I had a lovely start to my week with the Braunton History Group who invited me to play at their Christmas function on Tuesday. Now normally I don't name names when I've done a private gig - I'm not really sure why, might be a 'professional-overkill-habit' but I have so many nice things to say about this jolly group I'm going to have to give 'em a mention.
First off I met Neil who thankfully did the sound for me and provided a PA. I haven't really accepted it yet or told many people but my speakers were sadly stolen earlier this year though curiously they left the stands? Very strange but I won't dwell on it, I'm seeing it as a fresh start seeing as I'd had them since 2008 the jokes on them really. Anyway... so we set up in a cosy nook to the side of the bar and right in front of the door to the kitchen. Cue the many times we both looked at equipment rock as staff bustled by and took a deep breath of fear.
So after we'd set up we snuggled into a brilliant christmas meal with CRACKERS! Now I will never ever get over the novelty of crackers, when I used to run open mics crackers always came out on the tables when we got near christmas so imagine how stoked I was to find a pack of cards in mine! A quick game of patience ensued as Tony told me tales of the Mitchel Mariners and Cider Press Brothers... there are definitely some songs in there we just have to watch and wait.
I'm really pleased with how the actual set went down as I wasn't entirely sure what to play, I never am when it's a private gig and normally break out the covers, this was no exception but I did limit it to 3 festive numbers and it was wonderful to have the audience singing along to the carols. They even sang along to something stupid despite me doing something stupid and forgetting what key I do that one in.... whoops. It was also lovely to break out songs I hadn't played in a while like East of the water and The Line and for them to have a fresh audience. You can tell I had a great time so before I forget I would like to thank Jon, Sue, Tony and Neil for making it probably the most memorable Tuesday ever!
I also forgot to mention in my last blog post that I received a note a week or so ago from a kickstarter backer who had listened to Time and wanted to give me their thoughts on it. Naturally this made my day so I feel I've got to share it with you and thank him officially for being a sweety. I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes the Cranberries, they're like this forgotten gem from the 90s.
Few more festive gigs to come to stay tuned for more nonsense!
Time for an update! No pun intended...
I finally have Time back from the manufacturers which means my tiny apartment is jam-packed with copies and what with the christmas tree and all it's getting rather cosy in here! I'm pleased to say the album is available to pre-order on Amazon (see the 'albums' link above, next to 'home') and everyone who has heard it has been very kind, most notably Jackson Cooper of Riviera FM who wrote a jolly nice review which you can read by Clicking Here!
Hopefully now everyone who stated a CD or a download in the backers' rewards section of Kickstarter have now received their copy - thank you to those who have posted your glee on my twitter and facebook, I'm chuffed to bits that you like it! I was worried for sometime you'd all listen to it and be like, "really?" haha so there we go, we're nearly there! So the next stage is a launch - January 15th, venue TBC - which will be something of a party if I have anything to do with it! I'm thinking balloons and streamers, maybe even a buffet ;)
So that's very exciting and I've also got a few gigs lined up for December which means I get to break out some cheesy christmas covers *yay!* and keep my form on top. I've got a week and a bit to get my covers up to scratch - that's the trouble with christmas songs you don't tend to play them at any other time of the year so they can get very rusty indeed....
That's about it for now but I'll do my best to keep you better updated this holiday season :)
ps. Oh and it goes without saying, once again, a huge thank you to the kickstarter backers and indeed anyone who's ever bought an album from me for making 'Time' possible. Couldn't of done it without you.
I'm finding it very hard to write today. It's difficult to talk about anything positive after the events of the past week with regards to the terrorist attacks on Beirut and Paris.
I remember the planes hitting the two towers and I remember the fear in my gut and everyone just standing silently shaken watching the TV and I felt that same jolt of fear Saturday morning. I was attending the AFO Conference, eager to play and show the festival organisers what I could do but then I saw the TV and 'all I could do' seemed so trivial as all I wanted to do was cry. Although I did meet some nice people and have a pretty good time I still felt guilty for laughing or enjoying myself and I'm sure I wasn't alone as there seemed to be a permanent semi-circle of people glued to the television. It is hard to carry on but it is important to as a life lived in fear is a life half-lived or perhaps not lived at all so I will try and get a bit more positive on you now!
Let's back track slightly as I haven't updated in a while and at the beginning of November I did a small in-situ set at the Lion's Club Firework Display in Bideford. They were raising money for the hospice and it was a lovely night with superb apple crumble and brilliant fireworks. I've also been up to Bristol again, I know, I might as well live there really! I dropped in on the seven stars to see the refreshingly quirky Sumita play (I am a die hard fan) and she did me the honour of playing my request so that pretty much made my day. Fast forward to the evening and I had a great yet brief time at the Golden Guinea performing solely on mandolin (can't remember the last time I did that... possibly at The Imp 3 years ago!). It was lovely to reconnect with Mark Venus and hear all his good news, congratulations again sir, and yet again 'Dragonfly' sent a hush over the crowd. It's funny 'cause I never thought that song was any good but I heard someone yell, "that's a bloody good song!" so maybe I'll play it more.
Album update: I have been told there was a jam in the pressing machine and delivery has been put back a few weeks so please don't panic kickstarter backers, I have not forgotten you and as soon as I have all the copies they will be assembled with your other rewards and posted off to you, most likely just in time for Christmas.