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by dookerdoo

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hello, my name is al. i make music by myself and with a band called the fictive kinship. i work in an office in london on railway related stuff and cycle to work every day. i love cooking, swimming and riding my bike all over london. i try to eat well, write good songs and not drink too much. i don't always succeed.

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Travelling Light Band

(viewed 454 times)
I think I may have taken this picture accidentally at a gig at the Cavendish Arms in Stockwell the other day. The gig was unusual in that it was the day of the snow and all of the five other bands pulled out leaving us to fill the whole night... which we did mostly by faffing about uncertain as to whether to play at all. We did in the end with borrowed instruments and a depleted audience who were kind enough to cheer us back for enough encores to ensure we ran out of songs to play.

Anyway, unremarkable as this accidental snap is, I like because it reminds me of how much I love being an acoustic guitar player and singer. Gone are the days of lugging a brace of heavy, delicate, expensive and temperamental valve amps about, along with two electric guitars, bags full of cables, dozens of effects pedals, wires, power leads, spare valves, tools and batteries. I used to spend a significant portion of my monthly income on taxis to lug all of that crap about for sometimes two or three gigs a week. I was reliant on cabs, waiting for lifts from kindly fans and self appointed roadies and was often stuck hanging about till the end of a crap night to reclaim my own loaned-out kit. I don't think, in the middle of all that, I ever really let myself consider just how expensive, exhausting and thoroughly unpleasant the whole experience of gigging could be.

But now! Look at that accidental shoe-shot. That's my entire gig-going kit right there on stage. A lead, a tuner, a notepad and box of picks, my trusty Sigma acoustic and a pint of Doom-Bar. The whole lot (minus the pint) goes in a soft case on my back meaning I can cycle to and from rehearsals and gigs with ease and escape as and when the mood strikes. It's not quite the lost highway but it's a kind of freedom and i'm very happy with it. Simple things.
29th Dec 2010, 08:44   comments (1)

Snow Going Back.

(viewed 439 times)
A few posts back I restarted this blog with a snowy shot of the weekend we moved out of Kilburn and back to Islington. As the snow returned with knobs on last week we signed the contract on another new place, this time in Kennington. I'll be sad to leave Islington as i've come to think of this area as home and have always "ended up" coming back here (I first moved to London as a student in halls on Holloway Road in 1995) but i'm also excited about the new place, ready and willing to branch out and investigate new areas. The new place has plenty to recommend it, including a roof terrace with a grandstand view into the Oval, which i'm sure will get plenty of use. Watch this this space to see how a this committed North and East Londoner fares in the uncharted wilds of South West and Central. *gets jabs.
29th Dec 2010, 08:06   comments (2)

It's grim up north

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On the 7am from kings cross to Glasgow. Not long after Dawn and fog and snow look pretty bleak.
14th Dec 2010, 08:29   comments (0)

Quadrilles

(viewed 348 times)
Jamie (of ex long legs fame) playing at Proud Galleries in Camden with his mostly instrumental math rock band last night. Jamie, ken and Paula go by the excellent name Quadrilles. They were on winning form and had the best sound yet. Stirring stuff.
13th Dec 2010, 09:37   comments (0)

The National, Closer

(viewed 310 times)
Hello!
4th Dec 2010, 11:13   comments (0)

The National

(viewed 327 times)
At Brixton on Wednesday. Quite far away aren't they?
3rd Dec 2010, 18:35   comments (0)

Rich, Evan and Claire

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Popped up to visit these guys last week and say hello to new born Lois (didn't get a good pic of the wee mite unfortunately). Thought this was sweet though, everyone playing a daft Pepper Pig game on the iPad. Dig Ev's PJs too.
30th Nov 2010, 10:55   comments (0)

Sundayshine

(viewed 383 times)
Didn't notice the crazy purple clouds till I got home.
29th Nov 2010, 11:21   comments (3)