Category Archives: Music

Great British Music

People I meet instantly recognise my British accent. I particularly like it when I meet someone new and conversation turns to British music. Some peoples’ knowledge is a little sketchy; the American music industry is notoriously hard for UK acts to break into. If you want to learn more about the UK’s fantastic music heritage, you can’t do much better than the 2012 London Olympic Opening Ceremony, which was masterfully directed by Danny Boyle and the soundtrack mixed by British electronic music group Underworld.

The tracks featured in the opening ceremony moved chronologically starting with notorious acts from the 1960s like The Beatles, The Who, and The Rolling Stones, then on to The Eurhythmics, The Prodigy, and more recent bands like Muse. Rappers like Dizzee Rascal and Tinie Tempah aren’t really my thing, but they complemented the overall set very well. Olympic teams then paraded round the stadium to the tunes of Chemical Brothers, Adele, and David Bowie. The set is discussed here, including a link to listen on Spotify.

I can teach you to play some great British music on guitar, and I like to include British tunes in the sets I play for entertainment – see my website for more info on private guitar lessons, hiring me to play, and my contact information.


My songs online

In Sheffield at the end of 2012 my friend Ozzie helped me produce my EP: The Potter’s Clay.

I’ve been recording music myself using Garageband on an iPad since about the same time. (I love the simplicity of this setup – see this blog for more info, but I’d like more control over the volume of the vocals.) I’ve uploaded some of these recordings to Soundcloud so you can stream them free online.


Solo material

Songs I composed and performed with Black Soul


A great place to find out about music in and around Raleigh is on the website. I’m please to say that I’m now listed in their directory of musicians!


Music studios in Raleigh

Whether your band needs room to practice, or a dedicated space to record tracks for your album, here’s a list of music studios in Raleigh, NC.

Rehearsal studios

For college music students in Raleigh there are practice rooms at Peace University and at North Carolina State University.

Recording and Production Studios


Find out about live music in and around Raleigh

These venues offer some top class gigs:

These blogs and sites cover (among other things) upcoming music performances and festivals in the NC triangle area:

Buy tickets for many local upcoming events, including those at the PNC or Dorton Arenas, at

There are many places to catch local live music for free (or for the price of a drink), from bars to street music events:

A range of acts also perform regularly at local open mic nights.


Record Stores in North Carolina’s Triangle region

Want to hold the material in your hand before you listen to it? Here are a bunch of stores to peruse before buying CDs and vinyl to take home and enjoy.


Chapel Hill




Keeping on top of all the new music

There is a bewildering array of acts being formed and new recordings being made. Unfortunately a lot of commercial music media outlets rarely feature new acts (things like MTV UK’s Brand New Unsigned are an exception to this rule). When writing your own music it is especially important to engage with new mixes and sounds – it keeps you creative and prevents your music mojo from stagnating. It would be overwhelming to navigate all the new music by yourself, but thankfully there are some good places to turn to keep abreast of developments.

Radio shows do a lot of the trawling for you. My wife Emily particularly likes listening to Steve Lamacq’s show on BBC Radio six music, which features a lot of new tunes. There’s also The BBC Introducing Mixtape show and blog. (This is quite a British outlook. Please let me know¬†about any American new music shows you appreciate.)

If you want to stay up to date through internet reviews (you are reading my blog after all!) other blogs or online magazine you might like to look at include:

You can also take the plunge and buy some music after only hearing a snippet – the New Artists section in the iTunes Store is one way to do this.

To properly check out new artists, particularly those local to you, nothing beats live entertainment. Listen to artists you don’t recognise at a festival, or pay attention to the support acts when you go to see your favourite band.

Enjoy exploring the musical world, and if you find any gems make sure you share with the rest of us!