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Former Pupils Humour Young Musicians

The Flamingos Of Chaos

I used to teach a band of crazy 10 year olds called Exploding Penguins.

Today I found some old sheets with the (very long) shortlist of rejected names. Here’s a few of my favourites. Think of it as a window into a 10 year old mind.

Flaming Thunder
Exploding Hummus
Talk To The Hand Cos The Face Ain’t Bothered
Banana Plunderers
The Viscous Potatoes
Kacey And The Braindead Doofuses
The Flamingos Of Chaos
Tunnels Of Hell
The Best Band In The World

There’s some helpful advice on naming your band here

Categories
Former Pupils Testimonials

Never Too Old For Haribos

From a pupil I’ve taught from age 11-16.

To Mr Blick,

Thanks for teaching me how to play guitar. I wanted to give you these because I’ll be leaving soon and because you’re a great guitar teacher

all the best

JT

Categories
Former Pupils

Margarita – Back To Greece

Photo: Ralph Barklam

Here’s a video from the recent Showfest 19 – featuring the amazingly talented songwriter Margarita who I’ve been working with for a couple of years. 

6 – Margarita from Inspire Youth Arts on Vimeo.

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Former Pupil's Wall Of Fame Former Pupils Testimonials

You’re welcome

from a pupil I’ve taught from age 11-16.

Dear Matt

Thank You for teaching me to play the guitar. Playing an instrument has really helped me de-stress and I love being able to just pick a guitar up and play it.

You are an excellent teacher who made me see playing the guitar as something to enjoy.

E.

Categories
Former Pupils News

Xmas Sneak Peak

The Nusic new music podcast gave a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ preview of a track from my new album (did I mention I’ve got a new album coming out?) Fifty Five Stories Down. 

Hang around to the end to hear the digital premiere of Kiss Me Beneath The Mistletoe.

Nusic Podcast #194

You can also check out Betsey Bircumshaws live in studio version of Survive. Betsey is one of the First Light artists I’ve been working with in 2018.

Original demo and behind the song post: Kiss Me Beneath The Mistletoe

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Former Pupil's Wall Of Fame Former Pupils Nottingham Sounds

Cici Lara: Flower Fountain

Here’s the new single from Cici Lara who I worked with a few years ago when she was part of New Communication

Categories
Everything In The World EP Former Pupils

Introducing Joe Strange

Who played chromatic harmonica on the title track of my EP ‘Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky’.

Joe is an accomplished singer/songwriter in the classic Americana mould with a soulful voice and great, understated guitar chops.

His latest album, A History Of Birds, is well worth your time and available from all good (and evil) record stores and it’s follow up is already in the works.

Check out his website or say hi on the book of face, and be sure to catch him live if you’re ever in Nottingham.

My EP is available on Bandcamp (check out the ‘25% off’ digital bundle) iTunesAmazon UKAmazon USSpotifyCD Baby, Soundcloud and Google Play.

Categories
EP Diary Everything In The World EP Former Pupils

Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky EP: A Partial History

Here’s a short essay I wrote for my new EP (released Nov 1st 2016)

On 22 December 1808 Ludwig Van Beethoven premiered several new works at a concert in the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. It was something of a disaster, the pick-up orchestra was so chronically under-rehearsed they had to restart one piece and the whole thing ran massively over time but some pieces were hailed as classics. One, Symphony no. 6 (the ‘Pastoral’ Symphony), had a programmatic nature, the 4th and 5th movements depicting a thunderstorm followed by a “Shepherd’s song of happy and thankful feelings after the storm”.

Sometime around 1918 the young Woody Guthrie experienced the terror of being caught in the path a cyclone with his family in Oklahoma. Writing in 1943 he described the scene

Bales of hay splitting apart blew through the sky like popcorn sacks. The rain burned hot. Everything in the world was fighting against everything in the sky. This was the hard straight pushing that levels the towns before it and lays the path low for the twisting, sucking, whirling tail of the cyclone to rip to shreds

In 1951 Italian artist Leone Tommasi began a series of sculptures inspired by Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. They were shipped to Argentina but remained in storage till 1962. at some point they were badly damaged and it wasn’t until 1975 that the statue representing the 5th movement, a male and female nude in an attitude of thanksgiving to God, were placed in the Buenos Aires Botanical Garden in the Palermo neighbourhood of Buenos Aires in Argentina where they remain to this day.

In 1983 I reconciled myself to the fact that I was never going to be as good a drummer as my friend Mark Nelson so I poured all my efforts into the Tatra Classic nylon string guitar (£29:95!) my mother bought me. A year later I formed a band with Mark and began writing an ambitious 3 part rock opera about nuclear war. Appropriately, given the theme, very little survived, but we did perform the instrumental 2nd movement ‘The Storm’ a few times live.

In 1997 George Lucas reedited Star Wars IV: A New Hope to make it look like Greedo shot first. Five years later Steven Spielberg followed suit, doctoring E.T. The Extra-Terrestial by replacing the agent’s guns with walkie-talkies.

In 2011 Ariel Hache visited the Buenos Aires Botanical Garden and photographed Tommasi’s 5th Movement statue.

In 2012 I wrote Fingernails and played it at The First Tuesday Songwriter’s Group. The same year Aimee Mann released her song Little Tornado. I misheard “Oh no, no we don’t, no we don’t know” as “Oh no, Noah don’t, Noah don’t know”.

The following year the misheard line found it’s way into Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky. I tried to build the song on a beguiling 3/4 – 3/4 – 2/4 time signature I heard in Russian Hill by Jellyfish but when I performed it at the First Tuesday group I was too ill to put the effort into making it work properly and the song drifted into whatever time signatures felt natural and stayed that way.

In Oct 2013 Mark Nelson heard my demo of Everything and offered to remix it (i.e. mix it properly). Which I wilfully misunderstood as an offer to mix an EP. And play drums.

On Dec 3rd of that year I was teaching in a primary school. I had already written a song for the First Tuesday meeting that evening, but had a line going through my head and an idea of singing it over diminished chords. I wrote Me And The Devil in the school office during my lunch break. When I took it to the group that night they were very positive but Chris Hull said I should write a bridge. Which was obviously a ridiculous idea.

In Jan 2014 I wrote a bridge.

Later that year I start recording in earnest. Rachel McClean recorded cello in my front room, Lisa de’ Ville and Simon Broomhead sang at the studio and Joe Strange brought his Chromatic Harmonica. Liz Frencham sent bass tracks from Australia then sent more bass with some vocal tracks too. Mark set up half a kit, made notes on a flip chart and trusted me to run the board. Thanks to google translate and half the Argentinian population of Facebook I contacted Ariel Hache who gave me permission to use his photo and Simon J. Curd added the graphics.

Along the way there were the usual problems – computers crashed, guitars broke, breakdancing classes interrupted. Houses were moved, babies were born, traffic collided and countries were toured.

But no storms.

Categories
First Tuesday Former Pupils Nottingham Sounds

New Notts Music Explosion!

There are a whole new bunch of great Notts music coming out in the next few months, some of it from First Tuesday members, former pupils and collaborators.

Following up his excellent Aeon album Scor-Zay-Zee is releasing the Gangsta Wraps (Take The Throne) EP on Sep 30th.

Copper and Lace the debut album from Americana masters The Most Ugly Child is out on 25th Nov. Mountain Schmountain‘s second album Skate Chills is already out (check out the Dewey Decimal video).

Simon Curd (of Mou Schmou) did the artwork for my new EP and Mark Nelson mixed it. Mark’s band Amazing Planes have a single Good Thing out now from their forthcoming album Lost In Translation.

Joe Strange‘s long awaited album A History Of Birds should be out any day now as should the Garlic EP from Sea Monster Eyes

If you catch The Edi Johnston Bit performing live you’ll be able to get your hands on his ukelele-powered comedy hip hop EP Rock Paper Scissors right now. A digital release is coming soon is out now on Bandcamp!

Speaking of hip hop – the crazy/prolific Bru-C has a fantastic track called Marimba which he’s gonna make downloadable when it reaches 10k plays – which surely isn’t going to take long.

And last, but not least, my EP Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky will be out Nov 1st. You heard it here first.

 

Categories
Former Pupils Nottingham Sounds

Earth Below: Mountains (Official Music Video)

Earth Below are the fruit of the latest Inspire ‘Supergroup’ Project that I’ve been working for the last year along with fellow tutor Nina Smith. They’re a really talent 7 piece band and will be launching their EP Almost There at a BBC Introducing Gig in Mansfield on Jun 29th. Here’s the video for the lead track Mountains