Tag Archives: NI Music

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!

 

Robb Murphy…Q & A

I’ve been writing blogs about everything happening behind the scenes with Robb Murphy for a couple of years now, but while writing the blogs about the band members and introducing them, it came to mind that I never really wrote a blog like that about Robb. It’s about time!

Those of you who’ve been reading my blogs already know a bit about Robb. Next to being a songwriter, creator of music and producer, he’s an outstanding pizza maker, coffee and tea lover, vegan, vinyl collector and he’s always up for silliness….a lot of silliness… Robb likes to challenge himself but, maybe more so, he likes to challenge others…yes I’ve been there 😉 It’s not easy to fool him…but occasionally I manage to do it… Robb always tends to be late and I remember that during one of the tours we had to be at a radio station very early in the morning. I had reasons to believe that we would be late if I told Robb the exact time we had to leave, so I added 30 minutes spare time to that, without Robb knowing… Due to that we arrived at the radio station earlier than expected… That trick never worked again after that btw! And I have to admit…that trick was never needed again, because  we’ve managed to be on time everywhere we had to go ever since.

And…there’s that thing with reading… Robb doesn’t always read everything…of which he recently posted proof…just a few emails to read…

Sometimes I have to be creative when it comes to making sure that Robb reads what I send him…by adding silly things for example. A while ago I made a to do list and I needed to be sure that Robb would read it. I added ‘practice choreography’ to that list and when he asked me what that was about, I knew that he had read the file 😉
And there’s another example of Robb not always reading everything…it sometimes leads to funny situations like this:

All joking aside…I’ve been working with Robb on the music for 4 ½ years now and it’s been a pleasure. We’ve done so much, had ups and downs, but one thing for sure…things are never boring behind the scenes. There’s always a lot of work to do but we’re always having a lot of fun! Robb, the band and me…we’re all very lucky to have the support from partners, wives, husband and family, because without that we would not be able to do this. We have a lot of plans and are working on some exciting projects, so the work continues….onto the next 4 ½ years!

Time for a Q & A with Robb now…Just like all band members Robb was sent a list of questions too… He complained, saying that I sent him 9 million questions to answer – I think math is a problem here 😉 – but he answered the questions, here’s what he said:

What drives you to write?
Something compels me to write, I do not know what but I need to write music. Things that influence what I write about are just everyday situations, nature, and dreams. I also like trying to put myself in other situations, imagining how it would feel.

Can you remember the first time you wrote a song? Describe it to me.
One of the first songs I wrote was called, “Turtle Dove”. Lyrics were; “I’m a turtle dove, I’m a turtle dove”. Half of this song credit goes to Rick from the band.

What’s your favorite piece of music and why?
So many to choose from but for now I will pick Holocene by Bon Iver. I am usually more about the lyrics of a song but the melody, arrangement and textures created are what never fails to get me. I have been listening to it for years and have not once got bored of it.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you while working on a song?
When I was working on Stars from the Sleep Tonight album I heard a few xylophone notes during the instrumental that really worked, but were not recorded in the mix, I thought I was going mad! What actually had happened was we had guests in another room where I had left a small xylophone, one of them by chance played a few notes at that particular time.  So I had to put it in the song !

Have you had any crazy fan encounters?
Not many, but the first time I was asked to sign something I just assumed the person meant one of the other acts that had played so I went to get them. #Awkward

How would you describe your music?
Lyric focused, emotive, my personal therapy! The music is arranged by whatever instruments and gear I have at hand, and whoever of my musical friends want to be involved.

Best advice ever given?
Don’t try to copy current musical genres, trends will change so just be true to the type of music you want to create, and maybe a future trend will sync with one of your songs.

First song ever sung?
The earliest song I have memories of singing is Nelly The Elephant, The Toy Dolls version.  It was a birthday party favourite !

Secret craving?
Sultanas, in anything

Favourite food?
Pizza

What’s the hardest part about producing your own music? And what’s the easiest?
Hardest part is not having other people’s input, meaning I am sometimes unsure if something is working. Easiest part is not having other people’s input so I can do what I want.

Is there someone you’d secretly love to work with?
Not really, I am a loner. I am most comfortable writing among people I know and am close to. Songwriting for me is a very personal thing so it’s hard to switch it on if I am not relaxed. I love bringing songs to the band that are not fully finished, songs I am not even sure I like, hearing their opinions gives them a burst of new energy.

What do you like to do for fun outside of working on music?
I like traveling, going for a drive, gardening.

You’ve toured the Netherlands quite a few times now, what’s your favourite thing about the Netherlands?
I love the feeling of space in the country, the openness and fresh air. Also the people, always very helpful and welcoming.

Favourite Dutch word?
Stroopwafel

Oddest thing that has happened while touring?
It’s all weird, but one that sticks out happened when on tour in The Netherlands.  Returning home late from a gig, my turn to drive, and in front of me was a cyclist riding from side to side on the road. We laughed at this but I just assumed it was someone not realising there was a car behind them. As I slowly approached him he swerved out again to the middle of the road, cycled in a big circle and I will always remember as the car headlights shown on his face his very large grin! He was a happy chappy without a care in the world !

Cats or dogs?
Don’t mind either but cats seem to find me, so I will go with cats

Favourite gig so far?
A gig at Theater ‘t Heerenlogement in Beusichem during last year’s tour. It’s a great old theatre venue, we had a lovely meal with the owners Tineke and Gerard Holst, and a full house! Oh and wine back stage 😉

3 places you’d like to play?
Coachella, Burning Man, Dublin Olympia Theatre

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would love to have a recording studio and work with other artists to record their music.  Other than that just be alive, healthy and happy!

Best software you’ve used for producing so far?
I use Pro Tools for recording as it’s what I learned in university. But actually before that, though it’s not software, I used a tape dictaphone for recording ideas and I would also record sounds I like when I was out. There will be a lot of weird stuff on there!

Best hardware investment for music production?
When recording Sleep Tonight I got a Focusrite ISA 828 pre amp, a set of 8 preamps that can be used on a bunch of things, I think I will always use it even if I get a larger variety of pre amps!

Favourite instrument?
Acoustic guitar, trumpet & wurlitzer close 2nds

How many instruments do you play?
A few, but variety of skill levels! Main instrument is the guitar and this feels most natural to me which is why I usually write with it. I play a bit of keys, harmonica, trumpet / trombone (badly out of practice) and the belly slaps.

Favourite  place in Northern Ireland?
Anywhere near the sea! North coast is great. The Mourne Mountains too. Not in the north but a recent favourite is Kellybegs, a small fishing town near Donegal in the North West of Ireland.

What trivial knowledge may save your life one day?
I know how to open a bottle of wine with a shoe

If you could live anywhere on this planet and take everything that you love with you, where would you choose to live and why?
I like it here, but it does lack some sunshine. So I would go somewhere in Tuscany, Italy, a farmhouse just outside Florence. I would take my new wife (not that I have an old one, but recently married) and my guitar. I could also take my macbook and phone, but I can live without them really. Tuscany has a lot of things I love, mostly reliable weather, scenery, art and culture all around. Oh plus coffee, wine and pizza are pretty good there too.

Top 3 songs on your playlist?
Currently on my phone they are:
Bon Iver – Holocene
Traveling Wilburys – Tweeter And The Monkey Man
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Man On Fire

Favourite song from high school?
A few that always remind me of high school are:
Crash Test Dummies – MMM MMM MMM MMM
Wet Wet Wet  – Love is all around
The Cranberrys – Linger
The Corrs – Runaway
Enigma – Return To Innocence
The Connells – ’74-’75
REM – Daysleeper

Favourite thing about music?
Writing and recording, the buzz when something works.

Least favourite thing about music?
Promoting it, needs to be done but I feel like a broken record.

If you were a vegetable, which one would you be?
A chilli pepper

One perfect day…  what would it include?
Big sleep in, good food, sunshine, sea, maybe a sneaky wine

Thanks very much for this Robb!

You can follow Robb on Twitter and Facebook. Stop by and say hello!

If you’ve missed the blogs about band members Kevin, Dave, Rick and Al, click on their names and you can read all about them!

Introducing Alan Ladd

Kevin Carlisle, David Bennington and Rick McKee all have been questioned and introduced. Many people have been reading the blogs, but if you haven’t read it yet, go check them out…there are some interesting facts to find about the band behind Robb Murphy!

Next up is Alan Ladd, a.k.a. Kid-Al, another multi-instrumentalist in Robb Murphy’s band. Al plays keyboards/piano, strings and with gigs he sometimes plays bass as well. Al is also the man who wrote the strings for the album Sleep Tonight played by The Ulster String Quartet.
Al’s wife, Louise, is also very musical. Louise has a really beautiful voice and you can hear her backing vocals on multiple songs from the album Sleep Tonight. A very musical family!!

al-louise

Besides being a very talented musician, there are more reasons why Al is such a valuable member of Robb Murphy’s band… Al is good company and he’s good with left-overs.
Left-overs…this requires an explanation…When Al is around you don’t have to worry about wasting food. If you can’t finish dinner/lunch, just pass it on to Al and he’ll eat it. Food magically disappears when Al is around! 😉
While I was going through photos to use for this blog I saw something I forgot about…something about poo… Another interesting fact…Al ended up witpooh poo on his set list…

This happened during one of the tours of The Netherlands. Band members often write down some notes for themselves on set lists and while making notes Al suddenly started laughing, saying that he had poo on his set list. This is what happens when silliness takes over from tiredness during tours…and believe me…that happens a lot!

To get to know Al a bit better, he also was sent a list of questions. Here’s what he said:

Tell me a little about yourself in one rambling, run-on sentence 🙂
Born in Yorkshire (England) and now living in Northern Ireland married with two kids, I play keyboards and occasionally strings for Robb Murphy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xkgeg1GFKg4  (you can see both Al and Louise in this video) but I also write software for financial trading platforms by day and I fit in a lot of running around my job, music and family, however, I also love travelling which probably stems from my time as european tour manager for the band Forward Russia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGWxJDFd_cw

Coffee or tea?
Irish Coffee, Yorkshire Tea. I’ve definitely shifted mostly to coffee these days.

How did you meet Robb and where?
We met at Queen’s University Belfast which to be honest is a bit of a blur. I think we met on the first day of our music tech course and soon after started writing songs together, first in a ill-fated four piece guitar group, then as an acoustic duo then finally a three piece band. I still think some of the songs we did back then would fit well with the current tunes as if it’s all come full circle. Of course we’re a lot more mature now…

Describe one perfect day…
Lie in; Ulster fry; Something outdoors in good weather with the kids; A meal out followed by a gig/concert/film/show.

Cats or dogs?
Cat singular. We had two cats that didn’t get along and it was not fun. I’ve no time for dogs at all.

What’s your favourite piece of music at the moment?
Piece of music to me suggests classical but at the moment I don’t have time to sit down and appreciate classical music. So I’d have to say the debut album by London Grammar (“If you wait”). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMEHJPuggHQ

Do you dance?
No apart from on rare occasions I’m made to at wedding receptions.
Sorry Al…maybe you forgot, but you do dance…and…there’s proof of that…click on the link to watch!
Al dancing

If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be and why?
Malta – interesting place and good weather this time of year.

Favourite place in Northern Ireland?
Antrim coast or the Mourne mountains. Since I’m an Antrim man now I’ll go for the coast.

What or who is your biggest influence as an artist?
Radiohead. They have spanned so many different styles there’s probably always a Radiohead song lurking in my mind somewhere. Oh and Brett Domino! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xIUeNJIrak

True or false: “Music is my first love”
False.

Silliest thing you’ve done this past month?
Signed up for an ultra marathon (39 miles) in April.

What is your most valued possession?
My passport. I have to get away from time to time. Music-wise my viola which is 98 years old!

Future plans?
Lots but it’s all a juggling act. I’ve some running challenges this year and I’d like to record some music soon. I also have plans for my own business at some point.

If a penguin wearing a sombrero walked into your room right now, what would you do and why?
Take the hat and wrapper off and eat it right there. I’m a chocoholic.

How many instruments do you play?
In chronological order – violin, viola, piano, bass, acoustic guitar. If it has strings I’d give it a go.

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
Hardest part is practising. Best bit is seeing the work pay off whether it be live or in the studio.

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion?
It has to go beyond the sound. You can be playing great faultless music but if it looks like you’re not into it then you’ve lost half the battle. As musicians it’s really difficult to remember that when you’re playing. It’s almost better to make mistakes and smile through it. I remember watching back a video of my first ever band gig and cringing about how static and serious I was.

As a pianist and string player, how do you feel the classics help the modern music scene?
Everything builds on what’s come before so you can relate most things back to classical music even if it’s not obvious.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?
Ha – all my parts in Robb’s songs. It might not be exactly what he intended but I always hope it’s as good if not better than what he was thinking. If he laughs when you play something you know it’s good. It took me a long time to realise that!

Big Bird or Elmo?
Elmo and Andrea Bocelli (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv38j4lPzd0 ) ha ha.

Top 3 places you’d love to play live
Leeds town hall, Ulster hall, Glastonbury festival

What surprises you the most?
My kids. Almost every day.

Favourite song from high school?
Toughie again. In early high school I liked Jamiroquai. Hearing ‘Everything in it’s right place’ by Radiohead was a big shift in my taste but I’m going to choose ‘Flying’ by Death in Vegas. The song reminds me of the first gig I went to with schoolmates at Manchester Ritz. It was 9-2 on a school night. Good times. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jMCQh8aBj0 )

What inspires you?
People achieving things they thought were not possible.

Thanks very much for this Al!

You can follow Al on Twitter. Stop by and say hello!

Introducing Rick McKee

After the introduction of band members Kevin Carlisle and David Bennington we know that the drummer is in charge and that it’s all about that bass, but the introduction of the band is not complete yet. Time to introduce Rick McKee a.k.a. Rick Star, guitar and mandolin player.

Of all band members Rick is probably the most quiet one, but (he wouldn’t say this himself!) a greatly talented guitar and mandolin player!
Rick is good company and even though he’s quiet, he’s someone to keep an eye on…never underestimate quiet people. You’re probably wondering why I’m saying this…well…there’s a story behind it.

I don’t know what it is with this band, but there’s always something with sharpies… We use those sharpies a lot…to write/change set lists, sign albums etc. When the band comes over for a tour sharpies are nowhere and everywhere and no one knows how that happens. A 10-day tour also means 10 days of chasing sharpies. Last year the band went home after the tour and later sent me this photo… Just when you think you have made it through the tour without losing sharpies…
rick-1
I would have expected any band member to fool me, but not Rick! 😉

To get to know Rick a bit better, we also sent him a list with questions. Here’s what he said:

Tell me a little about yourself in one rambling, run-on sentence J
Okay, I’m 36 years old, live in County Down, N Ireland.  I work for the Health Service and as well as being Robb’s guitar and mandolin player and also involved with the music team in a local church.

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee. Definitely coffee!

3 songs on your playlist right now?
Bloodbuzz Ohio by The National
Mary-Jane’s Last Dance by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Bittersweet Me by R.E.M.

How did you meet Robb and where?
We go way back! We went to school together – which is a frighteningly long time ago now!  But yeah, we grew up in the same town, went to the same school and were in many of the same classes. We soon discovered we had similar tastes in music and the rest is history!

Describe one perfect day…
Not being at work.  Not having to rush or sit in queues of traffic.  Just having a day of being with those I love, drinking fine coffee and listening to great music!  It’s the simple things in life, right?

Cats or Dogs?
Dogs! Definitely dogs and it’s not even close! Really don’t like cats…

Do you dance?
No! And the other guys can vouch for that! (we’ll ask them 😉 )

What song would you choose to play for the Queen and why?
Not sure, I’d probably try to do a contemporary arrangement of some old traditional hymn or something.  Something timeless that wouldn’t cause Her Majesty any offence… I’m not sure – what type of music is the Queen into?

If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
You know what? I’m a real home bird.  Places mean less to me than the people I’m with.  So as long as I’m with the right person or people it doesn’t matter where I am. There’s this old monastic site about 5 or 6 miles from where I grew up though, it’s one of those places that is just always so peaceful – it’s a great little place to escape to every so often.

Favourite place in NI?
Co Down. It’s hard to specify an exact place within my home County, but there’s just so much to see and enjoy – we have countryside and coastlines to escape to as well as a lot of nice little towns with cafes and bistros.

Who would you be nervous to meet?
Bob Dylan. He’s a hero of mine – and a true legend! They say you should never meet your heroes though, right?

True or False… is it really all about the bass?
Ha! Dave would say so! And as a part-time bass player I’d probably have to agree…

Silliest thing you’ve done this past month?
I don’t do silly things – I’m much too boring!

What is your most valued possession?
That would be my (main) acoustic guitar. It’s handcrafted from start to finish by a local luthier and is a work of art!  I love it!

Future plans?
That’s a big question! Who knows?? Haven’t thought that far ahead – I struggle to organise the present from time to time, so allow me to sort that out and then I’ll get back to you about the future!

If a penguin wearing a sombrero walked into your room right now, what would you do and why?
I’d wonder who spiked my coffee with what!

Name one thing about music that drives you crazy?
The industry that surrounds it. It’s a popularity contest – style over substance etc… It actually hinders real, hardworking musicians – and that’s not just me being bitter at the fact that I’m in my mid-thirties and haven’t “made it” – whatever that means!  I think most real musicians would agree with me on that one.

Can you share some of your thoughts on the music scene in NI?
Yeah, that’s a weird one – ’cause despite being involved with it I kind of feel a bit out-of-the-loop too!  There’s a lot of great talent out there, but because NI is quite a small country the local scene has become pretty saturated.  It’d be great to see more local acts break into the main Irish/UK and international music scenes though.

I know you have quite a collection of amazing instruments… is there a favourite?
There are a couple of favourites.  My handcrafted acoustic that I mentioned earlier and my Fender USA ’52 Reissue Telecaster – I’ve had it for years and it has seen a number of tweaks and mods, but for me it just sounds, feels and looks right – I love it!

Batman or Superman?
Batman – better car!

Top 3 places you’d love to play live
Later with Jools Holland, The SSE Arena in Belfast and the O2 in Dublin – all pretty ambitious I guess!

What surprises you the most?
That I keep getting asked to play for people!  I honestly don’t rate myself that highly as a musician but I keep getting opportunities to play with some hugely talented, great musicians – I guess I must be doing something right!  I have a t-shirt that has “World’s Okayest Guitar Player” printed on it – that honestly sums up how I feel about myself as a guitarist – I know I’m not terrible, but I am pretty okay!  I’m so thankful I get the chance to do what I do though!

Thanks very much for this Rick!

You can follow Rick on Twitter. Stop by and say hello!

Sunny Mountain

It’s the end of a beautiful warm day and I’m sitting in the garden looking at the sunset.
I decide to write a blog. Taking my laptop outside with me, and making an attempt to write.
The photos on my laptop distract me though. I’m just back from a two-week holiday and I can’t stop looking at the pictures we took. We did a lot and saw a lot of beautiful places in Germany. Two weeks away and although we’re only back for a couple of days now, it already feels like we’re back much longer than that. Just thinking that we were still enjoying our holiday last week is weird and makes me think that two weeks is way too short a time to fully wind down. I’m not the easiest person to start relaxing. It always takes a while for me to wind down and I always have a hard time restarting again after a break. Now that we’re back everything is slowly turning back to normal, starting with laundry and all of the day-to-day matters. We have to work again next week… which I don’t even want to think about…not yet…
It’s good to be home again, but at the same time I wish our holiday could have lasted a bit longer…
Looking at the pictures, memories of the past two weeks come back and make me smile. We had a good time together and laughed a lot. We saw so many beautiful places and it was great to experience an area we never visited before. Holiday is over, but thankfully we took a lot of pictures that helps us remember the good times we had for a long time.

Meanwhile it’s dark now…and I moved inside because it is getting a bit chilly.
I just opened a bottle of wine, which we bought in the area we visited in Germany, the Mosel Valley. Taste of holiday, so I’m good to go and finish this blog.

While I was away on holiday, Robb was very busy with the animals… Just in case you missed it, check out my previous blogs. The animals kept Robb busy for weeks!
Those animals were taking over his house and I think that at some point things got a little bit out of control, which caused Robb to try to catch them:

Everyone was wondering what was going on with the animals, but all was revealed a couple of weeks ago. The animals were the cast for a music video. I just hope Robb was able to keep those animals in line…and got them to do what he wanted for the video… We’re not sure yet when exactly the video will be released, but keep an eye on Robb’s Facebook page to stay updated!

Below are a couple of videos of things happening behind the scenes during the video shoot:

Monkey fail…

And here’s a link to the behind the scenes pictures. As you can see a lot of people were involved with the making of this video!
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1013656132008362.1073741845.201700783203905

Publicatie1

Time to end this long blog.
There’s one song that perfectly suits the blog I just wrote.
Sunny Mountain. It’s a song Robb wrote about the time he and his fiancée had in Italy 2 years ago. The place where Robb wrote the album ‘Sleep Tonight’. There’s a certain melancholy in this song. The same feeling I have when thinking back of our two week holiday…
The lyrics say it all.

I’ll be on the sunny mountain
On the roads back to our home
Through the wooded green lands
Weaving circles with the trees

We owe you for this life
We owe you for this life

Oh the heart is tearful
For the beauty in our view
Earth that’s placed so gently
Decorates our spinning world

I’m trying hard to weigh all the reasons to leave
I’m coming home to my own genesis
I’ve got a feeling that I’ll long for this place badly when I want to be free

I’ll be on the sunny mountain
On the roads back to our home
Through the wooded green lands
Weaving circles with the trees
Away

We owe you for this life
We owe you for this life
We owe you for this life
We owe you for this life

Meet me on the sunny mountain
On the roads back to our home
Through the wooded green lands
Weaving circles with the trees

A Good Place For Us

It’s Thursday night and I’m watching TV. Zapping through the channels and not finding anything I’d like to watch I end up watching the news. Right after the news a documentary starts about the MH17 crash, tomorrow exactly one year ago. I’m watching it for a bit, but it’s a pretty confronting documentary. I turn off the TV and think about that messed up world we’re living in. Lately I’ve been avoiding the news a lot. The only ‘news’ there seems to be is about death and destruction and the crisis. Sometimes I’d rather not know, because there’s nothing positive to find or hear in the news lately.

I put on some music and decide to write a blog. With a glass of wine and Bon Iver playing I’m thinking about the time that I’m off this summer. I’m looking forward to that very much. No work, no obligations, nothing but time for my family and myself. No blog writing, less or maybe even no social media. Step back from everything and relax, which is probably the hardest thing to do.

Over the past few years the world has changed so much. We all seem to be ‘online’ and connected to everyone 24 hours a day and sometimes that overwhelms me. Sometimes there are days where I purposely avoid contact with the outside world. Just to have a break. Things seem to go faster and faster and expectations are high. Often an immediate or fast response is expected and it’s not always easy to keep up with that.
With the music related things we do a lot with social media. It is inevitable, because it’s one of the most important tools to spread the word and share news.
Emails, Facebook, Twitter, internet… It’s all great for fast communication but ‘real’ conversations often don’t take place. It’s one of the reasons why Robb and I also call each other every now and then. First of all, it’s just good to actually hear each other on the phone instead of messaging, but it’s also good to share ideas, talk over things you don’t really talk about in emails or messages.

Phones, laptop, internet, emails, Twitter, Facebook, TV, wifi… Sometimes it’s good to have a break from all that.
Robb wrote a song about this, which is called ‘A Good Place For Us’.

The lyrics say it all…

A light a flickering light
A glass that shields the light
Not an off switch on a cord

A glow a golden glow
The warmth could fuel your soul
Not a dial on a wall

They’re sending signals on a line
Good news matures over time
With their hands by their sides, no distractions on the mind
It was a good place for them
It is a good place for us

A cloth to warm your bones
Shoes to shield from stones
Not an advert on your sole

A coat that fits just right
The warmth could hold you tight
A hood that will feel the rain

Kids playing safely in the street
Real times, where people truly meet
With their hands by their sides, no distractions on the mind
It was a good place for them
It is a good place for us

I say this all as if there wasn’t any pain
Good things have come from us, much we have gained
But there’s a light in my heart
Still flickers in the glass
Maybe this’ll pass
It was a good place for them
It is a good place for us

Right…back to reality 😉
As usual things have been busy behind the scenes…
Not so much for me, but Robb was busy.
Very busy actually….with animal costumes…
Although you might think that strange things are happening behind the scenes and something’s wrong with him, I can reassure you that he’s perfectly fine.
This is just normal behavior. He just did some serious clothes shopping and who doesn’t want to wear new clothes right away after buying them?

After the panda, monkey and the penguin it was time to introduce the giraffe and the elephant.

Besides that some other things happened as well.
Robb did a gig at The Hudson Bar in Belfast for ‘In The Round’ last week.
We received great feedback about the new song The Darker Side Acoustic, which was released a couple of weeks ago. The support has been great!
And the dates for the tour of The Netherlands are announced. You can find them here:

Time to end this long blog, probably my last blog for a while. It’s time for a break, time to let go of everything for a bit and enjoy some much needed time off.
I’ll be back writing again in a couple of weeks from now. By then there’ll definitely be news again to share!

A picture to end this long blog with. It sums up what happened behind the scenes over the past few weeks. Have a great summer!

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Pull Ups 2 – pancakes – stars

It’s Sunday night and I had a very lazy weekend. The weather was so beautiful, so I’ve been outside most of the weekend. It’s getting chilly now, so I went inside and thought it was a good time to write a blog.

Today I was reading the blogs I wrote and looking at the stats. Many people have been reading the blogs I’m writing and that is so good to see! It’s definitely keeping me motivated to keep writing, because people seem to like the blog. I already said it in my previous blog, but saying it again. Thank you all for reading and sharing!

There’s one blog in particular that is getting a great amount of views. People from all over the world are reading it. I noticed it last week, but couldn’t figure out why.
It’s this blog:

Pull ups – Secret Sessions – Musician
https://writtenbehindthescenes.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/pull-ups-secret-sessions-musician/

After thinking about it for a while I suddenly thought of a reason why this blog is being read so often. I think it’s the ‘Pull ups’! Apparently a lot of people are doing pull ups or are interested in pull ups…
Time to write ‘Pull ups, episode 2’.
Here’s a suggestion for the band:
Dave, Al, Kevin, Rick and Robb, send me some pictures of you all doing pull ups. (just like the pictures below….that will do…)
Get practicing and keep me updated on the progress that you’re making, so I can write more Pull Ups-episodes.
It’ll be of great help because it will get up the stats of my blog. Besides that I just know you all love a challenge.

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Another thing I noticed is that the pancakes blog also got a lot attention. No wonder, cause who doesn’t like pancakes? Dave was tweeting about pancakes today. He was making bacon pancakes this morning… He’s now assigned to make pancakes every morning during the tour, because he proved to be a great pancake baker.

Although it seems to be quiet, times are busy behind the scenes.
We’re still preparing things for the upcoming release of Robb’s second single from the album ‘Headstrong’ and we’re busy to get things sorted for the NL Tour in October.
As you can read in my previous blog, Robb had a gig at Love Coffee NI in Lurgan last Wednesday. It was a good gig, great atmosphere and a friendly audience. Great place for coffee, live music and more. Definitely worth a visit if you’re living nearby! http://www.lovecoffeeni.com/

We’re also working on some live dates. Keep an eye on this page to stay updated! More dates coming up soon!
http://www.robbmurphy.com/RM/Live.html

It’s starting to become dusk at the moment. I really love those longs days, especially when the weather is so beautiful as it was this weekend. I always like to go outside and be outside till it gets chilly. The sky is clear at the moment so I’ll definitely go outside tonight to look at the stars, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes. I always look up when it’s dark. The universe fascinates me. And when I’m looking at the stars there’s always one song playing in my head… I love the lyrics of this song. After hearing this song for the first time, the lyrics got stuck in my head and every time I look up to the sky when it’s dark I’m thinking of this line:

“We’ve got the light of stars in our hearts”

Great song to end this blog with!