News Archive 2006
> News Archive - 2006
7th November 2006
Guestbook Visitor: Those of you who check the SpenceMusic
Guestbook will already have noticed a message from Chloe Chisholm, daughter
of Colin Chisholm, one of Brian's best friends and follow band member
in Bilbo Baggins and Chisholm and Spence. Firstly, I would like to thank
Chloe for leaving a message. If she can so can you.
In the message she says
that she appeared as a boy in the live version of MacGregor's Trap at
the Edinburgh Festival many, many years ago (link
to picture). Since then she has
grown up - lots, as you can see from the picture.
Chloe now has her own singing career which she is developing
in London, following a move from her native Edinburgh. You can find
out more information, including listen to samples of her music, via
17th September 2006
Welcome Back: It's been
a while since my last update to this web site. So why the wait? No real
reason, except Sue (she who must be obeyed) fell off the step ladder
damaging her leg. As a result she has had me running around waiting
on her hand and foot. Although the leg is not fully healed I have enough
time off to quickly update the web site.
Navigation Change: Yes,
I have changed the navigation bar back to text links. The flash buttons
were causing me trouble, so you were probably also experiencing problems.
In addition, I have upgraded my web software to a newer version and
hopefully I will introduce a new long around the new year. This will
also give me time to catch up on the changes within the software.
Spence on TV: Those
of you who are signed up to receive the Spence Music Newsletter will
already be aware that Brian is part of "The Boland Show" on
the Overseas Property TV channel which can be found on Sky 287. Brian
and Danny Litchfield (Brian's writing partner) write and perform an
intro and outro musical signature for guests on the show - similar to
Four Poofs and a Piano on the Jonathan Ross Show from BBC TV 1.
If any of you readers have access to Sky (unlike me) please
can you record The Boland Show, 10 o'clock (I assume European time)
on Fridays and send me a copy?
Guestbook: The Guestbook
is now back on line. I took it down whilst I investigated a problem
I was having with the Spence Music web site and someone had suggested
to me (my web hosting company) that it may be linked to hyperlink inserted
into one of the guestbook messages. I could not find any such hyperlink
and when I changed the navigation bar from flash links to text the problem
went away. Problem solved, even if not understood.
4th May 2006
guestbook is back. After discovering that the site was being affected
by a link from within the Guestbook I was advised to upgrade the Guestbook
software and this would stop the spammers mentioned in the last update.
I looked into the new software and I thought it
would sort out alot of the problems I had experienced with spammers.
So now the Guestbook is back.
The process for posting a message on the Guestbook is
- Go to the Guestbook (see link to
- Click on "Add a message"
- Complete name, message, e-mail address
and then select the number indicated from the drop-down. Press
the "Continue" button.
- Enter the letters given on the screen.
Press the "Continue" button and
a e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address given above.
- Upon receipt of the e-mail click on the hyperlink given.
Another e-mail will then be sent to SpenceMusic to tell me know about
- When I receive the e-mail I then have the option to
either approve the message for the Guestbook or not, depending on
The benefits are:
- Both the number drop-down and letters entry protects
against automatic e-mail generators.
- The e-mail sent to the message originator protects
against false e-mail addresses which spammers use.
- The e-mail also ensures that the e-mail address given
is that of the message originator and the e-mail address holder are
one and the same.
- No more deleting spam messages designed to post links
to web page addresses for medication, penis enlargements, porn, etc.
Sorry for those that want these items, however, I'm sure you will
be able to find them if you really want to.
23rd April 2006
Site Maintenance: I
guess I was not thinking clearly last weekend when I updated some pages
and news. Although I put links in the news to MacGregor's Trap I failed
to place buttons within the navigation bar. This has now been corrected.
In addition, I have spent hours (come on, sympathetic
ah!) ensuring that all links work, all text is readable and the correct
colour, size, etc. So if you spot anything wrong please, PLEASE tell
Guestbook: Some of you
may have noticed that the Guestbook is down. I'm in no hurry to resolve
this as it was continually the playground for spammers leaving messages
that had no relation to Brian Spence, Spence Music, Bilbo, etc. I was
deleting around 20 messages a day and got really held up by it. The
Guestbook will return one day, when I have built up the strength to
start deleting messages again. In the meantime, if you have a message
for myself or Brian click on the e-mail button in the navigation section,
write your message and send it. If your e-mail is for Brian I will forward
it on. There is no guarantee that he will reply to you.
17th April 2006
New MacGregor's Trap Images:
As promised in my last update, I have added the additional pictures
that Dominic Marshall, director of MacGregor's Trap, sent to me. Three
of them have been added to "MacGregor's Trap -
The Show" (Link)
and the forth being added onto Dominic's own article "The Making
of MacGregor's Trap" (Link).
Link Errors: Following
on from the last update I am finding more link errors on the SpenceMusic
site. This happened after I thought I would amend my file structure,
which is a good idea if you check all the links affected by it. I thought
I had, obviously not well enough. This update should correct those that
I know about (mainly to do with Brian and Debbie's wedding which has
moved into the Articles section). However, if you find any link errors,
or any other errors for that matter, please let me know.
The Eurovision War: Perhaps
it is just as well that Brian and Danny Litchfield did not win through
to the final of the UK's Search For A (Eurovision) Song. I read that
one country, Serbia, is poised to fight for national independance following
a Montenegrin panel of judges tactically voting against the Serbian
entry. The UK and a few other countries may treat Eurovision as a joke
but this story just shows how serious Eurovision really is.
You can read more of this story by clicking on the following
link to the BBC News web site. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4824692.stm
Ouch!: Sue and I went
to see Brian and Debbie perform at The Army and Navy pub in Plaistow
last Saturday night. The stage was tucked into an small corner with
a lower ceiling beam about three inches (around 7 centimetres) above
Brian's head. On the last song of the evening Brian took off his guitar
and jumped frantically in front of and behind this beam. However, he
must have forgotten about it, as he started another jumping session
his head came in contact with this beam and I could hear the audience
give a collective "ooh!". Fortunately, Brian was not hurt
although I suspect he will not be doing that song again in a hurry.
12th March 2006
Jeanie Skye: Last summer
Brian asked me if I could remove all references to Jeanie Skye from
Spence Music as he was submitting it into a competition run by the Scottish
Executive for new music. I was happy to do this as I did not want to
ruin any chances Brian may have of winning a competition for new music
by having any references to a musical that was a few years old.
For those of you who do not know about Jeanie Skye, it
was a spin-off project from MacGregor's Trap, a rock musical Brian wrote
based on the book "Kidnapped" by Robert Louis Stevenson. Jeanie
Skye took the same theme and characters but changed the focus from David
Balfour to Jeanie, David's mother.
Brian's luck being what it is of late (see Search for
a Song - Eurovision Update below) the competition did not reach a stage
where the entries were actually judged. As a result I will be reviewing
the SpenceMusic website and updating the pages where appropriate.
New MacGregor's Trap Images:
Speaking of MacGregor's Trap (see Jeanie Skye above) Dominic
Marshall, director of the 1995 Edinburgh Fringe stage version of MacTrap
sent me some more photographs, taken by Brian's brother Stuart Spence,
from the show. I will include these pictures on SpenceMusic by the next
update, however, if you can not wait until then you can see these images
on Dominic's own website http://www.dominicmarshall.co.uk/.
The pictures can be found on his production page. http://www.dominicmarshall.co.uk/productions.htm
New Link: Following
on from the MacTrap images story, I have also added Dominic Marshall's
website to the Links
Link Error: Every time
a bad link is used by a visitor an e-mail gets sent to me telling me
about it. It is quite rare that such an event happens as I try and ensure
that none exist. However, one visitor to Spence Music did find a duff
link, which resulted in an email to me. The link was on the news page
for 2004 (June 3rd
to be precise) taking the visitor to a new page for interviews. This
link has now been resolved. If this was you, sorry, you can go to the
interviews page by click this link. Interviews
If you come across any other errors please feel free to
let me know by emailing me.
Search for a Song - Eurovision Update: Brian
and Danny were unsuccessful with their attempt to become the UK entry
for the Eurovision Song Contest this year. The judges comments about
each entry can be heard at the end of each of the short-listed songs
on the BBC's Search
For A Song webpage. Why not go to the site, listen to all the songs
and see if you agree with their opinions. The winner, I Wanna Man written
by Toby Jarvis, will take part in NEXT year's Making
Your Mind Up event.
The process would appear that songwriters who submit a
song via the Search For A Song compete for a spot in another competition,
Making Your Mind Up. Where the other songs
in this stage come from is anybody's guess.
If you know the answer I would be happy to hear from you. Am I being
cynical or are the chances of song entry, submitted through Search For
A Song, winning through to the Eurovision stacked against them? Who
picks the other songs in Making Your Mind Up?
15th February 2006
Why It's Been Quiet From Me:
I was going away for a weekend and thought I would buy an mp3
player. Unfortunately the mp3 player required me to update my operation
system to a more modern version, which I did. In doing this all my software
suddenly stopped working, including the web site program that I use,
email, etc. I started to reinstall everything and when I got to the
the printer the pc started repeatedly crashing. So I reinstalled Windows
and then the software again. When I got to the printer the pc started
crashing again. So I thought I would wait until I had sorted out the
printer problem before reinstalling everything again. Hence why it's
been quiet from me. Bloody technology!
Birthday Wishes: It
was Brian's birthday on 7th February, becoming 53 years old. Happy birthday
you old codger!
I can say this as I am younger than Brian, although I need to be careful
if I want to BECOME as old as Brian.
Search for a Song - Eurovision:
A while back I spotted that BBC Radio 2 were running a competition
to find the 2006 UK entry for Eurovision. I mentioned this to Brian
who started working with Danny Litchfield to produce a track for possible
inclusion in the UK heats called "River To Heaven". This song
was short-listed into the last 10 tracks of possible contenders. As
at the writing of this we are still waiting to find out if the judges
are going to choose it or one of the other entries. You can listen to
Brian and Danny's song on the following link, along with the other contenders.
For A Song
As those of you that follow this annual event that is
Eurovision the British either do well or don't, no middle ground. In
recent years politics have entered the arena more than normal (it appears
that voters tend to vote with countries that they immediately identify
with, i.e. Scandanavian countries tend to vote of other Scandanavian
countries, etc.) and the UK have done worse than normal, possibly due
to their involvement in Iraq. So, even if Brian and Danny's song does
become the UK's Song for Europe, which I hope it will, I would not expect
it to do very well in the final competition.
5th January 2006
Happy New Year: Welcome
back to Spence Music and I hope you all had good new year celebrations
with no trauma and family arguments.
Picture: In the early part of December Brian
sent me the picture you see on the right. It is Brian and Debbie's new
publicity picture for them as "Wonderful World" a duo playing
in and around east London. If you would like to see them perform, mainly
covers I should point out, click on the "Live Dates" button
in the navigation section.
Site Refresh: As you
can see I have refreshed the look of the Spence Music web site as part
of my annual review. I hope you like it. I have reintroduced the navigation
buttons after a couple of years without them as I found they were slowing
down the pages from loading. As broadband is becoming more popular I
thought I would revert to the buttons and see how it goes. What do you
Brian and Debbie's wedding page has now moved from the
navigation bar to the Articles section. If you want to read it now click
on the following link for pictures and a laugh. The
Another thing I would like to reintroduce is a "Fans
of Brian Spence" page. This would be similar to the Friends page
but listing fans of Brian Spence such as YOU. If you would like you
name to be added to this site as a fan of Brian's send me a brief description
about yourself and if I get a few I will create a page.
Looking for more news? Wondering where the old news
has gone? Why not visit the news archive for more news, but older?
News from 2005