Hello Hungover people! Here’s wishing you all a very happy new year. May it bring us all health, happiness and the courage to find and pursue our own paths. I’d like to thank you all for your support this year and, for those of you who like to read blog posts not involving kittens (sorry!), I’d like to share a couple of my personal highlights of 2013 with you.
My first Album!
In April I released my first album, ‘The Real Thing’ on Nomad Songs. I also quit my day job (Quadrophenia style) and have been a self employed, full-time singer songwriter since. I’ve written more songs and played more shows than ever before as a consequence. Also, I now get to work in pyjamas and listen to The Beatles and The Who all day whilst working on emails and type-things (technical term, that), so this was an all-round winning decision. I’m acutely aware of how difficult it is to make a living as a musician… in London especially your bar and waitress staff, call-center slaves, your receptionists and admin support, even your translators and your accountants are touring and recording artists, who sometimes need alternative income sources to fund their art. I’m not saying that I’ll never again be one of them, but I can tell you that it feels so good to answer: “No, I just do this” when asked, “but what do you really do?” It’s hard work, but it can be done and it is SO WORTH IT!
In line with the album release, I had the pleasure of creating two music videos this year, both directed by Graeme Maguire. ‘Some kind of Creature just breached the 5000 mark, woot!
And here’s the previous one in which I levitate…
90 Gigs in 2013!
Gig highlights were the record release gigs in London at St. Pancras Church and in Berlin at the Grüner Salon, both felt like little notches in the door frame… Performing at Festivals such as Standon Calling (same stage as Lucy Rose), Lodestar, and Folkstock (that goes for all the Folkstock gigs, so wonderful to be part of it!) were also definite highlights.
Everything’s scary until it’s not. This year I’ve learned to take things a little on the lighter side and to not be so nervous of what’s around the corner. I remember being very nervous before touring Germany for the first time last February. Both Germany tours I went on this year turned out to be a great couple weeks and those first anxieties now seem like a lifetime ago.
I was very fortunate to get some fantastic airplay in Germany on radio stations I grew up listening to such as Fritz and Radio Eins.
“Mutig, Witzig, Skuril”, were the words used to describe Red and White Blood Cells by the head of music on Radio Eins, which means as much as “Brave, Funny and Weird”…It is, and I am, so thank you.
During the summer I went on a living room tour through the UK and Germany – I had such fun playing in your living rooms, gardens and venues – thank you so much for having me and for looking after me so well! September, October and November were a solid block of touring, from Ireland, the UK and Germany. Here are just a few snapshots from along the way:
Just a couple of days ago we celebrated the end of the gigging year with a show at the Junction Bar in Berlin. It was great to have some piano accompaniment from Karl Neukauf and lots of fun, albeit super nerve-wracking to premier my piano songs (i.e. me playing piano on stage for the first time EVER…!)
The learning curve has been steep. Being an independent artist requires you to be a jack of many trades. In this ever changing landscape it is now possible to create your own path as long as you’re OK with working very hard for a modest living. I’ve met so many brilliant musicians who do just that and are an inspiration to me. We all are simply trying to find our pages in an unwritten book. This year I’ve been asked to speak up about what it’s like to be an independent singer songwriter in the digital age. It’s great that people like me are being asked to join in the conversations and I feel very grateful I got to be a part of these panels on “the future of music” and “copyright in the digital age” this year. I did have a great time at both Berlin Music Week and the Reeperbahn Festival especially, where I also got to perform at one of my favourite venues as well as speaking at the panel and staying in the most awesome hotel room… both events felt like I’d fallen down a most peculiar rabbit hole to me…. may there be many more to fall down.
I can’t wait to share all my new songs with you and hope to record album number two soon in the new year. I have a couple of days left to recoup and regroup here in Berlin town and then it’s back to London for more …stuff! I’m still hungover from New Year’s celebrations… so please excuse the lack of eloquence or cohesiveness… not even sure if that’s a word right now, but I’m sticking with it for now!
HAPPY 2014!!! See you all very soon.