Gary Miller Songs

"As a song poet there are few in the world today to match him"
Green Man Review, USA

Blog

Welcome to my Blog. Here I will be posting a range of stories, video clips, new songs, as well as general news updates and more. I hope you enjoy reading it...

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Mad Martins update & overhaul + Doorstop Productions animation tests

Posted on 1 July, 2021 at 0:50

As I creaked open the dusty door to the almost forgotten world of Mad Martins a few weeks ago, I was at a bit of a loss as to how to proceed with things. After the promise and joy of the first live show in October 2019, which was brilliant, things got a bit 'complicated'. Then, while I was wondering how to keep up momentum for future performances, lockdown struck. So, like so many others in the same boat, I focused on other projects to see myself through, both mentally and financially.


I am in the process of overhauling the Mad Martins to reflect more where I feel things stand with it now, including adding new songs and other material, and am looking forward to relaunching the project with a fresh new outlook and approach. Helen has also been working on redesigning the visual aspect of the project to make it all more vibrant and colourful, so how chuffed were we when the beautiful people at US film company Doorstop Productions fell in love with the Martins and a madman-loving partnership was born!


Here are two test pieces that have been created from images of William, pompous inventor and philosopher extraordinaire, and Jonathan, the Mad arsonist of York Minster (yes, he really did burn it down!). This is such an exciting taster of what is to come, and I can't wait to share a fully animated video of one of the songs, which is currently in development. But which song? You'll have to wait and see!!



Selling 'Whippet Lodge'

Posted on 30 June, 2021 at 4:15

Hi everyone, Helen and me just wanted you all to know that we are selling Whippet Lodge, our self-catering accommodation in the Scottish Borders. We have loved every minute of the process of both renovating and redecorating the cottage and hosting our wonderful guests. It has been our absolute pride and joy but now feels like the right time to let it go and to move on and focus on our ‘real’ jobs.


As any one of you who runs a similar business will know, it’s an all-consuming lifestyle, especially when you are passionate, really care and are trying to juggle a number of different things. So, with that in mind, and having looked at the situation from every conceivable angle, we feel that we are at the point where we would like to concentrate fully on our creative lives, myself as a musician and Helen as an illustrator, as well as our family home life in Durham.


We’ve had so many fabulous guests and its been a real pleasure in getting to know you all. We can’t thank you enough for the love and respect you have all shown for Whippet Lodge.


So, here’s onto the next chapter!


Whippet Lodge is now on the market through Hastings Legal & Property - HERE.


If you’d like to take a look, there is the most beautiful walk-through video with drone footage of the village and surrounding area (neither of us can watch it without becoming extremely emotional and shedding tears!).


Lots of love Gary & Helen xx



'For The Last Time'

Posted on 28 June, 2021 at 11:55

Earlier this year, our beloved willow tree in the garden at Belle Vue House (a.k.a Whippet Records HQ) came crashing down. Sad though it was at the time, it seemed to be all for the best. No person, cat or wild creature was harmed and the whole of the garden and outside of the house suddenly opened to a vista of glorious sunlight, space and new possibilities. Could this be signifying the end of one era and the start of a new one?


Helen and me each agreed to the challenge of coming up with a song that encapsulated the event. What began as my attempt quickly (almost instantaneously) developed into this song - 'For The Last Time' - (it was written in all of about 10 minutes - one of those songs that just seems to "roll off the pen"!).


Since then, Helen has undergone, and is in the process of recovering from, major brain surgery after a year-long wait. Furthermore, we are now at last about to cross the final hurdle (expect a big announcement about this in the next couple of days!) of what has been an unbelievable roller-coaster 4-year period of constant chaos and upheaval and move on to what promises to be an exciting new period in our lives together. We each have a load of incredible projects, opportunities and possibilities on the horizon, both together and individually and are preparing to soar! We’ll each be posting about all of this in the days to follow.


With all of this in mind, today felt like a good time to get out in the garden, sit on the remains of ‘Old Man Willow’ and blast this song out in celebration and anticipation of all that is to come…



FOR THE LAST TIME


Old Man Willow bowed his head for the last time

Old Man Willow bowed his head for the last time

He laid his burden down to grow wild upon the ground

Old Man Willow bowed his head for the last time


My mother closed her eyes for the last time

My mother closed her eyes for the last time

She gave all that she had so the world would feel less bad

Then my mother closed her eyes for the last time


I held my father’s hand for the last time

I held my father’s hand for the last time

He smiled proudly at each son and with a final breath was gone

I held my father’s hand for the last time


Nothing lasts forever

There are moments that shine

Everything is born to live then die


I have been a fool for the last time

I have been a fool for the last time

The gaslight flickered out and freed me of self-doubt

I have been a fool for the last time


The last star burnt its fuel for the last time

The last star burnt its fuel for the last time

Its final spark was done then the Universe was gone

The last star burnt its fuel for the last time


Nothing lasts forever

Everything has its time

To radiate, to celebrate, to shine


Old Man Willow bowed his head for the last time


(Gary Miller)


℗ & © 2021 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS




German TV superstar Elton wears Whisky Priests T-Shirt on popular quiz show

Posted on 14 February, 2021 at 18:55

My thanks to Lars Langenberg and Ingmar Schütte respectively for sending me these 2 great photos, and for drawing my attention to the latest edition of "Wer Weiß Denn Sowas?" ("Who Knows Something Like This?"), a hugely popular quiz show on German TV, on which regular team captain Elton is sporting a Whisky Priests T-Shirt throughout the show! :lol: Apparently he regularly wears some kind of band T-Shirt when he appears on this particular show, so this time it was The Whisky Priests turn to get the treatment - fantastic! "Thanks Elton" - nice one!! :D





Helen's 'Wooden Dolly' Illustration

Posted on 13 February, 2021 at 18:50

Helen's latest artwork 'Wooden Dolly No. 3' (which I absolutely love) is now available from her Etsy shop HERE.


It was inspired by my as-yet-unreleased song 'Wooden Dolly', which I performed as part of my 'Belle Vue Sessions No.2' streamed concert, which you can watch in full HERE.



Gonzo Weekly - Gonzo Jon's apology!

Posted on 11 February, 2021 at 18:40

Huge thanks to the amazing Jonathan Downes aka 'Gonzo Jon', editor of the fabulous Gonzo Weekly Magazine, for printing such a marvelous apology to me in the latest edition of Gonzo (Issue #427/8 - see below), for having made the accidental mistake of calling me Gary 'Mitchell' :lol: in the header to part 2 of my in-depth interview (over 2 successive issues) with the mighty Kev Rowland. Cheers Jon!!



Gonzo Weekly Interview Part 2 (of 2)

Posted on 21 January, 2021 at 4:40

Part 2 (of 2) of my epic 10,000-word interview with Kev Rowland for Gonzo Weekly online magazine has been now published in this week's (#425/6) issue - though for some reason, I am now called "Gary Mitchell"!!! (see below).


To read the article in full, follow the link HERE and scroll to pages 72-89.


Meanwhile, here's a look at the first page...







10,000-word Interview (Part 1 of 2) in this week's (#423) issue of Gonzo Weekly

Posted on 14 January, 2021 at 0:35

I'm pleased to announce that part 1 (of 2) of my epic 10,000-word interview with Kev Rowland for Gonzo Weekly online magazine has been published in this week's (#423) issue.


To read the article in full, follow the link HERE and scroll to pages 72-86.


In the meantime, here's a look at the first page of my interview...





"The Belle Vue Sessions No.2" - Now on YouTube

Posted on 20 December, 2020 at 14:20

 I've now uploaded a video of "The Belle Vue Sessions No.2" in its entirity (around 40 minutes in length) to my YouTube Channel.


This is a recording made with an external camera, of my Facebook Live Stream of 15th December 2020. It was therefore filmed from a different angle to the Live to Facebook version (which was streamed through the internal camera on my computer).


 

Featuring songs performed solo on acoustic guitar, with background and explanations to each of the songs, plus a bit of general chat, direct from the basement of my home in Ferryhill, County Durham, England.


 

I chose a completely different set of songs to the ones I played last month (for "The Belle Vue Sessions No.1"), including several I'd never performed live previously plus another written that very afternoon - it was all very spontaneous with no thought of a safety net!


 

Here is a list of the songs I played this time around:


1. A Dream of Joseph Skipsey


 

2. Unlocked Gate


 

3. I Can and I Will


 

4. Wooden Dolly


 

5. Two Artists


 

6. In Memoriam


 

7. New Horizons


 

Hope you enjoy it!...


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'Releasing From Lockdown' Recording Sessions - 'fly on the wall' clips

Posted on 19 December, 2020 at 2:55

Here's a small selection of 'fly-on-the-wall' clips from last week's recording session at The Forum Music Centre, Darlington, that I did with Helen - it's a little teaser for our respective song contributions ('A Boy's Own Story' and 'Venus Through the Sycamores') towards the Forum's brilliant 'Releasing From Lockdown' project. I'm so proud of what Helen has achieved with her first ever professional recording session, as 'Nellie's Temple'.


Huge shout out to our amazing son-in-law Jake for drums and percussion, to sound engineer Chris for all his hard work, and to Sid for photos, ideas and inspiration, and for being there throughout the whole process from early development onwards.


It was a very intense two days, with the clock ticking, but it was a great experience and I'm looking forward to Helen and me sharing the finished results, once everything finished and mixed...



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