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Govannen @ Acoustic Avalon Guitar Show, Leicester Racecourse.
We did good - a tight 30min set including a song each by Dan & I. We represented K.Yairi guitars an Leiva cajon drums. We sold 13 CDs including 3 of my live albums thanks to singing Carousel. One audient came up and said how moving he thought Carousel was :-) Great sound from Neil on his new digital desk. Nice to do a posh stage gig - as opposed to pubs & weddings.

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Bizarrely hyperactive day. Got info from council in only 5 calls, walked to University for lunch with Jim & Neil. On way back got flu jab & shopping, drove to town & bought new audio interface. Home, dinner, Time Team, unpack interface, rang up and got self 2 song gigs, ordered the new Kamelot CD, went to Dave Wyatts gig, afterwards spoke to loads of people there, came home & did Lara Dutta yoga dvd workout which oddly didn't wipe me out. Celebrated with liquorice tea, cream crackers & Deep Space 9. Brain still buzzin at 2.50am... What the hell happened to me today?!

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First solo jazz gig for quite a while - mixed in some tv themes, crooned some old songs and some of my tunes. Closed my eyes and drifted away...
Some muzo chums came to see me specially - Steve Hicks & Lynn Goulbourn - had a nice chat afterwards, shoptalk & anecdotes etc..

Kevin Kendle sent me a parcel of his 2 new albums & DVD !!!! - especially excited to hear the 4th Deep Skies album Light From Andromeda - some of my favourite electronic/space music. Can def still hear a Steve Hillage Rainbow Dome Music influence which is a good thing...

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Took break from Aloft2 recording project to prevent brain burn. Did some website work instead. Had coffee & cake at Madison's - a quirky Muslim run desert cafe. Tiny, Tove & Jim came - fun idle chat.

A tune came into my head for forthcoming mermaid album with Mo the Harper.

Found an electronic music artist tangentially on Spotify that I like. He's a free jazz guitarist from Ireland who drifts into electronic ambient music - Mark O'Leary. He's made some albums with American percussionist Alex Cline who I line and have 4 albums by - which is how I found him. Will try to find some.

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Been tidying up the CD stock room, unpacking my synths from last Quadelectronic gig and tidying the studio. Also had to clean the decks of computer drives too. Someone ordered 3 CDs to be paid by cheque which was nice - 4am, Chocolate Bossa & Time Traveller. Also did some website work.

Book wise on my recent reading quest to read authors I used to read a lot but haven't in years I finished a Ron Goulart - completing his Ex-chameleon trilogy. Light sci-Fi detective yarns with catmen, ratmen, shapeshifters & androids. Always fun but not silly

Just started reading John Brunner's Double Double - a real time bubble of 1969 England. Pop group The Hermetic Tradition drive round Kent coast near a research establishment in their wildly painted Transit van to find a place to hold their "freak out". They report seeing an injured man at a police station in a tiny village where a young constable asks "Havn't I seen you on Top Of The Pops?" I can see the grainy print of the TV series that this wasn't made into...

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St Patricks weekend came round again. We had 4 gigs in 3 days - a little fewer than usual.

Fri 16th The Grange, Asfordby Hill
A regular one for us. Early get in. Always hit there as they have a big fire going. The restaurant is themed like a ski lodge with skiing paraphernalia on the walls. Stew first then music. Very vocal crowd really sang loudly. Some danced later and Neil called a simple ceilidh dance. Sold 3 CDs

Sat 17th - Royal Oak, Great Dalby
Thought this might be madly busy but it was just comfortably full of regular fans. My fave of the weekend as it was a listening intimate concert and one could talk and have fun with schtick & chat. A little dancing later. Sold 6 half price CDs inc 2 Bridget CDs.

Sun 18th arvo - Carington Arms, Ashby Folville
Usually the site of mad crowds this was fairly quiet. Fine weather, big match on TV etc... Just the keen regulars. I got to sneak in some blues & Beach Boys into the relaxed set. We were joined by a little lad on the bodhran on 1 number. Sold 3 half price CDs to chums.

Sun 18th eve - Don Paddys, Uppingham.
Deli the Fiddle & I went straight to Don P's to grab a bite at a quiet hour before setting up and doing it all again. We always seem to finish St Pats Week at Don P's so it feels end-of-term like. Pleasant crowd there as always including agent DG. Mellow gig. Sold a couple of CDs.

Monday I wasn't up to much, and was still a bit heady on Tues. mostly been pottering away recording the new Govannen album.

Photos - http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/unclechristo/sets/72157629623814333/


Sent from my iPod

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Friday I had Bridget McMahon in the studio to record some atmospheric vocals on the Govannen album. She was very quick picking up the notes as usual and she sang on 5 tracks.

Fri evening Govannen played at the Kidney Care Appeal barn dance with Neil Rab calling this year held at the university. All went well. Neil's best calling yet - he's enjoying it now instead of trying to remember.

Saturday - another Govannen Charity Ceilidh at Burton Lazars village hall. It was for the church but the raffle went to raise money for a cow to be given to an Albanian village... It was organised by Dan's Aunt Janet.

Sunday was chillin & chores day. I did go to the Golden Mile again and had a Chaat for late lunch and picked up a cheap DVD of Namaste London, a Bollywood magazine, and some burfi. I did talk myself out of the Shilpa Shetty yoga DVD tho ..
Evening I got sucked into the Frost/Nixon film on Tv tho did some wii workout after. Ive been on a new program - It's not as good a program as my wii yoga & Pilates but it makes a change.

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Cactus Cafe

Mar. 8th, 2012 02:18 am
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Fun to play a jazz gig again at the Cactus Cafe - my first jazz gig in 3 months- not quite got gig stamina back as the 90min set with no breaks felt long. Time warp night as old owner Paul was helping out there, and regulars from years ago were in the crowd as we're chums Dinah & Nic who I had a nice chat with after.

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Adele and her fiddle came round for a second recording session for the Govannen album. Got another 4 tracks done fiddle wise. Another session should do it.
Her sister Bridget is over from Ireland this week do I'm trying to get her in for some atmospheric vocals as she did on the last 2 Govannen albums for Paradise label.

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Kinda hoped to get Adele in to record the last few days but she's been hard to track down.
I've kept busy buying a new tyre, recording music for a phone app game for a friend, working on the website and also cutting myself some slack. What with the wedding coming up I'm trying to balance my days, get the odd cd I hanker for, remember to eat etc.

After frying brain on website today I took myself off for late lunch at the Chaat House - Chaat, chapatis, sweet lassi - went to new cheap indian DVD/cd shop & picked up a nice looking film (Waqt) but resisted DVD of Yoga Workout with Shilpa Shetty... Then I went to underground Cd emporium I call The Smelly Palace - it has very powerful insense - and found the excellent soundtrack cd the film Paa for a fiver. Then got 2 pieces of plain burfi from Sharmillees.
In evening did a bit of overdue yoga and finished the Larry Sanders Show box set which has been my unwinding companion for 3 months. Sad ending but endings usually are.

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After my nerd session with the video software I needed a social day out of my loft so had lunch at the museum with Mo the Harper and encountered Marti who I half knew and had also run into my previous weeks lunch. I'm trying to do a social lunch once a week. We checked out the dinosaur after.
In the evening I got totally absorbed watching the Bollywood Filmfare Awards - their Oscars - I knew more of the actors & films that I do Hollywood ones and the show is a lot more fun than the Oscars - 2 big stars SRK & hosted and did skits on the big films, plus there were musical numbers. Ranbir had to accept his critics best actor award for Rockstar from his sisters while still dressed as a woman from the skit. Was very pleased ZNMD won best film & director & dialogue & cinematography - it was my fave film of the year. Pleased Ranbir got his award for Rockstar too. Stayed up way too late watching it.

Today Adele was supposed to come and record but for the 3rd time this week she had to cancel - this time her kids were poorly...
So I mapped out 2 more Govannen tracks - ones from our live set - just finding tempos & making temporary rhythm & bass tracks.

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Been mostly carrying on recording for the Govannen album - 6 tracks now ready for band members.

Sat evening no gig so went to see new Kareena Kapoor movie Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (One Me and One You) at the Bollywood cinema. Fun gentle quirky film - very westernised, but a nice film about friendship. A couple get drunk & get married in Vegas ... Kareena's good at doing the kooki girl and Imran Khan was a great retentive deadpan.
Had mainstream American vibe but it being 2 hours & 20 means you get a little more from the characters ...
Recommended - not a mind blower - just a cute film.

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My 30 set went ok. It was a quiet night at the Don Quixote club which suited me. I did one as yet unperformed song from Time Traveller with a lyric sheet - The Deal Is Done. Voice was hoarse at end of night, and guitar fingers sore as it had been a long time... Good to get back to singing songs ...

Set - Let Me Be, Science Fiction Eyes, Lifespell, The Deal Is Done, Alien Salad Abduction, The Last Place On The Earth.

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10 days

Feb. 15th, 2012 02:00 am
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Well I was a bit down on missing the Filk Con, my lurgy was really taking its time clearing up and tge weather stated icy and hearing boiler started playing up. I decided to preempt post viral downers by acting positively. Work in things that had built up, annoying little tasks to do with the house, the boiler - i will spare you the intermittent fault saga - and wedding plans.
I tried to up the excersize as much as my irritated lungs were able, and see people more. I also started recording in earnest for the new Govannen album. I've now mapped out 5 pieces - half the album - and did a small session recording with Dan. The new software is letting me use it like the old software .
I've been tweaking the website and trying to learn new things about Dreamweaver - a long job.

I saw a chum Liz for lunch and even went to a housewarming party at Mo & Jims.

I got a new Wii fitness program for a change - its a bit lame to start with but coming back from poorly having it easy for a while is not so bad.
Did town and dinner with G on her birthday.

This week is really my first well week since Xmas. I have a 30min feature songs slot at an open mic tomorrow - haven't sing sings or touched the guitar for 2 months. Time to get back on the songs wagon.

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On Sat my new computer came - they installed the audio drive from my old computer - cool. No time to use it tho cos I had to rush Steiger out to gig number one - a vows renewal in a pub in Whetstone.
Then rush straight on to a 70th birthday of a friends dad in Burton Lazars Village Hall. Amazing homemade buffet - nice people - slight subdued crowd. Nice to be earning again - was pretty knackered on my return & next day.
Kinda been fighting off low lever bug throat & cough .

Sunday - started installing stuff on new co
Outer but found no FireWire socket for my sound card :-( . Did some minor installing while listening to Jefferson Airplane but gave up in the evening - watched a Golden Girls, a DS9 and a Larry Sanders. Plus I read some Gibson & the Cantor biographies and listened to the Takemitsu - From Me Flows What You Call Time - stunning piece of music.

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New ambient CD by my duo with Jim Tetlow is now out. Called Plus One it features a different guest on each track.
Hear album online, & read more info here http://www.chrisconway.org/cd_mwire3.html

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Took PC to see of shop could do a quick fix. They kindly fast tracked its repair as I'd ordered a new one from them the other day.
Amazingly they fixed it. It was the graphics card that died. Made me wonder if I shoulda ordered a new machine, but I guess I knew I needed to move on. It does mean tho that the transition will be more gradual. I can keep working on the old one while installing stuff on the new one which will need a lit of new software coz of Windows 7.

Finished work on the new Memory Wire artwork - should be out in a few days.

Went to see Billy Connolly. Fun to see him. I didn't find myself laughing out loud much - just enjoying him as a character. It was his first show if the tour and it felt a bit like he wasn't quite yet in his stride. There was a patch in the middle where it all seemed to flow. But like Frankie Howerd, you don't really see him for his material or to see a slick show. Just enjoy the guy.

Tried to get into the new TV Sherlock but too many things I found really annoying I had to give up on it ad it just drove me bats and at no point did I find anyone remote believable apart from Watson. The guy who plays Holmes I found really hammy & tiresome. Everyone seems to love it.., it was the same with new Dr Who but I just didn't get it. It must be me..

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PC Down

Jan. 13th, 2012 02:30 am
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Frustrating day. Just as I had finished the Memory Wire artwork and was ready to print them out - my ailing computer - assisted no doubt by an untimely Windows update - finally black screened. It opened in safe mode so I moved some files but despite rollbacks etc I gave up. The folks I ordered my new PC from kindly agreed to see if a quick fix was possible. I realised some work could be done on the laptop but would have to install some drivers & software. Had a look round for some cheap & open source alternatives.
Got home to find G 's bug taking turn for worse with very sore throat & fever.
Never really got back on track then - neither relaxed nor really worked usefully.

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The Artist

Jan. 12th, 2012 02:33 am
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After pointless search trying to understand strange behaviour of computer sound card I got stuck into cover art designing for next Memory Wire album. Felt good to do something practical instead of chasing ghosts on the machine.
In evening went to see new silent film The Artist - imitation 20s silent - subtle, clever, fun & charming - really well done.
Even did some late night yoga.

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Decided to bite the bullet and order a new studio computer. Went to a local recommended firm to put it together. Clever guy went thru it with me. Bit more than I thought but I only buy one every 5 years so it pays to aim high. Should take a week to ten days. Quite looking forward to getting it sorted. I'll be able to use the new software & updates which id not been able to do on XP.
My old machine started up again so hopefully I'll be able to keep working while I wait for the new machine.

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