Earlier this year, I promised that the recording of my rock opera, Bewilderment, would be complete by the end of the year. Unfortunately, partly through my own perfectionism, but more so due to things beyond my control, I have made nowhere near as much progress as I had anticipated.
This time last year, I announced that I had completed the bass and drums and intended to review those and tweak as necessary, early in the year, before ploughing on with recording. The tweaks became wholesale changes in places and at the time of writing, I am currently reworking the bass and drums to track 16 of 25. The changes have been well worth it though, I would add!
The issue beyond my control has been that my wife has been in hospital for the past 6 months, leaving me as sole carer for our 3 children and making twice weekly hospital visits. This has of course severely limited the time I have had available for my music. This has also meant that I have been unable to get out and perform much at all, hence my very short list of gigs for the year. It’s unclear right now how long this situation will continue.
On the more positive side, I was delighted to manage a couple of performances just before Christmas. My new cover for the year was George Ezra’s Paradise, which I enjoy playing and it goes down very well. I’ve also brought back some real oldies from the 50s with some Eddie Cochran and Buddy Holly, which I haven’t done for a number of years.
So, looking ahead, I guess that things can only get better and I will keep chipping away at my rock opera, however long it takes! I hope you all have a very happy New Year!
I’m delighted to have been invited once again to be a guest on Acoustic Saturday, hosted by Daz In The Hat, on BCB Radio. This will be on Saturday 6th October between 2pm and 4pm. Also featuring will be Ben Jordan and Rum Doodle. I really enjoyed this show the last time I did it, about a year and a half ago. Please tune in if you’re local to Bradford, on 106.6 FM, or listen live online at bcbradio.co.uk
There is also a plan for the show to be streamable on facebook live. More details about that nearer the time.
I’ve put together a little video for my song, Where Do I Go From Here?, from my Mercurial SessionEP. Hope you like it. Please visit the video on YouTube and let me know what you think. Incidentally, Mercurial Session is still available to purchase as a download from CD Baby (very cheaply!), iTunes and Amazon.
December is almost upon us and I always enjoy this time of year particularly because I get to wheel out my Xmas numbers! They certainly don’t make Xmas records like they used to, which is why of the 8 Xmas covers that I do, there are 4 from the 70s and 4 from the 80s.
Highly unusually, I have only my first, what I’d call “standard” gig of the year coming up on 2nd December, at The Busfeild Arms, East Morton. It probably seems as though I’ve done very little over the past year, other than 3 summer festival gigs and a few open mic performances, but in actual fact I have been beavering away at my rock opera recording project and have made significant progress.
I have completed the bass and drum programming to 23 of the 25 tracks – this being by far the most time consuming part of the process. I will have completed this by the end of the year and in the New Year will commence recording the guitars and vocals. Those parts I know like the back of my hand and will quickly get them down. I guarantee that I will complete this record next year. Bewilderment will finally be out there after 10 years in the making! If that doesn’t get you excited for 2018 I don’t know what will!!
Unbelievably, despite being the middle of the year, I’m about to play my first gig of the year! Playing live has up to now not been the focus that it has over the past couple of years, for various reasons, not least that I’ve recently undergone surgery on my right shoulder. I’ve had a subacromial decompression procedure, which is keyhole surgery, during which I’ve had a bone spur removed. I had this done less than two weeks ago and was concerned at how it may affect my ability to perform at Congsfest, which I’d agreed to do prior to getting my surgery date. Fortunately, with most of my strumming work occurring at my elbow and wrist, it turns out I can play reasonably comfortably, so it’s game on! I may need to remember not to do any Pete Townshend “windmills” though!!
I’m very much looking forward to playing three upcoming events, with some new songs. Also, the time at home convalescing has prompted me to return to recording my long-shelved Bewilderment project. Let’s hope I can maintain the momentum with it to the end this time!