Applecarts & Tanglewoods

BOOOOOO!!!!! Its been a little while since I got to the blog so I have quite a few updates on what’s been happening to catch up on but I’ll try and keep it short and sweet!

First of all, I am sure most of you know by now that the new ‘We Steal Flyers‘ album ‘Applecart’ finally arrived and has been released to the world. You can now purchase it online and at most of the good online retailers like iTunes, Amazon & Cdbaby. The physical copies are also now available at ‘We Steal Flyers’ gigs and for home delivery from the ‘We Steal Flyers’ Shop.

Its been available now for just over a month and the support has been completely overwhelming! Not only did we have lots of orders online through our shop but they have been flying out at our gigs and the feedback from everyone has been so great! Lots of happy people out there with new songs from the us to listen to! A massive thanks to all of you for your continued support and patience! Now lets crack on and get the next album sorted!!

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The next exciting news is after doing a few live videos in Dennis Todd Music shop in Bedlington for guitar manufacturers Tanglewood, I am now an official Tanglewood artist/endorsee. We kept in touch after the videos were shot and released and it all came together. They are a brilliant UK based company who make some stunning guitars and I am now the owner of a beautiful all mahogany TW47E which was presented to me in my local Dennis Todd Music Shop by Mark Whiteman. I’m proud as punch!

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The new addition! Tanglewood TW47E

I was also performing a wedding gig in Ashington last week with Growing Robots with the new guitar for its second outing and the great Darren who is our bass player managed to grab some shots as I was setting up for the show. These were used on the Tanglewood website! You can check out some of Darrens amazing landscape photography of Northumberland and further afield at his homepage ‘Darren Turner Photography’

It’s been a busy old time here in the Shagnut Studio too with a few different projects for artists but I am also well into working on my new solo album too. Its already featuring a few great people you might know of through my pages and the songs all feel exciting and fresh to me. The album is heading towards more melodic and bluesy finger-style guitar and playing around with different tunings to keep it all exciting and I’m absolutely loving the challenges and the learning curves that have come along with it all. I still have lots of more good news in the pipeline but I will have to leave this for the next update!

Life has been good, creative, full of fun, love, laughter and busy times!! What else do I need??

Now back to work I go… hahaha! After a cuppa and some Marmite on toast of course!

Jason … #amazingadventuresalways

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If Tanglewood would… I would!

7th April 2016

I received some great news from Mark at Dennis Todd Music shop in Bedlington last week. Tanglewood Guitars were to be filming a new series of videos for their website and homepage. They were to drop in-store to film a local songwriter in a local Tanglewood dealer. The dealer was Dennis Todd’s in Bedlington,  my home town and I managed to be the lucky artist who was going to get to perform in the store.WoooHoooooo!!

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Mark from Dennis Todd Music Store in Bedlington

Dennis Todd’s music shop has been around since I was a little wee wipper snapper. I used to stop off in the store growing up and gawk at all the lovely guitars and instruments in the shop. My father used to take me up there too as a little one when he was picking up strings and bits n pieces for guitars he was giving a new lease of life too. Mark Whiteman used to work in the store and has since taken over the shop from Dennis but kept the original name and local friendly shine it always had.

On Thursday , Elliot from Tanglewood was turning up at 11am and I had to get my butt down there to perform an original song and a cover version of a song using two different Tanglewood guitar models. He was going to be filming and recording the audio and putting it all together in a nice little package for the world to see on the Tanglewood homepage and YouTube.

I woke up not feeling too grand unfortunately and was all stuffed up with the first signs of this nasty cold coming along on Thursday morning but I managed to pull together and get down there to get started. Elliot was already setting up when I arrived and getting things ready so I had time to sneak a strong coffee in from Mark while we sorted things out in the shop. Mark had some lights brought down and sat one behind the corner of the seat in the corner and another smaller LED to give a little fill light.

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Ready to start on the first take with Elliot

We were pretty much ready to go when the Curly one tipped up to sit in the corner in silence while we got cracking. We had a couple of large microphones set up in front of me and I had to give the songs a few takes though for each song to hopefully capture some different angles and cut scenes to be all synced up and hopefully look lurrrvely when its all done. By the time I got through the first take of the first song my backside felt like it was on fire from the lamp which was heating me up like an oven. Mark also realised there was an expensive Tanglewood sitting right in front of the light so that was moved quickly to another location in the shop. Peowwww!!

I got to use one of the new dreadnought sized Crossroad series Tanglewood for the first song which was an original song of mine called “English Tea” and will be available on the all new ‘We Steal Flyers‘ album ‘Applecart’ which is out on the 6th May 2016. For such an affordable guitar it sounded and performed really well and I started to get a little attached to it by the end of the takes.

The second song was a cover and I chose to play a version of the Cheers TV series theme song and I played a lovely TW40 OAN on this song. It had a a great big bright sound and was perfect for the more finger-style version of the song I was playing. By the time I got through the takes of the cover I was well and truly sweating with the muckle light behind me, that was trying to turn me into mush like the wicked witch of the North (East) . Ha Ha.

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After the session with Mark & Elliot

After the session was done we managed to get packed up and had a little wander around a few places in Bedlington and got a few shots of the local points of interest. We popped into a few shops around the way and then back to the shop.

All in all it took around 4 hours and it was a great and different day with a few great people and hopefully the videos will arrive soon. With the amazing help of Mark from Dennis Todd’s and Elliot from Tanglewood UK the job was done and I managed to relax in the garden with a little fire with my little ones and Curly-top until way after dark. Another amazing adventure complete!!

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Time to chill in the garden with the lovelys!

Thank you for stopping by my little humble home of life and music as always and look out for the new videos coming soon!

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

…Irish Muckle Elephant Food

Day 3 – Lucerne to St. Gallen and back again!

Today is the real start of the tour! Our first gig for the ‘We Steal Flyers, Winter Tour 2016’ is in Gallus Pub in St. Gallen, Switzerland This is a new venue for us and also a new area of Switzerland for us too. A nice exciting way to start the tour off!

Waking up and grabbing a coffee was the first thing on my mind! Then I had a little work to do online and get my diary up to date or you wouldn’t have any of these to read. We are in and out of Wi-Fi and travelling a lot so the days will be a few days behind mostly but at least you can still keep up with what is happening on the road and in our adventures around Switzerland.

After my work was done, I managed to squeeze a shower in whilst I listened to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats blarring out my laptop as I got myself ready and packed my little ruck sack with bits n pieces for the show.

Derek and I left the hotel around 3pm with our guitars and matching Karrimor backpacks and headed to the back of ‘Legends Bar’ on the other side of town, which is where I performed live in Switzerland for the first time in a window sill of the bar, when I came over in March 2010. Our good friend Bill used to own the bar back then but unfotunatley not anymore.

We met up with Mark, our frog squashing tour manager and jumped in his Mercedes BritBeat machine ready to head over to St. Gallen. We headed off on the road after an old guy in the biggest black car in the world shook his leather fisted gloves at Derek for trying to get in the side door of the van from the road side. We shot off through the many traffic lights and crossings of Lucerne and found our way to the motorway when Mark pulled out his ACDC album for the road trip! Yeshh!! We made a quick pit stop for some weird crisps, blue fanta and other weird nom noms for the rest of the trip to St. Gallen. The drive took around 1 hour and 45mins and then about 20mins driving around the bar in circles trying to find how to get to it.

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We Steal Flyers – from UK – Irish Music?

We nipped inside after Mark came out laughing and told us to go see the size of the place and how much gear we would need.We also ntoiced the outside advertisement on the wall you can see above. The bar was a little bigger than my kitchen at home! An Irish themed, square bar in an old upstairs building on a main street full of great little nicknack’s on the walls and ceiling. There was an in house Pa System that we could link into and we just needed our mixer, mics and micstands. The whole building was on bit of a slant and I nearly fell over twice bending over plugging leads and my pedal in and then losing my balance. It wasn’t a lot, but enough to make everything feel very strange. It almost felt like the place was moving when you looked around.

Once we sound checked we headed across the road to a Thai Restaurant called Big Elephant. We are always fed well over here and looked after. The meal was amazing and I actually felt a little full up to sing. We had a little time to relax and have a Guinness and a few of Marks whiskies in the bar before we started the show though. Mark was doing a whisky tasting in the opposite corner of the bar while we played music. The Whisky & Song works really well together in some of the bars and hotels in Switzerland.It also means I get to try out a few sneaky whiskys while we play. Win Win!!

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‘Whisky & Song’ with The Whisky Experience

We had a great fun first gig with one of the staff taking off into his own version of La Bamba in the 3rd set after I simply strummed a C chord between songs. Everyone joined in and had a huge sing along in the smallest pub of ever! It was also great to see people singing along to ‘Apple-cart’ too which is one of our new songs to come on the new album which isn’t even out yet. We performed a live take of Apple-cart when we were in the Shagnut Studio recording the album and you can see it below. We have some great news of the new album coming soon too so keep your ears and eyes peeled.

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Gallus Pub in St.Gallen, Switzerland

After we packed our little bits and pieces up we jumped back in the BritBeat Machine and headed back to Lucerne for around 1.30am, headed back to the hotel over our little night time bridge and I got a little caught up with some more work online until my eyes couldn’t stay open any longer. Luckily there was no weird little witches running around in my room and I got myself a good little sleep. The next gig for us two Flyers is in Baden, Switzerland. A great little English style bar with a nice stage area with plenty of room to shake our legs. Speak to you after the show! 😉

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Jason – Amazing Adventures Always