Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Two fine CD's

Last year, I bought two CD's down at the Blazer of Blueness, for £2 and £3 each.  They're both very good, and have completely blown a hole in my theory that just guitar and voice can't hold your attention sufficiently over the length of an album.  So, that's that theory then.

The CD's are:

Another Side Of Calum Carlyle by Calum Carlyle


Words and Tunes
by Caro Bridges

Calum's CD is great, full of dark sentiments, as rich and bitter as a 70% cocoa bar of chocolate, but just as satisfying.  If you want bile, Calum's got a bucketload on this, but it sure does sound good.  The stand out track for me is "Where Do We Go From Here?", which conveys brilliantly a mood of edgy, nervous uncertainty at what (I presume) is the end of a relationship for the song's protagonist.  My only minor gripe is the cover photo is out of focus, and slightly dull.  A tad presumptuous of me, but maybe Calum would like this photo instead?

Caro's CD appears more pleasant on the surface, but peer beneath the reflections of this delightful pool, and something is stirring in the water . . .  Like on the deceptively lulling "Let You Down" (my favourite track), it rolls on along amiably enough until suddenly a vaguely discordant note is played, and then it appears all is not well in that particular world either.  There's a lightness of touch about some of the sunnier moments which make it the perfect compliment to the aforementioned platter.  Why not get them both?

I listened to them both a fair bit last year when I spent a weekend being ill, and mainly lying in bed.  A weekend, mark you, and annoyingly, I was OK for work on the Monday.

However, it did give me time to listen with my whole attention to these two fine CD's, something which I'm afraid I rarely do nowadays.  I suspect in common with most people, music tends to be put on while I do something else.  Maybe I only listened to music that 100% way when I was younger.  Or, maybe I've now got more stuff to do in my life, I dunno.

At any rate, it was an interesting and rewarding experience, as I lay there with a high temperature.  I'd heartily recommend you seek these out.   And, even occasionally consider listening whilst doing nothing else.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The loneliness of the long-distance musician

The other day The Storm played at Celtic Connections, which was the third time I'd played on the Danny Kyle open stage (once with the dazzling Norman Lamont & The Innocents).   The DK open stage is a great thing, in my opinion, as it gives bands a chance to play with a decent PA and sound crew, to 230-odd people who are pretty much all listening to your music.  To a non-musician, that probably doesn't sound much, but to those of us who plough this lonely furrow, it means a lot.

So, it was fun, and we enjoyed most of the other acts who performed too, one of which I'm hoping to tempt to the Listening Room at some point.  So . . . surely I must have mentioned all this fun and enjoyment to my work colleagues, as I had to take a half day?

Well, no, I didn't.  I can't be arsed explaining anymore to people at work why I do it, how very little financial reward there is, etc.  For most people, it seems perplexing, or possibly a chance for some not-especially good "jokes" at your expense.  So, I didn't bother.  Then I wondered if I should have, so I enquired of the Doc if she'd mentioned it to the people at her work.

"Er . . . no", she said.  That confirmed my reticence.

This is not me