Category Archives: Uncategorized

Introducing Derby’s Rock & Pop Choir: Hatch’d Magazine

Seeing as how I’m quite enjoying this new choir venture, I thought I would shout about it a bit. So I went and had a chat with Tom John from Hatch’d magazine to tell him what we’re about, so that he can tell other people what we’re about and hopefully build the choir even more. Read the full article here:

I think this captures the essence of what we’re about, particularly the fun element (!), and also what we’re looking to do in the future. I’d definitely like the choir to do some performances, hopefully a few of us will be venturing out to an open mic before Christmas to showcase what they’ve learnt so far.

EP/ Demo Recording

Just to prove that I actually have been doing some recording recently. This is from this summer, recording ‘The Border’. It’s an Indian harmonium, really adds some warmth to the guitar & vocals. Funny how once you begin the recording process, the songs take on a character of their own and perhaps not exactly as you’d thought they’d be. The Border definitely gets my vote for ‘most surprisingly altered arrangement’.


The Thrill Of Waiting Up For The End Of The World

Thanks to Samantha Gallagher Photography for these pics.

The Thrill of Waiting Up For The End Of The World was an event organised by Kirsty Fox to launch the self-publication of her book, Dogtooth Chronicles. Read her article in LeftLion (follow the link) for her take on the book itself. As the creator of “Bees Make Honey“, a creative cooperative designed to help all sorts of creative types flourish & have a voice, Kirsty wanted the event to have a buzz (no pun intended) and feature work from across the artforms. Which is where I came in! The evening also featured the music of The Distillery Blues Band and Grey Hairs. I think it’s fair to say we all gave the audience something completely different! I enjoyed the whole evening, but I must say a highlight was listening to the Distillery Blues Band effortlessly work their way throughsome classic & new blues tunes. Not that I’m any kind of expert! But I’m a sucker for a low mean growly blues voice. Kirsty seemed suitably chuffed with the whole evening, and I have a signed copy of Dogtooth Chronicals to read. For my part, I enjoyed playing a new instrumental song, new to the public’s ears anyway. It’s one of the tunes I’ve recorded with Rob Bullock, so I’m hoping to get that uploaded to SoundCloud soon. The demo tracks are still at the mixing stage, so when we both get a couple of days free…..


Just been along to the Pedal for Power party in Derby marketplace. What a great idea, music powered by bikes!

Thought it would be a good time to hand out a few flyers for the Rock & Pop Choir that’s starting at the VoiceBox tomorrow night! Just preparing a few songs/ warm-ups and ideas for the first FREE session tomorrow.

I know of at least one person who’s coming, so hopefully we’ll be able to do some 2 part harmonies!

If you’re in the Derby area and free, why not come along? Check back for updates on this NEW venture.

Or for more details, see the teaching & workshops page.

Sung Sounds Jazz at the Voicebox Derby

Hmm, I really should have taken a photo INSIDE the venue, as it really is a fantastic space, but if you don’t know the Voicebox in Derby this is what it looks like! There were some really excellent musicians playing  on Sunday night, as well as some brilliant singers. The Voicebox website lists the evening as “vocal jazz with accompaniment from the house band, featuring pianist Greg Maskalick, drummer Tom Bland and saxophonist Jezz Smith”. Jezz wasn’t there this time, but Greg and Tom were joined by clarinet player Heather, who was a joy to watch as well as listen to. The clarinet  just seemed to be an extension of her, and she moved about with great energy, effortlessly improvising through one jazz classic to the next. Ok, so I’m not a gig reviewer, but I enjoyed it and I got to play a few of my own compositions which seemed to be well received! The acoustics in that place are just lovely, although I had a mic, you really don’t have to try hard as the room just makes your voice sound about as sweet as it possibly could. Other singers included Dan Miller, who teaches there, as well as a couple of his students and friends; as well as my singing teacher Ann Miller, always a bit nerve-wracking knowing your teacher is listening, but with my own songs I at least feel on solid ground! So the atmosphere was informal, relaxed and with a high standard of musicianship, as well as a high standard of snacks .. pringles, strawberries & cream, chocolate flapjacks and fruit punch. Just a shame that I tend not to eat very much before I sing!

Another highlight was “Stormy Weather” played by flautist Chris (I seem to be bad at remembering surnames here), a young flute player with obvious talent. All in all a very enjoyable evening, and I’m looking forward to attending the next one, perhaps not singing so I can focus on the snacks a bit more. It’s on Sun 2 Dec, so I’m thinking mulled wine, shortbread, mince pies….

Summer Concerts

This year all but one of my students at Murray Park will be performing at the summer concert, which is great news. The summer concert is always an enjoyable event, it really showcases all the hard work students have put in during the year. And of course it’s great for me to see how much they’ve improved since last year. This will be my third summer concert at Murray Park, and it’s definitely one of my favourite things about teaching!

I’ll also be driving over to Alderwasley Hall School for their open day this weekend, where some of my students are performing. Again, it’ll be great to hear them playing piano and singing. As I started in September and haven’t seen them perform yet, it’s a great chance to see them in the limelight.