Adventures in Live Mic Nights 

As a new band. We get the material written, rehearsed, performed, recorded. Then it’s time for the audiences and fan collecting…. ‘Fannymon Go!’ We thought.. Ok. Let’s prove ourselves. Let’s do the live mic night circuit. Trying out craft ales. With The JamCafe… 

The Doghouse ticked these last couple of weeks. 

Plus a visit to watch, Reverend and The Makers, The Bluetones, Shed Seven and Ocean Colour Scene in Leeds was inspiring.

We are working through the Nottingham list first. This way we get to play venues that wouldn’t normally offer us a gig, while we build up the set list and performance practice. Collaborating with promoters and venues. Team working. We are acoustically what we are and not every venues cup of tea. So I’ll monitor how many doors are slammed or not responded to. I like to remember you see. Always comes in handy later on ūüėČ I’ve just come off the drum kit and back into other instruments such as guitar, mandolin, keyboard. So it’s useful to practice til my left hand finger tips harden like old leather. I suffer more pre match nerves on these than hiding behind cymbals and sat down cozily at the back on my seating arrangement! Plus networking is great! We’re about to record a very talented harmonica player on one of our songs at Claudsville Studios. A great find and lovely gentleman.. We saw him perform and chatted at a live mic night. It’s not about poaching. It’s collaboration. Featured musicians! Where ‘Join my band’ fails to find collaborators that share the same dream and tick boxes. ‘Musicianimon Go!’ Does. So that’s our plan. As gig offers roll in.. Not too shoddy from a band that began in April 2016. With an almost finished #EP and songs from the new album in progress.

I at times wish for the time to do this full time. I’m riding the productive and inspired rainbow, past orions belt of adventures. It’s non stop and fabulous. But the day job pays the bills and travel adventures… Oh and instruments and stuff… As we develop as a live act, we gather new friends and many good memories along they way. Yesterday at the beach bandstand at Southsea, Portsmouth. We sat in the sun simmering. Listening to a few covers bands. 

People were dancing to well know songs. You know what? Not bad performances of them. There is a big danger with covers! They can destroy a song if done badly! I’ve seen my fair share of acts and egos. But high five for getting up on stage to anyone. We stick to originals. If a cover opportunity arose. My opinion … Bring something new and different. As a musician I’d like to think I’m not an MP3 player. Recreating a copy. Creating something brand new out of 12 notes in a particular order is challenging. But ever so exciting and rewarding. Even old songs from the Claudvault are reinvented with style and prose. It is about working together with PP Johnson and achieving something pretty darn good. – ClaudimonGo! 

We are Strange Currencies 
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Twitter @strangecu



R.E.M and Strange Currencies

After the deconstruction of our previous band in April 2016. PP and I pondered upon what direction to take the music. It was agreed that it wasn’t going to be a clone of the previous musical work. We decided to begin this as a duo. It continues as a duo. In studio we can add layers and experiment. We challenge ourselves live to recreate the raw energy of each song in its basic form. My journey into loop pedals has begun. Whilst all the instruments are excitedly queuing up for a go! Who are we, what do we mean to you. We let that be decided by other. ¬†We draw upon the past for the story. The future for glory. We create a quagmire to move to. Let the shaking and toe tapping commence!

We are both huge fans of REM. Yet again we are both influenced by their music. ¬†We chose an REM song for the band name. We didn’t want to become their music, but we do embrace it. But there lies the challenge. How does one write ‘Losing my Religion #2’ ???

The recording sessions at Claudsville Studios are inspiring and productive. Writing and recording the #EP along with the debut album. time is limited, putting enthusiastic pressure on ourselves is motivational. The perfectionist in us both, screams regularly whilst  communication between the 2 is relaxed, fun, respectful and constructive.

With sore fingers, a sweltering summer, glass recycling amounts to be embarrassed about.  While England shakes, we march into unknown territories.

We are currently hitting the live mic circuit to hone the live set. Encouraging reactions so far from, “Oh not another acoustic act!” to….”Oooh” #exactly and thanks for listening.

My backing vocals begin to form. A big challenge with at times complex guitar parts. But with practice, I’ll nail it.

Is cool just starting off all new again. Both committed, capable and creative. (I wont eat my words this time) 

We really did get the T-shirts too. Short and sweet.

  • Claudine




July 2016 @strangecu HQ

When oceans collide…something special arrives. PP Johnson and Claudine West are currently riding the creative roller coaster, recording and producing Strange Currencies debut #EP (2016 release) Also writing, recording and producing their debut album (due for release early 2017) 
Defined as #Rockustic The band are playing a number of live dates promoting their music. Stripped down sets that utilise multi-instruments and a loop pedal. While networking with talented guest musicians whom they meet through their travels. The meeting of a Tictac percussionist is pure revolution! 
Sessions featuring twisted sobriety with green tea and iced water, that turn to spiced rum and so on… Are producing a quickening, an awakening. With no more constraints. This pair are productive and passionate. Chemistry and humour, commitment without rumour. Karma reflected opportunity. A universal commentary on worldly events, riding it like a pony! Dancing, Manta Rays, trouble, strife, wanting, waning, hurt, lycanthropy, substance abuse. The ever evolving creative lyrical input. 
Both Johnson and West, whose previous band and style took them more into the Funk/Rock genre. Decided to ramp it up musically. Challenge their expected evolvement into something truly creative and not strictly defined. Expect more than just acoustic on the recordings. The challenge lies with effective entertainment during live performance, that is limited to 1 musician, (various instruments) and 1 lead vocalist. Already initial ‘oh not another acoustic band’ has produced audience surprise and refreshment. In a world where cover bands are ever increasing. This original outfits future has promise… Watch out for the haunting ‘The Last Refuge’ … The country-dance ‘I Don’t Dance and many more stand out songs.