Do you listen to music when you are working?

Those that know me well know that I listen to a lot of podcasts and audio books for education, but there are a lot of times when I just love to crank up my car music system, or plug my headphones in and listen to music purely for entertainment.

I’ve played guitar for over 15 years and music is a big part of my life, so it gets me fired up and keeps me motivated.

In particular, I love watching interviews and live and studio performances of my favourite b ands and musicians on YouTube.

These are the 5 b ands that I’ve been listening to the most so far in 2015, and if you don’t know me so well, this will give you a good insight into the music I listen to.

All That Remains – The Order of Things

All That Remains - The Order Of ThingsThis b and have had a huge influence on me – everything from the guitars I own to the style of music I love to play on the guitar.

I’d safely say that they are one of my favourite b ands of all time.

One of the things I like the most about All That Remains is that they write really good songs, and they like to mix it up. Some of their songs could be classed as ‘heavy rock’ and not heavy metal. But I really like that about the b and.

Click here, or below, to watch This Probably Won’t End Well from their 2015 album The Order of Things.

Architects – Lost Forever // Lost Together

Architects 2015I’ve been a fan of this British b and since the very early days of their career and followed them avidly. A lot of my close friends are big fans too.

Lost Forever // Lost Together has been played in my car consistently for most of 2015. It’s a fantastic album.

Click here, or below, to watch the promotional video for Naysayer by Architects on YouTube.

Lamb Of God – VII: Strum Und Drang

Lamb Of GodI simply love everything that Lamb Of God produce.

Each member of the b and is at the top of their game and they continually produce high quality records.

When the drums, guitar riffs and vocals come together you can’t mistake a Lamb Of God track for another b and.

Click here, or below, to watch one of the newest tracks from Lamb Of God, 512, on YouTube.

Parkway Drive – IRE

Parkway Drive - IRE - 2015Parkway Drive is an Australian b and and I’ve been listening to their music since they l anded in the UK.

They consistently deliver high quality music, and one thing that really makes them st and out from the crowd is that for every album they produce they do something very different. They are testing their own musical boundaries. I personally think it’s a brave and bold move, and they seem to be able to pull it off flawlessly.

Click here, or below, to watch the promotional video for Crushed from IRE – one of my favourites on the new album.

The Ghost Inside – Dear Youth

The Ghost Inside 2015The Ghost Inside are one of the b ands I listen to for fun. The rhythms and the beat from the way they write and structure their songs really gets me moving.

There’s nothing musically complex about the songs but I really like that. Some of their songs and lyrics have really struck a chord with me in my own story, which is probably why I relate to the b and a lot.

Click here, or below, to watch Dear Youth from their 2014 album (I didn’t download it until 2015).

I didn’t plan on writing a conclusion, but I realised when I was pulling this together that I’ve been listening to 4/5 of these b ands for about 10 years!

It just shows you that consistently practicing  and honing your craft, and working really hard over a long period of time, creates loyal fans. A lot of people in successful b ands agree that you’ve got more chance of being successful if you can stay the path.



I told Gordon that “I’m either in, or I’m out”. I’ve not got time to half-ass things these days, and no one ever achieved anything by ‘dipping their toe into the water’.

I met Sensei Mathie for the first time at our local weekly business networking club, which has turned out to be a fantastic growing relationship for both of us.

He’s very likeable, and a 6th Dan back belt with over 40 years of Karate experience! He’s an expert at what he does, no doubt about that!

It’s good to know that I’m being taught by one of the best.

When I was 15/16 (seems like a very long time ago!) I was really into Taekwondo, but I stopped going for whatever reason. That tends to happen when you’re a teenager – you discover other things to keep you occupied – mainly girls ;o)

In the past year or so I have had the notion to go back and do something with Taekwondo, but nothing has ever really ‘pushed’ me into it. Meeting Gordon was great timing and exactly what I needed.

Chris Marr Karate

Making Progress

Gordon encouraged me to come along for a trial Karate class, so I went along to the local Shotokan Karate class in Dunfermline and I was h anded a Karate suit, known as a Gi.

I think Gordon knew that if he gave me all the right stuff to wear that I would be more like to keep coming back, and he was right about that!

I passed my first grading a few weeks ago, which moves me on from white belt to orange belt. It feels good to be recognised for making progress.

4 reasons why I started Karate

Here’s the thing, I didn’t go to Karate just to learn Karate, I went for many other reasons.

Here’s an insight into what I get from Karate. Maybe it’ll give you a few reasons to try it too.

  1. Fitness – I’m nowhere near as fit as I’d like to be, and Karate is helping with that. It’s not full on like going to an aerobics class or anything like that, but even in the early days there’s a real fitness element – especially in the legs! The stances that I’ve been learning have been testing my core strength. Also, because I’ve committed to Karate I’ve also being going to a weekly fitness class to get my fitness levels up, so Karate has had a knock effect.
  2. Learning something new – I get bored pretty quickly, especially when it comes to exercise. With Karate there’s always going to be something new to learn – it never stops!
  3. Focus – My work occupies a lot of my waking hours, and sometimes my sleeping hours too! I was aware that I needed something to take my mind of other things in my life, and Karate works well for this. As soon as you put your Gi on and enter the Dojo, it’s all about Karate and you can really let yourself get into it.
  4. Meeting new people – I love meeting new people, especially when we have something in common.

I’m 3 or 4 months into this now, so it’s really early days, but I’m really focussing on it and putting in the time an effort. As I mentioned at the start, it wasn’t something I was going to dip my toe into, and I’m glad I went ‘all in’.

Achieving my black belt is firmly in my sights!

If you feel like you need some of this in your life then perhaps you should give it a shot. If you are in and around the Fife area, pop round to Bannatynes in Dunfermline from 7pm for the beginners class and have a go!

Here’s a short video testimonial that I put together: