Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 What was all that about?

I’ve probably forgotten a lot of stuff in this post. I think it’s useful to list what you’ve done to keep you positive. 

2013 was a lot of fun with some heavy moments. 

Musically it was a good year. Recording Fierce And The Dead’s Spook Action was a highlight, playing music with some top friends and I think it’s a really good record. Actually I'm really proud of it. Playing with Andy Tillison at Celebr8 and supporting RM Hubbert (Hubby’s new record is really good) at that sold out gig at the Slaughtered lamb really stands out, but so do London shows with Fierce And The Dead and Malcfest was a lot of fun. Recording Lucid with Stuart Marshall, Emmett Elvin, Pat Mastelotto, Charlie Cawood, Lorenzo Feliciati, Chrissie Caulfield and Jem Godfrey. The very thought that I’d record with the drummer from king Crimson and all these fantastic musicians is just mind blowing. I’m really proud of it and Kev did a cracking job on the production. 

Recording with Cosmograf and Third Room. Playing with Emmett Elvin for a new project, he’s an inspiring musician. Seeing Rush! Inspiring live shows from Trojan Horse and Knifeworld.Iron Maiden doing “Maiden England". Spooky Action appearing in those best of the year lists makes me want to carry on! Danfest! Cambridge Rock Festival….

Jamming with Chris Fry on Mahavishnu songs supporting the mighty Magenta. London Looping Festival! Shineback and hanging out with Simon Godfrey, top geezer. Supporting Mike Kenneally and Godsticks and Mike telling his Zappa stories. Ards guitar festival and flying for the first time with a guitar (slacken the strings!) and meeting Paul. Talking to Dave Gregory about Mahavishnu. Sanguine Hum, Solstice, Godsticks, Tin Spirits, Matt Cohen, Lorenzo Feliciati and Colin Edwin and so many others at gigs. Meeting up with old friends, somehow it’s more special when it happens less frequently. 

Going to the Prog Awards (it was literally like walking into the pages of the magazine), an amazing experience regardless of whether Fierce And The Dead won or not, meeting up with Big Big Train, Oliver Wakeman,Alan Reed, Tim Bowness and so many other friends ! Making the Ark video with Ash. Steve Davis and Kavus Torabi’s radio show. Playing with Alun Vaughan and meeting Paul Dementio! The London Acoustic Guitar show. Acoustic Magazine giving me my own column where I can pretty much do what I want and write about anything from Cardiacs to Charles Ives. Meeting Sid Smith in person! Auden guitars making me an endorsee and letting me play their incredible gutars. Tom Baker back in Doctor Who! 

Signing to and working with the wonderful Esoteric (for solo) and Bad Elephant (for FATD) record labels. That Australian Guitar Magazine cover story and all the positive press, Prog magazine and Rock A Rolla interviews, and that quote from Time Out New York was pretty cool. Hanging out with lovely people at gigs and making new friends. Winning the House Of Progression “Best Musician” award with my friend Andy Tillison. 

I think that I went through a bit of a bad patch at the top of the year and it forced me to get some help and learn about positive thinking and focus. It’s not something I want to dwell on but it happened. I lost my Gran and my friend Keith. Bad start to the year and I still can’t believe they are gone. And I must admit that when the gig I had supporting Allan Holdsworth was cancelled I was a bit down and those prig festivals being cancelled was a bit shit. 

My wonderful little boy made me as happy and proud as a dad could be. I love my wife and my family more than i can say and I have great friends. 

I know I’m lucky..

Brilliant. Lets start this 2014 thing then :)

Friday, 20 December 2013

"band can't be arse to tour intensively"

"band can't be arse to tour intensively" 

Someone said to me the other day. 

If only you knew how expensive it is to do gigs and how "niche bands" who have a few thousand fans can't effectively get to them as they are spread out across the world. I could argue with him, but I won't. We do what we can. Most often even well know musicians have a day job of some kind that they have to give up to do a lengthy tour, so it tends to be a few gigs here a few there, then take into account families and other commitments and it gets a lot harder. When musicians hit their 30's like us there is a lot to sort out to even get to one gig, let alone tour outside the UK. We're very grateful for the support of our audience. 

I'd love to take Fierce And The Dead to do more gigs around the world but it's expensive, that's why the solo shows are good as it's easier for me to travel. It's the whole ""smallmobileintelligent unit" thing Fripp came up with. 

In short yes we'd like to come to your town and play, we love meeting the people who buy our records but we need to be able to do it without losing loads of money :) 

Thanks :) 


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