by actor Craig Parkinson in A Little Bit of Powder. He’s going to tell you a story about what it was like touring with one of the worlds great rock n roll bands during the crazy days of bygone times. He’s also going to tell you what happened when he came into posession of 15 little bags of powder and how that led to him standing in the middle of the street, looking to the stars.
A Little Bit of Powder is the first single come short story audiobook by Ian Rankin to be released on O-Genesis records, the label launched by Tim Burgess, Jim Spencer, Nik Colk and Nick Fraser last year. This offering is a collaboration between Ian Rankin, who has written the story, with music from The Charlatans Tim Burgess and Nik Colk Void of Factory Floor.
Fans of The Charlatans and Tim Burgess’s recent book Telling Stories will of course, love this short story, and it is by no coincidence that the characters within and many of the references are very closely linked to Burgess’s life and the turbulence that goes hand in hand with the rock n roll lifestyle.
But wait. These characters may have much in common with The Charlatans but they are not The Charlatans. In fact, they could be any of many a band involved in spinning a yarn or two like this over the years. For that reason, I believe this will appeal to all music fans.
Now, stop right there. I mentioned this was an Ian Rankin story right? So it isn’t exactly as straightforward as all that, but then with an author such as Rankin, what less would you expect.
Finally, this is not just a tale of rock n roll with a twist. There’s a real life lesson in this, one which, I think everyone of a certain age will appreciate. If you’ve ever applied the term “Work hard play hard’ to yourself or anyone you know there is an additional value in listening to this over and over.

You see… for most people, achieving a childhood dream of being in a rock n roll band and living the lifestyle to match never comes true. For few it does. Another choice phrase, ‘Live fast, die young’ springs to mind. A good percentage of the few that achieve that dream fall sadly into this category, certainly more than is healthy. It probably makes rock n roll as dangerous as F1 racing or one on one combat sports.
This story shows us that we always, always have a choice. There is always hope, no matter what life throws at us. Even when a life you’ve striven so hard to achieve seems to be killing the very soul that got your there. Life rarely turns out the way we expected it. It just takes some folks longer to realise what is most important in life. It might well have been The Outriders who said…. (Can I ask you) Do you ever get this feeling, when its hard to carry on.
Those people of a certain age, know that feeling. For a world of different reasons perhaps, but they know it all the same. This story, albeit only 15 minutes long, captures that sentiment perfectly. Life is what you make if it.
So, I dare you, whoever you are, listen to this and I’m pretty certain you’ll have some pretty powerful emotions evoked.
Buy it! Now!


The Velveteen Saints -Broadcast 29 Dec 12

Well, this is a first. Regular readers of the site will perhaps remember that once on a time, I would turn up at gigs with just enough time to get to the bar and find a good spot, before the headline act came on.
But, in music, as with much in life, I learnt a valuable lesson in missing some of the support acts down the line. So, sometime just after doors opening became my timing of choice. This is when you find out more about those undiscovered little gems of musicians and bands. Some are just starting out. Others, at it for many a year in some instances, tirelessly play the pub /club circuit as they strive for musical world domination.
And whilst many bands will tell you that’s not what they want…why the hell shouldn’t they. After all, if you don’t strive for world domination you ain’t going to achieve it.
So it was, that one of those early evenings arrivals meant the opportunity to listen to The Velveteen Saints for the first time. That was back in October, when the band opened for Tim Burgess on his solo tour at the Oran Mor. A few people had gathered by the time the second support act, Hatcham Social took to the stage but sadly, only a few had the pleasure of hearing The Velveteen Saints that night. However, alongside Jim Gellatly, (I don’t need to tell you who he is right!) Murray Easton, (Everything Flows Glasgow, very good site, check him out) my good lady wife and perhaps another 25 gig goers, I witnessed one of their first gigs.
A chance meeting and a good chat at the merch stall after the gig with bass player Thommo, resulted in an invitation to review the next show in the nice n sleazy in November. I’ve already covered both nights separately on the site, so, it’s ok if you’ve missed out so far. We’ll keep you right.
Ok, so, now your all caught up…
The Velveteen Saints have been on the road since then, supporting amongst others, The View, Peace Peter Hook and not forgetting Tim Burgess.
During their hectic schedule they took the time to get in touch and ask me along to their next gig in Glasgow’s Broadcast on dec 29th. Very nice of them that eh.

I arrived very early, in fact, for the first time in time for the sound check.
Now, although I know what I like when it comes to music, according to my school teachers I wasn’t blessed with that skill required to be recognised in school as capable of being successfully taught music.
And this part of the evenings proceedings changed my own view of that long ago assessment. There is plenty of adjustment made by the sound engineer, lots of interaction with the band and I am in agreement with the bands nod to give the guitars a little bit more.
At sound check also had the added benefit of adding a certain anticipation for the gig..
Sound check complete, there’s no time to hit the bar for TVS though. There’s countless other little things that need checking before a show…including on this occasion, an interview for mrpinkster. ( keep an eye out for that over the next couple of weeks)

An so, on to the show.
Daniel Meade opened the nights proceedings with his Glaswegian country music.
Ok, that’s not some new kind of genre I’m trying to introduce.
Daniel is Glaswegian and he writes and performs country music. Good old fashion country music.
I’ve seen Daniel before too and admittedly I have not been country musics biggest fan in the past. He changed that though. It was after listening to Daniel Meade that I invested some time in listening to Hank Williams and realised that I should spend more time listening to this and finding more music like it.
Cowboy shirt and boots aside, Daniel is a very unassuming and modest guy who has been around the music scene for a while. (Did I mention, we also did an interview, so you can find out much more about Daniel soon too)
He’s got the knack of telling stories of a life lived, quite succinctly.
His songs ooze character and when he tells you he’s been Lonesome and blue, you believe him.
Perhaps his Glaswegian country is never mor epitomised when he sings…
Will u still love me when it rains…. In Glasgow, for goodness sake, my advice is, if you find someone that does Daniel, she’s a keeper. That’ll be a lot of love.
‘Headstone’ does it again for me, and has the crowd tapping their toes along.
From the lyrical content, Daniel’s heart has been broken and he’s certainly seen the highs and lows of life.
It looks as though he is now comfortable doing what he is doing, both on stage and through the delivery of his songs.
As his set draws to a close, the notion that the banishment of all previous demons is very near complete, resonates and as he leaves the stage, I am again left believing he deserves a much bigger audience.

Manky Savage are up next with their very own cornucopia of genre jumping music.
They are a three piece guitar, bass and drummer, who, over the course of the set, had smatterings of The Black Crowes, Led Zeppelin, dare I say, Metallica in places, even coming back to earth with a brief journey into Fleetwood Mac territory.
bass player and lead vocalist posseses a throaty, gravelly set of chords to match much of the 70′ style tunes.
For me, it’s when the guitarist is allowed to shine that the band come into there own though.
Resembling Bernard Butler, he is a very talented musician whose vocals are more mellow. When he takes lead on what was my favourite song, the more melodic vibe had a good feel to it, that fit well with the laid back drum beat and the funky bass.
As they closed, Broadcast is filling up nicely…

Time for The Velveteen Saints
Michael is first to the stage for a well rehearsed long Hawaii 5 O style intro into opener Always Gonna Be.
They are straight on it and clearly well up for It. Thommo is effervescent as ever on bass and Sean immediately has to display a masterclass centre stage in navigating his high hair under the low ceiling. High hair, which must be said, sits on top of the head of fast becoming perfect front man. Whether or not Sean fully realises what he possesses here, remains to be seen.
You see, even as the somewhat rockabilly intro swagger of Mama hits the crowd, I’m also taken at how humble these rock stars in the making are.
Guitarist Martin has an on stage attitude to rival the most accomplished players, which combines sweetly with the other members. Each has there own influences but the way in which it all comes together works very well.
Wake me up smashes into the first verse and as the line
“how long have u been missing” echoes from Sean, Thommo and Martin, the crowd are in the palm of their hands.

Juliet, white Wine and Die Alone all provide us with more evidence that these guys are going to be around for some time to come. They may not have been on the scene for very long, but 2013 is shaping up nicely as a big year for them.
By the time Janey and Closer Rock n Roll is Dead get their airing, the crowd is hot and sweaty Martin is bouncing, Sean frantic and yet nailing the guitar, Michael sets a tempo that every head is banging to, on drums, Thommo, cool as you like, ever concentrated on bass, with the occasional knowing wink to his fellow band members. Whether it is part spontaneous or very well rehearsed, it sounds tight and well deserving of the rapturous applause received.
But they weren’t quite finished. As an encore, we were re-introduced to Daniel Meade for a guest appearance on keys for a rendition of Red Wine, which brought the house down.
Well done guys on a great 2012. Here’s to a very successful 2013.
And to everyone who has not yet had the pleasure of listening… Check them out.
It won’t be long before everyone is talking about these Saints marching in.

Sound checking…


Tim Peaks Diner – It’s back and now online.

Yes, you heard right, it’s back. As well as physically re-opening again next year at Kendal Calling and Isle of Wight festival, Tim Peaks diner re-opens it’s doors again tomorrow 01 November right here online.

Get yourself along here http://www.timpeaks.com early and you might catch Mr Burgess serving up all sort of delights.
Head over on to twitter around 9 tomorrow morning and he might rustle you up one of his opening day specials.
What was that… you’re not sure how all this Twitter malarky works?? No worries, just go back here http://mrpinkster.wordpress.com/tim-peaks-diner/ Everything you need to know is right there.

Doors close on Tim Peaks Diner Again.

The first time I wrote about the doors of Tim Peaks Diner closing it earnt me the honour of becoming writer in residence when Tim Peaks Diner became a reality at Kendal Calling.
First time round I mentioned it saw the end (?) of the hugely successful brainchild of The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess.
I may also have expressed my thanks for the musical memories that pretty much define the soundtrack of a generation, for keeping going and, for opening the doors of Tim Peaks Diner in the first place.
I also believed then that everyone who had stopped by would testify, it’d been an enormous amount of fun.

And so, here we are again, a few days after the real Tim Peaks Diner closed it’s doors at at Kendal Calling music festival.
Having had those days to reflect on what was quite simply, one of the best weekends of my life, I thought it worth adding a final chapter, a musical epilogue if you will, on the weekends events. Is it strange that I’m still pinching myself to convince my brain that it did indeed happen? Did it actually happen or did I just have some really bizarre, beautiful, realistic dream?
Well, rather than write too much more (you can see each days events on previous posts) I thought perhaps you might prefer, and maybe it’d be nicer for posterity if you could just click on the button and sit back to reminisce with a cup of Joe.
But before you click, please allow me to thank the people who made this such a very special weekend.

Tim Burgess, Nick Fraser, Brian Shields, Lucy and the entire Tim Peaks Diner staff.
Mark Mace Smith, Nick Heyward, Jackie Hagan, Tony Walsh, Hatcham Social (Finn, Dave, Riley & Toby), Edwyn Collins, Roddy Frame, The Gramotones, Joe Stretch, Minny Pops, Dave and Christine Haslam, Dave Viney, Scott Tyrell, Tracy and Simon Rackley, Mike Garry, Callum Ellis and family, Heather Booth Martin and family, Kate who introduced me to Dakota Beats, Beth from the Glasgow Guardian, Jamie from the NME, everyone else I had the pleasure of chatting to and a special mention to anyone who managed to sit through my poetry on the soapbox stage.

Not forgetting Kendal Calling for staging the weekend.
And finally, to Heather. My wonderful daughter(@thehbomb06), who blew me away with her complete enthusiasm, dedication to writing and performing herself. For all your help over the weekend, for being a real trooper and for writing the Tim Peaks poem. You partied until the wee hours and kept coming back for more. You rock!

To everyone mentioned, you all rock! Without further a do, I invite you to sit back with a damn fine cup of coffee.
This is my tribute to Tim Peaks Diner and everyone who made the weekend possible. Enjoy!