First Attempt With My New Harinezumi Guru

Harinezumi is Japanese for ‘Hedgehog’ – it is also awesome as a camera.

To be honest, the cost of film purchase and development had taken the fun out of Lomography. I was worried too much about the cost of the prints that I did not snap away as you should. However, after finding a Japanese site that claimed these cameras were “King of Artistic Digital” I was intrigued.

I found a brand new Harinezumi Guru from 2011 in France and I have been pacing about waiting on Colissimo delivering the thing.

My Harinezumi Guru camera arrived today around 14:50 and I was showered and away from my computer at 15:20. A quick stop at Bass & Bligh later and I had acquired a battery and Micro SD card – unfortunately these are not supplied with the camera – and I headed off to Major Tom’s to read the manual.

Over a friendly, delicious pint of Atom Pale Ale I familiarised myself with the rudimentary controls of the camera – six buttons and that is all you have. I fired off a few in the pub and headed out. Here are the results –


First Attempt with My Harinezumi Guru

The Wailers @ The O2, Leeds

The story of The Wailers Band really begins during the 1960s. The original Wailers formed as a vocal harmony group in the Trench Town slum in 1963, initially as a quintet, but later slimming to the committed core of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston (aka Bunny Wailer). Percussionist Alvin ‘Seeco’ Patterson brought them to an audition at Studio One, which resulted in their first hit recordings, and during the years when ska and rock steady were the rage, the group recorded and performed with an ever-changing cast of session musicians (with Seeco often part of the picture). But everything changed around 1969-70, when they began working with the maverick producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, who had harnessed the skills of a pair of young brothers as his in-house rhythm section: bassist Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett and his drumming brother Carlton made such an impression on Marley that he convinced them to become the rhythm section of The Wailers Band, once The Wailers broke away from Perry to establish their own Tuff Gong label. They were soon joined by two very young and very talented keyboard players, Earl ‘Wya’ Lindo and Tyrone Downie, who had totally different styles from each other, and who performed alternate duties, depending on need.

Once The Wailers signed to Island Records in 1972 for the Catch A Fire album, they needed a band to go on the road with them as well as to record, and Fams, Carly, Seeco and Wya were crucial parts of the team. Junior Marvin became part of the band by the Exodus album, his rock lead lines helping to broaden the sound. Wya returned for the One Love Peace Concert in April 1978, and to do overdubs on the Kaya album, the twin-keyboard format added another element of musical complexity, as heard more clearly on Survival. This is the lineup that remained with Bob Marley right to the end, making the Wailers Reunion project a truly historic one.

For the first time since the death of Bob Marley, all of these players, except for Carlton Barrett, who was tragically murdered in 1987, shall come together again to make another display of musical unity. Family Man will be joined by his son, Aston Junior, on drums, along with Seeco, Wya, Tyrone, Donald Kinsey and Junior Marvin. It is the moment so many reggae fans have always dreamt of, despite the many obstacles that might have been in the way.

Two things blew me away at the gig: the guitar work of Junior Marvin & the vocal presence of Josh Barrett.

Josh David Barrett

Josh David has a commanding task as The Wailers band lead vocalist. Taking on the words of Bob Marley may be daunting to some, but not for the young Rasta lion from Roselle, NJ. Josh David stands firm and authentic in the singing spotlight.

Currently living in Brooklyn, NY, Josh David prides himself as a bridge between Reggae’s former and latter spiritual and musical “troditions.” Joining forces with the world’s most well known Reggae band, he is grateful and honored to be a part of this renowned team of musicians, guided for decades by his distant cousin, bassist Aston “Familyman” Barrett.

As a youth in New Jersey, Josh David grew up in church. It was there he joined the choir and began performing for his congregation and community. In addition to singing, he plays guitar, bass, drums, and piano. His extensive talent and easy going personality led him to performing with such Gospel greats as Grammy-winner Tramaine Hawkins, Kim Burrell, and Donovan Jackson & Joshua Generation. He later recorded or performed with R&B and Hip-Hop stars, including Common, Q-Tip, Quincy Jones, Kanye, Mary J. Blige, and Solange Knowles. Recently, Josh David has worked with renowned Ethiopian singer Teddy Afro and Grammy-winning producer Commissioner Gordon, of Lauryn Hill/Amy Winehouse/Ghetto Youths fame.

Junior Marvin

The door to Reggae opened when the music and message touched his soul. He traveled to Jamaica, his great-grandfather’s homeland, to record, perform, and create videos with Ghetto Youths’ artists Biggz General and Dax Lion. A highlight of that Kingston journey was performing on a stage that also featured Chronixx, Jesse Royal, and Bongo Herman.

On a UN trip to Tunisia to perform a series of US Embassy-endorsed shows, Josh David remembers the kindness of the Rasta youth he met there. His dedication to Rastafari continues, exemplified in the conscious lifestyle he lives. He proclaims it was the will of JAH that brought him to meet Aston Barrett, Jr., Familyman’s son and drummer for The Wailers, in 2012. The two young talented Rasta lions kept in touch, and in 2014, Josh David was blessed with the opportunity to join The Wailers band as its lead singer.

Having traversed this musical journey, from church youth, to performing with today’s top artists, to circling the globe with The Wailers, Josh David has joined the struggle to trod paths created by the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley, O.M., Peter Tosh, O.M., and Bunny Wailer, O.J. Joshua David Barrett lives and sings the songs of freedom. His mission, to uplift and inspire a new generation of Wailers’ fans, comes from the heart. Like Bob Marley, his enthusiastic performances keep steadfast in honoring the life and legacy of Ethiopia’s “Talaku Meri/Great Leader” Emperor Haile Selassie I. The legendary Wailers band continues spreading the message of “One Love” globally and throughout the Kingdom of The Most High, Jah Rastafari.

Taking Inspiration

Martín Ramírez is best known as the schizophrenic outsider artist who drew his masterpieces from a mental hospital. The diagnosis certainly adds a bit of sensation to his legacy, but make no mistake; he’s one of 20th century’s self-taught masters. The dude even has that ultimate accolade a USPS stamp series! – Dangerous Minds

Kind of like a psychedelic folk art, usually basic pencils and crayons on found paper. If you look closely at these works, you can sometimes see the lines of notebook paper or the distinct shade of a paper bag – heartening that in Rockwood folk can find solace.

Early on, he pasted them together with potatoes and spit. His themes of trains, saints and cowboys evoke a spiritual wild frontier ordained with his trademark filigree patterns, reminiscent of rings on a tree stump.

Ramírez’s life was tragic. At the age of 23, knowing absolutely no English, he crossed the US border to find work and provide for his pregnant wife and their three children. After six years, he was homeless, and he was soon arrested and institutionalized with acute schizophrenia, nearly catatonic. Although Ramírez’s brilliant work received some recognition during his lifetime, he remained hospitalized until his death in 1963, and the age of 68.

1st Harrogate Film Festival: A Local’s Response

I have had quite a fun filled weekend, what with my Dad’s birthday meal (Happy Birthday Dad) and the recording of my radio show – however, what I want to blog about this post is the first installment of Harrogate International Film Festival.

1st Harrogate Film Festival: A Local’s Response ::

At the time of going on sale, Harrogate International Film Festival had over 708 submissions from 56 countries worldwide across six competitions – as a local this is not to be missed. However, I was perplexed by how little there was in the way of media coverage – I mean, the Film Festival barely hits on the first page of Google and I had to find out about the film festival via intrepid News Hound, Graham Chalmers, Tweet.

So, there was a film festival between Friday 3rd of March and Sunday 5th of March – but what of it? Was it just going to be a rehash of old classics framed “oh so quirky” against the back drop of a town I am enamored with? I am sad to say that for most of the festival it was a rehash of films that have been over played but set in pubs. Shaun Of The Dead in a pub that has an aging clientele? Scarface in a chain bar that plays on Cuban Nationalism? No thanks – I came for art.

Thankfully, there was plenty of what I sought at the “Independent Filmakers Competition 2017 – Documentary At Everyman Cinema.”

Tickets were a bargain at £8 a pop and you were welcomed with your own complimentary tote bag, pens, voting forms and magazines. Me and the good wife made it through the Yorkshire weather to the Everyman Cinema in ample time to have a sit down and order some food in Screen 5.

Antipasti ::

The Antipasti was second to none – although the idea of a sharer combo on a two person sofa in the dark made for a bit of a mess – I managed to polish of a good portion by the time the credits were rolling on the first documentary. But what was the first documentary?

The documentaries were only last 10 to 15 minutes and played consequentially – there was no time to reach for the humus of the ample sharing platter as the short mini-documentaries played out one after the other in quick succession. The seats were all very comfortable and, as I have pointed out in a previous blog post – Everyman is a custom built modern cinema – it is amazing for Harrogate, although I will always have a soft-spot for the art-deco Odeon.

Independent Filmakers Competition 2017 – Documentary At Everyman Cinema ::

The first mini-documentary was Brazilian and interviewed Brazilian comic book writers. It talked about the role of Super heroes to pubescent teens – how Peter Parker never quite gets the girl, has to wear glasses and goofs up a lot of the time – having lost his parents too – and that it is okay to be a tool as you find your own identity – you will never be completely perfect, but you can still be super awesome. It was life affirming stuff.

The second documentary, Green Way, got my wife’s vote – she was more than happy to vote for a short film that showed the culture of the interior of Turkey. Thing is, this documentary was against the building of a highway that would carve up the innards of Turkey – leaving a trail of devastation behind. It was touchingly told from the perspective of an elderly woman.

The third documentary came from Columbia: “Categoría V” could have proved to be one of the more interesting films. However, it was not subtitled and I do not speak Spanish – I was frustrated that I could not share in this dream-scape of hitch-hiking along with a long-distance lorry driver as he delivered goods too and from the docks to the interior.

The documentary “Perpetuum Mobile” got my vote for the Audience’s Choice award – it featured the story of an inter-war brotherly quest to build a machine that would just run by itself. Humerus, insightful, poignant and very witty – this had me beaming. It traced the story of a family’s search for a machine that ran by itself – a self powering machine: I loved it.

… balls, I’ve forgotten the name of this film – anyway, it was the first one … The super hero one from Brazil.

Then there was “A Man’s Got To Do What A Man’s Got To Do” – I took this as a bit of a sad film – it portrayed a lost German looking to shoot someone in the name of defending somebody. He spent his time at the shooting range – deftly setting his scopes on the paper target. He admitted that he would love to be a bodyguard, but, at the age of 53 (?) he thought he was a bit too old – humerus and slyly done so.

Afterwards ::

I have Cottage Pie waiting for me – Kathryn is busy cooking up a feast and it is high time I hot tailed it to the kitchen to give her a hand instead of Blogging. I am sat, after a brief call to Major Tom’s merry and in my Pyjamas – Life is good.


Me and the good lady wife, Kathryn, went to see the film T2 Trainspotting at the Everyman in Harrogate. Quite an occasion actually. It is the first time we have visited that cinema since it opened last year – what a cinema. All shiny and new.

It pains me to say this, but it wins over the Odeon, where I used to work. The thing the Odeon has going for it is it’s faded grandeur. The fact that folk would rock up to the art-deco building with it’s chandeliers and gold plate banisters in their finery was something that made me proud to work there.

However, Everyman Cinema has leg room and wins on that account. We sat comfortably on our two seater sofa and spilled popcorn all over the place.

I would write a short review of the film T2 Trainspotting, but there are far more valued opinions when it comes to film. I will leave it at the fact that both me and Kathryn really enjoyed it. Here is the trailer:

… but there was something not quite right with the experience. In the script of the film, Sick Boy asks Renton if he is taking a holiday – visiting his past life. That is what I was doing watching the film.

There are moments throughout the film about breaking free from the past. About taking a holiday through past memories, looking up old flames and there is plenty of reference to Heroin.

I enjoyed the film immensely. It would have been tough to follow up the first – indeed, it was almost a homage to the first film. Tying up the loose ends.

But, life doesn’t imitate cinema. There are no directors to tie up loose ends in real life. It is hard not to empathise with one or two of the characters (except Begbie) and it made it an unsettling experience. As in, I too can relate to some of it – through health not heroin – and it made me think of the things I would be doing had I not been ill. Probably tending a cash till in a high street shop or something, but it is nice to romanticise how things could have turned out but for the if’s/ what’s / but’s.

Guess I chose life.

Xmas 2k16 Mk. II

I almost feel nostalgic for writing this; why? Well, I will tell you at the bottom of the page. Today saw an above average early start for me – I was up at 06:30 but fully rested. We set the coordinates for Home Farm and set off on the 36 route to Ripon. It suddenly struck me, as we pulled out of Harrogate and went on to Killinghall, how beautiful the landscape looked dressed in it’s winter sunlight. There was a clear, icy light beating down – illuminating pasture and moorland alike. We trundled through Honey-pot villages and were picked up by Dad in Ripon.

It was great to see Mum, Dad, Alison, Paddy (dog, old) & Jess (cat, very old). Alison had the look in her eye of a veteran who has seen too much action – she was drained of Xmas cheer but plucky and resilient to whatever the day will throw at her. Kathryn and me got straight down to business and opened the presents that had eluded us on the 25th.

My brother and his family bought for me a Sun Ra CD Boxset! It was “Sun Ra – The Complete 45’s” and I hope to give it a listen over the next few days. Kathryn received a sausage dog door stop and a book about dog walking – sort of a memoir thing more than an instruction manual – she is more than confident when it comes to handling furry critters.

After a slap up, traditional meal (Turkey and Ham Pie) we all sat down as a family to watch the Steven Spielberg version of the BFG. Now then, the animated version of this film holds tremendous emotional clout for any of the Backhouse cousins. The  is the first film we collectively (and individually for some) have any recollection of watching (may have been the Jungle Book – but, I will state here the first film I have any memory of watching is the animated version of the BFG). I think I was seven or eight when the original made-for-television version came out.

Whenever we had a meet-up as a family, the grandchildren would be plonked in-front of a Ferguson Cathode Ray Tube and the BFG was inserted as a VHS – complete with commercial breaks. Granny & Grandpa sold the house around six years later (Fieldgate – that was it’s name) but I have a strong connection to that house. As readers of the blog may know, my G’s are otherwise occupied at present so cannot comment. But the film was a heavy hitter and there were times where I was drifting off at the recollection of clouds of pipe smoke bellowing out of Grandpa and of Granny the beaming matriarch.

We quickly had tea and went to the Curzon in Ripon – this was the first time I had been to the cinema in 2016 – a long wait in any cinema goers book. The reason: Star Wars Rogue One. Yes, the CGI was patchy and there could be moral qualms about using deceased actors in new reboots, however: this was a film with a vape score of ZERO. As in, I was so giddy with excitement that I did not even bother vaping whilst the film showed – around three hours without my bong. Longest since …

In the car on the way home, Kathryn was checking her FB and broke it to us that Carrie Fisher had passed after a dip in health due to complications on a flight. It was a somber moment after watching the latest installment of a film that defined my childhood and an actress that defined my adolescent peccadilloes. This news flash made me realise I had probably seen my dog for the last time. Paddy is so old a strong gust of wind will knock him to the ground – he is so unstable on his back legs that dad has repeatedly told himself that he will have to take him to the vet on his last journey. However, he keeps on fighting back. As they say in Rogue One: what is a rebellion without hope. I am glad I got to plant a kiss on my dog’s head as I left.

A Sonic Festivity

Went to a gig tonight – in K-town. I was invited there by my good friend, David, on Facebook. Readers may recollect Sonic Salon #1? Well, this was A Sonic Festivity. And … it was awesome!

But first a re-cap. The Sonic Salons are run by cAVE and cAVE celebrates:

  • Ears of Distinction
  • Noise in all its forms
  • The talented and not so talented
  • Triers
  • The Curious
  • The Playful
  • Leftfielders
  • Absurdists
  • Inside Outers
  • Upside Downers
  • Inventors
  • Tinkerers
  • The Quiet
  • Observationists
  • Idlers
  • Non Electronic Folksters
  • And those who were chosen last on the footy team

They promised to run a calendar of events on the first Saturday of every month, but real life got in the way of that ambition and it was not to be. Te last event was Salon #1 on March 6 2016 – quite a gap.

I promised myself I would try and attend as many as possible. Seems 100% success rate so far. Kathryn promised Scooby to go to his Metal Sans Frontieres (glam metal night fundraising for MSF) but she was delayed with an acute migraine.

I rocked up at Project ORB nearly in time to miss the first act, Astrid Walker. She was an acoustic act who seemed to hold the audience in the palm of her hand from what I saw. I missed out on quite something by the looks of things. However, her endearing charm seemed to have tamed the audience. My major grumble about Salon #1 was that the majority of the audience (then) spoke all over the music – if you want to talk it makes sense to head to the pub – you don’t ruin the gig for people there, who have come for the music! Astrid seemed to have done wonders & it could prove prudent for all Sonic Salons to open with an acoustic act – it set the pace of the night and there was a sense of communal hygge.

Then there was a short break where Mike Atkinson played an eclectic yet well chosen set of tunes. It was all in good taste as the tension built for cAVE.

Having played the last of his mini-set, DJ Mike Atkinson stepped out on the front of the stage and introduced the band I had been waiting nine months to see: cAVE.

They were all wearing masks of foliage that reminded me of the Wilder Mann series of photographs by Charles Fréger. cAVE’s set was mesmeric: they were not as flustered as last time and really appreciated the educated audience. I would liken their performance to a mim-tech set for people who do not go to nightclubs. There was a fluidity and grace as the men of cAVE ventured out tonight.

Then, after a short break, it was Grinny Grandad. I knew a two of the trio from a short time in college. Mo & Chris. I did not know what to expect from them – although I was pleasantly surprised. The technical mastery of their respective musical instruments and the powerful, gutsy delivery from a diminutive front vox made it quite special. Here is their EP:

It was really great to catch up with my old band mates, Mark & David, and make new friends tonight. Successful trip out.

Last W/E In November 2016

Fun times were had by all!

Friday was a quiet night in with Mrs. Backhouse – we just chilled in front of the telly and had a good catch up – it’s the backbone of our relationship – these quiet times – and it is an amazing thing that we still get to have them. I love my wife with all of my heart. She is someone very special to me – if I put in a bit more work she may reciprocate the sentiment 😉

Saturday night and Allan’s studio, Creao, stank of Allan’s, Watson’s and my creative juices. We had everything flowing from premium lager to Dub Mixing. We are investigating getting Bitwig Studio for the band (Guerrilla Dub System) and we were trying to get that sorted. Then we had a live dub and a DJ sesh.

Sunday was spent getting ready for the evening. We met Karen & Stewart at the train station and were Leeds bound within minutes. The first stop was the restaurant Little Tokyo – the fun-size Japanese restaurant complete with Geisha dog – Bork Bork!

Me and Stewart had a pint of Asahi Beer and Kat went for a smaller lager – both were really palatable but what stole the show was Karen’s Plum Wine – it was like nectar! The main courses: we all ordered Bento Boxes on the advice of Stewart & Karen – I had Mackerel in Teriyaki sauce with Tempura veg – It was amazing! The highlight of the meal was the Japanese style profiteroles – Ice-cream deep-fried in batter on a skewer; although I think my wife won the pudding tournament with her marshmallow spring rolls – she claimed they were ‘genius’.

We then hot-footed it up to the Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen to see the world famous Sun Ra’s Arkestra!

I had been waiting around eight years to see this band live – whilst they did not have the man himself (he orbits a different star now) they were led by the spritely Marshall Allen, at 92 years young.

– Image first appeared in JazzIz Magazine

There seemed to be four surviving musicians from the Arkestra under Sun Ra in the early days of Space Jazz. Dozens of musicians—perhaps hundreds—passed through Sun Ra’s bands over the years. Some stayed with him for decades, while others played on only a few recordings or performances.

Sun Ra was personally responsible for the vast majority of the constant changes in the Arkestra’s lineup. According to contra-bassist Jiunie Booth, a member of the Arkestra, Sun Ra did not confront any musician whose performance he was unsatisfied with. Instead, he would simply gather the entire Arkestra minus the offending musician, and skip town—leaving the fired musician stranded. After repeated instances of U.S. jazz musicians becoming stranded in foreign countries, Sun Ra’s unique method of dismissal became a diplomatic liability for the United States. The U.S. State Department was compelled to tell Sun Ra to bring any fired musicians stateside rather than leave them stranded.

But, what was the experience of seeing Sun Ra’s Arkestra like for a fan-boy like myself? Well, it surpassed expectation. Hands down the best gig I have been to in years. Whilst I did not recognise all of the tracks that they played – seeing ninety year old’s dressed as Space Pharaohs lucidly conducting an Afro-Futurist ensemble was worth a trip out in anyone’s books.

LANDR Review (With Audio)

As ever, I am probably the last to the party on this one – but – this is my LANDR Review (with audio). Now then, I often make out that I am some sort of audio-file; I really am not that much of an audiophile. However, I do like it when my radio shows sound good. So, I have subscribed to the online Mastering Studio, LANDR. But, what are my first impressions?

The User-Interface is good; very intuitive and clean with crisp fonts and graphics. I like their look. The site is easy to navigate and you soon find out where you are and what you are doing.

I decided to test it with one of my radio shows. The edition I tested LANDR with was an, as yet, un-broadcast version of the Guerrilla Dub System’s Radio Show – a dub and roots show in which I just play records and with no talking. Here, below, is the version run through LANDR.

After the initial (slow) upload of 990MB – LANDR presented me with three versions of the mix to chose from. The option was to then download one of the versions as a High Quality MP3. I chose the version with the ‘High Intensity’ mastering – it seemed to fit with what I was hoping to achieve. However, I will let you be the judge of whether you think the mastering worked. Level-wise, the mix was all over the place originally – there was a lot of contrast between the volume levels of the tracks – do you think the mastering has made it better? I do. If you want to chip in with your two-pence worth then feel free to leave a comment in the box at the bottom of this post.

As readers of this blog know, I have a few irons in the musical fire and I intend to use LANDR for the benefit of those projects. I reckon I will roll out the use of my account to a few mates too – in exchange for beer. It seems I will be using the app for all of my radio shows.

However, if I was to gripe about one thing it is that there is only the option for ‘Low’, ‘Medium’ & ‘High’ mastering – it seems like one big normalise switch. However, if taking the dynamic range out of your recording is what you want to do then this is for you.

You will have to choose your own side in the loudness war – the options are simple and concise with few variables – it is kind of like the speak-and-spell version of mastering. But, that is the level I operate on. The idea is to get the components of the tracks (yes, I will be using it for music too) sorted – then – we will be cooking on gas.

The Book Of Darkness & Light – A Review

Legend has it that many years ago a book of terrifying tales was found. Now you are invited to discover The Book Of Darkness & Light … If you dare!

Join THE STORYTELLER and THE MUSICIAN for an evening of spine-tingling tales and haunting live music. Three ghostly stories to delight and horrify, accompanied by the beautiful sounds of the violin.

The above is the blurb lifted from the inside of the pamphlet distributed at the production – and, boy, what a production. We went to see The Book Of Darkness & Light at Harrogate Library – not the place you would normally associate with an experimental theatre piece.

I was ill equipped for the onslaught as I had spent the afternoon in the pub with Andy Dennis talking about deteriorating situation of the world (as Andy is an MSF nurse – I fear that Andy may be deployed to Syria). So with a full bladder and a heightened buzz I had completely forgot that I put my name down for a theatre production – Thankfully Kathryn put me right and we were swiftly on our way to the library. Also, this is a theatre review – I am ill-equiped for that too; preferring to speak about experimental music on my other blog, Sigil Of Brass. However, this is my adventure blog – and The Book Of Darkness & Light was my adventure for the day

I was unsure as to what to expect – Kathryn told me “There is something that sounds cool happening at the Library on Friday – Fancy going?” and I put my name down. It was free to enter and there was the option to pay what you thought the production was worth upon leaving. Nothing to lose, hoping for the best.

When we got there there was a Field Recording of a glacial drip – the library was lit with atmospheric, pensive lighting and there was a improvised stage at the back of the building with an auditorium of seating. We found our spot and on walked The Musician (Ben Styles). Styles played the violin with breathtaking beauty throughout the performance.

Styles playing perfectly complimented Adam Z. Robinson’s storytelling – it all worked together – they held the audience in the palm of their hand. Styles violin playing heightened the suspense of the production and complimented Robinson’s monologue so as to draw the listener in to their tangled web of ghoulish horror.

There were three stories in all – I will not give any of the plot lines away as I really recommend that you check them out if you get the chance. Robinson’s recital was flawless – he did a lot better job than any of the audience members could and good on him for having the testicular fortitude to stand there and deliver his own work to a sell-out crowd. I have always been of the opinion that verse should be heard and not read – this compounded my hypothesis in that there is ample room for story telling in the open mic cannon – although I doubt I will see an act to top this one.

Robinson’s feat of memory was remarkable. The production was remarkable – they play Boroughbridge Library next week and return to Harrogate for the 17th – 18th of December. I will definitely be there.


More details about The Book Of Darkness & Light can be found on their website, Feel free to follow them on Twitter @DarkLightBook but definitely, if you get the chance – check them out.

New Blog

Don’t worry, same-old-same-old here on Ijo Pona – however, I have started a new blog. The new blog is only for music reviews. On I will write what I think about avant-garde music albums.

So far, I only have around four or so reviews – but it is growing. There is a really good review of Henri Chopins “La Plaine Des Respirs” on there and it is proving a lot of fun. I am already having people submit their work for me to review plus I collect avant-garde music. So, there will always be a back log and there will always be an excuse to purchase new music.

The name ‘Sigil Of Brass’ is taken after the song by Doom Metal pioneers, Earth. Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II is an album that stayed with me and still gets heavy rotation. Whilst it will not get reviewed on the site Sigil Of Brass – I figure there are enough reviews of that album already – it is a seminal work and deserves to be in everyone’s collection. Dylan Carlson’s guitar is the sweetest it has sounded since “Bees …” album and Adrienne’s drumming is spot on – the Cello and Bass add to the atmospherics of the album turning it in to a slow, evolving, dynamic body of music.

I have a history of running labels, hosting & curating radio shows and performing music in his own right. On this site, I review music that appeals to me. There will be no mud-slinging on Sigil Of Brass. If you think you have an album that you wish me to review then please drop it off using this link.

It hopes to be a friendly community of one chap (me) but I will probably grow bored of it soon and leave it alone – but it has filled the time for a sleepless few nights.

I have also embedded my readio show on the site – I will try and use The Parish News (radio show) as a bridge between the label I have (Focused Silence) and the review blog that I write (Sigil Of Brass).

Whilst it will never pay the bills – it is keeping me out of mischief.