What a rollercoaster of symptoms this term has been! Somehow (I'll show you how) I managed to claw my voice back just enough to complete Friday's gig at the Jack Russell in Swimbridge but good grief what a week!
It all started on the last day of term... well actually it probably started weeks before
as I'd literally only just shaken the last virus that throttled me a la launch but anyway on Thursday I felt my voice going. Now usually it gets wobbly, squeaky, and low but normally I can just about get a tune out of it. Not this time. Not even close so I stopped talking Thursday night - much to the amusement of Ben - and continued in silence until 6pm the next day - much to the amusement of Ben's family who had to put up with my mute-rudeness at a Good Friday lunch....
A quick google search had revealed utter rest, no whispering was a very VERY good idea along with 'harnessing the power of steam' and drinking lots of water cue lots of strange selfies of me towel-a-fied bent over the hob. Have to say though it did get my through and I had a lovely night with Del, Paul, Kev, Julie and just about everyone in swimbridge! The pub was packed and no wonder, the pizza was IMMENSE! Wonderful people, lovely atmosphere = a very forgiving audience. Thank you Jack Russell you made my Easter :)
On other news, after 6 years of entries and scribbles I have finally finished volume two of my lyric books! The first entry was on July 7th 2010 and the last 27th of March 2016 and a quick tally reveals around 155 songs in here, 25 of which have been professionally recorded - and I complain when I get a dry spell.... It's quite mind boggling when I think about it actually, there's still a lot of stories crying out to be heard so I'd better get my butt in gear in the coming year! In the meantime though I need to find another old book for the next tome...
Now I'm pretty sure all Friday's are good by default but "Good Friday" should be even better than usual - okay this is border lining on arrogance here - as I'm heading for Swimbridge's Jack Russell to deliver some candle lit tunes. It feels like the first time in a long time that I won't be pushing Time! How refreshing :) I'm very much looking forward to renewing some old tunes and seeing what comes out.
We are getting very close now to my up-country-trek to Scotland which is becoming something of an annual event and I'm getting more and more excited. You know it's a holiday when your packing list includes a dressing gown and jelly... I should stress though it's a lot more than just a holiday, it's also a mini-tour which is just what the doctor ordered for me to reconnect with my music. I definitely feel like we've been straying lately from each other so I'm hoping the road will be the cure to our indifference. For the first time in what feels like yonks I've been writing again, all angsty nonsense of course but it's a start; come to think of it the lines have come in the car so there you have it, it's a sign! Roll on Scotland...
Easter ends with a gig at the Convent which avid readers (wink) will recall is where I recorded Time. I'm hoping to return without a kidney infection this time and to be able to drink something other than Cranberry juice and southern comfort! I'm also looking at some new covers and breathing life into some old friends so hopefully that'll be a night to remember. Big thank you to Max actually, your words of encouragement are helping me get back on track :-)
That's pretty much all that is going on at the moment and as you can tell my head is full of deadlines, set lists and interventions. I'll check in just before the long drive North X
Somehow... I pulled it off this week! I have no idea how that happened but despite losing my voice, developing a sniffle and not getting enough sleep I managed to deliver two diverse sets with minimal wobbles. Let's start with the first:
Culm Valley Music & Performance Club - I love you. What an understanding bunch you are and so kind! I'd had to alter my set a bit as I couldn't get those high notes mid week and still I had people complimenting my voice afterwards. I was like, "really??" squeak squeak. A lovely lovely bunch that put up with me bringing three instruments to a support slot set... sorry! When will I learn?
Gig 2 was the album launch of Time but before that I managed to cram in another band practice pre-launch on Thursday which was also my birthday so *sucks in air* I feel the need to share the random of that day first. Day after Culm Valley and I was shattered so I lurched into work *cue the screaming kids* and groaned my way through the morning til we were lead down the hill to strawberry lane to collect frog spawn with the class - how cute is that? The sun was shining, the kids weren't screaming any more, it was bliss. Fast forward and after school I picked up my Ben and he took me shopping. I love shopping and finding unusual things and we shuffled through the charity shops and found Simon & Garfunkel The Sound of Silence for £1 - a friggin steal! Then we remembered I had a parcel to pick up from the post office, opened it to find a handmade sewing kit from Rad *made me cry.* Then it was dinner at the chinese and a candle in my fritter :D As 'happy birthday' blared out over the tannoy and the waitress sang to me I felt guilty (like I'd wrecked the serenity of the restaurant for the couple behind and to the right of me) but also I was loving it. I'm such a child, having a restaurant make a fuss of me on my birthday was one of my big wishes in life haha sad right? Then it was band practice in the evening where we established some of those songs had to go as I couldn't hit them and Trudes had a brain wave and offered up her keyboard. " It's missing the sustain pedal" "that's alright I'd only milk it to death" as Max knows all too well....
So Friday buzzed through and we got to the venue all dressed in black - no idea how we managed that as a team without communicating dress code - and it was a success! I have some things to thank for this, namely southern comfort. Now I'm not encouraging performers to drink by any means but I have to admit that without it that set would've been inaudible. Whiskey just has a knack for numbing wounds and is like the WD40 of vocal chords for me so yes I had a tiny little taster-size bottle polished off before the 1st set arrived and a baileys to follow for the second... apologies.
Hopefully I didn't glaze over too much! I should also thank the team of musicians who helped me put it together and supported me throughout. Trudi you little firecracker you, Ian you bodhran beast, Barbara you fluttered on the flute and Mike, where do I even begin? It was a pleasure to play with you again and I honestly didn't want 'Eighteen Years' to end, which when you think about it is kinda ironic haha Ben took some lovely videos of our rehearsals which we will now make live so you can sneak a peak at what went on in preparation and it proves that I did have a voice once!
Thank you to everyone who came, thank you to the trio of The Retro Rhythm Rascals - if you liked what you heard please check 'em out on facebook by typing that in the search bar - thank you to Niks for the sound, Shannon for the lights, Alan for pictures and anyone who bought a CD.
We did it!