Gigs wanted

There has been some rescheduling. The proper album recording has been delayed until later in the year.

Before then I would like to get some informal pre-view gigs in – to thoroughly roadtest the songs – so that I am well honed and slick by the time the album is officially released.

I’ve done a fair few open mics but only a couple of single set gigs in the Small Symphonies format. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be giving my best in these preview gigs but there may be teething troubles. I’m hoping to have projected images in the background for some songs…never done that before. That said, anybody who has seen any of the other hundreds of gigs will know that I soldier on through adversity and  deliver the goods.

These pre-view gigs can be free of charge to any good cause;  private bookings  at a very preferential rate.

What is a good cause? Humanist, Environmental, Socialist. That sort of thing…I know, typical bloody Guardian Reader hippy.

A gig can be at a normal venue: club, pub or community centre; or at your home. I don’t take up very much room and I don’t have to be loud so even the smallest performance space could be viable.

To promote this phase of the project I’ve organised a Demo set of songs on my SoundCloud (see above ). These are Work in Progress recordings from last year – they’re not perfect. There is also a rough cut of a video which is in process of production by Welsh Icons. That should give you the flavour.

I would stress it is NOT EASY LISTENING. Lots of people have felt uplifted by my songs but party music it ain’t. There may be disturbing images in the back projections. Strike that – if Norris has anything to do with the visuals there will be disturbing images aplenty.

If you or your organisation are interested please Private Message me through Facebook.

far too easy 2010


Far Too Easy version #2.0 15/9/2010. (c) words and music 1993, 2009, 2010 Cameron Pyke. (c) recording 2010 Cameron Pyke, Small Symphonies & Ambisonix.  Recorded on the Calrec Soundfield Microphone by Ambisonix.

Please note that all recordings on this WordPress so far are work in progress, complete with mistakes and issues, recorded in one take, voice and guitar, no overdubs.  If you feel you can help me with a technical or artistic tip, you really love something, or really hate it, please leave a comment.  I may not agree with you but I’ll be very grateful for the participation. If you want to rant about a particular semi-quaver or glitch you could visit the small symphonies soundcloud and leave a timed comment right next it.

20/9/10  You may have heard this one before. If you haven’t, you might like to cast a lug at the 2009 version , and an eyeball at the words.  I listened to it a few minutes ago and was struck by just how much this song has changed.  Its whole feel and outlook has changed.  The 2009 recording is perhaps angry and desperate (and technically woeful).  Now it is sad and reflective (with the signature crystalline Ambisonix treatment). 

This is one of my more immediately accessible songs – it is strophic – has verses, a chorus and a middle eight. So this is a song that I trot out regularly at open mic evenings. The subject matter is unashamedly …depressing? Actually, it’s not. There is a small glimmer of hope embedded in it – which I didn’t realise until recently – I’m going to write some additional sleeve notes about this.  Anyway, despite the catchy chorus it’s uncompromising social / political comment. Entertainment it ain’t.

Given that at these open mics we’re sort of trying to have a good time I tend to send myself up a little.  As I see it, we can have a laugh at my expense between songs – it shouldn’t detract from the impact and the message of the song when it’s being sung.  I have been taken to task for this. A guy who had worked in radio commented that it was a powerful song and I shouldn’t do it down, sell it short.

This was recorded at the second Ambisonix session. I wasn’t as stressed out as the first time but I wasn’t properly in the zone either. I can do this more polished. In particular, the ‘guitar solo’ stumbles and needs to be less tentative, more assured.

APF – a genre is born

APF stands for lots things. In my childhood it stood for American Puppet Films which was an early brand name for Gerry Anderson’s creations. It appeared as a logo framed in a cartouche in the opening sequence of Stingray just after Commander Shore announced “We are about to launch Stingray.” It stayed on the screen for a rather frustrating few bars of dum ti tum, dum ti tum; dum ti tum, dum ti tum before the real stuff got started.

But as of 23:43 BST September 12 2010  it also stands for Acoustic Prog Fusion. Below is a screen shot of a Google search for Acoustic Prog Fusion. There are no exact matches. You read about it here first.

So MOR, AOR, R’n’B, R’n’R, HM etc., etc., and now APF.

What can you say about APF? It’s acoustic; the songs are rather obscure, long and meandering; it’s associated with artists who would prefer not be categorised:-

“Yeah, we don’t like to be put in a box and labelled, man. One thing we are definitely not, most emphatically, absolutely not,  NOT APF – no way man.”

The movement originates in South Wales valleys in times of dire economic hardship where the Hammond C3, the MiniMoog and the Mellotron have were carted off to Cash Converters long ago. What look like stone circles on the mountainside are often encampments of proggers sheltering in their Vitavox Thunderbolt bins.