Days in the life of a songwriter 15

went to see Tonic Fold play at St Paul’s Covent Garden and was quite impressed by the pieces and a lot of the arrangements. They had a string octet, double bass (and electric), guitar, 4 singers and Shane, who writes the stuff, on piano. The next day I met up with Nick Desmond to rehearse (he’s on piano) and then we played a gig at the Stag in Hampstead through the people at Earmusic. We also had Imogen with us on cello who did some bass parts as well, pizzicato style. Simba who did the sound was hampered a bit by the ‘almost non existent’ PA. He had to hook up the desk to a myriad of tiny speakers all around the outdoor area….I was not amused. We managed to pull off a good gig, but had to dig in a bit. Did get some complimentary food though which is a rare thing in London.

Got an email on the Monday telling me that there was a review of our tracks in Sound on Sound magazine (recording and studio mag for the uninitiated). So I went out and bought it and was pleased with the content! Click on the link and scroll down. Then I created a profile on Amazing Radio (see link on the right) and also started compiling a list of podcasts that I will submit music to soon. The next day I collected music supervisors on Twitter and wrote lyrics for a song idea I had last year. Was pleased as punch with me-self after that….it always feels good to get another song under your belt! It’s about an old friend who has completely dropped off the radar and no one knows what’s become of him, since you asked.

On the Wednesday I wanted to see an age old Myspace ‘friend’ play in Camden but went to the wrong venue, aaaahhh. I went to Proud Camden, she played at the Cuban bar. What can I say… Found and copied the lyrics and the chords for ‘Are you lonesome tonight’ famous through Elvis, he didn’t write it of course, the song is from around 1928. Reason was that I was going to accompany Des, Frank’s uncle at a birthday party Saturday just gone, where I also played a small set, that according to Frank, “went down a storm!”

We went back to the Stag on Sunday to see the Yuya play, but got there too late. We had a quick chat with the female part of the duo and will try and catch them soon. Played a gig with them not long ago at the Luxe in Spitalfields and loved them. We still managed to stuff ourselves with a great lamb burger though.

Right this pretty much bring us up to date. We are playing a gig this Friday 02.09.11 at the Distillers in Hammersmith which is why I’m meeting up with Hakon for a piano rehearsal tomorrow and we’ll be having Piotr and Morgan on violin as well. So………laters, I’d say.

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Days in the life of a songwriter 14

riots, riots, riots….well like most of the working population I was pretty busy earning a crust. My mum called on the Tuesday and I had to tell her that I had been stuck at a hotel for 14 hours a day working my little butt off. But I was mindful of removing my jacket and tie on my way home. Didn’t really want to be mistaken for a rich git. It’s great that the protesters are clued up about some big companies avoiding taxes. Shame that they are too stupid to realise your average cornershop does not belong in the same category. Nuff said.

On a more positive note, I went out to Mitcham last Saturday to play on a little stage for a community/school festival that my mate Ash had invited me to. The best thing for me was meeting ‘Elvis’, who did his thing an hour after me. I got to shake his hand (William Maurice, in the shadow of the king….all the way from Canada) and was really impressed by his professionalism and also good natured and humble approach to everyone he met. Respect. Mitcham wasn’t as bad as I had expected.

Went to see an exhibition at the National Portrait gallery on Sunday, Hollywood Greats, basically shot in big studios by big photographers with big cameras.

Met up with Imogen for a cello rehearsal at Goldsmith’s too, as we’re playing a gig on Sunday night at the Stag in Hampstead, which is in Fleet Road. Nick will be joining us on piano and we’ve scheduled a rehearsal this Saturday. I’m quite happy about the fact that Imogen will be playing some pizzicato bass lines on two of the songs! Keeps her from getting bored and sounds good too. Wednesday night I caught up with Jari our drummer on a ship moored between Lambeth and Vauxhall bridge, the whole thing is basically a pub venue called Tamesis Dock’. We ended up sitting in the hull with Sanai Joe (singer guitarist) listening to some mates playing some jazzy stuff and having a bit of a jam. We were just necking a couple of cold ones. I was particularly impressed by the woman on saxophone (her playing!!)

Right, need to play through my set now but have to mention a trip in a taxi I took last night which made me feel a bit like the ‘Dude’ (big Lebowski for the infidels amongst us) when he complained that he hated the Eagles. The driver was from the Congo and was listening to Magic Radio London. I did not complain though.

Days in the life of a songwriter 13

Had better add something here before I’ll have to write a novel to catch up. So yes, went to Romford recently and caught the tail end of Paul White’s (SOS magazine) seminar on vocal recording and processing. What I heard was good as all of us recording geeks could have guessed before. Anyway, I stuck around and took a pic of an Indian family with the man (with their camera in case you are wondering) and then got to speak to him for a few minutes. He also took a CD off me which he promised to listen to on his way back……. Oh, the taxi driver who took me there from the station said he’d had a pleasant day so far; but the blue lights hadn’t started flashing yet and the ambulances weren’t racing around yet as it was only half 3!!! This was over a week before the riots and the looting. So if you’d like to go to Romford, you’ve been warned.

I have mentioned Ariel’s Cyber PR company a couple of times (see link on the right) and managed to speak to her via email last week where she told me she will be coming to London for a talk at PRS headquarters soon. My mate Ash also booked me for a little festival gig this Saturday at the Cultural Olympiad in a park in Mitcham. Might put a link on facebook tonight. I think I’ll be on early, he wants me there for 1pm.

As we are back in business (internet-wise) I managed to get us a ReverbNation page which seems to be very handy. I’m very impressed with all the features and promotional options available. Check it out when you have a minute. I keep adding content there at the mo, so do come back later as well. I even got an account on FlickR but have only posted two pics so far, but the idea is to take pictures of all the gear we use. After that there will be loads of pics from live gigs too.

Last week Friday we went to the secret pub for dinner which was lovely. I can’t tell you where it is. It wouldn’t be the secret pub anymore, would it?

Also went Rollerblading through Hyde Park and past Buck House on the way down to the old Thames where we jumped into our shoes and went across the river to the vintage festival at the South Bank. We loved it and one dress was bought in the process. Rollerbladed all the way to Chelsea from there got home and fell asleep for 2 hours……

A few days later I saw Gary Glitter at terminal 5 (Heathrow) and actually took two ubercrappy pics of him with me old Nokia. Basically, you can hardly see him in them. JLS were around at the same time but I managed to miss them on account of being too busy or maybe I was having a coffee. A new Youtube account was created as well, see link on the right and I have so far managed to put up three vids. A live clip from the Water Rats (Maybe Arizona), How the World Works from the last EP (with footage from the M4) and the old Dear Caffeine video that helped us get our first deal. It has some lovely images from Dungeness and also East London’s old coffee shops.

Right, I’m off. See ya.