Chapter And Multiverse EP OUT NOW!

My new ‘Bag Ratty Bro’ EP ‘Chapter and Multiverse’ is OUT NOW! Not for pre-save, pre-order blah blah, but for actual listen to it all whenever you want purchasing!

It’s available for as little as £1, or for as much as you think is fair to pay!

Just click the link or the pic below to go to Bandcamp and get your copy! We will be eternally grateful if you do, or even if you don’t. But please do.

Lots of love

Bag Ratty Bro

Chapter and Multiverse | Bag Ratty Bro (bandcamp.com)

Right On!

Bag Ratty Bro

SHARES NEW SINGLE ‘RIGHT ON’
RELEASED APRIL 22nd, 2021

[LISTEN]

Pan-Reality Power Pop Combo Bag Ratty Bro released new single Right On on April 22nd, 2021. The single is the second release from the upcoming debut EP ‘Chapter and Multiversethat is available from May 13th, 2021.

Bag Ratty Bro are back again with more catchy guitar and vocal hooks that will have you humming ‘Right On’ in the dead of night, reaching for the earphones in a cold sweat and muttering, ‘just one more listen!’. You will lose your job, your sanity, your dignity, but it will all be worth it.

Lyrically, a theme of incredulous commentary on the constant outrage of the 21st Century condition continues. As Nancy, the bassist, puts it: 

“Right On is about the madness of moral certainty in an uncertain world, and the danger of deepening divides by taking a position of privileged superiority without trying to reach any kind of understanding of the opposite view, no matter how repugnant it may outwardly seem. Will that do you? Sound.”

About Bag Ratty Bro

Bag Ratty Bro met aboard the liberated Nargonian Cruiser ‘Monstromo’ during an unlicensed zero-gravity harmonic duel. 

Several time tours and dimension hops later, they’ve now decided to try and crack the home of Pop-Punk: Earth in the 20th Century. But they missed, so are going to try the 21st Century instead.

Bag Ratty Bro Socials / Contact

Twitter BagRattyBro@Gmail.Com Instagram Bandcamp Facebook

Crushing Eggshells!

Bag Ratty Bro are back with their 2nd single, ‘Crushing Eggshells!’

Pan-Reality Power Pop Combo Bag Ratty Bro release new single Crushing Eggshells’  on March 25th, 2021. The single is the second release from the upcoming debut EP ‘Chapter and Multiversethat is available from May 13th, 2021.

‘Crushing Eggshells’ continues to blaze the Bag Ratty’s high energy, up tempo trail towards the power-pop stars. The frenetic movement of the heavy guitar lead and bass will set even the most leaden foot tapping, while the explosive chorus will keep those rock-heads nodding.

This time the Bag Ratty’s are tackling the tentative world of online social justice, cancel culture and the perils of opinions, or as guitarist Kev puts it:

“You can’t say anything nowadays. Well you can, but you shouldn’t? But, you’ve got to be free to speak, but not unless you’re spoken to? I don’t know. Probably best just keep out of it.”

About Bag Ratty Bro

Bag Ratty Bro met aboard the liberated Nargonian Cruiser ‘Monstromo’ during an unlicensed zero-gravity harmonic duel. 

Several time tours and dimension hops later, they’ve now decided to try and crack the home of Pop-Punk: Earth in the 20th Century. But they missed, so are going to try the 21st Century instead.

Bag Ratty Bro Socials / Contact

Twitter BagRattyBro@Gmail.Com Instagram Bandcamp Facebook

Bag Ratty Bro – A Band for our Times.

This week I officially ‘launched’ my latest music project, the power-pop band ‘Bag Ratty Bro’.

Meet the Bag Ratties…

You may have noticed already something slightly different about the guys… apart from the mutant head, green skin and robotic drummer, these guys are ever so slightly reality-challenged.

Then again, aren’t we all? Originally, I intended this project to have an illustrated internet presence, possibly backed up by a live band purporting to be playing Bag Ratty Bro ‘covers’. Then the whole pesky Pandemic thing came along.

I’m not one to sit on a project, I’m too itchy for that and like to be moving onto the next thing, so the fact that this has still taken around 15 months to get this out goes to show the challenges of creative working in lockdown.

So, the live band is on hold, for now, and what we have here is DIY+ music, the majority of the parts recorded by me at home, with the real drums being added in post production by super talented producer Tom Bishop in his studio, who also mixed and mastered the whole thing.

The whole thing, by the way, is a 6 song EP ‘Chapter and Mutiverse’ that is available to preorder now.

But to get us there, 4 of the songs will be released as singles along with original artwork for each, illustrated by the excellent Rob Amos based on his character designs and our joint ideas for scenes. No matter what happens with the music, I think he has done an amazing job bringing these guys to life, especially when you see what my reference sketches look like…

Yeah, I’ll stick to the music…

It’s hard to believe that Rob Amos can interpret the above and turn it into this:

OFFICIAL ARTWORK!

The singles will be available to stream through the usual places, and the first, ‘I Want A Robot Hoover’ is out now!

Bag Ratty Bro on Spotify

My intention is to keep my name out of it as much as possible, and try and reach beyond my social circle, but I’m already finding that hard, both emotionally and literally, in a ‘gatekeeper’ environment that wants to ignore or judge you, unless the price is right. But I’m focussing on the fact that none of this matters, really. But still, it would be nice to find a little audience for this project to see if it can take on a life of it’s own. If you follow any of the Bag Ratty Bro social channels (find them through the links on this page), they will deny all knowledge of me.

If you are reading this, and are so inclined, please take a listen, save the songs to your playlists or whatever you kids do nowadays, order the EP, share the links on your socials, help me get the Bag Ratties out there with their brand of uptempo catchy power pop that just wants to be heard and make you happy!

Thanks for reading.

Songwriting Sessions #3 – The Age of Modern Living

Hello again. This session is about a song I wrote and recorded in early February 2021 linked below:

The Age of Modern Living

This song came about from wanting to record something on my new ukulele, a rather nice Tanglewood TWT 3 if you’re interested, hence the intro and chorus to this is underpinned by double-tracked ukulele repeating a 4 chord sequence that I think rings out nicely on the diddy instrument.

When I started to work around this chord sequence, I found quite quickly that putting heavy guitars and a simple thumping bass line over this made the same chords stand out as a chorus, so the heaviness crept in quite quickly. I am pretty happy with how you can still here the little ukulele in there even in the heavy bits.

Every now and again I will get a song where I think, can I really just loop the chords all the way through? It feels like a cop out, but sometimes it just works. However, you really need to make the rhythm and feel quite different between the sections if you are going to do this, so I dropped out the uke, added a bit of funk to the bass line (which is doubled with fx in the verses) and a bit of wah-wah guitar over it all.

Hopefully this brings the dynamics down and finds a new groove for just long enough for the return of the heavy choruses to have impact. In the second round of the verse, I also added an instrumental bridge that combines the two a bit, and reminds me a little of ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’, the excellent Beatle’s track from Abbey Road – that wasn’t intentional but their influence runs through everything I do despite myself.

I nearly didn’t finish this as I couldn’t find the right way into the lyrics. I got the Chorus line ‘It’s like something out of a dream…’ bit quite early, but I didn’t know what ‘it’ actually was! Nowadays, I need a theme/reason to write a song or I can’t get it finished. In the past I was happier to just string vaguely related words together, but I can’t do it now. I’m not saying that every word has meaning or is worried over, but I always know what the song is about overall, or what my ‘way in’ was.

Anyway, the final piece of this song lyric came form a news article about an appetite suppressant drug, and I just thought how miserable it would be to psychologically not have the joy of looking forward to food and satisfying that desire, even if it does stop you being fat. Then I linked this to how antidepressants suppress extremes of emotions (so I am told), and imagined a world where the ‘new you’ is a chemically altered none-feeling model of conformity. That’s not to say that I’m down on diet or mood pills – I’m just exaggerating the ideas for effect, kids.

Lyrics:

Suppress your appetite, and then you’ll never get fat.
May also never have fun, but don’t you worry about that.
Keep having restless nights? But won’t change your life?
Just listen to my voice. Will see you right it’s like…


Something out of a dream. Something you’ve neve seen,
Shiny Happy and Clean, The age of modern living.
It’s like something out of a dream, And you can get it for free.
If you’d only listen to me your doubts will be forgiven.


Can’t take the highs and the lows? Well then we’ll flatten you out.
Just another straight line, nothing to shout about.
You head full of ideas? Just take another deep breath.
Go and find some blue light .There’s nothing left. it’s like… (repeat chorus)

And there we go. It’s quite short and fast and bordering between my rocky and punky/garage sensibilities. I don’t know if this song will find a home outside of this demo, so show it some love if you like it. Thanks for reading and please let me know what you think in the comments! Cheers.

Songwriting Sessions #2 – The Monster of All

The songwriting sessions are a series of blogs taking a quick peek behind the curtain of my songwriting methods to accompany my new songs and look back at some of my old favourites.

I’ve been writing songs for over 20 years now, but still feel like I am finding my stride, my voice, and my audience. Hopefully, someone will find these blogs interesting about the craft of songwriting, or connect with my efforts, or at the very least, the process of writing it down may hale me to figure a few things out.

This week it is a brand-new song, ‘The Monster of All’ written and recorded over 3 days at the end of January 2021. You can hear it here:

Soundcloud – The Monster of All

I tend to write very fast once I have an initial idea I want to expand on. In this case, the lyric came first, with ‘The Monster of All’ being one of my 3-year-old daughter’s characters in her make-believe world!

I think it’s a fascinating turn of phrase, and I am gathering up some of her ideas into notes to adapt into a possible fantasy fiction story eventually (I’m also a writer – see the sidebar for my published books). With this, however, I also thought it was a great starting place for a lyric – loaded with possible double meaning about the monsters inside us all etc. so I set to work looking for the music to go with it.

The music was then written over the next hour on acoustic guitar and refined during recording which was about another 2 to 3 hours, so probably about 5 hours in all to get this initial ‘demo’ version together (I rarely ever believe these songs to be finished as such when recording them all myself).

Once again, a recent episode of my Beatles Podcast had influenced me and I wanted to write something in triplets timing, along the lines of ‘This Boy’ and that general ‘do wop’ feel. So, I started with a pretty standard progression that you will hear in hundreds of 50s / early 60s songs, and then deviated on the 3rd and 4th chords to minor key and diminished variations, which hopefully breaks it out of that natural expectation of a major resolve.

The chorus emerged out of a natural change from the verses, and originally was half the length of the recorded version. The challenge with this came in the recording, trying to make this feel more pushed, lively, louder than the verse, and not just a variation on it. I tried a few things, including string backing and a distorted guitar. In the end I found that dropping the piano out of the verses and bringing it back for the chorus and links gave it the boost it needed (possibly – this is all open to interpretation).

Arrangement wise, I didn’t want this to go on too long with it’s quite steady 98 bpm tempo, so there is a pretty standard verse/chorus/verse/chorus pattern, with no mid 8 or solo section, a couple of repeats of the chorus bridge at the end and then a fade out.

Altogether, I am quite happy with it, and quite excited about possibly turning more of these fiction fantasy ideas into songs and creating a concept collection along with whatever I end up writing. Genre wise, I like the idea of ‘Dungeon Rock’! A blend of prog/rock/folk/fantasy themed songs? What do you think?

Anyway, I hope you had a listen and found this remotely interesting. If so, let me know using the contact form below or via my podcast or SoundCloud page, all linked in this article! I am always open to opportunities and collaborations too.

Songwriting Sessions – Don’t be Scared

This is the first in, possibly, a series of blogs explaining a bit behind my songwriting process, on a new song by song basis, with visits to some old favourites.

I hope someone might find a ‘glimpse behind the curtain’ interesting at least, but if not, maybe I’ll learn something by writing this down!

The first track I’m going to write about is called ‘Don’t be Scared’, and you can listen to it here:

Don’t be scared

I wrote and recorded this in late 2020 after discussing Paul McCartney’s ‘Put it there‘ on my Beatles podcast, and wanting to try something that captures the same feeling of simple, pleasing cadences but with augmented finger picking and that emotional minor shift.

Naturally, I started on the open D chord which lends itself to this style of acoustic, resonant, song. However, I eventually needed to change key so I could hit the high notes slightly more comfortably, so the guitar is tuned down a tone to C so I could still play it in open chords for the main part.

It is still a little high for me on the ‘Now go back to sleep’ lines, but it’s better than it was in ‘D’. Ah well, the singing is always the hardest part for me, but I like to stick with it so I can get songs finished at least.

Instrumentation wise, I kept this to a double tracked acoustic guitar and single vocal. I am still considering doing a fully arranged version with bass, a Cajon, and maybe some other bits, but we will see. I learned it on the Ukulele and that sounded quite nice!

Lyrics:

CHORUS

Don’t be scared of the world. Don’t be scared to sleep. There are people here who will always love you, now go back to sleep.

VERSE 1

The dark nights seems lonely only if you let them in. The sun might seem low we know somewhere its shining. Waiting.

VERSE 2

Dark corners, where secrets greet us in the shadow light. Are empty, there’s plenty love to keep us in plain sight. It’s alright.

This is part a lullaby for my daughter, part advice to me. With the anxiety of the current situation, my mind races at night and has a tendency to imagine the worst. So, this is a self soothing song mixed with a lullaby.

Lyrically, I am quite happy with it, especially the inner line rhymes in the verses: lonely/only, low/we know, secrets/greet us, empty/theres plenty. It’s satisfying to find and see through a consistent pattern when writing lyrics.

Overall I am happy with the song, though as always the home recording has scope to be improved, and the arrangement layered up in this case. I may revisit.

If you have read this and listened to the song (and liked it) please let me, or preferably someone else, know! And if you are an artist yourself and are interested in working with me, or my songs, get in touch! I’m open to ideas and would love to collaborate or just hear what someone else does with my music.