Hello, welcome to my musings.

Here in lie the thoughts and ramblings of a 30-something singer and writer, who has some very strong opinions on most things (that you may or may not agree with). Here I will probably whitter away regarding the inane and pointless, but sometimes there may be the odd flicker of something insightful although to be honest that will probably be very rare. Feel free to comment and question, but as always...

Stay gorgeous,

Thursday, 22 September 2011

At the Studio

Morning my lovelies.

Well it's day 6 and we're up in the wilds of Mid Wales recording the follow up to Key to The Kingdom. Giles has been an absolute legend and put all his drums down in pretty much 2 days.  The man is a drumming machine.

So we're up at Foel Studios where the likes of Napalm Death, Primordial, Electric Wizard, Dub War, My Bloody Valentine and many other have recorded. We've entrusted our baby into the very capable hands of Chris Fielding and we're all relaxing and kicking back between sessions.  Fair dues to Chris, he works tirelessly at getting everything just right. We're just waiting for the drum edits to be completed and then it's guitars and bass interspersed with vocals.  It's all going well so far :)

Here are a few snaps of the studio and where we are staying to tickle your taste buds.  I promise to blog a bit more from the studio and keep you all updated.  The studio has five cats, of which we've met 3, Troubles (pictured here) Mr Cuddles and Bungle (i think is the other one, one the most forlorn looking cat I've ever seen).

The view from the front of the house is stunning, and we've all be taking walks/or are intending to take walks in the surrounding area.  Unfortunately the weather is against us most days and the breaks in the rain and wind are few.  But we are getting out and about between recording sessions.

 The accommodation is lovely, a farming cottage that is cosy and has plenty of rooms for all of us.  We've brought our computers and the Wii so that we have plenty of entertainment while tracks are recorded in the studio and there is a pool table too.

The studio is separate and housed in the converted barn.  It has two recording rooms and the control room is up a stairs overlooking both rooms.
 Chris at work on recording the drum tracks.  Glyn and Owen have been geeking out over the desk and all the paraphernalia that comes with a fully working studio.  I believe they are in geek heaven at the moment, bless 'em.
There will be more pictures I'm sure but for now I'll leave you with our very hard working drummer taking a well earned rest after being a demon on the drums.  Great work G!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

I Race for Life for.....

Yep it's that time of year again where I come cap in hand to family and friends and run/walk a 5K course in my beloved neighbouring city, Swansea, with the hope that the few pounds I raise will be the vital few extra that find a cure for cancer.

This year is my fifth Race for Life and while I tend to grin like a cheshire cat when on the course, I also take the time before the race to reflect on those who I Race for Life for and in memory of. The sad fact is I race in memory for more than I do for those still with us, but I suppose that's part and parcel of getting older.

This year the pink back patch (I'll add a picture here later) has a list too long for my liking. I'd like to reflect here on a few of the names - not all or I'll start crying - but a few that are important to me. There are two on the list who I never met but the had a great influence on my life. Ronnie James Dio being the one who had an impact on my music and who we lost a year ago on Monday. Needless to say Rainbow and Dio make up a lot of the playlist I'll be running to tonight. His voice is possibly the greatest metal voice the world has and will ever know (no offence Bruce). For such a small man, his voice was enormous and his vocal has been a huge influence on my own style. Thank you Ronnie.

And Gwen, who had a profund impact on me through her work, and through that work I met some of the most amazing people and have made some lifelong friends. Thank you Gwen.

Rhian, I knew this woman as a teenager. We attended Air Cadets together and we formed a close friendship that like so many we didn't continue through to adulthood and that makes me sad. However, she was a a genuinly lovely person and we shared a love of musical theatre and dance. Alas ovarian cancer took her at the very young age of 31. She was too young.

Jane. Jane passed in August 2010. And for the short period that I knew her she was a warm and wonderful person with a free spirit and a heart as big as an ocean. She was a big fan of the band (slightly biased too being Giles' mum) but her support was immense. I am sad that I didn't get to have more time with her but I am so grateful that I did know her.

Uncle Alan. We didn't know until after the investigation into his passing what had caused it. He passed in December 2010. As a child my sister and I were close to Auntie 'Lizbeth' and Uncle Al. They lived not far from us and we would often go to their house for tea and cake and just to escape Mum and Dad if we'd got in trouble for anything (the benefit of a LARGE family when you argue with your parents is that you have lots of places you can escape to in safety). He and my Grandfather were close friends - well they had married sisters so it was inevitable. His ashes were scattered with my Grampa's.

Grampa. Seven years and I still miss him every day. I idolised my Grandfather, he taught me to play piano, always new what buttons to press to wind me up to the point that I would have to prove him wrong (I know now that he wound me up because he knew I could do whatever I put my mind to but sometimes I lacked motivation. He was a skilled carpenter. I hope he and Alan are up to mischeif where ever they are.

I missed two names off the list this year - Dad Phillips (my Great Grandfather) and Gareth Jones (my former boss when I worked at UWIC). They are also in my thoughts.

Something I mused on the other day was how grief affects us in different ways.  By no means what I'm about write is meant to belittle the person who is going through the horror of suffereing cancer but I can only write from my perspective as someone who's been on the support side of the fence.  More often than not grief is usually those left behind being damned angry at the person who has passed for leaving them, and then that anger disapates to sadness tinged with anger. Grief is also a very selfish emotion. But it's also made more prominent by feelings of hope. And that's why cancer is such a horrible disease. Treatments can force the cancer to go into remission and give those of us who care for that person hope that that they will live a long and full life. But sometimes that hope is short lived and that's the crushing reality of cancer for those of us left behind. We, the support network and onlookers, are (just as the patient is) fed hope for a year or two that the treatment will work and that the person we love, who is going through the horror of cancer, will come out the otherside. That's why the grief of losing a loved one through cancer is so hard to come to terms with and why the anger stays for a long time, because we dared to hope.  But damn it I'm going to carry on hoping.

I also Race for Life for two people who are still with us. Uncle Robin, who has been in the clear for ten years. And Sue, a work colleague who I admire and respect greatly, who was also in remission but alas we've had the very sad news that it's returned with vengeance. Sue will be in my thoughts very much as I do the course.

So, with my quads screaming at me due to cramp, even if I have to hobble around the course tonight I'll still be doing it.  It's too damned important to me for me to say I 'm not!

I Race for Life.... I race for us.

Please sponsor me if you can -http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/KrissieKirby2011

Thank you


Friday, 8 April 2011

It's a small world eh?

Hello there

It's been a strange old week of highs and lows. Have realised that I am actually missing my parents being down the road and within easy dropping in for a cuppa distance, after all. Shhh don't tell them I said that or I'll never hear the end of it ;)

Writing blogs has been a serious cathartic experience for me and something I honestly thought I wouldn't embrace. I've found that through this very impersonal medium I can express various things hidden behind my screen that I once before would have locked in some darkened cast iron safe box in my mind, and thrown away the key. Through this medium I have discovered things about myself that for years I didn't want to face. By sharing some of my darker thoughts, I've made my world a little brighter. I've also been able to say goodbye to those we've lost recently and that has been an amazing source of strength that I wasn't expecting.

And I think that is the crux of blogging, tweeting, facebooking (ugh, what an abomination of a word). As a species we desire contact with our fellow kind, we crave that interaction on a daily basis and what better way to widen that net and cast your thoughts further than through this wondrous medium called the internet.

Through Twitter and Facebook, I have made some amazing life long friends. For these simple pixilated pieces of text have opened up a whole world of opportunity and a whole world of fun and laughter. It also does come with a price, you tend to find more idiots exist in the world than you first thought but you learn to ignore them. After all, every village must have an idiot.

So a massive thank you to all those I've met through the wonderful world of the web. It's a community I'm quite proud to be a part of :)



Friday, 25 March 2011

Something is a changing!

So after a fantastic weekend at Hammeredfest, I came away feeling uplifted and happy with everything. Then the post festival blues hit on Sunday and I had a sudden moment of 'oh, I'm sad now'. It happens after you spend a weekend enjoying yourself with fantastic people. But you soon realise that it won't be long until the next fantastic weekend and you get to see some, if not most of those people again soon, so no need to be sad.

However, when the sadness hit it didn't come alone. Oh no, it brought post festival lurgi with it too, or actually in my case, a form of tonsillitis. Now the daft thing here is, technically it's not tonsillitis but the Doc said that it's the closest approximation he can make for self inflicted swollen tonsils with vocal strain and the remnants of a cold I thought had past! I don't do things by half, eh?

Upshot is, I got horrendously drunk on the Friday of the festival. Not something I'm proud of as I always make a complete tit of myself when drunk. We had attended a friends chalet for their 'Power Ballads Party' and once the songs started I, in my inebriated state, simply had to outdo everyone in earshot and across the Dee in vocal loudness. Needless to say that will be how I got the vocal strain. The hangover the next morning was not nice in the slightest, and probably aided in swelling the tonsils. But it was all my own doing, so I'm not looking for sympathy, far from it. In fact please do tell me off as it was very stupid.

So I am banned from singing until no earlier than this Sunday and then only quietly so I can write lyrics. Otherwise I have to rest until Monday and then ease myself back in to ensure the chords have had adequate recuperation... I'm such a div! So the long, and short of it is, I can't be doing that to my voice and it is probable that if I get tipsy/drunk/gazeeboed (thanks Michael McIntyre for the last one) again I'll end up doing the same thing as I'm a competitive sod and stupid to boot.

So, dearest reader, I'm going teetotal. Yep, that's right, you read it correctly I'm giving up alcohol completely. And it scares the bejesus out of me, but here we go. The way I see it is this, most musicians don't throw their instruments around and soak the in mildly acidic fermented products that strip them of things they need, rendering them useless for a week. So why am I doing that to my instrument? In fact to sing the whole body needs to be looked after as it's the casing the instrument is carted around in. I really should look after it a bit better, don't you think?

So there we have it, I'll let you know how I get on :)


Monday, 21 March 2011


Well that was fun! No, seriously. We had the most fun this past weekend at Pontins Prestatyn for the third installment of Hammerfest.... Roma victa. I was tempted to start talking to those in Roman atire in Latin, but I don't think they would have got the joke ;)

So we all rocked up around about two in the afternoon, unpacked, got ourselves some food and then headed to the third stage to check in with Peter, our stage manager, and the event crew. I have to say we had the nicest people again crewing for us, very helpful, very chatty and always stopped for a chin wag through the rest of the weekend. We got ourselves set up and ready to roll, but first a DJ and Dirty Rose. In the meantime various friendly faces and twitter pals had started to turn up and much screaming of 'oh my god, hello lovely, hello darling' was heard, mainly from Owen.

6:10pm came very quickly and we were all set up to take the stage and kick things off a little early. The set went well apart from a few minor hiccoughs.

Glyn lost all power to his amp and when the power returned it set it back to clean. So after a little jiggery pokery he got it back to distortion and blistered his way through the Lies solo. My mic receiver got knocked and it decided to change channel... thankfully at the end of a song. So reverted to a lead mic for the remainder of the set. How I didn't trip over the lead, or trip anyone else up I'll never know.

As it turned out, the band that were headlining stage 3 that night didn't turn up, so we were asked to pad out and extend our set if we could. So, in true Triaxis style, that's exactly what we did. We threw in a cover of The Wickerman which had the entire crowd singing the chorus back to us, and we finished with Aurora (which as it turned out was the favourite of a number of people). The pub area was absolutely heaving and the feedback that we had after our set was very positive. All in all, we were very happy with how the set had gone.

The rest of the weekend was a hoot. Catching up with old friends and making new ones, seeing bands that we enjoy and spending time with some of them. Yep I think Hammerfest was a good weekend overall.

Now to shift this thick throat that I have developed (touch wood it's not tonsillitis) and time to carry on writing and preparing for the next gig... April 9th in Liecester.


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Rediscovering my Yooff!

So after a depressive period during 2010 that forced me to get a grip of myself and discover why I was taking everything so damned personally, I realised that there was one thing utterly missing from my life..... simple childlike fun.

As a hobby I do live action role play. Yes I dress up as an Elf (it use to be a Russian gypsy and before that countless make up hours to obtain the look for a Geisha Orc - don't ask it's a fantasy world and I like it), I run around a scout camp between various tented camps, swig mead in the character tavern and generally have fun. However, I am also staff and a responsible bod at these events so I can't really relax and kick back until time out by which point I just want to sleep.

The band is a source of continuous enjoyment but that too will always come with it's stresses and strains, as does running any business. That said there is more enjoyment than stress where the band is concerned so that is always a bonus. The gym for me is fun but also a means to an end in that it aids on the weight loss and keeping in relatively good health.

However not one of these things constitute as childlike fun. All these things have adult responsibilities attached to them and there in lies the problem. So after chatting to my counsellor (yes I have one of these and I must say it has been the best thing I have ever done), she suggested that I put the fun back in and get on a swing in the playground. Well, having always stated that the family moto is 'I may be getting older but I refuse to grow up', who am I not to take the sage advice of my therapist and put the childlike fun back?

So before Christmas I had the harebrained idea that for my birthday I would like to book a soft play centre. Unfortunately as the idea was late in the day and we had many gigs and the tour to contend with, that idea went on the back burner. But I am booking it this year.... yes 36 and I'm booking a sleepover party in a kids soft play centre. You know the ones with huge slides and climbing frames with all that spongey wipe-clean stuff?

Yes we can take a stereo so we can blast out metal as we act like 10 year olds and as it will be a private booking on their licensed night we can take some beverages.... what's not to love about this idea? Oh and we can sleep over... WIN!

Just after Christmas I received a belated yule present from my hubby.

An adult size space hopper. I had one as a kid and now I recall why I had such toned limbs.... it's hard work but hilarious. I adore it. I use it when I fell a little 'meh' as the kids say today, and get on that bounding up and down the hallway or around the dining room. Immense fun.

The latest thing I have purchased in my rediscovering of my childhood fun are roller-skates. Not these inline jobbies that have been everywhere for the last 20 years but good old fashioned quad wheeled roller boots. In fact these are the pair that I have bought and am waiting delivery of.

They are almost identical to the pair I had when I was 8 years old. Most kids had the skates that you attached to a shoe. Imagine how posh I felt having proper boots like Olivia Neutron Bomb had in Xanadu? (I love that film.. even though it's crass). I adored my roller boots. I lived in the damn things during the summer and when it came time to throw them as they were wrecked they had been superseded by those damned infernal inline skates and quads were a thing of the past. I was gutted.

But now 26+ years on and I own them again.... I can't wait to get down Aberafan beach and make a complete tit of myself on the half-pipe trying to do the tricks I could do as a child. It's going to hurt, it'll be fairly embarrassing but most of all, it'll be heaps of FUN :)


Sunday, 27 February 2011

PMA and all that Jazz

So the positive mental attitude attack faltered a little last week. It had been more than a bit stressful work wise unaided by me being stupidly oversensitive about many things.
I am a great believer in what you put out into the wider world you get back, so with me being all 'woe is me, nobody likes me' it was unsurprising that nobody really had any interest in my whinging. Plus if you, dear reader, are having a shit day then the last thing you want is me going off about how nobody listens to me and whine, whine, moan, moan. Sorry about that, great friends of the interweb but we all get those days and weeks don't we?

Thankfully an awesome gig on Thursday put that all back into perspective and give me the gee up that I desperately needed. Sometimes you have to let go and just allow the moment to take you. CJ gives the best hugs and has that enviable knack of giving me that 'it's all ok mate' smile when I need it most. She is a true blessing in my life (yes I know I'm gushing but sometimes you have to put these things on record). The boys in the band are a constant source of laughter, and being the old bird of the piece they humour me my foibles. For that I utterly adore them. Plus I really am blessed to work with the most amazing musicians.

Anyhoo, where was I before I got all soppy... oh yes, PMA and all that jazz. So yes, I realised last week that the only person around me who thinks that I am inept etc, old, unable to do xyz, is me. That was an interesting realisation. For all my ranting in the office about how it appeared so and so was making me feel that they think I can't do my job.... WRONG it was me utterly misreading things because I was being so stupidly over sensitive. We all do it, but realising that it's how we think others think of us, that was quite an interesting moment.

So I've been working hard on when that voice crops up to tell it, 'OH back off buster and get back in your hole' and it seems to be working. I'm also getting into the habit of saying no. That's quite a tricky one to master but I'm learning, slowly. So essentially I've taken control and responsibility for the fact that it is only ME that makes me feel this way. And that's got to stop.
On a side note, only a few weeks to Hammerfest and the interview requests have started to come in. I'm stupidly excited about this festival because having attended last years as a punter I know how good it is. Also I get to see some amazing bands that sometimes financial constraints don't allow. So talking about gig stuff, I best push off and get the admin bits and bobs for tomorrow's gig ready and put some lyric ideas and melody ideas down on this 'ere computer for the guys to listen to. Then get ready of rehearsal later..... I do like being busy.

Have a good one guys


Thursday, 10 February 2011

Some days are tougher than others

Isn't that so very true. Today is a prime example. Lots of meetings this morning in work and the feeling that I'm hitting my head on a brickwall, coupled with the impression that of late, I appear to be inept at communicating how I truly feel/want to say/think etc.

It's at times like this that I could happily just curl up under my duvet and not come out into the bright, bustling world and happily let the depression take over. How very melodramatic of me, eh? But that is exactly how I feel. You will hear many women say 'Oh my hormones are at it again' and they will be right. This modern day of pills for this and potions for that, coupled with food that takes 2 mins from wrapper to hot in a microwave (or chicken ding as my beloved Grampa called it), is it any wonder that large men have boobs and women are depressed to Hades? Our hormones are bombarded with extra portions of their own selves on a daily basis. You'll find I'm an advocate of organic foods and processed rubbish is a no no in my house. I've become so fixated by this that I'm writing another blog about it. I'll add a link here when it's live :)

But soldier on we must and battle through the lows to regain the highs that keep us smiling. And so to the gym, I once again venture even though I have no motivitaion or inclination to attend. But force myself I shall and I know that it will release the endorphines that will have me fighting fit with another smile on my face in the morning. Add to that a night reading books on confidence etc and how can I possibly not be anything other than a bright ray of sunshine? Yes I too suffer with confidence issues, as hard as you may find that to believe.

Afterall we weren't born depressed or negative. We habitualised those traits until they become the norm, we allow society to dictate how we see ourselves and how others should see us. So why not reverse the trend and habitualise a positive outlook? Why not gain a self image that you are happy with? Easier said than done, I know only too well. But that's what I'm doing. I'll let you know how it goes.... after I've crawled out from under my duvet ;)


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

2011 you started with such promise....

And yes, you did start with great news.

Firstly the band got announced for Hammerfest 3, which is something we'd been working on for a while and thankfully the hard work paid off. We finalised all the editing of the tour video and started to look into other exciting developments, many of which I can't go into yet but just to give you an idea that January started on a high.

Alas, sadness took over.

On Sunday January 16th my father in law, Peter Kirby, suffered a severe stroke. We had got in late from a gig in Birmingham where Gav (my husband) had done all the driving, only for him to pack up and scoot off to Scotland as soon as his Mum called to tell us the news. By 8pm that evening Gav was at the Kirby homestead in Port William.

It was a shock of course and no matter how much preparation you have it is always heartbreaking but preparing for years for news of this ilk, I'm sorry to say we had been.

Gav's Dad had suffered kidney failure about 10 years ago, a side effect of is diabetes. About 8 years ago he had a kidney transplant. He was recovering well when shingles hit and affected his eyesight. He lost all sight in one eye and was partially sighted in the other, this was hard for Pete as he was an avid reader. We'd spent hours discussing the finer points of Sherlock Holmes both being big fans. Things again started to improve health wise (although Dad had to walk with a stick) and the Kirby's retired from working in Bahrain and returned to the South West of Scotland and to Elsie's (Gav's Mum) home turf. Unfortunately illness struck again, with Pete wheelchair bound for a long period due to the diabetes now affecting the bones in his feet. The bones were rotting internally and eventually amputation was the only course of treatment to stop the spread any further. Pete also suffered with cancerous growths, but these could be easily dealt with as they were on the surface and no other treatment for them were needed other than removal - thankfully.

But what a difference the amputation made. I recall going to see them, and Pete standing up without zimmer or stick. For the first time in ages there was no pause to brace for the pain he felt everytime he stood. It was wonderful to see. It also meant that they could come to visit us at home as Pete could now handle the stairs at our house. I know that meant the world to Gav.

Christmas just, we were worried that the weather would hinder our efforts to spend the first Christmas is two years with Gav's parents. Nothing was stopping us this year and we packed all the necessary supplies plus sleeping bags and spade, just in case, and hot footed it up to Scotland for 5 days. And I am so thankful that the weather favoured us. Pete looked to be in the best health we had seen him for a long, long time. He had had two growths removed the day before we arrived which made him feel a little off colour the first day but come Christmas Eve much laughter and good times were had. It was good to see Pete in the kitchen cooking and, boy could he cook :)

Gav came home on the Monday after Pete's stroke. Dad was in a stable condition, no change overnight and there was not much he could do. Tuesday morning January 18th, Gav's youngest brother called to say the hospital had phoned and Dad was deteriorating. 5:45pm Dad passed away.

I am grateful that it was quick. The rehabilitation would have been very long, and for the most part he would have been just existing had he survived. He would never have wanted that. Pete lived life, just existing was not an option. I am grateful that Gav and his brothers, Clive and Richard, all got the chance to get to Scotland to see him while he was in the best of health before the stroke and one last time on the Sunday before he passed.

Pete never grumbled or complained about his illnesses. He was a positive man with the attitude of 'just get on with it', a typical Yorkshire man, proud and hardworking who had travelled the world, had three wonderful sons and the strongest and most adoring wife. He was a realist, a very practical man. He lived a very full life and even though he had battled diabetes, his Moriarty, for as long as I had known him he didn't let it get him down (or he never showed it if it did). He loved custard which meant an instant rapour with my Mum and me and enjoyed good wine a plus with my own Dad! Silly how it's those little things like custard conversations that make you smile, eh?

I couldn't have asked for a better father in law and I will be forever grateful that he accepted me into his family.

To use Watson's own comments regarding Holmes after his 'death' and the Reichenbach falls:

'A few words may suffice to tell the little that remains. An examination by experts leaves little doubt that a personal contest between the two men ended, as it could hardly fail to end in such a situation, in their reeling over, locked in each other's arms. Any attempt at recovering the bodies was absolutely hopeless, and there, deep down in that dreadful caldron of swirling water and seething foam, will lie for all time the most dangerous criminal and the foremost champion of the law of their generation. The Swiss youth was never found again, and there can be no doubt that he was one of the numerous agents whom Moriarty kept in this employ. As to the gang, it will be within the memory of the public how completely the evidence which Holmes had accumulated exposed their organization, and how heavily the hand of the dead man weighted upon them. Of their terrible chief few details came out during the proceedings, and if I have now been compelled to make a clear statement of his career it is due to those injudicious champions who have endeavored to clear his memory by attacks upon him whom I shall ever regard as the best and the wisest man whom I have ever known.'

Sleep well Dad, we miss you.