Season's greetings to you all! I hope you've all been having as much fun as me, most of you now should be on holiday or at least approaching holiday so the time to relax and watch the infamous coke advert is nigh! I have had the nicest week meeting up with old friends, so much so it's inspired me to pick up the ol' dulcimer that Mr Purser has kindly fixed up and I've been writing loads.
I've been thinking I'm going to have to buy a thin guitar-like dulcimer for some of these numbers as I'm straining my index finger playing them on a traditional lap - Appalachian style. I kind of play them as I play mandolin on Geography "like a demon possessed" according to David Kidman [read the full review here http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/2014/RoseannaBall.html] although I have to admit I never felt like I was channelling any such entities! I guess if you strum these kinds of traditional instruments you are instantly thought of as insane (I would argue that's my blink 182 influence coming out) but still I think it's a positive review? What do you think?
On other news I've been up to some secret, seasonal antics this weekend that we really can't talk about but I want to talk about but can't..... so let's just say there was a santa hat, me hollering and a lil bit of money raised for charity. I will divulge all next week.... with pictures!
So still loads on the horizon and a wonderful christmas to look forward to. I hope you all stay warm and don't hog the crackers!
Well I left it a week because so much was going on - to be fair I did make up for that by uploading a little demo on soundcloud to keep you all happy (or frustrated depending on how you look at it) - so what have I been up to? Well I've added another date to my 2015 gig list, I am now playing at the Square & Compass in Dorset February 1st. I remember holidaying in Dorset when I was a kid and being enchanted by the new forest and then completely gobsmacked at The Cerne Abbas Giant chalked into the hill side so I'm really looking forward to returning! I really hope I can stop by some woodlands and soak up some inspiration before the gig, Dorset is not unlike my home county of Cornwall what with it's moss and magic at every turn. I've never explored the coast though so maybe I should pay that a visit and find a fossil....
Job wise, I have now officially left and am officially unemployed which - to me - translates as I have plenty of time to paint the bedroom and craft the rest of the christmas presents. My idea of heaven. Crafting has almost taken the place of music in my life recently as it's been a more accessible outlet due
to a nasty, lingering cold BUT today I went to an open mic, instrument-less and was invited to play. Now honestly I thought I sounded like a rusty hinge but the crowd were very welcoming when I sang "unwed fathers" and once I'd stoked up enough fire in my throat I delivered my rendition of Greenday's time of your life which went down a treat. I'm really grateful actually that I was encouraged to play 'cause in all honesty I didn't go there to perform I just missed my mates!
It has definitely given me the sharp nudge I needed to continue making my music and I'm feeling newly inspired.
So onwards and upwards I feel! Oh but before I leave I'm told I must share a picture with you from our little excursion to Dartmoor this weekend. I know, me in a burger king - not really a common occurrence, which I think is probably obvious from the surreal expression on my face!
Yes there I am in a Burger King, with the biggest burger I have ever seen, on the edge of Dartmoor wondering why there was a burger king on the edge of Dartmoor....
Just when you think you've seen everything you see something else.
Well it's been another long stretch and although I've been quite busy I've not really done much in the way of any musical endeavours of late. Winter is approaching and I'm sort of winding down and settling into the idea of christmas being six weeks away. And how am I preparing I hear you ask? Crafting of course! The apartment currently wreaks of paint and varnish so apologies in advance to friends who will be receiving hand crafted goods this season, money is a bit sparse just now.
The reason for which is dun dun duuuun I've quit the day job. I know, I know I can hear the screams of WHY from here. There were many factors that lead to it so let's paraphrase. I was crying almost every night for three weeks and felt bullied and was basically entirely unhappy. A half term of dodgy stress-related kidney problems confirmed it, I was run down and I'd had enough, so I'm leaving. I just figured my health should come first and clearly the stress was getting to me SO onwards and upwards I figure. In the meantime I'll be down the job centre :P
This whole week I've been thinking, that's one for the blog, oh I must remember to say that, oh yeah and that happened, what?
Let's start at the beginning.... On Sunday I woke up with a dream still in my head. I had been forced to move to America, Phoenix Arizona to be exact, and was miserable. I was walking around what looked more like Tombstone Arizona (think cowboy theatre) when I heard a woman singing in a shack. I walked up to the door of the shack and only saw the back of this blonde haired woman who was cooking and singing. The words she was singing were suddenly appearing in the bench outside her front door, carved, and I immediately woke up and ran for the notebook and phone to record the melody. 25 minutes later and I've got a new song :-) Thus ending what felt like a bit of a dry period (3 weeks without writing) for me. Although I'm loving the words and the melody, I'm still trying to get my mandolin around the awkward key change to E that the song is insisting it wants. So maybe I won't perform this at the Queen's but definately soon, it's a good cowboy-esque rowdy number - the kind I thought had dried up for me!
Songs aside the rest of my news is on the job front. Tuesday saw me driving the curves of the Devonian countryside all the way down to the amber of Tavistock. I have visited many times but Autumn in this part of the world is absolutely stunning. Leaves were being whisked all over the road and the trees were just like fire. I probably should have been focusing on the imminent interview that laid before me but instead it was all, "ooo look at the pretty leaves." After that gorgous drive though I had to get serious, or at least I tried but instead transformed into a cartoon character and spent the rest of the day saying to myself, "why did I pull a stupid grin?" "why did I say that?" "Why did I click my fingers?" Must've worked though as I got a job! I know, I'm as shocked as you! So next year should be doubly busy and exciting.... and perhaps a little terrifying but I have faith!
December is quickly approaching and my new dining table - that is most definately un-useable as a dining table - is currently smeared with acrylic paint and varnish so that means Christmas is coming and that means January is coming and THAT means it's time for me to be thinking about my short but sweet set list for the Phil Beer. Suggestions anyone? I've probably gotten about as far as one song but it'd be nice to hear some feedback on what songs you think would go down well :-)
So that is the news from this week, stay tuned for more clicky-fingered enthusiasm from your cartoon bard,
Well this has been a bit of a crazy week, let's start with the obvious. Seth Lakeman was, of course, awesome at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. Every time I see him live I'm blown away by the energy the whole band brings and it was great to see Lisbee backing him up with her stunning vocals. Just brilliant, cannot recommend them enough! (and yes I finally bought my copy of word of mouth)
Onto the random then and I've had a strange achy-ball-like-sensation in my side all week which I'd put down to a strained muscle. By wednesday, day of the Tapeley gig, it was getting painful so Thursday I saw a Dr who suggested a kidney problem. Alarm bells fully rung, my head was spinning as we travelled up to London on Friday to see an old friend and mosey. The pain got worse and the trip was cut short as we rushed back home to A&E and finally got some antibiotics for my urinary infection Saturday night. Joy. So I'm feeling especially sorry for myself just now HOWEVER Tapeley was awesome.
We dressed up day of the dead style - I proudly managed my lipstick and eye liner creation at home but the boys needed Jen's makeup expertise at the venue - and me and Nev delivered our spooky set without hitch, even sold a few albums! Niks did a marvellous job on the sound and we even pulled off a cover of Live & Let Die. Really hope I get another chance to play a Halloween set, they're so much fun! It certainly lifted my spirits, oh wow pun unintended there. I might be the most un-funny creature you'll ever meet...
So there you have it, a strange week full of highs and lows. On other news, Broadstairs Festival have now confirmed I'm playing on the Sailing club's acoustic stage as well as later on the main stage. Yay! I've already begun rehearsing despite the fact it's not 'til next Summer....
Optimism engaged then and I'm hoping for a calmer week! Thank you to all who came on Wednesday, shout out to Roy and Ange, you made my night :-)
See you all again soon,