Glasgow Gig – 7th December 2016

Some pretty cool news to share… Fresh from playing in Osaka last month, I’ll be closing out the Uncovered Artistry charity gig at Stereo on the 7th of December.


It’ll be the first time I’ve played under the bowtie guise in Glasgow, and Stereo is a pretty cool venue, so it should be an interesting night! There’s a bunch of other local artists on the bill as well, who are worth checking out. Have a swatch at the event page below for details.


Tickets: £5 at door, £4 online, £4 students
Puchase here:
Facebook Event Page: HERE

Secondly, you can now find my latest album TOKYO on Spotify, Apple Music, and the likes. Get in about it.

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Do doo do do

After David Cameron announced that he was stepping aside to let that creature Theresa May into the position of completely unelected Prime Minister, he was caught ‘humming’ a wee ditty as he walked back into Number 10. Definitely a man who has checked out.

I quite liked the sound of it, so gave it a remix below:

See ya Davey. It’s been real.

(For another remix, check out this one from Graeme Coleman – complete with accompanying video)

Image ‘David Cameron delivers EU statement outside Downing Street‘ by Number 10 used under CC license.

Cow Tongue Taco Records

Banging on about ‘analogue’ is something that I always try and avoid. It seems pretty redundant, and too easily dismissed as hipster pish. Digital is great, but the thing is, the more I think about it, the more I end up drawn to the analogue world: film cameras, vinyl, old synths…

With that in mind, a while ago I decided to do a limited edition run of drouth on cassette. Despite all the memories of tapes getting fankled up and having to fix them with a ballpoint pen, there’s something pretty cool about them. They suit lofi music pretty well, have more personality than CD, and are far more accessible than vinyl financially.

As everything seems to end up doing lately, this minor project grew arms and legs, and has been pretty good fun to put together. I’ve set up my own tape-based label to put the release out on, named ‘Cow Tongue Taco Records’


Thanks to Lee for the awesome logo.

For now the label will just be for releasing my own limited edition tape runs, but will eventually bring on some other artists who would be sympatico.

All the music that gets released on the tape label will be available at (Bandcamp), and the shop at

If you happen to be in a band/make music yourself and would be interested in a limited edition cassette release, get in touch and we can see what we can come up with:

making stuff

I’ve not posted much recently, but I’ve been busy making stuff in the background.

My pal Lee left a bunch of his pedals with me to try out, and in amongst them was a kit to build an octave-up fuzz. I decided to put it together (and discovered how handy a multi-meter is at the same time).


When I realised how straight forward it is, I decided to have a bash at building my own signal splitter pedal as well, to take one input and give three separate outputs at the same volume.

I didn’t want to just leave the enclosures bare aluminium, so started to look into ways of painting them. After reading endless advice online, I decided to just get some spray paint suitable for metal, and use a varnish over the top. I didn’t bother sanding the cases down, as many people suggest – so we will see how they last longer term.


Lee had a good name in mind for the octave-up fuzz… which I scrawled onto the enclosure with an acrylic paint pen before putting the varnish top-coat down.


As well as the pedals, I decided to release a really limited run of my last album drouth on cassette tape – hand spraying each of the cases myself. Doing something so hands-on was really enjoyable… but there’s still a ton that I need to do before they will be ready. Like uh, buying a tape player. Ahem.


I’ve still to get the circuit together for the Smack Ma Pitch Up fuzz, but I got the line splitter pedal finished… and learned a fair bit along the way. The included LED wasn’t all that bright, so I stuck in an extra, high powered one – which I can’t show in the pictures as it is brighter than the sun.


The pre-drilled enclosures I’ve been getting save some hassle, but they are a pain to get a hold of in the UK, and the LED hole in the line splitter was way too big. So, I decided to get a drill press to do my own.


Hopefully this will mean I won’t drill off my hands in future when modifying Game Boys either. Not too bad for fifteen quid.

I’ve got a bunch of plans to make some of my own DIY electronic instruments and effects pedals in the future, so even though getting all the stuff together has been a wee bit of an investment, it should be worth it in the long run.

Because of all this stuff, I haven’t had too much time to sit down and make music over the past week or so, but I’m going to do so this weekend. I have a noise album that needs completed…

Somewhere Over the Rainbow


On Friday I spent some time in the studio working on different tracks. One of them was an experimental cover of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ with my sister and her boyfriend singing and playing guitar. They studied music at University, and it was nice to record with people who knew what they were doing.


We used a bunch of different effects to layer the sound up, and I added in chip drums later on.


You can hear and download the track below. It’s ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ like you’ve never heard it before. In someone else’s words:

I could imagine it being played at a f**** up fun fare with porcelain dolls singing as they go round in a Ferris wheel.

Making Music Again

It’s been a long time since I did anything musical… about two years infact. Life had overtaken in many ways, leaving no room to fiddle about with Gameboys. In the interim I’ve moved house, got a new job, completed my Masters, and even got married. Yeesh.

Now that things have settled down, I’ve been dusting off the equipment sitting in boxes to get back into the swing of things. It’s not been that straightforward a task. I’ve gone through two new Macbooks since I last recorded anything, which has brought a myriad of issues.

Here’s some of the problems I’ve run into:

  • I appear to have lost all of my previous master recordings. Somewhere along the way, they didn’t get transferred over properly… which is a bit of a bummer, as I’m usually really careful about that sort of thing.
  • Cubase. I never really loved the way Cubase dealt with their software updates, as backward compatibility clearly wasn’t a priority. However, after looking out my old DVD with Cubase 5 on it, I like them even less. Apparently I can’t install Cubase unless I have Mac OSX version 10.5 or above. I have 10.10, so it won’t even load up. This means that I need to buy a whole new version of the software (which, by the way, isn’t even guaranteed to work on OSX Yosemite either). Grr. I would use something else, but I can’t really face a whole new learning curve.
  • The new Macbooks don’t have a Firewire port. As a result, I had to get a special thunderbolt to Firewire adapter (naturally) which cost a pretty packet. Oh, and of course it doesn’t fit the existing Firewire cables that I already had. Sigh.
  • The software that I used to use to move my Gameboy SAV files over is now pretty much obsolete, and only runs on Windows. I used to have a virtual machine for this task, but it’s gone. Another thing to set up.
  • The Gameboy cartridges almost certainly need new batteries, which is a bit of a pain to do.

So that’s it so far. There are other small annoyances, like how I need to re-solder some bits and pieces in some of the Gameboys, but that’s something I can procrastinate about.

Now time for the good stuff:

  • I’ve discovered Nanoloop for the iPhone. I know that it’s been around for a while, but I never really got into it on the Gameboy – too hard to navigate. The iPhone version is way easier, and can produce some great sounds. I know this will be mocked by the purists, but I never really cared too much about them anyway.
  • It feels good to be making sounds again.

Hmm, I thought there would be more to that list, but oh well!

Listening back to some of the older albums, I really love some of the stuff, and am really indifferent about others. Going forward I might try stripping things back a bit so they are less fuzzy and distorted, and concentrate on the chip structure instead. We’ll see how it goes.

Relycs EP – Songs for Abandoned Tube Stations

Way back in April 2012, intrepid musical explorer Ash Cooke – aka Pulco – got in touch to ask if I’d be up for contributing to a collaboration inspired by some of the many desolate tube stations that lie under the City of London.

Having worked on a host of projects with Ash before, I knew how dedicated he was at coming up with really unique and experimental ideas, so agreed without much thought.


Fast-forward to 2013, and the release is finally (almost) upon us – penned in for the 30th of September.

The format will be limited edition C30 magnetic cassette tapes, each with 3 full colour numbered postcards, a credit sheet, as well as the digital download (obviously). There will only be 30 copies available. Ever. Full stop.

Here’s what the official press release says:

‘Songs For Abandoned Tube Stations’ is an EP of 
songs by RELYCS (Ashley Cooke, Adam Leonard & 
Stephen McLeod Blythe) inspired by the sights, 
sounds and ghosts of the dozens of closed, 
unused, or only-travelled-through-at-speed 
Underground tube stations beneath the streets 
of London. The EP contains 3 tracks – ‘Aldwych 
Branch Line’, ‘Lord’s Station’ and ‘Down Street’, 
recorded by Ashley Cooke (AKA Pulco), Adam 
Leonard and Stephen McLeod Blythe (AKA 
Unexpected Bowtierespectively. The music 
literally travels from Cooke’s complex and highly 
evocative subterranean soundscape, past 
Leonard’s dark, dripping platform of ominous 
organ music, terminating at Blythe’s wonderfully 
simple yet affective[sic] chip tune Nintendo Gameboy 
programming, like the music from some 
uncreated ‘Super Mario London Underground’ 
game. Mind the gap and enjoy your journey…

Aside from my burbling chiptune sounds, the other guys are great at what they do.

For more info on them, check out their respective sites:

Adam Leonard –
Ash Cooke –

The EP will be available from Monday 30th September at