Some Things Are More Important – Race For Life Charity Auction

Last year when I participated in Race For Life for Cancer Research UK – I raised a meagre £68. I had a target of £150. I didn’t even make it to half my target. The only thing that kept me incentivised was…I would be doing something active for my own personal health. How could I see £68 making any damn difference to cancer research?! What would THAT achieve?

This year I have increased my target to £250. I’m already off to a great start with two £10 donations. But I want more! I want to make a difference!

I was going to give away a Priptona print to the highest donor. But, I don’t think that is incentive enough. Or even fair to other donors. So, I am going to make a big sacrifice here! All minimum £10 donations will go into a draw to win THIS! (See pics below.)

(As you can see from the photos, it currently adorns my landing space wall. Below is a clearer image of how the print looks – unframed and unsigned.)

There are only a few copies of this that exist in print. Jim has one of them. He requested a copy from me specifically. This is how bloody special this thing is! I do this with a heavy heart! “It’s no sacrifice”, sang Elton John. Well, it is! Trust me! But some things are much more important. Like the work Cancer Research UK do.

So, as I was saying, there are only a few copies of it in print. And only two are signed by Jim. My friend Janis has one (I asked Jim if he would sign a copy for her as Somebody Up There Likes You is her fave SM song, and her daughters appear very obscurely within the print – the beach scene is a photo I took at Victor Harbour in South Australia), and this one is obviously mine (for now).

The only proviso I am putting on this is that I reach my £250 target before this is given away. If I don’t reach the target, then the original regular SM print of the donor’s choice will be the giveaway.

So…there you go! How’s THAT for incentive to donate?! All £10+ donors will go into a draw to win my signed print of Somebody Up There Likes You/Waterfront (Jim always sees it as a Waterfront print…who am I to argue with him?). The target MUST REACH £250 for this to apply though. I will not be giving this print away for anything less. It means far too much.

So PLEASE, donate!

My Race For Life is on July 7th, 2019. All £10+ donations will be eligible up to and including that date. To donate just CLICK THE LINK HERE

Drum Practice Samples – June 16th

I dunno whether there is any real point in sharing these…other than to have handy snippets for myself to log POTENTIAL progress. We’ll see…

The sample snippets are: me playing along to The Traveling Wilburys’ Handle With Care, some general practice incorporating hi hat pedal play and drum fills, and playing along to Make It Wit Chu by Queens Of The Stone Age – my crash plays are not inline with where the song’s crashes are. I was just trying to give myself ample practice. My cymbal playing and timing is diabolical…but there you go. I’m four months in…what do I expect?

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Stellar New Blog Banner!

As well as doing the lyric art pieces and general ogling, sycophantic Kerr shrine art, I love making banner art…either banners for the blog or/and Facebook cover art pics.

I know it’s late, and I might be seeing it for more than it is right now…the subjective element can work both ways, ie: something you think is utter crud when you made it can look brilliant the next day, week…months…year down the line. Conversely, something you think is utterly brilliant when you’ve finished can look frigging abysmal a day or two later.

On the rare occasion, it looks amazing and stays amazing. I am hoping this one is one of those, cos right now, it is looking FLIPPING MAGIC! And it will definitely be a new blog banner. Once I have access to a laptop tomorrow, it’s going up! (Some things can still only be properly achieved on a desktop frontage, which pisses me off no end!)

The Heart And Hands Tour? And E.P.s Too…

Two proposals thrown at Jim this evening. One quite light-hearted…just for fun, because it was lovely putting the playlists together…and it could make for a tour with a really different setlist.

There’s just under 60 songs in total in both the YouTube playlist. Could make for something quite different as far as tours goes. I thought it a way of giving a tour that might come before new material a theme and a style. Just a pie in the sky thought.

The other proposal is a bit more serious…the idea of E.P. releases. I can see the value of them. You know…keep the fans happy with the potential of more new music more often. I’d like to hope he’d chew over this one a bit more. I think Noel G is on to a good thing with his plan to release three E.P.s over the next several months. I think it satisfies a few needs…fans wanting new material, record companies wanting continuing revenue and the artist keeping up the creative spark. What’s not to like?

Below are the proposals put to Jim.

And here are the “Heart And Hands” YouTube playlist links. Enjoy!

Drum Practice – June 16th, 2019

Back to a full two hour session this week.

Weather wise, it was pissing it down when I left the house this morning. Then it stopped for a bit. Pissed down again. Then eventually stopped for good. Mercifully didn’t get too wet. Who’d believe it’s the middle of June, eh? Blow me!

Another small mercy. No train complications or anything. My 11.21 train was running and on time.

This week I took my over-ear cheap pair of Sennheisers with me. YES! Cheaper Sennheiser headphones do exist and they work just as well as the ones you’d pay hundreds for – I would think – I’ve never DARED invest more than £50 on a pair of ‘phones. I didn’t pay this much for these Sennheisers. Only about £20 and I’ve had them several years.

So, took the over-ear cans so I didn’t have to use the amp to play my mix of tracks that I practice playing along to at home. I had been missing the opportunity to play with them on the actual kit. Just hadn’t been very successful with setting up the play along at the rehearsal room right. ANYWAY, this week – fab! I needed the over-ears to get the ratio of hearing the tracks playing but also hearing myself playing in time (or at least TRYING to play in time) right. Got the sound levels right right off the bat and started playing along once I had the kit set as near as possible to my liking without wasting too much time on that. Must have been a kid in before me, as the snare was nearly on the bloody floor it was down so low. Lol. Snare was waaaay down, but the hi hat was higher than normal. Go figure *shrugs*

I just…got on with things this week. Just got on with business, like. When I am playing along to songs, I don’t do fills or crashes, because usually the fills and crushes and things are on the backbeat or on a separate time signature to the rest of the song. That I am now finding a bit frustrating. I want to start getting coaching on how I start to do that. I feel I really, REALLY need a lesson right now. Now, I THINK the Kelly Jones tour takes a small break for about 10 days or so after tonight’s London gig and Cherisse said to me she might be able to squeeze a lesson in…but it might not happen. So…I may be another month off having another lesson, which will just…kill me. Lol.

I think if she doesn’t do any tutoring until mid July, I might have to book a 90 intensive session just to feel like I am getting back on track properly.

In the mean time, next week is booked and ready to go, but looking ahead…July could be a bit iffy for practice. My Race For Life 10km event is on July 7th. I’ll be far too knackered after that to think about a practice session. I may think about altering it to the Saturday that week and maybe shortening it to just an hour. We’ll see. The other weekend in July that will affect things is the weekend of the Trevor Horn gig. I’ll be leaving for Glasgow at about 5am on the Saturday (July 27th) morning and won’t be back in London until 6.30am on Monday – so that knocks out any chance of anything for that weekend. UNLESS! I find a place in Glasgow I can practice in! Oooh…there’s a thought! We shall think on with that one!

I’m halfway through playing back practice. It doesn’t sound too bad. But I am just craving for some incremental advancements in tuition right now. But I felt fairly good this week. That’s the crux of it.

P.S. I meant to say. I walked 11km today. I was absolutely KNACKERED when I got home. When I was listening to my recording of my practice…I fell asleep! Lol. Maybe I am getting some musicality to my playing? Lol. I wish!

Here’s my drum practice mix I play to…

Promised You A Sweat In Bullet Miracle

You know what? Well, I was worried about why I had been blocked from the Decade 77-87 Facebook page. And I was genuinely scratching my head wondering why the hell it would be that I was. Then this evening, with a new share of a Simple Minds video compilation they had put together, I realised what potentially may have caused it.

Last year they shared a clip of Factory from Folllies – the Belgian music show. When they shared the clip, they made the claim it was exclusive to them. But it wasn’t. It appeared just a day or two before on YouTube, and they clearly had just copied it off from there. And I said as much. So…if that is their gripe and why I was blocked from their page? Meh! I just told the truth.

Subsequently, that clip WAS taken down from YT and only their clip of Factory remains. (As a superior colour clip. There still is the inferior black and white clip on YT) One could argue they had the last laugh.

So…tonight, this new clip from them shows up! One of SM on Get Set For Summer in 1982. Jim looking UBER lush and beautiful (no apologies for my ovary exploding fangirling tonight). There are two parts to the clip. Them doing Promised You A Miracle – which I had NEVER seen before, and a snippet of them doing Sweat In Bullet – which I had seen before, in appalling quality, on Daily Motion (Daily Motion really is NOT the place for clips these days!).

So, seeing as it had appeared on the Decade FB page, I thought “Oh, there must be an original source on YouTube. Let’s have a look.” Lo and behold, there it was! It had been up there for seven months already. Damn!

Anyway, here’s the original, full YouTube clip. Promised You A Miracle starts at around the 11 minute mark. I skipped through the rest of the clip, wondering if the bit of footage I saw of them being interviewed was in it too – the one where Jim pretends to whack Peter Powell on the head with the microphone (should have done it for real, Sir!). No such luck. Not that I saw anyway.

There’s a curious thing around the 25 minute mark. They are interviewing some head huncho at the Grandstand studio about some sporting event being broadcast and I SWEAR for all the world it’s Steve Coogan – more fittingly – Alan Partridge. Except Coogan is only 16 at the time of the airing of this show, so it CANNOT be him. But, the voice and mannerisms are unreal!

Just watch it! Shortly after it is the Sweat In Bullet snippet.

Enjoy!