By heck… it’s a bit chilly isn’t it? No, I’m not moaning as you’re reading the words of a person who LIKES colder conditions! Funny how it all adds to the fact the season is over in Blackpool. I went out for a wander and to get some shopping on Monday and I can’t deny it felt strange as overnight, after many months of busy activity to walk down near empty streets with many places closed, it did feel a touch surreal.
Tuesday… oh dear. That didn’t start off well as some might say I got up out the wrong side of the bed as from the moment I woke up, I felt stressed and worried about a few things. No prizes for guessing what. A horrible moody, broody morning and continual rain outside didn’t help either. I had to head out to get some air plus had a couple of tasks to attend to. One of them was to book a table for a meal at a well known locale. I’m not gonna name and shame them but let’s just say I won’t be returning there if I can help it as a pair of gormless geezers looked at me gone out when I asked if I could book a table. One of them replied “No, we don’t do bookings because it gets really busy in here…” Talk about the defiance of all logic. I KNOW it gets busy hence why I was trying to book a damn table to avoid possible disappointment! DUH! With warped business logic like that, they don’t deserve my custom and I booked elsewhere without such stupidity.
I attended to some other business then when I got home, went online and saw a tweet by the Electric Sunshine Project alerting us to the fact that they had a double page spread in the local paper with photos from the All Souls Ball. I was pleased to see that, but did a double take when I read the short write up and saw my name listed as one of the photographers present! That’s the first time I’ve seen my name in a paper in many years and it was a strange but thrilling feeling. So, I dashed straight back out to buy a copy for the archive… and nearly fainted as it’s the first paper I’ve bought in goodness knows how many years and 95 pence is downright outrageous. Studying the spread further it struck me that I had actually taken photos of those photos being taken so kinda funny I have a host of alternate angles and views of those published shots. I’ve had nice feedback and thanks for the shots I have published online for which I’m thankful and grateful. It really was one of my best shoots too and there’s tons more great shots which may or may not appear over the course of time. In fact I spent some time over the last few days wading through ALL my Nikon shots from 2017 onward and it’s staggering how many good pics there are from this year that remain unseen.
Wednesday had me typing some lengthy thoughts by request to some feedback questions sent by the Electric Sunshine Project before meeting up with my pal Laura for our usual putting the world to rights chatterings over pots of tea. I was also indulging in a rare moment of nostalgia as I have just acquired a copy of almost every episode of the Channel 4 music show “The Tube”. That began appropriately enough on November 5th 1982 and ran for 5 years. I used to watch it when I could and really enjoyed it back in the day. Since then, given it was broadcast live, only one weak edition has been repeated (the last of the first series, featuring one of my all time least favourite bands) and the many compilation shows fail badly to capture the fun and chaos of the show, so that night watched the very first edition… one I didn’t see at the time and it was a strange time capsule to the degree I could clearly remember being ten years old all over again. Odd to be reminded of a long distant time when Jools Holland wasn’t boring. I will work my way through them but it will take quite some time as I ration nostalgia very strictly because hey, what’s happening NOW and NEXT YEAR is far more important and interesting to me.
Thursday was a rare day indoors, working on a forthcoming project which should involve me PERFORMING. I can’t reveal much more at this stage but I am working on backing tracks and they’re all for the same song… all in completely different styles necessitating different ways of singing and performing so… depending on certain factors, audiences might witness me performing the song in its native rock format… or as either Country, Jazz, 80’s pop or even some faux classical arrangement. The things I do for fun and to keep me on my toes and keep audiences guessing. I don’t make life easy for myself where performing is concerned as the song also contains a particular element that would ensure every time I perform it will be the only time you’ll ever hear that particular track… I’ll explain it when it occurs! Work is ongoing on these backing tracks. It is unfortunate I have to ration my listening time because my tinnitus has been flaring up badly in recent weeks and as I type, my right ear is constantly buzzing away with a horrible irritating loud low hum.
Friday was another day in and more work on backing tracks but with a very unusual evening where in a rare act, I went out. I was invited by LeftCoast to check out a show at the recently opened Art B+B – Lucy Hutson’s Bi Curious George and Other Side-Kicks. Very much an experimental evening for LeftCoast and the venue being the first live event to be held there and a curiously late starting time too, 9pm so walking there at a late hour (for me) and on a Friday night was very odd. I hasten to add unlike most people, I don’t “do” Friday night. Always found it over-rated so prefer to stay indoors… ever the contrary git that I am.
I can’t honestly “review” the show because visibility wasn’t great – I was in the second row – and I was only able to see lip movements for about 30% of the time so ended up sat there clueless as to what it was actually about. It featured just two performers and it went down well, raised many laughs and seemed to be performed well with energy and flair. As always, was good to chat with Tina Redford and Linda Hampton beforehand. After the show was the highlight for me as I went into the bar area and encountered a handful of Electric Sunshine chums so had a fabulous fun chat with them during which we chatted about the All Souls Ball and they were open mouthed to see some of the photos I’d taken as I had them on my phone along with a short video collage from that night. I think they were surprised to see that as they knew I was taking snaps but quietly filming and capturing much of it as well? Much positivity and good vibes in the air. A lovely hour in their company so sure went home smiling.
Saturday… the morning saw the first business meeting for another new project I’m going to be producing! Too early to say what it’s about just yet. It is kinda linked to the “Meet Me At The Windmill” project which is neat and this one encompasses some of my talents – photography, recording, editing and more. Looking most forward to it. More work on the backing tracks in the afternoon then in the evening decided to bite the bullet and see if I could piece together a short film from the footage I shot at the All Souls Ball. I had an hour and 45 minutes of footage with 2 major snags… 1 – about three quarters of it was shot from static angles on my phone camera sat on a tripod. It means most of what I witnessed is there complete but with no cutaway or alternate angles, it wouldn’t take long for people to get a little bored watching several minutes from the same shot/angle, but at least the soundtrack remains consistent. 2, what handheld footage I did capture is a bit too shaky as I was simultaneously keeping busy taking photos. Hmmm. A real poser since the challenge is, how can I make an entertaining short film giving some impression of that evening? Fortunately, it was all shot on HD format, so was able to use a few tried and tested editing tricks along with judicious creative use of some of the photos I took. I ended up with a 10 minute edit before tinnitus prevented me from going any further as there’s still 3 more acts to edit and add into it but looking at the test result, it’s pleasing and flows fine which is what matters so will return to it and complete it when my ears are back to their abnormal normal selves!
And onward we keep moving…