So the Lea Hall Summer Bawl took place last Saturday. I really enjoyed the whole gig although it was hot and stuffy and made for a late long day it was great!
First up was Martyn Greenwood aka Concept Devices. A great minimal set with his tiny tidy setup it was over far too quickly after 40 mins. Some nice sequences and bleeps and bloops all improvised makes it a great listen 😉
Next up were Monkey Trial and they didn’t disappoint either. I liked the mix of guitar and keyboards and Sian liked the Theremini! The set lasted an hour and was warmly received by the crowd. I was very pleased to be able to hear them for the first time and I shall be trying to catch them live again soon
After a short break next up were Mr. Booth and Mr. Creek. excellent set again with some lovely tenori one action and a great style. I particularly liked the real life VCS3 that Jez manipulated skillfully!
The finale of the evening was Binar and what a cracking set. Thoroughly enjoyed them and to help with the atmosphere we pulled out the lasers and had them going!
Just a quick reminder that next Saturday the 20th August me and a pal are putting on an ambient electronic show titled The Lea Hall Summer Bawl.
The venue is Lea Hall Social Club in the pavilion on site. Located in Rugeley next to many local amenities it’s a nice intimate venue with a bar in the room and toilets situated in the same building. Disabled access is good with it’s own car park right next to the venue. Sat Nav users the postcode is WS15 2LB and the entrance is the small one about 50 yards down the hill from the main entrance. We will put a banner to mark the correct entrance to use!
The performer take to the stage at 4.30 and we have a packed show consisting of Concept Devices, Booth and Creek, Monkey Trial and finishing up with Binar! A great line-up I’m sure you will agree!
The latest Awakenings gig took place at Lea Hall Social Club’s Pavilion on 15th July. Excellent evening, good to see a nice turnout even during the holiday season. Shame that Dave the usual MC wasn’t present meaning yours truly had to MC. I felt ill too but hope everybody got the idea as I snuffled through.
First up was Glen Alexander. Great set and I really enjoyed it. Nice and melodic with some great piano to set it off. Quite chilled and a nice way to start. Next up was Skin Mechanix with his eclectic mix. This was all synced to the video and was quite interesting to see the renders and video used. Some problems with samples meant it was a bit sparser in places than intended but still a great set. A bit more heavy in places than most acts to grace Awakenings but still great to hear
Finally AirSculpture took to the stage and they were excellent. Always like their sets and they played a great 60 mins first part and then a quick encore. All in all a superb time was had. Great thanks to all that attended!
Special mention to the guys from Magnetron who gave me a copy of their latest CD. Give it a whirl – see their Bandcamp page HERE
Anybody who wants to come along to the next gig which is on the 20th August then feel free to contact me or visit the Awakenings site HERE
We recently took the chance to get a way for a few days in Wales for Sian’s birthday. We rented a small little lodge called Lovers Lodge in Llandegley
It was a real shame that the weather was awful, but the lodge itself was really nice. Outfitted very well with great touches like wifi and broadband, Sky TV and a TV on a wall bracket so you could turn it around as you wanted, great bathroom and a really nice hot tub on the decking outside we we made excellent use of.
I’d thoroughly recommend that you take a look if you fancy a cosy getaway for 2 in the future. The guy who owns the property is also really nice and helpful. We will aim to visit again soon if we can!
If you would like to take a look at the website is is:
When my marriage broke up my ex-wife gloated about selling all of my stuff off at cheap prices and put it all over Facebook etc.
One of the things I missed the most was my Creamware Noah EX which is a rack-mounted dsp based synth.
It has some amazing plugins that emulate Prophet-5, Pro-One, MiniMoog and Odyssey just for starters, and it’s all contained in a 2u rack mount. Amazing power, just a shame they never seemed to take off!
Well I got the chance to purchase one recently and went on a roadtrip to Abergavenny to pick it up over the weekend. The guy I bought it off (Andy Thomas) was a great bloke and showed me his PPG Wave 2.3 and let us have a good play before we left for home!
I can’t wait to sort it all out – I’m going to have a dedicated laptop to run it at it’s full potential 😉
My Puma is keeping me on my toes – loads done and loads still to do.
First up was a new radiator, took a couple of hours…. still not seeing the benefits that I expected to be honest but it appears that the HCV has given up again so that’s next on the list.
The radiator was only £32.50 delivered so again, I’m not too worried as in the long run it will keep her on the road. Also changed the heater panel in the car which is now working but as the hcv appears jammed still no heating! I’m getting a set of streetKA heated front seats though so should be good when all installed and wired up 😉
The sidelights decided to give up the ghost so I’m still on the lookout for some LED’s that last longer than a couple of weeks… I guess my “spirited” driving takes it’s toll!
I WILL get her sorted, just takes time as my daily driver! I’m considering getting another so I can get one sorted totally….
So Jean Michel Jarre has released his latest album, and it seems to have polarised a lot of people.
For starters there are some heavyweight names who have collaborated this time around like Gary Numan, Pet Shop Boys and even Cyndi Lauper who pops up on a song about Tinder of all things called “Swipe To The Right”
To say it’s a commercial release is a massive understatement. Their are a good 6 songs that are very modern and pop based. The aforementioned songs are all worthy of a single release along with some more. This is a real change of tact from Jarre who hasn’t really been focused on commercial success for a long, long time. As part 2 of his new collaborative efforts perhaps this is to be expected, but even part 1 had some commercial tunes like Stardust. The Numan song is very much a familiar and well trodden path, and straight away you can tell it’s roots but I kinda like it and it has grown on me over the last week or so. The Cyndi Lauper song is quirky but gets in your head and again I like it. Overall it’s a solid album in my mind, but not really a Jarre release like of old, and this is where the problems begin. Yes, there is Korg minipops and phased string sounds, but it’s very modern with some old skool tricks. Mastered and mixed very loudly too it’s modern in that way too. And it’s a long album at a tad over 74 mins too. So I urge you to have a listen – below are some tracks to hear and I’d like to see what YOU think 😉
I’d give it 7.5 out of 10 if I was rating it, but I reckon your mileage will differ!
I’ve been a great fan of the Awakenings series of gigs that have been held over the last 8 years in Burton-Upon-Trent and it was with great sadness that I learnt that they might struggle to hold this gig as scheduled due to a venue problem. A friend of mine and I have been getting a gig sorted and we were lucky enough to enable the gig to go on anyway at this new venue which is the Lea Hall Pavilion in Rugeley. The performers were once again the dutch guys who I was wowed with back in 2014, that is Ron Boots, Eric van der Heijden, René Splinter and UniSphere.
As I was helping setup the gig we arrived just after mid day to help sort out the vast amount of gear on show (Mmmmmm Prophet-6) and carted it all into the venue which appeared tiny! However, as we got setup (Mmmmmm Prophet-12) and sorted out the seating arrangements it became clear that this would be a nice compact venue which is just about right for the expected numbers 😉
At approx 5pm we decided to go out and get some food as the doors opened at 6pm for a 6.30 start! We disappeared came back, got a chance to talk to the guys and settled down in out seats. First up was René Splinter who played a lovely melodic synth plus piano set. It reminded me of late 80’s Tangerine Dream or Johannes Schmoelling. 30 mins passed by very quickly and after a short break next up was Eric van de Heijden with another 30 min set with added real thunder! Eric also talked through quickly how he composes and arranges his music very quickly – something that interested me greatly. Another interlude followed, one a bit longer as we were awaiting nightfall as Ron Boots had brought his new toys – namely some lights he’d programmed for the occasion!
The light show was superb – but of course it was nothing compared to his set which was a loose tribute to Klaus Schultze, who has been unwell recently. We even had a live drummer! The smoke machine I had filled up earlier was used to great effect (though not enough for me…) and I really enjoyed this set although Sian wasn’t a fan of the 30 min long tune as she prefers shorter stuff! Another small interlude followed before UniSphere took to the stage. UniSphere is both René and Eric together and they played a great set of uptempo synth numbers with Ron providing a nice live light show although the smoke machine did not make an appearance
All in all it was a great evening. The addition of a bar in the room helped as it was very warm and stuffy evening but I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are more pics on my Instagram (3dcandy) and some short videos if you wish to watch them. If you are on Facebook you can check out the Awakenings stuff HERE and there will be many more pics etc. there!
I will leave you with a youtube video showing UniSphere playing Jocular Jive from their excellent CD Endless Endeavor
Recently my contract was up for renewal and I went for a Galaxy S7. I also changed networks from 3 to o2 but that’s a totally different story 😉
I previously had a Note 3 and loved it, I was tempted by the S7 Edge but it was just out of my budget so vanilla S7 it was. The packaging is very svelte and compact and it is very pleasing to see a good quality set of headphones, and adaptive charger (more later) and a surprise of an OTG adapter. I turned it on and found 60% charge and then connected my old Note 3 via the OTG adapter and transferred all my stuff over. Fairly painless even though there was 11gb to transfer. I swapped the microSD card over and job was a good one.
I’m very impressed with it so far. Camera is excellent, it’s water resistant, feels very nice and solid in your hands and as a bonus it’s only a tad over an hour to charge from 11% to full. The battery easily lasts a day and I’m pleased to say it’s been a great addition. Slightly disappointed that I couldn’t have an Edge but it’s cool 😉
So all in all I’, impressed. 9 out of 10 losing one mark for how expensive it is! Gallery of images taken below with my S7!