Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Peter O' Toole on bagpipes

Like the last person standing in Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers I stumbled across "Hero" by Family Of The year and I dig it. That direct melody, plenty of space, the steady build. I think I'd rather just listen than watch a video but here it is:

Still haven't seen Boyhood yet.

I am chuffed to sneak into the Top 10 here

Still no reply from David blinkin' Hockney though...


...Santa gave me Brian Blessed's memoir "Absolute Pandemonium" and it does not disappoint. A wee extract concerning Peter O' Toole:

"To everyone's astonishment O'Toole grabbed one of the bagpipes and commenced playing them brilliantly. There was no end to his talents. After huge applause, he bowed and threw the pipes straight through a glass window. It was the signal for mayhem..."

Here are some beautiful words from Tracyanne Campbell about her pal Carey Lander.

If you feel like chipping in a pound or two or spreading the word, Carey's Just Giving page for Sarcoma cancer research is here. (now over £85k raised...)

Thursday, 24 December 2015


I watched this and loved it. I remember the trailers when Channel 4 was just starting. I think I had just turned 12....

Oh and this was a great watch too. Roy Hudd's bit had me overcome with emulsion...

It's Christmas Eve as I type and we're over 2.5k plays for this. Yay.

I just completed music for an advert and the client is "over the moon" with the music - so yippee for that.

Hope Santa brings me the Brian Blessed autobiography I politely requested.

Carey Lander's Just Giving page has now raised over £84k for a good cause.

And if ever get the chance to see The Bay City Rollers at a sold out Barrowlands in the run up to christmas, I guarantee you will have a good time...

P'Tang, Yang, Kipperbang - uh.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Oh Yes I Did

On behalf of myself, Schubert & Mozart - hooray for Classic FM:

Yes, this got a wee spin this morning (well it IS almost January...):

The perfect stocking filler can be ordered here.

In other news I have been tweaking music for an advert...writing music for a documentary, yakking to some students about music business stuff...Oh and I went and saw this:

Highly recommended.

My Songwriting Workshop is back on 14th Jan 2016 for 10 x weeks. If you or someone you know fancies registering here's the link (Scroll to page 46).

Random excerpt from the Kenneth Williams Diaries:

Tues 26th Dec, 1967The phone has rung a lot - someone who knows the code. Three rings and start again, but I still didn't answer. There is an awful lot of this 'social chat' over the Christmas period, and I can't be doing with it.

As I type Carey Lander's Just Giving page has raised over £81.5k. Great legacy. Let's keep going...

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Frankie Sin

"Frank Sinatra Has A Cold" is a great read. Be warned there are more than 140 characters...

(I was asked to write something about my favourite Frank Sintra song - look here)

Last Tuesday there was a Creative Writing Showcase for students on the Glasgow Uni Open Studies courses. Great night with some good readings, and four of my students sang songs. (*pause for swell of paternal pride. Ok that's enough...*) The next workshop kicks off on Jan 14th. Register before the festivities. The perfect Xmas gift for the budding songwriter in your life. Scroll to Page 46 here.

I want Lance from Detectorists to be my pal. Yay for the Christmas special.

This week I met Dougie MacLean, Ricky Ross and had a chin wag with the great Karine Polwart. And I saw a bit of a debate in the Scottish Parliament where MSPs applauded speeches with claps (instead of mannered moans and grunts).

I keep listening to this:

Oh and here is Morricone talking about melodies.

I have been giving The Iskra String Quartet a wee listen.

And I am writing music for a couple of things.

And that is all I have to say.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Ronnie Rocks

So last Sunday I saw Ronnie Spector in Glasgow. (My pal Jeremy Chatzky, who also plays with Laura Cantrell, was leading the band with his bass guitar.)

Great, fun, entertaining show. Among other things she performed her version of this, which I heard first heard as a wet-behind-the-ears 17 year-old (16?) Boy Hairdresser:

(Man, Paul Cook's drums...)

I don't think our attempt to cover it but we made it through two verses in rehearsal.

Another highlight from the show was this ditty (Ronnie's groin thrusts over the lines "when we're making up" was something to behold):

If you get the chance to see "Spotlight" - I suggest you grab it.  Tom McCarthy is an amazing writer/director, IMHO.

My 10-week songwriting course at Glasgow University Centre For Open Studies has come to an end  (aww). The students gave me a nice spontaneous round of applause at the end of the last class (awwww!). Some of them will be singing at a Student Showcase event at the STUC building, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow on Tuesday 8th Dec - £5 Entry. It all kicks off at 6.30pm. There will also be readings from some Creative Writing students and stuff. Culture an' that.

The course is back on 14th Jan 2016 for 10 x weeks. If you or someone you know fancies attending a Songwriting Workshop, here's the link (Scroll to page 46).

Thinking about that special Christmas present? Relax. Click here.

I am dipping into The Kenneth Williams Diaries. Wed 5th Dec, 1973:

"To Basil Jellicoe Hall for the Old Folks' Christmas Party. the mayor came in and said to me 'You're doing a grand job' while I was in the middle of a particularly dirty story to a lady of eighty."

I bought the new Ludovico Einaudi album. Going into a shop and buying a CD; quaint, huh?

In other news Carey Lander's Just Giving Page has now raised £78k for cancer research - look.