New Flight School EP

At 3 EPs and about 6 gigs over the last 6 years, we’re not the most prolific of bands. But myself and a couple of friends I’ve known for years have recently managed to finish off a few tunes and put together a 4-track release and a new website. For a band that hardly ever plays together to release an EP recorded at a home studio, I think it’s a pretty good effort. The production is probably the best I’ve managed on anything so far – although some good demos being recorded with Miri at the moment as well.

Anyway, here’s the tracks. You can pay what you want for it, and the first 200 get to download it for free. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or have a look at our rather nice new website.

New Miri video: Red

I’ve been playing live with Miri for a few years now – first as part of her backing band, and now acoustically with a percussionist, but just recently have started to write and record with her a little more. And it’s been pretty good fun. First track to surface is a song Miri wrote called ‘Red’ – recorded at Spare Room Studios.


There is also a making-of video which you can view here – I have to admit I completely forgot most of the time that there was someone with a camera in the corner of the room, so throughout most of it I look pretty stupid with my ‘concentration’ (read: gormless) face on.

New guitar, new tracks…

This is Martin. Say hello.

Martin’s full name is “Martin X Series CE Custom” and moved into my home this last weekend. He hasn’t shut up since.

This means that my trusty (but battered and bruised) Tanglewood won’t get quite so many outings, but it’s still sounding good. I’ve just uploaded an instrumental track I recorded a while ago – had intended to work on it a bit more, but actually it’s sometimes hard to re-visit things. Anyway, I just wish I’d recorded this with Martin…

Also uploaded a remix of a Switchfoot track that I made for a competition. It really couldn’t be more different to the song above! The decision to start it was really a procrastination technique, thus further keeping me from finishing this Flight School EP, but never mind…

Moving on from Music Room

Last Saturday was my last gig in charge at Music Room – very sad, but I know I’m leaving it in capable hands – for proof of this, see video highlights below – all the performers are under 18, as were all of the crew that did the stage management, sound, lighting and the video (watch on youtube to get full experience of the ‘hub’)!

So after nearly three years, I’ve moved on from running Music Room for YMCA London South West. I had a great time building it up, creating the studio and recruiting a fantastic team to help out. Also been a privilege to work as part of a much larger organisation (something I’ve not done before), and given the unique purpose and history of the YMCA, it certainly creates a great community atmosphere in which to work.

But running the tuition stuff as well as various musical projects has meant that I didn’t quite have the hours I needed to put into it, so better to hand over to someone with the hours and fresh enthusiasm for the project. I still hope to be around at the odd gig night though!

A New Year. A new blog post.

Good grief it’s been a bit quiet on here recently… new Flight School songs are on the way, and also got some songs of my own to get uploaded soon but in the meantime…

This is a cover of Coldplay’s Yellow I did with Miri a few months back. I’m playing with Miri on Sunday (8th Jan) at Ryan’s Bar in Stoke Newington, and again at China White on 8th Feb!

YouTube Me

I feel like I’m rather behind on this one, but after viewing so many clips of people making crap versions of well known songs (plus a small minority of genius ones) I thought I’d upload something to see where I might belong on that spectrum. First up is a cover of Teardrop, the Massive Attack song which was covered a few years ago by Newton Faulkner using a particular percussive way of playing acoustic guitar and I’ve taken a combination of the two versions.

Also, I posted an instrumental track to Soundcloud today – a fairly cinematic/orchestral sounding track you could imagine being used in a cheesy film ending perhaps. Oh well…

Ending 163 (instrumental) by danhoyes

New tracks!

So I finally got round to getting myself a Soundcloud account (which is beautifully simple to use – very happy that I never have to use myspace again)!

Now as many have found out to their peril – nothing good ever comes from playing around with Absynth. But in this case Absynth is a clever little instrument plugin capable of producing some very cool sounds. Recording this short instrumental (which I’m calling ‘Frozen Lake’ for now) was a good chance to try this out, but I do have to admit that it’s turned out sounding a little like the intro track the The Social Network… not in a way that might end up in a legal battle… more of an ‘I wanna win an Oscar for playing just 5 notes on the piano’ kinda way…

And finally this next track ‘Increments’ is something I wrote and recorded around Christmas time, but has been lying around dormant for a while. It was also the first track to be recorded at the new studio at Music Room I guess. Thanks to Ed Priestnall for laying down some drums.

Beginner Guitar Classes Starting January

Having received some requests, I’m starting up some group guitar lessons for adult beginners from January onwards, probably on a Tuesday or Thursday evening – more info on guitar lessons page.

Also, I’m playing a gig with the talented Miri on Tuesday 7th December at ‘Last Days of Decadence’ in Shoreditch. They are putting on a series of events called ‘Battle of the Sexes’, and with the men having already had their own music night, I will be on guitar duties for Miri helping out the girls. I’m not sure how I feel about that…

And finally, it was the YMCA London South West showcase evening the other day which went very well. I was recognised (much to my embarrasment) for having been nominated for ‘Youth Worker of the Year‘ (!), which sadly I didn’t win, but the nomination is more an endorsement for the project than anything else. We also put together a quick video of some Music Room highlights for the showcase evening… you can view it below…

Running the Royal Parks Half Marathon

On 10th October, I took part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon to raise money for YMCA London South West (where I work – running Music Room).

I did it in an official time of 1 hour, 45 minutes and 20 seconds which put me in 1764th position (out of 10,818 competitors) so I was quite pleased that for a first half marathon! Onto the full marathon…

You can still sponsor me if you wish – just head to:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DanHoyes

Amongst other activities, the YMCA London South West provides housing and support to help homeless individuals get back on their feet and make a fresh start of their lives and we run a number of fabulous youth projects – aimed to reach young people where they are at, by engaging them in activities that interest them, like music or sport, and helping them to build a brighter future.

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