Song a day! – Handyman Blues ‘Under The Covers’

Since I was a little wee wippa’ snapper growing up in my hometown of Bedlington in Northumberland, Billy Bragg and his music has always been around the house. My big brother, Andy, always had his albums on in his bedroom and tracks like St.Swithins Day, The milkman of human kindness and of course New England was drummed into me without me even knowing it. I didn’t have a choice of being a fan, it was simply just implanted along my little life without me even knowing it.

At a really early age when I started to play around with the guitar one of the first music books I ever got was ‘Back to Basics with Billy Bragg’ from my good pal ‘Bambi’ who started teaching me guitar. ‘Bambi’ was a massive Billy Bragg fan and sang and played pretty much any of his tracks at the time. The book he gave me had little sketchy chord charts in to learn the songs and that’s pretty much what happened.Off I went!

After that and many years down the line I recently bought a vinyl copy of ‘Billys’ newest album at the time called ‘Tooth & Nail’ a couple of years back. I absolutely loved it and the track ‘Handyman Blues’ instantly struck a heavy note with me. It was the lyrics… they were all about songwriting, poetry and well kind of not being able to do much else really. It goes on about not fixing things in the house like curtain rails and such but heads into being able to write a song that will tell the world how much ‘I love you’ instead. Its a fantastic little song and I fell in love with it straight away because of the way my musical life and journey sometimes has all these very things. Have a listen and I hope you enjoy it too. This track was recorded with one mic live for a YouTube video which you can also watch if you go searching! Have a great Monday! Shaggy!

https://open.spotify.com/embed?uri=spotify:track:56Iae7xzBNmlA8CqTkyxI1

…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! 😉

www.facebook.com/westealflyers

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

We can be Heroes! Just for one day!

Waking up yesterday morning (10th of January) was a bit of a strange one and a sad day for so many people around the world.

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I often have a lot of trouble sleeping and switching off from things and thoughts when I’m at home and I have never really been the kind of person to enjoy going to bed, sleeping and waking up,  although I feel like I am needing some kind of sleep a lot more than I have through out my whole life lately. If I lay on the couch with a movie on then you can pretty much guarantee I wont make it through it (even if I reeeeeeally want to watch the film) but sleeping when it is silent, is a lot of the time virtually impossible for me. If I do fall asleep whilst watching a movie,  I usually wake up once the film stops and quiet sneaks in.

Two nights ago I watched ‘American Ultra’ and I made it the whole way though it! Arrrrrr-yeshhhh!  It was a great film by the way. I then sat up and did a little work on the laptop and poked around Youtube a little afterwards. I headed upto bed around 3am and lay there for over half an hour staring at the ceiling, tossed and turned about the bed whilst my little noodle did silly things and I realised there wasn’t much chance I was gonna drop off to slumber land. I headed back downstairs, made a Batchelors minestrone cup-a-soup and decided to watch another movie to see if I could drop off and settle.But…. I watched that one all the way through too! I think I headed to bed somewhere around 5.30am and still didn’t feel tired at all, maybe just a little delirious! This can also be fun sometimes though  Muuuuahhahahha!

When I woke in the morning, some point heading towards 11.30am, I was kinda feeling like my head had been trampled on by a large heard of baby pink elephants. My normal morning routine, once I can eventually open my little sleepy peepers and focus is to grab my phone from under my pillow and see what time it is, see if I have any lovely messages from anyone, reply to all of those lovely messages and then open up facebook or twitter to see if the world exploded or imploded whilst I was asleep.

David Bowie had died of Cancer at the age of 69 and Facebook and Twitter was filled with feeds of the news, photos, his life, peoples sadness and his music! I was feeling a little ‘Ughhhh’ when I arrived that day and when I read the news, it didn’t help any and got me thinking about the whole Big ‘C’ a lot and how many lives have been taken lately from friends, family, the family of close friends, people in the public eye and also about people who are suffering and dying with the horrible and horrific disease right now in my life too. I have no idea what happens when our number is finally up and we slip out of this crazy world and I don’t think anyone will ever know and I feel that is part of the beauty and mystery of life. Hopefully it isn’t the ‘End’ but if it is, then I think I’d still be happy with that when my own time pops around the corner.

Although I wasn’t a massively huge fan of David Bowie, I loved a lot of his music and he was an astounding songwriter and musician. I loved his originality and how he brought that to his music and his personality. I used to perform some of his songs live and have spent lots of time learning them and listening to them throughout my own years. The response inside the online social world was amazing as it pretty much took over the whole internet and still is as I write this. Bowie left an amazing timeless legacy behind him and this will never be forgotten.

I pulled myself together, jumped up, grabbed a lovely coffee and thought about how lucky I am to have such an amazing life at the moment and great people around me who never fail to inspire me and support what I love and do. My family, friends ,loved ones, my two beautiful healthy babys, my own health, my freedom, a home and of course… ‘Music’ , without this and its many, many forms I think I would struggle to exist!

this morning at 2am, after reading different articles about Bowie online whilst I was listening to his music I decided to grab my pencil and sketch my own little tribute to Mr.Bowie for sharing his music and life and for being such an inspiration to millions of lives around our tiny little world and here it is!

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My pencil sketch and little smily tribute to “David Bowie”

So…. before you run off, why not have a little think about a few things and try to leave here with an awesome smile like Mr.Bowie has above. I’ll give you a little point in the right direction with a few questions below to get the cogs turning.

What are you going to leave behind? What are you thankful for today? How and who can you inspire? How can you be a Hero today?  When is the next blog post coming from Shaggy? hahhaa… sorry I couldn’t resist!

Thanks for reading once again! We got there in the end didn’t we … phewww! I’d love to hear what your thoughts are in the comments below and maybe your own personal experience of Mr.Bowie if you have one. See you soon and keep the smiles alive!

Amazing Adventures Always as Mr.Bowie hopefully heads off on a brand new one!

Jason

 

 

 

Happy New Year and a lovely new blog!

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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!

Jason!

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Photo by Jay Dawson

 

..is that a Boobtube?

…. bonjour!! allo!! and wassup!!

Ive recently been dunking a bit more time into my Boobtube channel than normal in a bid to get it built up and meet some more people and musicians on there..

There is 4 new videos added up since the last update so id thought id stick 3 of them in here too for y’all to look at.. including the new one i added yesterday called “Scars” ..  Its been up under 24 hours of writing this and bounced a few honours and awards already and nearly 300 watches.. 

#80 – Most Discussed (Today))
#8 – Most Discussed (Today)) – Music
#80 – Most Discussed (Today)) – Music – Global

so thanks to everyone who stopped by and supported me again by favouriting the vid and leaving your comments …  the channel has had a massive boost of followers too lately .. So hi to everyone thats new in there!

So heres the Vids… Enjoy!!

1. Scars – Original coming on my 3rd album

2. Gun In Hand – Original coming on my 3rd album

3. Brandy Bob – Original also coming on my 3rd album

Thanks again all!! Until next time!!

Byeeeeeee..Shaggy!

Brandy Bob Cartoon

I recently recorded a quick demo of a new song I am recording for the 3rd album. The song is called “Brandy Bob” . The song came about after reading an article about a guy who died from a blow to the back of the head from a trombone player in an orchestra.. who got a little bit excited while he was playing..Muhahahha…. so the song ended up being about a serial killer called Brandy Bob who took out his victims with a trombone.  I no… a little weird..hahaha.. but its coming none the less..the name of “Brandy Bob” came from an acoustic trio that did a support slot for Stolen Tom at the steamboat in Blyth. I had the song and no name for the character and Brandy Bob just simply fit in nice 🙂 Cheers guys n gal!

I set about a bit of a buzz online to find an animator to create a flash cartoon “music Video” to go along with the final song which will be released before the album to help promote it coming out at the end of the year and finally settled on an animator called Saša Anđelić. Sasa will be working on the whole project and i have done some sketches of brandy bob which you can see below and sent them over via email so he can get busy working on it. You can find a link to Sasa’s homepage HERE. He has some great photography on there and the website design is great.. well worth checking out.He also does a lot of fantastic flash webdesign too so if you need anything doing.. hes the guy to ask!

I also wrote out a Quick Storyboard for the song and video idea which i had in mind which you can see below as well…

I will be posting updates from sasa here along the way just to let you know how its getting on and how the design work is going ..

Heres my sketchwork and coloured work I did for the basic design and idea of Brandy Bob… .say hi!!

brandy bob 2brandy bob 2 coloured with shading

And heres the rough script i had written out below…..

Storyboard Write up.

all set at night with a bit of freaky animation!

The intro of the four bar break was to be a high up city view , moonlit shot with the titles over.. built up of still images and parting as it zooms into a park in the distance..

1st verse
this is to be a scene in the park where a girl is walking through the park late at night.. shivering away with her hood up.. brandy bob popping up behind different things and disapearing again.. bins,bushes and park benches.. things like that. Could be still images again slowly poppin up then disapearing again. A mouse runs out in front of her and the girl gets a fright.. stops. And brandy bob bonks her on the head with the trombone and drags her off screen..

lead break
Brandy sitting on a step outside an old dingy house.. stumming away on a guitar with his trombone standing against the wall or step beside him.. with a case open on the floor with a few coins in..

chorus 1

Brandy bob singing away and nodding to the lyrics close up so you cant see much behind him in an old dingy house or shed.
Just him and a microphone.. for the effect of zooming out on the band (the dead victims) for the last choruses. This scene will be repeated through the other choruses before the end.

Verse 2
Scene set outside an office building with a girl working away through a window at a photocopier.. as brandy bob stands outside under a streetlamp polishing the trombone.. lights go out in the office and brandy jumps behind a bush.. the girl comes out, locks up and walks past ,, BONK on the head again… and he drags her behind the bush..

Chorus 2
Same as the last chorus with maybe some very slight differences just so it doesn’t look “copy-paste”

3rd verse and scene – verse is twice as long..
To be set in a bar with people standing round drinkin.. with brandy bob poppin up again behind stools .. between peoples legs, behind the bar.. anything like that for first part of scene.
2nd part to be the girl walking home drunk along a pathway as brandy bob pops up again behind things.. then the girl gets to her door trying to get her key in the lock drunk .. and brandy bob bonks her on the head and does off with her..

Chorus 3

Same as the last chorus with maybe some very slight differences just so it doesn’t look “copy-paste”

lead break – same again..
Brandy sitting on a step outside an old dingy house.. stumming away on a guitar with his trombone standing against the wall or step beside him.. with a case open on the floor with a few coins in..

Chorus 4 and 5 to end..
Camera slowly pans out to show the band behind him .. the three dead victims .. one slouched over the drums with sticks taped to her hands.. one tied to a chair with a bass guitar on her knee and an amp near her.. the 3rd will be tied to a chair at the other side with a guitar taped to her on a chair. As brandy bob stands out front with his microphone singing away to the end .. towards the end one of the girl falls off the chair onto the floor..  and brandy bob storms off the screen..

Keep an eye here to see whats going on and how its progressing 🙂

Shaggy & Sasa…

“Ive Been SHAGGED!!”

New merchandise and T-shirts available to buy now for a limited period from my homepage….

"I've BEEN SHAGGED"

“I’ve Been Shagged” is the new logo which is available on various merchandise from http://www.shagpile.org . You can see a sample of  the Shirts above.. The T-shirts are available in Small, Medium, Large, Xl and XLL and are £7.99 plus £1.00 postage and packaging. You can buy them from the merchandise page which will be available soon on the homepage, a local gig depending on stock or you can grab it by the paypal link below. Please don’t forget to specify what size you want when ordering via the internet.

PAYPAL PAYMENT

The same logo is available on just about any kind of clothing including Caps, Hats and  Hoodys, and if you want  it on a specific item just send me an email for a specific quote.

Big Thanks to T-shirt Terry for sorting the design …  and getting them out so quick!!

Chow for now.. Shaggy!!

NE1 FM – RADIO INTERVIEW – 25TH AUGUST

Ive managed to land another radio interview with Newcastle based radio statio … NE1 FM.

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NE1fm is Newcastle upon Tyne’s first full-time FM community radio station which broadcasts 365 days a year at frequency 102.5FM and also live streams online making it available to the whole world via the internet.

The interview will be going ahead on Tuesday the 25th of August at 7:00pm and il be playing a selection of live tracks on there too as part of the show.

You can listen online by following the link below and opening into your favourite player.

NE1 FM – Homepage is here –> www.ne1fm.com

NE1 FM – Live Stream to listen online –> www.ne1fm.com/live.m3u

Hope some of you get a chance to tune in and send in some questions if you would like something answered!!

Shaggy!!

www.shagpile.org – The Official homepage of Shagpile and his original Music

Lionheart Radio Interview and Live Session.

Lionheart Radio is a community run radio station that broadcasts from Alnwick in Northumberland and I landed an interview and also to play some live tracks of mine on there on the 2nd June via Derek from Acoustic Magic.

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I turned up around 6:30pm on the Tuesday night with guitar in hand not really knowing what to expect as far as radio interviews go. After trailing up 3 or 4 flights of stairs I finally found my way to the reception of Lionheart Radio.. only to be told by the lovely gal on reception “you look out of breath .. didn’t you see the lift?” .. good job I had a little time before Paul turned up for his show to catch my breath back ..hahaha .. The receptionist also gave me a look at there stats and stuff on there computer which was cool and told me a bit of info about the station ….

Then Paul turned up … Paul Shucksmith has a show on there every Tuesday at 7:00pm and has been featuring the players from Acoustic magic on a monthly basis and theres been some great live music involved.. he’s definitely worth listening in for and I cant wait to hear the upcoming shows..

Paul went into the studio after splashing out the cups of Tea and I followed him in not long after with guitar in hand and a handful of CD’s. That’s when the nerves kicked in slightly .. we didn’t really have any preperation before hand and in between the song he told me that he doesn’t really plan out the show and likes it to just go along unplanned.. which I thought was a bit strange at first but the guy obviously knows what he is doing and once we got on air together he instantly makes you feel as if you’ve known him your whole life… and the show just all dropped into place from my point of view.. Paul instantly makes you feel relaxed and does a hell of a job at Lionheart. Top Fella!!!!!

Before I knew it the show had passed over 2 Hours of been on air .. I managed to play quite a few live tracks on air and also some tracks off the cd’s I took along. We had a heap of people emailing in and asking questions and asking for requests which really made the night that extra bit special.

So from shaggy the radio star!! Thanks for all the support from all who listened in and the show is repeated this Monday coming at 10pm incase you missed it…. And for those of you who did miss it , without a good excuse…. SHAMMMMMME ON YOU!!!

Don’t forget to check out Paul’s upcoming shows and drop in at the website to say hi….

www.lionheartradio.com

Thanks again!! Shaggy!

Follow up to the big 3 ohhh!!! part deux!!

What a Weekend.

YOHOOOOO!! What a weekend its been and its took me till Tuesday to feel even remotely normal!!

To kick it off we were at the Isabella as part of the Bellacoustic night and the party for my 30th Birthday (although it wasn’t till Sunday). The night kicked off with Ickle Daryl Burns opening up with his set and went on till closing time through out all the players.

First of all thanks to all the players who gave there time to play … Daryl Burns, Clear Blue Skies, Micky Oliver, Hague, William West and the rest of Stolen Tom, which includes Sav playing the drums on Harrys Hat miced up… Hahha what a belta! We also had a SPECIAL GUEST appearance from Milinda doing her thing to La Bamba hahahhaha!! No Microphone Needed!!

Also thanks for everyone who came down for a beer and wished me happy birthday for Sunday… The missus and everyone else who helped organise it all as well… Paul & Kay from the Isabella for letting us take over the bar for the night…. all the people that bought me pressies!! (WEHEYY!!.. finally got an Acoustic Magic Clock!!) and anyone else who was hanging about listening to the music!! I Had a great night and it was a hell of a turnout. CHEEERS!!!

ME.. Blowin my cake across the pub!!!

ME.. Blowin my cake across the pub!!!

After That we all piled back to my house for a party till the daylight started popping through in the morning.. and all the drink was gone.. The birds were singing away when half the people left and I  couldn’t move and was crashed out on the floor!!

Saturday daytime was a dead day literally and I felt like Sav was still playing that helmet as a drum .. apart from it was on my head this time .. OWWW!!!

On the night time we went over to Sunderland , The Independent to see the Stephen Fretwell gig ive been waiting on for months… and it was another cracking night although I struggled to face a drink. Got some cracking photos though for the Nocturnal Images website and had a canny chinese meal while we waited on the doors opening…

Then it was Sunday and I am now officially 30 ..  hahhaha … good thing or bad thing?? Well have to wait and see I guess … I was gigging at Bubbles in Ashington with The Acoustic Magic Team supporting Greg Griffins of the band Proud Mary who has been on tour with Neil Young. Canny eh??

Again another cracking night and it ended with Greg taking to the stage. What a voice on the guy .. and a brilliant set .. look forward to catching him again some time and I’m gona pester him to take his part in the All Acoustic page too.. so il let you know how that goes!!

I Finished off the night by necking as many test tubes as I could get my hands on , which michelle at that point decided to stick them on her hands and do her edward scissor hands impression and I managed to stroll in at 3:30am blotto!! … and then I spent the whole day lying around on Monday!! Pleased I put in the holiday from work … as there was no chance I could have made it!! Like someone else from work who didn’t manage to get there…hahahha.. *cough * shelly *cough * ..

Once again thanks again to all who made the weekend what it was!!

Cheers Big Ears!! Shaggy!!!