Today is a new day and I'm feeling better about the kickstarter project. Here's why: first off I just had a very successful long weekend of gigging (which well get to in a bit), I've had a good interview with Bude & Beyond, I've had another £10 pledged on the project AND I've spoken to the producer of the next record. All in all that's left me feeling a bit like that short guy in ghostbusters 2 after he's been doused in 'positive' pink slime - hysterically happy.
So I should start by telling you about what it was like to support Phil Beer! It was pretty cool to be waiting in the loading area of the Queen's Theatre hearing him warm up on fiddle, the acoustics in that section just make you want to play. I was pretty nervous because I had to press a button on stage to make an instrument work, I know I know, "how hard can that be?" I hear you ask. Well ask any technician who has to deal with performers and they'll all tell you, musicians and buttons do not mix. I remember continually on my college course whenever we did live sound there'd be a fault, "why is there no signal?" someone would yell. "It's not the cable..." "Oh it's not switched on." Hand-slaps-forehead. I coped well though and didn't mess that one up, remarkably! It was great to hear Phil do some old Cornish tunes, it remindedme of singing in primary school and it was just pure nostalgia when he sang 'Way haul away, Joe.' I sold lots of albums that night and saw so many familiar faces so it was just hugs all around. Lots of love in that room!
Onto Sunday and I was travelling up to Dorset to play a set at a little pub called Worth Matravers (which I hear as worth m'travels in my head). I knew someone was coming who would determine whether or not I was good enough to play a set at Wickham Festival and I could not get past that. I didn't think about kickstarter, I didn't think about the logistics of bringing four instruments into a tiny space I just knew I had to impress. [I also knew I wanted to do a spot of sight seeing on the way so we checked out the Cerne Abbas Giant and the Osmington White Horse on the way - awesome!] So all of that meant I didn't really promote my kickstarter or my albums much and I was a bag of nerves. Normally I am fine the minute I get on stage; the nerves, for me tend to come before, but whenever I'm playing in front of someone who I know can alter my career drastically my left hand starts to shake - sometimes my legs! It's embarrassing but I ploughed on through you'll be happy to know ;) and.... I got the slot! YAAAAAAAAAAY!
I had another positive experience yesterday of being interviewed for the Bude & Beyond website. For those of you who don't know, I grew up in Bude so it was nice to reminisce and talk about what has influenced me and how bad I was in school! It was nice to cite some old teachers I did like though and I really hope they see the article, especially you Mrs Harbut! Your encouragement with my poetry and creative writing had a huge impact on my music, there's no doubt in my mind you helped me become the songwriter I am today so thank you! Having a chat with the next projects producer straight afterwards continued my happy vibe and made me feel more like, yes this is going to happen. I am going to make this. It's going to be brilliant.
Bit of blind faith there I'm sure but no less I will carry on regardless, as the beautiful south would say. I've even got an album title in mind that I might disclose in the next blog to see what you think ;)
Before I go I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has already pledged on my project. You are wonderful, generous people and I am determined to make this album for you!
See you soon,
It dawned on me Monday that I was playing in Dorset on Sunday and had been spending over a month prepping for Phil Beer (a 5-song set) and no time for a 24 song set! So this week has been spent practising - constantly. I could practically feel the rust flaking off of my left hand as I played 'The Line' - shocking! But as of today I finally have the final copy of the set list printed out and ready for Sunday and I'm quite excited about it. It's been a very long time since I've been to Swanage - I think I was twelve - and I'm hoping we'll get clear weather so that I can do some sight-seeing :)
Anyway I am hoping tonight will go well seeing as I know those songs inside and out... although I did change that set list last night as well... just by one song though! The real dilemma is what on earth do I wear tonight? The pink nail varnish would suggest pink but I'm not sure I've got a matching outfit with the appropriate amount of wow factor... hmm troubling times indeed!
On other news my kickstarter project is up and running and so far £196 has been pledged with 50 days to go (huge thank you to everyone who has pledged so far). I realise that's a good start but I must admit I'm feeling pretty downhearted about it.
I saw a friend of mine was running one to fund his next album and had received abuse from friends and followers and I'm sad to say I've had a similar experience of being accused of making tactical moves on twitter - anyone who knows me know's I'm technically challenged and in no way tactical - so that was a whole load of balloney.
The whole thing has just left me feeling like, "why am I bothering" and also "why on earth were these people ever following me?" Seems to me if you're following someone it's because you want to support them so even if you can't directly help with something you can share a link or give it a like which is how I try to navigate the treacherous seas of social media. I've removed twitter from my phone needless to say, don't need that kind of stress, so my poor PR Ben is handling that playground-nonsense now. I don't know I just feel like asking for help, even if you've never asked before, is frowned upon so I can't see me or my friend reaching our goals.
I'm determined to not let it stop me though, I'll keep trying and somehow I'll still get an album out this year. One way or another. Feeling blindly optimistic!
Let's start with the demons... the new job sadly did not work out and I won't go into it but unemployment has at least given me loads of time and inspiration to lend to my demos so let's move swiftly on to them and talks of a new album...
I am uploading fairly regularly to sound cloud these days to keep you all up to date of my musical musings so if you've had enough of Geography already I suggest you pop on over there for a listen. The demos are helping me get an idea of where I want the next album to go and what I want it to sound like. I'm forever saying I have three (no wait four!) books of songs ready to go wherever necessary but I also never stop writing so I've been told I'll have to start thinking about 20 to record for the new album - which will then get minced down to about 12. The cruelty! So what about that new album, well it's going to cost a lot of money. A lot. The budget for the last 2 has been around £200 but this one is likely to break the bank at a whopping £3000 as I am attempting to step up and be a bit more
professional with licensing and distribution and what not. So I'm looking at crowd funding on kickstarter for a helping hand and I'm desperately looking for a new part-time job but hey it's all good stuff and it's part of the journey so I'm feeling positive about it. At least you know I'm not running out of material, just money!
So it feels a bit like a whirlwind of a time for my brain so Phil Beer is definitely going to calm me down. I'm predicting I'll be a ball of nerves on the first song of my support set then I'll be back to normal. I feel like there's a switch in my head that has three settings 'real world, creating, performing' and I've been stuck on creating for a while - or maybe halfway between the first two. Either way I'm looking forward to returning to the Queen's Theatre, it's going to be a good night so grab your tickets while you still can, I've heard a rumour it's about to sell out!