A new decade and time passes faster still. I am now suffering from the time dilation effects of Relativistic Physics I think, because it’s not me it’s them outside my head. Is that a Defence Mechanism? But one good thing is that the beard is really coming on a treat.
Back to valves in a big way for stage and studio guitar rigs. I am dragging out all of my old gear and re-valveing it whilst I still can. Good for Watford Valves but bad for my wallet. Even dragged out my Vox AC10 Twin (now there’s a rare beast) to use for rehearsal and jam sessions. Loud enough for just about anything. Competes well in the same space as a Marshall 100W combo and small enough to mike up if needed. I’d forgotten how great it sounded (and the new valves help a lot). Perfect with a Tube Screamer and CryBaby; I’m just an old fashioned guitarist at heart. But, I’m still using the Mesa Boogie or Orange rigs for live and studio work with the wonderfully transparent Digitech GSP1101 FX units and of course, my Axon. I am now capturing all of these aural goodies with a Kemper profiling amp. Well... it makes the studio process much simpler.
Following the release of the Pig'n'aif Blue album Mel and I put together a Pig’n’aif line-up to perform some gigs to promote the album. Unfortunately, Mel was taken ill before we got out of rehearsal and so I ended up putting together a jam band Pig’n’aif blues rock line-up to honour the gigs we still had in the diary. Fun while it lasted but that line-up was only ever intended to be a brief sojourn.
The follow up album Pig'n'aif Blue-ish was released. This album spins some of the blues rock standards from the jam band set into even more diverse grooves. Great fun for us, and no doubt sacrilege to some... but we enjoy it. The album features Mel on 2 tracks that we captured before he was taken ill. For the remainder, I was assisted in this endeavour by my old friend Jack Bunker (ex original Phoenix Rising) on vocals and that was a joy in itself. Alongside us we had a couple of friendly session men.
I now have a new Phoenix Rising based project in the pipe. This is to complete a studio album which we never did get around to finishing and features digital sampled versions of Danny’s original drum lines. I would like to think there will be gigs on the back of this for fun, but that’s highly unlikely given everyone’s individual commitments.
The most recent Pig’n’aif album Handover was released in February 2015 followed by appearances on a number of compilation albums, production of colleagues albums and the teaser release of the ‘My Amie’ video taken from the ‘Electronicalis’ album. This latter is an Electronica-style album which visits ‘synthland’ alongside the guitars. Good old MIDI - where would we be without it? This finishes off a large number of tracks I have had kicking around unfinished since the late 80’s and the ToshRollo period.
I have a humorous rock based album that I started writing initially during the ChinWig period under the working title of Grumpy Old Music and is now due to be released as ‘Musicalis Grumpiosa’. It is a ‘Pig’n’aif’ album so watch that space for progress and more info. We have a number of competed tracks in the can, one featuring Mel’s voice, as well as others featuring Mick Shedd. We now need to get that one polished off smartish ‘cos Mick and I have also started work on new Phoenix Rising styled material under the Pig’n’aif banner.
And then there’s the graphics and video stuff I’m fiddling with... Still not finished the novel