Monday, 6 December 2010

Snow Snow and More Snow!

No sooner had I uploaded my last blog offering than more news came in and the snow kept falling.
Being short listed for the Vodafone World of Difference scheme was just sinking in and the phone rang! It was one of their team asking for an interview! I know, I was expecting it, but so soon? I was all a dither!! Generally with interviews you would know the day and time, sometimes, weeks in advance giving time to prepare, look into things pre-empt questions. Not this time. BANG!! You're on mate!! The trouble with me is, I am so passionate about what I do and probably spoke at ten to the dozen. The poor lady couldn't get a word in. Face to face I'd pick up on body language but I was off on a march!  I have a number of things I am working on and wanted to try and put across my intentions and how being on the scheme would help Breakthrough. I had read up on the Vodafone World of Difference before applying so I hope that I came across as informed as well as jumpy up and down keen! Oh well. Out of my hands now. They are contacting my referees and Breakthrough on the low-down about me, so I just have to sit and wait now until early January. 
I will be making further minor adjustments with Breakthrough about Project 300 (Working title) and as soon as we are all clear and I have everything in place you will be the first to know. The project will start in June, the Vodafone World of difference months will be March and April. This is unbelievably perfect being in the run up. Press, final web preparations and so on. Fingers crossed.
Dustbin snow-o-meter!

We really are weather bores in this country but the snow in north Kent has been nuts. Almost 2 feet deep without drifting is mad. Yes everything comes to a standstill, but can you really blame it? See the Dustbin Snowo-meter from our back garden. This was on the 2nd night. We do have a giggle at the news reports. “As you can see it's been snowing!” says the reporter up to his neck in the stuff. The best one was a report from Tunbridge Wells. (the Home of our friends at BBC Newsroom Southeast.) Anchor on the 6.30pm news “Over to our reporter in Tunbridge wells.”
Shot of reporter shivering his nuts off in the snow at the front door of the TV studio! The anchor could have put his head out of the window and shouted to him! Poor chap, not even a cup of soup. Producers must have just shoved him unceremoniously outside to cop the freezing atmosphere.
They do do a good job there though, with co-anchor Polly Evans and her new hair do she'll be on main stream BBC1 as soon as another row erupts on the One Show.
Amazon UK Available 11th December

I used to be in a Rock band don't y'know. Walk the Wire was an Essex based five piece with me tunnelling my way under the Thames from Kent for rehearsals. We recorded an album in London during the Rocky climes of 1994, thoughtfully titled “Walk The Wire.” I'll tell you what, it was brilliant. Though I say it myself!! (Click here for a Youtube audio of a track. Well, peeps, I had an out of the blue email from bass player and fisherman Mike “Pike” Barker to say that it has been re-released and available now by a German company on Yesterrock Records. or from 11th of December at Amazon Get your copy for Christmas.
The Eagle Tavern Rochester
I had another interview on Friday this week, this time with a local news paper (Medway News) regarding my Percussion Project. Could be quite a good piece. I then went outside and spent a while starting to dig the car out of four days of continuous snow. Arming myself with a plastic dustbin lid, coat, scarf and silly hat I dug in. I made a good start to continue on Saturday morning. I had to free the car as I was starting my Percussion campaign the next day. Local guitar hero, great performer and all round good egg Andy White had allowed me to barge in on his weekend. The first gig was great with thanks to landlady Sandra and the customers at the Eagle Tavern in Rochester.  It worked really well. Andy's repertoire spans for ever! Buddy Holly to REM and then some. Andy was a brave chap taking on the first gig of my campaign and I thank him for it. It was a bit like Elton John and Ray Cooper, but without a piano, glasses, spangley jacket and £250 a ticket! Mind you, if Mr John fancies doing one of his duo gigs for Breakthrough, I'll do it! Give Mr Cooper the day off!!
It was Dickens Christmas Week and people from all over the country visit our little city to enjoy the sites, history, costumes, unusual market stalls, real ale and generally have a good time. Advocates of the apostrophe society need to be on a break during a visit to Rochester as there is a classic on the wall of a pub. 
I have added a little gem for you below. A photo of Eastgate House. Once the home of Charles Dickens. The Building appeared as Westgate Seminary for Young Ladies in Pickwick Papers and Miss Twinkerton's School for young Ladies in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. And it's on my doorstep!

Eastgate House, Rochester High St.
Only in England would you get an artificial snow making machine pumping out imitation snow onto four days worth of the real stuff! I can see the council meetings “Well, we have paid for it, lets use it! All those in favour?” Priceless.

My efforts at the Eagle on Saturday saw me pick up a couple more gigs too, so everything is looking good for the fundraising. Work is starting on some bigger shows now. Sunday at the Eagle was also great but the news of the day was my mentor for the marathon, Mike, has a place in the marathon himself now and he will be running for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. I did comment on Facebook that I would be joining him at the start but then he will be off like a smacked horse! Mike is keen regular club runner and coach. All I will see of him, once the gun goes off, will be his heels!
Traveling Light!
Silly Shoes, crazy socks. a few
 pink sticks and an energy drink
I was asked in the week “Do I take my drums when I work over seas” err Nope! We travel light. Kits are put in by one of several back-line hire firms. I take fluffy shoes, pink drum sticks and a party frock! 
Thanks Andy!
(The Eagle Tavern
 Saturday December 4th 2010)

This week sees me getting ready for a fun run on Sunday, should be nice and chilly! Plus finally launching the Mid Kent Breakthrough Website and my own running site. I'll also be getting letters out  to acts about my percussion program. What do you mean, sleep?
It's that time of year when the world seems to venture back to the 70s to find great Christmas songs. Look no further! "When Holly Rocks" was recorded by us lot a couple of years ago. With the kind permission of Les Gray's wife Carol, the voice "Everybody Ready?" at the start is Les. It was taken from the demo. I'll tell you one thing EVERYTHING was thrown at this ditty;  jingles, chimes, church bells the lot. We would have put a kids choir, kitchen sink and reindeer calls  on it too but time ran out. Remix perhaps? Anyway, Please  click the link on the right and buy it for someone for Christmas. It's happy bouncy 70s larking about at it's best!

See you soon

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