The news in the big bad world has been non stop recently and as events are sweeping along I find myself running to catch up with the play merrily mixing metaphors. As always I’m writing and my songs are influenced by what’s going on around us. Just very recently David Cameron complained that whether his father stored his money in a tax haven was ‘a private matter’; in other words none of the country’s business. So I wrote a song about it. Then Cameron plunged us in to chaos by calling the referendum and was himself swept aside leaving him to struggle along on Poppa’s ill gotten, a massive salary and reduced to moving in to a £17 million mansion. Poor sod. Unfortunately, the song, and one I really really like, looks like old news. But it isn’t really as the Cameron story is the story of our age, cuddly Dave merely my muse. Here it is. There are a few other videos you might have missed on the video page. Take a peak and watch your wallet.
After moving my site to a more static type of host, I decided to come back to WordPress as I found I missed it so. I’ve imported my old site’s posts so there is a break of a year when it looks like i did nothing…
It’s easier to update and add items so forgive me for messing about and welcome to here!
The weekend of 2/3/4 October 2015 sees over 200 gigs happening nationwide under the We Shall Overcome banner. All gigs are free in return for donations to local food banks. WSO is a celebration of culture and an expression of solidarity with all those suffering as a result of the austerity programme engineered by our and other governments.
I wrote this song as an expression of my support for WSO and I’ll be playing in, I think, Glossop and Manchester.
Get involved or find a gig/event near you at www.weshallovercomeweekend.com
I’m doing 3 shows in July with singer songwriter Matt Hill (Quiet Loner) at the Buxton Fringe. The shows are in the Paupers Theatre under the Old Hall Hotel in the centre of town and are on 9th (5.15pm), 10th (8.45pm) and 16th (5.15pm). The show is called 2084 and explores Surveillance in Society. In song! My songs are taken from my Cold Wars EP and its as yet unreleased follow up. Matt and I will be playing our songs and in between there will be pre-recorded dialogue and some video footage. It will last about an hour. Ticket details below and also in my gig guide. I’m excited about doing this because it’s an area of society that interests/worries/intrigues me and it is fantastic collaborating with the wonderful Matt Hill.
This Is A Cold War is a new song that will be on my next EP ‘What Would You Die For?’ which is Cold Wars Part 2.
Don’t have a release date yet, but hopefully soon. I hope you enjoy the video, the first I’ve made in years. Thanks to Rae Leeson for filming it.
I’m playing with the Zen band at the Rec Rock Festival in Buxworth this Saturday. Buxworth is a village just off the A6 Buxton Road running from Hazel Grove, just before Chapel En-le-Frith. On stage 2.15pm/ Martyn Campbell and ex Zen bass master is making a rare solo appearance too. It says acoustic stage for us but we are definitely doing a full band 45 minute show. John Power is headlining and there are DJ sets from Martin Blunt (Charlatans) and Si Jones (The Verve).
For the first time in about 17 years I’m playing a gig with old band The Tambourines. We’ve been invited to play the ‘It’s Liverpool’ Liverpool Legends stage in Sefton Park on bank holiday Monday 25th August, we’re on stage first at 12.15 on what we hope will be a lovely sunny afternoon.
We’ve been busy practicing and I have to say we are sounding pretty good, so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a free event and The Farm, John Power, Amsterdam and others are appearing too so it will be great to catch up with old friends and play some old songs.
More info http://www.limfestival.com/summer-jam/tambourines/
I think we’ll be playing a show the day before in Glossop so will post about it as and when it’s confirmed.
Yeah yeah yeah!
Songs are mysterious and wonderful things.
Especially great ones – not many of them come along. But, when they do, they wrap themselves tightly around your soul and refuse to let go.
Years ago, Steve Roberts (ex-16 Tambourines) was the godfather of the Liverpool acoustic scene – his ‘Acoustic Engine’ sessions were legendary (I even remember seeing a nervous, but mesmerising, Damien Rice at the old Masque Theatre!).
The acclaimed singer/songwriter moved away from Liverpool a while back, but the music has continued to pour from him… it’s what he does. And, thankfully, he’s still releasing it.
His latest offering is ‘When We Dreamed, We Dreamed Of Dreams’, a five track EP, lo fi made, but hi fi sound, with a song so good at its centre, it immediately transported me back to the first time I heard it. Not bad, hey?
‘I Used To Be So Pretty’ is a slice of psychedelic pop that would hold its own on, say, ‘Rubber Soul’… it really is that good. Chugging along on driving acoustic and electric guitars, and with a chorus the size of the Dakota Building, Roberts’ Lennon-esque delivery and wordplay give way to a slippery guitar solo and we head back toward that chorus again. This is a song you HAVE to hear.
The rest of the EP? That’s very good, too. Opener ‘Over Here Photie Man’ takes us back to 80s Merseyside and a time of bands (and heroin) on every corner. It’s bittersweet nostalgia sets the tone for the EP well, especially when ‘The Trouble With Me’ slithers in on a Ray Davies-esque chord sequence next.
It’s a sound and aesthetic that suit Roberts well: his song writing sits him at a table topped with wonderful English eccentrics like Andy Partridge, Kirsty Macoll and Lee Mavers.
‘Everything’s Everywhere These Days’ could be a step too far down the ‘grumpy old man’ route, if it wasn’t for an incessant chiming guitar figure that helps set the music front and centre. By this time, the EP is an old friend of yours and taking you through long forgotten photographs of your youth. “Oh’ the drunken tears, we have dripped into our beers,” opens up Worthless Gold and the staccato guitars fire the wistful lyric up to a kind of bruised optimism.
It’s ironic really, as, if Liverpool’s former king of the acoustic guitar had chosen to deliver this set of songs stripped back, the tunes might never have been allowed to breathe.
As it is, plugging the band in and letting the music flow, has worked wonders. It may well be a set of tunes all about dreams – but the reality remains that Roberts’ quality is still there for all to see.
When I Dreamed, I Dreamed Of Dreams is available to buy from iTunes.
© 2014 Alan O’Hare – Liverpool Acoustic