News: December – Nearing the End of 2016

Yet another year doing my thing. Year Two has been released into the ether, and all of the feedback has been positive which has delighted me. A real confidence booster if I’m honest. I was a little worried it wouldn’t be taken well or deemed as boring. ‘Waking Up With Clapping Head Syndrome’ and ‘Slightly All the Feels’ have been featured on both Adam Walton and Bethan Elfyn’s shows on BBC Radio Wales also, so I’m glad to still have support from Adam in my second year.

October saw me playing 2 live shows alongside Matthew Creed from Jammy Custard. One being our first live set outside of Cardiff featuring at Bristol’s new electronic open mic sessions known as CHK ONE. A unique idea that really seems to have hit the spot with the community. Artists pre-register their interest to play and founder Jae Task curates the applications. They seem to be doing really well and hype around the night is increasing quickly. The guys live video the night, and I’m really please with how it turned out. Check it out below

November saw another live set at performed at Brickstock at Brickworks, a festival run by Fizzi Events. Cardiff Electronic Music Producers Network (CEPN) invited me down to play. It was a fun quirky evening. The same night I invited my friend Simeon Smith to come and take some photos using his oldschool cameras, and these are the new photos you’ve seen floating around my social media links. It was great doing a a shoot with this dude. He’s fun, creative, relaxed, and all round good guy.

At the end of November Simeon popped up again, and invited me to play alongside him for his own set at CHK ONE, which I was more than pleased to do. We performed tracks from his most recent EP entitled All Is Undone’. It was great fun playing a show and not having to worry about the electronic side for once, simply trying to be the best drummer I could. Something I hope to do again soon.

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I’ve recently added a limited run of CDs to my merchandise section on Bandcamp so if you’d like hardcopies of my releases handmade and put together with my loving hands, head over to http://5thspear.bandcamp.com/merch for that stuff, and keep an eye, as I’m making it my duty to make sure I have stuff on there at all times, but don’t you worry. I shall have it with me at gigs also. Hopefully.

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December is now a planning month, I’ve got loads of new ideas for what I want to get up to over the next year, and one of those ideas is running my blog on creativity, which I will be updating each week. The next news update will be in January, but there will be plenty of bits in between, so make sure to stop by, follow me on Twitter/Instagram for daily notes, and like my Facebook page for events and giggles. x

News: What’s about to happen… New releases, Networking, Sŵn Festival and more!

I briefly spoke about what’s been going on this year, but didn’t mention what’s about to happen…

Workflow has been few and far between due to increased live shows and the day job. I spent quite a bit of time concentrating on how I was going to start performing my music live. Chose a drum kit, and created an Ableton Live template to have running beside me with my Livid Instruments CNTRL:R, a small Korg Volca Keys Synth, and sometimes a little Akai MPK Mini 2 Keyboard (mainly for playing the synth). Playing that synth live is a pain on the ribbon controller…

I’ve still got a lot of work to do on the live aspect of playing. I make a point of meeting members of the audience and talking to them about what they enjoyed, and try getting some honest critisism. Some love it, but some get bored of seeing someone ‘just play drums’ and want to see something more. I try to put as much into my live show as possible when I’m playing, but I think taking it one step further may be the key.

First of all what I’m playing. Live drums can’t be good enough if I’m just playing what’s already on the track, so my aim is to start experimenting more. Filling the holes a little, stripping back to the idea of live drums being texture to add to the production, something extra you don’t hear on the original to make my live shows unique. I discovered more recently that if I try recording my drums to place into my productions that it kills the need for them live, but I don’t want that to happen. For this reason I think the most I’ll ever record in is the odd cymbal or percussion. Adding a live sound on top of electronic drums is so much more powerful.

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NEW EP RELEASE 10/07/14

With this in mind, on the 10th July I’ll be releasing a new EP for you all to enjoy, entitled ‘Imperfections’. This release for me is a middle ground. I’m wanting to release another album by the end of this year, but that’s quite far away, so I wanted to get something out there for you all to enjoy in the meantime.

This EP is made up of 4 tracks… ‘Running Crows’, ‘Dancing Dragons’, ‘New Dreams’, and ‘Underwater Coin Catcher’.

I wanted to keep a vibe going throughout the EP, so I spent an afternoon creating ideas for it a few weeks ago in one session (picture below high on caffeine after I’d finished the session in my living room). Those ideas I arranged a week later in my studio, and I’ve been mixing them whenever I’ve had the chance to since. Finally I’m at a point where I’ve just got a few small changes to make before mastering them to send to you, and I really hope you’ll enjoy it.

I’m planning to do a short performance of this EP along with a couple of older tracks on the 16th July at Fizzi’s networking event at Fourbars in Cardiff. This is a free networking event for musicians and creatives to get together and meet each other. Create contacts, make friends… It was a great evening last time, and I’m so pleased to have been invited back to play for them. Although it’s a little nerve wracking.

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Free Music Networking Event 16/07/15

I would also like to mention that after the previous meetup I got in contact with Ian Tully, one of the attendees who runs ‘Cardiff Electronic Producers Group’ on Facebook. These guys meet up once a month or so, and the next one will be held at Waterloo Gardens Teahouse in Penylan, Cardiff on the 30th July. I’ll be there so it would be awesome to meet some fellow producers.

Last but CERTAINLY NOT LEAST I would like to announce that I’ll be playing Sŵn Festival 2015 in November. Details about venue etc will be announced closer to the time, but I’m so very pleased to be featured at this event.

swn-festival-listings-poster-web“This year’s Sŵn will take place on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th November (a little later than usual due to the Rugby World Cup) across a bundle of venues in Cardiff. If you’re new to the festival, all you need to know is that one wristband gets you in to all the venues (subject to capacity), as you walk/run/meander around to discover as much new music as possible.” – http://swnfest.com/

It’s always nice to see how other people describe you too –> http://swnfest.com/artist/5th-spear-2/