Monday, 21 February 2011

Good News!

Now hows about that then?

Welcome, my friends, to another blog!

I hope you're all doing well, taking care of yourselves and whatnot, now last blog, I mentioned some "big news" to be announced for today (Monday, Monday, Monday!) and so here I am, blogging with a vengeance, now that guy up there, he's either very happy or he's waving at an approaching helicopter, coming to rescue him for the looming yellow abyss, i'll tell you, he's happy, happy for me.

Tonight, I went to jam with a band I've mentioned here on the LCB before by the name of Framed, who were very good live at the Wharf Bar, I enjoyed watching them, and afterwards I bumped into their drummer, and a friend of mine, Kim, in the car park of a nearby Morrisons, from there I was asked if I wanted to go along, and tonight was the night!

Now, honestly speaking here, I didn't know what to expect, but once I got there and set up, I was right in my element, I had my drive where I wanted it for my rhythm playing, I learned their songs and we played them through and I thoroughly enjoyed it and the warm welcome I received, even though we were all pretty much freezing our arses off in there, it was superb, I enjoyed it, the interaction between everybody was great, I got on well with everyone, and most importantly, the music sounded good, next practice should be next week, now hows about that then?

Also, I'm working more hours at work, and you know what that means?...

You bet your sweet bippy it means more wonga and that will add towards the amp fund, speaking of amps...

I went to PMT in Birmingham with my mate Lord Rob of Cottington today, and the selection that they had was HUGE, I've never seen so many amps, though a couple of tasty Marshall amps in my price range caught my eye, all I know is that Epiphone amps have joined the poo pile, do you have any recommendations for a multi-channel hi-gain half stack? let me know!

Can you tell I'm writing with more excitement? I've got a new playlist on that I've made, I'm streamwriting more or less!

That's it for now!
Your Pal
Luke Clarke

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Just pour me a drink and I'll tell you my lies...

Oh hello you lot!

Welcome back, to another edition of my blog, after a very eventful week, for all the wrong reasons too, this is the first real chance I've had to sit down and write, because, prepare yourself, I've been working!

Seriously, I've been actually doing some substantial (by my standards atleast) hours this week, a steady 28, thanks to our new manager, so I'll pick up some decent wonga from this week, all of which will go towards the new amp I need to get, as nice as the AC30 is, it's no longer suited to what I'm churning out, my style is based alot more around a tone I can't seem to achieve with this amp, so I need to look at something burly, half stack is what I'm thinking, Bugera, Marshall, who knows... If only I had Boogie Money

But I digress, how are you doodling? good to hear, as I say, there's a lot to fill you in on, so I'm taking my time with this blag, so it's taking me a bit longer than usual, I'm having some work done on the Frampton Les Paul, which is in disrepair, instantly it seems, an obvious copy, it's not costing much thankfully, but obviously, I'm fuming, all of you readers will know how much it meant to win that guitar, so see what was going wrong with it, my heart sank, pictures of a revitalized PFLP will be up soon, thanks to a couple of mates who are working on it for me, sorting wiring, the nut, action, truss rod, pickup mounts, strap buttons, new dials, it's essentially a re-work of the whole guitar, luckily I had some of the parts spare, and these guys owed me a favour...

So, as you know I like to branch out, try new things, and I've stepped right into the unknown territory of Guitar Craft Tuning, don't try and look it up, you'll probably cry, I tuned the SG right up to this odd tuning, to the point where if the strings get any tighter, the guitar will explode, it takes everything you think you ever knew about the guitar, and throws it right out of the window. Chord shapes, scales, licks, everything goes kaput and because there are no online resources other than one man (you can't tell I don't want to tell you much can you?) you have to feel your way around and build your own chords from scratch, it's like learning a new instrument, and when you find the right notes, it feels good, I'm writing my first song in it as we speak, it's difficult, but I feel a newer connection with the guitar itself, it's a new perspective on a sort of rut I was in, I can work myself out of this rut, by making my own chords up, that are as easy to play as conventional chords.

Now that the Superbowl has been and gone, I went and picked up Madden 11 on the Xbox, I have it, my mate's Rob & Maccie have it, and I've wanted to get into it a bit more, and I'm really enjoying it, I won 2 games against Maccie and the challenges on there remind me of how challenging games should be, and between me and you, the soundtrack is badass! Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC...Phwoar, £22 brand new? A steal if you ask me...Now if only I could get a legit Frank Zombo jersey...

What else is there...Oh yes! Today, is my friend Tommy's birthday, and yesterday after work, I went to see the new Coen Brothers remake of one of my all time classic movies "True Grit", I have to say after watching the original the other night, I was used to Rooster Cogburn being this character of definition, iconic, John Wayne summed him up perfectly for me, and don't get me wrong, as good as Jeff Bridges was in the remake, I didn't want to see Rooster as a washed up old fart, staggering around for 2 hours, but all in all it was a good but very somber remake of a classic film I love, it's great, but I'm not sold on it. Afterwards, Me, Maccie, Tommy & Kay went to the pub, laughs were had, food was eaten and Kay farted!

That's it for now, I may or may not have some big news to announce Monday, so keep your eyes out!

Thanks for reading you guys, 2,300+ now!
You keep me writing for you, it's a pleasure doing so
Take care
Your Pal
Luke Clarke

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Monday, 7 February 2011

Whole lotta nothin'

Hello stranger!

A return to a usual blog here, hope you're doing well, after the 2,000 milestone, this thing still seems to be snowballing, so I thought I'd post something while I had literally nothing to do, this whole "musical break" thing isn't what it's cracked up to be, I think half of my problem is that I'm still a bit frazzled from last night's awesome Superbowl!

Yes indeedy readers, I'm not so much a supporter of a specific team, nor an American, however, I thoroughly watching NFL games, and after last years Colts/Saints Superbowl, hopes were high for 45, it was the Pittsburgh Steelers vs Green Bay Packers, and 2 very good friends of mine came over to my place to watch it, we got a pizza, I made my own nachos, we had pretzels, coke and watched what turned out to be a damn close game until around 4am, it was fantastic, I honestly couldn't have thought of a better way to spend Superbowl sunday, laughs were had, we were stuffed with stupid amounts of junk food, though just for the record, I do not condone the half time show, it might have been the worst thing I've ever witnessed on television...

But thanks Rich & Rob, I had a great laugh, here's hoping it goes ahead next year...

So yeah, how're things? not so bad right now I suppose, this musical break is troubling me though, I feel somewhat lost, and when I try to learn something I can't keep up and lose interest, I can't even think of writing, because I have no reason to write, so I'm in a difficult spot, what do I do now? I don't know, as long as I do not turn into a recluse who rambles philosophically in the third person all the time, then I suppose that's good, I need to re-discover the fun I was having with music a few years ago, how I'll do that, I don't know, a few offers have rolled in, I'm going to a couple of auditions, I'll see if I feel the vibe's going on, if so, who knows what might happen, maybe something might kick off, maybe not, only time will tell I suppose!

So, what do you make of that new side bar on the left there? snazzy eh, I made it myself!

I have ventured onto the web phenomenon that is Twitter, and it's so much fun to see the rich and famous (Sir Alan Sugar and Piers Morgan, I'm looking at you!) taking pot shots at each other, along with hearing breaking news, before the news people get a hold of it, it's pretty cool and as the sidebar says @LukeClarkeBlog, the most inventive hashtags get featured in the blog!

I've got 13 followers, I feel well special!

So, last night I was saddened to hear of the passing of guitar legend Gary Moore, known mainly for his work with Thin Lizzy, I personally preferred his solo work and collaborations with blues guitarists, he was an extremely talented individual, who sadly passed away yesterday, on holiday in Spain, age 58, no age at all is it really...I'd never been a huge fan to be honest with you guys, however, I was always a fan of the thick tone he managed to achieve and how emotive he managed to play, so there really isn't much I can say, except thank you Gary.

I bet the line-up at the Great Gig In The Sky is awesome these days...

For now, that's me done, I'll blog again soon!

Your Pal
Luke Clarke

Friday, 4 February 2011

How You Can Get In Touch!


Here's how you can get intouch with me, to suggest topics, ask questions or just follow what's going on between blogs! linkage below, I always keep tabs on all of these, so do get in touch!

Twitter  - Twitter, Follow @LukeClarkeBlog
Last FM  - See what I'm listening to, recommend me some music!
YouTube  - See some of my Guitar Covers, get in touch through that!
E-mail me :
Xbox Live: The Wonga Man (Messages only please, no friend requests)
Ultimate Guitar Profile - UG!

I'm always up for topic suggestions and stuff, so get in touch readers, I'm always interested!

Your Pal
Luke Clarke

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Depression, My Old China Plate, We Meet Again

Can you lend me an ear folks? I could do with someone to share this with...

So, today as well as doing a lot with my spare time, I had a lot of time to think, too much it seems, where as I've been telling myself things are good, it seems they are not, analyzing my current situations a bit more, sometimes it's thinking too much that is a guys downfall, but can you blame me? With all that's going/gone on in my life, it's alot of food for thought, especially for one guy, especially one like myself who, I admit, isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer...

One of the realizations I had, was this whole music thing, I'm taking a 'break' so to speak, but all the time, I itch to play, or write or do something, which is why I love being in a band, however, I don't think any band in their right mind would want an epileptic not-fantastic-but-not-terrible guitarist who can't travel anywhere, I'm a hinderance to any band I'd join, hence why I'm starting to think of hanging up the axes, I'm starting to think that it's all just a lost cause, but what more is there for me to do, my sight is on and off, my hands are all shaky, my speech is all slurred, so I'm really not a fat lot of good for anything else, and well, it's freakin' obvious I suck at my job, so what do I do?

I mean sure, I've seen some interesting band openings, I've sent messages, Emails etc, and got no reply and after a while it gets disheartening, "well go solo!" I hear you yell, the truth is, recording on my own, was the most lonesome, boring thing I've ever done, nobody was interested in collaborating, and when they were, they just wasted my time, sure, I know I've gotta be patient, but when you've made as many mistakes as I have and you just want to join that band that you like the sound of and you know you can work with, it's hard to be patient when all contact you're trying to make just isn't happening, or is being turned down because of the fact you have Epilepsy!

I can wish as much as I like, but I can't have everything I suppose...

Thanks for listening, it's your round btw, I'll take a Double JD & Coke


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Double Anniversary

Double Anniversary Post

So readers, here we are, we've made it to a colossal 2,000 views and 50 times now, I've posted about what's going on in my world, it's strange for me to look back over my posts now, from when I started out, times were tough, I was in a state of mind where I was at a constant low, but now, I'm at a point where I can see a lot more positives in my life, it's a change that's happened purely through things I've learned and experienced, along with the gradual change in medication, but not I've not been alone, thankfully, via this blog, Facebook, YouTube and the music scene, I've met some superb people, who I've come to regard as some of my closest friends, who over the last couple of years have been a big help, I don't mean to gush, but I really do value a lot of the people in my life at the moment, it's a pleasure knowing the people I do and I hope that they know that.

Now, onto the main blog!

This week I have a bit of news, which was a hard decision for me to make, for a while now, I've been in a jam band with Jay, a good mate of mine, but it's been turbulent with the drummer situation, however, since I lost Dad last year, I just haven't been able to get into the swing of things like I used to be able to, I'm not the guitarist I used to be,  whereas I took time off work, I didn't take any time away from music, I just kept going, kept writing, working with bands and I never really thought about it all that much, I mean hell, I gigged the Wharf with Crashpoint the week of my Dad's funeral and it hit me the other day, I'm at a point where I've really got no energy or motivation towards music right now, so I made the executive decision and parted ways with Jay, essentially for some time for me to get a grip on things, to rediscover where I am musically, maybe get some new gear, branch out and learn some new material and look at what I'd like to do next and, if an offer tasty enough comes to the table, then I'll give it a go, but for now, I'm on hold, which is a rather daunting thing to see on screen, but Ive already been learning some stuff by ear that I normally wouldn't learn, doing it note for note.

Maybe it'll be a month, maybe two, maybe a couple of weeks, who knows, but as I say, I'll work at not just my skill, but my mental approach to music, but if an offer comes up for 'that dream band' then I'll go for it, but I'm really playing my cards close to my chest, for now at leas, I must reiterate the fact that I'm not giving up the whole thing, I'm just taking some time off and as I say, if an offer good enough comes up, I'll give it a go and if I enjoy it and feel as if it's my kind of thing, then I'll get back into it post haste!

However, I got a nagging feeling for the ol' live scene the other night when I went to The Wharf bar with my mate Rich to see a friend of mine's band play, Framed, They put on a fantastic show, it was their first in Walsall, as they primarily gig around Birmingham, but they had a fantastic tight sound, catchy tracks, and they did a stonking cover of The Beatles' 'Come Together', go check 'em out, they're great 

Plus, I got a free keyring off 'em! AWESOME!

That's all for this time, longer blog soon, I promise
Thanks for the views, and for making the last couple of years in blogging so awesome
Your Pal

Luke Clarke