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The December Diet and other news…

The December Diet Mystery…where did all the chocolate brownies go? I just made a batch supposedly to last the next two weeks and like some kind of freak accident…we ate them…all…in two days…jeez…

Here’s the thing, the December Diet is all about warming up and stretching the stomach ready for the onslaught of 10 rounds with the monster turkey…come on people, you know it makes sense right? I mean, you don’t want your body going into Christmas Day shock in a sort of reverse “there’s no way a baby’s gonna fit through there, I’m sure there’s been some mistake nurse, NURSE” kinda way…no no, December is a month of exponential growth of appetite with the waistline expansion in parallel, feeling knackered, bleary eyed “ugh” sickie mornings and mood swings (from the “Bah Humbug” variety right through to the “life and soul dancing, I love EVERYBODY” with some choking up at the family Christmas movie in between)…oh my god, December is, in fact, like cramming nine months of pregnancy into 4 weeks, no wonder we all look like hell in January…

Soooo you may be wondering what we’ve been up to in the Offbeat Hub…apart from partaking of the Christmas spirit at our Christmas Party…nooooo, I can’t show you any pics, they’re all far too embarrassing 😉

In other news, we’ve been beavering away on compiling a compilation album to come out in the early spring of 2012 🙂 This involves a lot of arguing the toss as I listen to the back catalogue of amazing music the Boss has produced and collaborated on with various artists and then get frustrated by the fact that a CD is in fact not time limitless and therefore there is only a certain number of tracks we can squeeze on one album…hurumph…well here’s my mission statement people- it is my duty to you to keep pushing to release as much fantastic music as possible so this means that as soon as we finish this compilation, I will start pushing for the next one…

…and we’ve been working on finishing another album due out next year by the Offbeat Rhythm Section and let me tell you it’s Offbeat Upbeat sizzling hot! Every now and again in a moment of madness (and these happen more than I’d like to admit) I put it on in the studio and go crazy…I would love to think I look like Shakira but I’m fairly certain I look more like a bucking bronco with an itch but hey, it makes me happy and I haven’t knocked anything over…yet…

So plenty to look forward to from us in 2012 🙂 Merry Christmas and I’ll see you on the other side in January for the New Year Resolutions…but let me leave you with a little December Diet warning right here…

Years ago when the Husband was still just The Boyfriend With Potential, we were wondering around the supermarket in December like a pair of space cadets, hypnotised by Christmas Musak and aisles of festive sparkley stuff when he turned to me with dilated tinsel reflecting eyes and said “I’ve never had one of those big tins of chocolates at Christmas time before!” to which I, of course, replied “Baby, you can have whatever you want” (I told you this was before marriage turned me into a naghag and I was aiming for “Girlfriend with Potential”, back in the days when I cared if my undies matched) Well, that was the Christmas we worked our way through a 2 kilo tin of choccie in 3 nights, boy the turkey barely touched the sides we were so match fit…and I decided he was the one ;-p

Gavin Blackie’s Interview with Offbeat Records ;-)

Boy are we “Gonna Get It On Tonight”- Gav’s at the Edinburgh Playhouse tonight performing his latest single (which gives me every reason to get innuendotastic) kicking off this year’s Edinburgh’s Got Talent and getting EVERYBODY in the mood…mmm, ready for some Friday night fun??

So just to get you all warmed up, here’s a link to Gav’s interview on YouTube…yes, that’s me inteviewing him, the one who’s having a bad hair day…maybe one day I’ll let you see the outtakes, but for right now, I’m not going to go that far, I mean what kinda girl do you take me for?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ6qHJqdWNY

We had such a giggle taking about power rangers…

For more on Gav and to buy his songs go to

http://www.offbeat.co.uk/offbeatrecords-gavinblackie.html

To catch up on Gavin’s gossip go to;

Gav’s Facebook fanpage

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002539076139

Follow Gav on Twitter;

http://twitter.com/#!/Gavinblackie

Gavin Blackie’s New Single Out TODAY!

…yes, Yes…Oh YesYESOhGodOHGOD, OH YEAH BABY,OHHHHGOD!! Gavin Blackie’s single “Get It On Tonight” is officially released through Offbeat Records TODAY on iTunes…listen babe, that was the real thing too, no “When Harry Met Sally” Meg Ryan faking it here, nooooo no no…passion for music at the Offbeat Studios is RED HOT…rrrrr 😉

I know, you missed me right?! It’s ok, I’m back from outta space now, there’s gonna be plenty of chat from me from now on…yes, I’m totally committed to giving it to you regularly again…probably…maybe…oh let’s just take it one day at a time ok? Jeez…

And just so you know, this single is a collaboration between Gav and our very own Bossman, Iain McKinna…I gotta say, the boys done good, I lurve this one, know what I mean?!

So Ravishing Gav 🙂 has been invited to perform this single on Friday night at Edinburgh’s Got Talent at the Playhouse in Edinburgh (coz he was last year’s winner) but you wanna hear it first, don’cha? I mean we all try before we buy these days right?? Of course you do, stick with me, I’ll deliver the goods every time 😉

https://offbeatrecords.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/get-it-on-tonight2.mp3

Look at him…he’s such a delicious delight and it just so happens he’s an absolute poppet to work with 😉 Sigh…

And remember people, just because she’s not in the cast of the Disney Tinkerbell movies, doesn’t mean the “O” fairy doesn’t exist…may she sprinkle her magic fairy O dust generously wherever you may be…think happy thoughts and failing that my lovelies, get out the happy tools and have some fun 🙂

Now where were we big boy? Oh yeeesss…you were making us a cuppa and I was folding the socks…

Story Of Film, An Odyssey…

Yes indeedy, Story of Film, An Odyssey was screened here in Edinburgh at the Filmhouse this weekend but no, you weren’t invited because it was for friends and colleagues involved in the project- yes, it was just for the special people…and the Bossman, Iain McKinna, was there…no, I wasn’t (sniff sniff)…well to be fair I was away being important elsewhere…

Story of Film is off to Toronto Film Festival and then going out globally in cinema AND the full fifteen hour series is going out on More 4 from Saturday the 3rd of September at 9.15pm, so make sure you catch it because apparently it is STUNNING 🙂

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-story-of-film-an-odyssey

Have I mentioned that The Bossman recorded and produced all of Mark Cousins’ commentary for the series…and he didn’t seem that tall at the time 😉

“Epic…a global vision of cinema” Ian Christie, Sight and Sound

“A brilliant and monumental achievement” Roger Graef OBE, one of Britain’s leading television documentary makers

“Audacious…a treat for movie lovers” Toronto Film Festival

Yes I know you’d like me to interview Mark and frankly I’d LOVE to as well but you know, busy schedules and all that…I mean he’s out there being important and I am too…well ok, not me but look, what would I ask him? You know how my mind works, it hits the Intellectual City Bypass and before I know it I’m off following signs for Random Town and Zany Ville while my mouth is yapping away on rude joke autopilot like a demented terrier in the back of the crazy car…

…and what was I doing that was so important I missed the special screening of Story Of Film? Playing board games…oh yes we did, we really honestly did…while the Bossman was out attending the sceening this weekend, being very cool and sophisticated getting pics taken with the fabulous Mark Cousins… I was embroiled in a tense game of Trivial Pursuits with the three year old sitting on my friends’ dining room table hogging the dice like some kind of overexcited Golem betting at the blackjack table, stroking and kissing the dice and throwing everybody’s turn…I was doing ok too until Match of the Day came on and the fellas did a disappearing act from the table like rats off a sinking ship…

Read more about The Story Of Film on Iain McKinna’s Blog

Offbeat Featured Client- The Abbeystills…

I used to sing in a few different bands…yeah I know, hard to believe right? Ok, maybe caterwauled is a better description…let me tell you there are certain elements to being in a band that are pretty normal across the board, here are Jen’s rules for maintaining band sanity;

someone is always late for practise- it’s cool, there’s always one and yes it will always feel like herding cats for the organised ones…I once stood with the legendary Whizz Jones while we were collecting a group of guitar students together- man that was a beautiful thing to watch- Whizz is hilarious and he collects people up through the sheer magnitude of his gift for telling a good story and being so laidback he sets up a chill zone in the room that everyone gravitates to…

get good at dealing with creative tensions- when I was in a band, we resolved arguments by breaking out the dark chocolate and vanilla lattes (I’m a kitchen gadget freak ok?) for happy mood enhancement- differences of opinion melted away when faced with chocolate, coffee and sugar…I told you I’m a girl of simple pleasures 😉

have your charm offensive off pat- being squeezed into tight spaces together over a period of time (backstage areas/in the studio/all night practise sessions in the garage/ traveling in dodgy vans sitting on each other’s laps, cables snaking around your neck with the guitar case clonking you on the head…) is the life of being a band member- get used to it as the novelty soon wears off and start taking your medication regularly…

…well, now I know where I went wrong…

That said, the Abbeystills seem to have it sorted, I interviewed Graham Hannah recently, so relax and listen to this beautiful track “Blue Summer” enter the chill zone and read about the Abbeystills…

Buy Blue Summer or indeed any track off the Square Circles Album on iTunes

What’s the story behind your band’s name The Abbeystills?

I like the band Portishead and was interested to find out that their name comes from the town where they live. Some of us live in the Abbeyhill area of Edinburgh and thought well why not use our location as a name, calling ourselves the Abbeyhills though was going too far so we adapted it slightly.

How do you all know each other?

I met Valentina (the vocalist) while she was studying for her PhD in Edinburgh (she is Italian, and comes from a little town not far from Verona) She did not take to the vocal chores immediately but after some gentle persuasion she succumbed to the Scottish way of thinking. Gordon, the keyboard player/programmer/technical wizard answered an advert we had in a music shop during a different band lifetime and we have collaborated intermittently ever since.

Is there one member of the band who’s “the daddy” or “the mummy”?!

Being Italian and a good cook Valentina is only too happy to provide cuisine before rehearsals and usually manages to boss someone into doing the dishes afterwards! As it should be…

Who in the band is most likely to get the venue of the gig wrong/ lose the directions/ turn up for a band practice session on the wrong day? This is your chance for a slagging!

I have very bad directional skills and often get lost returning to bed after a late night toilet break !

Tell me about the process you go through with Iain McKinna in the Offbeat Studio to create and mix your tracks? How do you find working with Iain?

I have recorded an album’s worth of songs with Iain and plan to record more. I start by sending him an MP3 of the song to give him an idea of what it sounds like. During my first trip to the studio I take along the Midi information and the guitar wav parts, we import them into the Logic software and then select the suitable sounds for the guitar and keyboard parts. Iain then records acoustic drum and bass parts and we create a basic mix with what we have.

The second studio visit is when Valentina (the vocalist) records the vocal parts, we then produce a further mix which we take home and listen to before returning a third time for a final mix and mastering.

Iain is always encouraging and allows for a very laid back environment, his ability to play and record acoustic drums and bass parts is a service few studios provide. I think he is especially good at putting vocalists at ease and getting a good recording from them.

Do you have musicians who you especially admire? What’s on your playlist at the mo?

I admire songwriters like Elvis Costello, Valentina likes bands such as Pink Floyd and Gordon likes electronic artists like Gary Numan. We all like bands like Air and The Blue Nile. At the moment I am quite taken by Elbow

Most hated household chores

Getting out of bed in the morning (or indeed the afternoon) God I sound lazy…

If you could only have one picture on the wall where you live, what would it be if it couldn’t be a picture of your family?

Rather than on the wall I would like a reproduction on the ceiling the same as in the Sistine Chapel in Rome by Michelangelo, I am not particularly religious but it would be a good selling point

What’s the most impressive thing you’ve seen with your own eyes?

Valentina says that the “Le tre cime di Lavaredo” (the three peaks of Lavaredo in the northern Italian Alps) are particularly impressive, especially at sunset when they become bright red…

If you were in a seance, which musician who’s passed over would you most want to talk to and what would you ask them?

I suppose it would be John Martyn and I would ask him how he created such a unique guitar style and combined it with his particular vocal style to provide such compassion in his work.

(set against the present era of such bland music dominated by TV shows like the X Factor! )

Give us 2 special songs from down your memory lane and tell us what made them special to you at the time?

For me “Saturday Night” by The Blue Nile always reminds me of being in Scotland, especially when I was living in Italy. They are not flashy musicians but they are great at creating a mood.

“Shipbuilding” by Elvis Costello is another of my favourites, great lyrics and a much underrated anti war song.

Who would you most want to be for a day if you could be anybody in history and why?

I think I would like to be Neil Armstrong for the one particular day he became the first man on the moon (if indeed he did?) and see what the earth looks like from so far away

If you had a time machine, where and when would you go for a vacation?

I think I would like to have been in Paris in 1789, during the French Revolution, difficult to get holiday insurance but quite exciting

If you could play a gig with any musician throughout history who would it be and why?

I think I would like to have played in the group “Japan” they could play pop, rock or funk. They had elements of Bowie and Roxy Music but they were one of the first bands to combine electronic sounds with pop with rock successfully. Unfortunately my chance will never come as bass player Mick Karn died earlier this year

 Have you got any crazy gig stories to share with us?

It was more embarrassing than crazy, I was playing in a band that were doing a benefit gig, we were just getting ready to play our last and best song and before we could start the DJ started the disco (disco! That sounds ancient)

Oh Graham, the disco is a classic! Read more about The Abbeystills and connect on twitter;

Read the Bossman’s Blog about The Abbeystills

The Abbeystills on Offbeat Records

Graham Hannah on Facebook

The Abbeystills Facebook Fanpage

On Myspace

Ghetto blaster retro cool and other news…

Not to be competitive but what’s your brain like to live inside? Quite often my thoughts resemble nitrous oxide fuelled party poppers- going off like the clappers but sadly mostly pointless…spent 50 minutes speed talking my stream of consciousness whilst circular breathing on a car journey recently…you know the usual when you have a captive audience locked in the car with you? Oh, I see….maybe you’re the captivee rather than the captivator…anyway, generously (I thought) turned to Himself and asked for a download of his thoughts and he actually thought about it for a moment and came out with “I really fancy a beer”…and that was it…oh lovely; simple, uncluttered, minimalist chic that. Yes, ok, I admit I did have a moment of brain envy…

In other news, I am feeling a need to dig my chemistry set out of the cupboard, get my evil laugh on and clone the Bossman and myself because WE JUST DON’T STOP WORKING HERE…I’m so late getting this chalkboard up this week because there’s just not enough Jen to go round, y’know? No, no, it’s ok, it’s better this way, less opportunities for getting into trouble…

Loads of music vid filming which involves me running around with a ghetto blaster in hand (don’t even…), several cameras round my neck, a stepladder over my shoulder and my coffee in a handy thermos mug…oh yeah, I’m a cool dude, me…

Loads of editing said film and working out better shots for these music vids…and I can’t remember why but I insisted on a mug of Grand Marnier during one session- apparently I was quite adamant it would help but I think it just helped me to get lippy…

More Story Of Film soundtrack work with Mark Cousins, lovely lovely man, pleeeeeeeze can I interview him next?

Gavin Blackie in working on a NEW song- but I can’t tell you anymore about it, it’s all hush hush…honestly, secrets are no fun if you can’t share them 😉

An artist who cannot be named was in doing a dirty electronica track…rrrrrr…

Joanne Livingstone’s in again mixing down one of her tracks…

Another Offbeat Rhythm Section cover track into an artist’s dropbox (I think this one may have been in a hotter country, maybe the Bossman can dropbox me over there?) In this case, Iain McKinna playing your very own virtual band for a backing track for live gigs…you see why I need to clone him now?

Maggie Aitken’s been in finishing the Heritage Detectives‘ sound effects…

The Offbeat Rhythm Section is getting revved up for the new album coming out soon…the rumour going around is that there are drums getting recorded and mixed down this week for a track called “Pressure On”…watch this space coz there will be a new webpage going up very soon with sneaky peeks of tracks for this album and more on the ORS with interview footage galore…

We’ve had a few meetings with artists in between sessions and I’m sure they probably wonder why the bags under our eyes are a little alarming but seriously, we’re living on coffee, Grand Marnier fumes and the natural high of being in the music biz…ahaha, or in the style of the new lingo I learnt off the naughty girls in the Prestongrange radio chatroom on Sunday night at Tam Mac’s Sunday service, lmao…oh yeah baby, getting hip to the jive now 😉

Offbeat Featured Client- Jim Connor

I can rarely make my husband laugh…well, on purpose anyway, he laughs all the time at things I come out with that I don’t mean to be funny… I wouldn’t mind but he makes me laugh on purpose all the time…I tell him it’s because I have a more eclectic sense of humour than him but to tell you the truth I’m always secretly worried…so it’s somewhat affirming to meet someone with the same sense of humour; when Jim and I emailed each other recently to touch base about his interview with me, Jim’s parting line was

You did say to keep the answers light. Hope you don’t regret it. I do much prefer discussing the origins of the universe…I will now return to my darkened room.

One day Jim, you and I will go on a journey into space, into the great cosmic latte that is our beige universe and hopefully we’ll make it as far as the restaurant at the end of the universe because the question can only be truly worked out over a very good dinner and several bottles of gigglejuice…

Drift Away by J A Connor;

Buy Drift Away at the iTunes store

Beautiful Day by J A Connor

In the meantime here’s Jim’s interview with me; are you sitting comfortably?

Do you have musicians who you admire?

Yes

What’s the story behind your name? Nicknames?

I got my name from my Mum & Dad

Seriously, there is another artist called Jim Connor, hence the JA Connor tag.

Has anyone ever bought you an embarrassing present and how did you react?

No one buys me presents.

If you were on a desert island with electricity and you could take 4 dvd’s what would they be?

As an old fashioned gentleman, I’ll let electricity choose.

What personality trait has gotten you in the most trouble?

I know you’ll find this hard to believe but my sense of humour has sometimes backfired big style.

If you could only have one picture on the wall where you live, what would it be if it couldn’t be a picture of your family?

Difficult one, I’ve got 4 walls.

What’s the process that you and Iain go through to create each track? Tell me what it’s like working with Iain McKinna, our producer at the Offbeat studio?

Writing my own material I can never decide on the preferred sound. Using Dropbox I’ll send Iain the drum and vocal track. After that the Offbeat Rhythm Section takes over and delivers the goods. We then add the vocals, harmonies and associated effects in the studio. This process works for me, as Iain has the gift of identifying the right feel for the song.

(Just don’t mention the pipes).

Is there a moment in your life that defined you as a musician?

You mean………. I’m a musician?!!

What’s the most impressive thing you’ve seen with your own eyes?

I go along with my doctor at my last physical.  I have an amazing nose. Apart from that it has to be Angel Falls in Venezuela.

If you could play a gig with any musician throughout history who would it be and why?

There is this guy called Iain McKenna or McKinna, something like that. He’s quite cool. Second choice, Jimmy Buffett as long as we do a Carribean tour.

If you had a time machine, where and when would you go for a vacation?

1950’s California.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I’ll tell you when I grow up.

If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?

Don’t wait for tomorrow, do it today.

Where in the world has been your favourite place to visit and why?

There’s been a lot of cool places, Havana, Dallas, Mexico’s Pacific coast. But my favourite place at the moment is Offbeat in Edinburgh, because that’s where I finally got my songs sounding the way I want them.  Oh Shucks!

Aw Jim, flattery will get you everywhere 🙂

Read the Bossman’s Blog On Jim

Find Jim on Offbeat Records

If you want to find Jim’s website it’s at;

http://www.ja-connor.com/

How to do the breakfast meeting successfully and other news…

Oh yes yes yes, joy of joys the Bossman took me for a breakfast meeting this morning 🙂 I see a fry-up and my eyes get all dreamy and I start to slaver shamelessly…I gotta tell you I have the requirements for this type of meeting down pat…take it from a pro, this is how you do it;

elasticated waistband for extra room for stuffing in sausage and egg etc and remaining comfy…

a big napkin/apron for collecting said sausage/egg fallout…coz you’re yapping about work at the same time…nobody said it was pretty…

a doggy bag kit for taking extras home…

a travel pillow for compulsory post -meeting snooze on a park bench en route to pick up sprog from holiday club…

rennies for post fry up tummy regrets…never give in to the guilt…

Ahhh, it was goooood, in spite of the scolding we got from Offbeat Kirsty for falling off the veggie wagon…her addition to my list was to take a sick bag but the Bossman and I have tummies that are well practiced in the art of coping with the meat laden fry-up…and I promise I started the day with a healthy apple and carrot juice so it all balances out, right?

In other news, this week we have already had Gavin Blackie in session, laying down a new track…and having a giggle at teabreak 🙂 No I can’t tell you what we had the gigglies about coz it was extremely naughty and rude, obviously…

Filming interviews- remember the rehearsals last week? Well this is it, the beginning of the “for reals” now…the artists are all really well behaved, it’s me who’s driving the Bossman mad 🙂

Then of course there’s all the editing of the interviews…yawn…more CSI chalkduster…

Joanne Livingstone’s in for sessions this week with Tom Findlay, the jazz pianist, laying down jazz keyboards and recording and mixing for gig demos…

Mandy Hinchey In Wales is having Dropbox sessions recording and mixing backing tracks with the Offbeat Rhythm Section, recreating the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Connie Lush tracks. Cool or what? Mandy sends her tracks to the studio by Dropbox, the Offbeat Rhythm Section records and mixes the tracks (while Mandy can do other things like enjoy a cuppa, check her emails, other multitasking taskies…) and then we dropbox the mixes and she can decide on any changes she likes. Mixes then fly back and forth through cyberspace till she’s happy with what she’s got…personally I’d be doing this from somewhere hot and beachlike but Wales is great too… oh yeah and she uses these backing tracks in live gigs…the Offbeat Rhythm Section, your own virtual band…

Maggie Aitken is in from Daisy Chain Associates editing sound effects for the Heritage Detectives performances coming soon…

Iain McKinna, producer fabuloso, is taking a masterclass in studio production…I have to sit there all day listening to how great the Bossman is from everybody- yawn, yawn…no gossip only praise :-p

Actually, to round off the week and seeing as how we’ve been working incredibly hard these last few months, me mainly at working the coffee machine to death, I’m allowing the Bossman some time off this weekend before he gets in trouble with “her indoors”…and before I get into trouble with “him indoors”…my other half got a shock the other night when he saw I had 2 ears instead of a phone permanently glued to the side of my head…

Offbeat Featured Client Skinny Malinky…

…yes yes I know, you’re utterly shocked that here I am doing some work again and it’s less than a week since my last blog…I used to use the excuse that it took me so long to climb the stairs to Offbeat but the other day the Bossman met me at the summit and commented that I’m getting faster and that I didn’t appear to need the oxygen mask anymore- could it be there’s less of me to love these days? Surely not, no, especially after the cheese on toast midnight munchies extravaganza last night…I really don’t know why but fat just loves me…but hey it’s ok, I ate it in “guilty kitchen stance” in the dark standing over the counter with the fridge door open for a quick getaway…and we all know those calories don’t count…

So who do I have for you here? My favourite Scottish rapper Skinny James Malinky and I gotta tell you he is hilarious, talk about tongue in cheek…you know what, I’ve seen this guy rap and he hardly ever swears and he doesn’t hike the dinglie danglie bits up every five seconds either- how very refreshing 🙂 You know what else I discovered? He is a really nice guy too (and listen lads, “nice” is NOT the kiss of death to us ladies) check out the secrets he shared with me about embarassing gifts and his picture choice…

Find Skinz Youtube Channel This link will play Skinny’s music video for Stuck In Pause featuring EMCEE DUFSTA who does swear but I forgive him coz he’s really good too 🙂

Find Skinz on Offbeat Records

Find Skinz on Facebook

Find Skinz on Twitter

Find Skinz on Myspace

What’s it like to work with Iain McKinna, the Bossman in the Offbeat studio?

It sucks and I want my money back! haha, No really though every track I have recorded with Iain’s turned out brilliant! I come into the studio, (I’m always a standard 15min late for some weird reason ), I tell him the concept and he always seems to be able to grasp exactly what I want done instantly! Not to mention obviously the recording quality is second to nowhere else I have recorded in Edinburgh before! There is only one problem if I am honest….I don’t want to work with anybody else now! haha 😀

Yeah, he’s a genius but we don’t tell him that coz you know, big heads don’t fit in the room…Do you have musicians who you admire? What’s on your playlist at the mo?

Of course I do Jen! where to start… ok.. off the top of my head, I admire aaaaand have everyone of these Artists on my playlist – Tupac, Biggie, Wutang clan, Afu Ra, The Arsonists, Redman, Dr Dre, Slim Shady, Chester P, Wax and Herbal T, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jimi Hendrix, and Ed Sheeran.   

That’s a seriously cool mix- my fantasy pairings outta that lot would be Frank and Jimi and Dean and Dr Dre…What’s the story behind your name?

Skinny Malinky was what I used to get called by my grandfather as a kid, he used to sing Skiiinnnyy mallllliinnkky loooonnnggg leeegggs biiiigg bannnnnaaanna feeeeeeeeet…. ah you know the rest lol

Yep, been singing it to my 3 year old since you came on board, you have a fan there 😉 What about irritating and favourite ads?

 ok.. Irritating ads – any accident claim ad, Specksavers Ads, Grrrr Favourite ads – Cooompaaaare theMEEERRRRRKAAAT dot com 😉 Love it! And Mr T Snickers ads haha  

Oh definitely, Mr T is a total legend 🙂  Most hated household chores?

In this day and age everyone should have a dishwasher right (I mean an electric one not a human btw) BUT I DONT! so yeh.. can you tell what chore I hate :-/    

What personality trait has gotten you in the most trouble?

Honesty…

Has anyone ever bought you an embarrassing present and how did you react?

hmmm nobody has ever bought me an embarrassing present tbh.. but when I was going out with my 1st ever girlfriend… (can’t believe I’m telling you this Jen) I bought her an Electric blanket for….. wait for it……Valentine’s day… omg how naive was I…*cough*…well saying we weren’t together all too long after that (ladies don’t judge though! I swear my present buying skills have improved)  

Awww!! So very very cute tho 😉  If you were on a desert island with electricity and you could take 4 DVD’s what would they be?

1, A “how to survive on a dessert island” DVD (for obvious reasons)

2, Frankie Boyle Live (to keep up the morale)

3, Dexter season 1… Disk 1..

4, Annnnnd… hmmm Luscious Lisa and her long legs (for the long nights lol)  

A very sensible mix, ahem! If you could only have one picture on the wall where you live, what would it be if it couldn’t be a picture of your family?

Here’s the picture it would be 🙂     

Is there a moment in your life that defined you as a musician?

My Birth 😀

What’s the most impressive thing you’ve seen with your own eyes?

A Car Spin off the motorway in front of me, then flip and roll down an embankment! (yes I did stop, and the two dudes in the car walked away with minor injuries)  

Blimey… If you were in a séance, which musician who’s passed over would you most want to talk to and what would you ask them?

Big L, and I would ask him if Tupac’s really dead or if he’s hiding in Cuba :-p   

In your fantasy flat rent, who would be the other 3 flatmates you would share with?

 1,Jamie Oliver – Obvious reasons, the man has too much of a food fetish to let anyone go hungry!

2,Peter Kay – Gaaaaaaaaarrrrliiiic brreeeaaad – Pure comedy leg-end

3,Kim Kardashian… Im sure.. she’d… em…em… be good at cleaning? 

Yes she looks like the kind of girl who knows how to…um, yes well…In a zombie attack, what’s your plan of escape?

Do you know something I don’t have one JEN!!! Nooooo Its ok… my years of Ninja training will come in handy finally 😀  

Who would you most want to be for a day if you could be anybody in history?

Bruce Lee  

Are we back to the zombies?! If you had a time machine, where and when would you go for a vacation?

The 70‘s looked cool, so yeh, 1970 – The Isle of Wight Festival 😀     

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

An Actor strangely, me and my brother got a hold of “Blues Brothers” from my dads “tape” collection when he was sleeping one Sunday, I was 7, he was 5, we thought we were Jake and Elwood for many years afterwards 🙂

Read more about Skinz on the Bossman’s blog.

Well there you go, Rapper/Blues Brother/All round slightly naughty cutiepie Skinz (Luscious Lisa??) giving us girlies the gigglies at Offbeat…I wonder if Kim Kardashian knows what to do with a feather duster?

Offbeat Featured Client- Colin Asquith…

Yes, I know, it was a long time AGAIN…what can I say? The Edinburgh Summer, hmmm…I promise you I haven’t been lazing around on a sun soaked beach drinking pina coladas out of a bucket sized frosted glass topped up for me by various handsome lovelies all day long…sigh…no no, I don’t give it a moment’s thought, we don’t do that here, it’s all been hard graft with the heating secretly turned on. Och, it’s ok, who wants to be on the beach anyway? And bikinis are such a horrid subject are they not? And boys, really, budgie smugglers are just too awful to mention right? Although there was one time on a beach many years ago when I came across some nudey drumming…well yeah…

…anyway moving on, I have had SOME fun; I interviewed the very charming Colin Asquith who’s been in to Offbeat recording songs recently. What a sweetheart he is! I’ve been humming this song of Colin’s called Fireworks Fade Away- I’ve put it up here for you to listen to while you read Colin’s interview, coz I’m nice like that 🙂

Let me make it easy for you to find Colin;

Find Colin on Facebook

Find Colin on Twitter

Colin’s Website

Colin’s Webpage on Offbeat

Do you have musicians who you admire? What’s on your playlist at the mo?

I have a really eclectic mixture of musical styles on my playlist, but mainly I tend to admire well written songs, great singers or songs with interesting lyrics. So a usual night’s listening would be a mix of Beatles, The Smiths, Sinatra, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Manic Street Preachers, Radiohead, Nirvana, Kinks and ABBA (see one of my other Offbeat sessions for my take on an ABBA song that I love).

Irritating and favourite ads

I can’t stand any advert that takes a song I love and replaces it with nonsense marketing lyrics. The Clover adverts that rip off “The Wild Rover” – I’m looking at you.

Most hated household chores

I have a bad habit of keeping too much stuff in my house, which makes it difficult to tidy up as there is nowhere to put everything, so chore wise, it’s that game of clutter Tetris that I play when I try to cram everything I own into cupboards. I keep telling myself, I just need some good books, a bed, my guitar and a laptop… but never get anywhere near that!

What personality trait has gotten you in the most trouble?

I tend to be very spontaneous and couple that with my tendency to say ‘yes’ a lot more than I should, which either makes for some ridiculously surreal and worrying situations, or fantastically amazing stories, depending on how you look at them. My friends no longer seem to be surprised when I tell them my latest adventures.

Has anyone ever bought you an embarrassing present and how did you react?

Not really sometimes I can’t work out how someone came to the decision to buy me certain things, but nothing too crazy, it’s always nice to get presents! The most embarrassing thing was probably being given a very rudely shaped hot water bottle for a charity show I was doing.

If you were on a desert island with electricity and you could take 4 dvd’s what would they be?

There are some films I can watch millions of times and still feel the same, Amelie – which just gives me an amazing feeling each time I watch it, Fight Club- I just love the way it’s shot, and the story gets me every time. Every scene seems to have a catchphrase in it. Happy Gilmore – with Adam Sandler, it’s about the only film that makes me laugh no matter how many times I see it. Probably I would also take the Empire Strikes Back.

If you could only have one picture on the wall where you live, what would it be if it couldn’t be a picture of your family?

The Kiss by Edvard Munch, there’s something about that picture which to me sums up the spinning emotions and togetherness of an amazing kiss.

Is there a moment in your life that defined you as a musician?

I’d always loved music, and singing to myself from a really early age, so have always loved to make up songs and to just sing to please myself. It took a while to get to the point of singing for other people though. For inspiration, hearing the album Back in Black by AC/DC just blew me away when I was young, and it really made me want to pick up a guitar.

What’s the most impressive thing you’ve seen with your own eyes?

Hiroshima in Japan. I went on a holiday to Japan and it’s such a beautiful country. I visited Hiroshima for a couple of days as part of my trip, and the people were the kindest I think I’ve ever met, everything was so beautiful as there is such fantastic scenery around it. The A-bomb museum was truly humbling, and although it was challenging, there was something amazingly uplifting about seeing what Hiroshima is like now, and how kind and welcoming the people there are. It really was one of those moments that changes how you see the world.

If you were in a séance, which musician who’s passed over would you most want to talk to and what would you ask them?

Probably Kurt Cobain- although I don’t really know what I’d ask him. I’d probably still get a bit star struck even though it was a séance. It would just be good to kind of chat, you get the feeling you know a bit about people through their music, but it would be good to find out more. There’s something about the way Nirvana songs sound quite poppy, yet either have interesting chords or lyrics that makes them great.

In your fantasy flat rent, who would be the other 3 flatmates you would share with?

Nicky Wire from the Manic Street Preachers, George Best (maybe I’m overlapping with the last question about people who’ve passed over), and Audrey Tautou. You’d have nights of music, some beautiful French spoken by a beautiful woman, chats about politics and art, as well as having a great flatmate to go drinking with, but also being able to take along to a game of fives. Perfect.

In a zombie attack, what’s your plan of escape?

I think too many people focus on running away, surely with our advances in science since zombie films began, we could make a human flesh substitute. Kind of like they did for vegetarians with Quorn.

If you had a time machine, where and when would you go for a vacation?

I think I’d find it quite interesting to be around kind of the 1900s, Edinburgh or Glasgow would be fine, nothing too exotic, I think we forget how fantastic the things on our doorstep are. I’d go there just to see how people lived in similar places that I recognise now, but with less technology. It would be amazing to see, and see if I could handle it. Although I would have a hard time not telling people things I know from now, or get drunk and keep saying to people “we’re going to get rid of all your trams, then decades later we’re going spend ages and loads of money bringing them back”! Or telling people who would win at the football.

Secret careers

When I was growing up, I think the only things I remember wanting to be were a bus driver and superman. I thought that bus drivers always seemed really friendly, but also they could drive wherever they wanted. When I got older, I found that bus drivers aren’t as friendly as I remember, but also they don’t get to choose where they drive. Also – it’s not very easy to grow up to become superman if you didn’t come from Krypton.

what’s the strangest concert you’ve played

I put on a charity concert where everyone that came got to vote for things like how I was dressed, what songs I played and stuff like that. It was great fun, and the people who came raised a large amount of money for charity. In the end I was dressed like a disco pirate playing mashed up versions of classic songs mixed with girl and boy band songs. It was an unusual night! I’ve tended to play more traditional shows since then!

do you have any plans to record more?

Recording at Offbeat has been great, and really been a good push to get some of my material recorded, as well as recording some covers of songs that I love. To me, if you can sing a song in a bit of a different way, then it’s fantastic, if you can’t, then you should probably leave it alone. Ideally I would like to get an album’s worth of songs together as well as get out and play more gigs. I have a habit of either playing lots of gigs at once, or not doing many, so am trying to get back into the swing of playing more often, especially now I have some more songs I’ve written I’d like to give an airing before recording again!

Well I enjoyed that, I’m off to find out what rudely shaped hot water bottles I can buy for those of us who are not on the beach and are staring out at the summer rain…grrrrr. If you want to visit the Bossman’s blog for more on Colin, go to

http://offbeatscotland.wordpress.com/

although I’m warning you now, there are no Pina Coladas over there either…just so you know…

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