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Andy Long Bass Player

Four/Five/Six Strings & The Truth

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South Wales

Focus live in Cardiff

I first heard ‘Hocus Pocus’ by Focus in the mid 70’s. My dad had bought the ‘Moving Waves’ album, unusual for him as he was a rock and roll fan but I think he enjoyed Jan Akkerman’s guitar. I played the album to death. I’ve always loved the band but never been to see them live.

last night (19 October 2017) I ticked that box in Cardiff as band founder Thijs Van Leer, classic line up drummer Pierre Van Der Linden, together with guitarist Menno Gootjes and the most recent member bass player Udo Pannekeet brought an outstanding set to the Globe.

They did not disappoint. The musicianship in this line up is absolutely jaw-dropping. An incredible set of blistering jazz/prog/rock. Fantastic soloing and unstoppable energy. Most of the band’s material is instrumental and I don’t always remember the titles, but included in the set were ‘Sylvia’, ‘Harem Scarem’, ‘Round Goes The Gossip’, ‘House Of The King’ and a few new tunes.

Favourite for me was the epic 23 minute (or more) ‘Eruption’ and of course an elongated and frenetic ‘Hocus Pocus’.

A few pics here, they are not great as I was not close to the stage, but enjoy!

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The Strawbs live in Cardiff

Two amazing sets from the Strawbs at the Globe in Cardiff last night (7th October 2017).  It’s been a few years since I last saw the Strawbs and that was the acoustic set back at Swindon Arts Centre.  Such a prolific band, so many great albums and a wonderful pedigree of musicianship.  The line up these days alongside Dave Cousins features Chas Cronk and Dave Lambert, the wonderful Tony Fernandez on the kit, who I have seen playing with Rick Wakeman on several occasions and a very pleasant surprise for me in the shape of Dave Bainbridge (Iona) on the keyboards.

The set opened with a track from the new album ‘The Ferryman’s Curse’, the track ‘The Nails In The Hands of Christ’ is a strikingly beautiful tale, I bought the album last night and it really is a cracking piece of work.  The set included a couple of other tracks from this album, plus lots of the classic material including ‘New World’, ‘Round And Round’ and ‘A Glimpse Of Heaven. The set closed with the classic ‘Lay Down.

Here’s a few pics

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.

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

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

 

 

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)

Scalextric Challenge for Christian Aid Week

CA-RED-RGBEvery year at our church we host a series of events for Christian Aid Week. We’ve had quizzes, sponsored walks, games, plant sales, cake sales, and loads of other stuff too.

This year we’ve got what is potentially my favourite ever event for Christian Aid Week.

Our HUGE Scalextric Challenge.

Logo

On June 11th at the church we are hosting an afternoon of fun and competition with a MASSIVE Scalextric challenge.

We’re going to build a replica of Brands Hatch. There will be a separate practice circuit and the official track will be digitally timed with prizes for the overall winner.

brands-hatch-map

Full details at the official Scalextric Challenge site. Please come along and support it, the more the merrier.

 

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