Harkive diary 2015


Harkive is an annual, online music research project that gathers stories from people around the world about how, where and why they listened to music on a single day. Specifically:

“The Harkive Project wants to find out how and why you listen to music in the way that you do, and how the devices, technologies, formats, services and time available to you are combined to create your personal listening experience.”

This is my listening diary from 21 July 2015, the third Harkive event.

Riding the volume knob


There are many ways to change your guitar’s volume or tone in live situations to create dynamics. Simmering through breakdowns, dialling down behind a vocal, cranking up for a solo, chorus or outro – all require control. Overdrive and boost pedals, or switching amp channels, are both options. Combining the two offers even more scope.

10 best songs of 2014


Here’s a Spotify playlist of my favourite 10 songs released this year:

  1. Dynamo – Johnny Marr
  2. Careless – Royal Blood
  3. Ain’t Got No – Black State Highway
  4. The Dirty Truth – Joanne Shaw Taylor
  5. Eurydice – The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
  6. Never Give All Your Heart – Jo Bonamassa
  7. Rockabilly Blues – Brian Setzer
  8. Slingshot – Left Lane Cruiser
  9. Electric Man – Rival Sons
  10. World On Fire – Slash


Harkive diary 2013


The Harkive project wants to find out how and why people listen to music – and how the devices, technologies, formats, services and time available combine to create a personal listening experience. To do this, Harkive asked music fans to document their listening habits on 9 July 2013 and publish the results via blogs, photos, tweets and so on. Harkive plan to analyse the results and repeat the event each year to map how listening habits change over time. This is my listening diary.

Valve guitar amps for blues rock


At the end of 2012 I made a resolution to play guitar in a band regularly by the end of 2013. Four months on and things are coming together. I’ve played two gigs with Rhino & The Ranters and I’m starting a blues rock band with Alistair Jones. After two Ranters gigs and rehearsing with Alistair at Highbury Studios, I’ve found that I need a better guitar amp.

Top ten albums of 2012

Playlists, Reviews

Now is the season of top 10 lists and end-of-year reviews. This is my contribution to the interweb’s melting pot of unsought opinion. 2012 has been a year of rock for me. Old names resurfaced with surprising quality while plenty of new blood made great rock records and toured. In no particular order, here’s a rundown of my favourite albums released in 2012 plus a standout track from each album (shared on Spotify).