Friday, 29 December 2017

2017 in review

So here it is, another year over, another end of year blog. But it has been a pretty good one, if I'm being totally honest.

I played 94 solo gigs this year. That's an average of 1.8 per week, which is a little off the pace for me compared to previous years *checks old blog posts*. There are a couple of possible reasons I can think of for this;

Firstly, For the first 9 months of this year I was working a school job. I know I've been working other jobs before while gigging more, but I can't say it doesn't have an impact on both having time to actually find and book gigs as well as being awake enough to play them!

Secondly, all of my recurring gigs have now stopped. I was running the songwriter's sessions at The Crown Joules for the first half of the year, but they decided to take their live music output in a 'different' direction. The gigs there were great while they lasted, but sadly, last they did not. I've also finished playing at Village Coffee in Codsall after many years. I'm not aware that they have any live music on there regularly now.

However, a lower gig output is somewhat outweighed by the fact that I finally finished and released my newest album, 'As I Live and Breathe' in 2017. It was a long time coming, and I'm incredibly proud of the way it came out. People seem to like it too! Massive thanks must be given to Dickie Davis, Dan Hart and my wife Kayla who all appeared on the album.

Stemming from the album launching, I've played my first ever gigs with a full and this year too, and they were great fun. I've got another one at The Robin 2 coming up in February, for which tickets are available here. It's going to be a great show, so come down and get involved :)

On to my highlights of 2017. Other than the obvious launching of the album, I also did a mini tour at the beginning on November which was a success. One of my favourite gigs was playing at Rough Trade Records in Nottingham for a multiple union event to talk about young people's pay. Tour aside, I also had a great time at Strummer Jam, as well as discovering cool new venues like The Windsor Theatre in Birmingham and Tom O' The Wood in Warwick.

Away from the stage, I've finally taken the plunge and gone full time with music as my solo job. It's going alright so far, but I'm sure I'm about to feel the January pinch!

In 2018 I hope to have a real go at making full time musicianhood work, as well as finding a new venue for the songwriter's sessions and generally looking to book more cool gigs. I've got some cool ideas for stuff to do at home too, but they need some refining yet so I'll keep them close to my chest for now.

See you out there,


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

That's not what the world needs.

It struck me that at the top of this blog's homepage I introduce the blog as my thoughts and musings on the music industry, then proceed to only ever post when I'm advertising something. I never rant. At least not on here. I rant in my songs about all sorts of stuff, but somehow putting it in writing on the Internet is too much. Well, that should change...

Recently I've been seeing more and more 'promoters' on social media advertising for what I'd call 'Z list celebrities' to play at their venues. One even put out a call to see if anyone knew anyone who 'used to be famous.'

Is this really what people want to see? That guy who was in a 90's band or the girl who got knocked out of the x factor a couple of weeks in? Am I missing something here?

I'm not saying there isn't a place for those guys. There totally is. But I can't help but feel that it's an easy option for promoters to get a couple people in a venue (probably out of morbid curiosity) rather than attempt to curate an actual cohesive line up of acts that fit together well and might draw a crowd when placed together. A line up greater than the sum of it's parts, so to speak. It's a greater risk and probably harder work to promote, but isn't that why you wanted to be a promoter in the first place? To showcase new music? To put on great shows? To be the guy who put on act X 'before they made it big?' I defy you to find me someone who got into the promoting game to try to give former pop stars and reality TV wannabes a paycheck.

That's not what the world needs.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Nan's Song on Spotify

A few years ago I wrote this song for the charity christmas album. For the uninitiated, it was an album I released once a year with the musicians who played at my various open mic nights and sold for charity. I think this is probably my favourite of all the Christmas songs I've written.

This year seemed like a good time to release it online for stream and download. Check it out if you get a few minutes :)