Wednesday, November 21, 2012

London by Xmas!

I had some news this week that I've been offered a permanent position at the place I'm currently working at and this position is down south in London!  So I couldn't be happier right now! I was sad to leave London in January as I'd been trying to move down there for so long and then had to leave after 3 months so it's nice I get to move back the same year!

I usually make an End of Year compilation with a selection of the best songs that I have heard in the year - primarily from 2012 but this year I've got into a lot of older music so it will be less 2012 focused.  If anybody wants to swap compilations just let me know! I'm starting early this year as the move is going to be a big part of December!

2012 has been an interesting year for me... Leaving a really good job and leaving London... I had 3 weeks in the beautiful Istanbul in February where I took part in FAWM (February Album Writing Month) and recorded more songs in those 3 weeks than in the last 10 years! I moved back in with my parents for a month in March - I timed it well though as the weather was amazing; I helped out with digging/weeding on my parent's allotment and planted vegetables and herbs! Summer was laced with more completely unexpected events.. a massive shake up in my love life accompanied by a truck load of new songs; some of which I'll be recording soon. I've improved my singing this year and made plans to record my first solo album (which is on hold now until January when I'm back in London).

I've also started learninig Spanish this year which has been a wonderful experience so far - I used to LOVE languages in school and am so envious of people who can talk other languages... The new job will also be part based in Geneva so a good opportunity to brush up on my pre-existing French as well!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quizás, Quizás, Quizás (New YouTube Vid)

So a few months ago I started learning Spanish...and this is my interpretation of a Spanish song from film Bad Education (La Mala Educación).

Quizás, Quizás, Quizás

Siempre que te pregunto
Que, cuándo, cómo y dónde
Tú siempre me respondes
Quizás, quizás, quizás

Y así pasan los días
Y yo, desesperando
Y tú, tú contestando
Quizás, quizás, quizás

Estás perdiendo el tiempo
Pensando, pensando
Por lo que más tú quieras
¿Hasta cuándo? ¿Hasta cuándo?

Y así pasan los días
Y yo, desesperando
Y tú, tú contestando
Quizás, quizás, quizás

Estás perdiendo el tiempo
Pensando, pensando
Por lo que más tú quieras
¿Hasta cuándo? ¿Hasta cuándo?

Y así pasan los días
Y yo, desesperando
Y tú, tú contestando
Quizás, quizás, quizás

English translation of original Spanish lyrics:

"Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps"

I am always asking you
When, how and where
You always tell me
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

The days pass this way
And I am despairing
And you, you always answer
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

You are wasting time
Thinking, thinking
That which you want most
Until when? Until when?

The days pass this way
And I am despairing
And you, you always answer
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

You are wasting time
Thinking, thinking
That which you want most
Until when? Until when?

The days pass this way
And I am despairing
And you, you always answer
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Now (New Song lyrics)

With the Dry Bar gig fast approaching on Sunday, I wanted to complete one more new song so there was nothing older than a couple of months on the set list... (aside from cover songs)  I've been jamming with this  for a few weeks now, but decided to give it a final push and finish it off for Sunday.

So this song is called "Now".

I think this year, I have found more faith in myself and realised more so than ever; the importance of being brave, trusting in yourself, exercising self discipline every day and more so than anything; don't over-complicate what is simple.

I saw this picture the other day which explains my last point really well:


I am ready
I have packed my case
What am I taking?
I will travel light
Like the wind
Feel the barriers breaking

They were all
Self inflicted
You don't need them in your life
Didn't realise they were there
Now, how many
Can I find?


I am through
With counting flaws
I only seek solutions
Any extremeties
Lookin' for remedies
With a faith transfusion

I am through
With feeling less
Than everything that I am
I am ready
I am rolling
I am here
I am.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dry Bar Gig - Now Sun 30th Sept

Just a quick note to say that the Dry Bar gig has now been rescheduled to Sunday 30th September!

Sorry about the change in date - it was beyond my control...

I should also say that today is exactly 4 years since I moved to Athlone - one of the best things I ever did thanks to the people I met there!

Back to music...  I'm being very productive these days, doing the day job all day and then coming home at night and rehearsing / writing all night...

Good times.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

December Gig Booked @ Fuel, Manchester

My friend Ruby Tingle is having her first solo exhibition and the release of her first EP at Fuel in Withington, (Manchester) on Monday 10th December and she's asked me to come along and play some songs too!

I'm a big fan of her music and recently discovered her art work too so I'm honoured to be asked to play on her big night :-D

Ruby Tingle (Tumblr)

Fuel (Withington, Manchester)

Monday 10th December 2012

When I find out more closer to the time, I'll post it up!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Catholic Cemetery (Lyrics)

Lyrics for one of the new songs I'm playing at the Dry Bar gig on 16th Sept! 30th Sept!

Catholic Cemetery

I took you to a graveyard
Parked up the car
Camera in your hands
Visionary heart

Headless statues
Angels without hands
Jesus on a headstone cross
Trees overhang

And I sang by the church wall
On the edge of the valley
Thinkin' 'bout the endless skies
And the heat of your body

Words soaring
Through my lungs, to the air
Watching you clamber through the stones
Artistic prayer

You returned to the church side
Kissing my neck
Feeling shivers inside
And your hand on my leg

Luscious green life
Ivy covered tombs
Bathing in the ether
Our sparks in the gloom

You shuffle closer, so we're
A jigsaw in bed
With your beard
Tickling the back of my neck

I'm driving with my hand
On your inside thigh
You lean over and kiss me
And this is my high

Gig @ Dry Bar

Nice pies.

Just booked my first gig in Manchester since returning!  I'll be playing at Dry Bar on Oldham Street in the Northern Quarter on Sunday 16th September. Gig has now been changed to Sunday 30th September.

I've been itching to do something different from the standard 1 vocal + guitar for a while now so I'm going to debut some new material at this gig in a slightly different direction to my other stuff with the help of my iPad... Tracks called "Catholic Cemetary" and "Don't Let The World Get In The Way" and "Beautiful Man In A Suit".

I'll deffo throw a cover song in too!

Friday, August 3, 2012

I Only Wanna Be With You (YouTube Cover)

I've been playing this one for a while but only just got around to recording it... it makes me happy to sing it, I've always loved this track - both the Dusty Springfield version and the Vonda Shepard version too :-D

Monday, July 30, 2012

Love Me Or Leave Me YouTube Vid

Woo! I was meant to be working on another one (which hopefully I'll put out this week too) and then I remembered/found this song on friday...I've only heard the Doris Day version (which I've loved since I was about 10 years old...) so I guess that will have influenced a lot how I sing it...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hallelujah YouTube Video (Leonard Cohen cover)

Big respect to Leonard Cohen!! :-D

I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Famous Blue Raincoat (covering Leonard Cohen)

Covering Leonard Cohen's "Famous Blue Raincoat"

It's been a difficult few months since I left Athlone back in September last year... I moved to London into a job I wasn't suited to and into a shared house that I couldn't make into a home and then had a lot of money stolen from me there... So you live, and you learn.  But I got some good songs written from the experience, some of which I'll be going into a studio to record later in the year :-)

I've started a new contract job in Manchester for a few months, I've got my own own apartment living in the city centre (2 mins walk from Piccadilly station :-D  ) and I finally feel settled for the first time since I was in Athlone (even though I won't be here that long!). I have time to sing, to write, to exercise and to cook too (cooking is like my alternative therapy to

So this was recorded on Friday night in my new pad, had a nice evening of drinking red wine, eating chillies and recording this favourite Leonard Cohen track.

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Songs for Stream / Download

Here's my favourite tracks I recorded from the February Album Writing Month! All were written and recorded on my iPhone in Istanbul apart from Sheepskin Lullaby which was written on a Mac and in Sheffield.

Left click to stream or right click to open in a new window or download the mp3 version.

Or you can download the whole load in a super tidy ZIP file here:

Web Sheldon - True Story.mp3
What makes a good woman?
What makes a good man?
With every day I live on this planet
There’s more I understand

Now some people fake so much of themselves
To get through the day
They don’t know the truth from the lies
Of all the stuff they say

I am one who leaves myself open to life
To be used and hurt and bruised
They always get greedy and reveal themselves in time
And they leave behind those who are true

Now I don’t claim to know
Any better or worse
Than any other average man
Living on this earth

But some people you just know
You see their soul right through their eyes
Through thick and thin, through right and wrong
They’d have your back every time

Whoever you are thinking of right now
Find a way to show them your love
There’s so many crooks and thieves out there
So keep close and treat well the ones you love

We don’t need to worship idols or Gods to find our way
It’s only ın each other we need faith
And then the courage to stay open after every tıme we’re hurt
Leaving behind the cruel

And find those who are true
And keep those who are true
And love those who are true

Web Sheldon - Lie Detector.mp3
You seen that strange forced smile
Another careless embrace
Sincerity’s out of style
In the city of disgrace

D’you know they see through the scenes?
But they still stick around
To see the day when a queen
Pawns her own crown

Sometimes good people change
Sometimes the bad stay the same
Sometimes a smile’s faked so well
A lie detector could never tell

Who’d you steal from today?
What you take this time?
Do you think you’ll get away?
One day you’ll pay for your crime

Take what the hell you want?
A morality so surreal
D’you teach your kids to play along?
D’you teach your minions to heel?

Sometimes good people change
Sometimes the bad stay the same
Sometimes a smile’s faked so well
A lie detector could never tell

Web Sheldon - Approximately Infinite Respect.mp3
A tribute song for Yoko Ono for her birthday this year.
(Sample from Ana Matronic interview)

Choose your time well
Do the extraordinary
Could be you
Could be the moon
Could just be your place in time

Choose your mood well
For the charge you are taking
Enjoy, absorb
And feel it from inside

Where’s the energy you need?
A cafe, a busy street?
In the middle of an ocean blue?
Where’s the energy you need?
From the lover you greet?
Or travelling far to a place wild and new?

(Sample from Yoko Ono interview)

Choose your companions well
For every journey
You are centre
You are the median
Of all that surrounds you

Web Sheldon - Little 3 Oh.mp3
It's just another day
But its a strange one
Its just another number
Slightly larger than the last one

And I don’t feel any more found
Than I did 10 years ago
But I know that, i’ve learnt more
Than I ever give myself credıt for

I’m tired of licking my wounds by the fireside
There’s such a bright and beautiful sun in the sky

I need the sea
I need some air
I need to focus
And take some care
I’m just on my way to some strange magical somewhere

I need to stand
Even if I lose
I'll go crazy if I don't move
Could be wrong but I’m inclined
To say any way that’s forward is just fine

There’ll be more time for fun
And losing the days again
But l’ve lost so much time through liquor ‘n’ labour
I’ll only find it in these songs again

It's so easy to drift
And let the world control you
Everyone else decides your fate
If you believe everything they tell you

I’m so tired of being pleasing and polite
I’ve never asked for anything that wasn’t my right

Web Sheldon - Social Climbers
Don’t look up
Check your phone
Read your book

Smile warm
But come back strong
Strike like a storm

They’re so loud
Talking over one another
Sometimes they’re all speaking at once
And no-one is listening at all to anyone

Listening patiently
To what’s being said
They like to hear
Their voices above the rest
Because what they say is the most important thing you’ll hear all day

When they meet new prey
They strike, they fight
Lock their eyes take a bite
And feed and fill themselves
From the other’s heart

Expect to leave the others high and dry
Expect to reason with a few glazed eyes
Expect to be adored and up till 5
But prepare to be skinned and sold and eaten alive

Expect a greeting that’s less than warm
Expect a change in yourself to conform
Expect to bask and blaze and perform
But prepare to call it a night and go home

All attitude
And one-liners
Desperate wannabees
And social climbers

Web Sheldon - Yatma Zamanı.mp3
i know the apartment is looking after me
i know the apartment is looking after me
there’s three locks on the door, i know i’m safe
there’s three locks on the door, i know i’m safe

i know these walls are thick and wide and strong
i know these walls are thick and wide and strong
i’m on the fourth floor high, i know i’m safe
i’m on the fourth floor high, i know i’m safe

keep the blinds down they don’t know i’m home
keep the blinds down they don’t know i’m home
i sleep sound every night, i know i’m safe
i sleep sound every night, i know i’m safe

bir, iki, uç, dört, beş, altı, yedi, sekiz, dokuz, on
bır, iki, uç, dört, beş...

strange sounds from the walls but i’m ok
strange sounds from the walls but i’m ok
there’s a hole in the window but i’m fine
there’s a hole in the window but i’m fine

so warm in the blistering heat, i’m safe
so warm in the blistering heat, i’m safe
sink into the bed but i’m ok
sink into the bed but i’m ok

Web Sheldon - Wild Applause.mp3
Did you leave it too long?
Did you expect to just bring it home?
Did you drink whilst others worked?
Did you snivel to your worst?

Did you crash for the thrill?
Did you know the medics waiting still?
Did you flash for wild applause?
Could you shine for a pure cause?

No wild applause
No wild applause

Did you strain your wired eyes?
Did you stone out the muffled cries?
Did you steal time that you lost?
Will the money replace the cost?

No wild applause
No wild applause

This one is a bit different to the others - it's electro/house. Lyrics taken from an excerpt of "Daisy's Song" by John Keats.
I look where no one dares
I stare where no one stares
And when the night is nigh
Lambs bleat my lullaby

Sunday, January 29, 2012

February Album Writing Month

I saw this last year but didn't get involved... I saw it this year too but didn't rise to the challenge...until Geez (I used to be in a band with him in Mothership where he played Lead guitar) posted on my Facebook wall that I should do it... So I thought it was the perfect time to do it!

I'm finding more enjoyment covering other people's songs at the moment, learning new chord structures and patterns etc and consequently I haven't been writing much original stuff, so this is the perfect excuse to get me writing again! I remember when I was about 19/20 years old, I'd be writing  several songs a week, and it's been a while now since I finished off a new song! Right now is a good time to write though... There's a lot of change in my life, leaving Ireland and then London, PwC, going back to live at my parents and also being about to turn 30 is probably going to hit me soon! lol

So any songwriters reading this, come and join me in February Album Writing Month!

As far as I know, you simply upload the songs to your profile as and when you record them... I was reading Geez's page and he seems to have a plan for what he wants to do - mainly stripped back music, vocal and guitar... I have no idea for mine in terms of that... but I guess its ok not to have a plan... well I'd like to experiment a bit if anything...

Here are 3 FAWM pages of mates who are also doing it:

Farewell Camden

I have to say goodbye to Camden tomorrow as I move the last things out of Murray Street and into storage and then I'm off up to my parent's for a week before going to Istanbul for 2 weeks!

I did well in the audition, I got through to the second stage, but they wanted money off me to put towards the recording costs and management for 18 months and since I'm jobless at the moment, I've decided not to go any further with it... Great boost though to know I did well though.

I did start recording an old song in more jazz kind of style, its a really old one called Kate Bush (used to be called In Need at one point too!) - its very chilled and laid back thus far!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Audition & Mini Sheffield Visit

So it's been a rather busy week... in between half moving out of my current house, leaving my job at PwC and rehearsing for an audition ready for today... I've never had an audition before (apart from when I was a teenager playing violin in orchestras) and I was pretty nervous but it was an exhilarating experience and I got some positive feedback at the time which is a big boost to come from a professional :)  I'll find out next week whether yay or nay...

Spent the rest of the day basking in the glory of le Megabus up to Sheffield and then drinking red wine at my parent's and starting to learn an Ella Fitzgerald song (It's Only a Paper Moon).  Also I was having a chat with a new fan on my Facebook page the other day (Matthew Hyde) and he asked me to cover a Tegan and Sara song called 'Walking With a Ghost', so that's my plan for tomorrow!

One question that took me by surprise at the audition (although it really shouldn't have done!) is what direction I see my music as taking... I guess that has always been a good question with me cos I just love too many styles of music but most predominantly I really love singing jazz and I like the electronic style songs I've written on my iMac such as "Spirit Like You" and "Theories From Von Krahl" with the latter being a bit more experimental.

Perhaps I need to write a new song (or rework an old one as I love doing atm) and see how I can use my jazz vocals with an electronic arrangement & acoustic guitar... could be NICEPIES!

Challenge Accepted! :-p

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Last Night

Thanks to Claudia for taking the video last night and to Patri for making me laugh!

These were the songs I played:
  • Kate Bush
  • Summertime (cover of Billie Holiday)
  • Killing Me (used to play this in Mothership)

Aaaand here's the video of Summertime... :)  Click on the YouTube logo at the bottom right of the video to open it in YouTube and make it bigger...

Screenshot from Vid!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Playing at Open Mic @ Earl Of Camden tonight

Going to the Earl of Camden again tonight for the open mic session! Come along if you're free!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

With Pure Heart

This is the song I played at the Earl Of Camden on Monday, I think it went down better than the covers I did so I might record this over the weekend! I'm still chasing up my video of Monday too...I haven't seen it myself yet...

So...With Pure Heart... The lyrics are quite negative but its good to embrace the mood you are feeling sometimes and let yourself feel certain things, then you can move on and leave it behind...

With Pure Heart

Words are only words
Words are only sounds
Words can feel so powerful
And mean nothing at all

It's foolish to hang on so close
To anything that's out of your control
It's foolish to believe that
Another soul will save your soul

I've had lovers that leave me
I've left other lovers bleeding
Learned too much to love completely
Have I ever loved at all?

It's not the final destination
It's the journey that I'm travelling
It's the steps I'm taking one by one by one

And each step may bring me closer
To some vision of perfection
But it's temporary, everything will change

Then you'll be back finding your own way
Just your own soul in your own skin
Stronger than ever standing on your own

Then you'll be back finding your own road
One direction paved for your soul
You know you can't rely on anything at all

You can't rely on anyone at all , but yourself

Thursday, January 12, 2012

PA Hunting

If it wasn't for the fact that I get to feel a *little* bit like Monica from "Friends", I think packing would be a task of terrible woe! Especially *this particular* packing! When I left Ireland, it was exciting because I knew I was coming to London but this packing is just something that has to be done so I'm having to find other amusement within it.

Once I've got all the packing out of the way, I need to go window shopping for a PA system - if anyone knows anything about PA's, drop me a line!  I want to be be able to play my own gigs with a decent sound. I remember Lucy and I played a gig (when we were just starting Beyond Obsession) in a pub that didn't usually have bands on back in Sheffield in about 2002 and we got paid something for it but we were putting both the guitars and vocals through an amplifier so the sound quality was pretty dire... So I want to get playing some of my own gigs soon - with excellent sound! And hopefully excellent music :-p

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I bought the domain a while ago but couldn't work out how to link it to this blog but I managed to do it today! Woot!

So now you can just type in this address (  )  and it will automatically redirect you to this blog!

Plus I had some spare time to make the blog look prettier yesterday so it's had a lil face lift too... :-D

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Last Night @ le Earl

It was only the second time I've played since I moved to London... the first night was with my mate Beth Swain at Camden Eye just before Christmas and I played You're So Vain (Carly Simon), You Know I'm No Good (Amy Winehouse) and an unusual choice of my own song which was called "Broken".

I did go to the Earl Of Camden open mic night in my first month here but I got there quite late and didn't get to play...apart from playing to another local artist outside the venue later on after he'd been rapping for me in the  So I thoroughly enjoyed last night... it feels GOOD to be playing live again.

I decided to go with some older classics last night:
Waitin' Around To Die (Townes Van Zandt)
Without Pure Heart (my own song)
Where Do You Go To My Lovely (Peter Stadt)

There might be a video on its way for With Pure Heart that a friend recorded for me... will update this when it comes through...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Open Mic @ Earl of Camden

Heading down to the Earl Of Camden tonight for this :)

Scrawlings of Monday Morning...

Hmmm Monday morning... my last full week of work at PwC... I had a good weekend though, a musical weekend is always a good weekend.

I have stacks of unused lyrics - probably 2 or 3 carrier bags stuffed to the brim with sheets of paper with scribblings on, anything from a few lines to whole sets of verses... Many of them of are quite dark and are a result of break ups or just general bad times.  Although I think it's important as an artist to embrace and explore these times, it can also be a strain on your state of mind if you get too involved with them... I think I have distanced myself from a lot of those times now and like to think I have learnt something from having  passed through each experience... However it means that I don't often feel like using the lyrics from back then to write music to now... although every now and then I will dig something useful up :)

Last year, not longer after he died, I received a gift of Gil Scott-Heron poems.  On Saturday night, I had the house to myself and started reciting his poems as melodies with accompanying chords - I know for definite that some of them are already part of a song so I chose the ones I didn't know the songs to. I remember Gil talking during a song on his final studio album in 2010 about how lyrics should fit with the feel of the chords so it almost felt like I was treading on delicate ground if I want to remain respectful of Gil and his work. There was one in particular I liked, so I'll continue to work on that this week and will post it if I like the results :)

On a slightly separate note, I was thinking how I could continue to update my YouTube Channel if I don't have access to a computer, my Mac will probably go into storage soon until I find new job and somewhere new to live but I realised my iPhone is excellent at recording video and might even sound better than my Mac (I have a problem with my Mac atm where it will only record in one!!!).  So anyway I can still record videos on my iPhone, wherever I am, which is excellent news as I want to go full speed ahead with my musical resolutions... :)  I'm working on a fairly recent Tori song at the moment, a 60's pop tune and a cover of a song by The Beautiful South...even amongst the imminent threat of being homeless and jobless, I'm sure I will have a new video to post on YouTube soon!

What else matters; other than music and love?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

You're So Vain (Carly Simon cover)

Amongst the craziness of London life so far, I've managed to record a new cover:

Carly Simon's "You're So Vain"

Arrived in London

So I'm in London now... I arrived on 10th October with 2 car loads full of stuff (not exactly the guitar & suitcase scenario!) and got myself settled into a room in a house at the bottom of Camden Square. I had a few days to settle in before starting work and so I got to explore Camden Town a little more than my brief visits as a tourist before.

It's been a rough a few months though as the job was much more demanding than I expected. At the worst, I was leaving the house at 7am and not getting home until 9pm and feeling exhausted most the time. I didn't even have time to pick up my guitar, let alone actually learn new covers or write new songs.  I also wasn't enjoying the job at all and in the end, I decided to quit... It's thrown things into turmoil a little now as I need to find another job in order to stay in London although I've already decided I should leave my room to either live in a hostel for a bit or stay at friends' places.

Soooo, once I am back on track, the plans for this year include starting gigging again now that I'm in London and I want to cover a lot more songs and putting my own twist on them (and record for my YouTube channel) and I'd like to start working with other musicians again...

So Happy New Year to all!  Let's see what this year will bring! :-D