Days in the life of a songwriter 33

Sooooo, back again. First things first. Tomorrow we’ll be playing a long overdue live set at The Workshop in Shoreditch. They call it The Workshop Hoxton, whatever. I have been told we’ll be in quite a folky setting, which is why we won’t be having any drums, let’s see what it’s like. The Facebook event page is here. And Symptomatic (promoter) have created a flyer which looks like this: The Workshop

The line up will consist of Imogen Burman on cello, Hakon Sveinsson on piano and Joe Carter on trumpet, plus me on vocals and acoustic guitar. In case you’d like to check it out, we’ll be on just after half 9 for a 30 minutes’ set. In case you can’t be bothered to follow the links, The Workshop is at 243 Old Street, London.

Last night I went to a songwriter’s night called the 15 minute club, organised by Laurence Hobbs at All Star Lanes Holborn, it must have been my lucky night, as Yann Destal was the first performer on the night and put in a stand-out performance. He was backed by his Takamine acoustic guitar and a couple of pedals and sometimes, two background singers, that he had brought along from France. I think the other performers were facing a bit of an uphill struggle after him. But Ridley Barbet from Yorkshire managed to play a good set straight after Yann.

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Days in the life of a songwriter 20

On Sunday Amphibic played a gig at the Luxe at Spitalfiels market again. We were a four piece, consisting of cello, piano, violin and myself on guitar and vocals. I wasn’t happy with my guitar sound (a bit thin) but apart from that it worked quite well. The boys after us, Run Jack Run, borrowed my guitar as theirs had a flat battery…. . They really entertained us with their idiosyncratic mix of soul, hip hop and eye patch (one song only). But yes we loved them.

Right, we also went to a film screening on Monday night to see a film that will be released in the UK this week, I believe. It’s called The Help and stars Emma Stone as the young attractive lead. To paraphrase Pete Daly, “it’s somewhere between Fried Green Tomatoes and Driving Miss Daisy”. I was impressed by the strong performances by all involved. Viola Davis is great as Aibileen but Octavia Spencer almost steals the show as Minny Jackson. Geraldine Moloney felt that the performances helped the film compensate for the slightly sentimental approach. In short a feelgood film that tackles the issue of  segregation in America’s South of the 60’s from the perspective of the housekeeper.

Was busy last week helping out with logistics for the WorldSkills event which was taking place at the Excel Centre in the Docklands in London. Well, we picked up the Swiss Candidates and also some family, press, politicians you get the idea. The event is basically a world championship for trades and professions. From carpentry and welding to repairing cars and stone masonry, IT  and CNC turning skill ….. 50 plus trades and there were competitors from 51 countries. Surprisinly, it was hardly advertised at all. But a lot of schools took the opportunity to take their kids there! Saturday was the last day and as I was off we went to have a look for ourselves. They had taken over the whole of the Excel which is huge in case you haven’t been. Afterwards we got to hang out at the House of Switzerland (housed in an Italian restaurant just outside) and sampled some Swiss hospitality and soaked up their wonderful team spirit. As we left the Norwegian minister for education (Kristin Halvorsen) arrived to check out the Swiss efforts. I almost said welcome Norway to her, but chickened out. If you’d like to see the results click here.