Under the Radar: Ryan Webb

Hold tight rock fans, you’re in for a treat. London-based rocker, Ryan Webb, is releasing his latest album on 9th June and it’s a scorcher.

Stop the World comprises nine tracks of unadulterated, guitar-fuelled energy. Ryan’s toneful vocals play out against a backdrop of well-crafted riffs, subtle reverb and thumping drum work. The album balances well and delivers a guitar led, pure rock sound that avoids the temptation of straying into cliché territory. Our promo copy hasn’t stopped spinning since it arrived.

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Let’s get it out there straight away – Ryan can play. But for me, his rich voice and effortless ability to control each ranging note is what makes his music, and Stop the World in particular, stand out. This album doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not – it’s a thoroughbred example of British rock music that’s been tied together to a very high standard thanks to the mastering wizardry of Pete Maher, who will be well known to those in the industry.

Stop the World finds its feet immediately with Insomnia, a dark lament to sleepless nights that piles in with hard guitar and deep drumming. It’s a blazing track, built around tormenting riffs and vocals that create a perfect nightmare of a song. Impressive. Runaway steps things back a notch, delivering a well-crafted ballad that tells the tale of a relationship stuttering under the pressures of reality. It feels genuine and refreshingly understated, proving to be a fine showcase for Ryan’s inimitable vocals.

The title track, Stop the World, throws up a little something different and stands out amongst the other eight tracks on the album. Sneering vocals and a change of pace could deceive you into thinking this was a long-lost Oasis demo. Lively and edgy, it will appeal to indie kids and seasoned rock fans alike.

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As the album settles into its mid-section, the themes that presumably inspired the title push to the fore. It also slides back into a more traditional rock approach. The gutsy My Religion draws on contentious social issues with a combination of sharp lyrics subtle rock guitar. Lucky Ones thrills with a modern twist on old-school metal, with thumping beats and frantic fretwork creating a hugely moshable track, and In a Day or Two delivers an accessible track with an anthemic chorus that we can all relate to.

Before I Die is a thought provoking, melodic ballad that takes a break from the fierce guitar playing that’s prevalent across the album. It’s reflective, pensive and emotional. But it’s back to rock with the catchy Guilty. The final track on the album is the ghostly Immortal, which sees Ryan deliver a dreamy, echoing vocal that contemplates the everlasting and provides one last chance to show off his machine gun riffs and musical creativity.

Stop the World is a must listen for rock fans and a launch gig is in the pipeline, so keep an eye out and get yourself along to show your support. If you can’t make it in person, follow him on social media and be sure to download the album on 9th June. In the meantime, check out the links below:

http://www.ryanwebb.org

http://www.facebook.com/RyanWebbUK

One to Watch: Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees

Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, and now native to Nashville, Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees are a talented four piece writing, recording and performing their unique and exciting brand of Southern Americana Groove Rock. Not sure what Southern Americana Groove Rock is? Best check out their storming debut album, Procrastinated Memoirs. It’s good. Real good. These guys have talent in all departments and we reckon Spectra have snapped up a band that has genuine potential to make a lasting impression.

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Headed by a frontman with a personality bigger than his beard, Jacob Needham is talented. His authoritative voice is distinctive and oozes confidence. The Blue Trees are equally gifted, playing with flair, distinction and a degree of unity that belies the fact they’ve only been together for three years. James Tyler Cody is a phenomenal guitarist with fingers faster than Usain Bolt. Ben Trexel’s an experienced bassist who’s not afraid to get down and dirty, and RaShaun Whetstone keeps everything on-point with drum beats that keep better time than a Rolex.

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Procrastinated Memoirs comprises twelve tracks of pure American Rock heaven. Released by the Spectra Music Group earlier this month, it’s diverse and pushes boundaries but maintains a strong sense of cohesion throughout. The album kicks off in style and with a slight twist – the ethereal intro to Traffic puts you at ease and leaves you expecting a ballad. You start to relax…BLAM…the big guns come out. Bass. Drums. Guitar. Snarling vocals. It’s energetic, exhilarating and everything a rock song should be.

Following on is Therapist, which dials things back a notch. Its emotional lyrics paint a picture of conflict and confusion within a relationship that’s teetering on the brink. It’s smart, sincere and proves these guys can actually put pen to paper. Vanilla Salt Black Voodoo brings the noise back – it’s chock full of deep guitar riffs, bass with attitude and twisted lyrics that are perfectly delivered, and Next Words you Say proves just how versatile Needham is as a vocalist. Avalanche is pure, sophisticated and is the kind of track average bands can only dream of writing. It will undoubtedly appeal to a wide audience and underlines the band’s potential to cross genres and build a fan base that stretches far and wide.

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Procrastinated Memoirs comes into its own with the oh-so-catchy Alabama Baby. You’ve probably seen the video – it’s won The Blue Trees a lot of new admirers. The track is the first of several smokin’ hot, Southern stormers that could’ve been laid down at Muscle Shoals. Alabama Baby epitomises fun times, boys & girls, beer and barbeques. Get it on your summertime playlist before you regret it! While you’re there, add Radio too. It’s yet another stand out track in which everyone pulls their weight. It’s got so many elements to it that it could easily fall on its face, but it doesn’t. And just when you think J T Cody’s lightning fretwork has snatched glory, Needham slams home an accomplished rap that totally works.

By this stage we’re thinking things surely can’t get any better. We’ve been worked into a party-ready frenzy and it’s only 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon. Oh wait…they’ve done it again…Rhythm & Brews comes swaggering along, tipping its hat to Johnny Cash and throwing in some catchy harmonica and banjo twists for good measure. It’s our personal favourite and left us mulling the possibility that Jacob Needham is in fact the bastard love child of Ronnie Van Zant and Mick Jagger. Probably not, but with his range, attitude and tone, he sounds like he could be. These guys rock; Just Dropped In proves it. Dirty, edgy, raw and accented by yet another unbelievable guitar solo.

King without a Crown is a luscious piece of soft Southern rock that starts to wind the party down. It’s classy and well measured without sounding dull, allowing Needham to show a silkier side of his voice. Ol’ Bones is modern rock that steps away from swampland juke joints and into the city with its contemporary, urban sound that is still undeniably rock music. The final track, Say your Prayers, eases you back to reality with a soft landing – the perfect comedown from one of the most exciting albums we’ve heard this year.

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Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees have dropped a bombshell with Procrastinated Memoirs. An incendiary mix of effortless rhythms, raging guitar solos, confident lyrics and a front man who delivers. It’s a must-listen album and we can’t help but think this is the start of something very big indeed.

If you want to get in touch with Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees, contact Bobby Collins, Director of Operations at Spectra Music Group:

bobbycollins@spectramusicgroup.com
(O) 843.628.3555 Ext. 101  –  (F) 843.494.9626  –  http://www.spectramusicgroup.com

Links & Social Media:

http://www.bluetreenation.com/

https://facebook.com/JacobNeedhamandTheBlueTrees

https://youtube.com/user/Jneedham2910

https://instagram.com/blue_tree_nation

Under the Radar: Luna Blue

By Barry Humphreys

Brighton based Luna Blue’s approach to their musical landscape brings with it a remarkable set of influences. The sound of this band defies – in fact proudly denies – getting itself identified to any one box, trend or fad. Are they funky? Yes! Are they jazz? Yes! Are they soul? Yes! Are they rock? Yes! They cross boundaries and carve out wayward paths in territories that so many other musicians haven’t even thought to explore.

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These guys give new meanings to the words “alternative” and “indie”, but without forgetting the necessity of making their music superbly accessible for the listener. It’s not broad brush strokes on their musical canvas either, its fine detail that comes to life in audio-full-colour. They have imagination, passion, sincerity, but manage to make it look and sound easy at the same time.

Perhaps it’s no surprise to find out then that as individuals, Tom (vocals and rhythm); Ryan (lead guitar); Nick (bass); and Seb (drums), were still wearing short trousers when they started playing and listening to music. It’s fairly obvious that along the way they’ve absorbed influences to the point where they’ve made them personal, taken ownership and carefully nurtured them. It makes me wonder what remains untapped and waiting in stasis for future discovery!

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The depth of imagination is underlined by their recent appearance with a thirty-piece orchestra in Chichester, with arrangements for said players by Nick. For the time being at least, it was a one-off event and I for one am gutted that I found out about it too late to get myself there. Some small consolation for me – and you- is the promise of a forthcoming release of the recording of the event.

They’re currently working on songs to be released later in the year, but discover them now by way of 2017’s Nightjar EP. Float Away is restrained, tight, structured, thoughtful; the soulful Borrowed Words; Welcome Home casually laid-back and controlled…. But my advice would be to leave the title song, Nightjar, to the end of your introductory listen. From its very start it’s a menacing song which in parts is almost blissfully uncomfortable in the best of ways. It’s a deep dark hymn that echoes around your senses but pulls you into a drifting, shifting musical soundscape. Listen to this and walk away feeling slightly disturbed but uplifted at the same time.Then go back and listen to it all again. Luna Blue have that sort of effect. Wonderful!

Luna Blue are geared up to make a big impression this summer. They’re lined up to play the Seaside Rox Music Festival in Bognor Regis on 21st April 2018, so get along and show them some support! Meanwhile, check out their links below:

One to Watch: Wild Horse

Barry Humphreys, the newest member of the Urban Antenna team, has taken some time out from his own blossoming music career to give the low-down on Wild Horse. They’re bold, brash and recently signed to the exciting Studio 3 Records:

Wild Horse celebrate their fifth anniversary in April. They’ve been in our sights for some time, so what better time to take a look at what these boys can do. In a nutshell, they’ve been not so quietly paying their dues and honing the craft of what they do. So stop thinking…look and listen! Radio stations around the world are giving them airtime and they’re building on 2016’s debut album “It’s Begun” very, very nicely thank you very much.

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My first taste of Wild Horse came when I walked into “The Wall” (ouch !). This deceptive track lulled me into a false sense of security in those first few seconds . It sounded like a Brit-pop moment (maybe Cast?) but the boys had the laugh. I’m quietly minding my own business one minute and then the rug’s pulled out from under me and I’m thinking “MOSH PIT!!!”…and lovin’ it!  Henry, Jack and “Barking” Ed having an in-yer-face moment…… well, yes exactly…. that’s what they do! One minute they’re doing subtle, then they’re not – it explodes into something special when you’re least expecting it! So if that’s what you like, you need to take a listen to Wild Horse.

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The Wall” is from the “Timeless Dancing” EP – check it now. It’s a great mix of tracks, including “It’s Only Rejection”, a another favourite that is most definitely louder than the thunder. So listen…… listen…. then have another listen to some of their other hidden gems. Another stand-out track is “Do We Really Know”. It’s a big-big sing-along anthem that conjures images of a big-big crowd giving it loads down at a big-big festival. And you just know that everyone will be loving every moment of it.

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Wild Horse aren’t one-trick ponies. They have loads of great songs, with great hooks that will appeal across the generations.  Just take “She Comes And Goes”, which is something like Velvet Underground meets the 21st Century. The influences are there but Wild Horse then bring it all together to give us their own unique take on what it’s like to be a front-runner guitar band in 2018.

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At the moment they’re writing and recording new songs for their second album, which will be with us on Studio 3 Records before long. But in the meantime check the dates and catch them live…it’s an experience that will most definitely not disappoint. On stage they’re a driving force. They’ll send you home with a smile on your face and some very good news to share with all those other people you know who love great music. The future’s looking very good indeed for Wild Horse!

 

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Want to find out more about Wild Horse? Get in touch with us at Urban Antenna or contact the band direct on social media or via their website:

www.facebook.com/wildhorseuk

www.wildhorse-rockband.com

https://twitter.com/wildhorserockuk

www.soundcloud.com/wildhorseuk

www.reverbnation.com/wildhorse6

www.wildhorse1.bandcamp.com

http://www.youtube.com/user/wildhorserockuk

http://www.studio3label.com/wildhorse

Up Close & Personal: Disconnected Genius

Our latest musical heart-to-heart saw us link up with some boys from Down Under; Melbourne to be precise. Disconnected Genius are a three piece playing classic melodic rock with their own distinct lean. While bassist Yuri and drummer Daniel were either surfing, wrestling crocodiles or engaging in some other stereotypical Aussie pastime, we caught up with lead singer, Jamie O’Keefe.

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Hey Jamie, we love the new release but we’ve not seen many titles like that since the days of Captain Beefheart. We’ve got to ask…how the hell did you come up with that one?

Our latest LP is called Nirvikalpa Meow; Nirvikalpa is the highest attainable state of enlightenment espoused by the ancient Vedic saints. Meow was my cat, who died. So it is the highest honour and tribute to her.

Wow, high praise to Meow. I never had the pleasure, but I’m sure she’d be made up by the album. We’re All Watching Everything has lodged itself in my head – are there any tracks on the album that stand out for you?

There’s quite a rigorous quarantine selection and vetting process before songs are even considered for one of our albums, so any song on a Disconnected Genius album is something we think is awesome. I suppose it’s a bit like being asked to choose your favourite child. They all have their thing, that’s why they’re there.

The Disconnected Genius journey has been relatively short so far, but what would you identify as the band’s greatest musical achievement to date?  

Just recording two studio LP’s is the greatest achievement in my opinion but in terms of awards and chart placings we’ve had dozens of songs do really well in different Indie Radio Charts. We’re also proud of the fact a song of ours called Sadness is a Primary Color from our first record, Dogs Chasing Fairy Tales, was nominated for a Golden Kayak Award, which is an Indie Music People thing run by Scott Stambaugh.

From what we’ve heard, Disconnected Genius tick the boxes for both music and lyrics. What’s more important to you guys when you’re writing your songs?

Good question. Music, because that’s what makes it music, but it does pay to have good lyrics.  I find it’s a bit like if you imagine the music to be a diamond, but you’ve got to sand the diamond down to get it into shape and in that sanding process suitable lyrics usually seem to appear.  A good Rorschach test is to ask yourself: if there were no words, would it be a good song? And vice versa: if there was no music would the words stack up as poetry?

So give us some insight into the musicians who may have inspired you. What was the first album you bought and do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

The first album I bought was (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?. Still happy with that, got off on the right foot there.  I was about nine or ten and listened to it all night and fell asleep with it still on, it was magical. In regard to musical guilty pleasures, I don’t think there’s such a thing. If it’s good and you like it, who and where it’s from matters not in the context of what’s seen to be “cool”.  Take Nickelback for example. They made it big because they wrote one of the best songs of the last 50 years in How you Remind Me.  Sure they’ve kept releasing the same song for the last 20 years but at least they’re famous for a reason.

But you know, music from Flashdance I love: What a Feeling and all that. Some of Kelly Clarksons stuff is pretty cool and I still pump Hanson’s MMM Bop, too.

So how do you see the future of your music? Any plans to mix things up in search of sonic evolution? 

In our opinion, the evolution of style is not really a consciously motivated thing, it just happens naturally, but we’re working on our 3rd album as we speak.  Already we’ve got some pumping tunes that we feel are raising the bar to a whole new level, so we’re unbelievably excited about it!

It’ll be time to celebrate once that’s all wrapped up! Out of interest, do Disconnected Genius have a bona fide party animal on board?!

That’s definitely Yuri!  He’s been running this annual Christmas party for fourteen years. He’s practically the Australian Van Wilder!

If you’ve not checked out Disconnected Genius yet, take a look at the links below. They’re top guys, so take the time to follow them on social media, download the album and keep in touch for news about their fast approaching third LP.

 

Listen to Disconnected Genius:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/48IaPhobTv2FxcfxOODDZ2

Deezer: http://www.deezer.com/search/disconnected%20genius

Find Disconnected Genius:

Site: http://www.disconnectedgenius.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/disconnectedgenius

Instagram: http://instagram/disconneted_genius

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Zen_Rockstar

YouTube: smarturl.it/dg_youtube

ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/disconnectedgenius

 

Debt Neglector

Another great review from ten-midnight.com…check it out!

Ten-Midnight.com

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Debt Neglector from Florida put out their first record last year on Smartpunk  Records called “Atomicland.”, a 12 track album filled with punchy pop-punk tunes that are a level above the usual clones coiled springs of the genre. The band produces a slightly heavier more edgy sound with tuneful melodies, writing about real subject matters such as racism and depression they have hit the ground running in a short space of time. Having gained experience from their previous bands New Mexican Disaster Squad, No Friends, Gatorface and Eavesdropper, they all contribute to the party which can be heard coming through on the albums sound.

Play: Debt Neglector – Atomicland

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Heavy beats and melodic riffs introduce you to the title track “Atomicland” harmonies sprinkled around the chorus is a good opener and a taste of what’s to come. Although there is a pop-punk theme running through the album, the vocal stays…

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Best New Music: A PRODUCTIVE COUGH by Titus Andronicus

A good spot from S.B.G…a blog that’s well worth checking out!

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Titus Andronicus 1300.jpg Singer and guitarist Patrick Stickles, leader and founder of Titus Andronicus

There are times when you need to change, start from scratch. For the indie rock band Titus Andronicus this moment coincided with the writing and publication of their fifth studio album, A Productive Cough. Started as an irriverent, raw and genuine punk rock formation, the creative vein of the leader Patrick Stickles has brought the band to explore many different areas of the indie world arriving, with a sharp fracture, to the point where we find them today: in their last LP the band plays nowadays a sort of folk-rock with an almost-totally-acoustic instrumentation (“barroom rock” as said by someone), and you can visually imagine this quartet of musicians unleashing their passion for music through old and new rock motifs. Just to give you a better idea, in the middle of the album there is a very…

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FROM INSIDE THE ANTIDEPRESSANTS

The Antidepressants…check them out!!

Kulturno medijski center Slovenija

By Sasha Raven

Hey Maxim, can you tell us for the start, something about you and your band (band members)?

Hello, guys! Our band has been around since 2013, but we have known each other much longer. By the time I met my fellow band members I had not been doing much, and I guess I had something you could call a creative slump. I rarely played my guitar or even picked it up at all. However, I wrote some really cool songs. Some time later, I felt I had to bring some up-beat to these new songs. I craved for the real loud-and-proud crunchy guitar sound. That is how I found my old friends. They were all involved in their own projects until that life-changing moment when we met and I offered them to join the band. That is how the Antidepressants came to be. At the moment, we…

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Up Close & Personal: PUKK

Irish born singer songwriter Joe Chalmers and drummer Mark Beamson are PUKK. The name is unique and so is their sound. Formed in the West Midlands in 2016, this fruitful partnership has spawned four singles and their debut album is due in June. We spoke to Joe and got the low down on that name, pawning guitars to pay the bills and angry Finnish death metal bands.
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So Joe, who are PUKK and what are you all about?

The short answer is…I’m PUKK.  I write, sing, play guitar and take care of everything PUKK related, from artwork to admin. I recruited an old mate (Mark Beamson) on drums and booked some studio time without ever having played together. We knew each other from college and we’d bump into each other now and again. He’s a talented singer songwriter, multi instrumentalist and also plays drums with local band The Gold Room. I wanted real drums rather than a drum machine, so I got in touch and brought his skills to the recording studio. We’ve not looked back since!

PUKK…come on, put us out of our misery and tell us about the name.

I’d been making home demos for years on an old 4 track tape machine. They were rubbish but it was all a learning curve. I’d label the tapes when I was done and one tape in particular was labelled after it’s distinctive sound…’Pissed Up Karaoke’…PUK. The name stuck, except with the later addition of an extra ‘K’.  After the release of Sunshine Kisses I was contacted by a Finnish metal band, also called Puk. They weren’t happy that I was also using the name, so for individuality and to avoid any aggravation I added the second K. PUKK was born. It got a bit weird when I found out that Gavin Monaghan also had a cat called Puck. That bent my head a bit, what are the odds?
Pro tip, kids…check your proposed band name on a site like www.musicbrainz.org before you release your music. You might have the coolest name around, but if five other bands have the same name you won’t stand out and fans won’t find you easily.

You’ve got an eclectic that clearly draws on multiple genres. Who are your biggest musical influences?

My Mum used to play records all the time when I was growing up. She’d have on old Motown and Stax compilations, The Beatles, those K-Tel compilations of the latest hits. When I was ten I found the Street Sounds Electro series. That was it, I was hooked on hip hop for the next decade. When I was fifteen I used to trade tapes with friends. I came across Factory records, the Manchester scene, alternative American indie bands and I got on board with that too. Musically it was a great time to be alive with so much to discover and so much creativity around.

What about your own music? What tracks are you most proud of?

I’m really proud of Sunshine Kisses, All The Stops and Rank Amateur. All The Stops marked the point when I realised I could actually write – and pull off – a ‘grown up’ song. Sunshine Kisses was the point where I knew I was finally getting somewhere as a writer. BBC Introducing played it a lot and it was song of the week on The Premium Blend Radio Show. If it hadn’t received any radio or interest I would’ve packed it in and sold my gear. That was the turning point. I wrote it when I was 42 and on holiday in Lanzarote. I just had a pen and pad with me. The melody and lyrics were 99% finished by the time I got home and picked up a guitar.

We love the tracks you’ve already released but what else is in pipeline?

I’ve self released a handful of singles so far under the label Tidy Karma Recordings. These are all on the usual digital sites. Next up is the ever-evasive debut album. It’s pencilled in for a June release but that may come forward depending on how quickly I can get the remaining three tracks done. The album is called ‘Feckless’ and has a common slacker element that connects the songs. There are themes of escape, fresh starts and wasted time popping up throughout. It’s been a long time coming. It’s a bucket-list item that’s been twenty years in the making, but I’m almost there! The mad thing is, now I’ve got some momentum going I’ve got three other projects in my head that I want to do! I’m really happy with the quality of the songs and the production. Gavin Monaghan (The Sherlocks / Jaws / Editors) has produced the album and done an excellent job. The next step is getting the money together to get it pressed on vinyl.

Twenty years in the making?! Sounds like your relationship with music hasn’t all been smooth sailing then?

You could say that! I do myself no favours. I have a history of poor life choices. I over think to the point where I realise I’m over thinking, then I make rash decisions because I’ve taken so long to make a decision. I’m a bit of a nightmare to be fair! I wouldn’t work with me if I didn’t have to! The words ‘basket case’ come to mind. I’ve had fits and starts over the years where I’d get melodies and lyrics together but couldn’t play guitar to match the melody. I only really became reasonable at guitar when I was about 40. I’d bought guitars in the past, I’d play them badly, get frustrated and at that point they’d gather dust until I was skint. I’d dust them off and sell them. This happened a lot. I’ve never been great at explaining things either so trying to convey a musical idea to a friend when neither of us had the musical knowledge of how the nuts and bolts of it worked was fruitless. I got so frustrated around 1999 that I took a folder full of song lyrics and notes I’d written over the years and put them in the BBQ in our garden. Granted, I’d had a few drinks at the time. It seemed like I was banging my head off a wall trying to write songs and not getting anywhere. I set fire to the lot and didn’t think about writing again for years. In 2008 I took redundancy from an old employer and bought myself another guitar…