I went and helped out with a little bit of  harmony singing with the fab Gravel Theatre  Company,who were rehearsing down at The Old Red Lion ( na na na na na…oops sorry that’s the old bull and bush) at the Angel. They are rehearsing for their  show NIMBY  –  a new comedy that explores what happens when people have to chose between their morals and their quality  of life. ( 18th -25th June Old Red Lion, Angel) I tell you what, if their acting is as good as their singing, and I am assuming it is  even bette, as they are actors after all…. it is going to be a cracking show. I have my comps for helping out, and as it is the smallest theatre in the land, I would   get your tickets soon, it is well worth going along. I remember from Mr P’s many years in fringe theatre, you have to support the fringe BIG TIME. It is where all the real freshness and innovation is…most things are usually past their best by the time they get anywhere near  ‘Up West’.

the cast

The cast, Daniel Curtis, Kate Sichel, Ciaran Dowd, Louise Torres-Ryan, Laura Dalgleish, Ryan O’Donnell are brilliant, and are singing a few of bits of  vocal arrangements from my books between scenes. I had a lot of fun doing a vocal warm ups and sorting out some  vocal stuff for them…woops I have another job I remember I have to do. So good luck chaps.  I am really looking forward to seeing the show.

SONG OF THE DAY They use this song in their show…must sort out the harmonies..

Nothing Changes – Anais Mitchell featuring the Haden Triplets

I posted another song from this album. Hadestown a couple of days ago…rather fine.

Well the calmness of yesterday was short lived. On the journey home on the bus  from Angel, I had to listen to the ‘life and times of a Glaswegian in London’ (usually deeply love the accent , today it was like grating my fingers down) – I think she was under the misaprehension she had to talk so loud so they could hear her in Glaasgee. The woman was half way down towards the back of the bus twanging away at full throttle for 25 minutes, with hardly a pause, apart from when she lost signal for a couple of seconds “och, I thought yer battery had gone dead hen!”….not a dialogue, but a veritable monologue, and I feel like she is family now. Ah!  I heard all the trials and tribulations of her exciting(?) and  complicated(?) life, and  now know where not to eat in Holloway if you don’t want to get mild food poisoning! So with gritted teeth and no distractions I arrived home unable to eat nuts as my jaw was so tense….So now I try to write with no distractions….! Easier said than done, I write  4 words and Mr P arrives home from work with stories from his day, I get to 15 words and he leaves the room again.

–  he returns from the kitchen, with news of the rest of his day, and then my word count stops telling me anything, it  sticks on 15 – oh there she blows…. word count working again, I get up to 51  words without saying diddly squat. It  is day 146 of my post-a-day and I am losing the will to…. anything really. Everyone  in my family seems to be on meltdown and I am trying hard not to be dragged down too, trying to stay upbeat, but it is quite tiring….. ah Mr P re-enters, and now he’s gone again, to lie down. 10 hours of landscape gardening (or smelling the flowers as I like to put it) has obviously taken its toll.

smelling the flowers

So much for the ‘no distractions’. Now I have to put up with all the inner distractions in my head. Need to learn some music for tomorrow, need to find some much more fun songs for my  new choir of 4-11 year olds, need to record parts for lovely  grown up choirs, and have to decide if I can get myself in any kind of shape to get on a train and have a break this weekend , which seems completely absurd seeing as I have such a long list of things to do. If only I had a Tardis or a Scotty to beam me up, so I could be surrounded by sheep and sunsets without having to do the 4 hour  journey.

Ah Mr P is back, what happened to the sleep?…you know what…I am feeling a bit tired myself…got to go to another meeting  in 35 minutes. I might just have a little lie down too. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

SONG OF THE DAY Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss sing their song from“Oh Brother where Art Thou” GO TO SLEEP YOU LITTLE BABY

I  have been slightly more calm  at home for a few weeks now, and then the penny dropped! No-one in the area is having their loft converted, their roof done, an extension built on their house, their patio removed, constructing metal furniture with a circular saw (which often happens hourly all weekend). It is short of a miracle. Right at this moment, on this warm May morning, all I can feel is the very far rumble of the main road and all I can hear are distant aeroplanes, a  proper howling dog and  bird song. For about the last three years, a day has not gone by when I would open my windows to the sound of drilling, banging, bashing, friendly Polish and Armenian banter, as each neighbour  seemed to take turns having some major construction done to their house. There are a lot of neighbours as the square of victorian houses at the back consists of about 60, each of them 3 or  4 stories  high ( not many loft conversions left!). They form a square echo chamber, so if anyone is in their garden guffawing, hooting, banging and drilling, we all hear it!

I will enjoy it while it lasts……deep contented sigh.


I have a secret love of this track…Maria Carey -We Belong Together -It is sometimes hard to hear the amazing voice over all the  apparent desire to be seen as some sort of sex kitten, but this is one of my secret tracks on my ipod that gets listened to a lot when no one is watching. Maria Carey has a really great ‘falsetto’, if you listen she moves from a twangy sound to a whispery tone in the same line, and has many incredibly dexterous qualities to her voice. She has a remarkable instrument, by which I mean her voice, not her boobs, which slightly over shadow her dulcet tones if you happen to watch the video. My advice would be to look away and concentrate on the voice.

 But is it talking the talk? 29 years ago, I had just left college and my mum gave me a bit of cash to make up for the fact I had  to buy my own clothes since I was 14, and possibly to make up for the fact that when I was 19 they sold the family home when I was out at the shops buying sweets – so I had no-where to live.

I bought a teac 4 track reel to reel tape recorder, a microphone and a return ticket to an ashram in America. I suppose I should have bought a tent and a sleeping bag. Sadly I sold my beautiful teac 4 track reel to reel years ago – somebody told me it was in the way, taking up space, but the microphone is still with me and I use it most days.


It is an AKG 330 BT and has done me proud…I have dropped it many times. I once made the mistake of putting sellotape round the end with my name on which made the silver bubble a bit, apart from that, it is good as new. It has treble and bass boost and cut, which still work. Of course one day I would love to have something like a fancy schmancy Nuemann. Industry standard for decades. Beautiful valve sound, bit like the difference between driving a VW camper van ( my poor little functional microphone) or a Bentley. Neumanns cost about £2000, so about the price of a camper van, not a Bentley-hurrah…one day my dear, one day!


Adele is an extraordinary performer- this is a magnificent song. When It came out, Mickey thought the vocals sounded like the vocal arrangements we used to do. Adele’s uncle used to sing in one of me choirs! So….. one removed once again. I notice something like 60 million have watched the video for this track…here is her singing it live. Go girl!