Keithlard's Magic Piano

Well as those of you who follow this closely will be aware, I have lately taken up playing the piano (audio evidence). It is alright tinkling away on my entry-level Bontempi keyboard (which admittedly is driving a Mac playing samples of a £100,000 Steinway), but it is not the same as having a real magic piano of your very own. So after some considerable amount of scouring piano shops all across this land, I have acquired my new instrument (pictured).

It is a rather lovely 1911 C. Bechstein Model 9 and we made friends straight away in the shop. It didn’t follow me home exactly, but I’m sure it would have done if it could. So I have commanded it to be expertly restored, tuned, and topped up with coal and oil, and it is now installed in my library, or music room, depending what I am doing in there at the time.

Here is a poor-quality phone recording of me playing it, complete with accidentally-on-purpose wrong notes, so you can hear what it sounds like:

J.S. Bach - Prelude No.1 in C major.mp3 (The Well-Tempered Clavier, book I)


Mixed live at Major Studios, East Finchley.

  1. [03:10] Ashra — Nightdust
  2. [06:15] Anomalous Disturbances — The Spirit Molecule
  3. [11:20] Jonn Serrie — The Last Secret
  4. [14:00] The KLFDream Time In Lake Jackson
  5. [15:55] Mathias Grassow — First Conference
  6. [17:45] David Parsons — Bathing Light
  7. [21:40] Jean-Michel Jarre — Oxygène Part 1
  8. [24:55] Chris Spheeris & Paul Voudouris — Prizm
  9. [29:45] Alio Die & Mathias Grassow — Augoeides
  10. [32:20] Mathias Grassow & Jim Cole — Fell Radiance
  11. [40:03] Brian Eno & Harold Budd — The Silver Ball

(click ‘Read more’ to listen more)


See also DJ The Major’s edit.


My submission to, where people send in photos of their obsessive personal equipment. I am no less obsessive so here is the stuff that’s in my pocketses.

  1. Key-Bak Super 48 Heavy Duty retractable Kevlar key reel
  2. Leatherman Micra
  3. Fenix LD01 stainless steel limited edition
  4. Spyderco Grasshopper (UK carry legal)
  5. True Utility Firestash waterproof petrol lighter
  6. Boker Plus XS non-locking folder (UK carry legal)
  7. Fisher Space Pen
  8. #121 pull-apart keyrings

When at work, I usually wear my Leatherman Wave in a Nite-Ize tool holster. When I’m off-duty, the Wave isn’t carry legal, hence the inclusion of the Spyderco and the Boker Plus XS. The latter is a slipjoint folder which can be opened one-handed, but doesn’t close easily, and has a large finger choil for security. It feels very solid. I prefer drop-point blades, but I’ve no complaints about this one.

The Micra is my favourite of the small Leatherman tools. Though the knife blade isn’t much good, the scissors are excellent. The only thing I really miss from this is a bottle opener, which the Style CS does have, but I prefer the Micra in every other respect.

The little pull-apart keyrings are nickel-plated brass and have a spring-loaded ball which locks the keyring closed until you press the release button. This keeps things really secure on your keyring, yet it’s very easy to detach them - easier than a carabiner or spring clip. My house keys and car keys (not shown) are on one of these. They’re great for things you don’t always carry, and which rotate on and off your keyring.

The Key-Bak key reel is massively solid, clips securely to your belt with a steel clip, and has a 900mm Kevlar cord with a spring retractor and a 14oz pull, so it can support heavy gear without unwinding. Made for the law enforcement and security market.

The Fenix LD01 needs no introduction and gives amazing light output from a single AAA battery.