Brighton, England

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Brighton, England

The first 24 hours has been amazing, with music as the underlying context (of course). Staying in Hove (ten minute walk east of Brighton) strolling into music stores on the downtown streets (guitar purchase), passing by the location of the scooter scene on the Brighton Pier from the Album, Rock Opera Movie “Quadrophenia” by The Who, and while completing all these tasks, the weather is amazing.

A musically connected friend here (Hi Mark!) has booked me at a couple of shows this weekend, so I needed some music gear!!! One of the stops I made was into “GAK” Music. I explained to a few of the staff my situation, and these people gave me a few suggestions, and kicked ass with customer service! A little music banter went back and forth during the purchase, and the whole experience was a win. Thanks GAK Gents!

Moving along, the idea for today is Starbucks, a quick bite, then friends will be touristing me around town for some site seeing. Following that, I’ll be prepping for a scaled down acoustic show at The Exchange in Brighton tonight.

Oh, and here’s a quick vid of a downtown Brighton area

Downtown Brighton

Cheers All!


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U.K., Toronto, and The Last Ship

Well, I’m hitting the road again….and over water….

I’m off to perform a few shows, and taking a short and sweet writing sabbatical. Also taking in Sting’s production of “The Last Ship”, with my awesome Bro. For those of you who aren’t aware, Sting wrote and acts/sings in a fictional play relating to the Northern England Shipbuilders from the last century. I find it to be a very honest and organic escape, which is quite a separation in context from most mainstream music when you flip on the radio. That’ll be happening on Feb 19th in Toronto, Ontario. Here’s a live performance on YouTube where Sting presents the music from the production. Sting – The Last Ship

The following night, I’ll be performing (with a band) at a fundraiser in Toronto. It’ll be great to bring out some material on guitar, with a couple of quality gents….

 

 

 

 

…Next, I’m off to the U.K.. I’ll be focusing on sights and sound, but I do have two booked impromptu performances. You’ll have to follow me on My FACEBOOK Page for up to date info. I’ll be starting off for a few days in and around Brighton, then rolling north to London for a day or two. Following that, there is talk of meeting and hanging with a gentleman who was chauffeur to the Beatles.

Really looking forward to this trip, and hanging with a few pals in Canada and The U.K….and in prepping for the over seas journey, I’ll be performing a few songs by Sting:

This Thursday at Curve Lounge 5pm, at The River Rock Casino Resort, Richmond

and

Sunday night 7:30pm, at Cavo Lounge, 911 Granville St, Vancouver

Follow me on social media to find out more details, and when The Last Ship sails….

Peace

 


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Effects / Samples? Just say “No”, if you like.

 

With the direction of popular music on the radio, it’s a challenge (for some) to not be using the latest new “sample” or “sound gimmick”. Just listening to (repetitive) new music on any pop radio station allows me to roll my eyes frequently. I won’t name names, but I’m sure we all have our favorites. For example, a song that uses that repetitive drum sample over and over. This recorded journey is then carried over to “live shows”, where any given sample or pre-recorded gimmick is set up to be released at a certain moment. Several times. Repeatedly. This might be attractive to some, but it sure gets boring for me and people I’ve chatted to about this. For other concert goers, they’re content with a laptop and a singer for the night. Add some expensive lighting and a big sound system, and you have yourself a concert that sounds exactly like the song you heard on the popular radio station your were listening to. That’s because it is – only louder.

Even smaller/unknown acts are using samples and prerecordings in their shows, so that they sound as close to the original as possible. It’s a challenge for me to listen (and watch) a multi-member dance band that has a drummer wearing headphones to a click track because the song has certain recordings that must be used. IE; A sampled prerecorded 3-part horn section, but there are no horns to be seen for miles around. That being said, people have their reasons for going to those shows (like dancing), and I’m fine with that. The “live performance” isn’t really 100% “live” though is it? My interpretation is like real people with some fake news thrown in. A little deceptive maybe? It’s mostly a risk-free safe bet though for a fun night of dancing – unless the computer with the prerecorded tracks stops working. If that happens, it probably becomes an entirely different night. Does one member quietly and nervously utter, “What are we going to play now?”. Maybe some bands have a contingency planned set list? Hmmm. Maybe. So what? Overall, I guess it would become boring when most of the songs contain prerecorded sections in some form or another. Might as well hire a DJ at that point, and guess what: Many venues are doing just that.

For most (let’s call them “sample bands”), I’ve seen a rise in the lack-luster of so called “live” performances. For some members in a sample band, it looks like they are on a job that they don’t want to be at. People are going through the motions so they can collect their dough and split. Routine. How does one build a relationship with their audience? Related to the above in attitude, I recently heard tale of a local single guitarist that actually posted on social media that he was going to a certain venue to perform, but it was his least favourite place to go, and he was only doing it for the money. True story. As it happened, prior to his arrival, the word got out to the venue, and they contacted the “musician”. He was told to not bother coming, and was asked to remove the post from his social media page. Done.

So to cross-reference my bio page and identify the truth and organic nature of my profession on a personal level, I don’t use samples. Nothing is pre-recorded. The fact is, everything I perform is live and recorded as I perform it: Percussion. Bass. Vocals. Guitar. I rely on the moment, and the unique organic quality of sound from my custom acoustic guitar – which is amplified only. I use no prerecorded gimmicks, and attempt to create a reasonable facsimile of any song I create. I believe that the music I create is original at the time you hear it. This means that no two performances are alike, although my interpretation of any song will produce my take of remnants from the original artists’ performance, like a guitar lick or bass part. Have no fear though, I’m playing it live – it’s not an unperformed sample.

Another big chancy thing is relating to the audience to see what they are liking (or disliking). When “live”, it’s a musical relationship that lasts from the time I step on stage, to the last song I perform. No premeditated set list. Just a guitar, 400 songs, and a plethora of lyrics. Any relationship takes work and practice, yes? This isn’t to say that mistakes aren’t made during a performance (from time to time, lol), but it’s more about dealing with any so called mistake, in real time, and the perception moving forward. Afterwards, music appreciators and musicians will usually ask questions about the gear I use and that’s fine, but truth be told, it’s about practice, technique, and the live performance that assists to create a unique sound, which in turn, should provide ample opportunity for relationship.

 


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Elements Casino – 8pm, February 10th/11th

I’m looking forward to returning to Elements Casino this weekend. Their hospitality is great, and I always enjoy a conversation with the engaged staff. 😀

I’ve got a few new songs in the music mix, and can’t wait to break open the guitar and gear to let them out!…and don’t forget to check out my new song HANDS at ReverbNation.

Thanks for your support!

See you this weekend!


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Hard Rock Casino – February 3rd/4th

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, with lots of new material in the bank!

I’m really looking forward to performing at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver again. They’ve just completed a huge renovation in the Unlisted Lounge, so now it’s a combination buffet before 9pm, then it turns into an awesome wide-open seating area for your listening pleasure. With the expanded area, and new stage location, it’s a treat to not only preform, but 100 times more visually acceptable for the audience as well! It’s rolling with an open concept, new comfortable furniture, and the staff are always exceeding with service. And as always, there’s no charge.

Looking ahead, I’ve booked two weddings, a couple of private parties, and have nailed down the next six months on the calendar – with a few surprises in the works! It’s great to know that 2017 is off to a solid musical start!

The second album is still on course too, and well into production. I’m very excited about the new sound and direction I’m taking. It’s bigger and bolder, and still based on my acoustic live-looping technique, while remaining organic, and completely live. In other words, no drum machines, synthetic sounds, or music misrepresentation facsimile, which is heard a lot on today’s airwaves. The only difference is I’ve cut out the “build up” to each song. One track from my next release “Hands” can be heard at REVERBNATION .

Oh, and the first album can be previewed and purchased at iTunes and CD Baby (android).

Thanks for keeping in touch, and please join me at any of your favourite social media sites:

FacebookTwitterInstagram

Be good!


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January 20th/21st, 2017

Looking forward to performing at The Queens Cross in North Vancouver this weekend. Always a good time, and a few music appreciators usually show up – always good for a chat! Usually an 8pm start.

Hey, on another note 😉, have you heard the single on my upcoming EP?

“Hands” can be found here. Just click, and look inside my profile at ReverbNation for the song. It’s still free to listen to…

Enjoy! Be good!

S


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Live Music In 2017

spiritcool-logo-smallo:

Here we are, well into 2017.

Things are looking great on the home front, and my second original (sophomore) album is finally nearing completion. I’m excited about the concept of “getting right to the song” without the “build up” of creating a song, as I do at every performance. For more info about this, check my “bio” page.

Moving forward, I already have two concepts for the upcoming third and forth releases.

And now that the second stage of the website is complete, I need to inform everyone that I’ve begun an “email contact” form. This means that I will not be posting my performances on a web-calendar. To find out where I’m performing, I’ll send out a monthly email to subscribers.

It also looks like I lost a few blog posts in the transfer/upgrade process, but hey, it’s the present and future that really count! 😉

Also, stay tuned for some pretty exciting shows coming up this year! Plans are already in the works…

Comments on social media are always welcome, and if you’d like to chat about the provision of entertainment for a function you’re putting together, send me an email (on the contact page). All event ideas are considered!

Stay real people!!

😉