A.J. Walker

writerer

Two Returns

On Thursday I returned to the first place I played at an open mic: the Sanctuary. The pub closed around the time of the initial lockdowns and eating & distancing requirements. Since reopening last year it hadn’t restarted the open mics. A couple of weeks ago, when I was at the Sofar gig at Leaf, they put their first toe back in the water with it. So I decided to go last week as a return to the place it all began for me with this fun hobby.

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Unlike the earlier OMs this one was held on the ground floor. The old one used to be upstairs usually (occasionally downstairs if there was an event on), but now upstairs there is a restaurant – Momo's for Nepalese scran. There were only four of us who played so I ended up going up a couple of times, playing my usual stuff of course – about eight songs. Not sure how often I’ll be playing there again, but it was good at least to revisit the place it all started.

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Then on Monday the OM at the Dispensary restarted after a bit of break since before the new year. I was running late and did well to get there for 8pm. The brilliant Ben Whitely was playing as I walked in and I was surprised to find that a couple of people – both newbies – had already played.

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Laurence came up next before I went up. Played four of my usuals. Despite a bit of a sore throat my voice did surprisingly well – for me. Next up was a Polish guy (sorry I didn’t catch his name) who was stunningly good (just playing instrumentals with exquisite and ridiculously fast techniques). Muzz was up last, who was also glad to be back again. The Rat Brewery 'Cheating Rat' was lovely and it was nice to have a change from the ubiquitous White Rat or Citra. They are both great beers of course, but a change is as good as a rest.

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All in all Monday proved to be a very good night. And I’m glad I made the effort and the buses worked for me (mine had been ridiculously late, which meant I could catch it. Others on the bus had been waiting for 30-40 minutes apparently – oh dear).

Onwards & upwards.
Comments

A Three Gig Week

A rare week indeed. Three nights of live music. Three. What could be finer? Links to all the acts are at the bottom of the page (or click on the highlighted name to go to their Spotify pages). First up was Christie Bratherton, who I'd previously seen at the Sofar gig in October 2021 where she played alongside the Heavy North. She'd put on Instagram that she was playing at the White Lion from 3-5pm on Sunday 22nd Jan and I spotted the post. I got down there around 3 spotted the guitar and gear propped up by the back door. Christie walked past me and I spoke to her to find out what time she was on. Turned out she had been mis-sold her gig as she was covering for someone who couldn't make it and she'd been told the time wrong. Turned out it was 5-7pm. I downed my pint and took the opportunity to go down the road to the West Kirby Tap and then the train for one stop to Hoylake for the Black Toad first before getting back up to the White Lion. Christie was fab, singing on her own at the front of the bar. I got off a little before she finished to catch a train. It had proved to be a lovely afternoon and evening.

Christie
Christie playing at the White Lion

Then on Thursday it was time for the Sofar Sounds gig. For those of you who don't know about it, the gig is £10 a ticket - and the deal is you don't know where the venue is (other than the city centre) until 36 hours before kick-off or who is playing until the actual evening itself. I was made up to find out it was upstairs at Leaf - the last time I was supposed to be there was for the Felice Brothers last year, but unfortunately that coincided with my Covid week.

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Sofar stage ready at Liverpool Leaf

I went to sit right at the front (where most of the empty seats were anyway). First up was Mike Ryan, who informed us he was playing hooky from school before playing a really nice set. He was a thoroughly nice chap too.

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First up Mike Ryan who was skiving of school (and well worth it too)

After the ten minute break for a a beer top-up the next up came up to play after a kind introduction from the host. Marvin Powell proved to be a shy chap who was excellent.

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Second up, Marvin Powell. Lovely stuff.

Finally the one group to play was a four piece Ask Elliot. They were bloody excellent. All three acts were indeed excellent and well worth looking up on Spotify or wherever you find your music. And, like Christie on Sunday, I'll definitely keep an eye out for a chance to see them again.

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And last but not least, Ask Elliot. Not sure what to ask him, but do.

Then came the highlight for me. Yes, Frank Turner (again) . The gig was down in Wolverhampton in KK's Steel Mill. This gave me an excuse to get down for a few beers in Wolverhampton and Birmingham too. It really was a win-win. Unfortunately I missed the support act (the Lottery Winners) as I'd gone for a curry around the corner, which was a bit of a wait due to it being slightly slow arriving (cos the curry house was so popular). At the venue I got myself a KK's Dark ale which was nice to have in a large venue where you are usually faced with a Carling or a cider of one description or another.

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Frank Turner doing what he does so fucking brilliantly with the Sleeping Souls, at KK's Steel Mill, Wolverhampton

Frank and the Sleeping Souls came on before 9 and played until 10;50 or so - he just cracked on with one brilliant track after another. He's got such an extensive catalogue of songs he could play a different two hour set each night these days. You can't be disappointed if he doesn't play one of your favourites cos he'll play another three of them instead. For me he the best act out there at the moment and he has certainly become my most seen act taking over from Ryan Adams who I'd seen a lot in years gone by. I dare say I'll see him again and probably again in the years ahead. I don't know how he does it day after day. This gig was No.2725 for him and he doesn't half go for it. How does his energy last, let alone his throat?

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Frank's playing and I'm a happy chappy (with KK's Dark ale).

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Hell yeah. Frank.

See you later, Frank. Thanks.

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Links:


Christie - Spotify - Instagram -
Mike Ryan
- Spotify - Instagram -
Marvin Powell
- Spotify - Instagram -
Ask Elliot
- Spotify - Instagram -
Frank Turner
- Spotify - Instagram -
Comments

The Return of Microcosms

Microcosms1

A nice surprise to me last week was the return of the Microcosms flash writing challenge. I didn't notice until Friday though it had been up for six days. So it's only been a week but there have already been two challenges. I've written for both of them. If you haven't seen it before - or need a reminder - it involves three elements which are required for the story. In the first week the elements were: 'Serial Killer - Castle - Sci-Fi'. And this week it was 'C.E.O - Protest - Horror.' You can see that'd be a challenge; especially with only a maximum of 300 words to use in the stories.

One handy option in the way this challenge works is that you can spin the elements to chose select other ones in the event that the chosen ones don't float your boat. I'll generally try and use the ones provided first up; a challenge is a challenge after all,

Anyways get yourself down there and write a story - or two. At the very least it's fun, if sometimes a stretch. Welcome back,
Microcosms and thanks to those involved in its resurrection.
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The Reading Year '22

Not been a bad reading year. In Goodreads last year I set a rather low target of twenty books for the year and got past that to finish 31 books in the end. As usual plenty of SF&F and some classics, with s sprinkling of non-fiction too. Have enjoyed some old favourites like Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and some more modern ones including TWM Ashford and Gareth Powell.

Have loved the Rosewater books by Tade Thompson and Andrew Caldecott's 'Rotherweird'. Wonder what I'll end up discovering or rediscovering in 2023. I definitely aim to finish reading the trilogies of His Dark Materials and Gormenghast, and re-read a book or two as well, including 'Perdido Street Station'.


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Thinking that for the year ahead I'll set the target as 31 then – and try and beat that. Maybe I should set myself a simple habit of reading at least 10% of a book per day as that would get me to 36, wouldn't it? And 10% of a book per day is an eminently achievable goal. Whatever you are reading enjoy it. It's always an adventure wherever you end up traveling to.
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Last Open Mics of the Year

The Dizzy and Metrocola - The Two Last Open Mics of the Year


I expect that Monday and Tuesday last week were the final two open mics of the year for me. On Monday it was the Dispensary, which is currently my go to OM. There were only five people who played this time – and the host, Dave was suffering with a sore throat so didn't play this week. As there were only a few of us we all ended up playing a bit longer than usual. In fact at eight songs this week it was a full on gig for me.

It was a good night with the other players including regulars Laurence, Ben, Liam, and Calvin. It was good to see the grin from Muzz who cam in later on having just been awarded her purple belt. Well done, Muzz.

Zev Dizz
Me and me Takamine in the Dispensary

Laur Dizz
Laurence

Liam Dizz
Liam

C Duke
Calvin

Ben W
Ben

On Monday I talked to a couple of the lads about the open mic at Metrocola the next day. I'd gone to the first one, hosted by Ali Horn, and there was a massive 16 of us who played. But I was told it wasn't as well attended since then. Ali wasn't available this week and it was to be hosted by Bert.

And so it was to show support I went to Metrocola. Flippin' heck. I'd been misled. There were plenty of performers there; including Laurence, Ben and Calvin. There was also a party of youngsters downing cocktails and either dressed for a proper night out, or wearing Xmas jumpers. In short: not the usual open mic audience for me.

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Calvin playing in the Metrocola

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Laurence playing in Metrocola

Laurence played shortly after I arrived and was going through plenty of sing-along tracks and the cocktail party crew were lapping it up, singing and dancing. Boy, that got me thinking. Largely I was thinking, "What am I doing here? And what should I be play if I do go up?" I was also thinking that I wish I hadn't bought my guitar with me, as then I could have said I'd just come to watch. It's difficult to say you're not there to play when you are lugging a guitar around.

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Me playing at the Metrocola

As Laurence neared the end of his boxset Bert asked me and Calvin who was going up next. And after some prevarication I lost, I think, and ended up playing. I did three songs in the end. I started with the "One I Love" by REM as it's one of the few ones I play that people may know and/or sing along with. Then I played two more "You Couldn't Get Arrested" and "Oh My Sweet Carolina." Then I got off and left it to Calvin. I'd survived. Though I'm sure it would have been better for the audience if I'd played some Oasis, Maroon 5, and Stereophonics. Maybe I better learn to play a few more famous songs. Next year I'll be playing Wonderwall then. Perhaps not.

I'd finished my drink (free for playing) and headed up to the bar for another pint and chatted to Laurence. Ended up waiting forever as the couple behind the bar struggled to keep up with the tsunami of cocktail orders. I couldn't see an end to the wait and suggested going over the road to the Roscoe Head. Laurence concurred and soon I had a pint of Thornbridge '
Galaxia' in my paws. It was worth the wait. Ended up with a couple of pints there chatting all sorts with Laurence and, in the end, Carol (the famous landlady) too. I was pleased to have introduced Laurence to the Roscoe. It's one of only five pubs in the UK to have made it into every single CAMRA Good Beer Guide dontcha know!?

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So two open mics; two very different ones. And eleven songs. A good couple of evenings. I expect it won't be until 2023 that I play one mic again (and the next Dispensary one isn't due until the end of January). Maybe by then I'll be playing a song or two of my own. To that end I've just read my second Jeff Tweedy book, "
How to Write One Song." An inspiring read. That is my aim for early next year. Let's see.
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Sofar So Good

On Wednesday in the frozen north west it was time for the last Sofar Sounds of the year. Rail strikes and the weather had put paid to the original plans of the Sofar crew but despite this it proved a busy night and with three great acts (if not those originally planned at a venue not originally planned either).

The email announcing the venue had come 36 hours earlier telling us it was at The Slaughterhouse, where we had seen The Sway/Blue Velvet/Amber Wilding Stone back in June. This time the venue was downstairs, as they were showing the World Cup Semi Final upstairs. The venue downstairs is better in any case. I dare say if England had beaten France on Saturday then there may have been a few more empty seats at the gig. I'd finished work a little late so struggled to get to the venue on time (i.e. I didn't), but I didn't miss any of the acts in any case.

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Francesca Louise

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Brandon Tew

First up was Francesca Louise on acoustic guitar, followed by Brandon Tew on keyboards, and finally Naila a three piece act including acoustic guitars and five string bass. The latter band were so tight and such consummate musicians. All three acts were great to see and I'd encourage you to have a wee listen to them to see what you think. I'll defo be keeping my out for them on the circuit. Good luck to them all.

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Naila

Naila1
Naila

Thanks to Sofar Sounds for organising the event and dealing with the whims of the Transportation and Weather Gods. And great to see so many people get down there for it. It was freezing out there and it'd have been easy (and totally understandable) to hide under the duvet at home.

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LINKS:

Francesca Louise: Linktree francescalouise Insta @francesca.louise.music Spotify Francesca Louise

Brandon Tew:
Linktree brandontew Insta @brandontewmusic Spotify Brandon Tew

Naila:
Linktree Nailamusic Insta @nailamusic_ Spotify Naila

Sofar Sounds:
web: sofarsounds.com Twitter @SofarLiverpool Insta: sofarsoundsliverpool
Comments

A Staccato Song

A Staccato Song - 25 Years Between Playing

This week I attended two open mics. The one I most commonly go to currently: the Monday night at the Dispensary hosted by Dave O'Grady (I struggle to maintain a day without an O'Grady or two), and the inaugural open mic at Metrocola (formerly Hannah's Bar on Leech Street) hosted by Ali Horn. I had intended on going to the fortnightly open mic at the Angus on the Tuesday, hosted by John Witherspoon, but it was called off quite late in the day - I don't know when it will return. So Metrocola it was.

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Me and Kevin popping up alongside the Hooleys (downstairs in the Slaughterhouse). You can date it by long hair (for me) as 1995.

On Monday night it started a little slowly, as it often does, but in the end eight or nine people ended up playing. Largely regulars, but there were a couple of newbies to the group too. Most played three songs but it ended with the inimitable Liz Owen playing a full gig for us; which was excellent as always. She certainly enjoyed playing Danny Bradley's guitar and sounded brilliant. Danny was his usual compelling self earlier in the evening. Beautiful. First up on the stool (currently sans mic
à la the Belvedere) to play some of his great self penned songs was Ben Whitley (I thoroughly recommend looking him up on Spotify) with his guitar and harmonica.

He asked me after he played if I was playing '
Oh My Sweet Carolina' (Ryan Adams). And if so could he play harmonica with it? I'd penciled in a three or four song set and had it as a possible if I decided against doing one of them (or my mood on the evening took me). How could I not say yes though? Then again it made be a bit nervous. I'd never played along with anyone since the 1990s. And this time it would be without practice. It went well – I think.

One Tuesday I went to Metrocola to support the inaugural night. It is always a toss up when it is the first night – loads because the host has keenly cajoled all their mates and acquaintances to support them, or not many because not enough had heard about it. And on Tuesday this was compounded by awful weather. In the end though it was a grand success. It was slated to start at 7-10 but went beyond ten due to their being so many performers there. Again everyone stuck to three songs and there were… 14 acts. You could see Ali was made up and the staff at Metrocola looked like they enjoyed it too.

There were many familiar faces amongst the Liverpool open mic community and plenty of new ones for me too. Most of the other singers knew each other from various venues, but I've never made it to the Jacaranda or the Cavern Monday Night Club and I guess the ones I hadn't seen before were 'graduates' from these nights. Again Ben was there and played early on; and again he asked if he could play harmonica: this time if I was doing '
Whiskey in my Whiskey' (Felice Brothers). And so we did. This time we had to negotiate playing with a microphone though. Once more I think it went okay. But I suppose the guys & gals sitting there would be better judges than me.

Not long after I played I bumped into Aidan from the Sway, which was good. He always seems just so into music. He told me about his week ahead, with gigs in Liverpool and Leeds – including a great day for the band supporting Jamie Webster at the Echo Arena on Saturday.

All in all it was a great night. And if it continues with anything like this support then it will prove to be a great addition to the local scene. Fingers crossed for both Metrocola and Ali (not that I expect they will need much luck).

I very much enjoyed playing with Ben on his harp. Hope to do so again at some point. Whilst it made me smile it also made me think a bit about my on-off-on relationship with the guitar. Here's a potted history.

The No Guitar Years
Born, Played in the street, Went to School and University
– didn't play any musical instruments

The Guitar(ish) Years
Post university

– got a cheap electric guitar (Strat copy) and played at home a bit
– no lessons

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Smithdown playing at Kitty O'Sheas on Fleet Street (now Motel). Mark (guitar), Helen (fiddle), me (cheap strat copy), Kevin (banjo).

The Smithdown Years
1990-1993
– Early work years in Liverpool
– a few of us at a work's post-Christmas party played two or three songs during a band's break after practicing at Kev's house for a few fun weekends
– three of us from the work band said we'd carry on playing a bit (Mark, Kevin and your's truly)
– drafted in my cousin (a classically trained violinist) to play fiddle (Helen)
– played our first 'gig' at an interesting house birthday/coming out party, above Kelly's Wines on Smithdown Road
– had a debate about a band name in the Royal Hotel on Smithdown. Everyone's second or third choice won the day: Smithdown (proportional representation doesn't work people).
– in the early events (I'm not sure about calling them gigs) Kev generally played banjo, me and Mark guitar, me 'singing' and Helen played fiddle and sang.
– Kevin was THE musician in the band, he was a great drummer. He also played guitar, was learning the banjo, could play keyboards. He could play anything. I'm not jealous of the bastard at all. Yeah, okay I am. In the end he made the move on to drums to try and hold me and Mark into something like a rhythm. That was always gonna be a battle. Helen was a brilliant violinist. Mark was very energetic and damn enthusiastic. And I just enjoyed the craic.
– Played some midweek nights at: Kitty O'Sheas (now Motel), Slaughterhouse and a few others.
– organised our own bigger events at the Royal British Legion in Wavertree and the Irish Centre (sadly it is no more and is decaying away unused. I don't think our event can be wholly to blame though). In the latter we had the Hooleys playing and we supported them with a few songs.

The Days The Music Died
1993-1995

– the band died when Kevin moved to Reading and Mark to Scotland.
– I never played with anyone again. As far as I was concerned we were just three co-workers and my cousin having a good time. I couldn't see anyone else wanting to play with me. I wasn't good enough.
– the Hooleys once asked me to play with them and become their bass player. I didn't play bass, but they said I fitted in with them (enjoying myself and forgetting lyrics I guess) and anyway bass has only two thirds of the strings of the guitar and I'd – probably – pick it up.I thought about it and declined. They went on to play a hotel residency in the Middle East later that year I think.
– I'm not sure how many times Smithdown played, but it was probably around the low teens. I remember it all fondly.

Mexico 1996
– the last time I played along with anyone was a spooky reunion we had when I was working in Mexico. Mark and I were there for five and half months (in a supposed 'five week') project. Kevin came over for about a week. The hotel had a different resident band each month we were there. One night at an about 12:30 or 1am during the band's break the three of us got up and played a few songs with the bands instruments (we asked first!).

The Guitars In The Wilderness Years
1996-2018
– Guitars sat unused in the corners of various rooms
– Started strumming a bit at home in more recent years. Always the same old songs.
– Gave myself a target of 'one day playing in front of someone again.'

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Sanctuary (in a rare downstairs appearance)

Seeking Sanctuary Years
2018-2020

– Sat in the Sanctuary on Lime Street drinking a pint and reading a book. Someone walked passed with a guitar and went upstairs. I asked the barman if there was an open mic on, and there was. Perhaps this would be my day of 'playing in front of someone again.' And it was.
– I'd been nervous as fuck and played far too fast as if I wanted to get it over with and get out of there. I did to be fair. I didn't know a single person there. Afterwards I was made up that I had done in. Two weeks later I was back doing it again.
– Went to the open mic regularly as long as it was on up until the Sanctuary closed in June 2020. The hosts were a fun twosome comprising John and Bobo.
– continued doing some open mics during the pandemic on Zoom. They were always good craic (usually ably supported by a 5-litre keg of Abyss or Mosaic from Neptune).

KeystoneX
Keystone

The Keystone Years – And Beyond
2021-2022

– Hadn't been to any open mics other than the Sanctuary and nervous about playing in front of anyone 'new' again. Hey, I'm a nervous chap. But I was lucky to get in early doors at the Keystone open mic, hosted by John Witherspoon. Ever since getting on okay with that I have been happy to give it a go elsewhere, which has been great; especially as the Keystone is no more.

So far I've played multiple open mics at:

  • The Sanctuary
  • Keystone
  • Angus
  • Head of Steam
  • Belvedere
  • Dispensary, and now
  • Metrocola (the one time it's been on so far)

I've now played more open mics on my tod than I ever played with 'Smithdown' and I'd never have thought that would happen back in 2018.

AngusX1
Angus

BelveX
Belvedere

DizzyX
Dispensary

DizzyX1
Dispensary

Really I had two or three years playing with some mates at the start of the 1990s and then have just got back into playing around 25 years later after going up once at the Sanctuary open mic in 2018 – and since then pushing myself to do it more. After saying to myself I wanted to play in front of someone again once then I've not really looked back much. The next aim though is to write some of my own songs. I'm a bit gutted that I didn't carry on playing from the 1990s. I mean I could have had 25 years of damn practice. Ho hum. But we are where are – or, I am where I am.


The Songs (currently)
I currently end up playing songs from a pretty small song book. I'm usually covering one or two of these:

'Oh My Sweet Carolina' - Ryan Adams
'
Whiskey in my Whiskey' - Felice Brothers
'
Couldn't Get Arrested' - Green on Red
'
Shed A Tear (For the Lonesome)' - Green on Red
'
Splendid Isolation' - Warren Zevon
'
Please Stay' - Warren Zevon
'
Van Diemen's Land' - U2 (trad.)
'
One I Love' - REM
'
Heart Breaks Like the Dawn' - Chuck Prophet
'
110 in the Shade' - Chuck Prophet
'
Somewhere Down the Road' - Chuck Prophet
'
Mostly Water' - Bap Kennedy
'
Down By The Water' - Decemberists

As you can see it's got a very much Green on Red/Chuck Prophet thing going on (and very much Americana). I definitely need to add some more songs to that list (there's 13 there, so I guess getting it up to 20 would be a good initial aim). But I also need to get on and write some of my own songs. The vast majority of songs sung by all the open mic glitterati are self penned, and it would be nice to do at least a couple of my own one day. And, who knows, then get to the Monday Night Club or Jacaranda… We shall see.


The Guitars
I have two semi acoustic guitars (a Takamine 363 and a Tanglewood TW145SS) and a beautiful dark green Fender Squier Telecaster. I currently only pick up the acoustics for a strum. Plugging them in (or the Telecaster) is a rare event. Maybe once I'm writing some songs and messing about with GarageBand some.

Onwards and Upwards (
probably in C Major).

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Spotify Links to the Liverpool Open Mic-ers

Links to some of the great & lovely of the open mic peeps. There's some brilliant local talent around at the moment (not least of course Dave O'Grady & Muzz (Seafoam Green), John Witherspoon, and Ali Horn (all on Spotify - and maybe playing at a venue near you (or not). Check them out:

John Witherspoon
Seafoam Green
Ali Horn
Ben Whitley
Liam Sweeney
Liz Owen
Danny Bradley
Comments

A Word

I didn't get to read a poem for #ReadMeSpeakMe this weekend, but that was because it was a poem of mine which was chosen for the weekly read (Week #184). So I'll be reading it later in the week after others have put their twists on it. I'll have to have a wee think about how I will do that. There may, or may not, be tankards involved. And hopefully no crying and hopefully not too sulky a face.

If you want to give it a go then please do. Just follow the standard instructions of #ReadMeSpeakMe (see below) and post it up in your preferred app (many use Soundcloud or YouTube, or some even put it straight into a tweet). I've been enjoying people's takes on it so far. And some lovely voices; both familiar and new to me this week too.

A Word

RMSM How To

Thanks to @megwaf for hosting (and picking & presenting the poems). Doing a weekly event like this in your own time is sometimes a bit a thankless task (I know from doing the weekly 'Seedling Challenge' a few years ago - even when it's not that much time it IS time and the clock is always ticking and tapping you on your shoulder). Everyone who gets involved with RMSM loves the little escape it gives us for a while each week. So, thank you.

If you're on Twitter why not follow:

@ReadMeSpeakMe and
@megwaf

And give a go. We'd all love to hear you. Maybe next week, when it's someone else's words though - bloody unrequited.
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Twitter Engineering

I've loved Twitter for the many years I've been on it. I joined as Zevonesque in February 2009 and then created RealeLiverpool in December 2013. Incredibly both accounts have somehow accrued over three thousand followers each. Like I say, incredible.

It was through Twitter that I found the various writing challenges that have sprouted up over the years and through these that been involved in things like the Flash Dogs. People who don't use Twitter only hear about it in terms of the poorly curated news (and in the case of our local paper that means using it for all their news rather than having journalists (sadly)). But hearing about stars or politicians who've sent out a Tweet about something in the news is not really what it is about. It is so much more than a news app – or news creator.

And now we are in this strained situation thanks to the strange and rich ego of Musk. I absolutely love the Space-X stuff. Don't care much either way about Tesla. But what is he doing with Twitter as a play thing? Can't he stick to real engineering challenges rather than social engineering?

The $8/month that Musk has expressed as a cost to keep the blue ticks is not relevant to me at the moment. But it is unclear what it will mean in the longer term in relation to what effect it will have in the algorithms: and therefore what will show in my timeline. I want to really just want to see the people I follow (and by extension what they think is worth seeing) rather than adverts and 'news' that Musk and Twitter make me see.

I'm hoping this turbulent few weeks on Twitter proves to be nothing more than a horrible aberration. I can but hope.

Masto11 Masto1

Not sure, of course, yet about the open source app
Mastodon, but have created an account in case it becomes the new place to be. If it becomes so much bigger (and it looks like it will) then it may well become a boss place to hang out. We shall see. If you are over there too you can find me on:

@Zevonesque@mastodonapp.uk

To top off my I.T. day I've also installed 'Ventura' on to the laptop. Go me!

Ventura1
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Live Music

Been a very good month for live music for me. Lucky enough to see Heavy North at the Arts Club (the former Masque) and then there was Frank Turner at the Carling Academy, swiftly followed by Thea Gilmore at the Music Room at the Philharmonic Hall. All great artists - and hopefully I'll see then all again. In fact I have already booked to see Frank again in January. Was looking up hotels and trains to go up to Lancaster to see him, but unfortunately the tickets for that gig went in a day. Ended up deciding to get tickets for the Wolverhampton gig. Both gigs are on Saturdays and made them attractive for that reason as much as the venue. York and Leicester would have been good but didn't fall on weekends, so Wolverhampton it was. Will be a good way to start of my gig year. Can never not love his gigs.

Do

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Heavy North at the Arts Club, Liverpool

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Frank Turner at the Liverpool Carling Academy

On top of that I went to the Sofar Sounds gig on 15 September which was at the Carnival Brewery. That featured Conleth McGeary, George Fell, and Wild Love.And I've caught the Loose Moose String Band and John Witherspoon playing at pubs including the Caledonia, Dispensary, and the Angus. Like I say a good month. Rock on.

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Conleth McGeary at the Sofar gig at Carnival Brewery

I've also played at four or so open mics in that month at the Dispensary with the host of either Dave or Muzzy from Seafoam Green. All the nights have been most enjoyable. Keen to play more new stuff and hopefully write some songs of my own. We shall see.
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Open Mic at the Dispensary, Liverpool
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