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

Stuff and stuff!

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. It’s going to be my garage but with my motorbike and car in their too it might need to be a double garage! I’d take a potting shed now, 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

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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)

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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.

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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…

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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

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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

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Yes! My mask biz is up and running! 10 online sales already and now a gallery to go with them! Click here for full details –

In other news still at school teaching 440 children weekly dodging Covid (at time of writing…), teaching piano and A Level music online remotely.

Riding my bikes (motor and pedal) when I can and keeping fit. Best wishes to all worthy recipients! 🙂 Now go and buy a mask!

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August 2020 Update :-)

The world is still on fire in a few different ways.

Covid continues.

I’m going camping for 5 days tomorrow. The weather has been blissful if a little hot for weeks….torrential rain is predicted for the next 5 days….

I spent 1 day being creative musically…knocking out something then adding the speech by Killer Mike of Run The Jewels following the Atlanta Riots in reaction to the killing of George Floyd. I sent it to him but he’s not got back to me…yet…here it is –

I’ve started selling masks…details here –

I’ve done a motorbike course with the Met Police called Bike Safe – great.

I’m off to a motorbike festival in Kent, I seem to have entered myself in to a race….

I’m off to Paris for the last weekend in August, I could live in France….

Back at School September…

I’m more than ready to move out of London….

Big love to anyone that passes by and catches this update 🙂

B x

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June 2020 Update!

Locked down for months so rode my motorbike round London delivering PPE to Doctors and food to Shelters for homeless.

Just doing my best like all of us to keep going.

Stay safe and feel free to join me in thinking how we can improve things so this doesn’t happen again…


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March 26 2020…Staying In…

So here we all are experiencing the biggest turn of events in what seems like the history of humankind. I have created a specific webpage here at my site for parents, students and anyone looking for musical resources to engage with and also other resources and support links. Click above or go to

I’m hoping all can see this latest update ok. The utter minefield that WordPress is have decided in their nerdy un-human friendly wisdom to change things once again making it still a challenge to use this portal to host and maintain a website (and this is apparently one of the easier ways!!! I’ve had websites on the internet for years and never found it anything less than incredibly difficult, WordPress as bad as all the rest). Anyway, do feel free to let me know in the comments below (if WordPress allows there to be!) if it’s working for you. Ok, rant over.

These updates are meant to inform on latest events with me musically but of course, like everyone, world-wide, I’m currently homebound (save for shopping and a daily run/walk/cycle). As a teacher I am teaching remotely now and going in to school fortnightly with my allotted team working with the children of frontline workers.

I am constantly gathering online materials which I initially posted to my Facebook Page (also accessible via my website here) but now posting to the link here (see above). I will also be using this time to do some much needed piano and accordion practice (I might save the neighbour from the drum practice…).

Before this catastrophe changed the world I was still keeping my musical life active, mainly through playing drums for Ska band The Estimators. We had a brilliant gig in Southend and then another at The Dublin Castle. Here’s some footage of us at the Southend gig –

Of course, like all musicians, all our pending gigs have now been either cancelled or postponed. These include weddings and festivals. Fingers crossed we all get through this and also the band can get back to gigging. I;m thoroughly enjoying playing with this outfit and all great guys. At the end of my first gig with them they all gave me a big shout out to the crowd thanking me. That sort of consideration, good manners and kindness goes a long way.

Do feel free to check my social media links as listed on another page on my website here as I’ll be updating regularly. I hope you all stay safe and keep well. Staying indoors, following all official guidelines on good health practice and avoiding contact with others outside your home whilst keeping up with events via news sources seems the best way to do this.

Best wishes to all and keep healthy and safe,

Barney Musician x

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