Story behind the picture #1

Robb posted this picture a couple of weeks ago. It sure got people’s attention and led to funny comments. Robb never revealed the story behind the picture though. It’s about time someone does! 😉

Seeing the picture immediately made me giggle…a reminder of good times!!
This photo was taken when we were packing up after the last show of the tour of The Netherlands in 2016.
At the start of the tour Robb showed us this video and asked if we had seen it yet:

The Pen Pineapple Apple Pen song… a video that went viral in no time!
This song became the theme of the tour.
I can’t remember how many times I heard someone sing this during the tour, but believe me…I heard it a lot!!:
“I have a pen, I have a apple
Uh
Apple-Pen

I have a pen, I have pineapple
Uh
Pineapple-Pen

Apple-Pen, Pineapple-Pen
Uh
Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen
Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen”

Maybe you know the feeling of being tired and getting into a laughing stage at some point. Usually experienced with other over-tired friends; you start laughing at anything and everything and once it starts it’s almost impossible to make it stop. That’s what happens a lot during tours. When tiredness kicks in, silliness takes over.

That’s exactly what is going on in this picture. Everyone was tired after a whole week of touring, we were packing up after the last show when someone decided it was time for one more “pen pineapple apple pen” dance.

pen pineapple pen

So, that’s the story behind this picture. Keep an eye out on Robb’s Facebook page and this blog, because I’ll write more stories behind the picture soon!

One last bit of news before I end this blog.
In case you missed it on social media, we were happy and pleased to see that Pure M Magazine included North Star in their ‘Best of 2017 in Irish Music’!!
PureMZine Best of 2017 in Irish Music..

If you didn’t hear ‘North Star’ yet…you can listen to it on Spotify:

Please hit the follow button while you’re there!

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Hello 2018!

holiday

Someone please turn back time… Tomorrow I’ll be back at work after a 2 week break and I’m far from ready… I can already see myself waking up tomorrow morning totally confused and wondering why my alarm went off in the middle of the night… It may take a minute but then reality will kick in… Break is over, the new year started, no more pyjama days and no more sleeping in. Back to work it is!
Hello holiday blues! 😉

It’s good to get back into some routine though. Being off for a while is good, but laziness kicked in and I lost my productivity at some point during my 2 week break.

It’s also time to get things going again with the music. We have a lot of plans for 2018. Last year was all about setting the foundations. Like Robb mentioned in his newsletter, for us 2017 has been a year of planning and preparing for the new things to come in 2018. We have been writing, recording, upgrading (studio and brains), creating online content, and collaborating.
This year we’ll be sharing a lot of what we’ve been working on and we’re really looking forward to it!

Just in case you’ve missed things on social media, here are a couple of updates:

A new website is one of the things we’ve worked on last year and it’s live now. Check it out! You’ll find news, pictures, music, videos, blog, tourdates and more!

http://www.robbmurphy.com/

Let us know your thoughts about it! Do you like the website? Is there something missing on the website that you would like to be there? We would love to get your feedback!

Also, we’re now using Bandsintown to announce gigs. Track Robb on there to stay updated on upcoming live shows.

Upcoming Tour Dates

 

It’s 9 pm and I’m going to relax a bit and think of the good memories made in the past few weeks before going to bed.
Time to end this blog with a song… ‘Headstrong’
I definitely “need my headstrong” tomorrow!!

 

Happy New Year!

It’s the last day of the year… I just made some tea and I’m listening to the Top 2000 on Radio 2 (The Top 2000 is an annual marathon radio program in The Netherlands, that plays the 2000 most popular songs of all time, from Christmas through New Year’s Eve). It’s rainy and windy outside and ‘Dancing Queen’ is playing on the radio. I’m looking back at the past year. It’s been a year with ups and downs, but I’m grateful for all the great memories 2017 brought.

New Year’s Eve…whether you love it or loathe it, it’s there! It’s one of the largest global celebrations, the end of another year… on TV the saddest, the best and the most successful moments of the year are being shown, shops are crowded with people getting food and drinks to celebrate that last night of the year. The most frequently asked question on this day is ‘What’s your new year’s resolution?’

We’re programmed to reflect back on the year. Where were you a year ago? What were the best moments in the past year? What have you achieved? Are you happier now than you were a year ago? What do you feel grateful for?

At night people gather to celebrate, dance, drink and be happy. There’s a collective feeling of things coming to an end and a feeling of a new beginning; expectations are high. At midnight we’ll ring in the new year with fireworks and champagne. It’ll be the 1st of January…the start of a new year… Apart from sore heads, eyes being sensitive to light and family obligations waiting, is this day any different from other days? If you think about it it’s just another day.

It’s funny how we all let time dictate our lives. We’ll get running for another year…365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months to fulfill the dreams and to accomplish the goals we’ve set for ourselves on New Year’s Eve to find ourselves in the same setting again next year… ringing in the new year with fireworks and champagne. It’s a really strange global tradition if you think about it.

In reality, New Year’s Eve is just the same as every other night of the year, but as it’s such a big global event, it’s something that connects us all. We all make it a special night and make it meaningful. I’m doing the same thing. I don’t need a big celebration but personally I do think that new year’s eve can make a difference. It’s a good moment to use the vibe to make some positive changes and set some realistic goals. I like the feeling of a fresh start in the new year to work towards my dreams.

Over to you, thank you for reading and sharing the blogs this year and thank you to all who’ve been supporting Robb’s music!
Happy New Year to everyone and I hope that 2018 brings you everything you wish for!
Tomorrow we all have a new year, make it a good one!
“…‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know…”


The Mysteries of the Heart, lyrics:

I will say it once and say it clear
I’m standing on a roof top crying out I am sincere
And I’ll look up to the heavens and I’ll wave my flag of truce
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

I’ve been holding on to something real
I’m holding on to hope that I can finally clench that deal
And I’ll look up to the heavens and I’ll pray I have your ear
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

And let it all unfold, the mysteries of the heart
And let the truth be told, if I really have your hand

And I’m not giving up or letting go
I’m ready to evacuate my self-doubt, take control
All I want is something real
All I want is something pure
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

And if there was a mountain in the sky
I’d climb up to the top and place a rock for you and I
And I will show you love
And I will show you hope
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

And let it all unfold, the mysteries of the heart
And let the truth be told, if I really have your hand

So I wont hinder ’till tomorrow
I’m ready to accept my fate and let my feelings show
So I look up to the heavens and I’ll pray for clarity
Take a breath and fall onto one bended knee

And let it all unfold, the mysteries of the heart
And let the truth be told, if I really have your hand

 

Happy New Year

 

North Star

North Star

The fire is wild tonight
Its dancing in your eyes
I move a little close
And say what no one knows

You taught me all I know
How love can grow and grow
I’m just a lonely soul
You know what no one knows

Save me from this quivering heart
Summer is kind and winter is cruel
Guide me and I’ll follow your light
I’ll be your North Star too

We’ll put our big coats on
And wrap our heads in wool
Then brave the icy snow
We’ll go where no one goes

And I may make you smile
A view that will never tire
We’ll hold each other close
And say what no one knows

Save me from this quickening dark
Summer is kind and winter is cruel
Guide me and I’ll follow your light
I’ll be your North Star too

Now silence falls on night
The world is out of sight
Our heavy eyes appear
Our Christmas Day is near

North Star, a song to close out the year. Robb wrote the song just weeks ago and decided to record it. The result was so good that we decided to share it with the world. A surprise release to celebrate the holiday season!

Have a listen! The song will take you on a musical journey through a glistening winter landscape; a timeless song guaranteed to bring a warm, fuzzy and festive feeling!


It’s exactly what I love about this time of the year….a warm, fuzzy and festive feeling… The house is warm and cosy with the Christmas decorations being up. A place to relax with a warm cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate; a place to escape from the year-end madness.

Year-end madness…December… I have a love-hate relationship with December.
I really love decorating the house and the tree. Decorating the tree is always an exciting event. It’s a tradition to buy one new ornament for our tree each year. The children, who are teenagers now, still love that tradition! Our tree is a mixture of ornaments and almost all ornaments have a story or a memory attached to them, which makes our tree so special. I really love the warmth and cosiness of the house around this time of the year. Candles lit at night, Christmas lights on, curled up on the couch under a nice warm blanket and just relax.

But there’s also the year-end madness… At work pressure is building up… like there’s no time left and everything needs to be finished before the year ends. Next to that there are so many events and obligations; expectations are high. I’m always in two minds about everything during the December month. I’m enjoying the vibe, but I don’t like the amount of events… All events are nice, but they all seem to be taking place at the same time, everything squeezed into one month…  I’m always finding it a big challenge to live up to all expectations during the December month, because I don’t like to disappoint anyone. Every year again I wonder why we can’t just spread all of these events throughout the year…how good would that be?!

On the other hand I really love Christmas morning, unwrap our Christmas presents, have a late breakfast in our pyjamas before getting dressed and ready for family visits. I love watching films with the children. Yes, very cliché, but ‘Home Alone’, ‘How the Grinch stole Christmas’ and ‘Elf’ are sure being watched in this house! I love the atmosphere that comes with Christmas. People always seem to be more kind, caring and thoughtful towards each other, but it always makes me wonder why we need Christmas for that to happen. We collectively create this atmosphere and I really love it, but…why can’t we collectively create this atmosphere throughout the whole year? Being kind, caring and thoughtful doesn’t have to be limited to Christmas…

These conflicted thoughts and feelings always continue until New Year’s Eve. I like the excitement of ending a year and the fresh start a new year always brings. I like to think back of the year that has passed, count my blessing and think back of all the memories we’ve made and I like to look forward to all what is to come in the new year. On the other hand I’m happy that I survived the December month and everything turns back to normal again. I can’t wait to take down all Christmas decorations after New Year’s day, but at the same time I always feel a bit melancholy. One last look at the Christmas ornaments; thinking of the memories and stories attached to them one more time before they’re being stored in boxes again for a whole year.

Over to you! How do you manage stress during the December month? All advice is welcome! 😉

A little bit of news before I end this long blog.
Behind the scenes we’ve been working on a new website in the past months and it’s live now. Check it out! You’ll find news, pictures, music, videos, blog, tourdates and more!
http://www.robbmurphy.com/
Let us know your thoughts about it! Do you like the website? Is there something missing on the website that you would like to be there? We would love to get your feedback!

One more week before it’s Christmas and I’m looking forward to spending time with my family. Most likely this is the last blog I’m writing this year. A good moment to say thanks! Thank you to all who’ve been reading and sharing the blogs this year and thank you to all who’ve been supporting Robb’s music!

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year!

Merry Christmas Happy New Year

Il dolce far niente

“Il dolce far niente” is an Italian saying literally meaning “the sweetness of doing nothing”.
It doesn’t mean being lazy, but refers to that good feeling you can get from being idle and living in the moment. “Dolce far niente” is thoroughly enjoying the taste of that good cup of coffee, it’s taking a walk and breathing in fresh air, it’s watching the sunset, enjoying a nice home cooked meal with family; it’s meditating, but it’s also staring out the window or spending time with friends…it’s basically anything you like doing that gets you relaxed, makes you feel good, brings energy…seize the day, live in the moment. It’s something a lot of people aren’t great at (including me!!). The Italians however embrace “il dolce far niente” – they know the art of doing nothing, they see it as an important day to day activity and there’s a lot we can learn from that.

This summer we went to Italy again. Same place, same apartment as last year…arriving at the apartment felt like coming home. We were welcomed by the owners, who’s hospitality and kindness are absolutely great; providing us with fresh fruit from the garden and homemade prosecco. Being there again, made me realise how much I missed the place, the views, the sun and the beautiful sunsets.
“Dolce far niente” – it pretty much sums up my summer holiday…
Spending time with my family, meeting up with friends, watching the sunset, enjoying a glass of wine, enjoying the Italian sun and beautiful weather, walking barefoot on a sandy beach, feeling the wind, seeing the moon and stars at night, swimming in the sea, eating pizza, watching the geckos chasing bugs, being in nature, visiting ancient medieval towns, playing cards and board games and so much more…
Good times always go by way too fast, but the memories will last. Memories of joy and laughter, memories of funny and awkward situations, memories of feeling good and relaxed… Oh yes…I’m definitely having the holiday blues!

Back to reality it is now…holiday is over and life is turning back to ‘normal’ again. It’s very easy to get caught up again in the busyness of everyday life, so I made a promise to myself…I’m going to practice “il dolce far niente” much more than I already did. It’s a fact that mindfulness, consciously focusing on the present moment, will increase energy levels, bring clarity of mind and greater focus, but it’s so easy to forget about this… Time to adopt the art of doing nothing, weave it into my days and make it a very important daily activity!

“Dolce far niente” is also a lyric from Robb Murphy’s new single ‘Italian Dreams’ which he released in July. The perfect song to end this blog with… The song was written during a long summer in Italy. It’s a lighthearted song with a 60’s vibe, a hint of The Beach Boys. The single is supported by an animated lyric video created by Italian artist Marco Burani.

Watch the video:

or stream the song on Spotify:

Space cake…episode 2

People who are looking for a space cake recipe…I’m sorry to disappoint you, but you won’t find it in this blog… Space cake…I can almost hear you say “If there’s no space cake recipe, then what’s this blog about??” 😉

Well…I’ve been writing blogs about everything happening behind the scenes with Robb Murphy (singer-songwriter) for two years now and ’Space Cake’ happens to be one of the most viewed blog posts in the past few years. Every time I see that someone viewed that particular blog, it makes me giggle and think that it’s probably someone who was looking for a space cake recipe… Space cake tells the story of customs mistaking the Dutch spice cake (ontbijtkoek) I took with me on a trip to Northern Ireland for drugs… If you’re curious, go and have a read. It’s one of the many funny things that happened in the 4 ½ years I’ve been working with Robb.

Two years and many blog posts written…
Today I was reading some old blogs….there’s so much I wrote about! It’s good to read it all again, because I forgot a lot of the funny things that happened in the past few years. Reading the blogs brought back a lot of great memories!

Over the past few years the amount of people visiting the blogs increased, this year in particular. In the first months of the year I wrote blogs to introduce you to the band members. They were sent a very long list of questions to get to know them a bit better…and they all took time to answer the questions….without complaining…except for Robb, who complained that I sent him 9 million questions to answer 😉 I’m glad that they all took time for this, because these blogs were read a lot! Until the end of last year Space Cake was on top of the stats, but every blog I wrote about the band members were viewed a lot more! Kevin is the man though! Sorry Robb, Al, Rick and Dave…I think that Kevin has some secret admirers 😉 because his blog is the best read blog so far!

If you didn’t read the ‘Introducing’-blogs yet, click on the pictures of the band members below, that will guide you to the blog posts.

Robb Murphy Rick McKee Kevin Carlisle David Bennington Alan Ladd

Two years of blog writing…thank you all who’ve been reading my blogs!
I’m sure that there will be many more blogs to come, keep an eye on here or follow us on Social Media.

Those of you who are reading this blog for the first time…Robb is a singer-songwriter from Belfast and if you’re a music lover and like acoustic music with elements of pop, country, classical and folk, check out his music!

 

The Darker Side…the story behind the song

It’s Saturday, the weather is beautiful and I’m sitting outside with a glass of wine… and coffee….life is good! Wine, coffee…sunset…perfect moment to write a blog. Writing this blog has been going through my mind for a couple of weeks now, so it’s time to get it out of my head and get the story written!

A couple of weeks ago Robb Murphy’s song ‘The Darker Side’ was added to a playlist called ‘Music to Grieve to’ on Spotify. A playlist with beautiful songs from well and less known artists:

This got me thinking about the story behind this song and that it would be nice to share a bit more about it and write a blog.
The Darker Side is the only song from the album ‘Sleep Tonight’ that was not written in Italy. Robb wrote the song in May 2013. Around that time he was preparing the recordings for the album Sleep Tonight. He wrote blogs about the songs for the album and shared a lot of demos. I remember that Robb told me that he wrote The Darker Side, it came together very quickly and when he shared the demo with me I remember him saying that it was kind of a heavy song. I listened and loved the song right away. I could relate to the song, it’s a song that brings comfort. Shortly after Robb wrote the song, he shared the demo online, not being aware of the effect that this song would have on people and what this song later on would mean for himself, because a couple of weeks after Robb wrote this song, his mother unexpectedly passed away.

In the past few years we received a lot of good feedback to ‘The Darker Side’, but not only that. More than once people have shared their personal stories and told us how much this song has helped them while dealing with loss and grief or going through dark times. Those stories make us aware of how powerful a song can be. Robb writes a lot of songs, all written, composed and created from the heart and for himself. Only a small amount of songs make it to an album or EP. Sure we hope that people will listen and will like the music when an album, EP or song is being released, but we’re not aware of the effect that a song may have on other people at that time. That only happens when people share their stories and tell us how a song has touched or affected them. Whether a song has made people do a happy dance, has put a smile on their face, helps them through dark times or people simply can relate to a song…it’s special to hear those stories and it shows the power of music.

Back to ‘The Darker Side’. It’s a song that has developed a lot over the years and there are a lot of different versions of the song to find online, but it all started with this demo:

Robb and the band started playing this song live, but it wasn’t until 2014 before the song was recorded as part of the album ‘Sleep Tonight’.

Robb finished the recordings of the album at the end of July 2014. It was sent off for mastering and right after that he and his fiancée (now wife!) went on holiday. During their holiday they filmed several acoustic videos of songs from the album Sleep Tonight. One of those songs was ‘The Darker Side’. A different version of the song was born.

The album ‘Sleep Tonight’ was released in March 2015. Not long after the release of ‘Sleep Tonight’. Robb was invited to perform an acoustic version of ‘The Darker Side for The Arts Show (BBC TWO). The producer of the show had seen the acoustic video recorded in Italy and said that that version would be a good song to replicate. Below the result:

Due to the great feedback Robb received on this performance he decided to record and a release a new, stripped back, acoustic version of ‘The Darker Side’.

While rehearsing and playing the song live, it kept developing. The next version of the song was recorded during a live session for Live uit Lloyd, RTV Rijnmond in Rotterdam.

‘The Darker Side’, a song that can be played in many ways, full band or just stripped back with only a guitar and vocals… a song that has touched and helped people… It was nice to see that ‘The Darker Side’ was added to the ‘Music To Grieve To’ playlist on Spotify. Hopefully the song will reach and help a lot more people in the future.

The Darker Side – lyrics

When the night falls in and the nightmares come
When there’s fading light and the day is done
I will fight you ‘till the morning comes
I will guard my heart and steady my head

‘Cause there is hope for all mankind
If we let go of the darker side
There’s nothing here to hold us back
And everything is open wide
If we let go of the darker side

Down the hill and through the pastures
To the old stone smokey house
I’ve not been here for years
Afraid that I will not confide
Not let go of the darker side

Here I am I come to you
With an open hand but life’s tattoo
I will fight you ‘till the night turns day
Everything is open wide
If we let go of the darker side
If we let go of the darker side
If we let go of the darker side

The Darker Side