City Farming Today

Thoughts and stories from the world of Mike Gibson and adventures of the City Farmers

My Photo
Location: United Kingdom

Ex Godfathers guitarist, now singer songwriter with own band The City Farmers

Monday, December 12, 2005

St Marys Church

OK OK, I know it's months but.... I always did find it easier to play music than to talk about it.
Last Saturday I gigged with the City Farmers at St. Mary's Church in N16. An evening organised by the N16 magazine folk. Another belter, despite a day of car troubles and so forth. While the first band Luxury Condo were playing, I was still trying to get home from soundcheck to change but was stuck outside with a car borrowed for the evening, the starter moter spinning wildly and me trying to figure out how to open a lux Mercedes bonnet before the battery expired completely. I refused to be phased and after a quick change decided that to acheive a state of zen-like drunkeness was the only way to clear the mind and focus....... I think it worked...?
The set was well received by a good crowd (150ish?) and the forces of evil conspired only to make my pick-up fall off the guitar in one song, soon rectified by the application of Gaffa tape, surely the most potent symbol of Western technological advancement in the 20th century. So, we got through it and introduced a new song to the set along with the cover of Sunday Morning Coming Down and the old Godfathers fave, Walking talking Johnny Cash Blues for an encore.
There's something special about playing in such an old building, especially a Church and I hope there are many more events in the future.
So, cheers to everyone who organised and/or attended and don't forget to bung us your email via the website so we can let you know when we're playing next. We are hoping to announce another 'What's Cookin' date soon. Any suggestions of good places to play our kind of thing always gratefully received.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Mad World

First the PM loans G Dubya some cannon fodder for his election campaign and then the Guardian says it might support the Lib Dems in the next election due to to the fact there is nothing discern ably socialist about the current labour government. Meanwhile we loose John Peel, a man whose show was amongst the most challenging ever on British Radio. Yes, challenging! I mean who hasn’t heard something on John Peel and thought it was the nastiest pile of crap on the airwaves? This was the natural yin to the yang of hearing the stuff that was fresh, new and exciting. Discoveries (my personal ones, that is) over the years directly attributable to JP include Kraftwerk, Eno’s Here come the warm jets, The Young Marble Giants and, like many other musicians, I can also credit him for my fist ever radio play, not ‘Lonely Man’ the Godfathers first single but a home-grown punk single with The Jermz, my first ever band.
It’s a sad loss but at least he was still a potent force, still broadcasting, still respected, still interested to the last.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Plough that furrow

Played a lovely gig with the boys back on Sep 30th at The Eye and we've been asked to headline a Saturday in January as a result. Always nice to have something to look forward to, especially in the dark days of winter.
I'll be doing the rounds getting some gigs sorted this week as the diary is almost empty now after the recent spate of activity.
I won't however, be re-starting Acousticism as planned. I found when it came to it that I didn't feel like doing the organisation required and I've been enjoying playing more gigs around different places since I stopped in June. These things tend to have a natural lifespan and that one appears to have expired. Onward and upward.
Still wrestling with ebay in the attempt to sell City Farm, particularly in the territories where there is no distribution at present. (Anywhere outside the UK!). I'll get there in the end but it must be one of the great time consuming phenomena of the noughties. I like to think I'm fairly web-savvy but I have spent hours trying to sort out a suitable listing for the album but am constantly finding that I don't have enough feedback for this or they'll need my bank details, school photo and blood group before I can make a fixed-price listing...It makes me sooooooo!
Finally decided to clear out some old flight cases that have been doing a very poor impersonation of a sofa in my front room since my days with The Godfathers. They are one of those things you think will definitely come in handy again but, in the end, you realise that even if I did fly out to do some gigs, I'm playing acoustic now and it won't fit anyway. Anyone needing to transport an electric guitar around a lot should take a look on ebay. Don't stay too long mind.......

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Long time!

Well that's the way to do it! Create a new blog then naff off on holiday and forget (a) The Blog and (b)Username and password just to slow things down further. Ayway, there you have it. A fine week or two visiting an old chum now resident in France and straight back to it.
First was the Troubadour, a much venerated West London cafe that's been going since the 60's. Had a pleasant evenings acoustic entertainment with Al's wooden chair trick on The Truth gettin' 'em going as usual. That was last Wednesday but next it's back to the Eye (next Thursday 30th sep) for a full band affair.
I always enjoy these, mainly 'cos the band are so darned good. Just one of those things, we gelled from the word go. It's a freebie too so, if your in the area or fancy hoppin' on a 73 bus, we'll see you there!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

First (past the) Post

Hi Folks. Having launched my first solo album earlier this year and begun gigging with a great new band (The City Farmers) I felt it was time to start a blog and keep you all up to date with the goings-on down here on the City Farm.
It's been an eventful year, starting with the Album Launch in the fabulously old St Marys Church in Stoke Newington Church St., my parish for some 19 years now. This gig was the first with The City Farmers who all agreed to help out with the launch and subsequently, thanks to some special musical chemistry, became a live force to be reckoned with. We've had some great gigs, both in clubs and pubs around London and, recently, in the open air at Trent Country Park.

The latest gig was last night at The Borderline in Charing X Rd. Always a pleasure to play 'cos of the quality of the sound in there. It was a first on on a Monday evening slot so nobody was surprised when it was a bit quiet. We opened for Lisa O'Kane, a rising country star who, if the attendance was anything to go by, is in the early stages of said 'rising' at least on this side of the pond. Nevertheless she had a hell of a voice and her partner Mark was a lovely guitarist and backing vocalist.

As we arrived we were contemplating the usual parking conundrum when a parking warden of particularly striking appearance pointed out that the ticket machine was out of order directly opposite the entrance to the club and thus the parking was free until beyond the 6.30 threshold. I was momentarily confused as this creature with heavy gold earrings and unusual height for a woman looked strangely familiar. Suddenly I realised I was looking at the 'Sex change warden' featured in this very Sundays OM magazine! I managed to avoid blurting this out and thanked her for the advice and parked the car thinking that the gods of infrastructure had smiled upon the City Farmers. Unfortunately, as we left the club after soundcheck for a brief R&R in the Pillars of Hercules in adjacent Greek St. we were shocked to find a ticket on the windscreen. Now I'm sure this was not the same warden who made the suggestion and there was still a note from Westminster Council taped to the machine but you can bet on a very stiff letter arriving at Parking HQ in the near future!

The gig itself was another stormer despite a string change on the fly for Martin Feider, our superb slide/lap steel player and the sound was up to it's usual high standard. We made a few friends, notably among the assembled country press who were there for Lisa. They knew it wasn't real country but it wasn't rock either and they knew they liked that's what counts eh?

Next up is an acoustic duo slot this coming Sunday with 'Strollin' Al Kenning on bass out in the park near Palmers Green. See the website for details.