Light painting adventures

Tuesday night after some pre-planning and practice shots, myself and Liverpool photographer Hayley Blackledge took to Sefton Park with some LEDS, a camera and my guitar.  The plan was to head to the awesome bandstand and spin some burning wire wool. (whilst I posed with my guitar and avoided having my hair burned :)).  HOWEVER, on arrival we discovered a newly, more secure iron gate that should prevent us from doing such things.  A few musings later, on the brink of figuring out plan b, we discovered that actually it is now EASIER to get onto the bandstand….. so we did.  I have never been on the re before so it was very exciting, it was dark, 11pm so not much to see but still excellent. We did notice one small thing though….  mainly that the floor and roof were made of wood.  Hmmm, for this we decided spinning fire was probably not a good idea.  Adventures = good. Arson = not good.

Hayley has been exploring the wonders of light painting for some time now.  After seeing her previous pictures I had approached her to see if I could get in on some of that funky action for some music promo shots, in a skill-trade manner.  She, happily obliged.

The reassessed picture she went for in the bandstand was to have me standing with the guitar whilst she spun a bike wheel covered in LED lights to create a dome. She then drew shapes with a strip of lights, culminating in musical notes.  Magic! we did this a few times and then ventured off further into the darkness to the waterfall and proceeded safety checks for picture two.  Safety checks mainly to make sure we didn’t burn any of the park that is so well preserved.

For this one I held my guitar up in the air whilst Hayley spun a whisk on a chain. The whisk was filled with burning wire wool. Like a sparkler! Excellent. Though, convinced I was for a while after that part of me was on fire….not so, thankfully 🙂

All of the shots were done on a single long exposure.  Really awesome to see in action and I’m very happy with the results! More to come. In the meantime take a look at more of Hayley’s photos here and if you need something doing she does the lot, from weddings to fire!


Rockin acoustic with Songs from the Shed

This weekend was a corker! 

It began with a very, very early morning start to head down to Clevedon.  I’ve had this planned for a couple of months now (since Jan), when the lovely Bob of Bob’s Folk Show helped me to spread my musical name around a tad and I was introduced to Jon Earl through the ever important life source Facebook. Jon runs a show called Songs from the Shed.  It’s renouned for hosting a mixture of quality emerging and emerged acts.  The one before me was Paul Heaton from Beautiful South/Housemartins.  Very excited I was to do this day trip and musical quest and see what this legendary shed was all about. 

Jon started Songs from the Shed up a couple of years ago after wondering what to do with the shed in his garden. A pub-based conversation occurred and the direction was to invite musicians to play in the shed, video them and upload it online. Awesome.  Well, down the line, 900, 000 youtube views later and whole lotta good reputations brings us to my weekend. 

I have to say, I got quite excited.  I did my warm up in the back seat of the car in a pub car park and then headed to meet Jon at his ace house down the lane.  Jon’s a good bloke.  We had a cup of tea and then headed to the Shed.  It was extremely surreal but awesome.  I literally unpacked my guitar and got stuck into 3 of my songs from Cycle Grace Pulse Break.  Jon video’d them on a hand-held camera. No sophisticated mics or even a tripod.  This thing is all straight up hand held, microphone on the camera.  Happy days. Old school my fave. 

The shed is full of things that have been collected or given, there’s loads of things in there to keep people like me interested for a very long time.  And the bathroom has it’s own life entirely.  I could have spent half a day in there just reading the walls. 🙂 


With the patter of rain on the roof we were done and dusted in 1 take each.  Time for a cuppa and a chat and off to find fish and chips by the sea!  Incidentally it felt like we walked into Fawlty Towers for the pleasure of this but what a cool day! 

Sunday was spent climbing Mount Snowdon with Blythe.  2 1/2 hours up and 1 1/2 back down because we were going to miss the last bus for the car! Today my legs are having real issues walking down stairs. Good job I get to spend it sitting on my butt! 


Feeling pretty postive about this whole thing! 🙂 

Jo x

Travel and touring to Bristol

This weekend I spent in Bristol.

2 gigs. One at Spring Gardens Tavern which happened to be closing down the day after! Friendly, music supporting staff with a great sound system.  My fave grungy kind of venue.  They only play CDs from acts that have played there so I slipped them a copy of my ‘Cycle Grace Pulse Break‘ for future sonic pleasure ;). I was last on the bill for this one so really had to monitor my beer drinking speed.  I managed this successfully but made up for it afterwards.  This meant the tourist day of Bristol was had with a faint headache…

Saturday was tourist central. After a leisurely walk into the city we headed to an event called ‘Feed the 5000’.  For us this meant free tasty curry and salad in the sun. What it also meant was that all of the food used came from sources that had been rejected by supermarkets because they weren’t the right shape etc (potato, carrot rejects etc…think of the Raggy Dolls but food!).  Awesome. Sunny day on the grass.  We also managed to soak up some Davinci arwork in the museum and some top grafitti in Stokes Croft including a couple of Banksys. Topped off with a coffee in Cafe Kino.  That eve came gig number two at Marlows.

Swanky hotel bar with an awesome slide Blues guitarist playing when we arrived.  I want a stomp box and a Cigar Box Guitar now :). I had a great response from the audience, job’s a good un! Cheers to Mark Venus Music for giving this out of towner some gigs.

Loved Bristol.  We were also very hospitably put up for the two nights with the Callan family who very much looked after us 🙂

Sunday was spent with an early(ish) start toward Forest of Dean for some cycling and a cruise upto Cannock Chase on the way back to Liverpool for a second installment of Red trail mountain biking.  Failing to realise the trail was 21k of severe uphills and awesome downhills by the time we arrived back at the car at 8pm I was absolutely broken.

In bed by 10.30pm. It’s been a while since that happened!

Next gigs are IPO Festival in Liverpool:

15th May @ Cavern Club

18th May @ Cavern Pub

Rock on! x

Guitar Tuition of the Jo kind..

I’ve just recently sorted out the ever – important Facebook page for my Guitar Tuition services.  I’ve been teaching guitar for a few years but have now fine-tuned my promo/logo, joined Registry of Guitar Tutors and basically notched the whole thing up a level.  I already have a page on this site dedicated here.

Teaching guitar is something I very much enjoy on a few different levels as well as putting to good use the experience I have and sharing it with other folk.  I’m based in Liverpool and due to a constant rotation I am always open to being approached about taking on new students.  I teach the whole span of ages and motivations.  For me it’s about making guitar playing accessible and enjoyable.  If this sounds fitting or you know someone who wants to learn please send me a message and we can discuss it further.

Jo x

Live review and Bristol gig update

Quick news-burst folks…..

I have just witnessed a very nice live review of a charity gig I partook in last week for Mr Barry Briercliffe at Studio 2 Parr st in aid of Cancer Research.  It was written by Ian D. Hall for Liverpool Student Media and can be viewed…..HERE.  Thanks to Ian for that. 

I also have 2 gigs confirmed for Bristol in May.  I will be playing Friday 10th at The Spring Gardens and Sat 12th at Marlow’s Bar.  I’ve sorted these little gems out as I will be recording a session for ‘Songs from the Shed’ on Sat afternoon. I’m looking forward to a road trip and some good music vibes!


Bob’s Folk Show session

This brings me to Feb 2012… already. Tuesday (31st Jan) I headed down to Chertsey on the train to play on Bob’s Folk Show (

I’m fairly new to radio sessions but 2011 brought me a spurt of them and after booking in for this session in October last year I realised it had arrive pretty quickly. I’m mostly pretty confident and chilled with this situation, the worst thing that tends to happen to me if I think about it (which I try not to..) is that I start to think I’m going to forget my lyrics whilst live on air 🙂 .. it’s not happened yet…

I REALLY enjoy journeys and so heading down via London with a coffee and a book and my guitar was great fun for me. I get all philosophical and creative. I felt like a muso…:) a proper one. So… Bob’s Folk Show.. I met Bob in Chertsey and we headed to a pub where Keith Moon used to drink.  A beer, a halloumi sandwhich and some good old convo about being independant and sticking it to ‘the man’ we then headed to the radio shack which is next door to the hostpital in Wey. Awesome 🙂 proper studio, bit of vintage about it,  I loved it. Bob’s massively into his music so we chatted and he introduced me to some artists he liked and then we did 2 hours of his show. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to play 9 of my tracks live inbetween listening to some fab independant musicians.  Great show, great bloke and I’m looking into sorting some gigs down in London in the next few months.  I stayed in a hostel that night in Pimlico and as I arrived at midnight (after Bob very kindly drove me after the show) I had the amusing situation of having to negotiate making my bed in the dark whilst 12 other people were sleeping. I like random. I woke up pretty early and walked out the door to see the Thames and for a little saunter across London . It was a beautifully lit morning…

If 2012 is all like this I will be HAPPY! I urge you to check out Bob’s Folk Show. If you’re into decent, high quality acoustic music that’s not generic…..

Jo x

Radio Merseyside Interview

I finally got round the uploading my awesome Radio Merseyside experience from Dec 2011. I spent time in the studio with Folkscene host and legendary Liverpool Harp player Stan Ambrose. All of the tracks from my album were played and I got chance to do some talking., great 🙂

I’m heading down to Chertsey on Tuesday (31st Jan) to play live on Bob’s Folk Show at The show will be live from 9pm – 11pm…

Until then!