Sunday, 21 November 2010

Jodie Muir joins the team as Spooky Stories is prepared for the studio

Another eventful week saw the first public reading of Zombelina by Steve Garry to school children at St. Andrew's Primary School and by all accounts it went pretty well. 

 Now the filming commitments for Rough and Ready look to be over for the time being, the focus is now on getting the much awaited Spooky Stories recorded and released as an audio book a.s.a.p.

Jodie Muir has joined the team to conjure up the initial artwork for the audio book with a view to illustrating the book on its release in the coming year.

   Here are her  initial rough submissions for Zombelina and the Toymaster which capture the mood perfectly.  The dates for recording have not been finalised yet, but we expect to have the majority ready before the end of the year with the aim to releasing them as downloads at the beginning of Spring.  After spending most of the past year promoting Spooky Stories by stealth I am anticipating quite a good reception - especially for the long awaited "Golden Arm". 

Here is the listing for Spooky Stories so far:

There is Something wrong with Grandad
Miss Carr's Pies
Golden Arm
The Commander-in-Chief-of-the-World
Show and Tell
One Legged Steve

All of which are gems in their own right

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Hairy Plug Monster gets Connected

Music and writing really came together this week with a great deal of time being spent composing "pop songs"  for Myles and Connor Ryan (formerly of Connected)who I met at the opening of the Inspire Community Centre in Levenshulme. 

The brief was very simple...write the boys some new material that is on a par with their Boyband contemporaries - and guess what...I totally nailed it.  I managed to pen 6 new songs in various stages of completion, all of which have a definite commercial appeal and if they get recorded could even go on to do very well. 

Having been a songwriter for the best part of 3 decades, this was the first time I had ever worked with anyone who can really sing...and while my grown up friends may snigger at the thought of me writing for Boyband, it seems that it is the right way to go.  Especially as I have written the best part of 300 songs in all sorts of styles over the years, - and none have bought me any kind of success or recognition for my pain.

Ironically, becoming a children's author has rendered a lot of my material unusable in its current state, (especially in these media savvy days) so adopting a softer approach to songwriting really is the only option. 

So here I am at the start of another project, and after listening to Myles and Connor sing (and man can they sing) I have a strong feeling that I can write them something with longevity.  We will be recording a few vocal tracks over the coming weeks and I will post snippets - so you can make up your own minds.

Keeping with the musical theme, Steve Garry and I completed the two tracks for the film Rough and Ready with the third one due for early next year.  The film crew head off to Wakefield on the 13th November to film the opening scene and another club scene with the soundtrack blaring out in the background.

Have a look at the cast list , there are some pretty big hitters on there and from  what I have learn't they are all eager to do the 2 follow up films. Being the shameless opportunist that I am, I have already thrown my hat into the ring to provide more music, and hopefully get a minuscule part somewhere (not that I want to be an actor - it's just so I can say that I have been in a film.)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Inspire ..... how appropriate

After several years of planning and renovation Levenshulme Inspire centre opened it's doors to the general public. and amongst the V.I.P's which included Sir Gerald Kaufman, and Sir Richard Leese, Myles and Connor Ryan - part of the Connected who narrowly missed winning this years Britain's Got Talent and myself.

In truth it was hard to compete with the twins, who were real celebrities, whereas The HPM hasn't quite got to the stage where scores of screaming girls are clamouring for a signed photo.  Nevertheless, I battled through the noise of the Face Painting table next to me and the art and craft table further along to read a couple of stories. 

I did manage to hold the attention of  the audience for a while, but after a few stories it seemed that the lure of make-up was too much for the audience and one by one they slowly disappeared.

Thankfully, Karen the event organiser arranged for another reading at the front of the centre which captured a more attentive audience and once again the Hairy Plug Monster was a huge success with more than a few parents taking a signed copy home with them. 

The rest of the week has been spent on other exciting projects which I will tell you more about in the next blog...

But before I go here's a little poem I wrote with Maya-Rose.

The Alien

I saw a little Alien, sat beside a tree

He was small green and slimy and really very smelly

He had a little laser gun and pointed it at me,

With a zap, zap, zap

He vaporized my welly.

sometimes you only need a few lines to get the story across