|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on June 30, 2015 at 11:55 AM||comments (0)|
Well the suns out and it's blazing here at Henshaw Towers, Christ even Frank Dog has had enough and he's a bit of a sun worshipper
Once again we had a busy old weekend, Nikki and me gigging locally in Wem on Friday night, which turned out to be a real blast and then our first headline festival mainstage gig at Shrewsbury food festival on Saturday before Nikki and me headed off to Stoke for a duet gig Saturday night.
The festival was just the best, The stage was faced directly towards the Church of St Chads roof where just 2 months ago the band played the first ever gig on the roof. Think they've had choirs up there before but never a folk punk band with a hippy bodhran player
I think I speak for alot of musicians but being on an outdoor stage, with a decent breeze filtering thru the stage, looking out on to a good few faces,....well theres nothing better. Not sure how many people we played to but theres was 23,000 through the gates over the weekend and Saturday was the best attended day so i'll leave the predictionists to work that one out. Needless to say it was bloody good fun!
Braddaz presented us with a hippy token before the gig. A button, pin, coin or something but it was a really nice thought. Mine had "Relax" on it, yeah like that'll happen. The button is now sat in Buddha's hands in the studio
Sunday was a day off but I headed into the studio for a bit of work on "Black Sky Thinking" a new solo song for the new album, the sun was out and it became a right sweatbox
So off we go on another mental week, 2 gigs Thursday, then Friday and Saturday too, and of course festival season is well underway so no sleep till October
|Posted by email@example.com on June 22, 2015 at 3:25 AM||comments (0)|
I've had one of those weekends that'll leave you asleep standing up because you're so knackered, your fingers are throbbing and you no longer have a voice, but one thats been great fun too.
The 3 Blacksmith Hill gigs started off on Friday night in Wem, Shropshire at a local stomping ground for me. The usual bedlam followed and after nearly 3 hours the crowd decided it was time for bed and let us stop playing. Its a small country venue but the usual crowd of shouters and stompers were there and our beloved Flouroman made another appearance too egged on by Sam and his other mates. Flouroman's name is Rory, and he's just one of those people who get what we do. Top night.
A guy called Terry came up to me at the end who had seen bits in the press about Bens song and the roof gig with The Simpletons at this years Big Busk. Terry used to work with my Dad and he had made the trip to the gig specifically to tell me what a top bloke my Dad was and how sorry he was to hear of his passing a few years back. It was a really nice thing to do and very touching to hear.
On Saturday my good friend Will Barnes came over and we worked on a song I'd recorded with Nikki last week. A cover of The Decemberists "June Hymn" - Sounding really sweet now Wills sprinkled his magic dust on it! Now considering Will plays in Gypsy Fire and is just one of the Uk's top guitar talents I was laughing hard when I gave him a copy of the first Jonas (This being my old band) CD whihc I'd aquired a box of earlier this week. He seemed truly stoked to finally have a copy of the album "Cyclosporin" and told me of a time when he was a kid, maybe 10 or 11 when he'd seen us on the TV the night before and had gone into school bragging abut knowing us! Ha!
Anyway, I digress
Will went off to play a solo gig in Welshpool and Nikki and me loaded up again and headed to The Steamwagon in Shrewsbury for gig #2 of the weekend. Once again a fun night ensued, except for a bit of glass throwing and a fight which seemed to go on forever outside the venue but it wasn't aimed at us (Neither was the glass thankfully) It was great to see Tim and Rhi, more good friends of ours, at the gig and I greatly appreciated the huge man hug I got off Tim, as I always do when we see each other. Saturday was the anniversary of my Mum's passing, been a bit of a parents weekend this one. I miss them both dearly
3am wasn't really the time to hit the sack considering we had a 2 and a half hour drive to Symonds Yat for a 2pm gig on Sunday so we we're pretty bollocksed when it came to loading up and hitting the road on Sunday morning.
The fabulous Jamie and The Ye Old Ferrie staff greeted us with meals, drinks, stunning hospitality and an outdoor stage with a view to die for. We were there to play for a regular at the venue and appreciator of our tunes birthday celebrations / piss up. We ended up playing for 3 hours and I'm wondering now if my Slayer like rendition of Delilah at the end was such a good idea? Still, everyone had a blast and we got home as the sun's last rays were hitting the chimney pots. Tracey from Tnt Photoart made the trip which was great and I saw an old friend from down that way who I used to play in a band with years ago and I'd not seen for about 4 years. Even managed to get him on stage for a song which was like a trip down memory lane.
Of course, when your most knackered you can't sleep and I have a busy week ahead on pre production for new original songs that are written and of course more work on the Blacksmith Hill tunes.
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on April 27, 2015 at 4:15 AM||comments (0)|
This week started early enough with a 5:30am alarm call so I could get up and be interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live. York council have written some busker guidelines and they wanted an opinion of a Busker / musician, it was fun but I should have gone to bed earlier!
Nikki and me played a couple of duet gigs over the weekend which were alot of fun and meant I got to see my good friend Mark J again, happy days
So, I'm up and about, 3 coffees down and working on getting ready for the single release of Ben Bebbingtons song "Alone in the crowd" on May 18th before I head face first into a run of 8 consequative nights out and about playing Stoke, Shrewsbury, Ross on Wye, Wolverhampton and a few other towns in this fair land
And, I have to fix my kitchen light!
Busy boy me eh?
|Posted by email@example.com on April 6, 2015 at 2:50 PM||comments (0)|
Well its been a long time coming round but finally we are a day passed this years Big Busk
I can't even begin to tell you just how much of a privilage being part of this wonderful annual event is, and I speak for the guys and girl in the band too, I think I speak for them when I say it'll be something we support for as long as we can hold a guitar / drum or whatever!
What happened in 2012 to Benson was dreadful, and whereas some people, understandably would have crumbled in grief, the family decided to hold a celebration of music and dance in my thier hometown of Shrewsbury.
This year was the third, and for me and the band the busiest, After a successful busk at The Greenhous Meadow, Shrewsbury Towns Football Club, we headed to Manchester to see our best fan boy Sam in Cadishead. Saturday saw us busking a couple of times in town and the headlining at our favoured haunt, The Wheatsheaf Frankwell. A thumping, sweaty evening was had by all
Yesterday then, and I'm not sure what to say, apart from just how freaking awesome was that!!!!??
First up, we bacame the first band to play on the roof of Shrewsbury, St Chads Church and what an experience that was? Just an incredible feeling to be a part of something so special. On a wide open space like that the sound was weird but also spookily just right. I'm told it was bouncing downstairs but we did notice a definite reduction in stage divers
Then on to the duet I have been working on with Benson. As asked by Bens family, I have reworked respectfully a song the Ben wrote called Alone in the Crowd. Inside the church I sang, as did Nikki, Bens song for the first time infront of a packed building and in front of Bens family, including his mum
I can't tell you what it was like, I was pretty much out of it, I just remember starting it and then the church was on its feet applauding
It was hugely humbling, but also just a stunning thing to do, I finally got to sing with Benson!
So then, onwards! We have 2 massive projects we are working on right now, so I hate this phrase but watch this space
Things are about to "stay" exciting!
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on October 21, 2014 at 11:30 AM||comments (0)|
Thought I'd post a particularly good review of I REFUSE TO SINK from Sam Rogers at Salford City Radio
Paul Henshaw & The Scientific Simpletons
I REFUSE TO SINK
Crazy Yellow Dog / Shakster Records
The latest chapter in the discography of Shropshire's answer to Frank Turner, Paul Henshaw is perhaps his best work to date.
'I Refuse to Sink' is the follow up to the popular 'Winners never quit...' and Henshaw has proved with both that he isn't willing to do either when it comes to the pursuit of musical happiness.
Of the ten tracks on the album, personal favorites include 'Irish Singer Songwriter', 'Proud Salopian' and 'Camaraderie' which is perhaps the pick of the bunch.
As with many musicians Paul likes to reminisce and the angry nature of some of his previous work is replaced by a no less entertaining look back over what are seemingly anecdotes of the singer's past. The energy and intensity is still there, but what Henshaw has done rather shrewdly is opened his work up for a whole new generation of followers, and allow those somewhat longer in the tooth to cast their minds back fondly on their youth.
A particularly poignant lyric from Camaraderie shows how attitudes change with age and how none of us are ever as invincible as we thought we were with the naivety of youth - “I was immortal, and unbeatable, I was so untouchable but broken bones and cuts all mean something now, they all hurt me now”.
When you have the fortune of watching Henshaw and his band of Simpletons perform live, it is easy to see that behind the brash and outspoken frontman who entertains crowds week in, week out is a man who genuinely enjoys the time he spends on stage and it is felt in his lyrics. “Ever since I was a boy, I've played guitar and dreamt of breaking hearts”, could easily be a sentence scrawled in a journal of Henshaw's instead it is the opening lyric to 'Irish Singer Songwriter' and it is that passion for the art of musicianship that makes Henshaw's work inspirational.
It is easy to get engrossed within this album as it takes you on a journey that many will draw similarities from. While for others, the prospect of producing songs of such a standard is merely an aspiration or forgotten dream.
One thing is for sure though, whether an aspiring songwriter or a frustrated musician, 'I Refuse to Sink' is the one anthem of self-belief that everyone needs to hear.
94.4FM Salford City Radio
|Posted by email@example.com on May 18, 2014 at 4:45 AM||comments (0)|
Sometimes, I get really annoyed with some of the Britians got Talent / X Factor / Voice etc contestants attitudes, like the guy on BGT last night? Complaining about pool table sized stages, you know the one whinging that he wanted to break out of the crappy working mens clubs and pubs he played, try not ripping Lee Evans off? Y'know, just as an idea?
Anyway, my point is those pubs, clubs, sweaty, small and sometimes aggressive places are real, it's where real people go, it's where people want and need entertaining and where an artist can go and not only build a following, but learn how to do that AND more importantly put original material in front of people who will give you an opinion of YOUR music / Act. It appears to me these acts want out of that, maybe because its real and sometimes because its not the response or opinion you want to hear, maybe? I don't know?
It's not like theres a shortage of acts wanting to escape the mire and shithole hell these venues are? The reason they give is they have paid their dues and want what they deserve but it's why I like a lot of the acts I do, of course there's room for everyone but its because they play to 25,000 at a festival one night, they are as happy in front the 100 sweaty shouting piss heads the next. Would I like to play in front of huge crowds? Sure I would but what would I play? EXACTLY what I play in pubs and small sweaty clubs today.
So to all those bands who are happy at a festival and still happy in a pub or club a hundred miles away from anywhere just because THEY HAVE TO DO IT, then hats off and lets leave the dream chasing to those who can't handle the "Your Shit!" heckles from the bar anymore
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on March 1, 2014 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
Real quick note to send a get well soon to the singer from YOUNG REBEL SET.
I was due to support them last night but during soundcheck Matthew Chipchase collapsed and the YRS gigs was cancelled.
Me and the band, The Sonic Revolution and Logical Drama carried on and I got to admit, had a fucking spiffing evening, a good fun crowd who were up for original music AND we did alright on the merch stall!
Dunno hat happened to Matthew, trust alls well man and you get better soon
|Posted by email@example.com on February 16, 2014 at 4:25 PM||comments (0)|
Well I've been fighting a severe bout of man flu and today spent the day in the coolest tattoo shop I know to shoot the video for PROUD SALOPIAN, right now I'm hovvering somewhere between totally exhausted and barely awake!
I was lucky to get some great friends in for the shoot, and was kindly lent floor space at Electric Scribble Tattoo's in Stoke on Trent by the awesome Julian, Deborah and Jarod Forrester
I was after something really specific for this video, the feel that accompanied the whole album, a feeling of ownership and fun. Its not just us up there playing y'know? Anyone who comes to the shows knows that, but then it was just an idea and a great demonstration of how getting the right people working with you can take a simple idea and make something really cool out of it. Grodge the Director and camera dude is exactly that.
When he came over to talk about the vid ideas he laughed at my "A bunch of us dancing round in a tattoo shop" But I know what we got will be immense!
What I love more than anything is that people gave up their sundays to help out, The guys from the tattoo shop, the guys in the band (Like they have a choice haha!) But people who come to the gigs and shout along like Andy B, Fay, Rob, My Slayer Bro Paul Bell and some new friends like Hayley Strangelove and Paul from Son of Shinobi (Well worth a listen btw)
Right, I'm going to listen to a bit of Blink 182, don't know why and lick my man flu wounds!
|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on February 2, 2014 at 4:35 AM||comments (0)|
Well its been an interesting week, a mid week jaunt to Paris for a couple of nights and then a nice relaxed weekend
While I was across the Channel I visited Chantilly Castle and saw some great works of art, The 3 Graces by Raphael and a couple of Botticelli's, its pretty spiritual to see art originals as my wife once said, and I agree.
The best bit though was seeing an original Hans Holbein the Younger, he of the Dance Macabre, etc. I didnt know they even had one so it was a real shock and I kind of took it as a bit of a sign, more on that soon
Well, this weeks looking busy again, and I'm being talked to about a trip to China which would be cool but maybe a bit too difficult to pull off early in the year, we shall see..........
|Posted by email@example.com on January 22, 2014 at 3:00 PM||comments (0)|
Sitting watching the NTV's after a fun night at The Yardbird in Birmingham last night
Its always a pleasure gigging at one of the venues and nights run by Jason Pegg. He has a real love of music and I owe hiom alot for giving me a break a fews back as someone who just wanted a gig in my local city. Of course he's a terrible payer (Smiles to myself) but it takes an inordinate amount of work to do what he does, thanks for the support Jason
It was a good night, a few other really top acts on the bill, I dont know where Jason finds them, but he does and at least 2 or 3 nights a week.
Got me thinking about the people who gave me a break without knowing me or what I did, literally took a punt on a fat folk singer
Shakey in Chelmsford probably sums up the perfect promoter for the unknown act. For very little gain he puts varied nights on, in various venues and works his ass off to get a crowd through the door. For me, my first experience of a Shakey gig earned me £5, paid for out of his own pocket to buy myself a "Keebab" on the way home!
Shakey does this for the love of the music and the chance to push bands in and around Chelmsford. I also get to kip on his sofa now he knows I wont strangle his cat at 3am in the morning.
The great thing about Shakey, and his lovely wife Rach, is they are just so bloody passionate about wht the do, so accomodating to the acts and just the nicest people on the planet.
Promoters get a bad rap alot of the time, to be honest, there's some right tossers out there, but theres also some good guys who approach what they do with the kind of drive that us musicians do.
Its nice we're not on our own
Anyway, onwards to Stoke and the next in a long year of gigging! LOVE IT!