Massive Update

It’s been, oh, nearly a year. Great.

In my defence I’ve been super busy and this whole music thing suddenly got waaaay more exciting once I started getting my ass up on a stage and performing all those sounds I’ve been keeping tucked away in a studio.

So, where were we? June? Riiight.

Ok. Somewhere in February 2018, I co-wrote a song for FAWM 2018 with a friend. Long story short, that ended up as a track on his band’s new album, and at the first gig showcasing the new St Lucifer lineup, I got up on stage with them to do guest vocals for it. It was bloody ace.

So there was that.

Moving on.

Having never performed a show solo in my life, it might have been sensible to play a few tiny gigs to five or six people first. Find my footing. Get used to it a bit?


Early December saw me opening Foundations Festival 2018 in Manchester. I was fucking terrified. But it went brilliantly. The room was full, the crowd mostly stuck around, and I enjoyed myself immensely. I came off stage to a tonne of amazing feedback and – bonus – had the rest of the festival to,  ah, drown those nerves.

Next up, a little over a month later, saw the Valentine Records Returns ‘new blood’ gig at The Eagle Inn, Salford, and being amongst that new blood, I again opened the evening – followed by Pandaemonium and Val\Kyrie, with a Dirty Mice DJ set between and afterwards.

Nerves settling. We’re landing this thing. Conditions stable, runway clear.

Somewhere in the middle of all that, I released an album. It’s here, and here, depending on your streaming site of choice. This had actually been ready to go for a year, but with various life changes, craziness, breakups, breakdowns, moving, travelling and all sorts, it got postponed for a while.

Then, a month later, I released the first single from the next album (due date as yet unclear, but it’s written, some of it’s mixed, and it just needs a little attention and a lot of swearing). In the meantime, here’s that single.

Most recently, it was playing Beat Cancer Reading that I think really-truly-irrevocably gave me the performance bug. Everything felt right. I knew my setup better, my tunes better, I knew what to expect and what was expected. My raised confidence level onstage, I think, was clear too. Although the smoke machine helped. “Hi guyys, I can’t see any of you!” Thanks for being a noisy crowd, helps to at least hear someone’s there. Lot to be said for smoke machines and moody goffick types though, people got some really ace pictures. There’s a great review of the evening here if you fancy a read.

Anyway. In terms of live dates, there’s two rock solid and in the diary – one in Leeds, one in Manchester (well, Salford). Leeds is happening on Wednesday April 10th at Bad Apples, from 7pm onwards, and includes Smothercare, Machine Wraith and St Lucifer. November’s show is support for Vieon, alongside 243 Ida, and will be at The Eagle Inn (although get yourself sorted for that one sharpish, it’s a 50 capacity venue, so tickets are limited.)

There’s a couple more still to announce too, but I’ll save that for another post, in the very near future.

Massive thanks to Simon, Dani, Jade, Andi and David for the photos, and to Mark and GedCamera for the video footage.


Progress Notes #1

It’s probably a “well, duh” moment, but it’s occurred to me that the reason I’ve learned music stuff relatively quickly, is precisely because I’m happy to throw out half finished stuff, ideas, and whatnot, without concern for quality control at this stage. Which means that if there’s something wrong somewhere, or something isn’t working, or a sound needs changing etc etc, there’s not a great deal to the track yet, and it gets picked up on before I’ve spent weeks on it. It means that I’ve had *something* uploaded from the very start, and been able to take on board criticism all along the way, as well as have some sort of demo to use as a jumping off point for collaborations. All of which has been invaluable.

Last year’s FAWM taught me the value of creating and moving on, and highlighted specific aspects of production and playing to focus my education on thereafter. In the year inbetween, I’ve taken on board the suggestions and criticism I’ve been given, and used that to build on the learning. BUT at the same time, I’ve realised how REALLY REALLY important it is to keep that criticism in mind as a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule. Because at some point, you’re going to start working the technical stuff out and if you have in your mind that “no, THAT way is wrong” it’s going to become huge issue. The creative stuff is pretty much your own anyway (and in terms of pure creative, I rarely take suggestions totally on board, because people just don’t enjoy the same things and I’m not about to change my entire mental process on the suggestion of someone who has a massively different preference to me. But, also, don’t disregard the creative suggestions entirely, cos that’s counterproductive too. Balance.)

This year’s FAWM has, again, been both productive and educational. I’ve had several “oh, riiiight!” moments whilst working out how to make THIS do THAT, and playing around with new bits of software, getting more deeply involved with my hardware, and experimenting with sound manipulation.

The rush to get something out there is insanely creatively freeing, and the short timescale is the relief from the limits involved. I couldn’t maintain it for, say, a year. At track 10, with 4 more to get done, I’m already twitching to go back to the first handful and apply some of what I’ve learned over the month. I’m completely ready to get my editing hat on. But, I’ll continue, because in less than a week, I can do just that.

There’s still a world of information and education to take on board, but I’m reaching a stage where I feel like I’m starting to develop my own sounds and style, considering the idea of performance, and may be at a stage where I’m looking to release something within the next year, so I’m feeling pretty okay about that.