Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Does not play well with others.


Now, this evening I was sat with my guitar, having a think about what I'm doing musically.

I think it's safe to say that I have a very volatile personality, as most of you will know, it's something that has developed over time due to the copious amounts of medication, and the longer it goes on, the harder it is to go back and deal with it.

But what I have discovered is that in terms of being in a band, I really don't get on well, as much as I enjoy playing loud, and writing my own music. But when I write my own music, I have my own ideas on how I want it to sound, in the sense that it was written to sound that way, and when we get going  and I automatically notice that the only thing that sounds right, is my part, because the other people in the band aren't me, and that is what annoys me, the only natural way to come up with material for a band is for said band to jam, and most of the bands I've been in just haven't wanted to jam and experiment, because it has been a strict schedule of rehearsing, and nothing else.

So now, I'm out of a band and most notably, out of an urge or desire to ever want to be in a band again, I like to do things my way, and not have to worry about other bandmates attitudes or commitments, and like MANY times I've said I'm recording the album, I actually am now, I've recruited the help of my long time friend and bass player Richard, and we're planning on getting 8 songs down and putting it on sale, because I can gladly sit here at the mac for hours on end programming drums and recording guitar riffs and recording ideas like I want them to sound.

I know I've said I'm recording yadda yadda, but I actually have a notepad rammed with tracks and ideas I've noted down over the last year, of course I'm not a singer, or a lyricist but I'm writing alot more upbeat heavy instrumentals, and as proven with my friend Nick Latham earlier this year, there is still an audience for instrumental music, and I want a piece of that audience, because now I'm happy with my music and the sound, and I think other people might like to hear it!

For now, I have 6 songs recorded and ready for Rich to lay down bass on, a couple more and hopefully in 2013, I hope my debut solo album will be available at all major online outlets!

With luck, I may have some other collaborators too.

Thanks for reading

Your Pal

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Longing and other assorted love songs...

Hey everybody!

We're gonna have some fun, we're having a magic party and I thought you might like to come!

But seriously, welcome to another edition of my fantastic blog!

And by fantastic, I mean a little mundane!

Now, if you read my last post I mentioned a mystery lady, who again for reasons beyond my control I can't name, but I'll go into the specifics of what's gone down.

I've known her for a couple of years now, she's just been an acquaintence for a while, but this year we've really gotten to know each other well, and we trust each other enough now that she's told me alot of very personal things, I've been there for her, and she's been there for me. More importantly an issue that's arisen with women I've tried to get close to is my epilepsy and the problems it causes, it intimidates alot of people and I can understand why, it still doesn't make it easier when it drives people away, but this girl understands, and she understands my unpredictable/volatile personality, because she is exactly the same, and it is very nice to have that common ground with someone. She's had as hard a time in life as I have, and that's what really kicked it off between us.

And that's the thing, even though I'm big, intimidating, and most notably into my hard rock music, some might say that someone as small, gobby and into modern pop as she is may not even have the slightest thing in common, but we do, and that is what I love about her.

There's that word again, love, it's a strong word and I'm not using it lightly, it is a love for her that I have, and I mean that, but the thing is I don't have it in me to tell her about it, let me tell you why...

I've described how good a friendship we have, and how nice a girl she is but the kicker is, is that she has alot on her plate as it is, and I imagine the last thing she would need is someone like me filling up what little spare time she has, which is logical, but it still doesn't stop it hurting me every time I see her.

I plan out ways I might tell her, but everytime I see her I just crumble, and any of you that know me well enough will know, that I don't crumble at all.

Now I've felt this way for months, since about May, infact, and I still haven't had the guts to tell her how I feel about her, no matter what people say or advise, it takes alot.

So yeah, I feel I had to get it out there

Thanks for reading

Monday, 19 November 2012

The Dream Is Collapsing

Hello hello hello!

Fancy seeing you here, dyou come here often?

Now I'm very sorry that I haven't written in a while, it's just a case of I've been occupied but now I aim to rectify that!

You know who I am, and you know why you're here. How have you been? It's been a while and I do have alot to tell you, so here goes!

It has been a very strange year for me, every aim that I had in January has collapsed down into a sea of despair, I left Framed, rejoined them for one gig, was told bluntly I wasn't wanted, so I no longer wish to be associated with them, I'll only keep in touch with Joe because he's a damn good guitar tech, and Kim, because she's awesome.

It has, however, been a big year for Me, Chris and Rob. We started up That Manly Gaming Blog and we've pretty much hit 100 videos, whereas we don't have much of a following, we do have 2,500 views and 23 subscribers, which is alot more than we ever thought we had, next year however we plan to verge out into a sea of original content, stuff like sketches, podcasts, reviews, parodies and much more, we're gonna do it properly to give all of you a brilliant experience when you watch our silly videos, more details to follow, so keep your eyes out for That Manly Variety Show!

A lot of work, time, money and planning is going into this new stuff so I hope I can rely on you, my dear readers to support us in our quest for YouTube fame (and maybe fortune)!

In terms of how I'm doing? I'm a little depressed, I'm also besotted with someone, I'll go into that on my next blog!

This year has, however, been a very philosophical year for me, I've had more time to myself, less worries and more time to discover who I am, and what I actually want to do, and some of the realizations have been shocking to say the least, music will be on the backburner, but again, I'll go into this in my next blog!

For now, however, I need to get ready for work, so I'll leave you with my cover of "Skyfall" from the James Bond movie of the same name (go see it, it is awesome)

Thank you so much for reading
Speak soon
Your Pal
Luke Clarke

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

April Update

Hey Empire.

I hope you're all well, keeping it real and kicking it old school out there, if not I'm sending a big manly hug your way, you earned it kiddo!

It's April, the weather's all cock-eyed, my head's all over the place, and I'm kind of at a standstill on all fronts, alas, I shan't complain, this is some downtime I've needed for a while, just some time to back off a bit and get a handle on where I am in life.

So, now I'm not in Framed, I'm doing more hours at work and generally lounging about, I've had more time to write a different style of music, more mellow stuff, it's also given me alot of time to analyze myself as a person, the person I know the least it seems, is myself.

But hey, New Guitar Time!

The Danelectro "Dead on '67"
 This fantastic little guitar cost me all of £150, I've always loved the shape of Fender Mustangs/Jazzmasters/Jaguars etc, but never the price of them. This little guitar is discontinued, it's not just a good guitar for £150, it's a great guitar in general, soundclip below!

It's got stock lipstick pickups, and this groovy vibrato bridge that I've never seen, nor used before, it's a lovely guitar, great price and it does the whole surf rock thing perfectly. It's incredibly thin and light, and very comfy to play! I highly recommend it!

So, in summary I've been chilling, meddling with some new songs and I'm now looking at the prospect of putting my own band together, so if you're interested I'm after another guitarist, lead singer and drummer, but I need experience and open mindedness, so tweet me @FantasticBeard and we'll talk

For now, that is all, thanks so much for reading, I'll be posting soon with more news!

Your pal

Friday, 30 March 2012

#1 In Boogieland!

Hello everyone!

Welcome to another of my not-so-fantastic-but-still-reasonably-popular blogs!

Fair bit of good news this time around!

After a bit of a wobble last Sunday after an extreme lack of sleep, I went to the hospital yesterday, and my various specialists seem to think I've finally settled into a medication routine that actually works, which I completely agree with, the last full-on fit I had was back in November, now were edging into April.

With the Citalopram and my various other meds doing what they do, I can 100% say that I haven't felt this good in a great number of years, I'm seeing the world from a different angle, I'm finding myself less bitter, enjoying the little things alot more, I've lost weight, I'm finding more effort within myself to keep myself occupied, my guitar playing is better than ever, I'm certainly making progress and anything past this point, to me, is a bonus.

The risks are still here for me to just have a fit out of the blue, or to just snap at people for being loud or annoying, but on the whole I'm noticing little tweaks that are helping me not only see the world from a newer, fresher perspective, but to actually consider more options in the way I live, I'm actually appreciating all of my feelings, because I feel attached to the world now, it's all there, and I have so much drive and positivity behind me to say, "You know, let's have a proper go", I'm mega excited with where the band is going, I've got some of the best friends in the world, the only thing left for me to face is my own confidence issues.

I tend to have always put on a front to cover up everything that's bugging me, at gigs, rehearsals, everyday at work, but now I feel as if it's time I can face up to it and start to not have to worry, I feel as if I can begin to deal with everything I've been hiding for the last few years, which is what I've been wanting for a long time.

So, what else is going on? Well, I've been giving the new Gears of War 3 map pack a going over, it's pretty good, I've been shuffling some new playlists, just generally taking it easy, no other news so to speak, aside from Joe's truly terrible gig promotion, dubbing fans as "Lukaholics", wait no..."Lukaholix" is how he spelt it.

If that's a new faction he's creating amongst our following, we're all doomed!

For now, that's all, my friends

Look after yourselves
I'll see you right here next time!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Discovery & Other Assorted Love Songs...

Hey everyone!

Welcome to another edition of my blog, I've got a new playlist on the go, I've donned the Beats and I'm feeling in the mood to write.

It's been just over a week since I started taking my Citalopram, the groovy new anti-depressants that I'm on, and I'll be honest with you, I'm feeling so good right now!

I've not felt this connected for a long time, I feel so alive, so many feelings are coming back to me, I have so much more energy, it's truly amazing and I'm loving it. I'll keep you posted of course, if it gets any better, I'll see it as a bonus, feeling so good!


So, I'm feeling great, thinking straight, staying positive, I had a great feeling about going into rehearsal with Framed yesterday and that good feeling paid off. We walked out with 2 new songs pretty much finished, they just need the finishing touches added and they're completed, they sound great, new material has been a long time coming, so it's nice to have 2 songs drop in at one rehearsal, great energy going on, and I'm playing better than I ever have.

As aforementioned, I feel so much more connected and that alone has helped me just put more effort into what I write, and how quickly I can improvise a solo or a lead break, it certainly feels more natural now.

I dunno if I'm getting it across that I feel damn awesome!

Now recently, I've been doing some casual gaming, after spending a long time letting my various consoles gather a vast amount of dust! My main games of choice this last few weeks have been, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection and Forza 4! If you haven't already, I suggest you check 'em out, they're pretty good!

Onto recent additions to my music collection! Stacy at work asked me to burn her a few albums, so I did, and I'm finding myself enjoying them! A few tracks have even slipped onto my new playlist! I had no idea she had such a great taste in music, hows about that then!


It's all good!

Thanks for stopping by
Take it easy


Monday, 12 March 2012

Luke's Word: Early March

Hey everyone!

We start on a sad note...

When my powersupply failed at The O2 Academy 3, the pedalboard lost a member...

Onwards and upwards!

My new powersupply arrived and its awesome, my new stretchy Levy's strap from Canada arrived, that too, is awesome, I'm feeling good on my Citalopram, things are shaping up nicely for the time being!

However, I'm saddened to see the situation that has escalated with UK game retailer...erm...GAME. It seems the wheels have fallen off for them, which is a shame, because as offputting as the staff may have been when hassling me to pre-order Modern Shovelware 3, (which I didn't, naturally), it was a nice shop, always had some nice offers, great range of games, and last year, the phenominal GAMEFest that went on at the NEC in Birmingham!

Gamestation is going down too, remember.

What does that leave? Not much!

Gamestop won't take off anytime soon, unless they buyout GAME in the next week or so. HMV will be gone by this time next year... And Supermarkets lack range, decent prices and everything that make going into game shops, great for gamers!

We saw Zavvi, Woolies and many more go under, personally I think we could be in the era where high street physical media dies off...which is a damn shame, why?

I'm gonna tell you a story!

When I was younger, we never had much money, and I always appreciated what little I got so much, which is why I love to spend what I earn now, but I remember the day my Dad bought home a special edition Pokémon Nintendo 64, with Mario Kart 64, WWF Wrestlemania 2000 and Pokémon Snap.

Take into consideration that for all the years I'd done any gaming up to that point, were done just on a Sega Megadrive, then when he walked through the door with this box, I looked at all of these 3D graphics on the box, and I was amazed, I've never set anything up as quick as I did this console.

As I was saying, I had friends bugging me, that the PlayStation was better, that it was a baby's toy, but what they didn't realize was how much it meant to me, because of how little we had in our house.

Now every so often, I'd get £5 or £10 to spend on a game, and that meant going to a gameshop of somesorts, this was at the time where I hadn't ever used, nor needed the internet, so I only knew about the games via what friends said, however when faced with...

I'd only ever be able to buy one, I'd pick one, and going to the gameshop, browsing around, picking out a game, clutching it all the way home, reading the instruction manual until I got home, rushed upstairs, clacked that cartridge straight in and powered up.

Going to the gameshop was something I always looked forward to, to have somewhere dedicated to one form of physical media, like Virgin had the music, Blockbuster had the movies and now there places popping up that solely sold games for each and every console you could think of.

Now I understand in this day and age, kids with their Nintendo DS's, Xbox 360's. Playstation 3's seem to be getting what they want, when they want via the internet, thanks to gullible parents, however, instead of it being £5 or £10, it's £40 and upwards in some cases, but I'm sure somewhere, that there are kids who are like I was.

Looking forward to the Saturday morning when I'd be able to go and look at games with the possibility of buying one, sitting in the car or on the bus on the way home, itching to get back home to play it. And to think that experience would be gone is kind of sad, that there will be no more places to go other than Tesco or Asda where they'll have FIFA '09 still priced up at £39.99.

I'd love to see Gamestop buy GAME out, just something to keep the physical media industry going, for saddos like me!

Quite a sad rambling really
Thanks so much for reading one of my many memories!

Your Pal

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Double Vision!


Welcome to another edition of my blog, may I add that this is my 90th post?
I expect a HA BISKY from one of you!

But yes, it's Saturday night and I felt in the mood to do a bit of writing.

Are you all well? I do hope so, if not, I hope things look up for you real soon, have a manly hug from me, I insist.

Alas, this week has been rather eventful. As I mentioned in my last rambling, I was told I'm depressed, and Monday I was given my first set of anti-depressants to try and help me out, I'm on 10mg a day of Citalopram, I started taking them just yesterday, I know they won't kick in for a little while, but day one, I was so hyper! I was literally running about everywhere, not had that much go in me for years, today I'm feeling mellow, taking it steady.

I just want to be able to feel like I did all those years ago, I'm just glad there are people out there who can help, very reassuring, to say the least, if I can wake up one day and not feel detached, if I can wake up and be able to truly focus without veering off into a state of idling, I'll feel as if I'm moving in the right direction!

Framed: Live @ The O2 Academy 3

So, last week, myself and the best band in the world, Framed, played The O2 Academy 3 in Birmingham, it was an eventful day, laughs were had all round, sound check went flawlessly, we sounded at our finest, I was all geared up, raring to go...

When we took the stage to kick off the set, the powersupply that powers my array of swanky pedals died, this was a definite setback, as my lush dotted delays, reverb and phaser, play a vital part in some of our songs, and with this gone, I had to do alot more, by simplifying what I play.

Besides the setback, we still played a superb set, and looking back on it, I can feel great because I did my best, and we sounded bloody good!

I'm still so grateful for being a part of the band, I'm glad they put up with me...

If you wish to watch the whole gig, click this to go straight to the YouTube playlist and enjoy!

With my new T-Rex Fuel Tank, and my Levy's No.1 Stretchy Guitar Strap arriving yesterday, I'm all ready for rehearsal tomorrow, for the next gig...


In conclusion, with things looking up, I'm really looking forward to what 2012 will bring me.

Thanks for reading,
You're the best


Monday, 20 February 2012

Stranger on the shore...

Hello empire!

How're you all doing? Well I hope...

So, here I am sat idling in my awesome room, and I thought now would be a perfect time to write a blog to y'all!

Had quite a rough few months now, as any close friends will tell you. Everybody is telling me that since my Dad died two years ago, they've seen my personality just go downhill. I've only really started noticing it recently, last October specifically, I've noticed everything gradually draining out of me, all of a sudden I'm not able to concentrate on guitar playing & songwriting, and all motivation to do anything has disappeared completely, after talking to Kim, the best drummer in the world, who just happens to know what she's on about on this kind of topic, advised me to head to the quacks, which I did today.

I was told by the good doctor, that I'm showing the symptoms of depression, and I've been booked in to see the specialist who comes into my local surgery. He went on to say that it would explain alot of the things I'd been telling him, so I hope this is the first step towards getting myself fixed. I need to...

I think it's holding me back completely,which is why I need to get out of it.

It would make sense, that it's the reason I can't play any better on guitar, that I lack the concentration to sit and practice, the reason I struggle to talk fluently...

It all makes sense...

In lighter news, myself and the best band in the world, Framed, continue to throw it down, and do what we do best, today Joe sent me a stonker of a track, which sounds like musical gold.

We have 2 gigs lined up March 1st @ The O2 Academy 3 in Birmingham, and April 7th @ The Ballroom (The End), also in Birmingham. B there, B cool!

Time for a redesign I think...

tl;dr - I'm a fed up

Thanks for reading, I hope to see you right back here soon!

Your Pal
Luke Clarke

Monday, 23 January 2012

The first blog of 2012!

Hello empire!

You still here?

I do hope so.

So, yes, here we are, 2012. First things first, apologies for not writing for a long time, I've honestly had no urge whatsoever to write about anything, but I'mm in a mindset now where I think I can write on the same personal level I used to write in!

Last year was a year of definite change for me, alot of stuff happened and thankfully, most of it was for the better, see my 2011 blog for more info!

Now mentally, I'm feeling great, which is a plus, however it is time for me to get out of my frankly pathetic job at Farmfoods, and try to get a job somewhere more respectable, and where the management have a clue what they're doing, it's not my place to criticize however, because I'm very unprofessional, and essentially work on an "It'll do" policy, if it gets done, it gets done!

I've been up to an awful lot since I last wrote here, a big bunch of gigs with Framed, exciting stuff, I got a whole lot of new equipment, musically a lot of shit happened, I direct you towards mine & Joe's blogs on the official website to get clued up on everything! Trust me you'll love it.

Aside from possible concussion, I've been keeping ok, a lot of good vibes coming off our last gig at The Actress & Bishop in Birmingham, then we got another new track going at rehearsal last night, so I'm feeling good, also feeling a lot of improvement on guitar which is double-good.

Double-good, I like that...below is a link to listen to the whole gig, courtesy of Matt's iPhone.


I'm looking forward to what's to come this year, more gigs, recording the album, Global Onslaught coming to one of said gigs get stuff for their promotion website, Gamefest in September, the new guitar Joe's making for me, my Marshall Mode 4 actually working and many more I assure you.

I hope to revive this page somewhat, doing some more frequent posts, maybe weekly? who knows.

All I know is, with everything I've had on my plate, I've kept on going and I intend to keep carrying on with what I do

And for now, that will do!

Thanks for reading