Ian Edmundson UNTRUTHS

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Ian's 2017 blog archive

January 1st 2017:
00:38 - Welcome to the first blog entry of the new year. It's going to be a nice short one, as I am trying to keep our dog Oscar calm, with all the fireworks going off in the streets nearby, which are sending him a bit daft and setting him off barking, This is weirding the cats out and I am unfortunately unable to sit with them as normal to keep them calm.

I hope this year is going to be a significant improvement for us all on the appalling 2016. I think we should all give ourselves a careful pat on the back for surviving the year. Have a great year, everyone.

Current listening:
Duran Duran 'Liberty' (1990)
Crowded House 'Time On Earth' (2016 deluxe reissue)

Current TV:
Bates Motel Season Four (DVD)
The Wire Season Three (DVD box set Seasons 1-5)

Current reading:
Richard Balls 'Be Stiff: The Stiff Records Story' (2014)

January 5th 2017:
To repeat the answer to an earlier question that I keep being asked and am tired of answering:
YES. Wizdom do, for some reason I really don't understand, still have me in their events photos on Facebook, but I do not play with them now. They are still just using my photo and trading on my having been in the band, without my approval. I left the band last year.

January 15th 2017:
Last night The THREE played a show at The Victoria in Accrington. We had to keep the volume down a little, which didn't really bother us that much. We aim to please. Nice to see some of my supporters from the old band come to watch us. That was really very much appreciated indeed. I really thought that I had lost them all. We will hopefully be going back there soon.

January 22nd 2017:
Extremely sad news. Peter Overend Watts from Mott The Hoople has passed away. My abiding memory of him is from the end of the Manchester Apollo show in 2014, when he kept the crowd singing and ordered them to come down to the front.

January 30th 2017:

Ok, folks, I'll be the very first to say that I have been more than a bit quiet on the blogging front, but to be fair, I have been a little bit busy.

After having my winter cough and cold and scary partial voice loss and going totally deaf in one ear during the last week (which fortunately got better in time for the weekend), The Three played in Little Hulton and Tyldesley at the weekend. Next weekend we have a 'four on the trot' run of gigs. We don't mess about. When we do it, we do it large.

And Super Challenge Freecell doesn't play itself.

In other news our lovely dog, Oscar, pictured with Smudge, appears to have started on a rather expensive residency at the locals vets, as he has had problems with stuff in his ears. It seems to be an allergy based infection that may have travelled with him from Romania.

That should eat up the proceeds from the four gigs... but oh well. he's well worth it. I just wish he would stop absolutely terrorizing our cat Tilly. I guess at least he does leave the other 5 pretty much alone.

Current listening:
Ian Hunter and The Rant Band
Fingers crossed (2016).

Current TV: Homeland

Current reading:
Campbell Devine -
All the Young Dudes: Mott the Hoople and Ian Hunter: The Official Biography

Oscar and Smudge

Mini-tour of everywhere.

9th February 2017:

I bought this Fender Stratocaster today (9th Feb 2017). I have always wanted one, but - seeing as I am primarily a bassist - I have just never bought one. The nearest I ever got was the nice red Tokai, which I got as a clever trade in the late 80's - which I assure you is CLOSE to the real thing.

When I first started off playing, my dream guitar was on display in my local guitar shop. A white Fender Strat with a maple neck and a trem arm. Each of those features, including the white colour, was a custom option at that point and was 10% extra above the usual cost of the guitar, pushing it up to an astronomical £424 in 1975. That price was WAY beyond what I could afford, (or deserved according to my laughable lack of ability) at that point.

42 years later, I have sprung for the HSS model with the Humbucker, which is ferocious. I tried it out in PMT in Manchester this morning and paid £536.00 for it, plus my customary checker strap.

Did I need it? No. But I am just about at the point where I should really stop buying guitars now (48 altogether) and decided I deserved it.

Fender Stratocaster

18th February 2017:

The THREE are having a bit of down-time this month, as Ian T has a number of gigs in place with his side-band AIM. We are still doing the thriving jam nights every Sunday at Bar One Ten, so we stand a bit of a chance of recognising each other if we pass on the street. We are getting new people coming down to the jam night and it's going very well. The jam night Facebook page is here.

I am nerving myself to start work on learning a list of songs to learn for a gig at Lane Ends in Burnley on April 1st, when Ian T and myself are meant to be playing with Still Stones. This is very much a one-off, done as a favour, for me and I will be really glad when it's over and done with. It will be a good night, as the songs are great, but I have my own band to keep going.

I got my third review result back the other day, after much wrangling with the Royal Bolton Hospital. Another 'undetectable' PSA result, which means there is still no sign of any residual prostate cancer. I am always relieved when I get these letters, as I take nothing for granted, as far as that goes. I have ten years of checks to go through. I don't mind.

My books are still available online at the fabulous Ian Edmundson Blurb Bookshop and on amazon.com and are selling, slowly but surely, but sadly not keeping me in the luxurious and grandiose style to which I have become accustomed. Interestingly, some Slade fans will get all moist and giggly at the thought of hilarious t-shirts of "Noddy Holder as Doctor Who" and get all worried about the Omnibus book on Slade, that is now on its second author and which keeps getting its publication date pushed back a year. But even Dave Hill's own autobiography was a hard sell as far as so-called fans are concerned and therefore actual exclusive photos of Slade live don't seem to interest the knuckledragging European Slade fans, who will pay stupid prices for Slade beermats from eBay, but who also have trouble remembering who was actually in the original line-up, or what records they released, apart from the Christmas hit. Thankfully, the books that I have put out are print-on-demand, so I don't have a house full of them.

Once again, I am having a grumble about gig hunting with people who say they will get back to you and then don't. I know that they are busy and that talking to bands is just a tiny tiny tiny part of their job. But it IS a part of their job. We've played at some places and gone down fabulously well, according to all concerned and then you message or text the landlord and he'll 'be right back to you'. Then, of course, he doesn't. If somebody contacts me, I don't fob them off, or employ staff to act as a barrier between them and me. The number of times I have heard "Oh, he's in the shower". The pubs would stink of soap, as you walked in. Other bands say it's exactly the same for them. It's not just us, by a long way.

I have also been entertained by a landlady (somewhere to the North of my home, in a place I will only refer to as La La Land), who asked what our band's 'bottom line' as regards payment was and then tried to undercut it quite significantly to £150.00. She "doesn't do the internet" to advertise her venue, as she has a morbid fear of computers, so neither NWB not Facebook are in her repertoire. She wanted a stack of posters to put in local shops and for us to bring a following with us. She didn't get us to turn out, as we could not agree terms. Apparently she screwed over a band I know of, who would not have deserved the treatment they got.

Looking forward to going to see Justin Currie in Liverpool on May 31st.

Current reading: Bruce Springsteen's autobiography
Current viewing: Apple Tree Yard (BBC), Cheap Trick at Red Rocks, Colorado (unofficial DVD).

28th February 2017:
The band's diary is filling up very nicely....

Current viewing: Sleepy Hollow Season Three DVD.
Current reading:
Bruce Springsteen's autobiography.

19th March 2017:
So farewell then, Chuck Berry. Rock music pretty much owes you everything.

25th March 2017:
I have been troubled for years by a numb space between my shoulder blades, back pain and now sore shoulders. I had a steroid injection in my right shoulder in January and it appears to have done no good at all. My right arm is now beginning to hurt all of the time and it is getting properly on my wick.

26th March 2017:
Never throw your old diaries away. I was unable to chart several years worth of live gigs for this site. In 1993 I was fairly busy with a good little band called GO CRAZY and all I have to show some of the gig dates from that time is this photo with some posters in the background. I have managed to pull some other dates together from cassettes from varioius years.

Gibson SGII guitar and posters

5th April 2017:
Just slightly amused at the very idea of a musician I used to know who has been carefully airbrushing quite a large part of his music career away on his personal website and asking me to take any mentions of his name off mine. He wasn't always professionally dead boring, but appears to be striving hard to look like he's never had any fun in his life....

The Still Stones gig in Burnley last weekend went OK. A lot of work for a one-off, but the gig was worth doing for the fun of it and the mental exercise and stimulation of playing unfamiliar songs with some different musicians. I do like to be kept on my toes.

Last week I got a nice letter from Jim Lea of Slade. I had put a question to him regarding his prostate cancer via The Slade Forum Q&A and he wrote a personal reply to me that went into far greater detail on the subject than the reply for the website. The letter will not be going on the internet.

24th April 2017:
Someone asked me yesterday where I'm up to with my book. Good question.

It's sort of on the back burner at the moment. I have written nearly all of it and I am going to have to re-read it before going any further. I have said exactly what has happened to me in certain bands I have been in and I am sure that some of them will not be pleased when I say approximately what a shower of bastards some of them were. I am going to have to change some names for dramatic purposes to avoid getting done for slander, libel or some other form of general evil naughtiness. I AM going to tell the tales and I am sure if I said exactly what I thought with the relevant real names attached, there would be trouble.

6th May 2017:
The next month or so looks good on the gig front. Both playing and attending. May and June have Justin Currie, Ian Hunter and Cheap Trick coming around. Can't wait. Justin and Cheap Trick both have new albums out, too.

15th May 2017:
Current listening - This is my kingdom now (Justin Currie).
Current reading - I am Brian Wilson (Brian Wilson).

I have been working on The Book. I have cleared about 150 pages without having to change any names yet.

25th May 2017:
I was getting quite cheerful about the 'undetectable' readings re my prostate cancer (even to the extent of getting some 'One Year Clear' guitar picks made), so it stands to reason that I should get a 'detectable' reading this last review - albeit a tiny 0.08 reading. I have to go back in July to see what that next reading will be and then decide upon a course of action to deal with it as necessary. This could involve me having a course of radiotherapy, which I dread the very thought of. However, the alternative is far worse. I do love the NHS.

31st May 2017:
In other news, I have an appointment with a surgeon regarding my problem right shoulder in July.

Justin Currie played at at Hangar 34 in Liverpool tonight. I was fortunate enough to be there.
What an excellent show - It was the best show I have seen by him so far.

Justin Currie of Del Amitri

5th June 2017:
In the wake of the recent shocking and vile terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, the press are accentuating the famous British 'stiff upper lip' and our determination to do our best to carry on unaffected. It's a tough act, knowing that some fools who have no regard for their own lives, or those of others who have no Earthly reason to quarrel with them, are ready to launch senseless attacks, at any random moment.

It is a slightly comforting thought that while these buffoons carry out their senseless acts, they are disowned by their own religious leaders and at the same time, blow themselves to tiny pieces or get shot dead within 8 minutes of the alarm going off. Their numbers are going down.

The press and politicians are quite fond of saying that the terrorists cannot win. The simple fact is that they DON'T ever win. They just cause some damage and then they die. They don't even get to see the results and aftermath of their foolishness. They merely serve to make a number of people racist and to be really wary and suspicious of the religion that they commit murder in the name of. The religion itself may be totally innocent and abhor such acts. They only bring us towards an inevitable conflict that they can never win.

We are better than them because we do not act inappropriately.

And we are not going to hide in our houses, either.

We need the next Government to resource our Police services and the Security services properly on a nationwide basis - not just in London, which is all that they seem to care about.

Current listening - This is my kingdom now (Justin Currie).
Current reading - Sweet dreams are made of this (Dave Stewart of Eurythmics)

22nd June 2017:
Current listening
- Stranded In Reality (Ian Hunter) / We're all alright (Cheap Trick)
Current reading - Sweet dreams are made of this (Dave Stewart of Eurythmics)

Ian Hunter's show in Liverpool the other night was exemplary. He's 78 and still cranking it out like a good 'un. Unbelievable. I wonder if I will still even know how to pick a guitar up at that age? Also creating the best new music of any artist at the moment, along with Justin Currie.

July 1st 2017:
This evening my band played a pretty good show at a nice town centre venue in Bolton. After the show, a landlord approached us and asked us if we could play at his venue for a cheaper fee than we had just played at the venue where we had rocked 'til they dropped. In front of the landlady, too... We said what we did this evening was our minimum fee and next year everywhere would be paying a fee that is ten pounds more than that as our minimum fee. The guy didn't seem to get it and just muttered about getting us cheaper.

I personally take about £1200 worth of bulky professional standard bass amplification on stage and usually two or three basses, amounting to about £3000 on stage, not to mention monitors, stands, effects etc. It all needs transporting. That's hard work. Our drummer carts a full PA system with two 1100w speakers, two bass bins and a mixing desk and a huge bag of connection cables, as well as his sizeable excellent quality Yamaha drum kit. Our guitarist has a cavalcade of guitars and a killer amp and a set of lights to transport - and he drives to our shows from St Helens. While I type this, he is still on his way home from the gig. We all invest and we all do an amount of work. While our work is certainly pleasurable, it is definitely WORK and it definitely has a value.

We go out for an hourly rate that pays us a sensible, but not greedy amount (we do like to work and so we do not charge over the odds) and which also pays for the basic upkeep and replacement of our equipment. And food. We are quite a long way from being the most expensive band on the circuit.

Of course, he is quite certainly at liberty to get a cheaper band in, as I said, but if he wants us, there is a set fee which we are not going to go below. We aren't greedy and we're not silly. We are also not a charity, we do this to earn a living, as indeed I imagine he does with his pub. I doubt he would take that kindly to a reduced offer on a pint of lager. If you choose to pay peanuts, then you choose to get monkeys. 1970 was a distinct historical period and the rate bands were paid back then is also a piece of history. A piece of history which will not repeat itself.

July 5th 2017:
Perhaps slightly more ridiculous (if possible) than the venue landlord who tried to haggle to get us cheaper than the venue he came to watch us at (in front of the landlady of that venue) is the landlady of a venue who booked us for a Saturday in July with no idea of how she was actually going to pay the band and then turned round and who cancelled us apologetically with two weeks notice.

Now, to give the new landlady her due credit, she had shown good taste and was very keen on booking us for her new pub in Leigh, after we had played at her mate's venue in Bolton. However, to leave it until two weeks before the gig to cancel us when she must have known for some time that she couldn't find our fee is pretty damned inexcusable. We did fill the date again the same day, but it could have been a night off.

Another new landlady / bar manager at another venue, in Atherton, managed to double book us once this year and once in 2018, because she has had TWO DIARIES OPEN. FFS. Wouldn't it be nice if someone who is new in the licensed trade had the slightest bit of wits about them?

July 12th 2017:
The band were filming in Leeds yesterday for a forthcoming TV show. We were put up the night before at the rather nice Holiday Inn, as we had to be on set at 7.15 am. I got a call from the hotel desk at 6.30am (15 minutes before I had set my alarm to go off). I grumpily staggered downstairs, not quite knowing who I was, due to only hitting the hay after midnight, as the hotel had rather a nice bar.

The filming took place at The Brudenell Social Club, a well-known Leeds music venue with a great stage and lighting. The cast and crew were excellent and from what we saw, people should be quite impressed with the show. There are a few recognisable big names in there. A lot of hanging around and repetitive tasks, due to everything being done with multiple takes. I think we will mainly be in the background in a couple of scenes. We did one song live and we nailed the recording of it in one take, even though it's not a regular feature in our set. Looking forward to seeing the show when it comes out. More details when we are allowed to give them out, later in the year. Ian and Graham are doing some further scenes next week, but I am not available for both of the days that they would need me for. Oh well.

In other news, my shoulder operation is on August 11th.

Ian Edmundson   Ian Edmundson

July 17th 2017:
A nice busy weekend with four shows. The first was at The Hare And Hounds in Uppermill, near Oldham. A pretty good crowd.

The next show was a one hour slot at the LukeFest event at Kearsley Social Club in Kearsley. The day is dedicated to young Luke Whittaker who tragically passed away aged only 14, not long ago. The event raises funds for the music department of his school, as he was a keen and very gifted drummer. His parents are friends of ours and we were really pleased to be able to perform on the day.

We had to be careful with stops between songs at the end of the show, as when we stopped, the DJ kept trying to start playing music, even though we still had 15 minutes to go. DJ's tend to do that to bands - some of them live to tell the tale. We went down very well, among all of the bands who performed - many of whom were Luke's classmates.

The band that followed us were so keen to get onstage and start playing that they were coming on and setting up their gear while we were still dismantling ours. They are kids and have a lot to learn.

A good day.
More information at The Luke Whittaker memorial page.

Thanks to Lynda for the footage.

Following that, we drove over to The Lever Bridge in Darcy Lever, Bolton and did an enjoyable full show and got a return booking in December. We are now just about fully booked up for the year, so December was about as early as we could get.

Many thanks to Andy Worthington for the footage.

Sunday was the jam night that we do every week at Bar One Ten, Tyldesley. A nice evening, playing with lots of different people and also trying out a few new things for the band's shows.

July 20th 2017:
When you realise that music is basically the ONLY thing you have in your life that you like....

July 26th 2017:
Following my post about venue stupidity on July 5th, I am getting a bit astonished at how many music venues are run by utterly stupid people in this day and age. Last Friday's gig was cancelled because the landlady wants to go down the disco and karaoke road. We only found out we were cancelled the night before because someone else saw our post about the gig. She rang me and told me the tale.

We were supposed to be doing a jam next Sunday and handed our own regular jam night over to some friends, so we could do the other jam night for a change. Now we find that we have been double-booked by the other jam night venue!

A pub that have had us in the diary for a year decided they would have two diaries running and tried to cancel us. (at least I managed to sort that one out). I really do wonder at how thick these people are.

July 27th 2017:
Our dog Oscar came to us from Bianca Filip who tirelessly rescues stray dogs from the streets and forests and dogs from kill shelters in Romania. Please check out this book that will send a donation directly to support Bianca's efforts and also the web pages listed. Her main page is here.

To buy the book, just go to the book page, register with Blurb and select the version you want - there's a hardback or softback copy. Each book is only printed when you order it, it won't be in the shops. The books are sent by courier and have to be signed for on delivery. Blurb do all of the customer service work. Each book sends a donation to Bianca.

August 3rd 2017:
It looks like The Kerbcrawlers may possibly be doing a weekend of gigs next year. Three of us were in the same room the other night and I was asked if I fancied doing a one-off when Ian Hutchings is over from Spain at some point. It would make more sense to do two and it would have to be next year, as The Three are booked up this year. We are waiting for Ian in Spain to confirm any dates that he is available. November 2018 looks possible. We'll see.

The Kerbcrawlers

August 8th 2017:
I attended my pre-op appointment this morning to make sure I am ready for surgery to improve things with my painful right shoulder. Dear God, am I ready? Let's get it done.

Oh, here's some jam night Tomfoolery.
Smoke on the water (Jam Night Tomfoolery version)

August 14th 2017:
This is me, two days after my shoulder operation. The day after I had it done, my right arm was still totally numb and I couldn't even hold a pick properly and I had absolutely no strumming co-ordination at all. That was due to an injection in my neck that cut the need for me to have any morphine-based pain relief. As soon as my arm started working again, I started to exercise it a bit and got on with picking up a guitar.

Before anyone lectures me  (too late, they have already), my surgeon said I was to do whatever I can to use the arm, including playing guitars. If I don't, I will end up having another operation for a frozen shoulder. I have a physio appointment on Tuesday.

Ian Edmundson

Picture and Thunderbird bass courtesy of Andy Worthington.

August 30th 2017:
I was back gigging the weekend after my shoulder operation, armed with a set of painful exercises that I need to do three times a day in between, to stop my shoulder seizing up and making me need another operation.

The Kerbcrawlers reunion that I mentioned recently IS on, but it won't be until November 2018. One show has been booked in for November 10th and there is talk of another that same weekend - I booked the first one - the other guys can book another one on November 9th. Or not, as the case may be.

I've been asked a couple of times if we parted company on bad terms, back in 2010, as the split was very sudden. Actually we didn't fall out at all. It was all very amicable, though I must admit that at the point when I was told the band was folding, we had forty gigs in the diary for the next year and the day I spent having to contact each and every venue and cancel each and every show because the other two were suddenly packing it in was one of my worst days ever.

I have played with Steve at jam nights since then and sometimes also occasionally with Colin. The whole band has only got together just the once in the intervening years - for a mere three songs at a jam night - that took nearly seven years to happen, as our other original guitarist Ian lives in Spain, so the chance to do it really is a rare thing.

I wouldn't want to do a reunion of the old band as a trio, but that's only because The Three's diary is my first priority and Medusa's is obviously theirs. Also, capturing the real tightness and dynamics that we had back then, 7 years later as a trio, would be really hard work and probably need a lot more rehearsal than it is worth, but we all agreed to do it if all four original members were going to be there.

So after quite some haggling, here we are again. For a weekend.

The Kerbcrawlers 2018

September 13th 2017:
Our excellent drummer, Graham is going to be out of action, band-wise, for a while, following an operation which he will have to have during October. We are casting the net for a stand-in drummer to play with us until Graham is ready to come back and play. Never EVER has a drummer's job ever been so safe.

September 20th 2017:
Because life's too short...

Ian Edmundson

September 26th 2017:
If you're reading this, Donald Trump hasn't launched the first nukes yet.

Between Trump and the North Korean leader, you really do have to wonder:
A) which of them is the most dangerous?
B) which of them will crack and launch their missiles first
and of course,
C) which haircut is worst and did they have them for a bet?

More seriously, The THREE have selected two drummers to cover the vast majority of our remaining live dates for this year. We are looking forward to playing with them while our Graham recovers from his surgery, which takes place on October 12th.

Sparks - Hippopotamus (2017), Europeans - Vocabulary (1983)

Simon Reynolds - Shock and awe - Glam rock and its legacy.

Tin Star, Coronation Street, Liar.


Christina Hendricks,

Christina Hendricks

September 29th 2017:
A very old song re-visited.

October 9th 2017:
Wishing our drummer Graham all the very best for his surgery on the 12th of October.

Graham Fielden

October 29th 2017:
Hello stalkers. Since I last wrote, I have been struggling with a bit of a bad cold and some voice loss. I think I am coming to the end of that now, though my voice is a bit croaky and my throat still a bit itchy. The band lost two gigs - one due to a venue being boarded up, the other due to us being cancelled by a venue who were holding a party and a specific band was requested by the people doing to venue booking. One of our agents took another date from us and failed to supply a new date to replace the lost date, so they will be getting notice from us, as they have only ever got us into one venue anyway.

Graham is out of hospital and I will be seeing him during the next few days.

I am saddened by the loss of John McLoughlin, a local guitarist and bassist who I have known for some years. A lovely man and a great loss to his family and to the local music community.

October 17th 2017:

Things I currently like:
Robert Plant's new 'Carry Fire' album.
Justin Currie on tour.
LIar on TV.
The NHS.
The idea that another new Cheap Trick album is out this month, even if it is a Christmas disc.
Hot chocolate.

Things I currently am not that keen on:
The Al Hira Banqueting Hall, Farnworth.
My nose and throat itching.
Cat scratches very near to my eye.

In memoriam:
Al Eccleston, drummer.
Alan Tunstall, guitarist.

November 17th 2017:

Current Listening:
TC &I:
'Great Expectations' EP.
Oranges and Lemons CD / BluRay re-release (Ape)
Drums and wires CD/ DVDA re-release (Ape)
Nonsuch CD / BluRay re-release (Ape)
My Oncologist / My GP.

Current reading:
Simon Reynolds -
Shock and awe - Glam rock and its legacy.
Dave Hill - So here it is.
Food packet labels.

Better call Saul series 3 (Netflix)

In memoriam: my dear old mate Phil Smith. This has come as an enormous shock to me and has made me realise that I need to see my friends more often.

XTC wonderment

November 22nd 2017:
Just listening to the two new marvelous XTC CD/BluRay sets that just landed at my house.
Drums and Wires and Skylarking. Nobody is making music like this now.
You can find lots more XTC wonderment here.

Eurythmics are making a great fuss about the re-release of their albums on vinyl. They have bills to pay, obviously. While I loved the band, I find it hard to get that excited about this particular turn of events. I bought some of their albums and singles on vinyl (and some on cassette) at the time and don't really feel very much like buying them on vinyl again. The record companies are charging a lot of money for their vinyl reissues - which of course cost a lot more than CDs - and are hopefully promoting it as 'the new big thing'.

A distinct wave of nostalgia doesn't distract me from the fact that these albums have little or no production costs, apart from manufacture and also the historical fact that the record companies steered us towards CDs as a huge profit making exercise - with a big price hike over the cost of vinyl - back in the 1980's, still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Now they want to maintain their existence by offering us that superior packaging, AGAIN, that you can actually read, etc - that they took away from us in the first place.

It remains a fact that the record companies bit themselves where it hurts when they shoved us towards CDs, as ripping technology and the internet meant that once one person bought an album, 500 people could have a 100% accurate digital copy of it within an hour. Their own greed killed the industry off to a huge extent and personally, I wish that copy protection had been standard on all CDs to stop the file-sharing, or that CDs had never been invented.

November 23rd 2017:

Del Amitri 2018 tour

December 9th 2017:
The Three have had to cancel last night's gig in Burnley. Our reserve drummer would have had to have travelled in terrible weather from Stoke-On-Trent to a sub-zero Burnley and then back again after the gig when the weather was likely to get even worse and we decided it really just wasn't fair to force him into doing that.

The last gig that we cancelled was because I had shoulder surgery scheduled for earlier in the day and I was going to be totally unable to play. We don't cancel gigs on a whim. Apologies to all concerned. We hope to be back at the venue concerned in the New Year sometime to make up for it.

In other news, I have started my hormone therapy treatment to deal with my prostate cancer. I am partway through a course of tablets and have had the first of three injections. I will also be having a 20-day-long course of radiotherapy and my first appointment is at The Christie's Salford Branch on February 21st, when I will be having a planning scan, so they can see exactly what they have to do.

Current listening:
XTC Black Sea (CD / BluRay), XTC Skylarking (CD/ BluRay), XTC Nonsvch (CD/ BluRay)

Current reading:
Simon Reynolds - Shock and awe - Glam rock and its legacy. (Nearly finished it now!!)

December 14th 2017:
In the Christmas spirit... Last year my band did a charity gig at a Bolton venue and the charity we were supporting was the very worthy Macmillan cancer support charity. At that time I was recovering from an operation caused by prostate cancer. But we did it.

This year, we couldn't do their charity gig because Graham had a serious and debilitating cancer-related operation two days before. I also have my cancer-related health issues. We played there recently and the landlady loved us. But not enough to give us any gigs for next year, as we didn't play their charity gig.

I am beyond digusted.

Seven Stars Harwood won't have band on as they were unable to play at the charity day as two of band weere affected by cancer at the time.

December 21st 2017:
Letting other people use your mic at jam nights... A necessary evil. However, when they have a really violently bad coughing fit before stepping up to your mic, you can foresee trouble brewing. That happened to me the Sunday before last and despite wiping the mic off with  an antiseptic wipe straight after use, the person who did it denied having a coughing fit when I said I was wiping the mic off after he had finished using it. He was nearly doubled over, hacking away. I now have practically no voice and have spent a few days in bed. Alternative plans required for the future.

December 31st 2017:
Our house has been full of germs for the last couple of weeks and Lynda can't remember Christmas day at all. It was a total write-off.

I hope that your Christmas and new year were healthy and safe and that we all see 2018 out together.


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