Upcoming Gigs

Sunday October 1st: mandolin with THE STARFIRES, Emmet Ray, Toronto 18:30-20:30
Friday October 6th: ROACH WALKER, Lambton House, Toronto 19:30-21:30
Sunday October 15th: mandolin with THE STARFIRES, Penny’s, Toronto 20:30-22:30

Warm and Normal is Back! - Songs from 1992/3 performed by an eclectic bunch of East Anglian folk and rock musicians. Cover by Colin Ward. For full credits and access to bonus items see Bandcamp page… Read More
The Pros And Cons Of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - The New Kadampa Tradition of Buddhism was founded in 1991 by Tibetan monk Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (1931-2022), following a fifteen year period during which Gyatso taught within the Foundation For The Preservation Of The Mahayana Tradition but gradually disassociated his teachings from the main Tibetan schools. I first came across the New Kadampa Tradition in Halifax, West Yorkshire, as the bus I got home to Bradford after the Tai Chi class at North Bridge Leisure Centre stopped outside the World Peace CafĂ©. In the window there were posters of seemingly non-depressed people sitting in silence, and this seemed a preferable… Read More
The First (of many?) - The first album by Punk Soul Brothers is a solid collection of minimalist agitational beat-heavy tracks. But the sound is smooth enough not to offend audiophiles, and the well-timed lyrical bursts are entirely comprehensible. A grim determination to fight the powers that be permeates the majority of the tracks. The musical elements usually stay close to a bass riff which holds down each song. Touches of hedonistic or nonsensical humour pop up like punk hairstyles. With the manner of a child wriggling out of its parent’s unwanted grasp, most of the lyrics take an anti-capitalist, anti-government stance. Mid-album tracks like… Read More
The Art of Everyday Anarchy - In Sophie Scott-Brown’s excellent, well-researched and insightful biography of Colin Ward, one of Britain’s most interesting alternative thinkers of the twentieth century, the reader can find an in-depth analysis of the various stages and evolution of my dad’s work and life. There are criticisms, some valid and others which I’m not really qualified to offer an opinion on, and there are typographical and factual errors, but these are minor weaknesses in a discourse which never fails to clarify and offer explanations for what Colin Ward did, and appreciates his contribution to positive changes in the way people can potentially live… Read More
Stepping Stones - I’ve got a new album. It’s pretty much a one man show, but with a few crucial contributions to playing, writing and arranging.… Read More
RUNE AND FLASH: Inside the Dream Prison - Like Joe Canzano’s last book, SUZY SPITFIRE AND THE SNAKE EYES OF VENUS, RUNE AND FLASH revolves around a highly motivated female character with homicidal tendencies. Part teenage dystopian romp, part social commentary, a cross between J.G. Ballard and THE HUNGER GAMES, the author creates a convincing world with just the right amount of characters, in which different groups and organizations clash within a frightening technological scenario. The interactions of a group of teenagers who are learning to write dreams together provides a bit of fun against the backdrop of psychological manipulation by the controllers of the Dream Station. Older… Read More
Cash Promotion - The Singer To these ears, Johnny Cash’s singing style was basically the same for the vast majority of his recording career. From his debut in 1957, peppered with classics heard regularly from that point on, to the ‘American II’ album in 1996, where the singing is energetic, enthusiatic and technically strong, he had great tone quality, decent intonation and put lyrics across convincingly. After the onset of Shy-Drager syndrome in 1997, there’s what seems like an involuntary wobble and a reduced lung capacity which caused some to question the wisdom of the powers that be continuing to record Cash, as… Read More
A Place Like This (remastered) - A Place Like This – the title track describes the UK’s 2025 City of Culture, which wasn’t very cultural when I lived there! – is a group of tracks, most of which are collaborations with Mike Pierce-Goulding, who co-wrote eight of the songs, recorded and mixed seven of them and whose skills on keyboards, guitar, composing and arranging are especially prominent on five. It was mainly recorded in 2000-2, with three tracks newly put down in 2019. I have remastered the whole project and I hope it is more playable now than it was previously.… Read More
Ben Z Walker & The Test at Grossman’s - I’ve got a new name, the band has a new name and, in the three years since we last performed live, some of the songs we do have been recorded and released on a CD called ‘Impermanent Resident’. We’re playing at Grossman’s, Toronto’s Home of the Blues, on Friday June 10th and will be playing all the tracks on the recording which feature Kevin Barrett (guitar), Michael Kaler (bass) and Tim Shia (drums). We’ll also be doing a load of other songs, not all by me. The music starts at 5:00 (NOT 8:30 as originally advertised), it’s Pay What You… Read More