Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Two Sheds Mix Tape 22: Tribute to Martin Birch

There was a time in my life where whenever I picked up a record I saw Martin Birch’s name on it. He wasn’t a singer or some axe-wielding guitar hero, but he was someone who helped shape the sound of dozens of albums over the years.

As a sound engineer, and later as a producer, Martin worked with some of the giants of the music business. Martin shared studio time with the blues-heavy Fleetwood Mac, rockers such as Jeff Beck, the Faces and Silverhead, as well as hard rock and heavy metal icons Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake, and most notably, Iron Maiden, and even though he retired in the 90’s the sounds that he helped produce continue to influence decades later.

Saturday, 19 September 2020

New Fiction Addition: The New Age *Updated September 19th*

Those of you who follow me on social media may have seen that I've been adding a few old chapters to the blog in recent times. The New Age was by far the biggest Anglo-Force story I'd written at the time,coming in at over 25 chapters. Hopefully you've already read the prequel, set during World War II, and there will also be a sequel of sorts, set during the time of The Valkyrie Chronicles.

The first few chapters have already been posted, and you can read them by clicking on the links below. More links will be added when the chapters go online. Enjoy!
Chapter One

Sunday, 13 September 2020

The Two Sheds Mix Tape #21: The Forties Weekender

Every year the Norfolk coastal town of Sheringham holds their 1940’s Weekend. It’s an annual celebration of all things to do with that historic decade. Thousands of people dress up in period costume and descend on a town that’s as equally decorated to attend numerous events, including riding on the North Norfolk Railway’s vintage steam trains.

This year’s event was scheduled for next weekend, September 19th and 20th. Then that bloody coronavirus intervened, which meant that the organisers had to cancel the event.

Now in recent years I’ve taken quite a liking to Forties music, so much so that I’ve now got quite a bit of it stored on my hard drive, so this Cromer boy thought he’d try and bring a bit of cheer to his neighbours by putting together a Mix Tape of great tunes from that era. I did, however, decided to go in a slightly different direction.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

The Two Sheds Mix Tape #20: Silly Songs From The 80's and 90's

The last two Mix Tapes proved to be very popular, so much so that I’ve decided to hit you all with yet another barrage of Silly Songs, this time from the 80’s and 90’s.

The beginning of the 80’s saw a distinct change in the world of laughs as alternative comedy burst onto the scene, and they didn’t just set their sights on the comedy clubs and the late-night television schedules of newly-launched television channels. The UK charts were also targeted as the likes of Alexei Sayle and the Young Ones joined the more traditional Silly Songs that were on offer.

There were also some memorable parodies. Spinal Tap and their British counterparts Bad News showed us just how crazy the music business really was, while “Weird Al” Yankovic took pot shots at everyone, particularly Michael Jackson.

Friday, 4 September 2020

This Really Wouldn't Have Worked

Back in the deep, dark days of the lockdown when countless ideas were going through my head about what I could do to pass the time I considered jumping on a bandwagon that’s been getting a lot of mileage in recent times.

If you look on Youtube these days you’ll see countless videos of young people “discovering” songs. These peeps are often quite young, probably born after the year 2000, and they film themselves listening and reacting to classic rock songs. The first one I saw featured a young girl listening to Deep Purple’s “Child In Time”, and most recently a video of two young lads listening to Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” went viral on social media.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

The Two Sheds Mix Tape #19: Silly Songs From The 70's

My last Mix Tape, looking back at Silly Songs from the 1950’s and 1960’s proved to be very popular and brought back quite a few memories for you all. So with that in mind I’m bringing you a second Mix Tape filled with daft numbers, this time from the glorious 70’s!

Thursday, 27 August 2020

The Two Sheds Mix Tape #18: Silly Songs

A few months ago I wrote about how I watched a programme on the Now 70’s music channel called “Silly Songs”, and how the likes of Little Jimmy Osmond and the Brotherhood of Man had been included on the list.

The programme has been shown quite a few times since then, and each time I’ve seen bits of it most of the songs I’ve seen have reiterated what I said before, that most of the songs included there aren’t that silly, and each time I’ve seen it I’ve always thought that I could put together a better list.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

The Two Sheds Mix Tape #17: Roots & Branches of The Power Station

It’s 1985, and I’m sitting in my living room watching breakfast television trying to get ready for school. Then I see something that piques my interest, an item about how two guys from Duran Duran and a guy from disco giants Chic had joined up with a well-dressed bloke to form what would be one of the 80’s greatest super groups.

The guys in question were John and Andy Taylor from Duran Duran (no relation to each other), Tony Thompson from Chic, and solo great Robert Palmer. The song I heard was called “Some Like It Hot”, and collectively they were known as The Power Station.

Friday, 21 August 2020

How Coronavirus Really Effects Business

Louise Hale is the owner of Justy Beauty here in Cromer. Like many business owners she was forced to close during lockdown, and she only re-opened a few weeks ago with the strict post-lockdown regulations in place.

She used to post weekly videos on JB's Facebook page about life during lockdown, and this is the first video she's posted since her salon reopened. She speaks openly about everything she's had to do to make sure her business could re-open and remain open, as well as her own views on the pandemic and the views of others she's encountered in the past few weeks.

If you don't really have an idea just how the pandemic has affected businesses then this may be an eye opener for you. It's probably one of the best coronavirus-related videos I've seen in the past few months, and even if you don't live in the area and you have no interest in the health and beauty business I would recommend watching this.

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

The Two Sheds Mix Tape #16: 80's Purple

Back in June I concluded a three-part series looking at the work of heavy metal pioneers Deep Purple. The band enjoyed tremendous success and a series of line-up changes until they disbanded in 1976. Many of the members went on to enjoy a great deal of success with other projects, the most notable ones being Gillan, Whitesnake and Rainbow.

In 1980 there was hope that Purple would reform, but this turned out to be an attempt by original singer Rod Evans to cash in on the band’s continuing popularity as he toured the United States with a bunch of unknown session musicians. It cost Evans dearly when the official Purple camp took him to court, and as Evans couldn’t afford the resulting fine he ended up forfeiting all of his future Deep Purple royalties.