Hello again !

Here’s a quick round-up, past and future, of one or two things !

Andy Locke at The Red Lion, Isleworh

Ed Hamilton

This coming Friday 24th September sees ‘A & E’ at The Barley Mow in Shepperton. No, the NHS haven’t set up in the pub. Even if they had such a policy, it wouldn’t be needed at the Barley Mow as it is such a cozy and friendly pub. Mind you, imagine if an A & E Department was located at your local pub … as soon as there’s any fisty-cuffs the medics would already be on-site to deal with the cuts and scrapes. Hmm, I suppose you’d need an on-site Cop Shop too !  Things might get a bit too crowded, especially if you were to follow it to its logical conclusion and put the Magistrates Court in the pub as well, to deal with the miscreants.

Anyway, I digress ( rather badly ) !   ‘A & E’ actually stands for Andy and Ed,  as Messrs. Locke and Hamilton joining forces on Friday night for the first of their duo gigs.  It’s their first amalgamation under the A & E  banner so do yourselves a favour and go and see them … You’ll be pleased you did !

Rewinding to last Friday, The Royal Oak in Hampton played host to ‘Red’, one of my favourite local cover bands. As per usual Bob and the boys were on top form. Very good and very enjoyable !

On Thursday night I will be making my comeback at Jam Night at The Middlesex Arms in South Ruislip, following my recent lay off over the past few weeks. The knee is healing slowly and the physio is becoming increasingly arduous so hopefully that means I’m getting stronger. There’s still a long way to go though before I’m back to being 100% fit.  I’ve been using the extra time this has created, made available due to all the sitting about I’ve had to do, by putting together some new backing tracks for when I hit the road again with my ‘Rob Live’ gigs.  I haven’t got any gigs planned just yet, but … watch this space !

However, I will be playing with ‘Riff Raff’ on Saturday 9th October. This gig will be a repeat appearance at the ‘Windsock Club’ in South Harrow. It’s open to all,  so hopefully we will see some of you there.

Well, it’s about time to wrap things up for now and go and do some more physio.

See you soon.     BFN,   Rob.

In the words of David Jacobs – “Hello there !”

Rob at a previous gig

Another couple of weeks or so have elapsed since my last up-date ! So what’s new ?

Well, I’m pleased to say I’ve had my knee operation and all seems to be going well. Having recovered from the initial effects, I’m now starting to get out and about a bit and my rehabilitation seems to be showing signs of moving on a little since starting physiotherapy last week.

Last Thursday I visited Jam Night as a ‘punter’, as I’m still a few weeks away from being fit enough to resume normal duties. I did make a cameo appearance though, playing guitar on a couple of numbers, backing ‘Elliot’.

Last Monday was one of those rare days in the calendar, that the people of this country are given, a paultry number of times every year – a Bank Holiday !  So it was that I found myself just across the water from a famous old musical haunt from years gone by : Eel Pie Island.   Situated on the Thames at Twickenham, Eel Pie Island opened in 1956 as a trad jazz club. By early 1960’s, it had become a rhythm and blues venue and boasted an impressive roll call of bands and solo artists such as Alexis Korner, The Animals, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, Long John Baldry, The Who, The Moody Blues, Rod Stewart, to name but a few. The club was closed down in the 1970’s and Eel Pie Island is now a private residential area. That’s the end of my very brief history lesson !

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks or so working on some new backing tracks, so that when I’m back in action again, I’ll have a few new numbers to play for you, my loyal followers, when you turn up to enjoy one of my ‘Rob Live’ solo gigs !  I’m not sure at this stage when that’s likely to be  – watch this space !

Well that’s about it for now.  Time for me to get back to the physiotherapy and backing tracks. Oh and the kettle’s just boiled too.  Such excitement ! !

BFN,  Rob.

Hello everybody !

Well, there’s been a lot going just lately. Here’s a quick summing up of what I’ve been involved with recently.

Riff Raff at 'MooseFest' 2010

The acoustic extravaganza that is MooseFest 2010 took place last Sunday. It featured music from Riff Raff, fresh from their RAFA fundraising gig at The Windsock Club in South Harrow on 31st July, playing their usual brand of rock and pop classics, and Joel and Friends, with a unique set of folk rock, much enjoyed by the appreciative audience. The annual ‘Robfest’ style event was re-named in honour of Rosie celebrating her 50th birthday. Happy Birthday Rosie ! We were again blessed with a fine afternoon and evening of good weather as in previous years. As usual there was a lot of preparation before and de-rigging and clearing up after the event. In this respect, many thanks to Joel, Scarlet, Peter and Robin for their efforts – and me and Rosie too !  There are photos and video footage now available to view – just click on Photos & Videos above !

You can also see some recently added photos and a video clip from a recent Jam Night at The Middlesex Arms on 15th July.  Many thanks to Dan for his contribution.

On the subject of Jam Night, this coming Thursday 19th August will be my last appearance for about three weeks as next week I will be having surgery on my offending knee joint and will then be resting up while the healing process gets under way followed by rehabilitation to get the muscles up and running again. Suffice it to say, I wont be around much in the coming weeks.  Many of you will know that I have been struggling with a painful and swollen knee for a while now. The deterioration of my condition has forced me to put football on hold and has seriously limited my cricket involvement this season. Hopefully, I’ll be back in action soon.

Ed Hamilton played at The Prince Of Wales in Oatlands on Sunday 1st August. Me and Rosie went along to see him on a quiet Sunday evening. It may have been quiet but it was enjoyable none the less.

So, that’s about it for this round-up of recent stuff.  See you when I’m back on my feet again.  BFN, Rob.

Riff Raff

Hello everyone.

I’m afraid I’ve been out of circulation over the past couple of weeks. This is due to my long term knee problems which have been more troublesome of late and then this week I’ve been struck down by an attack of Gout !  OK, you can laugh if you like but it’s not a lot of fun I can tell you. It’s very painful and debilitating, and reduced my mobility on a good day, to hobbling about !  As a result of  all this, cricket and 5-a-side footie has had to be curtailed and I was not fit enough to go to jam night last night either. At least the World Cup has been on during my days of inactivity.

Anyway, all things being equal, I should be pain free within the the next few days enabling me to continue with my usual activities. This will include rehearsing in the studio with the Riff Raff boys for one or two forthcoming gigs,  and a solo gig, later this month. See details in the right hand column and on the Gigs page.

OK, time to hobble off !   Hope to see to soon.   BFN.   Rob.

Hello everyone.

The Middlesex Arms

Having captured some footage at Jam Night at The Middlesex Arms last Thursday, the first I’ve done for quite some time, I have now completed all the editing and the finished article is now available for you to view.

You may have missed Jam Night last week, or you may have been there and want to relive some classic moments, or you may have been just too drunk to remember them. Don’t worry – Just click on  Photos & Videos and scroll down to the Videos section to see twenty minutes or so of last week’s hightlights !

This week I’m in the studio with the Riff Raff boys and then it’s Jam Night again on Thursday – Hope to see you there !

BFN, Rob.

I’ve recently splashed out on a couple of items for use in my recording studio set-up.
Here are my reviews of two pieces of kit !

SE2000 Studio Mic

SE2000 Condenser Studio Microphone

The SE2000 is a great studio mic giving great recorded sounds for the price. I’ve recorded vocals and acoustic guitar with great results. This easy to use mic gives you really professional recorded sounds on a budget.

Behringer HA400 Micro Amp

Behringer HA400 Headphone Micro Amp

The Behringer HA400 has four stereo outputs, allowing up to four sets of headphones to be used simultaneously. Each has its own volume control and produces crystal clear sound quality, and no noise !  A good price too for a simple, easy to use piece of studio kit.

BFN,  Rob.

Hello everyone.

Sorry if I’ve been neglecting you all recently, but I’ve been rather busy in the last few weeks. So much so that there’s not enough space here to recount everything that’s been going on. We’re probably talking novel proportions here !  So what follows is a brief edited version of some recent events you may find entertaining.

Where am I ? In 'The Village' !

So, what have I beeen up to lately ?

Well, if you log onto this website :  www.rosieandrobswedding.co.uk you will be able see photos and video clips from my recent wedding to Rosie ( only 20 years in the making ), plus Honeymoon highlights too, including our visit to Portmeirion ( yes, we managed to escape from ‘The Village’ ) and the Ffestiniog railway.

We also visited Llanfairpwllg … well, you know the rest don’t you ! ?

I missed a couple of weeks at Jam Night but re-appeared Thursday just gone. Good to get back to playing again ! Couldn’t help noticing my fingers were a little sore afterwards. This is what happens when you don’t play for three weeks !

So, I’ve started running through a few numbers to harden my fingers back up again and in preparation for my Gig on Friday 4th June at The Barley Mow, Shepperton. Hope some of you can get down there !

Anyway, I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to the World Cup. It’ll probably all end in tears though, just like it usually does.

BFN,       Rob.

Please note that the MOT gig due to take place on Saturday 1st May at The Middlesex Arms has been CANCELLED ! … Also, please ignore the listing showing an MOT gig on 27th April -This has been listed in error.  Apologies !    See you soon,   BFN,  Rob.    ps. I’m solo at The Barley Mow tonight. Hope to see you there !

Having recently bought a new Multi FX, I thought I’d share my views on this new piece of kit to all you guitarists out there who may be interested in such things. So here’s ‘Rob’s Review’ of the Boss ME-20 Multi FX.

My new Boss ME-20

My new Boss ME-20

Aimed primarily at the gigging guitarist, the Boss ME-20 has all the basic sounds you need : Overdrives / Distortions / Chorus / Flanger / Phaser / Reverb / Delay and more. It doesn’t have any amp modelling or the whackier effects you may want to use or experiment with in a studio environment, although tinkering with the four parameter knobs can still dial up some unusual sounds. These four knobs give very sensitive and wide ranging alterations to all the effects and the EQ in particular contributes to the ME-20s overall power output which is pretty punchy – mind your speakers !Because of the way the knobs work, I’d strongly recommend good old pen and paper to note down all the parameters. EZ Edit gives another variation in sound tweaking. The effects sounds themselves are what you’d expect from Boss – top notch !

What else ? Well there’s a Solo button that gives a handy boost to the OD/DS function – ideal for solos – obviously !  The Noise Suppressor is very effective and there’s an independent master volume too, while the foot pedal doubles as a volume or a wah. And there’s the convenience of an onboard tuner ! The memory mode allows easy storage of sound combinations onto 30 patches arranged in 10 banks of three and the patches can be easily tweaked in Edit/ Exit mode. Footswitches can be used to control the solo and bank up & down functions, but these are available as separate purchases as is the PSU. The ME-20 also runs on batteries and they last for a surprisingly long time.

My poor old Boss ME-10

My poor old Boss ME-10

In conclusion : Having recently lost my beloved Boss ME-10 due to old age, I was faced with trying to replace the holy grail of multi FX units with a present day equivalent with similar attributes, ie. an easy to use multi FX ideal for gigging with great staple sounds. Well, with the Boss ME-20, I think I’ve found it !

As I said earlier, the PSU is a separate purchase, and as running your gigging effect pedals on batteries isn’t an ideal situation, I of course bought a Boss PSU-230 to power my new ME-20 multi FX.
The Boss PSA-230 power adaptor is designed to power all the current range of Boss FX. Having bought one to power my latest aquisition, the Boss ME-20 multi FX, it definitely does what it says on the box. It has a very useful green indicator light on it too, so you can see when it’s on ! Call me old fashioned, but my only gripe with this, and indeed all modern PSUs, is that the mains cable looks rather flimsy. But I guess that’s how they make ’em these days !

Oh well, thats the end of my reviews for now. I hope the above is of some interest, especially if you happen to be looking for new multi FX unit. As you can probably tell, I’m very pleased with my new piece of gear and would recommend it to anyone. That’s praise indeed from someone whose old friend, the Boss ME-10, was a faithful friend for many years !

BFN,   Rob.

Hot off the press … gig photos discovered ! !  With the new series of Doctor Who under way on the good old BBC, I too have been going back in time, delving deep into the archives of my sizeable collection of photos and what should I stumble upon but a series of photos which, to date, have never seen the light of day  … until now !

'Masquerade' on Horsenden Hill

'Masquerade' on Horsenden Hill, 1999

So, when you eagerly click on Photos & Videos in order to experience these wonderfully rejuvenated stills from yesteryear, what will you find ? Well these never-published-before gig photos were taken on 4th July 1999 and feature ‘Masquerade’ playing the Ealing Countryside Day on Horsenden Hill, Greenford. The ( then ) annual event always had a tent featuring a live band and on a very warm Sunday afternoon, the passing crowds were treated to some ‘Masquerade’ classics.

The line up of this fairly short-lived band was : Me ( Guitar & Vocals ), Mark Chudley ( Guitar & Vocals ), Viv Broughton ( Bass ) and Carl Horner ( Drums ).

Hope you enjoy the photos.  I must go through the old snaps again soon.   BFN,  Rob.

ps. Dont forget ( coming bang up-to-date ) : I’ll be appearing at The Barley Mow, Shepperton on the next two Fridays.  Hope to see you there –  Cheers !