First Big Weekend Of The Summer

 

Shenanigans: what went down over the first weekend in June 2017. It was a vintage one. A weekend that I have a souvenir from – but more on that later.

Friday saw me design the new logo for this blog – here it is:

 

 

The logo is designed using a new font called Futuracha Pro – A project I backed on Kickstarter months ago. We had just come back from Prague where we saw an exhibition by Alfons Mucha and I was a bit besotted with Art Nouveau. I found a link to Futuracha Pro on a Pinterest Board and followed the links to høly’s (the font forge who crafted the design) Kickstarter. Best font ever for flowery type type.

Friday evening saw me DJ in RETRO – It is just a bit of a hobby really. I get a few drinks and play out the records that inspire my band, Guerrilla Dub System. Normally it is quite a laugh. However, on Friday it all kicked off. Thankfully Mike & Juna were there to look after me and managed to deal with the drunkards. My set went okay … I was struggling with the gain on Traktor for my new SONY Vaio. Still, I received a compliment from Jason Mawer saying that I was one of the best Reggae DJs he had heard – and that man can DJ! he is one of the people who sent me down my current musical path – I owe him a lot.

I managed to sleep during the day for Saturday. Kathryn said ‘Good night’ to me around 10am when she went off to see a lady about walking her dog. Poor wee dot was very nervous. I did not see Kathryn for another 24 hours – the longest we have been apart for ages. It was awful.

I woke around 6pm and went to record Sound Of Wonder for my hetro-lifemate Stewart. We sank a few beers in CREAO Studio and there was a bit of a party going on upstairs – Guerrilla Dub System’s Session was being broadcast on BBC York and we were all tuning in. The session went better than expected. As you may remember from a  previous Blog article I have no recollection of how the session went – I was losing sleep over the thing and my nerves were fraught.

However, it could not have gone better. If you want to check out the show we are on in the first hour of BBC York’s Introducing show as broadcast on the 3rd June 2017 – here is a link.

I am so proud of my band mate, Allan, for how we did – the music was great and the BBC managed to make us sound good. Which is no small feat in itself. Everyone at the party said we did well & Daren Higham said he was proud of us – not bad at all.

Me, Allan & Daren went out on to Blues Bar afterwards – it was a celebration of being us, warts and all. Blues was dead though so we went on to Montey’s where things got a bit blurry. We had our arses handed to us at Table Football and we ended up in a mayonnaise fight in Chicos.

I was on a bit of a high from being on’t wireless so could not sleep – mum phoned on Sunday morning and said she was proud of me for the way I came across on the radio. That was the highlight of my weekend, I reckon. Kathryn woke up and we saw each other for the first time in 24 hours – a painful time to be apart. But I managed it and did not burst in to tears when she glided in to the kitchen. Kathryn went to a reading by local author Steve Toase in York on Saturday night – so I did not see her in the evening.

I managed to get some shut eye from 12pm to 1am and have been working on web sites all morning (it is currently 3am).

So, a good start to the summer. Kind of like the first big weekend of the summer – the band Arab Strap did a song called “First Big Weekend Of The Summer” – an instantly nostalgic, great pop song. That is what this is – an instantly nostalgic look back at my first big weekend of the summer. What a time to be me.

W/E & A Session

 

What happened over the weekend? Nowt much – Friday I had my residency at RETRO Bar, DJing to nobody. It was dead. So we closed early and I joined Allan in town and had a few beers.

Saturday was an early night so that I would make the farm on Sunday – Alison was visiting the ‘rental’s and it was good to see everyone again. We ate a meal of ‘certainly-cooked’ lamb and all the trimmings.

It really was fun to see Alison again – she seems to be thriving in her new job.

Sunday was spent as a practice session for Monday. This is because on Monday we had a BBC Session in York. A ‘Session’ on the local Introducing show is not something to be sniffed at – it is regarded as having made it locally.

I was all trembles and butterflies by the time we arrived in York – we found the local BBC down a side street and went for a power pint. The Power Pints went down very quickly and very well. They made me over confident and cocky. I was drinking on an empty stomach.

L-R: Sign, Me, Allan

The resulting session was a complete blur and over in a heart beat – the nerves had really got me and all I remember of the BBC Session is the dead air, mistakes in the interview and the mumbled garbage me and Allan spewed.

However, I am pleased to say that we nailed the music side of it – Jericho Keys (the BBC Introducing York & North Yorkshire host) punched the air after our cover of ‘Single Ladies’ (originally by Beyoncé). He claimed that it was one of his top ten covers of the year! Amazing.

However, how much of the session sees the light of broadcast or ends up on the cutting room floor remains to be seen – we are going to be broadcast on the third of June at quarter past eight in the evening. This is something that si a bit of a sticking point for me: I am unsure what was said during the interview due to nerves: we walked out of the studio with our heads held high and at a brisk pace. Whether we will be asked back to BBC York remains to be seen … but we enjoyed the day and hopefully provided a bit of entertainment.

Me, Dubbing

 

Then on Monday night we both met up in Tom’s for a few drinks – I got a bit merry and lost my electronic cigarette. Had to buy a newer version today: there was a law passed a while ago that limits the size of the oil tank on eCigs. I have gone from having a 5ml tank to having a 2ml tank – the result is that I have to top up more often, but it could make me less dependent on it.

Tuesday was spent sleeping and practicing for Fridays gig. This Friday sees me and Allan playing Henshaw’s Arts & Craft Centre as part of their Friday Night Mix. It is an honour to have been invited along to the thing – we are partially playing our own tracks live and combining it with a DJ set. It should be good …

We Are Currently Number #1

 

Guerrilla Dub System’s latest release (Pound Of Dub) is currently number one in the Beatport reggae chart. Not bad work if I say so myself. Quite proud of this achievement.

Allan and myself (Guerrilla Dub System) were a bit worried as the release had only been out there for twenty four hours – there was a horrendous delay in getting the release up on the site. It seems there was a mix up on account of the aggregator. Still that has been remedied and the release was up on Beatport yesterday afternoon.

I logged on to Beatport to see if we had made the charts at all and was very shocked to see that we were number one in the Reggae/Dub Chart on that site. Here is a graphic to prove it –

If you are interested in hearing a bit of the release before you buy it, Beatport have the functionality of playing some of the track before you buy it – it is a good, honest set up – and the fidelity is awesome. You can do all of that at this link – https://www.beatport.com/release/pound-of-dub/2025945

…. Goal achieved, really.

Second EP Released

 

It is with a great sigh of relief that I can say the POUND OF DUB, Guerrilla Dub System’s second EP has hit the virtual shelves.

Currently it is available on iTunes and Google Play (unsure about Amazon) but, as with Dub Force (our first ep) there has been a bit of a problem with Beatport.

When Beatport gets sorted I will post a link in the comments section of this post and then you will be able to click on it.

What can I say about the EP? Well, it carries on where out last release elft off – we have had our music described as quite authentic – something I hold dear to me. It is nice to hear that. My favourite track on the EP is the title track, Pound Of Dub.

We used Silk PR to promote the thing as we did with the last one – we have high hopes for this release so that we are not one-hit wonders.

[spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/3rWgEQ3rSebrBagtwcQiAn]

Going Steady

 

What is this Blog post about – well, it is about charts. Not the sexy visual charts – but a table of how well something is selling / performing compared to it’s peers at that given time.

The first thing I am going to prattle on about is the radio show I do – this week’s edition is currently No.#16 in the Noise Charts – not bad work for me. Here is an embedding of it –

As you can tell from previous incarnations of the show – I have had to drop the spoken links – I was getting a bit too hesitant when it came to pronouncing the artists with relatively exotic names. And, by exotic, I mean Icelandic artists – Like my good friend, Stewart, I have difficulty when it comes to pronouncing foreign languages; English is hard enough for me as it is. So, probably best I leave out the links.

Another thing about charts is that you only have a short shelf life for what you do – it is all or nothing really. Like how I am finding with the release I put on Beatport, Dub Force by my band Guerrilla Dub System – it peaked at No.#2 in the releases chart and did quite well for around two or three weeks. I has since dropped to obscurity in the releases chart. However, when I looked yesterday, one of the tracks from it was No.#31 in the singles chart.

The singles (although no track has been specified as a single) have all been charting at different times – quite impressive to see but it is not until July that we will have the statistics for April. Me and Allan wait with baited breath to see if we sold 4, 14 or 40 albums to get so high in the chart.

Meanwhile – my second EP (with Allan) is due out two weeks tomorrow. Pound Of Dub will see the light of day on CREAO Studio on the twelfth of May 2017. Here is an extract –

I will put a show piece for the artwork I created for the release at the bottom of this post. I am quite chuffed with the artwork for this release – I took a stock image of a mannequin’s head and crystalised the left hand half of the image. The font used in the writing is called DRUGS and is available from most font download sites.

I am writing this on Thursday afternoon – getting ready for my DJ set on Friday and trying my hardest not to sit here too smugly; see, our Landlady has just paid for us to have double glazing and it is already proving a hit. The rooms it is in (it is now in all of them) were noticeably warmer than the room without when the job was half done last night.

Anyway, I digress – here is the artwork:

 

Pound Of Dub – Guerrilla Dub System’s second EP.

CREAO Studio 4/20

 

No, not the 4/20 that has so much meaning to my friends – I am merely referring to the date. On the 20th April I set off to CREAO Studio to do the mastering of our second EP – it is a right corker! Due out on the 12th May, it carries on from where we left off with the first EP. Expect plenty of bass and a nod to the founding fathers of dub reggae. Here is the artwork to the EP that I did a while ago –

Pound Of Dub – Guerrilla Dub System’s second EP.

 

Whilst up at the studio I helped record Stewart’s radio show for him: it was a right laugh as Stew’s tongue frequently trips over the more exotic band’s names – he is bloody useless at pronouncing Icelandic singers – but, then so am I; Stewart does not make it easy for himself my playing a Mongolian Nose Flute ensemble quickly followed by a hip-hop act from Soweto. But he gives it his all and it is a pleasure to help out.

Whilst up at the studio I fired off a few shots of my Harinzumi camera – the results are ace! Stewart now wants one of these for Xmas and Daren H. was enamored with the thing too – it really is a winner.

 

CREAO Studio 4/20

New Job

 

To compliment the web/graphic design that I do to help keep a roof over mine and Kathryn’s heads – I have my first set of regular hours for quite some time.

Saturday night saw me DJ in RETRO Bar, Harrogate and I have been offered a residency.

 

 

Above is a practice mix of my set on Saturday – I did not get to play it in it’s entirety having had my set time cut due to blown speakers. But, still – I am now a resident DJ at Retro Bar. Hopefully the following poster that I designed explains it better: