Looking forward to The Waterboys at Glastonbury? Price drop on the Amazon Kindle edition of 'Strange Boat - Mike Scott & The Waterboys' for the rest of June. Read it at Glasters - or anywhere else for that matter - for 1.99! Then I'll afford a hair cut!
Saturday, November 08, 2014
There are a few reviews starting to appear for the new edition of Strange Boat – Mike Scott & The Waterboys (Gonzo Multimedia paperback / Lumoni Press E-book).
Goodreads Website has a terrific review from musician and author Stephen Palmer that’s associated with the original SAF edition but is a commentary on the new edition. “In summary: a particularly well assembled biography of a fascinating musician. No fan of Mike Scott or the Waterboys, of ‘eighties music, or of the many strands of Celtic music will want to miss this entertaining book. Definitely recommended.”
The Rocker website doesn’t much care for Mike Scott or his music I’m afraid, but still thinks that Strange Boat is “still a good read… it filled an otherwise dull Monday afternoon quite comfortably.” You’ll need to scroll down to their 16th October entries to read this review.
At Get Ready To Rock website Jason Ritchie thinks Strange Boat “a comprehensive overview” and notes that Mike Scott comes across “a thoroughly nice person,” which I’m not quite sure chimes totally with his single-minded nature myself, but does conclude that “interviews with the man himself would have really provided a deeper insight into the lyrics and ways of creating music.” Which, of course, I can’t disagree with.
Saturday, October 04, 2014
Buy Strange Boat in paperback direct from the publisher
Buy Strange Boat in eBook at Smashwords
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Where did I get to in 2008, now that I look back to my final blog posting of 2007? Well, I'd have to say that in personal terms I had an enjoyable and successful year freed from the rigid structures of the 9 to 5. I did a marketing course a few weeks back where I was asked about a typical working day. Ha! The previous day I'd spent the morning working on some credit management stuff, driven to Devon in the afternoon to do a presentation to a prospective client on e-billing opportunities and been on the phone for an hour in the evening interviewing Steve Lake from anarcho-punk band Zounds. And that wasn't an untypical mix of jobs, so I can say that certainly 2008 was varied and interesting, if a little bit 'false' in the sense that I had one particular contract that provided the financial foundations for all the other stuff that I was free to do. And it was a year, as I anticipated, where I built financially for 2009. Not quite as well as I should perhaps have done but enough that I can start the year still not feeling the pressure of impending overdrafts.
The festivals book, Festivalized, has occupied a lot of writing time and still there are many potential contributors still to be interviews, and previous chats waiting to be transcribed, and it's clear that any and all spare time in January will be devoted to finishing this project to final manuscript stage, but I think both Bridget and I are very excited about the material that's been gathered and the extensive list of contributors assembled. The biography of Armand and Michaela Denis that I talked about at the end of last year, however, still remains just that... talk; it's very much the next item on the agenda and I'll be spending time in the first quarter of 2009 trying to get this one off the ground. There's two or three other possibilities as well, so I'll be pulling together a collection of proposals and once again revisiting the idea of acquiring an agent.
I continued to write for Record Collector and Rock N Reel, contributed to the Independent and other places, and felt I made some modest in roads into getting my name about. The sleeve notes for Freq and Cherry Red's two Hawkwind compilations were particularly pleasing jobs. The last quarter of the year was particularly intensive with a couple of projects that should see the light of day in 2009 all being well. And, as Bridget noted the other day, one of the great things about 2009 has been the wealth of great contacts with fascinating and eloquent people that we've had through the festivals book.
2009, I want to achieve another book sale, gain more freelance work with a wider range of magazines and newspapers, and expand my writing 'subjects' so that I'm not so dependent on writing about music. On the other hand, I've plenty of CDs waiting review for the Spacerock blog and there'll be a major overhaul of that over the coming week.
On the credit management front, this should prove a busy year if I market my self properly and I need to set-out from day one as I mean to continue, pitching for work, networking and generally getting myself noticed and contracted. One thing is for sure, in this awful business environment there is work out there for me and what I must do is chase it for all I'm worth.
I caught up with the guys from Space Ritual at Glastonbury Assembly Rooms a few weeks ago and enjoyed again chatting with Nik Turner and Jerry Richards. And at Falmouth Princess Pavilions in early December, enjoyed meeting up for the first time since the publication of the Waterboys book with Anto Thistlethwaite who now plays with the Saw Doctors. One of life's gentlemen. A couple of days later, and I was a Truro Hall for Cornwall, relishing the opportunity to interview Jeremy from the Levellers for the festival book and, knowing him to be a big Waterboys fan, pressing a copy of Strange Boat on him! Fascinating chat about his days on the travelling scene and a great gig as well.
Jerry Richards, Nik Turner, Bridget Wishart,
It’s a bit like that sign you so often see that starts, ‘Polite Notice’. Thank you. Write your notice politely and we’ll know it’s a ‘Polite Notice’!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I've also contributed my first 'Digging for Gold' collectable piece for Record Collector , a spoken-word release from the 1960s by Armand and Michaela Denis which is in the latest issue, on sale now (that would be the Christmas 2008 edition); I'm also holding forth there on the excellent BBC Sessions Magazine CD from EMI.
And I'm to be found in the latest edition of Credit Collections & Risk holding forth on a two pager on electronic debt reporting via SQL. Which is something of a change of pace, right?
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Bits of news first then. The reissue of Robert Calvert's solo album Freq has now been released, containing my sleeve notes / essay. "Make 'em fun", said the label, of an album that's about the Miners' Strike of 1984. "Hmm", said I, went and looked up what Tony Benn was writing in his diary about the strike during the month Bob was recording the album and then wrote a serious essay instead. Actually, we all think the notes have come out ok! I've also just turned in the booklet notes for Cherry Red's two Hawkwind Compilations that the trade have asked for to kick start the Hawkwind back catalogue reissue - there's two three-CD sets coming, great selection of tracks and a package designed for the casual buyer to give them a flavour of things to come.
Amazon US now have pre-orders for next July's stateside release of Festivalized (there you go, you heard the title here first!), which is a survey of the free festival scene (music, politics and the alternative culture) by some old music hack by the name of Ian Abrahams and Bridget Wishart, former Hippy Slag, Demented Stoat and ex-Hawkwind singer of this parish. Don't know when the UK pre-orders start but you can bet that I'll be here straight away with an affiliated link. Don't miss a trick, me. US release can be ordered here.
Back to the 100 Club then! I was there a couple of fridays back to see Nik Turner's Space Ritual outfit play - a hugely enjoyable performance (as always). Get this, I was asked to sign two copies of the Hawkwind biography that some very fine fellows had brought along to get various band members to sign. How embarrassed was I? So embarrassed in fact that I dashed to Facebook asap to announce I'd been signing in the 100 Club. That's now embarrassed I was!
I was down at the Royal Albert Hall the following night to see (for Rock N Reel magazine) another group that have a strong claim to the title of 'The People's Band' - The Levellers. Second time I've seen them this year (ok, strictly accurate then, second time I've ever seen them!) and I get more impressed by them the more I see and hear them. And it's only taken me twenty years to really catch on!
Sunday morning was spent travelling down to Herne Bay from London Victoria. Ah, I'd worked it all out, had the journey plan nailed down, hour and half by train, all well and good. Time to get down there early, find a pub to watch the Grand Prix in and everything. Saturday morning, do the double check and find there's engineering works and the prospect of an hour extra in a hot and stuffy bus that, it turned out, looked as though it had been trashed at the Beanfield in 1985 and deteroriated ever since. But, at the end I get picked up from Faversham by my old Contico friend Denis, get whisked down to Herne Bay at *** miles per hour (I forgot to mention what an awful passenger I am), taken to his fantastic house, find his lovely wife has laid out food and has put the F1 race on the TV. How great is that!
This was for the Robert Calvert memorial gig featuring 'Nik Turner & Friends' who are former Hawks Steve Swindells, Harvey Bainbridge, Alan Davey, Martin Griffin, Ron Tree, Jerry Richards and Adrian Shaw. Great day down in the Kent sunshine talking to various Hawk Yahoo List friends and acquitances from previous Hawkwind gigs including Steve from Leeds, someone who I only know (sorry!) as Rob Dreamworker's mate Tommy, Chris Purdon, Trev Hughes, Dave Roberts and others! The show itself, just fantastic really. Totally unrehearsed apparently and somewhat curtailed due to an unexpected 10pm music curfew but played with reverence to Bob's memory and in celebration of his all too short life. It's hard to pick out specifics because it was all just fab but to highlight a few things, a real lump-in-the-throat watching Adrian Shaw playing on 'Damnation Alley', Nik's unexpected flute playing on 'Psi Power', Alan's usual huge stage presence, Steve's excellent keyboards, the usual cool poise of dancer Miss Angel... just for starters. I get a quick word after the show with Ron and tell him, truthfully, that his delivery of the lyrics to 'High Rise' was "Just fucking immense, man", get two hugs from Miss Angel (ok, ok, but then I got three from Alan) and, equally truthfully, tell Jerry that I thought him 'Man of the Match' for his guitar-playing and holding things together so well. But really, fantastic job everybody and Bob's memory was really done proud.
Oh! And I get my picture taken with Steve Swindells - the man who wrote 'Shot Down In The Night'! How cool is that! :)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I've written the sleeve notes for a reissue of the late, great, Hawkwind front-man Robert Calvert's solo album Freq, which is released on the Atomhenge label (through Cherry Red) on 29th September. There's a memorial gig for Robert, commerating twenty years since his untimely demise, down in Herne Bay on Sunday 28th September and I'll be heading down to that via Space Ritual's appearance at the 100 Club this Friday, and the Levellers show at the Albert Hall the following night.
Last week I spent a most enjoyable and interesting hour on the telephone with Tori Amos, talking principally about Image Comics' Comic Book Tattoo, a massive collection of sequential art (that's comics, ok?) inspired by her back catalogue. The finished interview should be turning up in Rock 'N' Reel towards the end of the year but in the meantime the book is highly recommended (look for my review of it in Record Collector soon.
There'll be an update on the festivals book on its myspace page really soon (definitely before I head off to London) but safe to say Bridget and I have been hectic on this project and its shaping up really well. More soon on that, honest!
And here's me (and my old mucker Joe Beer) at Rosie & The Goldbug's album launch at Truro HMV a couple of weeks back. Joe is, of course, upfront and doing the 'Lover' dance, and I'm to be spotted (about 1.30 in) loitering trying to look sensible and not doing said manouevre:
Jokes aside, I bought a copy of the new album (get this, "I bought a copy of the new album", me, rock journo extraordinaire (with tongue firmly in cheek, honest) and absolutely love its idiosyncratic Blondie-meets-indiepop sensibilities. Get it, it's wonderful.