This last week was a little bit of car crash! Actually a car break-down… I was on tour and in Leicester only two gigs into the We Steal Flyers tour when… the car had a major break down. The gearbox on Derek & Mel’s Vauxhall Zafira was making some funny noises and we were advised to get home with it a.s.a.p. When we got on the motorway the gears started dropping out one by one and we ended up driving for six and a half hours in fourth & third gear back to the North East.
We made it home safely after a few near misses on the motorway with a brush left in the hard shoulder and Optimus Prime coming up too fast behind us and nearly wiping us out. We made it back safe though and the car is being taken care of. Unfortunately the rest of the tour had to be cancelled or re-scheduled.
This meant I had a weekend free of work & gigs. This doesn’t happen very often and only one day into it I was starting to feel like there was going to be a lot of time on my hands. I managed to get lots done online and finished up some work for the new album which is currently off for print.Excitingggggg timesss!!!
Friday night & Saturday morning, we made a plan! Curly & I wanted to see the new Jungle Book movie and what better excuse to take the little half pints out to the cinema. The little ones were excited, we were excited ….everyone was excited! We booked our tickets online for the Vue cinema at Cramlington and grabbed the kids and off we went. We were making a little detour to Home Bargains to get some treats and drinks as the food and drinks are completely and utterly, ridiculously priced in the cinema. I’m pretty sure if they were a little more reasonable more people would just get fed and watered in the cinema.
Ready to head in for ‘The Jungle Book’ at Vue Cramlington
We picked up our tickets from the machines and headed into our ‘Room 1’ with a bag full of lovely chompies and liquids. The movie was ten times better than I imagined and we were all huddled up with Macey on my knee after the tiger roared and she nearly jumped off her seat. The songs were great and totally re-worked into the new movie. After the show the little ones headed down to the front of the cinema and they pretty much danced for twenty minutes in front of the screen while the place was emptying out.
The day before I had posted on the Facebook page of my studio ‘Shagnut Studio Shack‘ saying I had received some new video lighting to test out and Vee Marie replied saying I should interview the girls about something.
On the way back from the movie we talked about the girls doing a review of the movie for YouTube and they were well up for a little interview and fun in front of the camera. The idea was born and already in motion. We got back, got everything set up and the two little ones were on their chairs and ready for the show. They were absolutely brilliant! When they are both together the magic just happens and it was all done in just one take with no planning, so I had no idea what was gonna come out of them.
Things are all under control with the car and tours. We Steal Flyers will be back on the road in no time and with our brand new album ‘Applecart‘ in our hands too. It looks like a few more videos of the ‘Shortpiles’ will be popping up as well so if you would like something reviewed why not give them a shout on the YouTube video.
Thanks for reading!
Mulled wine with a shot of Rum @ Edinburgh Christmas Market
It’s 2016! Whilst the last year was amazing, it’s time for a new one and lots more Amazing Adventures Always!
If you read my last post you will already know I was playing a show with We Steal Flyers and staying in Thurstonland in Yorkshire for my New Year. We had a great fun gig at the Rose & Crown and always do! This is one of our regular bars to play in Huddersfield when on tour and it’s a different gig everytime we perform there. Richard the owner is one of those awesome, genuine and generous blokes and also one of the most hardest working men I’ve met. The gig was a great laugh we only had one person fall over the monitor into us (not bad for a New Years Eve gig…I won’t mention any names *cough “Cheryl” *cough). We managed to finish our show at 11.45pm and stuck good old Jools Holland on the TV with a microphone shoved in front of the speakers, and we joined in the crazy countdown with the whole bar. Then, of course, began the smooching and cuddling of everyone that was anywhere near you.. hahaha .. what better way to start off the New Year!
Performing at The Rose & Crown on New Years Eve
New Years Day was here before I knew it… Waking up in a hotel room in a strange bed is nothing new for me as I travel a lot with my musical adventures and I love that part of what I do. I love the difference of the rooms and turning up to somewhere new, making friends with the employees and then disappearing off onto the next place. However not all the places we have stayed have been great but it’s always easy to find some amusement in the bad ones when I’m sharing a room with Derek. As long as they are warm and clean it will be fine for a night to get some shut eye and gather your thoughts and life force.
Heres a few little 2016 first facts that happened on new years day!
- First Song I listened too in 2016 ‘Don Henley – Heart of the Matter’ : This was the first song I stuck in the CD player of the faithful little Suzuki Swift as I got ready to drive up from Yorkshire heading back up to the North-East with Maria relaxing in the passenger seat. I have a little thing about shoving an album on and starting it from my favourite track on the album in the car. Music is a massively important part of my journeys as I drive around, whether it be to the shops or to the other end of the country. At some point before getting to the car there will have always been some planning in my noodle about what I’m going to listen to on my way.
- First Movie I watched in 2016 was ‘Harry & The Hendersons’ : Yeshhhh!!! What an awesome movie to wake upto for a new year! Opening my little peepers up in a hotel room with the smallest TV ever sitting at the bottom of my bed and turning it on to find Bigfoot Harry eating the plants in the Hendersons kitchen was a dream. I remember watching it a lot as a kid and especially at Christmas. As a kid nipping down to the Oval Newsagents in Bedlington and getting a ‘Radio Times Christmas Special TV Guide’ heading upto christmas was always an awesome part of the run up to Santy visiting and going through the pages with my mam checking to see what films were gonna be on every day! Since I moved into my house here 5 years ago I’ve never had a TV aerial connected (my own choice) so hotel rooms are pretty much the only time I get to see some normal TV.
- First thing I drank in 2016 ‘ A pot of lurverly Yorkshire Tea from Sids Cafe in Holmfirth’ : In the morning of New Years Day, once we managed to get up and get showered, we met up with Shaun & Cheryl who came down and stayed over for the show. We all headed down to Holmfirth where the famous British TV series was filmed “The last of the Summer Wine” as it was only 10-mins drive from the bar. We headed to Sid’s Cafe which was one of the main scenes in the TV series and had a lovely pot of Yorkshire Tea.The staff were all awesome and friendly and it’s still decorated the same as it was in the series. I even managed to get Mamma Shagpile a Sids Cafe tea towel as a little pressie and souvenir. Here’s a photo of us having a giggle in the Cafe and enjoying the lovely Tea!
Sid’s Cafe in Holmfirth, Yorkshire
The next adventure was spending time with my little half pints and then heading off to Edinburgh for a few days and checking out the amazing Christmas market, but I’ll leave that for the next post. I hope you all had a brilliant New Year and lots of Amazing Adventures! Thanks for reading!
The Bathroom of the Rose & Crown, Thurstonland “New Years Day” 2016
Waking up in Thurstonland in Huddersfield, Yorkshire on New Years Day in a hotel room at The Rose & Crown , I found myself heading to the bathroom where I was greeted by this nice little piece hanging on the wall while I showered and got prepared to see what the New Year 2016 ahead had in store for me. The bathroom was the only room warm enough to get naked by the way.
While it could of meant a lot of things and thoughts to me, the thing that buzzed around my head while I showered in this luke warm room was the words ‘journey’ and ‘destination’ …I’ve been thinking and talking about getting my travel diary and blog online for over 2 years now with all the musical adventures and still hadn’t managed to get it running and now another New Years Day turned up to surprise me. What better a time to get it started and finally have somewhere for my thoughts and ramblings to live online for the world to view.
I have always filled out my private diary with thoughts, lyrics, songs and writings but not as much as I’d have liked to this year. I also have lots of unfinished lyrics and writings scattered in probably 30 or 40 different notepads and books lying around which need a place to live also and with this fine digital age of technology the ease of writing and posting something to this website is very easily accessible wherever I am.
So here it is, my first post of 2016 and to give it a nice little start I thought instead of just writing in here everytime I do something then dumping it and moving on, it would be a good idea to actually think about what I want from my posts and blog and add this to my first post of the year. So here’s a little list I’ve put together of my thoughts. I would also love to hear what your thoughts are and feedback on anything you think you would like to see here amongst my posts.
- People to read and get some enjoyment from my writings : This is the obvious goal for any blog and makes perfect sense. If you don’t get anything from the posts, you won’t return, then I am writing to no one. This can still be very enjoyable for me but I’d much prefer some feedback and nice people to stop by and take something away from the posts. This could be inspiration to start your own blog, write a song, a book, a poem, get out your pencils and start drawing something, take a flight out to another country last minute and have a look around, try out a brewery, a beer or some food, pick up an instrument for the first time, find a new favourite artist/album, try harder to reach one of your forgotten goals, fill in your lunch break reading, feel better about making mistakes or just simply take away a little smile.
- To write about and let people understand what I am passionate about : Again this is pretty straight forward. This lets me express who I am and what I’m passionate about and also connects me with people who have the same interests in life. I can also share parts of my life, travels and personality with those who have a genuine interest in what I do and who I am.
- To practice and develop my writing skills : There is always something to learn, and practice is always one of the best ways to improve something you love to do. If I improve my writing on this blog then hopefully people will take more enjoyment from the website and posts. If I improve my lyrical writing then hopefully the same happens with my songs and my music. Happy days!
- Promotion for my own projects, music, art or other musicians, writers or someone/something I feel should be shared and people/readers will enjoy and be interested in, in someway : I’m a musician amongst many other things and although I love to write for myself and enjoy the whole process there is an amazing amount of enjoyment from someone listening and falling in love with something you have created. It can be the lyrics that connect in a certain way or the music itself grabbing someone and tugging at them somewhere inside. The possibilites of connecting with someone is endless and very rewarding whether it be your own creation or sharing something that has touched you and you pass this on! Sharing is caring!
- To have fun : Of course I want to have loads and loads of fun whilst doing this too, which I’m sure I will and already have so far just getting this ready to post. Amazing Adventures Always is alive.
So, I think that’s enough to get me off to a good start for the New Year! An all new updated page ready for my ramblings and some thought thrown into what I want to write about and what I think you would like to see here. I’d love to hear what you think and a little feedback on what you would like to see or even just a friendly “Hello, I’m reading this”
Amazing Adventures Always and all the best for you and yours in 2016!
Photo by Jay Dawson