Yearly Archives: 2020

Christmastide 2020

Christmas started a couple of days ago for me – I recorded Roots Conversation and drank a bit, the gift giving started then. Scooby & K-Lo gave me a clear vinyl 2018 repress of Creation Rebel, Adrian Sherwood’s tour de force. It is right good.

I gave them this photo…

Ijo Pona - Ernie for print


It is a photo of their hound Ernie – imposed on a Spanish nobleman. I dig it if they don’t – but, I think they dig it but then they would be too polite to say anything….

I gave my sister something similar. Paddy as Rudolph II of Austria…

Ijo Pona - Paddy as Rudolph II for print


They are approaching excellence.

I bought Kathryn a Handbag and purse – she seems to like them… I received a great haul – Lomo LC-A (Original) and a heap of film. Mum and Dad saw me right too. It was a frenzy of a morning at ours with wrapping paper flying all over the place. Me and Kathryn made short work of a large pile of gifts – we gave a lot out too. I designed a hooded top for my niece and one for my nephew. They both love them I have been told.

However, this was the first Christmas me and Kathryn have spent in our flat, on our own – with Lock down we did not want to disturb our family and pass on any viruses we may have had. Covid keeps on mutating and we are waiting on the olds getting a vaccine.

Kathryn levelled up on wife points – although she claims it was a team effort. I was helping out in the kitchen as Kathryn cooked a two-bird roast with all of the trimmings – it was amazing and we were both too full for afters. We have made a lot of memories this year – not all for the right reason.

See, we have been put in isolation and out of isolation so a few months ago, when invites were being sent out, we were unsure what the rules would be for Xmas. We refused all invites and started to make a few traditions of our own; we started adulting at Christmas. We have been well prepared and taken from good teachers for this.

To be honest, and I am quoting Kathryn here, we were run ragged just cooking a roast – so to have a Christmas where you have small infants in the family must be very tiring, but the rewards would be all the more sweeter. We are happy with our lot and we have passed some thresholds. We Christmas’d.

Whether Lock Down lifts as soon as the vaccine is distributed or whether a new strain will sweep the first born from us I am unsure. But, we did Christmas 2020 our own way and we had fun doing it.

We are now kicking back with a hamper-crate from quite a few of the Leeds Breweries. Kathryn ordered it. I think it was put together by North Brewing or Northern Monk. Either way, the eight beers are fantastic and I am dancing around to the radio.

Harrogate Community Radio has been switched on since we woke up – I take massive pride in saying I live in Harrogate and I take massive pride in saying I help run the community radio station here. It is a glowing testament to the town that there are so many people who give their time to try and make Harrogate a better place.. it is humbling a plan I am part of might be getting somewhere.

Warm-cheeked and bleery-eyed I wish you and yours a merry Christmas – I hope you all made the most of your day with what you could get your hands on and I hope we can meet up in 2021, under better circumstances; I am raising a glass to you and muttering blessings under my breath as I type this, one handed…. x


Can I Do It?

I have been thinking — I may set myself a challenge.

Challenges are a good thing, they can better the individual. Let him take flight and overcome his obstacles. Why do I need a challenge?

What is it I hope to do and what is it I hope to prove to myself? I hope to answer these questions as I blog in 2021…

Well, I figure a straight forward challenge would be a #365BlogChallenge — Let’s see if I can blog for 365 Days continuously throughout 2021?

It is a thought and I am sorely tempted to give it a go — there are no disasters looming, bar the Brexit Car Crash and post-Covid shenanigans.

All out of my control…

So, I am tentatively planning for the #365BlogChallenge and I have created the Tag… here is hoping I can manage it…

Bai reMarkable 2 – Oh, Hai iPad!

Well, I quickly realised the reMarkable 2 was not for me. My writing needed a lot of correcting — it was the zen in my storm but I quite enjoy the storm – I like fiddling.

I love gadgets.

Having a tool per job is dandy — but if that tool has severely limited functionality then there is no need for it — especially when there are now iPad Pro’s.

I originally bought the reMarkable 2 to act a bit like a note taker-come-inspiration-pad. It did both badly. The iPad does them excellently.

Another thing in favour of the iPad is that I am stood here typing direct in to the blog — from a web browser; not possible on a reMarkable. Yet, I also have better drawing functions on the iPad thanks to the Illustrator app from Adobe. Plus, works a dream.

Not for me // For me.

The weekend is just getting underway in a muted fashion – Covid and darkness are everywhere – best pop on a woolly jumper and head for a socially distanced pint.

In the meantime — here is the show I made in the week. The Jazz Show is a great excuse to talk all over great records. What do you make to it?

It is always good fun to make. I get to try and do my Gilles Peterson impression- he is a big influence in my musical past and it is a pleasure, nay honour, to try and do something similar.

So, that is my weekly missal – I hope you are all dandy and I hope you are all healthy. Speak soon, Andy x


reMarkable 2 Notes

It’s arrived! I am currently writing this Blog post on my reMarkable Tablet. It is unnecessary but ace.

I liken it to buying my Dad a Christmas present: he has all that he needs and anything else will just be re-inventing the wheel….. still, it is a lot of fun!

See, I was paid a ridiculous amount for my music career / web design work – it had to be invested back in to the business so that it was worth the leg work.

But, first impressions are that there is a lot to learn.

I have taken to sketching on the thing. Now, THAT is awesome. It is a really good tool for that. Whether I will get any use out of it for work remains a mystery.

As I say, I am unsure if I will use it for business. But, it is proving to be irresistible to put down.

Things here are good, thanks. I am writing this exactly one month before Christmas. Kathryn received part of her present. She likes it. A Cath Kidson handbag.

Cath Kidson seem to be Kathryn’s go to template for handbags. She knows the template and she customises it to her needs.

I bought Kathryn a handbag that she likes – not bad for someone who has my fashion taste. So, first blog post written on my reMarkable…… first of many?


An Experiment On Vimeo

Ijo Pona - DSC 26301511

Most people have heard of the video hosting service, Vimeo. It is a bit more like YouTube but more pretentious. A lot of videographers, artists, cinematographers and myself are on there. It is not that social, more a place to pop your portfolio and keep it there.

Anyway, I made a still image movie with narration – I am not going to be updating my artist CV because of it, but it is something that I enjoyed making immensely. Here it is…

Lock Down Diary from Andy Backhouse on Vimeo.


Lock Down 2.0 ~ This Time Its Personal

Lock down has been in place for a few weeks now, here in England. It should have come sooner – there by removing temptation to go out for a beer. And, quite what the schools are doing open is a mystery.

I really feel for the Uni students – they should have been stopped from going to Halls. People are really suffering and I am powerless to help because I have come down with the virus.

It is very mild, but I tested positive on Tuesday 10th November – it is the cognitive impairment that really gets to me; I am always losing my train of thought and wandering around the flat with no purpose.

The physical aspect of the virus has thankfully passed me and Kathryn by – we had a bit of a cough and a temperature but the aches have left me now.

We know other friends who have it far worse – bed ridden. I am lucky in that I can hold a conversation. Some folk I know don’t have the breath.

Ijo Pona - podcasts in harrogate

The break in going out has given me time to catch up listening and reading. But it is not something I welcome, although it is quite necessary.

I guess it will lead to more rambling blog posts like this and further rumblings in the kitchen.

Over all, the effect of it is like I have just had my medicine increased (head meds). Some people liken the virus to being hit with a tranquilliser dart but I have been here before.

I had a SARs like illness on New Years Eve 1999, whilst in China – I hope that this virus doee not cause similar effects of what my past twenty years have been like 🙁  In many ways it is a bit like being placed on a dirty anti-psychotic. Throw in a fever and a few aches and pains and you are there.


Recording The Parish News

It is currently early Wednesday morning, eleventh of November 2020 – I have just recorded a new edition of The Parish News, as Kathryn slept nearby. Here is the show for you to listen to:

When I make a new edition of The Parish News I try and make a new cover for it, so that it is constantly fresh. This is this week’s…

Ijo Pona - 220

This have been good so far with the show – I have missed only a couple of deadlines with Resonance Extra. It is a real feather in my cap to be broadcast by that network.

I am also broadcast on Soundart Radio in Totnes, Devon – they are a really decent community arts station who were one of the first people to pick me up.

I am also broadcast on my home-town’s station, Harrogate Community Radio. But that goes without saying as I am one of the admin of the station.

I aim to keep going up to Episode #500 of the shows, then I may take a break (may not). It is a lot of fun to make and I have it almost as a reflex.

I get a lot of the music from PR Companies and the rest I buy myself – everyone needs a hobby 🙂


A Great Weekend, Overshadowed

Well, I am writing this Blog post as a way of keeping things in check – it is currently nearly half four in the afternoon and it might be a bit early for a weekend recap – but, I will go for it anyway.

This weekend has been overshadowed by Johnson’s announcement about England entering Second Lock Down.

About time really.

Although, the plans of closing the pubs and the ‘non-essential’ shops are a tad depressing. Folk were just thinking that they could make it out of 2020 intact, with their business viable. Continue reading

Working With Lee Perry

I have been in contact with my hero, Lee Perry. Lee “Scratch” Perry is a massive influence on me and the music I make, when I am making Dub Reggae.

Lee Perry is attributed with being the first person to use a sample in a pop record – before that is was the avant-garde who sampled exterior sound sources. It was a track called ‘Funny Little Boy’ – he took the recording of a baby crying and used that. He was also the massively successful producer for Bob Marley and the man who is credited with switching on Marley with the ideas of Rastafarianism.

He is a massive hero of mine because we suffer from a similar illness – I try and mask mine but Perry cries havoc and lets people have it with both barrels. He is cool…

Ijo Pona - Lee Perry 696x434 1

Photographer unknown

But, what was it that I was doing with him?

Well, he put a call out for potential collaborator on Facebook – I follow the legend on Facebook. After a short conversation by email we had nailed what we wanted him to say, if he sprinkled some of his magic on to it…


I thought ‘great’ plenty to work with. I started chopping and splicing the audio so that we had shoutouts or our podcast, Roots Conversation – it is after all, a roots reggae podcast.

But I received two more emails from Lee “Scratch” Perry with even more audio…


I was in my element – so, I now have thirty-ish samples and shout outs for Roots Conversation.

As you can hear, some of the audio is a bit rough. Hell, it was recorded on his phone as his wife was doing the dinner or the pots. But, it is something special to me.

I am chuffed that it is happening – I am chuffed that it happened.