London and Brighton mini tour

Last week was awesomely busy.  There seem to be a lot of people inspired to learn to play guitar for the summer.  This for me is very good.  This means I have been spending increasing hours in the first half of my week meeting new guitar students.  This is good!

Jo Bywater Guitar Tuition 2012

Interspersing my increasing demand as a tutor came a nice little couple of days off for my long-ago-booked gigs in London and Brighton.  These two gigs have been on my list for a few months so I was very excited when they finally arrived.  With the National Express and Mega Bus as my chosen method of rock n roll transport I headed down to Greenwich on Wednesday towards The Pelton Arms.  The British summer has so far being a British summer at its best…this of course means a lot of rain.    This meant that en route to gig I got absolutely drenched.  I stayed in a hostel near Deptford Bridge.  Round the corner from the hostel was a piece of paper stuck to the wall that had ‘Cardboard City’ written on it, with an arrow pointing down the road.., this did make me question whether I had made a mistake..

So…London…my gig was with Icarus Club run by the lovely Phil Dearing.  Very friendly and supportive.  I sold copies of my album and had a return invitation.  This I take as positive.  The bar was some decent real ale and a pay-what-you-want for food deal on a Wednesday. 🙂 I played and ran off into the night towards the Cutty Sark and onto cardboard city. All was well.

Up early and I jumped on a bus to Brighton.  Pre-gig I met one of my good friends Mark M Thompson from uni that I haven’t seen in a few years.  We obviously hit a few pubs and pints of beer and had the quickest catch-up, compressing 6 years into 3 hours.  Knowing I had to sober up a tad in order to play a gig of decent caliber we headed for some food, bid goodbye and I again ran off into the rain towards the Brunswick. 

A friendly gig where I also got chance to see the fabulous ‘The Finds‘ headline.  Very tight band.  The sound was great and there were a few familiar faces from the Pool there too.  Unexpected and very welcome.  I met some really nice people who like my music too.

I stayed the night in another hostel in which at 4am a massive fight broke out upstairs by seemingly somebody who was very upset about his bed…  The morning hit and I took a long walk down the sea front, had an espresso in the Alchemist Cafe and begun my 9 hour coach journey back to Liverpool.  On our stop off at London a guy tried to get on the coach with a Tarantula….he couldn’t quite grasp why the driver said no….:/

Done., looking forward to many more trips and gigs!

x

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. 🙂 

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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! 

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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

New artwork and gig updates

This morning I finished my latest job as a freelance designer.  I was asked to design a logo for Liverpool  Independent promotion company Scarlet Tone. The company is run by Matt Swift, Singer/songwriter and at the moment manifests as a monthly run music night.  If you want to know more details head to the PAGE.

These artistic specimens are what I came up with.  As ever it was a pleasure to work with Matt who I have also gigged with many times!

Earlier this month I also finished my design for The Cake Kitschen, Liverpool.   A bespoke cake and cupcake business run by Jo Shelbourne.   The idea was to come up with a pin-up style likeness of the woman herself.  This started off as a pencil sketch and I am very happy with the result!

Logo Design

For quotes for any type of artwork please message me.  I love doing this stuff and it makes me happy when people are happy with it.  Have a look at my ARTPAGE for more of what I do. Whether you’re a business, a band or you want a bespoke present for someone.

Now onto the MUSIC!!!

I have some great gigs and radio sessions coming up this year: These are they so far…..

1st April:  The Lomax, Liverpool

10th May: Cherry Reds, Birmingham

11th May:  The Spring Gardens, Bristol Mark Venus Music presents…..

12th May:  Songs From the Shed session

12th May:  Marlows, Bristol Mark Venus Music presents…….

15th – 22nd May:  IPO Festival Liverpool (dates tbc)

9th June: Burscough Wharf, Ormskirk (Adam Christopher Music)

7th July:  Festival of Firsts, Wirral

11th July:  Icarus Club @ The Pelton Arms, Greenwich, London

14th Sept: Session on ‘Roots and Fusion’ PURE FM

15th Nov:  Picnic Club @ Fuel, Withington

I am also looking into recording a new vid for one of my tunes and plan to write my next albums worth of songs before the year is out!

Take care

Jo x

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 (www.radiowey.co.uk).

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