A Drummer’s Blog

Thursday, 19 December 2013 | By | Add a Comment

So, with the site being rather quiet, I decided I’d start keeping a blog. I expect to be able to count the number of users who read this on one hand. I’ll try to keep on top of this and post something most days. I make no promises though!

I don’t have that much to say, so I’ll just be rambling on about stuff. Being in a band, playing drums, being unsigned/independent. Being married, having a child whilst still trying to live some of the life you did before becoming a parent…just stuff in general.

I’m a drummer, a husband (to Sabrina), a father (to Ethan), an IT geek by day, and if I have time, I’m a gaming geek at night. I play sports, though time doesn’t really permit much beyond Hockey and the occasional game of golf or cricket. I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, but I LOVE chocolate. ย Read on for my (nearly) daily blog:

Monday 13th January, 2014

Good weekend? Was productive for me. KFC and The Hobbit 2 on Friday night. Hockey Saturday morning, then shopping with Sabrina and Ethan in the afternoon, bought some wellies in case it snows, and a few things at Mothercare. Sunday, cut the Christmas Tree down to load in the car, took some extra rubbish bags (as council won’t take them if they’re not in the black wheelie bin) and then moved the spare room around to fit a few things in better. Ethan isn’t well, so he had a very quiet day resting and feeling rotten, so he spent all Sunday morning in my arms and then all afternoon in Mummy’s arms, whilst Daddy sorted things out. Ended up with a takeaway curry for dinner ๐Ÿ™‚

So, the Playstation arrived. It’s with Shadow Fall, which is great as it’s worth more than they were offering. Now just to get it sold on eBay. Got my old Xbox 360 S and Kinect on there last night, hopefully can pay off the Xbox One with that cash. I’d like to keep both, but upon suggesting that in text to Sabrina…she hasn’t replied. Think that’s my answer.

Finally tonight, it’s rehearsal. Been far too long since our last. Got to prepare for Martin’s Bad-Ass Birthday Bash on Saturday at The Maze in Nottingham. It’s going to be a fantastic day, loads of bands on that we love.

Friday 10th January, 2014

Worked from home today. Sabrina had an appointment in the afternoon and there was no one to look after Ethan. On top of that, we’re out at the cinema tonight, Godmother Kate is looking after Ethan once he’s asleep, then we’re out for a Nandos before seeing The Hobbit (finally)! Date Night!

Posted some pre-prod demos to the lads today…more songs nearing completion. Excellent. Short entry today as I have lots to do before heading off for Date Night with Sabrina. It’s well overdue

Wednesday 8th January, 2014

Again, it’s been a few days. I won’t be updating this everyday. I’d like to. I ought to, but I won’t lie, I can’t see it happening!

So, weekend. Got myself an Xbox One, had a little nightmare with it, where it was missing the free game (Fifa) and I had to pack it all away and take it back. The store I went to didn’t have any in stock, so I went somewhere else. Got it sorted just before store closing time on Sunday and it’s all good. I won’t go into detail, it’s probably boring to most people. What I would say is the stupidity of Game, the high street store. I went in, having checked their website for their deals. I wanted to go to the store to get Ethan out of the house, and allow Sabrina to clean without interruptions. The Leeds store is pretty small. It was very busy too, not easy with a pram and a child starting to get stir-crazy, wanting to get out and run around! Asked the guy what deals there are on Xbox One. He showed me the only one they were doing – Premium Pack. Console, 4 games and a Blu Ray movie. ยฃ600!!! No thanks mate, could do with something cheaper. “What about the deals on your website?” I asked politely. “They’re website only deals. Not available in stores. if you want to reduce this deal, best I can do is drop the Blu Ray movie and upgrade Lego Marvels game to a more expensive title.” the shop assistant told me. Not overly polite, but not rude. To this I responded with unusual (for me) annoyance. I’m normally not the sort of person to complain in a shop, but Ethan was starting to cry and struggle to get out and run around…”So, you have stores closing all over the place because people aren’t buying from them, and you leave the best deals on the website and stop those willing to come to your stores getting a good price? Thanks but I’ll go across the road to Argos and get a better deal”. Guess what…I did. Nearly went back in to look at price of some games with the Argos bag on full display, but couldn’t be bothered with the crowds.

Right, that was the weekend. Monday night. Dan forgot he was working and Polly was just back from Centre Parcs, so me and Tim got into our rehearsal studio and recorded his guitar parts for the songs we’ve demoed so far. Very successful/productive evening. Last night Dan popped round for a couple of hours and recorded Bass on all those songs.

Tonight, I’ll be setting up the eBay auction for my old Xbox, chilling with Sabrina and then playing on my shiny new Xbox One ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Thursday 2nd January, 2014

So, it’s been a while. Slack start I know, but I use the holiday season as my excuse. Had a great Christmas. In-laws around for a lovely day, Ethan was spoilt, we have great friends and family. Saw in the New Year with good friends at a house party which was cool. Got my first look at an Xbox One, I want one. Speaking of such things, I got a new mobile end of November, supposed to get a free PS4 with it. Still not arrived, starting to get annoyed as I want to sell it and get an Xbox instead…I want Kinect, in a few years time Ethan will use it, but before then, I think both me and Sabrina can get use out of it more than the PS4. I am overall on the Xbox side of the Next Gen debate, but never so loyal that I would refuse to give the other a chance. Still, can’t do anything more till the free PS4 arrives, it’s been more than 28 days, so time to start complaining (BuyMobiles.net website guarantees gift will arrive in a maximum of 28 days).

Christmas – we hosted. Went very well. Sabrina’s Turkey was fantastic and so was everything else in the meal. Everyone had great presents, I got more cash to pay off the electric drums as well as some cymbal pads/felts in Idol Green, Idol Green and black sweatbands and a few other cool things. Most was unexpected as I didn’t really ask for anything. Need to get these electric drums paid off, then it’s paying for new cymbals, after than, probably a mixer. That’ll take a while though, looking at about ยฃ1000 worth of mixer that I want…that’s many birthdays and christmas’ away ๐Ÿ™

That’s all today. It’s miserable outside, I have a cold, and I’m back at work and there are no holidays scheduled to look forward too. Boo. In the meantime, maybe this will cheer you up :ย http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAQhG59zqZc&list=PL0A6B90345D2B1486&index=3

Tuesday 24th December, 2013

So it’s Christmas Eve. Nothing to report. Lots of love on our facebook page and to some of our recent posts. Our fans are the best. I suppose whilst they’re officially ‘fans’, they’re more friend than fan, but nonetheless we appreciate them for their commitment and support for us.

I’m working today, but it’s rather quiet. Working from home, so will help with one or two things around the house, but as the most senior person in our business unit at work, I need to stay online and available most of the day. Hopefully I can have the guys sent home from the office early, and I’ll cover for a bit, then I can also sign off early and Christmas celebrations can get started.

Loads to do around the house. Cleaning, transferring presents from the loft. Loads of food prep, setting up one or two of the presents for Ethan to find in the morning. Put up stockings, set the table, sort the Christmas playlist on iTunes…there’s no end.

Sabrina’s parents will be coming over later. Her mum has got Ethan right now, gone shopping. We need to pop out in a bit too…3 of the 4 lights gone out in the kitchen. I know you’re not supposed to touch the glass on those LED/Halogen lights, but it’s almost impossible to fit them without touching. These ones haven’t even lasted a year! Can’t believe we have to brave the shopping places today. Thinking of going to B&Q for the lights rather than getting them from Tesco/Asda. Probably be a tiny bit quieter.

Time to sign off. Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you all have a great time, drink and eat loads, be safe and remember:

We Love the Bones of You.

Monday 23rd December, 2013

Tired. Ethan was up loads last night screaming. He’s teething and whilst he settles initially as normal, he’s waking up around 11 or 12 and struggling to go back to sleep. The screaming was almost bloodcurdling, so a little upsetting at times. He seemed to be ok when one of us was in the room though, so at least he got some sleep, even if we didn’t!

Back to Friday – gig day. Wow. The venue was cool underneath the cinema in York. Cosy little place. The stage was small and the room a bit of an odd shape (rectangular, but we were stationed on the long side, so playing to a wide room). Sound was amazing. Mr Sound Man got it sounding great. Even got to use real sticks for the acoustic gig rather than the soft ones I’d gone out and purchased that morning.

It was basically full when we got on stage. Intimate venue meant we could see pretty much everyone, and they were close. I think we were probably all a little nervous that they wouldn’t like us, we had a few friends/fans in the crowd, but majority of the rest would never have heard us before.

Tim kicked off with Buckle and Howl. Noticed one of two bobbing their heads up and down, but vast majority just staring at us. Got to the end, fully expecting a deathly silence, maybe Polly’s mum, Spike and one or two others breaking into applause before stopping as they got stared at in a similar fashion to us. Much to our surprise (and delight) and huge roar erupted and rapturous applause! Wow, they liked us ๐Ÿ™‚

We carried on with the set, and each song seemed to be met with approval. Travelling Man and I’m Drowning seemed to go down particularly well.

I have to admit, I was really nervous throughout. Didn’t feel that comfortable without the rest of my kit. Also felt like they could all see me, there was no hiding. I usually get nervous about backing vocals, especially now on I’m Drowning as I sing a lot of the parts that Claire sings, which are rather high! The others aren’t singing at those times, so if I sing badly, everyone will know it’s me.

Got a nice compliment from Tim when he said that he didn’t think there was need to drop the song with Claire gone as I was covering it well.

All in all a cracking night.I won’t talk too much about Saturday night, other than 4 of the Idols (Dan couldn’t make it due to work) had a nice meal and the World Buffet in Leeds, then had a good few drinks and some cool bars – Baby Jupiter, Santiagos, Roxy (bizarre having pool tables and table tennis tables?!) and Bad Apples. We discovered Knob Creek, an excellent Bourbon…and I remembered why I once wanted to have an apartment in town (walking back to KC’s after the night out was great as not only do you sober up a little, you save money!)

It’s Monday. I’m working. No need to say anything else about today (other than rehearsal tonight!)


Friday 20th December, 2013

Gig Day ๐Ÿ™‚

Last full week at work, lots of managers away, next thing you know, I’m in charge of lots of stuff. As a result, it’s been manic today. Hence no getting giddy about the gig, no time to blog either! Received a gorgeous of picture of Ethan today from Sabrina. Messy pup eating his yoghurt by himself ๐Ÿ™‚ He even tried to get out of Rhythm time by bringing the change bag to his mum and having a paddy when she wouldn’t leave. He’s very clever, and I’m mega proud.

Right…anything else to report? Not really. Idols night out tomorrow sans Dan who couldn’t get out of work. Some exciting gig news coming very soon.

Tonight’s going to be cracking. We now have 45 mins to play. And the venue looks wicked. Tickets nearly sold out so it’s going to have around 100 people there. Despite being a laid back acoustic show, might get hot and sweaty. Doesn’t really work with my chosen attire. Black jeans, shirt, jumper vest and idol tie…damn. Anyone coming tonight, see you there, please keep bringing water to the sweaty guy at the back…

Best get going. Got plenty of time to get there, but I imagine traffic is going to be a nightmare! I doubt I’ll update this over the weekend, so please have a great weekend, and remember…it’s nearly CHRISTMAS!!!!

Thursday 19th December, 2013

So, bit of catching up to do as this is the first post.

I won’t go too far back as I need to keep this reasonably short. Having released our album Dark Little Hearts in November 2012, we’re now looking at the next album. It’s probably about half written. Naturally we’re loving it, and the feedback we’ve had at gigs has been brilliant. We normally record this ourselves in a little pre-prod, but my firewire mixer died earlier this year, and I simply don’t have the cash to buy a replacement (the repair costs the same as the replacement). I have an electric drum kit now, so I have recorded the drums on a couple of tracks, but due to time commitments we haven’t laid anything else down. That is a plan I have for the start of the year. Once that’s done, we’ll get cracking with the 2nd half of the album and then we’ll see where we’re at for getting in made! Pledge campaign I hear you ask? Probably, but not sure yet. We’re hoping a millionaire comes along and decides to give us all his money to make our next album.

That’s the serious stuff out of the way, the catch up. What about now? Well, I was heartbroken a couple of weeks ago when my beautiful Zildjian 13″ K Dark Custom Hi-Hats showed a crack. Those things were over 15 years old! I can’t afford to buy them again so I started looking at alternatives. Even approached a couple of companies about an endorsement deal. One actually said yes! So, I now endorse Soultone. I haven’t got any cymbals yet, but will be ordering some in the next month or two. Just got to get Christmas sorted. I’d hope to record the next album on their cymbals, but it’ll be touch and go if I have the cash to get everything upgraded.

Really tired today, slept well as Ethan finally slept all the way through the night. He’s had a disrupted couple of months with the in-laws staying with us whilst they were sorting a house move, he started waking in the night and we struggled to get him back to sleep. Anyway, things have returned to normal and we’re getting him back into his routine and after a really tough night Monday, we’ve had 2 decent ones night’s sleep. Made me feel more tired. Why is that!?

I’m going to sign off today there. It’s a gig day tomorrow, so maybe tomorrow’s post will have insights to what it’s like working a normal job when you’ve got a gig that night – then again, it might be exciting and rock n roll!

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Drummer, part of tech idol and new daddy!