What quickly emerges is that our live music venue circuit is in a perilous and precarious state, facing an uncertain future that despite the passion of the people involved in it is at real risk. We need to be openly discussing and airing those challenges with our live music industry colleagues.
He also told us that he and Paul McCartney used to go around London by bus sometimes, and people would look at Paul in a wondering sort of way and then think "no, can't be" and leave them alone. Not something that would happen today with all the camera phones and selfies.
Some suggest fame puts you above the law but in fact the reverse is increasingly true. On top of the ordeal of fighting a criminal charge, celebrities become involuntary participants in a very stressful reality show. At times it can look like the criminal justice system too is becoming a branch of showbiz.
The UK film and gaming industries have both enjoyed generous tax breaks over the last few years. It's now high time that grass roots musicians and music venues got a break.
On Thursday I braved the London grizzle to meet Rou Reynolds and Rob Rolfe of Enter Shikari. The release of their fourth album is imminent (January 19th), so we were there to talk all things related to the collection of songs, aptly named 'The Mindsweep.'
I have a chat with, new UK upstarts, Boston Manor ahead of their nationwide tour with Moose Blood<
Ever since Joe Pasquale sang "I know a song that'll get on your nerves, get on your nerves, get on your nerves...", repeatedly, I have loved a good earworm. If you haven't heard of the term, an earworm is a catchy piece of music that repeats in a person's mind, long after they've stopped listening to the actual song.
After the concert finished we packed up, headed back to the boats and motored out onto the canal proper. As we moored up at the towpath and re-joined the London we knew, it was like returning from Narnia.
Ok, I don't know Mick Jagger personally though he was kind enough to pose for this recent selfie and made my two kids very happy. (Thanks, Sir M, you're a gent!) What I do know, from my own lifetime in the performing arts, is that he and other musicians understand time rather differently to the rest of the world.
After scratching just under the surface of chart success for about a decade, The Black Keys finally hit the big time around 2011 with El Camino, a foot-stomping, drumming-on-the-wheel, open top American road trip album if there ever was one.
So 2014 comes to an end and another skull crushingly dull X-Factor winner tops the charts. Yay! But leaving Nicki Minaj's dreadfully inept Anaconda and Avril Levigne's hilariously awful Hello Kitty! aside, it's actually been a great year for music and some genuinely enjoyable songs have sailed its waves. Yarrrr!
Do people really understand what it's like to be the parent of a child prodigy? My son Shane Thomas has been hailed as Britain's Mozart and he started composing classical music, aged seven, just three weeks after he first sat at a piano. Since then I've come to realise that having a gifted child, presents you with many challenges and obstacles too.
Shane started to have a keen interest in playing the piano, when he was three years old and for no apparent reason, drew a time signature perfectly, which he went around showing people. He insisted that he could actually play a piano, if he was given access to one. Unfortunately, his mother thought the whole thing was a lot of nonsense. Shane decided to use an old rug as an imaginary piano, which he drew piano keys on.
What have I read, what have I learned, what have I proved to myself, that's what I want to know. Not about the random highs, but the necessary and sustained lows. Not about the chaos, but about the easy order of silence. Bloody 'ell I sound like a Vulcan. But no, seriously, my point is, I think 2014 has made me a better artist.
These are men of the north country, a happy band of brothers who have staked their future on one roll of the dice. Or so it would seem were it not for the man who has stepped in to back the musical endeavours of Manchester-based band, Alias Kid.
Ella on the Run caught the music industry's attention earlier this year when she featured on Glastonbury's Emerging Artist list. I first got to know Ella on the Run when she released her single Golden Boys.