The Wanderings – II : Grasslands and Matt Boulter

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51682737_2331387376912848_8750105669203394560_n.jpgThe curse of original music, in Swindon at least, means that most gigs I want to check out generally happen only on a Thursday. So with two gigs scheduled I headed out into the bracing night air. A quick pint at Baila provided a gentle start to the night before heading to The Tuppenny and my mate Tom doing a last minute acoustic slot in place of the unwell Emily Jane Shepherd.

Grasslands is often a sprawling musical affair involving guitars, synths and effects pedals   all being operated by our musical hero and always teetering on the edge of chaos. That’s half the fun. The acoustic sets are normally more focused and the quality of the songs is allowed to shine through. The charm of Grasslands is that between songs, Tom, who during the day works in environmental surveying, engages the audience in conversations in all things green with a particular relish for mosses. Somehow the banter turned darkly towards Croatian attitudes towards badger culling, I may have been responsible for that but by and large it was a set of wonderfully affected, textured acoustic with sonic hints of early post-gabriel Genesis, surprisingly.

A wander down the hill to The Beehive and Matt Boulter has already on and for the next 40 minutes he delighted the modest crowd with his spacious and delicate songs. Aided and abetted by a fellow Lucky Strike on upright base the songs were as impressive as ever and I detected a lovely Paul Simon lilt in his voice that I hadn’t noticed before. The night rounded off with a nice chat before he had to pack the car up for the journey home.

Matt was playing as part of Tim Manning‘s Acoustic Buzz night, a monthly spot he has at this compact and bijou boozer. Always good to catch up with him too and before long I was wandering back through the night to a warm bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Around Town no more

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d75969e742e9509fce1dfb621b58374bI guess I have been waiting for this for a while. With The Swindon Advertiser circulation dwindling, the paper concentrating on digital, on-line views and a recent brutal layoff of staff, it was inevitable that freelancers and their columns and contributions would be slowly squeezed out. So today I was informed that next week is the last local gig guide they need from me. End of a nine year journey.

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The Wanderings – I

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I’m sure most people aren’t interested in my bar related wanderings but as I want to keep this blog as a sort of diary of my activities, both scribbling and non scribbling, you are going to have to put up with my ramblings.

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Pop’s answer to Spinal Tap

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_104971336_bros_paI just watched the much talked about documentary, Bros : After The Screaming Stops. First impressions are that away from all the studio stuff, the creative arguments that hide a lot of other issues, and which to be honest is pretty normal stuff for music studios, is that Matt Goss is bonkers. If not bonkers then trying to sell himself as some sort of spiritual-philosophical-music-guru. He blatantly isn’t, he’s a guy astute enough to cash in on the first chapter of his musical life which came about because he was charismatic, energetic, ambitious and reasonably talented. There are times when you think that he is working to a script put together by writing down the results of one of those comedic meme generators, that throw up things like “Never stop thinking you can’t wear socks, your soul is all that matters.” The whole documentary feels like the next generation of memes.

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I wanna be adored!

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1617082594Following on from the last post about Fiverr, I have noticed a strange change in attitude when it comes to music promotion. I use Fiverr to write promotional content for bands and artists. They look like reviews but are always constructive and come from a PR place, they champion the music rather than a critical and deconstructive one.

When I started people were happy with this, thy end up with a piece of writing that looks good to use or link from websites, is useful as a source of pull quotes for press releases and which more than anything helps convey to the listener just what the music is all about.

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1,2,3,4, Fiverr

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writing-1Fiverr does come in for a lot of criticism. I guess it is because of the way some people use it. It’s seen as a being low-grade, low-income content service, one where you are more likely to get fobbed off with a nonsensical piece of work written in someones second language than work of the quality you were actually looking for. I remember the splendid Dave Gorman talking about it on one of his shows and it didn’t come off looking great, I have to admit. But then again I live in Swindon, England, a town which has become the by-word for all things course, common and crap and the but of many a joke on each and every panel show and sit-com to do the rounds in the last twenty years.

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