• Bunk Gardner: Sax solo
    Influences,  Music

    The Grandmothers at Porgy & Bess, Vienna

    This concert was billed as “The Music of Frank Zappa performed by Original Members of the Mothers of Invention”, which is a bit of a mouthful, but the band are basically the latest incarnation of ‘The Grandmothers of Invention’. Bunk…

  • Influences,  Music

    Peter Hammill at Porgy & Bess, Vienna

    Last night Peter Hammill visited Vienna to play a solo set at the jazz club ‘Porgy and Bess’. I last saw him in Glasgow, at the Oran Mor, which was a fantastic gig and a hard act to follow, since…

  • Time for a knees-up
    Influences,  Music

    Thick as a Brick, in Budapest

    I can hardly believe it is 17 years since I last saw Jethro Tull, on the “Roots to Branches” tour (in Glasgow). I recall being a little underwhelmed at the time, having the feeling that the fun had gone out…

  • Influences

    Gimme Dat Harp Girl

    I don’t normally pay much heed to the ‘latest big thing’ in musical circles – there is just so much hype about usually very little substance, but there is a new album by a quite unique artist that has been…

  • Influences

    Neo-prog overload

    It does get its fair share of bad press, but neo-prog was a part of the early years of my musical development – mainly because the other bands I liked at that time in the mid 80’s (Jethro Tull, Pink…

  • Influences

    Tartan Heart (Belladrum) Festival

    It has been a number of years since I last went to a music festival to experience the delights of multiple bands, dodgy catering and never-ending queues for toilets. My first such event was the Cropredy festival in 1987 which…

  • Raw Spirit
    Influences

    Scots, Sports and Raw Spirit

    Hold onto your hats – this is a long one… Tourist Tat I’ve followed two generations of family working in various parts of the Scottish tourist industry and have therefore been thoroughly steeped for years in views of garish tartans,…

  • Influences

    Whistlin’ Dixie

    I’ve had more than my fair share of hillbilly / redneck experiences in this last week – must be something in the air. Jerry Springer – The Opera At the start of the week we treated ourselves to a night…

  • Instruments

    The Etherwave Has Landed

    My theremin has arrived. It’s quite wonderful. It’s incredibly difficult to play, but that was expected. It looks fantastic – well-finished wood with 2 big wooden knobs and lots of shiny chrome dials. It sounds out of this world –…