Friday, 31 December 2010

2010, byeeeeeeee

It's that weird "no mans land" time between Christmas & New Year again, a time to look back and forward, assess and review, along with umpteen programs on the best celebrity moments of 2010.

Here's a few nuggets from the bass case then:-

January - The Snow & Billy Wears Dresses & The Walnut Tree in Loose, not the other venue with the same name that everyone turned up to see us at.

February - The Lovedays 2nd album "House Of Cards" is released at The Barge. The first Galileo 7 gigs, Ghent (Belguim) then Sittard (Holland).

March - Panic in the orchestra pit at The Broadway Theatre London. "Monkey Trousers" 7" single by Groovy Uncle is released.

April - The Lovedays at Rochester Castle - Ker Blam!!

May - The Galileo 7 in Paris, brilliant gig but how much for a beer?? Recording again with "The Uncle" at State Studios". Victor Wooten clinic - WOW. The Lovedays back at the Cavern in Liverpool, time we got our own brick in the wall ehh?

June - Billy Wears Dresses play on a kerb just outside Bluewater, can we laugh about that yet? Stevie Wonder at Hyde Park, best gig ever. The Lovedays at Peter Parkers in London, how long will that venue remain, err not long, gone already.

July - The Lovedays, main stage, Lounge On The Farm; see, it does work on a huge stage. The Lovedays at the Style & Winch, the last ever Lovedays gig? Billy Wears Dresses take up residence at the Beauty Of Bath then serenade Maidstone from the bandstand in Brenchly Park.

August - The Galileo 7 photoshoot with the fabulous Phil Dillon, Masterclass photo shoot with Martin "the lens" Whale. Farewell Mike, save me a seat at the bar. Scotland with Wee Willie Harris. Galileo 7 @ Medway Happenings, almost didn't thanks to the summer weather!

September - Billy Wears Dresses back in the studio, Nick fixes Jon's car. A drunken appearence on the Las Vegas Strip.....

October - Masterclass bring the house down, when Dean get's there with a working amp that is.

November - Huge Galileo 7 tour of europe to promote the debut album "Are We Having Fun Yet?" Somebody buy some merch!!!!! Premiere of "The Key To The Trapdoor" Lovedays documentary is screened in Rochester, I still haven't seen it. It's that "switch those festive lights on again time of the year" for Billy Wears Dresses.

December - The snow, again! Masterclass in France, watching Dean & Sam wrestle at 2am, I wished I'd videoed it!

I'd like to say a big thank you to all my band mates of Billy Wears Dresses, The Galileo 7, The Lovedays & Groovy Uncle, Along with Barry "The Teacher" Kitchin.

As always, all my love to Sue & Harrison. I couldn't do it without you.

Let's all have a drink and toast to "World Peace",

Happy New Year and thank you for listening.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas

With a hectic run up to Christmas it's easy to forget the important things in life, Family & Friends.
I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and peace.

It's also the time of year to be aware of those not so fortunate, the homeless, the alone, the bereaved, those who have to work over the festive season such as emergency services and troops.

Let's try and make the season of goodwill, just that.

Photo by Donna Hodges Hope

Monday, 20 December 2010

Billy Wears Dresses Christmas Show & Galileo Reviews

This Thursday, 23rd December will see Billy Wears Dresses at The Eagle Tavern in Rochester.
A superb venue and always a busy night so get there early for a good view.
We will be playing all the regular hits as well as songs from the forthcoming album "You Said It Would And It Did".

The debut Galileo 7 is getting some rave reviews, here are two :-

Friday, 17 December 2010

2010 Music Healthcheck

Another year gone and another fall in music sales. Since the early 80's the warning every year from the record industry has been one of impending doom, usually with a finger pointed at pirates.
Who can forget the infamous "Home Taping Is Killing Music" that greeted you inside LP sleeves, like a police officer waiting round the corner, it would leap out at you and make you feel guilty even when you weren't. The golden days of live bootlegs are also a hazy memory, where you could pop along to Camden Market the Sunday after a gig and buy a recording of it on cassette. Despite industry pressure, tapes escaped a special "music tax" but not the impending march of technology. Cdr's MP3 & file sharing are now the corner stone of the major labels yearly epitaph.
The other main gripe I hear comes from the "man on the street" and is quite simply "People don't write good songs anymore". Personally I don't go along with this, but because I hear it from so many young people in particular, it would be remiss of me not to mention it.

Now I come to you with no hard evidence, spread sheets or solutions. I may be completely wrong.
But here is a thought to consider:-

I guess it became more popular and refined in the 70's, but the opportunity of dropping in; taping over the bit you played wrong, became the industry norm. An experienced tape operator could "punch in" over a mistake or fumble and give the illusion of a faultless performance. Many great records have been made this way and it is no shame on the musicians that did this but there was a certain charm in those early 50's & 60's records that contain mistakes.
By the 80's the drum machine had become a studio standard, the wavering tempos of the past banished to history books and hard liners, even REAL drummers had to learn to play to click tracks and a few seasoned session men struggled with this, furiously attending clinics and sitting for hours playing along to a metronome. Now, it's not unusual to play drums and not use the sound of the kit but to trigger samples of drums in order to achieve the perfect sound.
Over the last couple of decades the computer has become the focus of just about every studio, from high end £3000 a day to bargain basement recording facilities, with it, the ability to manipulate every sound's tone, pitch & timing to absolute perfection. Auto tune for vocals is present on most chart releases and now used for live performance along with pre-recorded vocals and music in an effort to achieve an Utopian audio experience.
Maybe though, all these things are chipping away at the one thing we value the most. To be human.
Maybe songs today are as good as they used to be, just lacking in spirit?
Does the more precise, perfect and mechanical Music become, make it more difficult for us to engage with it emotionally?
Just a thought, what do you think?

Paul Moss

Friday, 10 December 2010

Galileo 7 review, Groovy Uncle No.1 and update

Here is a review of the debut album:-

THE GALILEO 7 Are We Having Fun Yet?
Teen Sound Records (2010)

With a CV that includes The Prisoners, The Solarflares, JTQ, Thee Headcoats and The Stabilisers, it's fair to say that Allan Crockford is a well respected veteran of the Medway area's garage rock scene. The Galileo 7 formed as a vehicle for his own material and this storming 14 tracker on Teen Sound is their debut release.

'Never Go Back' is a blistering opener - a snarling Crockford vocal and swirling organ from Viv Bonsels backed by a thumping rhythm section (Paul Moss and Russ Baxter), and all melded together with some furious guitar and glorious harmonies. It merges straight into 'Something Else', a gutsy slab of freakbeat meets mod pop.

The delightfully titled and psych-y 'Orangery Lane' brings to mind both Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd and XTC's alter-ego spin-off band The Dukes Of Stratosphear, while at the same time sounding completely original! The stomping 'Mine! Mine! Mine!' and the lighter 'The Sandman Turns Away' are two more impressive melodic cuts.

The energetic 'Run Baby Run' and 'Feet On The Ground' are both killer tunes, while the thunderous power pop of 'Go Home' is followed by the groovy instrumental 'Feed The Meter'.

The dreamy 'Running Through My Hands', the tour de force that is 'Can't Resist' and the relentless 'The Best Way Is Our Way' bring proceedings to a close in style.

Accompanied by some appropriately striking and colourful psychedelic artwork, this album comes highly recommended; an action-packed 44 minute stew of harmony-drenched garage rock with a power pop / psych edge.


Review by Jim Henderson

Jim Henderson presents "Power Pop" on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sunday 18:00 (first and last Sunday of each month)

Also great news, Groovy Uncle is number one in the "Whole Lotta Shakin'" radio show on New York's WRUR.

It's a busy build up to the Festive season, Masterclass are off to France this weekend, in the studio and live next week with Billy Wears Dresses & Galileo 7.
What shall I do with the other hand?

Paul Moss

Monday, 6 December 2010

Count On Me - Groovy Uncle

Over the Summer I was in State Studios with the legendary Groovy Uncle, contributing to the forthcoming LP "Play Something We Know" on State Records. Here's a taster of what's to come with a video shot at the Medway Little Theatre in November.

For all things Groovy Uncle check out the Official Website
including a shop where you can buy the Groovy Uncle 7" "Monkey Trousers" also featuring yours truly!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Billy Wears Dresses Update

The Billy blog is temporarily out of action so I'll update it from here.

We've just finished doing the around Kent / KMFM Christmas lights switch ons, we'd like to thank every one at the KM / KMFM team, sound light & stage crew and everyone that braved the artic temperatures to come & see us. They were great fun and the final one in Tonbridge saw a phenonamal crowd of 4500 + turn up. The Billy facebook friends have taken a well earned boost! To join in click HERE

We have two up coming Christmas shows:-

17th December - The Windmill in Ashford
278 Hythe Rd
Ashford, Kent
TN24 0QR

23rd December - The Eagle Tavern in Rochester
124 High Street
, Kent,
The Eagle Tavern Website

Both start at 9pm and are free entry.

The recording of the new album is nearing completion, we are only a handful of tracks away from finishing and then will have about 17 new songs to choose from. As yet we only have a working title but the photo shoot; for which we have a very definate plan, should be done quite soon. At the moment the release date is looking like March 2011. Meanwhile we have a handful of Space Hopper Summer albums left which will be on sale at our Christmas gigs for the festive price of £5. as well as being available on iTunes.

The Official Billy Wears Dresses site will be going through a major overhaul soon so keep an eye out for that. Until then don't forget to take a look at the Billy Watchers site for some superb insight to all things Billy Wears Dresses, including stuff even we didn't know!

Finally there is the Billy Wears Dresses Twitter for the hard core.

Hope to see you over the Festive Period,