I don’t believe in ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. They insinuate that you can only make changes to your life once a year, then when you inevitably don’t stick to the changes you choose, you can have 11 months off. That’s just not how I operate.

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About five years ago I started going to the gym, prompted by a bulge in the midsection that seemed as alien to me as Kuato in Total Recall. I then proceeded to spend the next 2 years wasting my time and money.

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You may be familiar with NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month, in which normal humans across the globe commit to writing a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. This year — it’s happening.

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Marlowe is 2.5 years old. He has blonde hair and huge blue eyes and he’s the best person in the world.

I’m lucky enough to be his dad, which means I get to spend quite a bit of time with him. It’s educational. Not just because I’m always learning how to be a better father (mainly through trial and error) but because seeing how he interacts with the world and how he responds to situations is a constant education.

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This project represented a number of firsts for me – my first foray into writing music for a musical, and first time working with York’s Six Lips Theatre. The brief from director Roxanna Klimaszewska was clear and focussed – a dark, industrial, steampunk take on Christopher Marlowe’s classic tale.

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Another chance to work with the super talented Hedgepig Theatre team – this time a re-imagining of JM Synge’s Irish classic, rehomed to a fantasy Yorkshire by director and writer Andy Curry.

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We are largely the sum of our influences, and while it’s not just guitarists that have formed the way I approach playing the guitar, I thought it might be fun to list out the top 5 axe-slingers who’ve helped me formulate my own style, and also admit where I’ve nicked techniques and ideas. See if you can spot the following next time you see me play!

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I‘ve been a gigging guitarist for over 20 years, and I’ve made all the mistakes you can possibly make. If you’re new to the guitar, or even if you’ve been playing a while, here’s my top 5 tips for getting the most out of being an axe slinger.

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The band I play guitar for – Berlin Black – are currently running a PledgeMusic campaign to fund the recording and release of our debut album. It would be great if you could get involved and pledge, you’ll be helping an independent act out, and getting yourself some exclusive goodies in the process!

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I‘ve written and performed music for a wide variety of different settings and purposes, but my long-term ambition has always been to produce soundtracks for film. If you’re making a film, short, or television programme and you’d like me to compose music, please get in touch as I’d love to work with you.

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