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Andy Long Bass Player

Four/Five/Six Strings & The Truth

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Newport

Community Fair in Newport

At our local church, St Julians Baptist, Newport, this morning we held a community fair, an open morning for local residents to come along and explore some of the community services that are available to them. It was really well supported and there were lots of really interesting stalls set up.

Some of the services represented there included, community police officers, local councillors, Newport Care and Repair, a local clinic for patients with macular degeneration, the Family Information Service, Newport Parent Network, Christians Against Poverty, Newport Credit Union, Newport Mediation, The Reading Tree, Age Cymru and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

I had a really good chat with the Age Cymru reps about pensions and was able to express my gratitude to Christians Against Poverty and Newport Credit Union for their help.

We offered refreshments for the visitors and were able to show the plans for our new Jubilee Hall which we will start to build next year.

It was good to see our local MP, Jessica Morden there to support the event too.

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Ibanez AEL40 SE RLV Electro acoustic guitar for sale, Newport, Wales

I’ve got an Ibanez AEL40 SE RLV electro acoustic guitar for sale. It belongs to my nephew and I’ve offered to sell it on his behalf.  It comes with a multi pocketed Ritter gig bag.  The guitar itself is a lovely instrument to play.  The front has a few dings in it, as you will see in the pics, no structural damage or anything that would interfere with the playability in any way.

If you’re interested at all e-mail me or find me on Twitter and get in touch. I am willing to deliver if the distance is reasonable.

Here’s some online blurb about this model:

With user friendly electronics and deep acoustic tone, the Ibanez AEL40SE RLV is the perfect acoustic guitar for those looking for a larger bodied electric acoustic guitar. Each guitar in the series offers a unique appearance and sound.

The Ibanez AEL40SE RLV features flamed sycamore back & sides with a solid spruce top complete with an ultra thin “resonant” finish to enhance natural wood vibration and provide more projection and volume.

  • Mahogany Neck Material
  • Solid Spruce Top
  • Flamed Sycamore Back & Sides
  • Rosewood Finger Board
  • Rosewood Bridge
  • IBZ B-Band SquealRepeal Preamp
  • Die-Cast GD Tuning Machines
  • AEL Wooden Vine Inlay
  • AEL Cutaway Bodyshape

Knocking the garden into shape for 2017

Well,the weather seems to have taken a sudden turn for the better, who knows how long this will last? So, over the last week we’ve started sorting the garden out ready for the summer.  Done a lot of weeding out, sorting out of dead pots, pruning and sweeping up of general detritus.

We popped out this morning to the Sunnyside Nursery at Langstone. I’d recommend this excellent little garden centre for top quality, superbly priced plants and gardening peripherals, it’s very small and doesn’t carry all the paraphernalia that a lot of garden centres seem to think is essential, like DVDs, books, clothes, tropical fish etc, but if it’s gardening you’re interested in this is well worth a visit.

I picked up half a dozen Senetti, a nice Delphinium and a lovely Hollyhock and brought them home to find some space.

Here’s a few pics of what it looks like at the moment, It’s going to be ablaze of colour this summer, really looking forward to spending some summer evening sitting out there.

Hawkwind at The Neon, Newport, March 2017

The first band I ever saw live were Hawkwind. It was the Autumn of 1980 and the ‘Levitation’ tour came to the Colston Hall in Bristol. The line up that night was Dave Brock, Harvey Bainbridge, Huw Lloyd-Langton, Tim Blake and (honest guv) Ginger Baker on drums.  I often look back and think I was spoilt by that for a first gig and didn’t really realise how special a band it was, and especially what an icon Baker was.

I’ve been a fan ever since, although not a disciple (of which there are many), I’ve seen them half a dozen times over the years, sometimes great, sometimes not so.  Last night saw the latest line-up playing at the end of my street, so I had to go of course.

With lead vocals being taken now by Mr Dibs the band’s ever changing face sees long standing drummer Richard Chadwick and 74 year old Dave Brock joined by young bassist Haz Wheaton and a keyboard/guitars chap who might have been Niall Hone?

This was a great set that took in a lot of classic material, the band performed really well. Dave is looking well for an old git, and played well to all the other old gits in the crowd (of which I am one).  The light show was everything you would expect from Hawkwind (see pics below) and the band sounded like classic era Hawkwind, with extended jams and all those classic riffs. Mr Dibs was giving it what for on the ring modulators and other expected sound effects.

Haz Wheaton took centre stage and plays bass like a proper rock monster, he is as much a Lemmy style bassist as you could hope for, battering seven shades out of a Rickenbacker and strumming huge power chords for much of the set. Sometimes switching to a Fender for a spot of subtlety, his musicianship impressed me. Kudos to you Haz, you’re up there.

Two disappointments in this show.  Firstly the sound was not great, it’s a problem that this particular venue suffers from, I’ve never seen a show there where they got it right. In this case the vocals were suffering. Volume too low, with all the crispness and clarity of lettuce, it did spoil an otherwise good show. Secondly I had been led to believe (erroneously it seems) that Tim Blake was in this line up. Hone, or whoever it was, did a reasonably good job, but Tim Blake is Tim Blake innit?

They’re playing Bristol in May so I may well go again and see what happens.  I didn’t get the whole set list down but here’s most of what I remember:

Assault And Battery, On The Edge Of Time, Utopia, Time We Left This World Today, Into The Woods, Hassan I Sabbah, Robot, Shot Down In The Night. There were more and I think they may have done ‘You Know You’re Only Dreaming’, or I might have been only dreaming?

The four encores were:

Spirit Of The Age, Brainbox Pollution, (something else here), Silver Machine

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Progressive Christianity Network, Cardiff

pcnA year or so ago I was invited to a small group that meets regularly in Cardiff. The group is part of the Progressive Christianity Network of Britain, a small organisation of people who are seeking an open and contemporary approach to their faith.

The Cardiff group meets twice a month in a church in Pontprennau. There are usually around 8-10 of us at the meeting which is centred around a visiting speaker, video presentation or discussion idea.

It’s been a refreshing and thought provoking time for me at the group. I don’t always agree with the ideas that come out of it, but I think that’s kind of the point, all the members have come to progressive thought via a different path.  In my own church I’m a raging liberal with funny ideas, whilst at PCN I feel more like a conservative trying to hold on to the reins.

At the start off 2017 I will be taking over as the convenor of the group, which sounds very grand, but really just means that I will be facilitating the evenings and booking speakers.

I’ve lined up a few interesting speakers already, here are some of the forthcoming evenings

17th January – Fair Trade In Wales: Aled Pickard and John Mathias

21st February – Some Christians are trans, what does that mean?: Elaine Sommers

21st March – The Dategrove Group: John Henson

Other speakers have yet to confirm topics and I have a few video evenings lined up too.

The group meets at 7:30pm on the first and third Tuesday of each month at Pontprennau Community Church. If you would like to come or want to be added to the mailing list please email me

 

 

Kitchen project complete

Not the sort of topic I would normally post about, but we’re so pleased with the way this turned out that I had to tell someone!  After saving for a R-E-A-L-L-Y long time we’ve finally had our old kitchen ripped out and replaced with this beautiful solid oak set-up. I thought I’d post some pictures of it before I stink the place up.

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Could be looking for a gig…

We’re taking a bit of a break from the Tim Crahart Blues Band, which has left me at something of a loose end, bass-wise for the moment.

Hence I am looking for some musical opportunities in or around the Newport area. I quite fancy doing something a bit prog rock as that’s my passion, musically. But in the past I’ve played a lot of blues, rock ‘n’ roll. jazz, rock etc so could be up for anything.

Laying my cards out on the table at the outset – I’ve got quite a responsible day job which takes a lot of my time, so I don’t want a band that plays five nights a week. Just something occassional would be nice. I am not now and never have been looking to conquer the world in any musical capacity. 

So if you are about to embark on a world tour or just signed a ten album deal, probably best not to get in touch with me.

on the other hand if you play a couple of times a month and have the kind of laid back attitude that only comes with great age and you could do with a half-competent bass player, maybe give me a shout via the contacts page.

redfront

 

Christian Aid Week 2016

Once again this year our home church, St Julians Baptist in Newport, took part in Christian Aid week. I’ve been the Christian Aid Rep for quite a few years now and every year we run a series of events for people in the church and in the local community.

This year we ran some old favourites and tried a couple of new things too. As always we had a team quiz, accompanied by tea and cake (pretty much everything is accompanied by tea and cake). Other events included a plant sale, a sponsored walk across the old Severn Bridge and a Handbell recital at a local garden centre.

My favourite event this year was the Scalextric Rally, four fantastic practice circuits and a digital timed track with prizes for the best times.

Christian Aid Week actually lasts about six weeks for us usually by the time we get all our events in and this year we raised over £1200.

I’ve included a few action shots from the Scalextric. Looking forward to next year

IMG_0985 scalextric - 1 (2) scalextric - 1 scalextric - 1 (1)

 

 

A few Garden pics

Spent a lovely day tidying up and repotting in our garden, gorgeous sunshine. It’s all looking very green at the moment, not much out in bloom yet, but they are starting to come through nicely and I think the summer will be very colourful. Here’s a few pics of some flowers that have shown their faces. (and some fire and a couple of cats)

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