Grey Lights – National Poetry Day

Happy #NationalPoetryDay 🌾



Reinventing Failure – National Poetry Day

Happy #NationalPoetryDay from my other ‘thing’

No Side Effects approve of #NationalPoetryDay. As a special treat, we thought we’d depress you with some of our prose of existential dread. 

We have retracted

All our names from the sun

This is enacted

This wave that never turns

All these voices sing and bicker

Reaching out for a slither of gold

But these machines and machinations

Will bring ruin to us all

Flick the switch that makes it fall apart so efficiently

Lay foundations that allow us to build something that can truly fall

And all we have are pedigrees and interventions to bury us all

We are reinventing failure

Our long protracted

Sentiments of how we feel

Our world is divided

Don’t apologies for the things you’ve done

All these engines roar and splutter

A space apart from our worlds apart

We’re certain we can die

So much faster

Smash the bricks so they can crumble much…

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The Nothing – The Last Dinosaur (reviewed by Thomas Haynes)

Beautiful and haunting sounds…

Dancing About Architecture

This album was a mystery to me when I picked it up. There weren’t any identifying features to who created this album, no band name and no title (which might be different in the general release, I guess). The front cover shows a pair of arms changing into a tree and a face just visible across the skin of the hands.

This is ‘The Nothing’, the second album by The Last Dinosaur, the brainchild of London-based Jamie Cameron and his music college friend, Luke Hayden.

As the first song begins with a cut-back, lo-fi acoustic guitar and distant and distorted vocals, you immediately enter a delicate and cobweb-filled dreamscape of whispered dictaphone tapes, strings, bells, saxophones and gentle elements.

The album documents a cathartic journey for Jamie as he faces difficult memories from his past through this collection of songs, with life, death, regeneration and peace being prominent themes through…

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A Walk Through This Atrium

I am supposed to care about this

The noise of the neuro-rain, showers all my sight

Relief from this, just a second, but the clouds come, then the black sky

Love and hope build worlds and safety but the dereliction of state freezes the frame

I am no longer THE one, I am one of many. A cog. Still useful, but less vital

The names matter as fuel for the eternal story that spins. Without them there are just pictures that roll down and back, down and back emotions mean less, their value poorer

Alone to face the day and alone to face the night. Alone with everyone else

This is supposed to matter, but the words spoken are too slow and the purpose too pointless

Shout it out! Tell them the waste in the endeavour, but I know better, far better than this

Routine is comfort and absence

To matter again in someway or form, to be part of something more

To share and feel a completion, a dualness

Gather the streamers for the final advance, there’s a wave of nothing coming


Grasslands acoustic set at Rolleston Arms 12/10/16

I’ll be performing an acoustic set at the Rolleston Arms, in Swindon on Wednesday 12th October. I think this might be my last gig for the year. Maybe bring some Mars Bars (why not). I suspect there will be some confusing guitar playing and some grassland management advice given, but who knows for sure.

This gig will also be the debut of my collaboration with IndoorGoblin, which is pretty different to our solo music and, of course, a set by IndoorGoblin herself.

So come along say ‘hi’ and spread the word (like margarine).

Full details are here:



Grasslands playing at Swindon Old Town Gardens and Treefest over the August Bank Holiday

Next weekend looks to be an exciting weekend for Grasslands with two live performances over the same weekend.

Saturday 27th August – The Little Big Festival Presents: …And Now for Something Completely Different

File 20-08-2016 17 41 20

First up on the 27th August we have ‘The Little Big Festival Presents: …And Now for Something Completely Different’ featuring The Big Heart, Grasslands and IndoorGoblin in Swindon Old Town Gardens (in the band stand).

I will be bringing along my full electronic set up, which should make proceedings two-parts interesting and one-part in danger of all going wrong, but where else would we all like to be?

The performances kick off at 12:00pm and should carry on until around 3:00pm and entry is free.

More info can be found here:

Sunday 28th August – Treefest (Acorn Stage)

Tree Fest Promo Final

Then on Sunday I will be playing an acoustic set at Treefest at Westonbirt Arboretum, which is a wonderful festival with all sorts of fascinating musical folk performing from 27th-29th August.

I’ll be playing on the Acorn Stage at around 12:00pm on Sunday 28th August 2016, but be there from 11:00am and watch all the cool performers!!!

The full music line is here:

Treefest tickets £10, Under 18s free

Pre-order tickets for Treefest here

Everything must come to an end’

Part diary, part collage, part mixtape, ‘The 17th Year’ documents a life-changing year through audio samples, writing and songs. Music featured in the mix includes an updated recording of a Quintessence song (one of Tom’s former bands) and a new song by No Side Effects. The mix also includes the voices of Adrian Wallington of Two Short Planks/No Side Effects and Sumita Majumdar of IndoorGoblin.


Track List:

Grasslands – Burn After Listening
Susanne Sundfør – Darlings
Ben Folds – Capable of Anything (Grasslands Overdub)
The Vaccines – Dream Lover
Nils Frahm – Our Own Roof
Grasslands – Grounded/Floating
Grasslands – Too Many Knives
The Magic Lantern – Guilty Hearts
Reading by Adrian Wallington – The Temple
Cloud Nothings – I’m Not Part of Me
Low – What Part of Me
Reading by Sumita Majumdar – Monument
Lanterns On The Lake – I’ll Stall Them
No Side Effects – Final Forecast
Reading by Sumita Majumdar – Atomise & Reform
School Of Seven Bells – Open Your Eyes

New track Fa(i)l[l]ing released

Here’s our new No Side Effects track – Fa(i)l[l]ing!!

Fa(i)l[l]ing Cover (LR)

What were Ade and Tom up to this weekend?

As part of a long delayed meet up, Tom and Ade discussed life, relationships, Brexit and even managed to have a go and turning their recorded tunes into live performances. They even managed to set dates for their next proper single and album releases (ooooh).

As would be expected, the session descended into a mirage of noise at around 2am and gave birth to our new drone song – Fa(i)l[l]ing.


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Grasslands makes new friends and gets out and about in Swindon

So much is happening over here in Grasslands universe that I rarely have time to write it all up for the blog.

2016 has seen Grasslands performing live for the first time (despite having spent years and years writing and recording songs) and has even seen the addition of a new Grasslands member!!!

With three gigs under my belt, and another three on the horizon, I thought I would give you a quick update on the events of the past few months.

Gig #1 – Roaring Donkey – April ‘16
First up was an acoustic gig at the Roaring Donkey, supporting George Wilding. I experimented with some electronics for ‘The Ball Starts To Move’ which seemed to go down well. My new 12-string suffered from stage fright and decided to de-tune, so I eventually abandoned it. We have since been to counselling together to discuss what went wrong between us. Maybe I’ll recount that experience some other time.

Gig #2 – Baila Coffee & Vinyl – May ‘16
For this gig at Swindon’s best coffee shop, Baila Coffee & Vinyl and part of ‘The Renegade Sessions’ I was supporting the amazing Vienna Ditto and I decided to have a go at a full set of electronic goodness. My musical friend, Indoor Goblin, helped me out for this gig on keyboards, glockenspiel and harmonies. We thought we blew up the PA at one point, but all was good in the end. The crowning achievement of this gig was finally being able to perform ‘Ambient Groceries’.

Grasslands had so much fun performing with Indoor Goblin that she is helping me play some other gigs too. We also hope to play some music with Vienna Ditto again in the future.

Gig #3 – Desk Cowork – July ‘16
Desk Cowork had a party and Grasslands was invited. along with singer songwriter George Lewis Todd. This gig was subtler than the previous two and provided a bit of background music for various party chats and ping pong games. A few Quintessence songs from the long lost past crept out of hiding too including ‘This Train’ and ‘See You On The Otherside’. My car broke down on the way to the gig, so I taxi’d to the venue and had the opportunity to drink lots of gin in the aftermath, which is always a good thing.


What next?
In my next blog I will detail the next set of gigs planned for Summer and Autumn.

I’d also like to thank Songs of Praise for all their support and offering me performance slots this year these guys are great!!!

Throws (reviewed by Thomas Haynes)

Dancing About Architecture

ThrowsThrows debut album documents an Icelandic adventure through a range of musical styles with soulful vocals and awkward drum beats. The resultant noises can be compared to The XX, slower Super Furry Animal numbers and The Polyphonic Spree.

Throws is a collaboration between old friends and collaborators Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders formally of Tunng’s who found themselves rekindling their friendship while meandering across the unearthly Icelandic landscape and recording songs along the way.
The album features space-laden tunes with soulful high-pitched falsettos provided by the Northern tones of Sam, which are reminiscent of Bon Ivor.

Awkward drum loops and freestyle live drumming prick your attention and stop this record fading into the background while string and key arrangements provide some warmth and depth. On first listen the album sounds grounded in folk, but you soon discover some surprises such as a bit of gospel in the opening track ‘The…

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