Sunday, 13 December 2009

A Sort Of Homecoming

Hello there!

It's been an awful long time since I last wrote here, I have very little time left on my hand for such formalities such as blogging, but this last week, I've wanted to sit and write what's been going on these past few months, and theres alot to tell, if your in for a classic "Tank Blog" read, this is where it'll be!
So Where do we start? Cast yourself back to august, where I posted I'd be doing a series of holiday blogs while I was away down in Great Yarmouth, which, never really happened, partially because, I wasn't feeling myself that holiday, and I was having an awfully good time, though alot of things I'd rather forget kept running through my mind, and I spent alot of time, secluded, sort of feeling sorry for myself, and I regret it now, I lost touch with what a holiday was, and I sat around being the antisocial displacement I always end up as, skip forward to the 1st of September, my birthday, which I can hardly remember now, nor can I remember what I had as gifts, alas I do remember some fantastic guitar related birthday cards, which made me smile and that's where main events stop right there, until October, when my good friend Scott Groves introduces me to a group of his friends from work, and from there my social life has grown with some of the best people I've drank & quizzed with ever, with running in jokes and dry humor and just a general fantastic atmoshere and It was refreshing meeting all these new people and getting to know them to the point where they are good friends now.
which brings us into November, where myself, CJ Hunt from Crashpoint, a friend of my co-worker Dan Roberts, Chris Crompton, & Rich Shephard Had a jam which went very well, and nothing came from it but an idea of what we'd all like to achieve, in the same month, my friend Scott gave me his spare Xbox 360, due to the fact he missed me and our antics on GTAIV, so now I'm Back on Xbox Live, which is quite nice, not only are my new friends drinking buddies, but gamers too, along with Scott & Dan and the usual cronies, it's nice to have something else to do in my spare time.
Staying with the gaming subject here, I've modded my PSP for some awesome features, like Megadrive/NES/SNES/PS1 Games, which is pretty nifty whilst on the move, and whilst on holiday, I found somewhat of a Gem, a Mint Condition PlayStation 2 with get this 15 Awesome games for a whopping £10, thats not a typo TEN POUNDS, It was a damn good find on a car boot behind a pub, Picked up a nice Dobro Resonator on holiday too, £80, not bad.
Works been average, switching around with the staff, but nothing for me to moan about, I've given up on trying to put in my say in petty superiority arguements, just in it to work and do my best to enjoy it.
Health well, I won't go there, Let's just say I'm still alive.
Again, I'll say I've gone full force into my music again, not so much my solo stuff, but noting down riff's and chord progressions for the old catalogue, they'll come in handy soon enough

So, Readers, Friends, Family, We're nearing the end of what's been a, lets face it, crap 2009, It's December, and this year, time has just slipped away, so many friends I've parted ways with, most of the time for the best, tens of people month after month have disappeared from my life, although there's a hidden sense of longing, there's a reason they aren't around, they're in the past, because they couldn't make it to the future, and there's always a reason for these people departing, kind of sad in a way...
Alas Readers! it is not all doom and gloom! I've taken the inevitable jump and joined the ranks once again of Crashpoint, again as Rhythm Guitarist, I Rejoin them full time after over a year on the 22nd Of December, I can't wait, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them, working with them was a pleasure back then, hence why I'm looking forward to rejoining, big things on the horizon too apparently, but they're keeping things hush at the moment!
Things are picking up nearing the end of what has been my lowest point, but, I'd like to thank EVERYONE this year who has been around when I needed them most, Scott, Dan, Pete, Chris, Toni, Rob, Aimee, Jay, Richard, CJ, Lee, Andy and many many more, not forgetting My Family, Whom I love to bits... Everyone has been fantastic this year, especially when I was low after aprils events and such, New friends, new music, new guitars, new hobbies, this year has bought some good, I'll never regret meeting such awesome people and getting to know them over time, nor having some of the experiences I've had, it's certainly made me a different person, though I don't know wether its for the better...

In case I don't blog again, All the best for this Christmas!

Signing Out, Luke Clarke

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Luke's Holiday Blog Pt.1

Right then, as promised, Here is part one to the Holiday Blog, I'm sitting in The Dolphin in Hemsby, A brilliant little pub, just down the road from the chalet, which for now will be the base of blog operations

All in all, it's been far too long since I've been to Gt. Yarmouth, and today when I got out of the car, I realized, this is the true holiday location for me, since I was younger, I've got two weeks down herew, the main relief being I don't have to work, or get up early or anything for that matter, I've got sufficient spending money.

Walking around the town centre brough back so many memories, both bad and good, I've tried to focus on the good, but while I was sitting on the beach earlier, I couldnt help but feel an impending sense of longing, we can't escape history I suppose...

Anywhoo! onwards and upwards, I'll do some more blogging this week, pictures and videos and all that stuff, this is just a little introduction, catch you all soon!


Saturday, 4 July 2009

I've Been Good, ' Cause I Know You Don't Want Me To

Hi Everyone

Sorry I've Not Blogged on this one for a while, Busy with Schizobombadiermania and all that, Well, you;re old pal Luke here again, nice to be back on my own blog for a while, not much has changed since I last wrote, I'm bandless, lost touch with alot of people, met a few new people, gone through some reshuffling of sorts, and well, I've not felt this clear in years, which, Ok I know I've said many times before, But before I start, I'd like to wish Billy Mays a safe passing to the afterlife, May he sell Mighty Putty, Oxi-Clean and Orange Glo to the folks up there watching Micheal Jacksons "This WAS It" concert. It's been a sad couple of weeks, each of us with our own heartfelt Issues with some of these amazing people who have passed in 2009 David Carradine, Micheal Jackson, Billy Mays, may you all Rest in Peace.

Now! You'll all be pleased to know Aftermath, my album is 95% ready for production, just re recording the final track, all album artwork is done, and a few lucky people are getting a copy of the album! I can't wait to hear what feedback I'll get from it, It's a melancholy instrumental journey, no focus on any specific instrument, so i wont call it Guitar instrumentals, but I love the outcome of what I have created.

Just recently I've rediscovered my passion for guitar playing, I've been practising 2 hours a day every day, and I've not felt this kind of passion for a long time, even before Crashpoint, the sound of my Amp, my new found love for Garage rock & Slide guitar, God almighty, I love it!

i've taken a liking to a new kind of Pick too, as you all know I rave about Herdim picks which my good freind Jade Barrow/Alex Borowska introduced me to last year, however i trie a couple of new ones today, Dunlop Jazz III's and Dunlop XH Neon Yellow, I also invested in the highest quality Moonshine Glass Slide, sounds so soft and gritty its brilliant, Although pricy, If you play slide and you want the authentic sound, £20 is somewhat a bargain for smooth hand blown thickened toughened glass...

Also, Due to the suprise UK heatwave i've consumed 32 cans of Coca Cola, for a hint at a part of how many i have drank, heres a reference picture, and invested in a desk fan, guaranteed to barrage you with warm air, keeping watered in this weather cam really cost you!

Anyhoo, I normally finish these things with an inspirational quote or something, however i'll leave you with something, my younger sister, Introduced me to her friend Holly and her friend who is actually a Distant cousin of mine, and these people were fascinated with the way I handled both Guitar & Bass, and they were asking how I did certain things, and it just made me think, the young musicians starting out now, are looking for guidance and inspiration and I can't help but feel I've inspired these guys to follow on to bigger and better things, these people aren't willing to talk to the golden oldies you see rotting on stools in corners of family run Guitar stores who dispense advice like "Yeah", they look at people like myself, real people, who can relate to people's experiences, and these younger kids, if they like what they hear, come back for more advice, more tips and more guidance, and I can't help but feel as if I'm helping the next generation of musicians!

how great is that! :D

Right I'm off, thanks for reading!

Take Care

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Greet The Sacred Cow

Evening All

Welcome to another edition of my ever expanding Blog, me and a few friends have some visions for this blog and personally, I think I could make this blog a team effort, blogging about anything and everything, after these years, we can stake a step forward into getting more readers, it's no longer The Tank Blog, but we need your help coming up with a good general title for the Blog, were a bit stumped at the moment...

Anyway, its a muggy June evening, it's been a beautiful day, a few hours at work, a pint at the pub with Scott, a few hours Nuking the people of Venezuela, and now more than ever I'm not feeling myself, after gigging with the wonderful folks over in camp Crashpoint, courtesy of Zaneus Productions and Birminghams MonoBar, i've felt an energy i've not felt with a band, well, since I last played with Crashpoint, which as harsh as it sounds, is the Gods honest truth and if i'm honest, we sounded pretty bad I reckon if we'dve gone up again later on to play, we'dve sounded miles better, so is the way I suppose, I'd just like to thank everyone in Crashpoint for making me feel at home, It was an honor playing with you again, who knows where our paths lead us!

These blogs aren't written in about Five minutes, I had a reader contact me, asking for advice on how to to sit down and blog, and the answer is you just can't, each of these things take up almost an hour, it's about getting the right words across, thinking about where to take the blog subject next, I can be sitting here for a long time, just listening to music and something will come to me, my only advice is, sit down, put your mind at ease, grab a cuppa and throw on a decent album, and you'll think of something to Blog, this blog started out as a two paragraph job two years ago, just find something you enjoy Writing/Talking about and start from there, suggested albums, music, books, films, anything, you will always have an audience, good luck!

Over the last month or so, i've done more than I have in the last couple of years, expanded my horizons, looked in different places and found some of the most amazing people to talk to, in pubs, clubs, bars, shops, you name it!
It's been nice to speak to some new people, like last week at the Mono Bar, speaking to a few people there, who all thought I looked nearly 30, it was just nice not to be judged for what I look like, or the way in which I speak, or look kind of stoned, we were all musicians, we all had probems, but we all got on really well and as I said earlier, great atmosphere to be part of.

As i've mentioned before, music is one form of communication that everyone can have a passion for, weather you end up walking in the rain to the sound of Simon & Garfunkel or whether you wake up in the morning to the sound of Johnny Cash, its a language that we can all agree on!

Only a short blog tonight, but i'd like to end on somewhat of a low message, were all under alot of stress, with work, finances, school, exams, whatevers going on, I may not be able to help you all directly, but as a word of advice, if you have a friend thats in need, talk to them, help them with their problems, if you yourself are feeling low, make sure there is someone around who you can talk to, things happen for a reason, the world could be a better place for all of us, if we make sure we help each other out in times of need, as a favour to an old friend, treasure your friends, I know i'd drop anything to help my friends.


For all that is Dark, there is light, maybe for a time, you can be the light that pierces the darkness, revealing its true identity, nothing but a cover up for the light of the world, be the shelter from the storm...

take care now

Monday, 8 June 2009

Still In A Dream...Snake Eater

Good Evening All

Its Coming up to midnight here, I intended to go to bed over an hour ago and by golly I did, but I'm just not tired, so I've fired all the gear up again, I'm writing with a clouded warped vision of life at the moment, with everything imploding around me, I can't help but think "Why Bother?"

But there's more to life than wondering why one bothers, correct?

Ok, I may only have £10 to my name right now, and yeah, with all the turmoil going on, the world can be rough, but as Mr.Cash said at San Quentin all those years back "If A Mans gonna make it, he's gotta be tough" analyzing that statement doesn't necessarily mean you have to be tough physically, it means you've got to be able to withstand whatever life can throw at you, so far, it's thrown a lot at me, but that doesn't mean I'm giving up here, I've seen friends, enemies, workmates and family members come and go, after 18 years, this is just the beginning, and this much has happened, the road is long, but with the right people around you and the right attitude applied in the right places, it isn't all that bad!

I Might say this here, and hell the people I don't want to read this, will read this, but I'll be the first to admit, I don't follow this chain of thought at work, and I'll say why, no matter how i've tried, over the last year or so, I've put my all into what i've done, and especially over the last two or three months, it isn't good enough anymore, all I can do is my best, and if thats not good enough, well, what's the world coming to? I earn my living the same as everyone else at that shop and I've been able to maintain a balance between work & home life, just recently, I'm starting to feel as if my job is threatened, with people lining up to jump in my grave, I know if the best isn't good enough, they have every right to kick me out, and replace me with average Joe whose just been made redundant, just seems as if it's "Dog Eat Dog, Rat eat Rat, kroc style, Boom, Like that"

In these times, can you blame me for thinking like it?

In lighter subjects, I've had a reshuffle of my room today, took a while, whole lot of cleaning, dusting, lifting and the like, but I for the first time used the Effects loop on my AC30, and it just adds a bit more depth and clarity to the tone i get from my setup, less noisy too, it just made me realize why I spent £630 on the thing those years ago, because it's everything I'd ever want from a guitar amp, the perfect tone, the perfect look and for me, the kind of stuff dreams are made of, I stood up today, learning some Beatles tracks, then I learned (Properly, this time around) Have A Cigar by Pink Floyd, what an escape from the world, being able to just stand and play in a care free environment, the Amp cranked to the same volume as a very loud Backing track, switching from Driver, to Distortion, to Fuzz, it was a nice creative escape from life.

Busy week on this week, Wednesday 9pm - 11pm Band practice with Crashpoint ready for a gig I'm standing in for them on Thursday at the Mono Bar in Birmingham, on top of anything else that goes on this week, the gig is one of the bands biggest, so i'll need to be at my peak for it, I'm looking forward to it!

That'll do for now, Maybe I can sleep now :P

Take Care Everyone, You know where I am if you need me!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Just A Soul Whose Intentions Are Good...

Evening All...

It's a warm evening here in the technological haven that is my room, its approximately 11:09pm, and I'm awfully excited about what's going on at the moment, so much is unfolding around me, here in my own little world, where I type ominously to you lot week in week out, I feel i'm not keeping a diary, I'm giving a changeable sit-rep, a reader got intouch with me the other day, they know who they are, they said...

"Hi Luke, I've been an avid reader of your blog since day one over on myspace, i'd just like to thank you, i've looked into every album and film you've ever recommended, in turn, each opened up a different world, I've since strayed from the fads everyone else likes, to a nostalgic world of happy go lucky music and innovative films, this all feels a bit weird to be typing, but thanks, thanks so much for keeping this thing going"

It was nice to open my inbox to that, avid reader, thank you for getting in touch, again re-assuring words from readers who've stuck around, just to check up on me!

Next week, brings forth some more nostalgia for me on a personal level, my previous band Crashpoint have asked me to cover bass for them at, without a doubt one of the biggest gigs i've played, the Mono Bar in Birmingham, I'm a Jack of all trades, Master of none, and as you may or may not know, I'm a dab hand at Bass, and I haven't forgotten any of the material, as Bass goes, it's never been at the forefront of music for me, But looking at who has inspired me to play bass, people like Les Claypool, Adam Clayton & Lemmy Kilmister come to mind, and i try to mix and match Slap bass and standard fingerpicking styles to some success,gee, it'll be nice to work with them again, albeit for one evening.

in other news, this week is E3 week, The Gamers Equivalent to the Chelsea Flower Show, all the big guns come out to show their wares, and Below is a list of what Sony had to announce with provided release dates...

Uncharted 2 : Among Thieves - Late 2009/2010
God of War III - 2010
Final Fantasy 13 & 14 (14 Being Exclusive) - 2010
MAG (Huge FPS 128 a team shooter) - This Autumn
Metal Gear Solid : Peace Walker (True Sequel) - 2010
Metal Gear Solid : Rising (Spin Off) - 2010
Resident Evil: Portable - 2010
ModNation Racers (LittleBig Planet Meets Mario Kart) - 2010
The Last Guardian (Team ICO's Big one) - No Date Given
Final Fantasy 7 (PSone On the PS Store) - Due Shortly

I'm truly stoked for each and every one of these titles, mainly the Metal Gear Solid titles, Kojima Never Disappoints, I can't wait to see what 2010 is going to do for the gaming industry, being only 18, I've seen the evolution of gaming, from 4 people huddled round an N64 playing 007 Goldeneye, to what will be 256 people all connected across the globe via the internet, with real life looking graphics, what does the future hold for gaming? VR Training?

for the full heads up of E3, head over to Gamespot - 
they have live blogs which stay active on each conference, it's really a great place to get all your gaming needs...

That'll do for now, Speak To Y'all Soon!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

I Hit The Ground..Bang Bang

It's fair to say, 2009 has been a car crash for me so far.

Things have gone from great, to catastrophic in a matter of 5 months, its a harsh realization that NOTHING lasts forever, and it's come in the form of everything that could go wrong, going wrong at once, one after another, whether its fate coming to get me for all the good i've had in the last couple of years I don't know, those in the know will know what's going wrong.

January I was at my happiest, now here we are in May, and I'm at my most miserable, as quickly as i pick myself back up, I get cut down, I'm finding myself with too much time to think, 20 odd hours a week standing at the till, the hours I have left, I spend writing music or playing games or something along those lines, with the past haunting me, constant reminders of memories I honestly want rid of, as Emo as these thoughts might sound, it's because a shadow was cast, for me, today, I found out that today was the day "The Music Died" the news was brought to me by a close friend, it's tragic what's happened, and I can only hope there is a calling for him in another life, Thanks for Everything mate...

However, on a lighter note, I'm finding myself coming up with new ideas and stuff on Guitar, I've found myself plugging in more often, full pelt playing along to songs, learning new stuff, writing new riffs and chord progressions, using everything to its full potential, i'm working on a new track as we speak and I've a vague idea of some lyrics, which would make them the 2nd set i've ever written ! Ha!

Yesterday I had a great conversation with a person I haven't spoken to in a long time, a certain Emma Simpson, Lead Singer of my former band Crashpoint, I havent spoken to her in person since i left the band last September, it was an emotional evening, and not much was really said, however we always had great dynamics between us both, coming up with belters like, Keep Your Distance, In A Dream &  You Gotta, we had a good chat, just like old times, no doubt i'll speak to her again soon...

in the meantime, my guitars done enough weeping for one night...

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Hey again folks,

Welcome again, so whats going down around here?

My sisters used all £20 of my Dads phone credit, the internal disc drive on my iMac has gone, i've had to cancel my holiday with Scott & Peter Groves and I haven't slept very well in a while, but hell, I'm still going :D, Is there any other way guys?

I'ts 2am, Monday morning, officially of course, after the recent events, Sunday evening I had the pleasure of having a quick drink with Mr.Richard Lee, Bassist in our band, we discussed life, friends, and music, but mainly music, after about 7 years, he's been a good pal since day one, he also gave me a great album, Live Rust by Neil Young, and it was a nice evening in general, had a couple, had a BIG BURGER but, thats beside the point...

It's been a while since i split with my Girlfriend, but, i've had chance to rethink my way of life, not in a religious sense, no , where I should go from here, Musically, Mentally, Physically, and it's been a long time since i've been able to think this clear, if it wasnt for people like Rich and the dozens of guys out there who've been around to chat to, id've been lower than a barry white album.

All I know for sure is that i need to progress musically and just lately, i've seen my guitar practice go up ten fold, which is good, and personally, i'm feeling the benefits...
However, I need to save for the upcoming two weeks in Great Yarmouth in August, but a couple of nice guitars have caught my eye, so maybe i'll be able to save enough to sort out both :D

It's late, i'm here with some black coffee listening to The Beatles' belter "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and i can't help but think, even though this year hasnt been that great so far, theres still hope, not just for me, but for everyone in a rut, with a bit of determination, we need to leave the past behind and get on as best as we can, if we succeed, its all good, if we have friends and family to rely on when we need them, albeit a small chat or a lengthy discussion, were bound to get through any hardships, heads high, rising above the troubles of the past

I'll leave on what Craig Scott said as he signed off...

"It's Been a Rough 'un, Thanks"

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Aftermath In Final Stages

Hey Everyone.

A Quick Update from the home studio, for the last year or so, i've been working on and off a project called Aftermath, which is me essentially messing about with a couple of chords, but it's gone from that to a form of ambient guitar music, I haven't heard, its had alot of of effort put into it, theres still some chopping and changing to be done, re recording of one or two sections, but altogether it forms its own little improvised symphony thing, and so far i'm very proud of what i've achieved, when the recording process is done, i'll polish them up one more time, get a final copyright, then if people want it, drop me a line, i can send you a zip, but if you'd prefer a jewel case, i've struck a deal with a friend to get some of those done too, leave it long enough, i may even put some of the videos on a DVD, but thats aiming a little high...

So many styles and instruments have been used on this piece, consists of about 6 parts, all have similar vibes, and it's all been recorded here in my bedroom studio, i'll be interested to get peoples views on it when it's done, were talking about a 30 minute full play time, for now, heres the cover as a sneak peek!

I'll keep you all posted, i'll work as much as I can on the project!

Take care

Thursday, 7 May 2009

A Fresh Start

Welcome, Welcome To My New Blog Page!...It's Safer Here

Yes, Again, welcome to the all new 2.0 version of The Tank Blog, it all began over on MySpace, but as desolate as MySpace is becoming, it seemed to make more sense to bring it on over here, with the depth of my readers being on Facebook, I can link direct to this page...

The current readers know what they are in for, but what about new readers?

Well, normally, I Offer this insight into my life, I'm an Eplieptic Musician- turn- Shop Floor assistant, with a few lung problems, but i don't let it get to me, what can readers expect this year?

A Wealthy 14 Day blog from EVERYWHERE i go in Gt.Yarmouth this year, with pictures from where i'm writing from, stories of my Family & Friends, my insight on modern topics, albums, films, games the lot, Essentially I'm not your average 18 year old, as most will say, but now i've reached a section in my life where i can be ready for a fresh start and an overhaul of everything to get it all going

thats all for now, i'll post saturday or something :D

Take Care