September Update

The routine is there’s no routine and I like that.

What’s the world coming to? No one takes a scruffy arsed, oily old bluesman seriously anymore; Whether to wear the hat: (where’s your?) Buccinears and all that, wears the soap to mention just two nuns in the bath. I’ve just been photographed and interviewed for a publication called ‘Me and my Guitar’ which is a new take on the story ‘behind the Axe’. At the same time, Carole and Alan the brains behind the book, took some press type photos for me to use. Skilled people. Very professional and a lot of fun to be with. (they even got my humour). I’m pleased with the results too, seems like you can polish a turd after all.

I’ve never understood the concept of the scotch egg – what’s that all about? No running yolk, no obvious sausage to rub around the yellow juices.

Since the last update, its been all hands to the pumps: We’ve completed the UK tour of Spinal Injury Centres, recorded two songs with a band in Brighton (and for you, there’s a special sound link below) gigged as far afield as Beauvais and across the length and breadth of England, Scotland and Ireland. Its been challenging,  rewarding and at times moving; but before I prattle on, some quick Desert Island Disc stories from the last update:

 ‘Jet’ by McCartney & Wings…‘Let Me Roll It’ – the B side is good too and it was all over the juke boxes in the Lakes when we were on our honeymoon in March 1974′” (CP, Liverpool)

“I’ve often dreamed of being on DID, especially since Kirsty joined!” (PS, Lymm)

‘Al otro Lado del Rio’ by Jorge Drexler. its sublime, especially when the ‘cello comes in at 1.38 (RK, Marple)

 Spinal Centres.

The tour of UK Spinal Centres took place between mid April and late May. I know it has been a resounding success and there are already 30 people taking up lap slide as a direct result of my venture.  I have felt a sense of achievement and learnt such a lot about re visiting organisations, teaching and working with groups. So many fascinating and different experiences. I love problem solving and faced with a new challenge the way people respond:- Every person found a unique way to use their hands to play a guitar without being told what to do. Its fascinating.  A couple of the workshops made the BBC Local News and various magazines featured articles SIA Mag Spinal Tour P1 SIA Mag Spinal Tour P2

Little Angels  

Google this and you’ll find children’s nurseries but in the 80s and 90s this Hard Rock Band enjoyed big success in the UK and were signed to Polydor. Bruce John Dickinson one of the founder members and guitarists is into blues and and a wide range of music related stuff – For Example, He set up The Brighton Institute of Contempory Music along with Kevin Nixon and seemingly had lots of fun with a Blues/Rock band B.L.O.W. Without me knowing, a mutual friend, Dominic, told Bruce about my music and to cut a long story short, he likes it so much that he arranged and completely funded a couple of days recording with a band in Brighton.

Fantastic or what! The lads (we are all lads, irrespective of age or sex) I worked with were Nick Boyes on laid back Bass, Mike Sturgis on Percussion, Gez Walton running the desk & Bruce organising, listening and producing.  Half a day practice and a long day laying down the two tracks.  It went great and I’m really chuffed with what I’ve heard of the first mixes. I can’t thank Bruce enough; although I guess that’s fine by him – he is doing this because he wants to. Pure and simple straightforward kindness. Here’s a few seconds of unfinished, unmastered, ‘Journeyman Blues’ as a taster  The full tracks will be released soon, perhaps on Vinyl and already my head is spinning with the idea of a full album. 


To try and avoid embarrassment, cringeworthy introductions or patronisation, i’m introducing a new rumour about the causes of my disability: ‘Tom Doughty was found in a coracle on the River Weaver near Frodsham in 1958. He was listening to a 78rpm Bukka White record on a portable wind up Gramophone. He became a wheelchair user some years later, affected by the excessive amount of purple gloop which was discharged into the River Weaver from a local Chemical works’.

I’ve been busier than ever and have played such a variety of places from small festivals and music clubs to a couple of major gigs, soon including Buxton Opera House with Craig. Next week i’mat Boris Johnson’s shack (No, Lenin, i’m not turning: come the revolution)!  as part of the Cultural Olympiad at City Hall in London.  There’s variety in life and I’m lucky to be part of it. Nearer to home, for years i’ve wanted to be part of something at Manchester’s Band on the Wall and i’ve just been asked to support The Cadillac Kings there on 7th September, which, I am sure will be Ace fun. Next gigs are Congleton Blues Festival and the Great British R & B Festival at Colne, Acoustic Stage 4.30pm 26th August.

November sees me back at The Wirral International Guitar Festival and playing my teaching part in a local one day workshop i’m part of  then January next year back at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall as part of their guitar weekend.

Apart from that i’m aching, falling apart, groaning and moaning and looking forward to the end of this crap weather.

Now the newsletter test: If you’ve read all the way down here, you know i’m saving the best till last:-
Being a chicken, I don’t fancy being drunk, tied to a lamp post, naked at 4.00am; so my stag do is next Monday, 27th. A big gang of guitar and instrument playing mates, Pies and Beer and hours of making music.
I’m getting married to Caroline on 30th August because I love her and I’m a romantic old Hector.

Till next time, avoid them Scotch Eggs, its no yolk.