Alrighty well it's been a couple weeks since my last blog entry because in all honesty although there's been lots going on and everyone around me is swelling with new dates and activities, I have felt quite lost. Okay okay so that's not really any news to you, anyone who's ever heard any of my songs is probably going, 'well yeah...' but just lately me and my music have been a little distant. It's a bit like one of us called the other one ugly and now rather than talk it through with each other we're just trying to ignore one another. I suppose it has something to do with my mic stand being left in the car and me being too absent minded to remember to actually empty the car after a gig - perhaps my music feels like I'm taking it for granted? Either way it's definitely like another person in my life and we've definitely not been talking.
So that brings us to this week and I've been writing lyrics like mad - all angry and unworthy - and what music has come has been completely mismatched, a gentle and delicate backdrop to some appalling skeleton of a song. Clearly the musical turmoil continues HOWEVER the impending gig at St Mary's this Friday has at least given the two of us something to talk about and we have been rehearsing and things are brightening up again. I think sometimes that when musicians are trying to get on a bit more and do those 'less-is-more' dates you end up a bit detached from what you were doing in the first place. In the beginning it was open mics every Tuesday at the Old Smithy Inn and complete submergence in a ocean of sound, devoid of all labels of genre. These days I find I'm having less time for that as I'm scraping around trying to make a living and everyone seems so hung up on whether or not something is folk or not. Maybe I should just come out and admit my love for punk and Sinead O'Connor and confess that I used to train my voice to Celine Dion but maybe more importantly maybe I should go and lose myself in sound this weekend...
Catch you on the wave length!
Well it's fair to say I'm knackered! Today was a bit of a special day for me personally as I started a new "day job." Duties today included looking at a pretty wedding marquee (feeling slightly jelly), relocating a cat from the comfort of books to the outside before my manager hit the roof and suggesting someone call the police about a stranger... Not the average day but definitely an interesting one! Retail could be just what I've been looking for...
Let's talk about Friday though 'cause we sure travelled some ground in one night and pushed new frontiers! Okay maybe not so much the second but it was still a bit of a challenge, you see Friday night I supported Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman at the Folk House - two thoroughly lovely people with a presence that reminds me a little of June Carter and Mr Cash. I should mention I've met these two before and here's where you start to chuckle...
I think we've all done this or certainly all penniless musicians looking for the way forward but hey this was my version of it. I was working as a volunteer steward at the Queen's Theatre at the time, trying to gain some work experience - officially - but really just checking out the folk scene the only way I could afford. So there I was and there they were enchanting everybody in the gallery with their Tom Waits covers and tales about their travels. I was pretty inspired - first time I'd seen a folk act cover a song that wasn't traiditional - and I wanted to share some of my music with them. I can't even explain that compulsion but as I said I think it's something all musicians go through, maybe we're just all a bunch of magnets. So there I was in uniform but I'd had no way of keeping my CD on my person to hand to them as staff belongings were locked in a safe whilst we were working so I handed Kathryn the only musical means I had - a USB key with about three tracks from Spilling the Beans on it. Unmixed, unmastered, pure raw Rose and it wasn't even a very good USB key at that! She was terribly sweet and encouraging though and even commented at one point on my gold glitter pumps which I suppose was a green light for "continue-to-be-yourself" for me and I thought a lot of them for that. Cringingly they remember this meeting and welcomed me at 6pm with "I remember you!" but hey we've all got to start somewhere even if it is doughy eyed...
So I realise now is the part where I'm meant to talk about me and my set, even my super-awesome dress - I'm having a love affair with ASOS lately - but honestly I was just in the moment enjoying their set and scribbling down lyric ideas so it's hard really to reflect on what I did. I can tell you I played some brand new material which went down well - even Sean gave it the thumbs up - and I did a cover of Bryan Adams' Back to you which also got the seal of approval. Things took on a rosy glow after that as the music mellowed and our eyes grew tight but hey we got home safe (2am) and it was worth it.
So there you have it, Ro's shenanigans for the week :)
I thought I'd open with the immortal cry of Roy Orbison - what a good tune that is - and celebrate the fact that the Kickstarter project has finally come to a close and not only did I reach my goal, you all helped me go over it bringing the final total to £1,811 :O I think my eyes just widened as I typed that! Holy Moley... Now admittedly I won't get that full amount, kickstarter take a percent but hey that's why over shooting the goal means to much to me! That is half of this album funded so I reckon - seeing as we're aiming for four days recording - I reckon that's two full days set and ready to go! How exciting is that?
I apologise for not giving you an update last week, I got pretty busy tutoring and pushing the kickstarter. Saturday was very busy and I felt very fancy going on BBC Radio Devon and Riviera FM in one day! I shall try and paint you a picture...for the radio Devon set I was in Exeter waiting with a cup of tea in a sparkly mug when JV (I'm so hip I'm going to abbreviate his name haha) lead me and Ben down some stairs. So at this point we're pretty much in the basement, which is cool enough really, and mr David Fitzgerald was all the way over in Plymouth so my only was of communicating was to hear him through the headphones and speak to the orange microphone, which I cannot stress enough felt a lot like I was in Flight of the Navigator (go google that, cracking Sci-Fi film). It was very strange indeed but something about the cocoon of that basement really set the mood and made the songs come easier.
Anyway after that went well and we'd taken in the sights of Exeter - buffet city and the Museum - we headed over to Paignton and checked out the pier. They have a trampoline at the end so naturally we went on that and it felt incredibly bizarre to be bouncing over the tide! After that, and a nice Indian for tea, we headed over and Mr Jackson Cooper warmed us up with tea and free reign on a piano - I was in my element - and what a lovely way to end the day that was! We headed upstairs, through the maze of tables and chairs to a snug little white room where JC - there I go again- asked me lots of chewy questions; you know, the kind you can really think about and get your teeth into? It was a brilliant interview and probably me at my honest so it's arguably a good job he recorded it (you can check it out on my soundcloud). I say arguably because I'm not sure if my sweet stupidity is what people want to hear but hey that's who I am :)
Phew so I've been recording demos and liaising with Boo, my producer, since then about when and where this album is going to happen and we think we're narrowing it down so I'm thinking within a month I can reveal all the details to you. In the meantime let me just say again, and rather loudly with party poppers attached a massive THANK YOU to everyone who backed me. It has reminded me that it's no longer just me sat on my bedspread singing songs to myself and that you are all out there, waiting patiently for the next song to emerge so honestly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you x
Stay tuned you awesome people, there's always more to come!