Thursday 8 August 2019

Misc: Solo vs Social?

One thing I omitted in my cogitations as featured in my recent 100th post was to reflect on having recently joined the local Wisbech IPMS. Undoubtedly this has been a relatively novel development for me, as I'm generally s bit of a lone wolf, always flying solo, to mix my metaphors.

Prior to this I had made the odd individual friendship based around my mini-military hobbies. Interestingly all the social developments have been on the modelmaking not the wargaming front. The IPMS development is unique however in its group nature. I've never been much of a joiner, and, to be frank, groups have pretty much always freaked me out.

As a musician this has made my life tricky, and especially so as a drummer, whose role is almost always to support others. Me being an ornery ol' mule, and possibly something of a perfectionist control freak. Albeit admittedly a somewhat unfocused one inclined to lazily abandoning my own supposed high standards.

Joining the IPMS community has been a challenge for me. And one I'm still not entirely comfortable with. But it has also bought all sorts of unexpected benefits. For example, recently Sean - an ex-serviceman whose legacy from his time serving includes advancing blindness - has sold me some kits, and even given me some, some of which I've then gone on to build fairly rapidly.

This connects also to a form of motivation: the IPMS group has a 'show and tell' segment on the first of their twice monthly meetings. This has definitely motivated me to finish stuff, such as the recent 54mm Napoleonics (some of which were also, incidentally, amongst the models I got from Sean). And not finishing stuff has been a long-term bugbear of mine.

Joining this group has even had non-hobby related benefits that were entirely unforeseen. On one occasion I was showing John (Mayfield, another ex-army chap) around our house and garden, having invited him round for tea and a chat, resulting in him seeing that we had large sections of fencing missing. He was having new fencing put in, and very generously offered to pass on his old fencing to us. In due course I collected and then installed said fence panels. 

Now that really wasn't the sort of thing I had anticipated happening on joining the group! I think it nicely illustrates, however, the possibly unforeeen benefits simply getting out and connecting with people can have. And in a way that's what this blog does, allowing me to make 'virtual' connections worldwide through these interests. Once again that provides both information and inspiration.

And perhaps the best thing is that it can help drive motivation towards completing things. Starting stuff but not seeing it through is, I guess, one of my chief failings. My bète noire, if you will. But, to end on a positive note, to all the talented and motivated folk out there, both those who also blog and those who don't, thanks for the inspiration and motivation!


  1. Wargaming is amazing the way it enables hobbyists to meet and rub elbows with all sorts of interesting people, either online, or personally. What's your preferred type of music to supply the beat for?

    Best Regards,


    1. Hi Stokes, yes, I quite agree. The message boards over at TMP, for example. Authors, miniature makers/sellers, painters, gamers, self-appointed gurus... you get 'em all, and more besides!

      Re music/drumming, I'm mainly teaching these days, and not gigging, recording, etc, like I once did. I love all sorts of music, to be honest. Early passions were Status Quo, Thin Lizzy, then I moved on to Zep', Cream ('twas Ginger Baker got me started as a drummer!), Purple, Rainbow, and the like, before discovering Metallica and Slayer on the one hand, and Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell and Jazz on the other.

      I've also written and recorded a load of original material, a lot of which has no drums on it all; guitar, double bass, vocals, and suchlike (almost all played by me), and ranges across all forms of music.

      But I guess a less long-winded answer, in terms of what I like drumming to most, would probably have to be the whole jazz/funk/soul/latin thing, even taking in fusion and prog, to use some dirty words! The combinations of freedom/improv', and subtlety/intricacy in those areas are, for the drummer of my bent, very appealing.

      Right now, after a binge on Lewis Cole, a contemporary drummer and internet/YouTube phenomenon, I've been getting into '70s Zappa: Appstrophe/Overnite Sensation, One Size Fits All. Such freewheelin' fun and craziness!

      I just had a haircut at a local a Turkish barbers. They had an MTV type UK rap/hip-hop V-jay thing on. I pity anyone for whom that is their musical world. It'd so bland, uniform, derivative, insipid, asinine, juvenile... er, am I ranting? Well, I guess you get the pic'!

      That said, guys like the young Lewis Cole, or acts like America's Vulfpeck, or Aussie weirdos King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard keep my faith in musical humanity alive.

      And I haven't even mentioned my love of classical music, from Benedictine chants to Stravinsky. As you can see, I could write several essays on music!* What are your preferred sounds?

      Cheers, Seb

      * I used to write a classic album column for now defunct U.K. mag Drummer (not to be confused with US gay bondage mag of same name... Google made me aware!).

  2. Goodness! I bet Stokes wishes he'd never asked! That little essay just popped out. Hmm? Perhaps I should return to my neglected music related blog? It's clearly something I'm still passionate about...