The best thing about the summer holidays, for me, is the opportunity to throw myself into my music so this is exactly what I've been trying to do.
I'm not going to lie... I had a weird start to the break which was probably the result of a very hectic term. I felt frazzled and couldn't catch my breath at all. A quick nip to the Drs and they suspect I have asthma which I'll be taking a test for later in the month - asthma! A singer with asthma! I'm so grateful I had a bit of training and my tonsils removed now... I do believe a lot of it has been brought on by stress so I've been back to the yoga mat everyday and have been visiting my piano regularly. Oh my word do I love my piano. I never realised how much I wanted a piano until one fell into my lap - thankfully not literally. I play it everyday, I've even found myself writing new piano tunes at long last! I can't wait to have a gig where there's a piano in the corner that I can play.
So I've been plinking and plonking, yawning and stretching... I also played a set at Lapstock which in spite of the great British weather was jolly good fun. Next time you're struggling to get into the festival mood, maybe the rain is hammering it down or the mud has swallowed your tent, take a leaf out of lapstock and remember to get some glitter plastered on your face. Honestly it makes the world of a difference! I have huge thanks to give to Lapstock because it pulled me out of a funk and gave me the motivation I need to keep going with the new album.
Ah the new album, well it IS happening it's just not happening this month anymore. Summer has slithered into the schedules and annihilated practise times but hey it's all meant to be so I'm pretty sure that we'll have it nailed down by October and hopefully get it released early next year. The strange thing is I was going through my old song folder which was in dire need of an update - it's from college and plastered in emo stickers - and I found some old gems that I'd almost forgotten about. There's a couple I'm now considering trying on the new album or just recording for fun as really this next one is all about FUN. The past couple albums haven't been recorded in the best of circumstances and I want to get back to capturing the light-hearted, feathery acoustics of Spilling the Beans so hopefully come October that's what we'll have! I'm hoping to use the same instrumentation and studio as beans so that's a start! They'll be twins...
I've also been dabbling in making instruments for the school I work at. I could not have done it with out a lot of help from my good friend John Purser who has the skill to turn my vague sketches into reality. I was so excited yesterday to be driving away with a vibraphone (metal xylophone) and a tubular bell frame ready to varnish. It got me quite inspired actually, I might have to borrow them for the album!
I've also been rehearsing my Wilderness Gathering Set with Tim. It's taking a bit of knocking into place but I'm hoping it'll be a good one. Although I was mortified to find last years setlist yesterday as I realised I was repeating myself a bit (I hate to do that) so I might just mix it up a bit. I like to keep it fresh, or as fresh as I can!
So I hope you've enjoyed my waffle and I do hope you had a warm beverage to accompany it 'cause I really can talk for England! Hope to see some of you at Wilderness, 'til then have a great summer and show the rain who's boss!
Well….I spent the better part of the weekend printing out lead sheets for the 14 songs I’ve got lined up for the new album and that number might grow... So far it seems to be following the path of my second album ‘spilling the beans’ which is nice because it’s probably the only one I truly had a lot of fun making and I think you can tell that but how easily it flows. I’m going back to where I recorded it which should certainly help – I do enjoy singing to sheep! – so I’m looking forward to getting started.
I had a lovely time at Windmill Hill City Farm on the 13th and was incredibly lucky to have Sumita helping me out on keyboard – I hope your car is fixed now! It was one of those days where we were all running behind but somehow we made it to the mic on time. Magic, magnetic Bristol, things always work out there. I also saw the biggest pig of my life! Truly a day to remember…
Excited to be playing in a beehive next friday. Okay not literally (as much as a giant beehive full of honey appeals to me) but I am looking forward to visiting a venue I’ve not been to before and it’ll be nice to support The Jigantics after a long day at work! Plus I do have a thing for bees… I keep finding tired ones and putting sugar water in front of them; I might’ve accidentally caused a swarm last Friday in the garden.
Anyway moving on! I’m also thoroughly looking forward to celebrating Canada Day for the 3rd year in a row with my lovely friend Brenda. Any suggestions for the set list are welcome! I’m thinking camp fire classics J
So that’s where I’m up to at the moment! Happy days!
Thank you as ever for reading and supporting my music. See you soon!
So there I was lying in bed last night, excited at the prospect of a year spent collaborating and creating new music and I realised why I've been a bit weird whenever someone has asked me 'how's the music going?' lately. No matter how many times you say, 'well' or 'good thanks' people want to know more and for me at least it's hard to tell when there's nothing physical to show for it. The music is good, has returned and is swirling around my head with promise but at the moment it's not ready to be shared. So I've no new CD yet, I've few dates coming up to play and it's all because I've got this lovely green shoot of life that I want to help grow and I'm waiting to see what will come of it.
I can tell you this though I am in the process of booking studio time and I have spent all morning sorting my demos out only to realise I have two albums worth and can't decide which one to make - which is just the loveliest feeling ever! It was fantastic to visit Bude folk club last Sunday 1. because there are so many gifted musicians who frequent it and 2. because I got to finally play with Tim Pointer again after about 4 years. No practice, hearts-pounding we managed 4 songs and they went down well. What more can you ask for? :)
I also had a great time returning to the Palladium with Kevin Beano green. I've loved learning new songs to cover and rising to the challenge - Jack Frost was in my head for a month I think before finally gigging it! Yes all is on the up so stay tuned to see what the little green shoot grows into....
I must be growing up for I have finally taken the bold step of trying contact lenses... I know, how long did that take? I think I've worn glasses for long distance since I was 14 and suffered through gig after gig in denial by learning to read sound engineers blurry hand gestures but *hopefully* no more! After several pokes of the eye I managed to get 'em in, and out, and shake it all about and I'm happy to say I've lasted the advised four hours... of course the hour long palaver of trying to get them out again is yet to come but I'm feeling optimistic :P
It's been a happy week with lots of lovely words of encouragement coming in and it's left me feeling very humbled. It's nice to know you are all out there and you're as excited as me for what's to come. I'm in the process of confirming dates at the moment and learning (and jamming!) new material so there's more to come :)
Let's just hope I can ride out the contact lenses train...
So yes yet again I haven't been particularly present here for a while, since the Dorset Steam Fair ended I've been trying to rekindle the fire...yet again. It seems I have a penchant for walking into demoralising situations but hey we endure.
So my Guitar is currently broken and I'm currently too broke to repair it haha you've got to laugh haven't you? To be fair I'm broke for a fairly good reason, not only did I holiday in Croatia recently (ouch to the pay cut) I am also off to Morocco in a few weeks for Christmas. It's a place I've always wanted to visit and well you know what I'm like with mountains...
Music wise I am currently obsessed with outlander and all things Scottish which is merely fuelling the word vomit further. I was hoping to focus more on composing instrumentals for a bit but it seems something in me won't allow it. Oh well I tried! I'm hoping to get together with some old friends next year and see what we can arrange and create so watch this space. I'm not done yet ;)
So all that's left to say is a premature Merry Christmas and a happy new year xx