Ian Edmundson UNTRUTHS

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Ian's 2013 blog archive

January 1st 2013.
Wishing you all a happy a properous New Year.

Musical news: Spent an amount of today recording the January Tune Of The Month, a new song of mine called 'Groundhog Day' which will be up as soon as it is ready.

My priorities for this year are to get into a new, working band (I have a couple of leads and options) and to spend less time on the internet and to be a real person instead of just being a pop-up on someone's page. I have cleared out a lot of my weekly Facebook rubbish, deleted links to a few old favourite pages from the personal links page that I always use to get to the sites I visit regularly and I'm sure the world will be a lot better for it. The internet will run much faster for everyone if we all delete our old crap. Why do people who are sat in the same room talk to each other via Facebook?? Stop it at once.

January 7th 2013.
A cautionary tale....

A friend of mine bought an ex-display electric piano for £600 from a certain small shop that specialises in cheaper guitars and so on, in Manchester city centre and we took it back to his house on Christmas Eve. At which point it decided to start cutting out after 2 minutes use, every time he switched it on. He rang them and explained what was going on. 'Oh' they said.

On boxing day, it went back. He took it into the shop, while I waited with the car round the back street (as the parking is practically non-existent near the shop). He asked for a refund, as it wasn't fit for purpose. They refused on the grounds that it wasn't cutting out in the shop. they hammered away at it for a short while, cheerfully blaming his electricity and his other household appliances for the keyboard's failure to function. The keyboard was, frustratingly, working perfectly well and it was coming up to 5 minutes that it had been powered up.

I rang my mate to find out where we were up to, seeing as I couldn't leave the car unattended on double yellows. AND the keyboard THEN chose just that moment to cut out! Spooky.... AND the guys in the shop then cunningly but unconvincingly blamed my mate's mobile phone for the problems. How desperate was that? They refused to refund him, saying that the keyboard could DEFINITELY be repaired. They knew this because they opened the back up and triumphantly pointed to a circuit board in there, so it must be fixable. Fills you with confidence, doesn't it? No? Me neither..

We are going to give them until this coming weekend to get it repaired and 100% functional, or give my mate a full refund. If they try to sell us anything else while we're in there, well... More info as it happens.

January 12th 2013.
Follow-up to 'a cautionary tale'. The shop got a repair man to look at the keyboard that was seemingly getting either the wrong colour of electricity at my mate's house, or was too close to one of those pesky new-fangled mobile phone things. Apparently, the mains input stage to the keyboard needed replacing completely. The keyboard now works 100% so the matter is resolved to my mate's satisfaction. However, I will personally exercise some caution at buying anything more expensive than a guitar pick or set of strings from them, in case it requires that 'unleaded electricity' type stuff - dunno if I can even get that at home - never mind at some venues.

January 20th 2013.
Looking into a couple of options for new bands. One option is to form a Cheap Trick tribute - that way I will be playing music I love all the way through the set. The difficulty with that is finding like-minded musicians with the correct abilities. So far, the search is mainly revealing that there is only ONE Robin Zander on the planet and he appears to be busy enough with the REAL Cheap Trick. Hmmm.. without a good enough singer, the project just won't take off. I have had a couple of drummers and guitarists get back to me about it, but without a great RZ, there's no band.

There are a couple of other options in the air at the moment, but one of the bands I've answered an ad from (which plays all the right songs) is a distance away and doesn't play too much. The other is mainly 50's and 60's stuff, which is really interesting and could be a goer. Waiting for details from them.

Looked at the song I'm supposed to be working on for the Tune Of The Month and I know time is running out to get it finished. Will do some more work on it this week, I promise.

January 29th 2013.
The Tune of the month is slightly closer to being finished, but I haven't been able to do anything to it, as my trick back is hurting like hell and stops me picking any gear up and getting on with recording. If it's late, it's late. So sue me.

Two approaches via the net regarding joining a band. One truly impressive band sounded me out and their gig list is excellent. Unfortunately, they play at a (geographically distant) venue that I absolutely refuse to ever go back to. I would not want to cause the band issues by asking them to cancel any work or to get their old bassist back in for the two gigs.

The other approach was a drummerless band who have been struggling to get themselves together wanted me to organise them. No.... 'Teenage kicks' is in your setlist. If you want organising, ask an adult.

February 4th 2013.
On Saturday I played with Kee, Brian and Katie in Accrington. A decent enough show. My would-be roadie John The Fire Hazard distinguished himself by getting so utterly pissed that he didn't pick up a single stick on the way out and in the car on the way back, he asked me if I had enjoyed the gig FOUR times. "The gig was quite good, thank you John (x4)." Oh, how I have missed that.

I keep getting asked if I want to join a couple of bands as a lead guitarist. This is not what I was hoping to do, although I can play some lead guitar and have done so on my own recordings - A mate asked me via Facebook last night, so I'm going to go along with my guitar and amp and see what happens. It may be nothing much. But we'll see.

February 8th 2013.
Just popped in to express my utter disgust at the cost of tickets for Fleetwood Mac. Delusions of Grandeur.
Oh, Stevie Nicks, I do love you, but not that much.

February 13th 2013.
The last week or so has been entertaining. I have been approached by a couple of bands - one of whom's bassist threw in the towel midweek, leaving them in the lurch for a good amount of future work that is booked. I had been having talks with the other two guys in the band about what was required and loved their setlist - which was right up my street. However, their ex-bassist must have got a couple of big winter bills in and reconsidered his position, as he is their bassist again, as of today.

Another quite interesting band approached me, but looking at their website, I am worried about the idea of a girl singing Smiths covers, or me playing bass on them. It isn't all they do by a long way, but I think what they are doing probably isn't for me.

I'm not naming any of the bands who I have been talking to, as some of their bass players don't know they are leaving yet and I do not want to upset any band members, just for the sake of naming names.

Another drummer has approached me regarding the Cheap Trick tribute idea. He says he knows an excellent singer - so I will need to hear some audio clips and see what he looks like. It would really help if the other guys in the band are totally into Cheap Trick. A casual interest in the band probably wouldn't do it.

February 27th 2013
A busy couple of weeks (watching The Sopranos is just so addictive) , so catching the blog up now.

I am giving it a try with a band that I went down and auditioned for last week. I went to watch them play last weekend and they are very promising - playing a good, crowd-pleasing set of stuff from the 60's to date. Good players and very nice guys, too. The band is a 3 piece and their bassist made 'leaving noises' recently. More on that when I can.

The Cheap Trick tribute idea is on hold indefinitely. The guy who knew a singer says the singer could 'probably sing like Robin Zander' but doesn't look anything like him. Not good enough. He's also advertising to set up a large band to do corporate stuff. Good luck to him.

Playing a repeat booking with Kee, Brian and Katie on Saturday night. This gig will be more soul-orientated, so that should be quite interesting. A sax player will be involved. Last time I played with a sax player, the gig was so desperately awful, that I very nearly had a nervous breakdown and it was my last show ever with that band - the guitarist gave in his notice, too. Nothing against sax players, mind you - I have had the immense pleasure of playing with Len Miller, who was also a superb guitarist (one of my happiest alliances) and even the one at 'the awful gig' was very good, but him turning up and jamming through the set unrehearsed made it a total debacle, which was by no means his fault. The player we are using on Saturday is also a very very good player, but at least there has been some rehearsal, so all will be well. Video to follow, if the lighting is up to it.

I've had an offer to play some shows abroad next year, so that's going to be good, if it comes off (even with a twelve hour or so flight).

March 4th 2013
Soul, eh? Sounds promising!

The entertainment business is a weird thing. You go off out in the car with your basses in the back, thinking 'hey hey, fun and profit'.

Then you get to the gig and meet a musician you've never played with before. And to be sure, he's no slouch. He CAN play. Excellent. Then the song arrangements that you've worked up previously go out of the window, quite naturally, because you have to accomodate an extra musician and put some solos in for him. You finish your first 45 minute spot (which turned out to be over 50 minutes, but that's fine) with a couple of songs from the set-list left untouched, because the other songs got extended.

You don't manage to play any of the Barry White stuff this disappointed female soul fan asked for before you started, as:

a) you don't know any,
b) you don't like any.
c) 6-stone Katie would sound ridiculous trying to sound like the walrus of lurve - good as he undoubtedly was. and
d) you don't happen to have An Orchestra handy. A good get-out reason.

The sax player goes to take his dog out of his car and for a walk and our drummer goes out for a fag during our break and I go out with him for a chat and a catch up - I haven't seen him for a few weeks. Out comes a lady punter who plonks herself right next to us and announces a number of things - one is that we are not a soul band, another is that our performance was ragged. She's getting quite loud at this point and would like to criticise a few more things about the band.

I gently remind her that we didn't write 'soul band' on the pub blackboard. Sure, we're playing some soul stuff, as Kee said let's do that for a change, but really we are a bit of a rock band. She takes great joy from the fact that we are not sure how old our girl singer Katie is when she asks. Seeing as we have never needed to ask her, we don't know. Well, she says, we should. She's 49, knows everything about soul and has never been so insulted. Resisting the chance for a bit of retaliative merriment and a fat lip, at this point I diplomatically (and quite uncharacteristically) decide to politely keep it zipped. The drummer walks off, a bit dazed by all this needless roaring, to put his fag end in a skip, as he's quite a tidy person and she gloats to me that she's pissed him off. Nice.

Music from the PA system in the pub drifts out of the door, which is open. I have put Millie Jackson's classic 1974 album 'Caught Up' on to play in its entireity, followed by the sequel, 'Still Caught Up' - two concept albums about a woman having an affair with a married man and all the heartache and gut-wrenching pain that it brings. Perfect soul music. Millie Jackson was a genius. 'If loving you is wrong, (I don't want to be right)' is playing. The lady 'soul fan' (49) doesn't recognise it. Ha!

The woman (49) lurches off uncertainly in the direction of away. We go back inside and put our guitars back on. We don't miss her glares and stares at all in the second half and someone else occupies the seat she had been watching us from. It's a guy, with a few beers on the table. He's in a good mood. He likes us and he claps a lot. As do the the rest of the pub. Guess what? The second half goes quite well, really.

The sax player gets asked about his sax by some interested people after we have finished and are packing up our gear. Some actual soul music is playing rather quietly in a muted fashion, over the pub's own speakers. It's a bit muffled and all you can really hear is the bass and drums. He starts to play on his own, along with the piped music. By God, he's good on that sax. Lots of people are clapping along and enjoying what he is doing. He has everyone's attention. Our gear is out the door and he's still at it when my car is all packed up.

I don't think we will let anyone advertise us as a soul band again!

March 9th 2013
No gigs this weekend. Two possibles haven't come off. The band I auditioned successfully for in mid- February and went see a week later (Random Numbers) simply haven't managed to arrange any sort of further get together to get things moving, so I am advertising myself again. He who is dull enough to hesitate is lost.

March 21st 2013.
Went to watch Ian Hunter the other night. Superb show.

With Jason Ringenberg from Jason and The Scorchers - one of my favourite bands. I was delighted to find that Jason was special guest for Ian Hunter. What a really nice guy. Thanks also to Andy York (former Scorcher and now guitarist with Ian Hunter). Another top chap.

Even more proof that Jason is a fab and groovy guy and knows his bass players...

Jason Ringeberg and Tom Peterson

March 24th 2013.
A return gig at a venue in Accrington. Nice venue, nice crowd. Played with Kee, the excellent Barry on drums and guest singist the girl singist. Slightly fraught as the PA was a wee bit underpowered for use with a band and the four of us hadn't all played together before and one of my guitar cables failed and it's not a cheap one either, but despite that, an enjoyable evening was had by all. Nice to see Tony Hibbert and his mate who plays bass with The Stiffs. I've got one of their singles.

On the way back, Kee, John The Fire Hazard and myself called in at McDonalds at 1am. Possibly due to... ermmmm ... imbibance, John had mysteriously forgotten this fact 20 miles down the road and was asking if we were calling at a chippy on the way back. He was just slightly baffled when I said that we'd already been. Deja Vu. Classic. A video of the car journey home would probably be more entertaining than the show itself.

March 30th 2013.
Played at a charity show in Rochdale last night, with Katie, Kee and a drummer I've never met before called Dave. Nice short set, notable for Kee playing everything on an acoustic guitar and Kee and myself not having any mics for the last song, 'Money' (think Beatles, not Floyd), which relies on backing vocals. The lack of mics let the lead singer down as she needs the backing vocals to emphasise her lead vocal. Oh well... My voice was going anyway, thanks to this cold I've got, so John The Fire Hazard and I buzzed off after our set, went back to Headquarters and set about watching some Ian Hunter and Mott The Hoople DVD's I've just acquired, with an amount of throat lubricant.

Hope the rest of the evening went well - there was an assortment of young talent ready to take the stage after we went on.

May 6th 2013.
The latest band rehearsal went very well indeed and we even came up with a few new ideas for songs. There IS a band name floating around, but it's not confirmed or anything at this point. Getting songs together is our main concern at the moment.

I've been a bit quiet on here for a little while. Plotting things and also doing some work on new songs, plus watching The Sopranos to the very end. Oh yes, I did go straight onto Wiki to see what the hell was going on!! Superb television. Twin Peaks next. Probably...

This month has seen some work with Kee and also with Barry, who I'm pleased to say is now in my* new band, along with my good mate John on guitar. More info about that later on.

We're doing songs people will know and some songs people probably won't know, but which we hope will impress them! We've had one rehearsal (after which everyone got a bit of man-flu, causing us to miss a week). However, we have a list of good songs to plough through - some of which will probably fall by the wayside before we get to the final setlist. It all looks very promising.

No name yet, though it IS being thought about. It will be announced when it feels right and we have bought the domain name and have already registered the band on various sites; this is to stop the foolishness that happened to the last venture I went into with John, which was sabotaged by a certain drunk we knew.I

have just bought some replacement computer equipment on Ebay, so I can get back into 24-track recording like I used to. That will be fun to do - playing my own drums, keyboards, strings and brass parts on tracks (as well as the normal bass and

* Ok, it sounds a bit egotistical me saying 'My Band' - I mean the band I'm in. It's a total democracy, honest....

May 11th 2013.
Barry. our drummer, is having shoulder problems. Not good for a drummer. While he seeks treatment, John and I will plough on with learning some more songs for the setlist.

May 27th 2013.
Sorry there's been no blog for a short while. My time has been taken up with a Union Conference in Brighton, which was hard work. I have also had to deal with some large scale web-problems with a forum I am the Admin on, which suffered catastrophic data loss. Today sees me and Barry doing a Rhythm Jets gig at The Brown Cow in Winton in the afternoon - playing outside, weather permitting. Have done some setup of the new computer equipment for recording and it's going to be great once I get back into it.

May 28th 2013.
The weather didn't permit... so we played inside.

June 8th 2013.
Looking forward to Thursday's Ian Hunter and The Rant Band show at Holmfirth. Spent a lot of today watching the final season of Fringe and it was truly superb.

June 23rd 2013.
What's happened since my last blog? Good question.

Two more rehearsals, at which we have finally got the first batch of 7 songs together. It's been slow work so far, because the songs are not that simple and also our drummer Barry has been struggling with his shoulder again and so we have not been able to rehearse for a few weeks and have to take it easy when we do, or he will cause further damage. He's about to get treatment for it, so we'll see what that means.

The work with Kee is drying up a bit, as he plays about 3 nights a week, with about 30 musicians in a number of different duos, trios, bands. I honestly don't know how he does it.

I am reliably informed that I will be making a bass noise at The Cross Guns, 25 Bolton Road, Westhoughton, BL5 3DG on June 29th. We are supposed to be on at 4pm, according to the scheduling, but as we know, times go all to pot at charity gigs. This one is in aid of Help The Heroes, so it's for a very worthy cause.

I set up iTunes on my mate's laptop yesterday, so he can listen to stuff without having to rummage through a pile of CD's. Why have Apple made that program into such a user-hating nightmare? Try to tell it to play a song and it just adds it to a list and still doesn't play it. It's rubbish. I junked it a while ago and went for Media Monkey instead, which may have its own minor issues, but doesn't use all your system resources and lock your entire PC up like iTunes does. if you have an excessive music library, Media Monkey will cope with it. iTunes just goes on strike and takes your PC out in sympathy.

Two weeks off from the day-job now, so time to do some recording. I've got an effects floor board together for guitar pedals. I may take it out to use with my basses, as there is a bass processor on there. I could certainly use the tuner and wah with a bass, anyway.

June 29th 2013.
Two gigs today. The day started with a text about our singer having just rung up to drop out of this afternoon's gig and so I had to sit down and listen to half a dozen or so old rock and roll songs to back some guy who was going to come and help us out. Fabulous. So.... what did the rest of the day bring???

Well, it was a game of two halves.

We turned up at first venue to find the replacement bloke singer - a bloke going by an unlikely cowboy-ish sounding moniker, strangely not dressed up in a cowboy outfit, or about to play in one either... packing up his amp and kitbag and buzzing off in a loud artistic strop, just as we walked in. I cannot emphasise enough how totally disappointed I was at his display of sheer unmatchable unprofessionalism in doing this, as it was a charity show in aid of Help The Heroes and he also did this in front of a fairly packed pub, rather than play for 30 minutes. And more strangely he decided to crap on his agent, all at the same time! As he left, he gave me a shit-eating grin and one of those handshakes that makes it difficult to play guitar afterwards. At least he said he was going to put a pound in the tin, (which I didn't see him do). Nevertheless, Barry, Kee, John and myself rallied to entertain the locals properly.

The show was notable for the live debut of the new band for 5 or so songs.

The evening show was with a different line-up, with the excellent Brian, Kee, Katie and myself. The audience was a bit limited and some lady who kept shouting 'well done' at Katie every time we finished a song (as if she was 10 years old), decided to give me a nose to nose loud mouthful afterwards because (as she put it, not me) I 'have a great rock voice and did not sing enough' for her liking. Not meaning to cause offence, I explained that, going off the songs that we did, I sang as much as was properly required. I asked what more she wanted me to do and she burbled about her relatives in bands I hadn't heard of, before I made my escape.

The first show of the day won hands down for fun value and for getting the new band out in front of an audience, but I got paid for the second.

The great leveller was when I got home in pitch darkness.... All three cats were being arsey about coming in at 1.15am.
The life of a rock star......... must be nice!!.

July 10th 2013.
We are honestly totally contrite. We have been a bit too loud for our rehearsal space and we faithfully promise to keep the volume down to a sensible rehearsal level in future. We have a new batch of a half-dozen or so songs to be working on, which we think will be quick wins.

July 17th 2013.
Played in Irlam with Kee, Brian and a girl singer on Saturday. Decent venue - I've played there before with The Kerbcrawlers. Her voice had gone so we had to re-jig the setlist somewhat to fill the time up. I didn't check the setlist too closely, as my printer was out of ink. Kee had put Hiho silver lining halfway through the second set and it was quite hard to follow, as they all went wally when we played it. The Beatles stuff went down well.

Barry, John and myself managed to get another good full band rehearsal together last night and ran through quite a lot of new stuff to get a feel for it. We kept the volume down a bit, so there was no hammering on the door this time! Barry is away for a bit after this week, so it will be me and John working on songs in the meantime.

July 21st 2013.
Low back pain is no joke. I don't know how I've started it off this weekend, but my lower right hand side at the back is murdering me. I'm finally listening to the new David Bowie album, some time after its release. It sounds just like his later stuff. Very much like it. These two things are not connected.

July 22nd 2013.
The Royal Baby... My opinion? Good for tourism, though I wouldn't queue for tickets or pay those prices. I am slightly baffled by what was going on in the heads of all those people hanging around outside the hospital. Were they all waiting for a 'Michael Jackson moment', with the baby held apparently dangled teetering over a safety rail? Dunno. The name? I'll put £5 on something trendy like Brooklyn, but don't expect to win big bucks unless I place the bet with Peter Barlow before he shuts up shop.

26th July 2013.
Doing a wedding in Bradford tomorrow.
Timetable: Set off at 4pm. Admitted to venue at 5pm. Setup / soundcheck to be concluded by 7pm when guests arrive. 8pm is Kee and gril singer acoustic set. 9pm - band.

Actual timetable:
Set off at 4pm. Admitted to venue at 5pm. Go look for curry house when my gear is all set up at 5.20pm (as an alternative to hanging about, bored totally mindless with nothing to do for almost 4 hours). Return to venue 8.45pm. Get changed 8.50pm. Lurch onstage 9pm. Rock and roll.

There may be video.

27th July 2013.

Car packed for Bradford.

28th July 2013

Ok. The Wedding:
Arrive bang on time at the venue - a large hotel in the centre of Bradford at 5pm, despite Bradford's insistence on having a one-way system that insists that you drive out of the city in order to go round any given corner. I ask a person in formal dress outside the venue where the band will load in. "Oh you can't go in, they are on the main course and there are lots of speeches to go yet". This happens at weddings, so you can't reasonably be annoyed. I then sent Barry a text saying where the venue is, so he could get lost too. Kee has organised this booking and he is on his way. Simon's car (containing the girl singist) has broken down, so Kee had to drive to Accrington before even setting off. Lovely chap. I can forgive him for being late.

He's not that late though... 5.30 sees him roll up and start organising what's going on. Lots of standing around, with only the law courts as entertainment (closed), so Barry, John and I go in search of whatever fun and thrills Bradford is likely to offer. While we are waiting for what nearly passes for chips to be ready at The ElGreaso Chip Emporium, we are treated to a diatribe from this enormously fat and loud local, emerging from the hair and nails shop, who has obviously had some serious issues with what they have done to her nails in the salon, or the hair extensions on her chest. She squashes herself into a taxi, threatening its suspension and lights a fag.

It's now gone 6pm and nothing is happening outside the venue. I resist the temptation to go into the box office at the St George's Hall to buy tickets for Showaddywaddy (very good though they are).
I'm so bored that I very nearly buy a very 'gangsta' cap from a nearby newsagents.

Gangsta baseball cap

Eventually, the speeches inside are concluded and at 6.45 we manage to we start to move the gear to some doors adjacent to the function room, where a gaggle of staff are now clearing some tables out and making a space to put a temporary dance floor down. So we load in and start setting our gear up. We were planning to be set up and ready for 7pm. That was now not going to happen.

We were offered a small and quite adequate room next to the function room as a dressing room and bang on cue, some guests hastily dived in and start eating and drinking in there. The hotel offered us head lamps and we headed off underground, to an alternative dressing room, some 3 miles away, under the hotel, via a labyrinth of tunnels that real people never see. It is the staff locker room. A room that is so dirty that we walk out in horror and I vow to play in the t-shirt and jeans I am wearing.

The guests eventually leave the original dressing room, but we are unable to lock it - all my valuables go into a Tesco carrier bag that sits neatly behind my bass rig. Very professional. I believe Paul McCartney does that, too, whenever he gets a dressing room that doesn't lock.

The set-up and soundcheck are done in a rush and are amusingly punctuated by an actual fire in the function room, starting on the buffet table at the far end of the room, because of some candles. Bass guitars and amplifiers first. John goes and blows on the fire which probably makes it worse and eventually the hotel staff call a meeting and someone pours a jug of water over the blaze, which is getting more worrying. We recommence working out how to play 'Blueberry Hill' and I inwardly curse the quick actions of the would-be fire brigade (now there's a song we should do!!).

Various guests and such pop in and ask us how much longer we are going to be, as they obviously need to have their ears syringed. At 8pm, they are allowed back into the room and the dance floor is immediately made rather sopping wet and dangerous by a bunch very small children throwing drinks over each other, to the amusement of several parents who do nothing at all to stop them. I calmly shepherd a few tots away from our gear - imagine dealing with the insurance on that one...

Kee, the girl singist and Simon start their short acoustic set an hour later than advertised and it all goes well for two and a half songs, until my Vox amp that Kee is using starts making odd farting noises. I go over and trace the fault to the battery on Kee's acoustic guitar. Kee wasn't aware that his acoustic guitar had any batteries in it. He is fully aware of that now. The Vox is ok and thank God for that. That amp was very expensive. Kee switches to his Fender Stratocaster and they carry on with minimal delay.

The band kick in and deliver a solid first spot of the usual cheese. John gets up to sing two songs with us (Can't buy me love and A hard day's night) and does a good job. This marks his return to the live stage after a very long absence. It's nice to see.

The break is notable for Barry coming along with a good plate of food from the buffet, which sends us entertainers all scurrying off in the same direction, as those chips earlier on were really quite appalling. The hotel staff see us coming and as soon as we get our plates, they scoop up the buffet, leaved us open-mouthed and empty-mouthed and unimpressed.

The second half sees us playing like (hungry) heroes, including Barry singing Summer Holiday - Kee said he sounded just like Cliff when he rehearsed it down the phone with him, though there are a couple of disagreements about the previously agreed set list. the girl singist wants to drop a couple of songs, though she is thwarted when Kee starts playing 'Que sera sera', which obliges her to sing it - It does bring the house down, though.

'Hi Ho silver lining' comes and goes, but my patter with the crowd gets interrupted and I find myself getting rather pissed off by this...

She was also baffled why we are not doing our utterly awful version of 'Obladi oblada' for the guests to sing along with (because it usually dies, that's why), instead of that awful 'Rocking all over the world' by the great unwashed Status Quo, who no-one has ever heard of. RAOTW, of course, goes down a storm and then we move to the last song of the night, 'I saw her standing there'. I usually gently take the mick out of the song and The Fabs with a little patter before starting it (audiences do like the band to talk to them a little), but tonight, my usual patter was interrupted again by A N Other. I was not particularly impressed. The night ended on a bum note for me. The lecture offstage about me wearing a Beatles shirt and being a hypocrite for making jokes about them went down like a pint of vinegar, too.

Show over. Full dance floor, empty stomachs. Unable to legally drink any more alcohol, we start the business of packing the gear up, while the DJ brings the night to a very decent close. When we get to the door, it is raining with an utter vengeance, for the first time in a few weeks and making up for lost time. By the time I get to my car to bring it back to the door to load it up, I am soaked. The packing up is nice and quick and we get away from the venue at 1.30am. Barry's car doesn't have a spare cubic millimetre of room in it and mine was pretty close to that. Lots of in and out in the pouring rain.

the girl singist is asleep in a chair in the dressing room, so I don't wake her up when we go. Kee will sort that out. As I drive away, I spare a thought for poor Kee, who has to take a detour to Accrington (another 40 miles out of his way) before he gets to bed.

The incessant rain is making the roads quite dangerous and the trip over the Pennines is a bit fraught, as visibility is really poor. We stop off on the way back, to calm my frazzled nerves at my favourite tranny cafe at Birch Services on the M62, where I pick up a delicious and nutricious Ginsters Spicy Slice for a King's ramsom and John hopefully fights off his diabetes with a couple of packets of crisps, as he thinks pasties are 'The Devil's Work' and 'foreign food'.

If you look at any of the photographs from that show, please note that THE MUSIC STAND IS NOTHING TO DO WITH ME. I always keep all of my crumpled bits of paper in a neat pile on the floor.

I get to bed at 2.45 and am utterly cream-crackered. Did I miss anything out?

July 30th 2013.
For those of you who like my gig reports - here's an old one from The Kerbcrawlers...

ROCK & ROLL PART ONE: The Pub At World's End

It took me absolutely ages to find the venue. My God, it was dark. My God, it was cold. And you can probably guess that I was lost. I couldn't see the tiny print on the A-Z. I grumbled at the map and drove on frustratedly. The place was slap bang in the middle of nowhere, alone on a hillside, at the very edge of Lancashire's smelly peat bog region. Owls hooted, the wind blasted at the car and the hounds that roam the hills howled dramatically, as if waiting for Basil Rathbone to come amongst them (in black and white) on the Moors. But despite almost unbeatable odds, we all turned up, especially those cunningly equipped with SatNav systems, who naturally got there first, without incident.

It looked from the outside just like The Local Shop from the League Of Gentlemen. Nice view, though.

We got the mountain of gear that we always use set up and then I bought a much needed drink. The barman said while he was pouring it that the landlord generally likes 3x 30 min spots. I explained we usually do 45 and 1hr+ in the second spot... It works out that we actually play MORE than the 3 x 30 mins. The landlord gains. Is that ok? "Sounds good", says the barman.

Later on the landlord comes over to introduce himself. He says he likes 3 30 min spots. I explain we usually do 45 and 1hr+ in the second spot... It works out that we actually play MORE than the 3 x 30 mins. The landlord gains. Is that ok? He walks off to his usual spot at the end of the bar and glowers darkly at me a little, having said nothing further to us on the subject.

After we had played our gig rather well (and at length with a 50 minute first half and a 70 minute second half) and had just about packed up, he comes over and gives us £50 OVER the agreed fee. I thanked him profusely. What a nice bloke!

But lo. Why does his face darken and his brow knot and a look of utter curmudgeonliness occupy his face?

He then says he is not happy with us at all as we didn't do what he asked.
I say "Well, we did tell you what we usually do and you never said you had a problem with that".....

He then says he is not happy with us at all as we didn't do what he asked.
I say "Well, we did tell you what we usually do and you never said you had a problem with that".....

He then says he is not happy with us at all as we didn't do what he asked.
I say "Well, we did tell you what we usually do and you never said you had a problem with that".....

Oh no, it's Groundhog day... (yawn)

This carries on in a very boring circular motion indeed. You get the picture. It is now well past midnight and we now just want to go home. We are looking at getting to bed at 2am or after.

He is obviously getting fed up with me saying the same thing exactly back to him when he says exactly the same thing to me now and he has been nose to nose with me all the time, not blinking, so I don't either. I have reason to suspect that he may have imbibed 'some' alcohol.

This was confirmed by a friend who came to see us who later said the landlord was plastered, right off his face and effing and blinding because his daughter had cleaned the lines and all the lager tasted of was bleach and cleaning fluid.

BUT... back to this exciting story... He is now getting louder and louder and is stopping me from putting my basses in my car, which is wide open outside with half my gear in it, by grabbing hold of two of the gig bags. I tell him not to do that. Or else.

"I am not a violent man". he says, his face reddening.
"I am and I am very good at it" sez me.
He lets go of the gig bags, but wants to continue the telling off.

After further huffing and puffing and Steve's wife Chris trying to nicely diffuse the situation by saying we would play 3x 30 minute spots next time, I tell the landlord plainly that we are unlikely to ever darken his door ever again. It would be unlikely to be HIS door, if there ever was a next time. He is a real f*ckwit.

He scowls at us quite darkly as we leave, from his chosen scowling point at the pub door and we beat a hasty retreat from The Pub At World's End.

Please note:
The landlord can't do me for libel or slander as:
a) I have a crowd of witnesses,
b) Not a word is untrue,
c) I haven't identified The Pub At World's End,
d) I don't say when the show took place.

Care in The Community... What has it all come down to?

With Colin Scott and Steve Mulvaney and Christine Mulvaney... somewhere East of Burnley.

1st August 2013.
Dear God. August already... The year is just flying past. This next weekend will be quite busy, I am playing with The Rhythm Jets in Cadishead on Friday, going to watch Andy Fraser and Chris Spedding play locally on Saturday and starting hosting a jam night in Atherton starting on Sunday - I'll be doing it every week after this.

7th August 2013.
Well, that WAS a busy weekend. I haven't been so knackered for a long time. Friday was a return to The Plough in Cadishead, where Katie wore hot pants and we all had to look down and behave ourselves. A couple of interesting new songs in there from Katie. We did a version of 'Ticket to ride' because Kee started noodling with the riff and I just said "let's do it". The words to that song are ingrained in the mind of everyone who grew up in the sixties. I was obsessed with The Beatles at the time. It came together reasonably well.

Saturday was a trip to my old stomping ground, The Railway in Bromley Cross. I'm not in the right kind of band to play there now (namely a tribute band or minor league act), so tonight I am there as a punter to watch TOBI, who happens to have Andy Fraser (ex-of Free) and the superb Chris Spedding in his band, not to mention a particularly ravishing backing singist. A brilliant night.

Andy Fraser, Chris Spedding, Tobi.

Had a decent chat with Mr Fraser afterwards, as he was most generous with his time, but sadly, the Ex-Womble disappeared before I could ask him about balancing the conflicting requirements of Flying V's and moulting fur. Sunday night was the jam night at The Jolly Naylor, which I am doing with Max from Hard To Handle, most Sundays from now on. Some very good players and a lot of fun was had by all.

19th August 2013.
The last couple of weeks have been a bit mind-fracking.  A kidnapped cat (Marvin), missing for over three days, who came back with shaved forelegs, two teeth missing and an injection of something that shouldn't be there, according to the vet. Various crises interspersed with a gig with Kee, Brian and Katie, that was entertaining as Kee turned up with his car on the back of a low-loader. The jam night on Sunday at The Jolly Nailor, Atherton, was another fab night. Some great people got up. I also used my new Peerless bass for the first time at the Irlam gig.

The weekend was also brightened by the arrival of the new Justin Currie album 'Lower Reaches'.


Ian and Kee
Ian and Kee

Ian and Brian and new bass
Ian and Brian and new bass

Brian on drums, plus Ian and Gibson bass

Justin Currie - Lower Reaches

'Lower Reaches' by Justin Currie.

24th August 2013.
This morning I deleted a few old Myspace accounts that I don't maintain now. The videos are all on here and I don't see the point in cluttering up the internet with them, so they're gone. I don't know who uses Myspace anymore, anyway.

An old archive recording that has come to light has been added to the Home Studio recordings page:

Lucky me, lucky you.

A little known gem from the collective pens of
Ron and Russell Mael, both halves of the excellent Sparks.

Featuring the inestimable vocal talents of the delightful Miss Sindy Goodbody, courtesy of
Miss Prim's Finishing School For Innocent Catholic Schoolgirls.

All instruments, vocals and production by
Ian Edmundson.

Summer Special
August Bank Holiday Sunday.

A gig in the wilds, North of Preston. My daughter Rachel came with me and I was due to arrive at the venue at 12.30, so we set off just before 11.30, nicely fortiifed by one of Lynda's luvly bacon butties each.

The traffic was backed up with the bank holiday traffic, just after the junction of the M61 and M56, making getting onto the M6 a bit of a disaster, so we took a detour and went through Preston town centre to avoid it. Rach sent Kee and Barry a text for me so we could all avoid the blockage. We arrived at the venue on time, but it being a Christening, people were still at the Church. Kee turned up a few minutes later, as did Barry.

Our hosts were lovely to us, providing food and drink and the sun was shining. At 2pm though, having been there 90 minutes ourselves, we were now actually seriously panicking. Our girl singer hadn't arrived yet. I was fearing a repeat of the Help for Heroes bash recently, that she let us down on the morning of. A text came shortly afterwards, advising to start without her as she was delayed.

So, we set off playing and did the songs that I sing that came at the back end of the set first, praying that she would materialise shortly. At 2.30 she arrived, looking a bit flustered. We played a couple more tunes while she set her microphone and guitar up..... and her music stand. We should really have taken a short break really, but we ploughed on 'til she was ready, as we had started late because we were waiting for her.

To give her her due, she ploughed into the first couple of songs and sang them with a determination. It came to one of the songs she sings - 'Can't buy me love' - and she asked me if I was singing it. She knew very well that I don't sing that song, but when she's not in the mood for one of her songs, she tries to palm them off on one of us. Oddly enough, she sang it with no qualms in the second spot...

Stand by me.

We finished the set with a rousing version of The Beatles' 'Come together'. Well, it WOULD have been rousing, but she shouted at the band to stop, start it again and to slow it down. What a commotion.... An embarrassment. What a putz. You don't do THAT in front of a crowd. A classic Youtube moment.

Woah, woah, stop, that's too fast!

When we restarted the song, we did it a little bit slower, but I was seething at the embarrassment of having her stop us and tell us we were playing a song too fast like that... in front of an audience. Completely unprofessional.

Come together.

We started the second spot with an acoustic duo version of 'Here comes the sun' and then the band reconvened and did a quite good, unrehearsed 'I shot the sheriff' (Which the four of us had never played together before). I suggested we try it, on the spot, as a nice gesture, seeing as the girl singer had been deprived of the chance to do it, because the acoustic spot was cut short. Not a bad version, though I say it myself.

Shoot that Sheriff.

My baby left me / That's alright Mama.


Ticket to ride... My throat gets an uncontrollable itch towards the end.

We'd previously had words about people singing over the person who has the lead vocal on a song and the wedding in Bradford recently brought all this very much to the fore, with her apparently being spoken to about it on the way back, so I didn't expect it to happen again. It did, of course, and I started to get really annoyed. I always sing a functional backing vocal on other people's songs and know my place in the mix, so I expected the same courtesy from her. She was listening to what I was singing and then coming in a fraction behind, sticking the odd phrase in and getting the words wrong, just for the sake of singing. That just drives me bats. So I backed off the mic when she next did it. If she wanted to sing it instead of me, let her. Having no clue what she was doing, she promptly stopped. I mouthed to Rachel that I was getting fed up of this and the girl singist caught it. Ooops.

During 'Hi ho silver lining,' which I sing, and we were playing to finish the set, she'd obviously got the message. No vocals. She helpfully went out with her mic to get the crowd to sing along. Some guy shouted down the mic that she was staying there with him when we went away. I said we'd be leaving her behind and would take a cash offer. (A joke).

Glower, scowl
If looks could kill

It went down like a lead balloon. She didn't have a highly developed sense of humour. We ended up doing another two songs, during which she very pointedly packed up her stuff in front of us, with a face like thunder, while we were still playing.

After we'd finished, she came over and had a good shout at me (and this at a Christening....) for 'offering to sell her off into prostitution'.


The rest of the band were also astonished and bewildered. Rachel didn't want to see me being verbally abused in front of all the people who we had spent the afternoon entertaining, so she got inbetween us and kept her off me. I was packing a bass into its case and nearly dropped it, I was so stunned at this ridiculous tirade over nothing. Her boyfriend obviously saw this for the latest silly strop that it was and stayed well out of it, probably very glad that it wasn't him on the sharp end for once.

She stomped off in a cloud of self-righteous indignation and I advised the band that there is NOT enough money out there for me to ever work with her again. After the issues at Bradford, Barry and I have had enough of her. We like to turn up, help each other set up, get the job done, pack up and go home, having had a really good time and a laugh or two, with no cross words. She doesn't really get involved in very much of that.

I got a text very late that night (which woke me up), saying it would be a shame for me and her not to work together again and that lots of rules would be put in place to control her. It certainly wasn't from her. I have no doubt she is sticking pins in a doll somewhere now, wishing me lots of pain. I don't wish her any pain, just never to set foot in the same venue as her ever again.

Barry summed it up very well before she even arrived - "VIa la Diva". Spot on, matey.

Thanks to Rachel for the video footage.

August 29th 2013.
Jam night at The Musketeer, Leigh. A good night was had by all.

September 2nd 2013.
A couple of good things happened today...
#1 - The Newsroom came back on and it isn't wasting any time in getting to the point of being excellent.
#2 - Del Amitri are 'doing something' next year, according to Justin Currie. Not Earth-shaking news, but it makes ME very happy.

September 3rd 2013.
Those who wait patiently for 11 years are rewarded. Del Amitri touring in 2014!!

September 4th 2013.
I must stop harping on about Del Amitri.
I got advance sale tickets this morning for the Manchester show they will be doing next February.
That is all.

September 7th 2013.
Sunday coming is the jam night at The Jolly Nayler in Atherton. It starts at 9.30pm. Bring a shovel and a pick.I have a few shows coming up over the last three Saturdays of this month. I will post the venues when I have confirmation.

September 9th 2013.

14th - Wigan.
15th - Justin Currie, The Lowry,
22nd - Jolly Nailer jam night.
28th - Trader Jack's, Chorley.

September 15th 2013.
Last night summed up in as few words as possible: Noise police across the road make landlady worry about band volumes, so we are asked to turn down several times. Fine by me. First set ok. Second set magically sees a keyboard appear onstage. Involved in two songs that didn't go well. Various songs dropped from set by Katie. Version of Mustang Sally that crowd didn't recognise, so didn't sing along to. Brian and I were great, though I say it myself. Guy sat next to my bass amp starts telling me it's too loud for him. It's right for the rest of the pub. Depressing.

September 16th 2013.
Last night was Justin Currie at The Lowry. An excellent evening. He was on top form and marvelously accompanied.

September 17th 2013.
It looks like my life is going to be completely over-run with cats as of next week. More later.

September 21st 2013.
I am currently mourning the apparent demise of the band I was starting with John and Barry. John has been totally radio silent for some time now and we are not getting to rehearse and progress. I get occasional other offers and am now having to look at them. I have committed to a band who just does about 4 charity shows a year (more on that later). There is another offer on the table which Barry and myself are looking into. Cat situation resolved.

September 27th 2013.
Still no word re 'the old band' - as I am now referring to it. This is very disappointing indeed. I now consider it to be over and done with. No hard feelings. Barry and I will work on getting 'the next thing' together.

I have agreed, in principle, to wheel out an amount of cheese in Urmston on New Year's Eve. The songs I keep being sent by the band leader for approval are being batted back like it's a ferocious rally in the men's final at Wimbledon. Some of the song suggestions have been so hideous that I can't quite fathom them.

We will be working through November and on New Year's Eve with a girl singer that I am not familiar with, as the one we currently use has lined up a solo gig which is far more lucrative and she has no real loyalty to the band, as she only seems to do it for the money anyway. There is no real conversation with her at all when she appears at the gigs. She turns up, sings, collects her share and promptly buggers off. Strange behaviour. I can't throw any moral stones, as I am not without an amount of sin in the mercenary musician department myself, but I do speak to the other guys.

September 29th 2013.
Happy birthday Lynda. Off to the Achari tonight for the best curry in the North West. Last night's gig was slightly chaotic in places. We ended up doing some requests. How can anyone - especially me - forget the words to Another brick in the wall? Well, yes I did. Used the new bargain bass I bought last week for the first time. It plays like a real 70's P bass - nice wide shallow neck. Gorgeous.

October 6th 2013.
I haven't had much time or inclination to say anything recently as my father is gravely ill in hospital and I have been spending time there. Bear with me.

October 10th 2013.
Goodnight Dad.

November 3rd 2013.

Dear Solitary Reader.... Since my last rants to the masses, I have been to my father's funeral and also to China. I think now that I've had a bit of a lie-down and had some time to think about various things, it's time to get myself into gear and join a new band. Life's too short. I'll keep you posted.

December 1st 2013.
Here's how it all stands at the moment: I have one more gig this weekend and then again on New Year's Eve with Kee, Barry (drummer) and a singer that I haven't met yet. The work with Kee is too unpredictable and there is never ever the same line-up in the band and it is often chaotic and unsatisfying, to say the least and the material is out of date and not my style. I don't want to just play for money. I want to actually enjoy it too.

Following Big John giving up the ghost on playing with us, I had been looking for other musicians to team up with Barry and myself to form a band and go out playing with. I've had a couple of promising responses from people, but am not certain that starting a band rather than joining one is the way forward, so I am probably going to just keep advertising and join another band full time, rather than going through the effort of putting one together from scratch.

I have committed to whatever Sundays the jam night band does with Max and Jordan at the Jolly Nailer in Atherton and also what is turning into to a few gigs with Rising Force, in the run up to the States charity gig at The Phoenix Club in Farnworth in June 2014. The drummer with Rising Force is also in a local band called Dakota, so they are dependent on Dakota not being out working, this is not going to be a regular or long-term thing.

I do intend to get back into home recording (yes, I know I've said that before) and to that end, I have bought a Roland GR55 guitar synth, to get new sounds from playing a guitar that I previously couldn't create any other way.

Upcoming shows:

December 1st - Charity show for Phillippines, Duke of Wellington, Lostock (with the Rhythm Jets)
December 6th - The Rivington, Blackrod (with the Rhythm Jets)
December 21st - Barnstormers, Lostock (with Rising Force)
December 27 - tbc
December 28 - tbc
December 29 - tbc
December 31st - Private function in Flixton (with The Rhythm Jets)

December 6th 2013.
The charity gig at the weekend at The Duke of Wellington, Lostock (with the Rhythm Jets) was basically an open rehearsal and was quite dodgy in places, to be honest. There were quite a number of things I wasn't happy about. Rehearsal since then should have the line-up ok for tonight in Blackrod. Huge thanks to Barry.

The work Rising Force are doing in rehearsal is looking quite good and we are looking forward to a first show on Dec 21st at Barnstormers, Lostock.

December 7th 2013:
Last night's gig in Blackrod was, for me, an unmitigated disaster. We were not allowed by the venue to take our drums in, so Barry had to sit and use a box to keep a beat on. The set turned into a sort of 'Unplugged' set and I hated it.

December 22nd 2013:
The 21st saw my first show with Rising Force at Barnstormers, Lostock. I had been quite excited about that one. We were not maybe as well-rehearsed as any of us would have liked, hence a few cock-ups, but hey, it's just live music and anyway, our rehearsal time was limited. We did all stick into the songs with a passion and I'd say we played at 95%, which was an achievement. Thanks very much to Paul Carr of the excellent State Of Quo tribute band, for assistance with the loan of a very nice Marshall half-stack amp set-up for the evening. Photos can be seen at the Rising Force Facebook page.

Our two sets consisted of a number of regular crowd-pleasers and the barrage of Quo songs that we saved for the second half. We were very pleased indeed with the turnout of the long-time followers of the band on the night and are looking at what else we can do in the months leading up to the States gig at The Phoenix Club (St Gregory's Club, Church St, Farnworth) in June. I really enjoyed the show and would happily carry on with this as a full time band, but that really isn't on the cards, as not everyone wants to do that. I'd love to do one show or so a month with the guys up to June and then see what happens afterwards (or not). The possible number of extra gigs up to June is yet to be agreed between the band members.

The work I have been doing with Kee and The Rhythm Jets seems to be coming to an end due to Kee spending time abroad (and I really must extend my most grateful thanks to Kee for the opportunity). I have had a couple of good responses to the adverts I have put up on the net for joining a full-time band. I've had a few people ask about forming a brand new band with me, but that's really far too much like hard work. I would work anything that Rising Force would be doing into downtime from the new band.

For anyone who's wondering about my threat to 'write it all down', I've got over 80 pages down now.
I'll close by wishing anyone reading this a very happy New Year.

December 29th 2013:
In a slight move forward from where I was last week, it looks like people have finally been leaving the last mince pies alone and are now looking at their computers and wanting to get themselves a decent bassist for the New Year. I now have a couple of offers to consider - one is a couple of months dep work, which still leaves room for a gig a month with Rising Force. The other is a permanent place in a Rochdale-based band, which is having a line up change. I am waiting for them to let me know when we could get together. I may be able to do the couple of months dep work and still (possibly) join the Rochdale band when their bassist departs. Both bands have a good amount of work lined up.

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