*bleep* you! I won’t do what you tell me!

In April this year, a post went up on Facebook by someone I didn’t know asking if any musicians would be able to record an acoustic cover of ‘Killing in the name of’ by Rage Against the Machine as a commission job for a couple who wished to have the song played during their wedding ceremony as they walk down the aisle.

 

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Rage Against The Machine

 

A lovely friend of mine and music lover Sian saw the post and dropped me into the conversation with a lovely recommendation. I got chatting with the person who was dealing with it all for the couple and sent her a few YouTube videos over to check out my channel and before I knew the plan had been set.

So, my challenge was to cover ‘Killing in the name of’ and do it acoustically and send them the finished song. This week I’ve been getting busy in the Shagnut Studio Shack with it and to be honest it has been not only challenging but great fun as well! I love working like this and especially on something I would probably have never even had thought of either.

We’ve been sending posts back and forward in a group chat and checking out the progress and at the minute it’s pretty much there now. I am gonna add a little more guitar and some harmony in there and I reckon it’s sorted. I posted a snippet in the group yesterday and they are sounding over the moon with it so far so.. good news for me!

The wedding is on the 29th July this year and I’ve also decided to release the cover as a single on the same day of the wedding as a little hi-ho to the lovely couple who got me to work on this project and it will be out on most major platforms online! There will be a little explicit language so, unfortunately, no kiddies can listen in hahah!

Hope you are all well out there and looking forward to hearing the finished song!

Jason – Shagpile Music

#amazingadventuresalways

www.facebook.com/shagpilemusic

 

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My new Covers Album is out now and available on Spotify

 

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What will you leave behind?

Hey up!! I’ve got a little story for ya! It was around 3 or 4 months ago, when my little half-pint daughters Olivia & Macey we’re hanging out with Daddy indoors on a not so nice day in Northumberland. After a few hours of finding things to do and getting up to mischief around the house it was time for them to head back to Mam’s and she was knocking at the front door before we knew it.

Olivia was feeling a little tired and ready for home but Macey decided she wasn’t going and decided to hide somewhere in the kitchen. After a little game of hide-and-seek Macey decided to stay over with Dad and Maria.

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My two amazing daughters (left) Macey & (right) Olivia

We woke up the next morning and Maria headed downstairs early as always, so Macey decided to climb into Daddy’s bed for a bit banter and giggles. We ended up with both of us at the bedroom window watching all the birds in the trees in the garden. She loves watching them all flying in and out and learning about what they’re called and naming them all. She likes the ‘Chaffies’ and has a besty called ‘Crush the Thrush’ hahahha

A few days later I was sitting playing the guitar with Macey and having a little sing song and I was asking her about writing a song and what she would like to write about. She instantly started singing about our morning watching the birds together. ‘In the morning when we wake up and watch the birdssssss….’ was her little line to start with and we started singing different stuff together while I secretly took mental notes of all her little lyrics. It was such a lovely little moment to share with her and the time flew by and before I knew it a lovely little song was pretty much altogether and she was singing away while I played the music. She wanted to get it all finished so she could show Maria when she came in from work and she did. I even set the microphone up for her and she sang her little heart out. Since that moment she just sings it anywhere when I ask her or if I start singing it. She loves giving a little performance! (wonder where she gets that from haha)

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Headed to Greggs for some pre-studio nomnom!

So… now we’re a few months down the line and I managed to get the guitars and my vocals recorded in the Shagnut Studio. I picked the little ones up from school yesterday and we walked around in the fresh October winds, up towards home. We stopped off for a little bit food and chinwag in Greggs Bakery on Bedlington Front Street. Macey wanted a cheese pastie and Olly had a sausage roll and we sat and talked about all sorts. I told Macey I had been recording the song and it was ready for her to sing her parts on now and we could do it when we got home if she wanted to. She was really excited about getting to record her song and she said “I’m excited to do it… but I’m also a bit scared”

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When I asked her why she was scared she said because she didn’t know if she could do it or sing it right. Macey is only 5 years old by the way!! I assured her she was going to be amazing and that it didn’t matter what happened in there, then we got inside, stuck her headphones on and she had two little practices singing along with it. I hit the record button and tracked two takes of the full song with her singing her little heart out. She was absolutely amazing and she has such a beautiful little voice with a lot of control for such a young girl. She was standing there in her little school outfit while she twiddled with the headphone cable and I didn’t have to tell her a thing. She just sang through it without any problems and then sat on my knee asking about the mixing and what was happening on the screen. A very proud daddy moment and such an amazing part of my week, month, year watching her sing and express her cute little self and loving it!

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The song is called ‘Maceys Morning’ and has turned into an amazing little moment captured between me and my youngest daughter and will also be on my new solo album. While all this was happening there was so much going through my head about what we can leave behind for others and memories that will still be around once we’ve left this little life behind. So… maybe have a think about what you would like to leave? or… what would be your favourite little moments in life if you could stick them in a box and pass them onto someone before you head off to the land of nevernever! Have a great week.. and be awesome!! Thank you for reading as always!

Jason #AmazingAdventuresAlways

www.facebook.com/shagpilemusic

www.twitter.com/_shagpile

My mission for ‘Music in Hospitals’

RARRRRRRRRRRRR!!! Did I scare ya?? Halloween is approaching fast and I’ve already been out shopping for ridiculous items to cover my little home in! Hahaha. I thought I best drop in and get you up to date with a few things as I seem to have lapsed a little with the #amazingadventuresalways blog. It just means I’ve been busy with a few things which can’t really be a bad thing huh? Anyhoooo …  here we go!!

The big news is my new single which is released really soon! ‘These Boots’ will be released worldwide on the 7th October 2016 and all proceeds from the track are going to the wonderful ‘Music in Hospitals’ charity. I’ve already started raising money for them through my Just Giving page and the support from you lot out there has honestly been absolutely amazing so far!

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Released on the 7th October to all good online retailers

‘Music in Hospitals’ is a charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for adults and children with all kinds of illness and disability through the joy and therapeutic benefits of professionally performed live music in hospitals, hospices, day care centres, special schools and care homes. I was looking for a charity that was a little more music themed as it’s pretty much my whole life and I had a phone call with them early on while the single was all being put together and it was instantly a no-brainer I was speaking to the right people and I had found who I wanted to raise money for.

Tanglewood Guitars are also helping with the cause and have donated a lovely Soprano Ukulele which I have had personalised. The Ukulele will be giving to one of you lovely people who have already made a donation to my Just Giving page. If you have already donated, please make sure you have liked the Tanglewood Facebook page also!

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Win the Tanglewood TU6 by donating to Just Giving

The single has been getting lots or airplay already on Koast, Lionheart, Radio Northumberland and Beach Hut Radio and I nipped up to Lionheart for an interview and to perform it live on the air on Friday with Charles Ellis which was great fun. There is also a nice little write up heading your way for you Chronicle Newspaper readers out there!

So far with all your donations I have broke my second target and we’re now up to £321.00 and the single is not even out into the world yet! Amazing news!!!

I also have a fun video for the track which is all coming together nicely and will be live on YouTube sometime during the week of release and I’d also like to thank everyone who checked in on my live stream on Facebook for my Bathroom Session of ‘These Boots’ live on the throne. The video has had over 2000 views in such a short space of time because of all your sharing efforts and support.

If anyone reading this hasn’t donated and would like too, then please follow the link to Just Giving or you can text ‘PILE99 £5‘ to 70070 and of course you can change the amount to what ever you like. Every little counts and helps towards my fundraising to help ‘Music In Hospitals’ do a fabulous job and you get the chance to win a lovely little one off Ukulele! If you can’t donate then please just share the posts and updates as this is just as important! Thanks again for all your unbelievable help so far!

Jason – #amazingadventuresalways

www.facebook.com/ShagpileMusic

The Sound of Silence

15.7.2016 The Sound of Silence – Johann Reichart the Executioner

In January of 2013, I performed a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Sound of Silence’ for my YouTube channel of videos. Sitting in my kitchen and recording it live whilst I practised.

Lately the band ‘Disturbed’ did a cover of the same song and it seemed to send quite a lot of traffic to my video with people commenting and telling me ‘Disturbed brought me here’ and the video is now heading towards 38,000 views…. now the good bit!

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A month ago I got a comment on there by ‘MrBeck322’ saying ‘Love it!!!! Can I use your cover song in a video?’ and of course I replied with a yes but not knowing really what it was going to be used for.

A month later and I get an inbox with a nice message from Peter on my Facebook page with a link to a video. The track was used in a brilliant trailer for a theatre play about the last executioner of the Third Reich who was Johann Reichart and I had a look into what it was all about.

Johann killed 3165 people and among them were 250 women with a guillotine. Reichart is from a family of Bavarian executioners. He tried to escape his family tradition tried his hand at many different jobs and kept failing when people found.

When Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party rose to power, the enemy’s and death sentences were piling up so they needed an executioner. Reichart was the most successful in the business by this time and was rising to fame for being the fastest executioner of that time!

He was also know for being concerned for his victims. He never wanted them to suffer so he developed ways to increase the speed and changed technical procedures of the execution to aid this.

After the second world war he was imprisoned by the Americans for his role in the Third Reich but knowing they had a master executioner in custody and lots of Nazis which were waiting to be executed, the Americans decided to use Reichart to rid of his former bosses.

After that he had to go through his denazification haunted by his deeds and he became a depressive, his only son committed suicide and he died lonely and hated.

Here is the brilliant trailer they created for the Theatre production.

After a little bit more communication back and forth over Facebook, we discussed maybe writing some music for future productions and it all seems like a brilliant connection that came from nowhere. One minute your sitting recording a practice session in your kitchen and the next this. Great and unexpected things can come from such simple decisions you make.

I hope you have an amazing adventure filled time ahead and that you enjoyed reading my own latest adventure. Thanks for reading!

Jason

#amazingadventuresalways

A day in morpeth by Olivia Vare

Monday 27th June 2016 in Morpeth

Me , nana , macey and grandad went to feed the ducks on the bridge.Then we went and met daddy he had just got off the bus and then we went to the charity shop to buy some records and Cds

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Fish n Chip time!

After that we went to get our lunch at the fish and chip shop I had sausage and chips with tomato sauce macey had fish and chips tomato sauce. after we had our lunch grandad took us to the park but daddy and nana were realy slow and they were still drinking their tee while we were on the round about with grandad pushing us MY HEAD NEARLY CAME OFF. Then I had to get off because I felt sick then when macey finely got off we went and had a boat ride for half an hour.

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it was £4 there were me , daddy and macey in one boat and nana and grandad in the other daddy flicked nana with his oar and nana was soaking wet but we were all laughing me and macey were draging our hands in the water and daddy said that he used to jump off the bridge into the river and swim in the river when he was little but now your not aloud to jump off the bridge . After we got out the boat we came home and I wrote this story on daddys computer for his blog.

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This is me writing todays adventure

By Olivia V

#AMAZINGADVENTURESALWAYS

Off to play in Whitley Bay!

Bank Holiday Monday in Whitley Bay!

This weekend has just passed by pretty nicely. Unfortunately Derek was still unable to get himself ready for the gigs so I had Mike Slaughter coming along with me to help out and play alongside me for the shows but we still managed to have two fantastic gigs! The lovely seaside Smugglers Bar in Sunderland was on Friday and then one of the friendliest places you could ever play is the Billingham Catholic Club.

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Setting up with Mike at Billingham Catholic Club

The Curly one has been away all weekend in Norfolk on her own musical adventures performing at a festival with the band and my little smily ones have been on a brilliant little break with my parents on the farm up in Belford so I had Sunday all to myself. Curly was heading back up around 10pm on Sunday night and I managed to catch up with Daz & Sav (two quarters of Growing Robots) at Morpeth Rugby Club for a few cheeky beers and a chinwag.

It was a lovely sunny Bank Holiday Monday and after a lazy lie in after our busy weekend it was time to get up and get ready for the little ones coming back with my parents and make some adventure time. The kids were full of life as always when they tipped up and after a few cuppas we decided to head over to Whitley Bay with the halflings, Curly and my parents in search of some fun.

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The wind swept but wonderful Whitley Bay!

Whitley Bay is a little seaside town along the North East coast of Northumberland and home to Spanish City, a big dome in the centre which as a kid was part of the theme park, rides and lots of amusement arcades. I used to head over there every couple of weeks when I was in high school and play on the arcade machines and all the lastest games for a few hours or until my money ran out.

Whitley Bay is about fifteen minutes from my home and has been undergoing a lot of regeneration for a quite some time now. There is still lots of amusement arcades, fish and chip shops, bowling alley and ice cream shops around the Spanish City area and a lovely promenade which walks all the way along the coast of Tynemouth.

We headed down for in two cars and got parked up in no time and headed to the little bowling alley. The kids love it.. you can stick little barriers up too, so the bowls can bounce off the sides for some cool spinney sideways blaster shots. Curly & Olivia was playing against Mam & Macey whilst I took on Big-daddy Vare on another lane… I was hammering him until the very last shot when he over took me and beat me by one point! I wasn’t impressed… I thought I had it in the bag and I was gonna blackmail him into buying the fish ‘n’ chips later.

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Girls vs Girls while the men battled it out!

After that we headed into the amusements to win loads of tickets and spend them on lots of goodies at the ticket bar. We filled our cups up with change from the machines and off we went looking for some flashy games to spend our lovely pennies on. We got a heap of tickets out the machines and Olly spent her winnings on a teddy bear munsta ball and some glow in the dark bracelets whilst Macey spent her tickets on a Shopkins Sticker book and more glow in the dark bracelets.

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After that we headed for food along at the Coastline Chippy at South-beach. There was a kite festival on as we drove along the coast and there was some pretty impressive kites up in the air as we turned up at South Beach. The Coastline chippy has just been all done out and extended. I used to come here quite a bit with my Grandma & Grandad as they loved they’re fish & chips and it doesn’t get much better than at Coastline. I got myself a Coastline Haddock special with chips & mushy peas and I was well and truly ready for some nomnom! The food was lovely and the fish is always good! The work they had done inside had completely changed the place and it even had a bar in there in the middle to buy beers. The Ice cream side of the cafe was completely rammed with people queuing for they’re yummy ice cream fix. Olly was pulling funny faces and taking photo’s of everyone.

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Swapping bits n bobs for Olivias photo!

We had a lovely slow drive back with really full, rounded belly’s and smiles all around! We dropped the little half-pints off before heading home and heading out for some cheeky drinkys with Stevie & Kat to finish the day off in the bank holiday sunshine.

Hopefully you had a great weekend too and if you get a chance, stop off at Coastline Chippy for some lovely fish ‘n’ chips and let me know what you think! Jason

#amazingadventuresalways

Curly-hair does care!

After a bit of a crazy week of the We Steal Flyers tour mobiles trouble and having to cancel some shows, I ended up being around the house over the weekend and into the next week a lot more than expected. I was missing the music that had been planned and on a lazy Tuesday night last week I ended up on the couch with the Curly one and my lovely new Sigma guitar.

There is pretty much guitars everywhere in our little humble home and they pretty much get picked up all day and played around with for a little then put down again. I can be in the kitchen, studio or sitting on the couch and noodling away while the tea is being cooked, the missus is creating her little crafty things at the table or when a movie is on.

So this Tuesday I was sitting playing around on the couch while Curly sat checking her phone and having a bit chin-wag with a glass of wine and after a bit noodle on the guitar we decided to try out a few songs while we chilled together. I even managed to bring her round to the idea of maybe recording a video for YouTube of us together. I was quite surprised as when I first tried to get her to record a little vocal in the studio, without video, I pretty much had to push the record button and then leave the building as quick as possible and come back when she was done! Hahahha. She is a shy little thing when it comes to her singing so this was quite a step.

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Sound Check for Declan & Ali Donnelly’s Wedding

Curly does perform live though in a band, on her own with the piano and with me too. She sings for a worship band performing at events and festivals usually focused towards Youth Ministry. The band also performs around monthly at the lovely St. Marys Church in the centre of Newcastle for Y.M.T at their regular ‘Source’ events. She also performs at weddings and other Church related events and I managed to perform alongside her earlier this year during the service of ‘Declan & Ali Donnelly’s’ wedding (Ant & Dec) and as you can imagine it was quite a thing to be part of! We have a few wedding services to perform throughout this year together too. This was just to give you a little history on the little Curly one and what she does by the way!

I’ve been along to quite a few of the ‘Source’ events at St. Marys and when she sings with the band on stage, she really puts herself into an amazing place and her voice and emotion takes a whole life of its own and fills the huge chamber sounding church. The kids & adults absolutely love the events and its like being at an arena gig with the lights and production and all the effort that people put into it.

Anyhow, getting back on track we worked through a few songs together and we picked a song to get her singing on the camera for YouTube. Doby Gray’s – Drift Away was the song of choice and without a real practice, just a couple of quick run through, we managed to get sat in front of the camera in the kitchen and recorded it. We checked a little of the footage afterwards and I got all the crazy comments in my ear of “is that my face” , “I look weird” , “ohh I’m a bit off there” and “wow…shaggy you look amazing with that guitar you should buy loads more” hahahhahah. OK maybe not the last one… but I think she did amazing and looked fantabulous on the video as she always does!

The next morning I got the video up on YouTube and the response from all you lovely people out there was really amazing. All of the lovely comments & feedback from everyone has really boosted her confidence in singing in front of the camera and I’m sure she will be back with some more music as requested by so many of you. You did well, the shares and comments kept rolling in and it hit nearly 800 views in less than a week and we’re both over the moon!! Thank you!!

Jason #amazingadventuresalways

I wanna be a man, man-cub!

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.

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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!

Jason #AmazingAdventuresAlways

Spiderman & T-rex

March 11th – The Crown , Scissett, Yorkshire

I woke up on the 11th of March, early doors to get my clothes and equipment packed for the little Yorkshire tour ahead. We were only away for two We Steal Flyers gigs so I didn’t need much for the trip. Mel (Derek’s wife) was picking me up around 11.30am to drive back up to her house and then we could leave from there. One of the gigs was in Scissett, Yorkshire and the other in Birstall, Yorkshire and are both repeat venues.

Mel grabbed me and my gear from Bedlington after a pit-stop to the yummy ‘Seahorse Chip shop’ and we headed back to her house and Derek and I had our lovely chip buttys before heading off on our drive. The chippy is an awesome way to set you up for the day!

We got the car packed up with the PA system and guitars and then we set off on our sunny drive from Broomhill, down the A1 to Yorkshire, with the ‘Hollywood Vampires’ album keeping us company for most of the journey.

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Derek watching TV after his furniture move about!

We turned up to our hotel for the night after two and a half hours drive, The Fairway in Barnsley which we have stayed in many times before on our musical travels around the country. A great little hotel with a nice bar and food downstairs and Derek’s favourite little mini beds in the family rooms. Hahah. We pulled up outside and parked right outside the doors of the reception and there was a huge man mountain of a guy walking in holding his clothes in one hand and on the back of his neck a huge tattoo of some darts with the name Kong above it. Derek loves his darts on Sky and with a quick google we found he was a professional Darts player with a bit of a crazy history thanks to the Wikipedia World telling on him. We tried to catch up with him for a photo opportunity but he was offski to his room and nowhere to be found anywhere.So we headed up to our room and Derek shoved his bed into the corner near the window so I couldn’t tickle his feet while he was sleeping.

After we had a hotel room yucky coffee I headed downstairs to feed my greed while Derek chilled in his room with a peanut butter sandwich. Before we left Mel had been talking about a Fajitas party she was having while we were away and I think I had been secretly fantasizing about them ever since she said the words. So…… ‘Spicy Cajun Chicken Fajitas’ in the bar was my choice and they was lurverly…. and spicy!

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Setting up the Pa for the gig!

The Crown in Scissett was twenty minutes drive from the hotel and we have played here many times before. It’s always a regular gig on our tours and always a fun gig with lots of friends and fans turning out for us what ever day of the week it is. I like the gig as the first half of the show everyone is quite quiet and we get to play more chilled and original songs and then when we play the second half of the show after the break they are all up for a good sing song and have some fun with the set. We had a star tambourine player this time who decided to join us on stage for a song and sat between Derek and I banging away looking at the floor. I think he may have been a little intoxicated. We finished up the second set and after seven encores later the land lady was still asking for us to play more but you have to stop somewhere and sometimes the show needs to stop in a certain place to leave the bar when its right. The gig was great fun as always though and we headed back to our hotel room with some lovely cheese and pickle sarnies, courtesy of the bar,  for an early morning snack before sleep time.

March 12th – The Black Bull, Birstall , Yorkshire

I woke up pretty early in the hotel and had a quick spoach around in the online world before rising completely. I needed a proper coffee so I headed downstairs for a quick chat with the Curly one and ordered myself a full English breakfast and coffee, I couldn’t help myself once I walked into the restaurant and smelt the yummy coffee and bacon aromas floating around my nostrils. Derek got packed up and joined me for a coffee a little while after and we sat and chilled in the bar for a couple of hours as we were officially homeless without a hotel room from midday.

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After chilling and chatting we headed to Barnsley to see if we could find any second hand shops around the town with goodies in. Its part of our little tour routine now when we are away to go wandering around towns and villages and find some decent second hand CD’s for the car or great books lying around in the charity shops without a home.

We managed to find lots of outdoor market stalls going on in the town centre and stumbled on an awesome comic stall with lots of great books, comics and DVDs. Derek got some great Spiderman comics as a little present for his little daughter Rebecca as she loves her comics and I managed to find an awesome score ‘The Black Crowes – Shake your money maker’ CD for the car journey to the gig. A great little wander around buying other bits and pieces and then we headed back to the car and drove thirty minutes to Birstall to the Black Bull which was the next gig.

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The awesome Comic book stall at Barnsley Market

We were there by 4:30pm so it was a long time before our gig at 9:00pm. We got the equipment in and I had a cheeky half of Doombar then we headed upstairs to the old courtroom above the pub where they hold a few different music nights. It still has the old judge boxes in and we thought we would quickly make a little video whilst we had the place to ourselves. Here it is!

We had a little back room area near where we played in the bar and when we came out to start at 9:00pm, all the tables and chairs in front of us were full of familiar faces and the lights were turned out. I loved the first set and the quietness while we performed but then we came out for the second set and plugged in and there was no guitar coming through the PA system and after a few channel changes, some crazy noises and lead changes it wasn’t going to happen. Its a nightmare sometimes when things go wrong and you can’t find a solution or a fault anywhere. After I tried everything I could think of we asked the crowd if they would mind us doing the second set unplugged and told them what was happening. They were all fine with it and we left the vocal mics on pushed back a little, gathering some of the acoustic sound for the PA. It worked out great as the crowd were well behaved and there to see us live. It was a totally different gig to our usual second set but the challenge is always accepted and everyone loved it! We nailed it and had a great time with everyone and its always another experience of playing unplugged incase anything happens in the future!.

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An hour after the gig finished and people were still hanging around!

At the end of the show, we were nearly packed up and a lovely lady asked us to play a complete unplugged song for the bar before we left and she would stick a contribution in our little merchandise funds before we headed off. We played ‘My Girl’ unplugged and the bar was completely silent for us and it was a great little few minutes in the Black Bull.

We hit the road around midnight with ‘Tenacious D’ in the CD player for most of the journey home and landed at Derek’s house around 2:30am where Curly was waiting to pick me up and take me back to Bedlington for sleepy time after our little mini tour of two days!

I hope your still enjoying the reading and stories of my journeys through out the year! Thanks for all the continued support and taking a little time from your busy lives to delve into mine a little. See you somewhere soon!

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

Virtual venues & live music online

Ever since I came across this wonderful internet world that we all pretty much take for granted these days, I have been involved in some way in performing & sharing live music in some way online.

From virtual Avatars performing on a great range of bizarre, beautiful, and wonderfully built 3D venues and stages in a completely virtual world to performing live audio and video streams from my studio, bedroom or even streaming live shows from a venue in the UK.

shagpile spyker

A virtual ‘Shagpile Spyker’ performing live in Secondlife

I’ve met some of my greatest friends and fans along the way of the journey and some of them still continue to be some of the friendliest, nicest and most active people when it comes to getting involved in my music, sharing and supporting online and they are all from very different places in this wonderful little world.

So…. I thought I’d share a few little things about each platform and let you have a little insight into each one and maybe if your a musician or a music lover that wants to watch or perform from home then you can have a little look and see if something here might help you in some way. So here goes…..

Secondlife : Secondlife is a massive multi player 3D universe that lives online. It has no computer controlled avatars, just real people. It also has its own currency which converts to which ever currency you work in. I’ve done a lot of live shows in Secondlife over the years and had some great fun in there and also built on a nice group of friends and fans. I first ended up heading to Secondlife to discover the music scene in there from a chat with someone in Camfrog (See below) and from there I met a venue owner called Fluffy who managed to help me out and let me play some shows in her own 3D venue called Casablanca. She became a great friend and now I travel to Ireland or she comes here at least a few times a year to meet and catch up. You can earn lindens through a virtual tip jar which is placed on the stage while you perform and you can also be paid from venue owners a fee for an hour show for instance I did a few shows for ‘Orange’ the mobile phone company in there who had they’re own venue with 3D models of new phones coming out. They pay to have an artist play in they’re venue and people come to listen and take a look around. The money converts back to your own currency when transferred out to Paypal.

 Here is a little video of me performing in Secondlife, all the avatars you see in the video are listeners who came to the show. This might give you a better idea of how it works and let you see how it looks.

Homepage – www.secondlife.com

StreetJelly : A fantastic online video streaming platform with a very ‘online busking’ feel. StreetJelly is completely free to sign up and all you need is a webcam and your off on your own streaming show. It is best if you understand sound a little and you have some microphones and a mixer to get it sounding nice before you stream but it is not needed or necessary. This place is all about live music and has such a great community feel about the place, where people like to get involved, listen to and perform music live to people who love it. You can also be tipped by listeners and they have a great little pin badge system for achievements which the listeners can award which makes it great fun. This is my favourite of all the platforms at the moment.

You can check out the live music and my StreetJelly profile HERE

StageIT : This is another brilliant live video and audio streaming platform. A very professional outfit and has artists like Bon Jovi and Jason Mraz performing on there live. On StageIT you must schedule a show and set a ticket price to sell your entry tickets. You perform for 30mins in front of your webcam/webcams and then a short encore set. If you have friends or a fan base which is outside of your own country this is a great way to give them the chance to watch you live.

I will be performing as We Steal Flyers with Derek on StageIT on the 1st of May 2016 and you can grab your tickets online HERE if you would like to check it out.

Homepage – StageIt

Camfrog : This is a live video chat room style platform. Camfrog seems a little out of date now and I haven’t performed in there for many years. You have to install software to use Camfrog and then you have to find and join a room and it seems a lot harder these days to find any music rooms in there. If you do there doesn’t seem to be many people hanging out in them. Camfrog music rooms have more of an open mic feel to them where you added yourself to a queue and waited for your turn to sing a song on the camera to the rest of the room. Camfrog isn’t aimed at musicians in anyway and is more just a general video chatroom service. At the same time it can be fun when it all comes together with the right people listening.

Homepage – Camfrog

BlogTV : This was very similar to StreetJelly but not quite aimed at musicians as much. You had to pay for a yearly Pro fee and the people at BlogTV sponsored ‘We Steal Flyers’ a lifetime PRO account for the ‘100 gigs in 100’ days tour and we performed live on there every tuesday as part of the tour. During the shows of the tour we managed to get numbers of viewers into the thousands at one time. Unfortunately BlogTV is no more and it got moved over to YouNow which wasn’t quite the same and not as much fun. It was a great time while it lasted though.

 Homepage – YouNow

So hopefully this gives you a little brief insight into how some of these platforms work and maybe even gave you some excitement to jump in, listen or perform live yourself. They can be great fun and as a musician it can be very rewarding performing to an online audience and a great way to reach an otherwise unreachable audience.

If you have any questions about any of them or would like some more information you can drop me a message or tell me about your own experience in the comments below.

Enjoy your streaming, listening and creating ‘Amazing Adventures Always’ and if you’d like to come join me in a StreetJelly show, get signed up and hit the follow button.

Have fun!

Jason