Back in the Saddle

Friday, September 14th, 2018

In a bid not to destroy nearly two decades’ worth of playing after the grief of losing my wife, I have set myself up with a few recording sessions (covers) and have been getting back into bass & drums for the album. Future gigs will consist of me being a one-man acoustic band (or at least, that’s the plan) and I have been keeping up with practice on the electric. Gigs planned are Halestorm, Def Leppard, Ozzy Osbourne, Slash.

 

–> I just have to say, I feel I witnessed something very special at the Halestorm gig. Utterly one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to.

TOMMY_LOGO_BARE_ZOOM

 

Advertisements

Tommy No-Strings

Friday, November 24th, 2017

It feels like Tommy No-Strings right now. My wife passed away one day after our first birthday of mine as man and wife. It was expected (terminal cancer) but nothing can prepare you for it. Words aren’t enough to express my thoughts and feelings. She was my wife and best, best friend and it’s sad to know that life will never get better than the ten years I just had with her.

 

A special shout out to Marie Curie and all nurses involved with her care.

 

TOMMY_LOGO_BARE_ZOOM

Raw Album Demo

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

A short demo of my 10-track album. Things need polished and completed but I’ve had a few hours here and there to work on it – and this is a demo of the result to date.

 

TOMMY_LOGO_BARE_ZOOM

Album Halt

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Unfortunately, due to bad news received a few months ago, the album is on halt. My now-wife has terminal cancer and she is more important to me than anything – the music will have to take a back seat!

TOMMY_LOGO_BARE_ZOOM

Guns N’ Roses Madrid 2017

Monday, December 5th, 2016

That’s right, compadres….

The moment I’ve been waiting for since I was 15 years old….

It may not be the complete original line-up, but it’s as good as it’s getting….

Come June 4 2017, I will be in the Golden Circle at Vincente  Calderon Stadium in Madrid to watch Guns N’ Roses play live….

In other news… work is still progressing on the album. Lots of work has been done on the drums, and more on bass. Guitars are practically complete. I’ve dropped one track, which was actually one of my favourites… but it had to be done in order to try and get this thing out any time soon. 11 tracks of sheer joy coming your way, hopefully in 2017.

 

–> Turns out I’m also going to see Aerosmith in their last tour… 2 weeks later in Dublin! What a year!

TOMMY_LOGO_BARE_ZOOM

Rocktober Update

Monday, October 10th, 2016

New amps! Blackstar HT20 and HT5. After years of playing modellers, I’m blown away. And I preferred the sound of these to most of the £k++ amps so win-win!

New cabs! I’ll be keeping the bigger NL212 cab on the left. Neodymium speaker – super lightweight! It’s bright, so it couples really well with the darker-voiced Blackstar heads.

IMG_20160823_141655

New gadget! I’ve yet to use it but I can stream anything from my phone to my amp for practising along with. Alternatively, I could have gotten a WiFi speaker..

IMG_20160823_141707

New pedal-board, power supply and case! I’m sort of gutted to have sold the BCB60 board as it was so compact, the power supply worked fine… it was a great little package. This is more “professional” but we’ll see how it goes.

IMG_20160719_003037IMG_20160719_002913

New acoustic pickup! I bought the K&K Pure Mini over other pickups as I’m not playing too many acoustic gigs where I need stellar output. It’s non-invasive and should work well. Sounds great. I also got an Orchid DI box which was cheap as chips and works well.

IMG_20160702_094505

All that and….. I quit the band! You know what it’s like when you put a lot of effort in and others show up late or don’t practise etc… well, it had to be done. A shame, as it was so good for so long. Due to Edinburgh noise rules, it is difficult for a 6-piece rock & pop band to get gigs, so I’m now looking at acoustic gigs, with me doing some singing! Hopefully in future I can get back into a rock band so I can use my gear!

While I’m at it, here is a selection of songs our band did. I did a lot of adaptions to make songs recognisable with the absence of keyboards etc, so I hope to record myself playing them so I don’t forget all the nuances.

ABP songs:

Fleetwood Mac 		- The Chain
Fleetwood Mac		- Go Your Own Way
Billy Idol 		- White Wedding
Alanis Morisette 	- You Oughta Know
Abba 			- Does Your Mother Know
Bryan Adams 		- Summer of 69
ACDC 			- You Shook Me
G N R 			- Sweet Child O' Mine
Kenny Loggins		- Footloose
Halestorm		- Bad Romance
Journey			- Any Way You Want It
Journey 		- Don't Stop Believin'
The Vapours 		- Turning Japanese
Cher 			- Turn Back Time
Pretenders 		- Only Wanna Be With You
Eurythmics 		- When Tomorrow Comes
Survivor 		- Eye of the Tiger
K T Tunstall 		- Black Horse + Cherry Tree
Adele 			- Rolling in the Deep
Bangles 		- Hazy Shade of Winter
Anastacia 		- Left Outside Alone
Blondie 		- Maria
Whitesnake 		- Here I Go Again
Texas 			- I Don't Want a Lover
Kelly Osbourne 		- Papa Don't Preach
Heart 			- Alone
Bon Jovi 		- Livin' on a Prayer
Pat Benatar 		- Heartbreaker
Glee 			- River Deep Mountain High
Pretenders 		- Brass in Pocket
Joan Jett 		- I Love Rock and Roll
Janice Joplin 		- Piece of My Heart
Amy Winehouse		- Valerie
Pink 			- Who Knew 
Kelly Clarkson		- My Life Would Suck Without You
Adele			- Rolling in the Deep			
Cameo			- Word Up
Deacon Blue		- Real Gone Kid
Tia Carrere		- Ballroom Blitz
Poison 			- Ride the Wind
Marth & Muffins 	- Echo Beach
Amy Mac 		- This is the Life			
Pat Benatar 		- We Belong 				
Peggy Lee 		- Fever 				
Laura Branigan  	- Gloria
Patti Smith 		- Because the Night
Pretenders 		- Hymn to Her
Cheap Trick 		- I Want You to Want Me
Blondie 		- Atomic

The acoustic set should hopefully feature some of these (plus more!):

1.  Tainted Love
2.  Say you Will (Foreigner)
3.  Stand by me
4.  La Bamba

5.  Somewhere over the rainbow
6.  Dust in the Wind
7.  Big Love
8.  Landslide
9.  Holiday Road
10.  Gentle on my Mind
11.  Cheers
12.  Cold as Ice
13.  White Wedding
14.  You’ve got a friend
15.  More than Words
16.  I kissed a Girl
17.  Sweet Child of Mine
18.  Hazy Shade
19.  My Life Would Suck
20.  Every Breath you take
21.  We will rock you.

22. Iko Iko (Natasha)

I decided to stop writing articles on technique because technique develops over time, as does musicality (which is more important!), and I don’t want to offer erroneous advice. I still stand by my earlier articles, though 😉

I will be going to see these guys in a week or so (edit – I’ve been, and it was great!):

Image result for steel panther

Looking forward to that!

The ALBUM is still progressing. Mainly drums for 3 tracks which is slowing me down. I need to do bass for a couple, some FX/vox for a few, and drums for another one. I have decided to leave off a few songs as there are already 11 on there. A shame, as it was a killer track. This thing needs to get finished, though – and soon, so I can reclaim my life!

No new videos – all effort has been going into the album, acoustic workouts and non-musical ventures (work!).

Ciao for now!

TOMMY_LOGO_BARE_ZOOM

Xotic EP Booster

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

So a few days I ago I had a shot of a fantastic set-up (fellow guitarist in a great covers band), including a Victory V30 amp and some great pedals. Two pedals that stood out were made by Xotic – the EP Booster (boost pedal) and the SP Compressor.

 

Yesterday I went to my local store with the intention of buying the compressor, but walked out with the EP booster. I’m sure I’ll get that compressor at some point… I can’t help but feel using a compressor is cheating a little bit. But the punchy sound you can get out of them really is great.

 

In any case, the EP Booster… I’ve already got a boost pedal. However if you read about this pedal online, you’ll know many use it simply as an “always-on” pedal. Why? Even at its lowest setting (no boost) this pedal colours your sound in the most fantastic way – it’s like the missing link in “tone”… and believe me, I hate saying that, because I’m not a big gear-head or some “tone-searcher”… but it’s undeniable. Check one out for yourself, and hopefully I can do a video soon. For now, this has replaced my TC Flashback (I just don’t use delay or looping often).

TOMMY_LOGO_BARE_ZOOM

Halestorm

Monday, March 21st, 2016

So the band are doing a rock version of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and we checked out Halestorm’s version, which is cool. I have to admit, I’d never heard of them before. I went  on to listen to their own albums and wow wow WOW…. SERIOUSLY amazing. The female singer is absolutely fantastic. Gritty, raw, totally awesome. The whole of the new album “Into the Wild Life” (pictured below) is just SO fantastic. Being stuck in an 80s time warp, I don’t get too inspired by more recent music but this has lit a fire inside me I haven’t had since I heard Appetite for Destruction all those years ago. Check them out!!

 

 

TOMMY_LOGO_BARE_ZOOM

 

 

New Monitors

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

So I’ve put it off for so long, thinking I could get by with headphones (admittedly the Audio Technica M40X’s I bought are amazing – cheaper than the more popular M50X yet better IMO – a flatter frequency response) but as soon as I turned on my new monitors, I realised how wrong I was (Audio Technica’s are pictured below). Very wrong. If you plan on doing any mixing or mastering, get yourself a pair of decent monitors. I’ve gone for Genelec 8010s as they “fit” my set-up. I know, I’m breaking a cardinal rule by having my set-up in the corner of a room but that’s what I have to work with just now.

13950491

I initially had a pair of Adam A3X’s which were great, however they were too large and a tad boomy. The Genelecs are small and have adjustable controls to suit the room – perfect!

Unfortunately for some songs that were mixed some time ago and have a tad too much chorus on the guitars… I have lost the master files, so they’ll just have to do. I have a day job, you know! However it’s good news for tracks I’m currently working on.

 

Things I love about these are the size, the amazing sound (there is enough bass, believe it or not), the iso-pod feet (no need for isolation pads), the light weight, speaker grilles (to prevent cone damage) and the controls on the back (bass adjustment etc).

 

Here are pictures of my set-up!

IMG_0423

IMG_0422

 

Compare to the Adams A3X below (plus iso pads) and you’ll see why I’m preferring the Genelecs. The Adams were great, though – no doubt about it.

 

IMG_20160227_205105

 

TOMMY_LOGO_BARE_ZOOM

Whistle Binkies Gig Photos

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

Many thanks to Whistle Binkies (Edinburgh) for hosting us! Gaz was a great sound guy.

My middle fretting hand finger start to bleed under the nail half way through – rock and roll! Then all of a sudden a photographer came in to take photos. Add the free soft drink we got as a rider and yeah, we totally made it 😉 Great photos by Waysted Photography below.

 

15

21

22

142017

19

 

12

13

11

 

TOMMY_LOGO_BARE_ZOOM