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!
Maybe I should've titled this blog entry kick-up-the-ass! I certainly feel I've had one... and not in a bad way! Scotland gave me a week to gather my thoughts and unwind but it also made me realise nothing will happen if I don't make it happen so I've been pushing the Kickstarter like mad and I am happy to announce I will be performing at Nature's Nutrition, 45 Mill Street EX39 2JW Bideford this Saturday to promote it. I'll be there from 12 noon singing some tunes and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have about the project. I'm very happy to see us pass the £700 mark. 20 days to go, can we make it?
I was lucky enough to play on The Voice FM's Colin Slatter breakfast show last Saturday and had an absolute blast trying out some new tunes. Ironic he enjoyed the one I had a slight slip-up on the most!
I'm heading down to Riviera FM next Saturday to play for Jackson Cooper, any song suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Last time I was there I remember I played the mandolin and dulcimer so I'm hoping to mix it up a bit for him and do something a bit different.
I'm also in the midst of arranging to go back on the Voice FM for their street live show in the next week. I'll let you know when dates have been confirmed! Can you tell I've been cramming?
On the more creative side I've really enjoyed hearing feedback this week from Amazon and Soundcloud. I cannot begin to tell you how great it feels to be told by someone you've never met that your music touched them. I make music because I can't not make music so to hear that this involuntary word play of mine brings you happiness is pure magic and it makes it all the more worth while. So thank you, you lovely bunch. You're awesome x
Okay well maybe not quite but that's how you feel the first time someone you don't know approaches you and says, "didn't I hear you on the radio?" Haha okay I'm leaping but I have got a lot of radio appearances this week so maybe that's why I'm feeling a little special :) On Thursday I'm on Street Live at the Voice FM from 7:30pm on Saturday morning I'm on BBC Radio Devon from 10:30am and Saturday evening from around 7:50pm I'll be on Riviera FM :O! I'm worn out just looking at that list but it should be great fun!
I had a blast last week promoting the kickstarter and was over the moon to see we got in the Journal and one of Ben's lovely pictures got printed. I played at Nature's Nutrition on Saturday, as you know, and managed to raise £55.58 from busking then when I got home I found a £20 donation on the mat. This along with a massive pledge over the weekend has left me rocketing towards the finish line with 12 days to go and I am unbelievably grateful and astounded at the generosity of people.
So I now feel newly enthused to make sure this album is different from Geography and grabs you by the ears. You see I confess I've been battling with the track list for a month or so 'cause nothing was really jumping out at me and obviously kickstarter had taken over my mind! Yesterday however I had a moment when I tried out a song I wrote on mandolin last year on the banjo and it suddenly fell into place. I added it to the second list I've been working on (the album that would have come after this next one) and it dawned on me that it was a much better album and I thought, I really should be recording that one. I shared the song and thoughts with Ben and he agreed, somewhat bluntly, that my original plans for this record weren't going to work. So with all of this in mind I can tell you exclusively that I currently have nine tracks that I would like to record (which will undoubtedly increase) I've got a working title and if all goes to plan I'll play 5 different types of instrument on it. Now that sounds a lot more exciting than my 13 track Geography II list I had going on which only featured three at the most!
So I'm feeling very very VERY excited and now I just need one final push to get me to the target. I only need to raise £29 more so please, you wonderful people, keep spreading the word and I'll keep spreading the word and together we will get there!
That's not some he-man reference (by the power of grey skull and all) it's the title of a new song I wrote on the flight back. Flight back? You say, yes the flight back from an unexpected and early birthday present to...... Scotland!
I have always longed for Scotland, probably something to do with it being in my blood on both sides of the tree, but when I saw those mountains it was like it was like everything else melted away. Such a peaceful and stunning place; a bit like middle earth really but better 'cause there were no pesky orcs. Wonderful, mysterious land, I fully recommend it! I'll save the best stories for my gigs but I will say I had my first sip of Drambuie and my best taste of Haggis there. IF you're still um-ing and ah-ing on whether or not to go. Book it. Book it now!
So that was good but it did distract me from the stresses of kickstarter and getting the word out; which was probably the lovely Ben's intention. So here I am back home, sheltering from the rain thinking "ahhh 27 days to go!!!" but thankfully wheels are in motion for some radio spots and a local promo in the centre of Bideford in the next few weeks so really it's not so bad and I'm going to try and stay positive and optimistic that we'll get there. I'm also going to try and shake this sore throat and get practising this week as I've got some demos to be a-making!
It feels very strange that I'll turn 26 on Wednesday and will have been performing for about 9 years - where on earth does the time go? I remember one of my first gigs was singing summer of 69 at the Buller's arms. I still cringe when I remember how my voice split because I was so nervous! wow that was more like 10 years ago now... and I remember how I'd attempt to frequent the Old Smithy Inn's open mic on a Tuesday to try out new tunes and covers and you could hear a pin drop whenever I sang 'Bird on a wire.' Sadly that turned me into a bit of a one trick pony but I'd like to think I've come a long way since then! Here's to another nine years!