Little old me again. Apologies you haven’t heard much from me for a little while. Like many musicians, I’ve been going through a lull in which I’ve been asking a lot of questions like what I’m doing with life and generally suffering with a general lack of confidence. Though I’ve done a few little performances recently that has slowly started to re-kindle the fire a bit and I’m slowly coming round to the idea of performing again.
I think what I needed was to shake things up and pretty much start at square one and try and do something a bit different. I haven’t quite figured out what that is yet…but in the meantime I’m going to do a few little gigs, maybe with people I haven’t worked with before, maybe on different instruments, maybe getting some more technology involved…but mainly try and start thinking about doing something fresh. I’ve been doing pretty much the same thing for the past 6 years and done all the old Manchester haunts.
My next gig is supporting (and then singing backing vocals with) Charlie Cooper at Matt & Phreds Jazz Club on Friday 14th September… not sure how my quirky acoustic pop songs are gonna go down but we’ll see! Sometimes last minute things are the best things!
Just a quick one to say that I’ve updated my website and added some shiny new bits to it. I edit it all myself and the learning curve is rather large but I’m pretty happy with it at the moment
I’m going to be making some recordings over the next few weeks, the plan is to record them as raw as possible and have a tiny release of just me and my wee songs, so watch out for updates.
I’ve been AWOL for a good long while now but I’ll hopefully be back in the swing of things over the next coming months. I’m quite interested in getting out of Manchester and doing some gigs further afield, so if you know any promoters/venues that would be interested in me, send me an email.
Wow, I’ve actually found myself with a few hours to spare so I can update my blog…what an INSANE few months, it’s been absolutely jam-packed full of all sorts of things.
At the end of March I decided to take a little sabbatical from my own music making, there were lots of reasons ( which I won’t go into now), but hopefully post-June I’ll get the ball rolling with my own material. In the mean time I’ve been living a very odd life of late…
I work 3 days a week at a fringe theatre in South Manchester called The Edge, I have been doing so for the past year and a half, it’s got a very special place in my wee heart. The guys that I work for do such brilliant and fantastic work in theatre. From inspiring outreach work, astounding community based theatre and also brilliant professional work.
Recently we put on a huge community show, with 70+ people in the cast/choir. It was a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. I was in it too, I played the part of Herbert Pocket and it was great to hark back to my early days and do some acting again. Such a lot of hard work went into the show and it was a blinding success. I met so many brilliant people, it was a real pleasure to be a part of it.
Other crazy things include:
Belting out gospel-y backing vocals for the absolutely awesome Charlie Cooper at Matt & Phreds Jazz Club.
Blasting out North-East Brazilian rhythms with the mighty Juba do Leão on a council estate with loads of kids dancing and waving lanterns about.
Singing ‘ A Million Love Songs’ by Take That in a beautiful church in Chester as the bride walked down the isle.
Singing a 90′s dance medley, 16 songs in 9 minutes…twice!
Got sent a recording of a session I did with the fantastic Donna Marie. She wrote a duet with me in mind and here it is. A brilliant, catchy, country-pop number called ‘I’m All Yours’:
Listening to a bunch of amazing professional actors rehearsing for a brilliant sung play called ‘ SPINACH’. I worked on it last year when it was on at The Royal Exchange Theatre. Any London folks reading? Please please check it out. It’s on at The King’s Head Theatre, Islington, 12th June – 7th July. Click here for more info.
Watching a performance poet do a political performance piece for 50 minutes… which included a 2 minute section of him rolling around the floor to ambulance noises and explosions…I could go on…so I will!
Last but certainly not least, we’ve come to the daddy of them all:
I’m involved in a massive, wonderful carnival arts project called ‘Junk Jam’, to find out more click here. In just over a week it will hit Manchester Day Parade and it’s going to be spectacular with:
We’re right at the front, you won’t recognize me because I’ll be in a mask, but rest-assured you’ll hear me as I’m one of the 14 vocalists in that particular section of our part of the parade. I’m part of the Global Grooves team and have been managing all of the vocalists and horn players over the past 3 weeks and will be doing so the next coming week up until the parade, it’s been tiring but a great experience!
Most of my other time I’ve been over at Global Grooves HQ in Mossley, working with the fantastic Emily Wood who runs Cabasa Carnival Arts. I’m one of many dedicated volunteers helping to bring this fantastic project alive. Many hours have been spent on the costume and they look magnificent. I’ll be putting in many more hours ( pretty much living there!) over the next few days to help finish all the many elements that have gone into the making. The costumes have gone through so many processes to reach the point they have, it’s been really eye-opening and I’ve learnt so much. Please please come to Manchester Day Parade on 10th June to see the culmination of this hard work and the fantastic work from Global Grooves/Cabasa Carnival Arts and the other companies involved in this spectacular project.
Thanks for the great feedback about my new virtual home. It’s about time I updated this thing!
Been super busy this month!
I’ve been getting back doing little gigs with my wonderful geetarist Tom Sullivan, we played Oddest Bar in Chorlton & Fuel in Withington in the past few weeks. I can speak for both of us in saying it’s great to be back playing again. My next gig is at The Lass O’Gowrie on Thursday 5th of April, time TBC, it’s a little acoustic gig again. I’ll also be doing an unplugged set at Mary & Archie’s on Sunday 15th April, I had to cancel the last one due to illness but hopefully I’ll be fit an well by then!
In other news! I’ve been obsessed with shekeres for the past few years and yesterday I finished making my own! It turned out really well and hopefully this will be the start of my shekere making career, below are some pictures of the varying stages of making it:
Last Saturday I was recording with The Voice Collective in St. Johns Church in Old Trafford. It was a really gorgeous church and the stained glass was amazing! We got down 4 tunes and it was sounding beautiful in those surroundings. Also randomly, the other week I sang with The Voice Collective at famous cricketer Jimmy Anderson’s testimonial at Old Trafford Cricket Ground. What an odd life I lead.
The following day I went down to the new Global Grooves HQ in Mossley to help out. They’re turning an old mill into a base for their brilliant company, it’s going to be a great creative hub for all sorts of artistic activity. Most of the work involved helping sort out a huge amount of fabric with Emily Wood , a local carnival artist from Cabasa Carnival Arts.
I also helped put on reflectors on all of the lights, got to go up on a big scaffold which was fun. Global Grooves are creating a huge project called Junk Jam which will be able to be seen at Manchester Day Parade and Manchester Jazz Festival. It’s a very exciting project to be involved in, I’ll be an assistant vocal tutor and I’m part of the behind the scenes team. I’ll be posting more info about that very soon. Exciting times!
After travelling through a technological jungle, I made it in the end! Grab yourself a brew and take a look around. It’s nice to finally have a virtual place to call home. Also, for updates please sign up to my newsletter.