Friday, September 9, 2011

You Know I'm No Good (Amy Winehouse cover)

I was sat in the living room at home when my boyfriend ran in from the bedroom to tell me the awful news that Amy Winehouse had died.  I didn't say a single word at first, hoping it would be a hoax and so we both went to the Mac to search for news on Google.  As the whole world knows now, it was true.  Over the last few months, I've downloaded many concert performances and it's been truly wonderful to listen how she changes and adapts the songs, bringing new life and feeling into them.

She was my favourite vocalist of all time. The feelings from her heart and her soul, she enveloped so effortlessly in that voice and sent it out into the world.  How she sings those words, the timbre and tones of her voice, she was a true vocalist. The Billie Holiday, the Sarah Vaughn of our generation.  And now she is lost.  Her music will live on forever though. I know that her music will always be with me as it will for millions of people all over the world.

Sadly, there's a lot of hate out there though.  A lot of people either bored, misguided or simply rude and inappropriate.  I don't believe in spreading hate.  When I look on YouTube or the Last.FM comments boards and I see the amount of hate some people have for her, I have to think about why they feel the need to tell people about their hate, especially in a place where fans will be visiting and paying their respects.  I wonder what they are trying to achieve - whether it is simply an outlet for their own anger or whether they just enjoy the attention and reaction their callous comments will receive.  Then I wonder if it is really Amy that they're angry at?  Or are they angry at themselves for their own addicitions or maybe their parent's?

For someone so open, so honest, so down to earth, who laid their life out word by word for the world to see, how can people be so heartless?  I guess it comes down to ignorance and simply not caring what they say or to who they say it, or who they might be hurting.  Perhaps they are the only person that matters in their life. I know that is the way of the world, if you tell your truth, you are then open to both praise or criticism.  I'm pretty open myself, so you make the choice and you deal with it.  Even if you have to make excuses for, and rise above the ignorance of other people.

So I wanted to pay my own musical respects and cover an Amy Winehouse song and I decided to choose one of her singles from the Back To Black album, "You Know I'm No Good".

Thank you Amy.  You rocked my world.


On Tuesday this week, it was exactly 3 years since I moved to Ireland. I arrived with my suitcase late on a Saturday evening, slightly hungover from my leaving party night out in Manchester.  It was also on Tuesday this week that I accepted an offer to start a new job in London.  I've been looking for a while now and I've had quite a few interviews on the way, but out of all of them, this is the one I would have picked if I'd been given the choice - so it's worked out well :)

Living in London has been my dream ever since I was 17 and I used to go down over the weekend to visit my sister in South Ealing.  The mix of people from all over the world, the energy, the excitement, the fast paced life, the smell of the underground, the massive range of restaurants, the style and the city life.  I'm sure it will be quite different living there, to actually visiting there.  But it's nice to have one of my dreams come true.  I've been lucky with the timing too - 2 of my best friends recently moved there along with having some existing friends there already so I'm not going to be all on my ownsome lonesome.  In addition to this though, the other half of the musical duo I am in, also lives in London.  Due to our distance, we've only written a couple of songs together so far but I think we're both really excited to start working together again.  Our collective name is "Bilamie" and the name comes from 2 of our favourite artists: Billie Holiday and Amy Winehouse - our music so far has been in a similar vein too - jazz/blues/funky soul.  I have to admit, I'm terribly excited.  I really miss being in a band and the buzz of playing live.  I really feel alive when I'm singing.

So it's a big time of change in the next month.

But in addition to all this, I am going to be back in my home land, for Christmas :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Glastonbury 2011 - The artists I saw

I got back from Glastonbury at 2am this morning - I seem to have acquired some kind of illness in addition to the 6 days  However, aside from that, I saw loads of fantastic gigs whilst there, including one of my favourite gigs of all time - a surprise appearance from PULP on The Park stage on Saturday.  I'd never seen them before so it was like a dream come true to find out that they were playing - there was a lovely review of Pulp in the Guardian too.

Here's a quick list of the other artists I also saw:

Mista Verde - never seen this guy before but was very impressed! Great lyrics, music and engaging stage presence! I need to find somewhere to buy his music now...

My Tiger, My Timing
These guys kicked off the Sunday morning on the John Peel stage.  I was kinda sad cos they didn't play the only song I knew by them (I Am The Sound) but aside from this, the songs were upbeat, a few synths and the lead singer had a charming quality.

Dylan Le Blanc
Started the festival off with this on the Friday morning.  He was a little shy on stage but the songs came across well.

K T Tunstall
I thought she was ace!  She had a little anecdote or story behind most of the songs and dedicated them to different groups of people based upon things like whether they'd recently broken up with someone or if it was their first Glastonbury.  I'm not familiar with most of her back catalogue but the songs had me hooked!

Asian Dub Foundation
Headlining G-Stage (used to be The Glade) on Saturday night - great energy as always!

Erol Alkan
My second favourite artist of the festival - a true master of the decks and it was so nice to hear several other people in the audience commenting similarly too!

Annie Mac
Only saw the start of this after Erol but it was really hard to drag myself away!

Esbah and The Witch
I enjoyed the general vibe and the drumming/percussion during this.

I hadn't heard of these before but they've got some pretty good tunes up their sleeves!

One of the few bands I actively dislike although I have to say they played a number of more upbeat songs I was not familiar with I enjoyed listening to.

Her voice and some melodies really reminds me of Carol Carpenter.  Lovely slow and chilled out for a summer's day.

Tame Impala
Only saw these guys briefly...

Heard some good comments about these and it was deffo a good gig! They kicked off the Pyramid stage on Saturday morning.  The lead singer bridged the gaps between the songs with random pieces of trivia, keeping us amused.  Their lovely English folk influenced indie was a soothing way to start the day.

Absolute class.  What a performer!  In addition to playing her hits, and her latest single (Run The World) and a medley of Destiny's Child hits, she even played an Alanis Morissette cover.  She owned the stage and the night and the crowd.

Enjoyed this :)

Plan B
I've liked Plan B for a few years now but in all honesty, I thought the selection of songs was poorly chosen and he didn't play anything I was looking forward to hearing him perform :-(

Laura Marling
I was disappointed here too - mainly because "Alas, I Cannot Swim" is one of my favourite albums of all time and we only got 2, maybe 3 songs from it - not including Tap At My Window or Night Terror.  I was also hoping she would play New Romantic.  The majority of the set was from the latest album, which is fair enough, it was just a shame for me.  Aside from that though, her voice was gorgeous as always, every song she played was faultless in performance and she has a lovely warming stage presence.

Paul Simon
Unfortunately, during Paul Simon I was on a mission looking for an umbrella to shield my burning skin, alcohol (to stop the pain, obviously!!) and a toilet - once all missions had been accomplished successfully, the set was over.  I heard a good selection of hits though!

Don McLean
It was wonderful to hear American Pie - I will remember that moment forever!  He also played Vincent (Starry Starry Night) - which I have also covered myself, but it in all honesty, the rest of the set just wasn't very engaging, including Vincent.  I felt like he either wasn't in touch with the music, or himself, or the crowd.

The Low Anthem
I only saw the last few songs from this set - none of which I was familiar with and they didn't really grab me on the day. 

Mumford & Sons
Once again, I'm not familiar with any Mumford & Sons songs, but I enjoyed listening to them.

The Vaccines
I was kicking myself during this because the only reason I wanted to see them was to hear Post Break-Up Sex being played - I was listening to that song on repeat before Glasto and then totally let it pass by whilst I was at the bar :-(  The rest of the set sounded great though!

The Naked and Famous
Caught the tail end of this set - will definitely be getting the album though after what I heard!

Man Like Me
Excellent stage presence - fun, dedicated to giving a great performance and decent tunes too!  I was waiting for London Town, which they did an excellent job of!

Cherri V
I'd never heard of Cherri V before but I'll certainly be keeping a look out for the name in future!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Blast from the Past - Mothership's Dressed To Undress video

There's been a bit of talk about Mothership recently (the band I was lead singer of 2004 - 2006) so I've been listening to the old tracks we did and even had a look at the video we recorded too.

I remember the day we recorded it... I had been out the night before and was absolutely wrecked, I was out in the car with my boyfriend Douglas at the time and our mate Chris and I got phone call from the band reminding me about the video shoot.  I quickly got myself back home and changed, make up on, pineapple alerted (I used to tie my dreads above my head and it was known as 'The Pineapple' haha) and got myself on the next train to Sheffield.  I've always been a little camera shy when there's video cameras around so I had no choice but to forget my hangover from hell and get some drinks down me again.  I soon got into it though and we ended up having such an ace time shooting the video - you can see in some of the scenes that there was rather a lot of frivolity at times ;-)

I've pasted a link to the video below :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blowin' In The Wind

I was never a major Dylan fan up until he released his album Together Through Life back in 2009 - it was one of my favourite albums of the year and then after that I got a hits compilation (which included 'Blowin' In The Wind', and then a few of the earlier albums too.  He's always a favourite to cover with male acoustic singers but I like to think I've changed this just a little bit to make it my own.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Suede Tomorrow Night!

We'll be heading down to Suede again tomorrow night for the Open Mic sessions!

I'll be playing 4 or 5 songs sometime after 9pm - will probably include a couple of new covers... maybe Madonna's "Frozen" and ABBA's "Chiquitita" on guitar :-p

Will try *not* to sing Chicken Tikka though.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Open Mic Tonight @ Suede, Athlone

There's a new bar opened up in Athlone called Suede and I went there with Beko a couple of weeks ago and we randomly stumbled upon an Open Mic session!

So I'm going back to play a few tunes tonight! Will be there from 8:30 onwards...

Jolene (Dolly Parton)
My Baby (new song of my own)
Blowin' In The Wind (Bob Dylan)
Dressed To Undress (an old song I used to play with Mothership)
Where Do You Go To My Lovely (Peter Sarstedt)

See you there! ;-)

Monday, March 21, 2011

2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten

Lucinda Williams released a new album a couple of weeks so I've been listening to her again recently.  I decided to cover one of my favourite tracks by her - 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten, from her album 'Car Wheels on Gravel Road'

Friday, March 4, 2011


I was determined to get a video recorded in January - which I did...although only got it posted here now :)  I had a little Suzanne Vega weekend ;-)