Paul Hooper, erstwhile member of The Fortunes, joined us in the Black Pearl for our band's rather public rehearsal. The performance has seemed to go well enough, and there were a good crowd listening. Nice.
This is one of our few 'open to the public' gigs and all are welcome - The Black Pearl - formerly The Old Ship, Front Street Newbiggin by the Sea. It should be a fun night, and we'd love a crowd to turn out so please ask your friends and we'll see you down there. Thanks.
This is a screen capture of the quickie web site I did to sell my CD.
I first got into relaxation music when i realised that most of what was available was pretty useless. I mean, I actually find the sound of whale-song to be rather haunting and disturbing. Other stuff was full of crass synth noises and equally stress-inducing.
So my challenge was to produce some sounds and textures which genuinely aided relaxation in the fullest possible way. I pinched a few ideas from the world of hypnotherapy, a few more from my father who is an experienced pyschotherapist and put them together with what I knew about crafting sound.
The result is an album called "MindWorks". If you take a listen to a couple of the tracks, preferably all of them, you'll see how interesting the music really is. It is designed to relax you - despite how you might feel, and it works. By the time you have sat down and carefully listened to a couple of the tracks, your heart-rate will fall and you will experience a genuine state of relaxation.
It's like Derren Brown, but without the talking and trickery. How did I do it? Well, I'll gladly share my secrets with you if you are interested. I seem to discover that most people are not actually interested in how, preferring to delight instead in the results. Fair enough.
In response to various people who have requested copies for use at home, in counselling, or in a religious context I have decided to put a web site up where people can order a copy online with a credit card. If you're curious about the music there are some extracts to listen to, although to experience the full effect you need to listen to the complete tracks.
Is this all bollocks? No. I'm very serious about this project and I plan a second volume once I have recovered some capital from the first. That said, the money means a lot less than the warm expressions of gratitude I have received from people who use the disc regularly as an aid to relaxation.
In a low-key and relaxed way, Ad.Lib Radio is returning, albeit for just one show on a Wednesday night. I'll be on air between 10pm and 11pm if you fancy tuning in live and, hopefully, joining us in the chat room to talk about almost anything bar the music.
Immediately after the gig Ben's road crew take the rig down.
I sit here in my little house, with my ears still ringing with the beautiful noise created by Ben Folds and his tiny 3-piece band. It's been a tiring trip, but one that I have very much enjoyed. The chat on the way down and up was rarely boring and the music was sublime.
Piano, bass and drums don't often sound this good or, indeed, this loud. That said, my ears didn't hurt once in the entire show so it couldn't have been too loud really. Ben's tiny frame was a picture of enthusiasm and energy for the full 90 minute show - he stayed on stage the whole time.
All of this to a backdrop of committed fans who really did know all the words. Ben seems to attract young and old into his fold, and there was a good representation from most age groups there. Ben sings emotionally, with large crescendos from very quiet passages a common motif in his music. Nor was it all samey and predictable - not by a long shot.
His humour was apparent throughout, right from the playing of Europe's "The Final Countdown" at the start. He teased us with his little synthesiser and did unmentionable things to his very tasty grand piano, ending up by despatching his piano stool at the keyboard from about ten feet away. I actually winced on behalf of the piano.
I feel a bit guilty that I am not a better Ben Folds fan, but I certainly enjoyed what I heard. All three of them sang perfectly tuned harmonies to many of the songs, making the sound fuller and more impressive. At one point, all three of them were singing and Ben was playing synth and piano at the same time - a sound which would leave some bands needing seven people.
It was also clear that Ben's passion for the music enabled him to allow himself a few bum notes in the great and noble cause of "really going for it". Amen to that. Nevertheless,I shall be practising a few of his tunes on the quiet to see if I can get close to what he plays. Don't be misled by that comment, he is a very gifted keyboard player indeed. I'll be lucky if I can make my renditions just sound slightly like him.
Thanks to all of my fellow travellers for putting up with my lewd double-entendres for the entire afternoon and evening. It was a lovely, and we were the luckiest.