I drove down this morning to Greg Fitzgerald’s studio in Canterbury once more, principally to complete the mix of ‘Radio play’ now that we have Ralph and Steve’s marvellous drums and bass parts, plus Greg’s additions of backing vocals, keyboards and percussion.
I drove through Crayford in north east Kent this morning, during a trip to Chatham, and took the opportunity to stop off at St Paulinus Church. This was formerly known as Crayford Parish Church and where my great-grandparents Sarah and Thomas Ames married on 16 July 1871.
Julie, Ben and I drove down to Bournemouth on Friday to join my elder brother Ken in marking his 84th birthday. He was born in February 1940 and has been a respected jazz musician for the last sixty years in addition to his work as a qualified chiropodist.
I visited Greg Fitzgerald’s studio in rural Kent once more this afternoon. We worked on ‘Radio play’ now that the legendary Ralph Salmins has kindly, and superbly, contributed drums. We also edited the original recording of ‘Cross of gold’ as the coda needed a little polishing.
My interview with Martin Sutton of the Songwriting Academy is now online in which we discuss various areas of the business and offer advise to musicians, writers, producers and industry representatives.
An enjoyable and informative meeting with long-term contact Martin Sutton this morning, as he updated me on the developments with his highly successful Songwriting Academy. Martin also outlined the new popular Community App and we put plans in place for a podcast recording next week.
Born in Strood, Kent, on 11 January 1872, Thomas Ames was the elder brother of my grandfather Herbert. He signed up with the Merchant Navy on his 18th birthday and initially worked aboard ships based at the local Chatham docks.
My son Ben, his friend Austin and I could be found at Bromley FC’s Hayes Lane ground for the National League match versus Altrincham this evening. An absorbing game, in which the home team failed to take advantage of some early chances to take the lead and saw Altrincham leading 1-0 at half time.
The plan to make my Birdcage album available as a download accompaniment to Waterloo Sunrise gathered pace today, as I motored down to Canterbury in driving rain to Greg Fitzgerald’s studio. We worked on Radio Play, which is the one track in need of revisiting from the original tapes. The legendary Ralph Salmins has kindly agreed to add his drum mastery to this in the coming days.
Julie’s cousin Mark is an amateur boxer and we drove down to Worthing this weekend to offer our support at the Coast to Coast Boxing Club’s ‘Twas The Fight Before Christmas’ event at The Charmandean Centre.
I met up with Mark Batchelor this afternoon in the Royal Opera House bar in Covent Garden, at the start of a relaxed night out in the West End. We first walked across the crowded piazza and along King Street and into New Row, stopping at the Castle Fine Art gallery and appreciating the Bob Dylan prints in the basement.
An extremely fun evening as Julie, Ben and I enjoyed the rollicking fun that is The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre in Covent Garden. We had superb seats in the back row of the stalls and time flashed by as the cast of nine grappled with the series of dramatic disasters that befall them. Great stuff.
The latest report from the Kindred PR agency arrived this week, highlighting the media coverage on the MU’s activities throughout the late summer and autumn. My thanks to their team for the comprehensive listings and overview of our work.
The winter edition of The Musician magazine is being distributed to members of the Musicians’ Union this week. This issue is my last as editor and includes a two-page review of my career as an MU Official.
Officials from the MU joined members of the orchestra of English National Opera at the Coliseum this lunchtime, in delivering over 150 letters from musicians, audiences and public figures urging ENO management to reconsider proposals to axe 19 jobs in the orchestra, and make the orchestra and music staff part-time.
My son Ben has signed up for a series of cricket masterclasses at the Ames Levett Centre at the Kent County Ground in Canterbury for the next five Wednesday evenings. This involves a fairly lengthy round trip from Beckenham, but is fully worth the commitment.
A day trip with my MU colleague Amy Grimes to Liverpool, specifically to visit the Hilton Hotel with a view to confirm its suitability as a future Delegate Conference venue. My thanks to sales manager Kerry Hughes for a comprehensive guide to the Hotel’s extensive facilities.
I met long-term friend and business colleague Jason Hunt this lunchtime in The Rose at London Bridge. Jason has been the organiser of the Guitar Show in Solihull for a number of years and is well-known in the industry for his hugely successful shows, including the fondly remembered Music Live at the NEC.
Another decisive day with producer Greg Fitzgerald in Canterbury as we explored the options for delivering my album from the 1990s, Birdcage, as a sister release for the forthcoming vinyl release, Waterloo Sunrise.
My thanks to photographer Joseph Branston today as he kindly completed a photo session with yours truly at Pizza Express Live on the King’s Road, Chelsea. This was principally to capture a suitable frame to accompany my farewell column in the forthcoming edition of The Musician, my 75th as editor.
Ben and I made a round trip today from Beckenham to Covent Garden via Orpington and back. This ensured, firstly, the dispatch of demo materials to our contacts in the Northern Ballet in the safe hands of A to Z Couriers.
I was delighted to arrange the inside front cover of the Black History Month magazine in recent days. My thanks to the team at SMM Media and designer Chris Stenner for creating a superb design featuring rising star Lady Nade.
I met MU in-house solicitor Dawn Rodger and Tim Northrop of NMD Solicitors this morning at the studios of producer James Reynolds in Parsons Green, west London, where James has expanded his already superb facilities to include a suite of podcast and video rooms.
Kindred, the Musicians’ Union’s PR agency, today kindly supplied their latest report into the media coverage we have collectively obtained on the MU’s activities, for the period April to July.