Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The 11th Door and Upcoming Gigs

I have recently started a new musical project, currently under the name 'The 11th Door'.  There are four members in all, who are;  Vince Cory - lead guitar,  Thor Brown - bass,  Dave Greenald - drums, and myself on vocals, guitar, and harmonica.  We have been practising some covers by the Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators, the Seeds, as well as a few of my own songs.  My own songs, for this project, are different to my usual Shem Sharples songs set, and include four old ones from my days with Rev Rev.
We are looking forward to playing our first warm-up gig at the Gardeners Arms, Chester, this Saturday 10th December, supporting Red Elektra 69.  Then the following Thursday 15th December, we are playing a fuller set at the Golden Eagle, Castle Street.  I'm excited about this, as it gives me something new and different to work on.
The feel and approach is much more rock'n'roll/ psych than the other projects of mine.  I get to dust off my electric guitar!

So we are at;

Saturday 10th Dec        Gardeners Arms, Boughton, Chester.
Thursday 15th Dec.      Golden Eagle, Castle Street, Chester.

Monday, 7 November 2016

This SATURDAY 12th November, at the Golden Eagle

The schedule for this Saturday, 12th November, at the Golden Eagle is as follows:
8-00pm    Schott’s List - DJ set 1
8-30pm    METRO
9-15pm    Schott’s List - DJ set 2

The Shem and Thor duo have worked up a set comprising some twenty-six self-penned songs now.  They will play a selection of about fourteen of these, for this show.  There is a wealth of variety of moods and dynamics amongst them, from the finger-picking, tranquil beauty of Beneath the Copper Beech, to the all-out rockers, like Green Fields of England, with its frenzied harmonica freak-out ending, to the dark, psych-blues-driven explorations of Mask.  It’s well worth tuning into the lyrics too, as many gems are to be found there.  Thor adds some depth as he plays a lively bass with some power, and subtlety where needed, as well as some improvised parts of his own in the exploratory sections.  Shem and Thor take you on a journey through different scenes and emotions.  Sit back and enjoy the ride.
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A Chester trio, playing a range of covers from the likes of Pink Floyd and psych classics.  Paul M.’S rich, dark voice comes on velvet-like over his delicate rhythm guitar, while Vince C. Puts in some lovely psychedelic lead guitar parts and exploratory passages.  Mike Moran ably keeps the drums going throughout, with some flair.

Dan is well known for his support and promotion of the local music scene, being a keen blogger with his schott’s list site, and his work with Flipside, the Chester community radio station, where he has a weekly show.  His DJ sets here will likely be an exciting mix of garage rock, blues, and whatever else he decides to put in the bag.      

Thursday, 3 November 2016

...And The Train Rattled Along...

      I’m sitting at my wobbly writing table glancing outside at the grey blanket of cloud.  The sun is behind there somewhere, fighting to make an appearance above the slate rooftops opposite, a luminous swell in a sky of murk.
      We started working on our first album in May, and steady progress is being made behind the scenes at Neon Fish.  We are working on twelve tracks, with over half of them completed.  The others are quite near to completion too, and things are sounding good, at least to my ears.
      The title is, “…And The Train Rattled Along…”.  This is a line from the song The Burning Tree, which is about a train journey.  It is a metaphor for the journey of life and human society, as we speed on relentlessly burning the natural resources around us, a social commentary, if you like.  Many of my songs have social comment and environmental issues.  Alienation looms large in many of them too, the individual overwhelmed by the roaring rat-race, and the complexity of everything in modern life.  The alien, not feeling comfortable with this, has a desire to get back to a simpler life, and live in harmony with nature.
      We have added drums, and one or two extra guitars to the album.  There is a fuller feel to the recordings compared to the live duo of vocals/guitar and bass.  We’ve tried to keep the embellishments as minimal as we can, and not overcrowd the tracks with unnecessary overdubs.
      Many of the songs have been around for a long time now, and have recorded precedents.  The versions of old were successful in some ways, but were recorded on 4-track cassette,(remember those!), where the sound quality and mixing was not of a high standard.  The newly recorded versions have been reworked in the lyric writing and the arrangements, and are much improved over their older selves.  These songs include; Jackdaw Alien, Strangers Outside My Door, Everything Is Mine, Sunrise, A Box Of You, Clouds of Day One, and You Take It All.  There are a couple of more recent songs too (from the last five years or so), which we have re-recorded and sound better than ever,  these are; Green Fields of England, and Behind Every Face.  Added to these are three new songs, which have no precedents.  We have been playing them live for a couple of years, but these are the first studio recordings of them.  The new ones are; The Burning Tree, Turning In My Hands, and Mask. 
      The album won’t be ready in time for the 12th November gig at the Golden Eagle, as there is still plenty to do on it, mostly mixing, mastering, and sleeve art and design.  When it is ready, it will be available from the local bandstand at Becnicks in Brook Street, Chester.  They have a good range of local musicians’ merchandise down there.  We have a couple of CD-R EPs there already, namely, The Sunrise EP, and Roll the Overhead Projector EP.  You can even listen to tracks on headphones, if you want to hear what you’ll be getting, before parting with your cash.   Do go along and check it out, if you are in Chester, it’s to the left as you go in through the door.


Thursday, 20 October 2016

Golden Eagle - 12th November

We have another gig coming up at the Golden Eagle on Saturday 12th November.  We are going to do an extensive set again, but with a number of different songs.  There are several new songs to do, so we’ll put some of those in the set.  Also, we missed out a few of the regular songs last time, so we’ll include some of those this time too.  This will make it so that it isn’t all the same as last time, and more interesting for us and for you who were at the last one in July.
For support, we have Metro, plus a DJ set from Schott’s List.
We hope to kick off the proceedings at 8-00pm.
It will be a great night!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Gig at the Golden Eagle

I am looking forward to playing at the Golden Eagle this Friday 15th July.  Thor and myself have been busy working up some new songs for a more extensive set.  We have a wide range of different moods and we'll vary things from the quiet and thoughtful to much more rocking territory.  Look out for 'Mask'!   The whole thing kicks off at 8pm and it is free entry.

We have also been recording a set of songs for a future album release.  The first four finished tracks are going to be available as an EP cd-r.   It will have a handmade sleeve made from felt with hand stitching.  The felt will be in several different colours, so be quick to grab your preferred colour, as there will only be a very limited number of these.  The tracks are - Green Fields of England;  Turning In My Hands;  A Box of You;  Sunrise.  - in that order.

On the night of the 15th, Mark Henderson will also do a set with Thor.   Mark has a mixture of his own songs interspersed with some interesting covers.  He has a nice fingerstyle technique and some lovely, interesting chords. Also he gets a really nice guitar sound through his Bugera amp.
Overall he has a good-time feel to what he does and should be a real pleasure.

Metro will begin the evening's entertainment around 8pm.  I'm not sure exactly who is going to be involved with that....but I like the mystery...

Monday, 11 April 2016

Flipside Session

We are looking forward to a Flipside session tomorrow evening at 8pm (Tuesday 12th April).
Tune in on the web at flipsideradio.org    We will be doing a few new songs as well as some old faves.  It will be an extended set.  Thanks to Dan Schott.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Video footage from the Carlton

Hi all!

Here is a piece of video footage from the Carlton open mic a few weeks ago - Tuesday 8th March.  It is my song "Sunrise".  The intro is clipped, but the rest of the song is all there.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Upcoming Gig - February 2016

We will be playing at Telford's Warehouse next Thursday 25th Feb.
It is for Flipside Radio and it is free entry.
Show begins at 8pm.  3 Bands.  We're on second.
Hope you can be there.  It will be fun!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

What have I been up to?

Recently I have been waiting to move house.  Everything here is in boxes, packed up and ready to go.
I am waiting for work to be done on the flat I am moving to.....and waiting ....
I can't get my teeth into anything bar writing and just playing my songs to myself lately.
I have not been able to make arrangements for gigs or sessions, due to me not knowing where and when I will be available.
When I get settled in, I will get stuck into some gigs and recording.
I have about 40 - 50 songs in the pipeline.  There is much to be done!
I will be in Chester soon though, I hope.

See you around.