Sunday, 29 November 2009

if you were wonderin if we wanted you to, we weren't wanting you to ...

Barnbox show last nite at the dirty Dukes (sic).

Lookout summer!/If i don't.../Begin again, again/Who do you love? (Mcdaniel '56)/Some love's a ladder/Thieves.

Curlin' in for a while.

See you around.


Tuesday, 10 November 2009


(J.G. Posada ...

Lunching with H today - pretty sublime company. Easy flow conversation. Coffee (not so sublime) and danish (easy flow of caramel).

H tells me that he sees a tranformation in me when ponies is performed.

I hadn't thought about it too much.

He's a musician/player/writer etc. ... no wait, wait. He plays music, he writes,

as I do.

Only his stuff is more congruent I think. Sings in his own voice, in the literal and figural.

I wonder if in this transformative aspect, if it's a fair appraial (which on reflection I guess it probably is); I lose some sense of the congruence I've been looking for?

As a lank and younger pup, I figured to really succeed with a performance you had to empty out all the gimmicks. Kurt Cobain and Berthold Brecht.

But you know, Unplugged in New York is pretty damned 'gimmick'!

Like Dylan says man, everything and the piano man is a gimmick.

When a Proust writes his Albertine, it's in the present tense. Has to be. To put the reader right there with her.

A gimmick.

Good writing for me usually sees a writer/speaker reflecting their experiences acutely and completely.

To do this well maybies demands some transparency:

'To feel everything in every way,
To live everything from all sides,
To be the same thing in all ways
Possibly at the same time,
To realize in oneself all humanity at all moments
In one scattered, extravagant, complete and aloof moment' (de Campos - probably)?

Gilbert Hernandez can do it. Shakespeare too, maybies Joyce?

Contrary to this maybe certain aspects of a gimmick - persona perhaps, amongst other things, can rush in a fuck with the sale?

Kerouac and Tom Waits, for me, run the risk of falling foul of idiom. Where the trace is lost to some kinda rhetoric and

I'm not at the donut shop no-more, I'm at Tom Waits' donut shop. Everybody in there has his face, his voice and his gait.

One voice is easy. To be able to reflect many is the rub.

Maybies what I'm looking to describe here is something more like a becoming.

Becoming something other than you are ...

Outside of this I'm reading Roberto Bolano for the first time. It's good, good prose.

Bolano says of himself, 'my only country is my two children and perhaps, though in second place, some moments, streets, faces or books that live in me'.

For gimmick's sake, I guess transformation, I'd hope, would maybies illuminate similar private spaces, traces. Alone and far.

Going from some acute particular to the universal?

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Jesus Mentioned

(Ciseri's this))))


November is upon us. Choppy out there today.

Since it is, why not warm your cockles come the 28th as Barnbox ( their annual feast to the great Pontius Pilate and his loving wife Cassandra?

Coptic's Delight will feature belting escapist-pop's finest Uncle Jeff alongside a venerable lord of hosts, Kr!ss Foster ...

Alright, well not really but hey, both these stella acts'll be throwing a colourful bash and I'll be there with ponies en tow. should anyone get rooty for the old world religions (mostly pre-Christian).

This show takes place in the newly furbished 'Round', round the back of the Dukes cinema (, Lancaster and will probably cost you about the price of ten and a half cigarettes to get in.


After the big Christian blow out at the back of the year (Christmas), this ponies project will return on January 15th to celebrate 28 years of life on earth (in your face Cobain!) via a closing slot at Lancaster's Spotlight club ( That's a ten thirty showtime if, like me, you respect precision.

Thanks to Rob Daniels ( (recording) and T. Clutterbuck ( (mastering); a ponies cdr can be made available in time for XXXmas shipping!

The pomp heady 'Thief in Fire' throws in eight tracks recorded live in Lancaster during the short hot Summer of 2009. Not to mention novel audience contrubutions from some of its music community's finest and fyne-est!

If Dylan's Christmas album is one snowball too many, why not heat things up with a bit of rough?

Drop a line, not a dime etc. to

That's the best update I got.

Confidence blows hot and cold. But mostly cold this time of year.

There's a dozen, maybe more songs that needs to be cleaned up a bit before they can walk out on their own.

Shows 'are coming slow but at least slow motion better than no' etc.

Feel free to be in touch

All the Best


Saturday, 3 October 2009

tuna on white/guns all nite

Last night in Lancaster - Storey Creative Industries Centre (!?)

Friends and colleagues from layed on 'Fresh Jam'.

ponies songs performed:

pony in the prize

If I don't ...

Lookout! Summer

Begin again, again


With much thanks to Chris, Kara and the ever impressive Mark R.

Best Wishes to all at diversityfm.

[and thanks to Frances for the pictures]


Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Ma Better Blues

As promised, Tristan Clutterbuck (Homemade Lemonade) and I went up to The Dukes Theatre & Cinema, Moor Lane Lancaster to work out 49 minutes (clock 'em) of free improv c/o solo guitar and Max/MSP for their "Chill Out Tuesdays" event.

With thanks to friends and well wishers who stuck it out with us.

I had a pretty good time.

Listening to the playback this afternoon, seems we got some interesting tones and passages. Tristan's clearing up the same right now and as and when he gets done I'll be sure to amend this post with a link to a full recording of the event.

Thanks to Andrew Carruthers for the invite and Kriss for the guitar loan.



Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Coup Devil

Last Saunday in Lancaster saw a celebration of local songwriting via Gegson Open Mic.

I couldn't be there. Like Woodstock, and Not The Lancaster Jazz Festival - but I'd like to give thanks for Moll Baxter, Idiot Johnston and me old mates Kriss Foster, Tristan Clutterbuck and Robin Williams for their unsolicited representation.

Like Ablomb says, 'my heart burst' when I heard about it.

In other news - Tristan and I are getting togther tonight for a set of improvised music at the Dukes Theatre and Cinema, Moor Lane, Lancaster.

Last time I took ponies up there made for a bad fit.
For anybody unfamiliar with 'Chill Out Tuesdays' events, once a month the Dukes set up a corner of the bar for performers to lull the pre-show crowd into submission. Last December I reckon I was less than congruent bashing out the usual grief and grime (see image above) in a relaxed, festive atomosphere. I grit my teeth, took the money and ran. It didn't very feel good to do it, but I did it anyway.
Earlier this year, when curator Andy Carruthers invited ponies back it felt like an opportunity to try another way around.

Tonight's set up is gonna see Tristan utilising Max/MSP software and myself plunking solo guitar. No songs, no voices. In the spirit of the late Derek Bailey's play, we'll see what happens.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Black And Not Black

Totally Wired/Storey Creative Industries Centre, Lancaster last Saturday 19th Sept.

Bramhall - solo acoustic/voice and mouth organ.

Lookout! Summer

Dear Paul



Illustration by Stuart Anthony.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

R & R

Radio yesterday - guest appearances via "Silent" Mark Read and Reza "The Real Alternative" Mills.

Bookends: hacked out a shoddy 'Lookout Summer!' and tapered off with a tapering 'Thieves'.

Feel free to email for mp3s of the same (

Dare to listen again Sunday 13th Sept. 21:00 to hear the above plus much pontificatin' on Dan Haywood's New Hawks, Silver Jews, Fugazi, Lou Reed et al.

Thanks to Mark, Reza and diversityfm. Congratulations on two solid years work on air and wider stream'.

Best wishes.

Saturday, 1 August 2009


Yorkshire House, Lancaster 31/07/09:

... s'not often I'll use the words 'dog' and 'toss' together to describe something I'm on with, but on this occasion ... ;-)

Rough time spent selling bad merchandise:

pony in the prize
If I don't
Begin again, again
What you can ...
Poison River
Need to/Feel you
Little Light / Crocodile Rock (John/Taupin, 1972)

All the same, congratulations to Uncle Jeff on their success with the 'Sun Might Shine Bright' launch. You played up a hailstorm, what!?



Lancaster August 1st 2009.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Sometimes They Come Back (Again)

Richard Davis

Thursday 2nd was a hot one. Work was tough but fair and I played the Homemade Lemonade cd launch at Lancaster's Yorkshire House.

All things considered, I think it went pretty well.

I give my arm six out of ten, an A plus for effort and maybe my voice held out until the last couple of songs? Some new number crept in and all parts of ponies2 were shifted.

So more to follow, I guess?

When I got done The Existence of Harvey Lord were there to cool me down. Niamh Starky was sorely missed though.

Please check Homemade Lemonade's Myspace profile ( to learn all about them and how you can pick up their epic disc.

Lune nights are being increasingly blessed by The Maginificent James Knight and his fine host and poetry. Be sure to check him out (

Thanks to Robin, Tristan and Kev;

Simon, Erin, David, Robert and Kate for driving up

and to Richard 'Totally Wired' Davis for taking some nice pictures (see above).

Fondest Regards


ponies songs performed:

pony in the prize

If I don't

Start of Love/Wild Is The Wind (Tiomkin & Washington, 1957)

Now He's Gone (sort of)


What You Can

Need to/feel you

There's a house

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Triumph (in two parts)

ACT ONE: in which the hero reports on successful voyage

Last weekend Andy Craig and I took the ponies project down to Mojo’s café & restaurant, Blackpool for BPM’s ( Recovery Room event, and - in spite of early roughage c/o my sunken icebreaker - enjoyed two thirty minute performances spanning new and familiar fare (plus a duet on Andy’s That Summer…):

Pony in the prize
If I don’t …
Now he’s gone …

Going home (Bramhall/Craig)
Down to the river (arr. Craig)
That summer of love (Craig)
What you can …
Begin again, again

Circulo Maladetti’s Benjamin Hesford was kind enough to chip in on percussion too - so mad love to Ben.

Both Mojo’s and Recovery Room comes well recommended - check the link above.

Some fond observations from this guy: mix-tape swap box, informal/intimate performance set up; fine and reasonably priced coffee and plenty of air and light.

So great thanks to Buzz Bury, John Tree and colleagues.

Best Wishes with all operations at BPM present and future.

ACT TWO: something choppy

On the way to work Monday morning I took a fall on my motorcycle. Wet road, poor judgment; an accident.

Fortunately not a collision, and I thank the saintliness in JB for her kindness in stopping to assist me by the road.

I’m typing this with one hand. The other is in cast. I didn’t get a clear diagnosis of either sprain or fracture, though my trapezoid (apparently) is worth another look - watch this space.

I’ll try not to catastrophise …

I don’t know what this means for me, for working life and ponies alike beyond the immediate time. I’m looking at a two week minimum in plaster alone.

However, concerned parties should be assured the lord came down harder on the bike - and even there, the venerable techs at Buzzinmotos ( concede the damage to be “not that bad”.

To occupy myself with anything beyond the present isn’t likely to do me any favours. My efforts right now are being channeled into good faith and recovery.

Feel free to stay in touch.

Your pal,
Tom (- taking ‘Dylanesque’ to a whole new level) Bramhall

Lancaster, May 20th 2009

Saturday, 9 May 2009

With Friends, again

Robyn Williams

As alluded to in a previous blogspiele, much of the material recorded 10th January 2009 had been intended for a split with Durham's Discount Hourse Records (

At present it's looking as though this project may be set back slightly due to respective needs/circumstances.

In the meantime, a second full length ponies cdr should be ready by the close of the month, compiling Janurary sessions and live performances at Lancaster's Gregson Centre from September 2008.

The disc will also feature a new recording of With Friends - wrestled back from its void and given new life in a full band rendition with members of Home Made Lemonade (see Recommended Readring) and the venerable Jo Gillot ( contributing graciously, kindly to the ponies project across April of this year.

The picture up top sees the addition of drums to the mixture - thanks Robyn. ;)

As and when I have this to pass about, I'll be sure to shout about it.

Next week sees the ponies project hitting up a rescheduled date for Blackpool Promoting Music ( with contributions from The Charming Drunk, this much upstairs at Mojo's Restaurant, Back Church Street, Blackpool. This is a free, all ages event with performances from 14:00.

Best Wishes


Lancaster, UK.

dan le noir du temps

Richard Davis

Monday 27th April saw Totally Wired launching their wares at the Book Room shop ( on Meeting House Lane, Lancaster. This ponies project were represented alongside Moll Baxter, Stephen Hudson, Jo Gillot & Mikey Kenney. A review of the evening and subsequent discussion can be found here: - you may need to scroll down a piece.

Totally Wired can be reached here:

where there's info on the organisation itself, links to all the featured artists/performers, pitures and a video of Mr Kenney delivering his goods on the night.

Patchwork Mill videotaped the wholenightsworth of performance, so look out for that shortly.

Songs as performed for ponies:

Saturday Night at the Bookstore [Bit] (Dicks, 1997)

Now He's Gone ...


Dicks (1997) 1980 - 1986. Alternative Tentacles. CD

Monday, 23 March 2009

'No Depression In Heaven'

Community radio friendly unit shifter

Previous blogspiele’s mentioned the remains of 44 Ponies/ponies (2008) cd-rs having shifted themselves at the Yorkshire House, Lancaster March 12th. This was the second run of an eleven track comp which followed on from the lovely, haptic handmades assembled by May Simargool & Chris Wilson for LS6’s To the Drifters, Summer 2008.

After this, ‘there shall be no more’.

Since much has moved on and developed since last year, and after two cd-r runs; in addition to featured songs appearing on various hand distributed samplers, the ‘hammer plus three’ cd-r, community radio and Myspace rotation alike, it feels like a sound time to let go of those songs/recordings and ease into new spaces.

So with thanks to anyone who took one of those home. Your support, as ever, is invaluable.

Muley Graves

On January 10th 2009, this ponies project pulled up to the Jack Hylton Suite at Lancaster University to record a crop of newer songs ready for a forthcoming cassette split for Durham based Discount Horse Records (

The project is set to feature Sal’s Paradise, Short Term Effect and Winona Forever and will include three new/ish compositions from camp ponies as recorded by Homemade Lemonade’s ( Tristan Clutterbuck & Robin Williams.

In other news

In other news: there’s some new dates been added to the performance roster ( including a revised date for Blackpool Promoting Music.

Proud to announce anyone who hasn’t tuned in yet that Diversity 103.5FM’s ‘Health & Wellbeing Hour’ is now broadcasting Fridays at 11am & 6pm, with Alex Addams and myself covering mental health & wellbeing matters. Outside of the Lancaster & Morecambe area interested folks can stream from

Jo Gillot has self released an excellent 6 track EP and found herself well received on both national and local radio (

This season saw two new zine & review spaces casting a hand over Lune and surrounding estuaries - Hot Hat Handclaps ( and The Lunecy Review, who provided written commentary on recent Ponies et al adventure (
Cosmic sound explorer Dan Hrekow is in the process of self releasing a first serving of 'heartbreakcore' via his Bad Suburban Nightmare outfit, ponies will certainly be looking forward to hearing the same develop in 2009 (

The Charming Drunk featuring Andy Craig will be in full effect at Blackpool’s West Coast Rock Café on April 24th and finally,

former KOTM ( member Ben Hesford is now lending his ore and ears to the deep weight of Blackpool’s Circolo Maledetti (

Both of which is recommended reading from this camp.

So, with Spring rites & Best Wishes
(and Happy Birthday SJAD x)


Lancaster, March 20th 2009.

Monday, 2 March 2009

they shoot horses don't they?

A brief missive, sadly - personal commitments have seen this ponies project take the slack this past month.

Last Friday (27th Feb) saw an appearance at Richard Twine's L.A.W.M as scheduled.

songs performed:
If I don't
Pony in the Prize
Begin again, again
Show Me Love
With thanks to Wes Martin for the image above.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

'her mouth is full of honey'

- the good and well versed mister Reza Mills of Diversityfm's 'The Real Alternative' ( has been kind enough to blog a review from last week's Britannia 101 show with Andy Craig & the Moll Baxter Band. Interested parties can refer to
to read Reza's blog, or else visit

for more reviews and to get a look around the Diversity FM website.
With muchos thanks to Reza, Diversity and all their fines wares.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

'Her voice is full of money'

(In non-ponies- related news) - for folk yet to become aware of the fine work Lancaster & Morecambe's Diversity 103.5 FM are doing, please visit:

Likewise please feel free to tune in to the station this Friday 30th January, and Fridays to come for the stations health and wellbeing programming; where Alex Addams and I will be exploring a range of topics relevant to the same.

This Friday's topic will be 'Hearing Voices' - and features interviews with Asylum Associates/Hearing Voices and Paranoia network speaker Peter Bullimore, some words from Lancaster's v. own voices group in addition to a health diary extract from fellow volunteer Kate Thompson.

There's also fine music from Phoenix, Dan Haywood's New Hawks and the Silver Jews all inclusive.

That's Fridays at 11:00am and repeated at 18:00. You can listen on FM at 103.5 within Lancaster/Morecambe or else via

Feel, as the saying goes, free ...

Best Wishes


Sunday, 25 January 2009

birdland on the wire

This ponies project got a mention 'On The Wire' last night:

in a summary of all things happening via Blackpool's Mojo Restaurant and the fine work of one Blackpool Promoting Music (BPM): parties feel free to note up-coming ponies performance for the same Sunday 15th February, Mojo Restaurant, Back Church St. FY1 1HA :

w. thanks to Buzz and colleagues

and Best Wishes


Saturday, 24 January 2009

hoarse platitudes

2009's live circuit began Thursday last w. Andy Craig, Moll Baxter Band and this Ponies project return'd to Britannia 101, Ullswater Rd. Lancaster. Fine performances from both the Moll Baxter band and esteemed colleague Andy Craig. I enjoyed myself throughout:

If I don't...
Pony in the Prize
Where's the friend?
Begin again, again
Show me love

Ponies had the pleasure of performing/recording at the Jack Hylton Room of Lancaster University Jan 10th 2009 c/o v. talented engineers/Homemade Lemonade: Tris Clutterbuck and Robin Williams. From several songs culled three to appear on a projected split with Michael Bridgewater's Short Term Effect and Winona Forever for North Eastern independents Discount Horse.

At present songs to include :

Begin again, again

Where's the friend? and

Show me love

much happening in the world, and the world of Ponies presently, please feel free to keep checking the boards.

w. thanks again to Tristan & Robin, to Amy Holmes & colleagues at Britannia 101.

Best Wishes