Category Archives: General Music Stuff I’m Up To!

Stuff and stuff!

March 1st 2023

Hi all,

trust everyone fairing well?

My updates here more succinct not least for your sake.

On the music front I’m occasionally practicing piano and accordion.

There an excellent programme on drummers last night hosted by the adept Steve White which reminded me not to get too rusty on kit.

I plan to get in to a local studio to practice drums, been too long.

I’ll take my much loved Mapex MidTown kit and Sabian cymbals.

I might take my congas in too. (I love them not least as Nina Simone hired them off me once for her percussionist when at the RFH).

I’m mildly disappointed by the lack of credible opportunities out there musically but not surprised as always been the case.

We remain in Chiswick for now with still a plan to move to the South Coast, possible by Summer.

I stay fit and still doing HIIT with Caroline Girvan online, currently doing the FUEL series. (3 done previously).

I’m enjoying Brazilian JuJitsu (BJJ) with superb local centre Wave BJJ but need to go more than the twice a week I’m averaging.

I’m still running, lifting weights and using (underrated) resistance bands.

I use app Map My Fitness, to track my exercise. This syncs with My Fitness Pal (full subscription) where I also track diet and weight and vitals. These in turn are recorded using an app by Renpho which syncs with their smart scales tracking my body weight, and other body composition data including BMI, muscle mass and body fat percentage (that last the biggest challenge to reduce). I also a member of Men’s Health Squad as they were doing a deal. It doesn’t seem to offer much to interact with but I get Men’s Health mag monthly and there some interesting tips from the excellent coaches along with an exclusive Instagram account we get to access.

For diet and health I’ve invested in the Zoe programme. It’s thorough and ground-breaking. Listen to the podcasts and get the free apps to get an idea of what they about. I recommend the 2 books by founder Tim Spector too.

For my brain (what left of it!) I invested in subscribing to app Brilliant. It takes me through a series of courses based around physics which I was rubbish at but it delivers the learning really well. Recommended.

My wife and I have bought a house in Folkestone, a friend and family moving in to. Built in 1894, we own something spanning 3 centuries and as such I feel a sense of responsibility as a custodian but it’s a nice feeling.

I have a new p/t job starting mid-March with a great charity and going in to a Primary School (not the one I taught at previously) to work with the Year 5 children on making the school greener and reducing their carbon footprint. I’ve done one preliminary session and the children were inspiring and wonderful to work with . It feels a good thing to do.

We’ve a lot of brickabrack to shift before we move so w/e boot-fairs for the next few weeks only interrupted by a cheeky few days in Lille c/o Eurostar and AirBnB. With the boot fairs we at least done in time for lunch, maybe out with the proceeds of sale!

Our current house a constant work in progress to maintain, at least my plumbing and DIY skills improving. Probably also handy for when we move.

Summer is not such a distant dream, the days getting lighter later, the cold (gradually!) ebbing.

March on x

Leave a comment

Filed under General Music Stuff I'm Up To!

15th December 2023

The more things change the more they stay the same – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr. In 1849 French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr wrote “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose “….

Yep, that’s about right.

My wife and I now live in Chiswick, West London.

My days now very happily different.

I do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and HIIT classes 4 times a week.

I measure my stats using MyFitnessPal, my Apple Watch and Renpho scales.

I continue writing my children’s book.

I play piano and accordion daily.

I don’t miss the Music Scene. I do miss drumming in a band.

I’m still riding and wrenching on my Triumph Bonneville and it a source of great comfort and satisfaction.

Today I joined nurses on the picket line, dressed as Santa, with my accordion.

We continue the fight against Tory greed.

Next year 2023 I’m buying the forever home with my wife, mostly live in my garage, ride my bike, work out, write, cook and read.

Happy 2023,

live your dreams x

Leave a comment

Filed under General Music Stuff I'm Up To!

26th September Update – All Change!

Hi all,

thanks for swinging by here. So, we sold our flat and moved West to leafy peaceful Chiswick. A breath of fresh air in many ways! My wife is closer to her lovely shop too – rosielifelondon – do have a look as she hand-makes wonderful children’s clothes of her own unique designs, available in-store and online!

We living West for a few months whilst jumping the many hoops to get our next home on the South Coast in lovely BexHill-on-Sea. As always with such things it’s a process and will take as long as it takes!

Where we are now I get to play the boudoir grand piano I learnt on as a youngster and there a close affinity I have with it as a result (though it needs a tune!).

I’m currently working on a rather plaintive mash-up of Tomorrow from Annie mixed with The Beatles Here Comes The Sun. I’m also having a go at Manilow’s Copacabana which again lends itself to a rather more reflective downbeat mood. In other activities I’m off in a writing retreat this week as working on a Children’s book, a drama-comedy and a musical. More to follow on that.

I’m the other side of recording some Jazz Drums for singer Leah Lawrence in a session that went really well and the recordings sound great.

If you need a pianist, drummer, percussionist or accordionist for any live or recording work do get in touch and don’t forget to also follow me on my socials @barneymusician all listed to the right on this page.

Best to all as always,


Leave a comment

Filed under General Music Stuff I'm Up To!

July 18th 2022 Update

Ok, so UPDATE!

I had the pleasure of helping out on drums recently for a gig at the iconic 100 Club on Oxford Street with top chaps in rock/mod band The Friends of Luca Brasi. (photo below)

I’m queued up to play kit in a recording session for friend and Jazz Singer Leah Lawrence later this month and the stand-in dep for a local jazz big band.

Looking forward to our move to the South Coast as there seems to be a healthy music scene down there at least as opposed to in London so hopefully more potential and I’ll also at last have more time and space for my own projects. Any Hastings area musicians or bands looking for a player do check me out here and get in touch.

Looking forward to seeing some live music too with Tame Impala, Kraftwerk and the Chemical Brothers booked in for August. If you can’t join ’em then at least go see ’em!

Have a good summer everyone.

Barney Musician

Leave a comment

Filed under General Music Stuff I'm Up To!

March 14th 2022

Hi all, last post was November so Christmas came and went, New Year passed in to at home and a quiet January and February, these the “endurance” months to just wade through for most of us I think?! I began rehearsals with friends Heather and Stuart of some songs for her upcoming birthday and depped on drums for a Jazz Big Band reading charts (first time in many years!) which went well. I used to play kit in my college big band years ago and it brought back some nice memories. I hope to get more of that sort of work.

I saw 2 superb bands over the period – Mama’s Gun and Young Gun Silver Fox, both highly recommended. I was also lucky enough to catch my good friend Andre Espeut hosting the Frankie Knuckles tribute night at the Jazz Cafe, a lovely vibe there and just quality people.

My wife and I also got to see Eddie Redmayne in Cabaret, hot tickets and I now know why. Such great iconic songs and the band were great. Also caught Saturday Night Fever, not as high-brow but a really enjoyable guilty pleasure and that album a big part of my 10 year old life when it came out! Another live treat a Motown Soul Review at Pizza Express Holborn (good music, ghastly food!). Another great but rather sideways band seen recently were Henge who rocked the Piper in Hastings, a top night.

I have tickets lined up too for more live treats such as His Lordship, Tame Impala, Chemical Brothers, Foo Fighters and Seasick Steve plus whoever else at Red Rooster festival this summer – last year there was wonderful.

As the weather improves and Covid seems to lessen in potency if not in its contagiousness we now have the human shame of Ukraine being attacked by Russia’s demonic little despot Putin, men, women and children murdered to satisfy his psychotic blood lust and need for affirmation of status as empty inside, his leverage in the scenario that of gas and nuclear weapons or rather his threat he’d use the latter which few doubt. If ever a lightning bolt was needed…that’s the sort of natural energy we need right now and with a specific target.

The long term plan remains to move to a home where I can have my own space for all my instruments out and about set up and can start recording my album featuring friends. We so desperate to move but that all part of the big plan and we continue to bide our time…for now…it’s felt like forever.

I wish well to all and any who pass by here and pause briefly to read my intermittent entries. This blog for me to jot thoughts more than anything else really and a therapeutic process. Here’s to more positive times ahead for the world along with me getting to read some books, listen to some records and continue teaching, playing and performing music.

B 😉 x

Leave a comment

Filed under General Music Stuff I'm Up To!

November 12th 2021

Time for a check in!
My school music work trundles along nicely and after my 3rd and final gig with a Ska Covers Band on Halloween at The Dublin Castle I’ve chosen to move on now principally working with singer Heather Morris and Sax player Stuart Dace, an exciting project in development!
I played accordion as King of the Dead at the London Day of the Dead Festival (see photos below) recently.
I’m currently producing an EP I recorded for a friend too.
If you need a drummer, piano player, percussionist or accordionist do get in touch.
Hope and trust all keeping safe and well,
Barney x

(Photo Credit: Richard Kaby)

Leave a comment

Filed under General Music Stuff I'm Up To!

July 24th 2021

Afternoon all,

So due to a child at my school testing positive I have had – despite testng negative every day for 7 days – to isolate for the last EIGHT days, just at the start of a much-needed break from work and as the weather finally turned good! Today my last day of isolation and as to be expected the skies have darkened, the temperature dropped and the winds whipped up. Yay!

The unedifying experience further embellished by the neighbour downstairs deciding today is the day they will take a sledgehammer to their walls for no logical reason…:-)

Since my last post my wife and I have thoroughly rinsed out our wedding celebrations quite literally with a soggy start to a Wedding Party in the Sussex Countryside, the clouds mercifully parting for our vows and then our 200 guests enjoying the hog roast, ice-cream van, free champagne, beer and spirits and superb DJ entertainment and camping. Tick.

I continue to apply for work in the Hastings area and our move will happen…Duck, weave and win the way forward.

If you’ve ever wanted a lesson in piano, accordion, percussion or drum-kit, do get in touch. I have solid experience delivering these successfully not only in person but also online.

The same goes for Private Tutoring having successfully led many students to happy results ay GCSE, BTEC and A Level, again, in person and online.

It was good to flex my experience and skills in organising events to make our wedding so very magical. If anyone thinking of having an event of any type, do get in touch as I have a wealth of experience here as well as equipment and team.

Do take a look around my website here as content been updated and these updates here in fact now available as a Podcast (!) too (with an infinitely cooler narrator then me!) at

Wishing all a great summer ahead.

Leave a comment

Filed under General Music Stuff I'm Up To!

June 26th Update

So I got married….

A wonderful wedding day with the Ceremony at Chiswick Town Hall followed by an excellent lunch at The Duke of Sussex (a fitting venue not least as this the county we moving to).

This followed by a fabulous London honeymoon including many meals (Zedels, Hawksmoor), wild water swimming, a bread-making course, the theatre and a stay at Zetter Town House, Marylebone.

School work continues, children working on Beatles songs for class video performances. Looking forward to the end of this chapter now…

New opportunities beckon but unable to say what, where or when at this point…!

I have a second wedding event for all those unable to attend our first. For a few more people….

After that, time to focus on creating new opportunities…

Leave a comment

Filed under General Music Stuff I'm Up To!

April 19th 2021 Update…

Still in Covid Years. Now at least double Pfizered…

Had a good Easter break overall. Only music is teaching my niece in Monaco piano remotely. Going well and she’s learnt a few pieces now and understanding notation gradually.

Interesting to see that online piano tuition can work. I dial in using Google meets with my iPhone on a neck brace pointing down at the piano and my fingers and the camera on my laptop pointing at my face so the student can see me and my hands at the same time. I might trial it with more pupils. I actually tested the system over 10 years ago when Skype introduced new tech that allowed teachers and others to accept money via PayPal incrementally during the duration of a video conferencing call for this very reason. It never took off though I thought it was a brilliant concept but perhaps now the world is more open to receiving such ideas….

I continue my music teaching work at my primary school working with a 440 children every week and bringing music into their lives.

The band I play with The Estimators have gigs lined up for later this summer and I will be playing a few of those.

I’m still interested in my cabaret show even though it seems few others are and I hope to get it performed in someway somehow at some point!

Our plan to get out of London and moved to the south coast continues despite the many challenges and obstacles that continue to be put in the way.

I hope to read more and ride my motorbike more often. At some point I will have my own music room where I keep my piano, drum kit, percussion, accordion and other instruments. Good to have plans.

I keep fit, diet and track my progress on Instagram at @getonwithityoufattoad

Leave a comment

Filed under General Music Stuff I'm Up To!

December 30th 2020

Well….it’s been a bit of a year hasn’t it?

I trust and hope that all and any reading this have fared as best they can under the conditions and extend my sympathies for any losses. I’ve lost 6 friends in 8 months…all under the age of 55…

I continue teaching 450 children weekly at school and remain to date, negative of Covid-19, somehow. What a different world we live in hey?

Christmas has been good. I am very lucky to have a partner I love hugely and we are very good company to each other. For those who have had to spend Xmas and other periods during these restrictions on their own I imagine it may have had different and greater challenges.

Musically I have been learning the music from Lala Land, one of my favourite films. The “Mia and Sebastian” theme by Justin Hurwitz doffs it’s cap to Yann Tiersen and others but no less than inspired in it’s own right. I’m a sucker for a sad song or tune, Tom Waits and Nina Simone my constant companions during my 20s (amongst others) and along with a an overly enthusiastic appreciation of pubs and their products may have kept me in a state of some malaise for that decade.

I’ve had various periods in my life of enjoying the trappings of hedonism shall we say, but having started an NVQ in Health, Nutrition and Fitness in the last 2 weeks have already been educated enough to realise I’ve been rather lucky to arrive where I am with no greater injuries than sustained…I’m not there yet but continue on a journey to improve, address and redress my state of health, my journey now being documented on Instagram at @getonwithityoufattoad .

As for next year…life goes on. I’ve set up an eco-committee at the school I teach at, made up of wonderful, bright, engaged, passionate and inquisitive children who keen to improve the school’s eco credentials and introduce systems that lead us to getting our bronze, silver and gold accreditations.

I have a plan forming (oh-oh….) to combine an interest in health (mental and physical) with green eco activity as part of my next career chapter, happening possibly outside of London but not until 2022…more to be revealed as I go.

Musically, much has to be on hold until this human-caused virus abates. I have resurrected a cabaret show I wrote some years ago that can work in a Tier-2 or lower setting. Getting that going may be a focus in 2021 outside of job, academic study and fitness/health. My attention though will be prioritised on partner, family and friends.

I’ll also be riding my Triumph Bonneville motorbike and indulging my passion in all related to that.

Much love to all, be kind and look after each other.

B x

Leave a comment

Filed under General Music Stuff I'm Up To!