Getting up and getting my shit together in Bangor University ater the second of four houseshows in a row. Houseshows are a lot of fun (if everything goes to plan!) and it’s a nice upside of the kind of music I’m playing right now that I can do these kind of shows easily. The downside is that generally speaking you end up getting totally, utterly hammered every night and making an embarrassment of yourself with frightening regularity. My days are typified by dealing with hangovers on trains. Haha, there’s a song title for you. Anyways, having fun, and I’ve got a whole batch more shows that I’m confirming right now, will post details as soon as I have them…

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Latvia Diary

It’s finally finished. Go check it here. In the meantime, I had fun in Scotland, and I’m off on tour again on Tuesday for ever, or so it seems. And don’t forget the split with Reuben, which is out tomorrow. I am a fully-fledged recording artist again, isn’t that nice…

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Mid January Blues

Hey everyone, I’m back from Latvia (as many will have gathered). Had an ace ace ace time, and I’m in the middle of putting together a fucking huge diary with 3 pages of text and photos from the trip. Would have finished it by now but I don’t have one disc of photos at the moment (yes we took that many), Jamie’s sending them to me tomorrow morning. Keep your eyes peeled for that any time soon.

In other news, I’ve had a few days at home, and I actually really don’t like this whole sitting around not doing much malarkey, not least because I’m utterly skint. Can’t wait until tomorrow when I’m heading down to Plymouth for the night, then Kingston, then up to Scotland. Pretty constant shows for a while then (still trying to plug a gap feb 3rd-6th if anyone has anything), it’s going to be ace. See you all on the road somewhere no doubt, as part of my “endless tour of everywhere” (according to rocksound… I wish!). Fresh.

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Lift Off

I’m getting ready to go to Latvia – tracking down old gloves, hats and scarves and the like, making CDs to take with me, making a will, that kind of thing. I’ll be crashing at Jamie’s tonight and then together we’re off tomorrow to the great Baltic unknown. I thought I’d post this picture from my birthday (aww…) as a record of how we were when we departed. We’re going to be keeping a full photo diary of the effects of a land where 70p a pint is considered a laughable rip-off. I’m playing shows with soul singers and “actress with clarinet yes”. We’re going to two, or possibly three, baltic states, and the weather forecast is “cold as fuck”. It was nice knowing you all…

Oh, and PS there are some demo orders from the last couple of days that I haven’t had a chance to send out yet, so they’ll be another week or so. Sorry. I have a good excuse though… I’m in Latvia!

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London ICA

A few details about the London ICA show. This is part of the Halloween Short Films Festival, which is generally superduper; more about them and the festival in general can be found at their website, Go check it. Personally, I’m playing an acoustic set in the ICA bar with El Coco. Doors are from 8pm and it’ll cost you ‘a35.50 to get in. It should be a blast.

In other news, well, I celebrated NYE in style (got to bed in the early hours of the 2nd eventually), but am planning on some form of detox for the time being! Haha… Also been smiling at various previews for the Reuben split, including some Radio One airtime, which was nice. Getting ready for Latvia by buying every and any piece of warm clothing I come across… Generally settling in to the new year.

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…everyone who wished me a happy birthday yesterday. Yup, I’m now 24 years old, which means I have less than a year to write an album as good as “Harvest” if I’m to be keeping up with Neil Young. Tits. Anyways, I celebrated in style, laid waste to half of Winchester town centre and feel today not unlike I’ve been shot in the face. Nice. To the new year!

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Twas the week before Christmas

My birthday is pretty near Christmas (28th December, less of the Jesus jokes, mine’s a Jack & Coke!). This means that that the end of the year every year generally coincides with me adding a digit, which sends me into paroxysms of reflection and self-analysis, which I’ll try not to bore you with. Nevertheless, given that it’s that time of year again, and that I’ve played my last gig of the year and gone back to Winchester for the festive season, I’ve been thinking about 2005 of late.

Last year, at a New Years Eve party (though I think by this time it was actually well into the 1st of January), my best friend said to me that age 23 was “revolution year” – the year when everything changes, the year when you really reevaluate your life and head down different paths. Well, as per usual the smug cunt seems to have had a point. 12 months ago I was in Million Dead, we’d just about finished our second album, we had release dates, singles and tours lined up and ready to go, we had a fanbase waiting for the record (something very new to me) and everything seemed pretty rosy on that front. I didn’t have much reason to doubt that MD would continue to be the centre of my universe for some time (years) to come.

And now… well, MD came to an end, something which still fills me with a lot of sadness. Harmony No Harmony was released, and we did tour, but things didn’t quite reach the pitch we’d hoped for at the start of the year due to us, er, breaking up. And now I’ve set out on my own. Without wanting to moan, it’s not been the easiest year of my life, shall we say. Reorientating myself towards this new set of goals has been pretty tough, and continues to be, and it’s also fucking scary actually, to be doing this on my own. But I’m starting to build up my confidence, my repertoire, and fingers crossed, to paraphrase James Yorkston, “This year will be my year, it took a long time to come”. Who knows, I’d better ask the smug one for his predictions for age 24.

So in short, bollocks to 2005, roll on 2006! Happy christmas everyone.

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The nights are drawing in

Well, we’re reaching the end of the year for sure. I only have one more show this year, and then it’s into xmas territory (ugh…). It’s been an interesting one… I’m sure I’ll do a more comprehensive year round-up later tho, so I’ll save that one. News – Rocksound came out, which was cool, I played an ace show in Cheltenham (where I met a bouncer who was friends with B B King!)… and other stuff.

The last show I have is going to be at Nambucca, a pub run by friends of mine at the top end of Holloway Road in North London. It’s this Saturday and I’m looking forward to it because it’s going to have a real nice family atmosphere, haha.. No seriously, it should be a good one to finish the year on.

Last but not least, my good friend Greg has a website for his photography habit, and he’s rather good at it. Check it.

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“Sheila goes out with her mate Stella…”

I’ve had a comparatively long time back in Winchester of late, though it’s not like I’ve been idle. I’ve been having interesting meetings about my future, planning next year some more (Latvia ahoy! Also: Scotland), booking a Welsh show to placate the guy who KEPT posting about it on here, and even opening my chocolate advent calendar. Check me. There was also a cool show in Norwich, which gave me a chance to catch up with old friends.

I’ve been writing, as ever, and I’ve started veering more into ‘political’ territory; that is, ‘political’ in the same sense that any MD lyrics were ‘political’ (see 100,000 interviews for my thoughts on that). Basically, while I still have no intention of telling anyone else how to live their lives, I’ve still got some shit to say, observations to make etc. In the aftermath of MD it was nice to get away from that approach for a little while and tackle some other topics (more personal stuff), but fuck it, I’ll write about what I want! Ha! So what this all really boils down to is that I finished a new tune entitled “Thatcher Fucked The Kids” the other day. It’s a face-rocker. And I must admit it’s fun to be back on that ground every now and again.

(Incidentally, I broke my own personal speed-songwriting record with that one – scratch to finished item in 24 hours or so, and I even recorded the thing in a grand total of 2 1/2 takes! Safety)

Finally, just a quick mention of some stuff that’s been cheering me up of late – check out, a great little webzine that my mate Ed runs. I have a t-shirt and everything. Also, check out Jamie T for the future of music, yes yes.

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Bad news and Good news

I’ve had a few last minute cancellations of late, and I haven’t been able to get online sooner to post something about it. Sad to say I found out the Portsmouth show had been pulled the evening before the gig, when I was in Stoke. I ended up playing a Leonard Cohen tribute night in London instead, which was fun, but it was still gutting to have to pull the Pompey show without being able to let people know. Also, the William Morris show got pulled (it’s all to do with these new licensing laws apparently) so you can keep avoiding South London like you would on any normal day…

A few more details about one upcoming show that I’m very excited about. I’m playing at the Elbow Room in Islington on December 11th. It’s Free show, and it also features some of my favourite London folk and country acts. The Tailors are one of my favourite bands and are pretty much the reason I started playing this kind of music when MD stopped. Kid Harpoon is an ace singer / songwriter chap, and then there’s Beans On Toast, a.k.a. my mate Jay, who fucking rules as well. So you’ve basically got no excuse for not coming along.

Otherwise I’m just planning out the beginning of next year and writing more songs. The last couple of months have been a blast, I’ve ended up in some pretty weird and wonderful places, made a lot of new friends and played a lot of shows (and a few too many cheesy covers too). The new material I have coming along I’m very confident about, so I can’t wait to get into a studio and lay them down. I’m looking at touring some more here and in Europe as well in the new year. Should be fun.

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