Sunday, January 29, 2012

February Album Writing Month

I saw this last year but didn't get involved... I saw it this year too but didn't rise to the challenge...until Geez (I used to be in a band with him in Mothership where he played Lead guitar) posted on my Facebook wall that I should do it... So I thought it was the perfect time to do it!

I'm finding more enjoyment covering other people's songs at the moment, learning new chord structures and patterns etc and consequently I haven't been writing much original stuff, so this is the perfect excuse to get me writing again! I remember when I was about 19/20 years old, I'd be writing  several songs a week, and it's been a while now since I finished off a new song! Right now is a good time to write though... There's a lot of change in my life, leaving Ireland and then London, PwC, going back to live at my parents and also being about to turn 30 is probably going to hit me soon! lol

So any songwriters reading this, come and join me in February Album Writing Month!

As far as I know, you simply upload the songs to your profile as and when you record them... I was reading Geez's page and he seems to have a plan for what he wants to do - mainly stripped back music, vocal and guitar... I have no idea for mine in terms of that... but I guess its ok not to have a plan... well I'd like to experiment a bit if anything...

Here are 3 FAWM pages of mates who are also doing it:

Farewell Camden

I have to say goodbye to Camden tomorrow as I move the last things out of Murray Street and into storage and then I'm off up to my parent's for a week before going to Istanbul for 2 weeks!

I did well in the audition, I got through to the second stage, but they wanted money off me to put towards the recording costs and management for 18 months and since I'm jobless at the moment, I've decided not to go any further with it... Great boost though to know I did well though.

I did start recording an old song in more jazz kind of style, its a really old one called Kate Bush (used to be called In Need at one point too!) - its very chilled and laid back thus far!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Audition & Mini Sheffield Visit

So it's been a rather busy week... in between half moving out of my current house, leaving my job at PwC and rehearsing for an audition ready for today... I've never had an audition before (apart from when I was a teenager playing violin in orchestras) and I was pretty nervous but it was an exhilarating experience and I got some positive feedback at the time which is a big boost to come from a professional :)  I'll find out next week whether yay or nay...

Spent the rest of the day basking in the glory of le Megabus up to Sheffield and then drinking red wine at my parent's and starting to learn an Ella Fitzgerald song (It's Only a Paper Moon).  Also I was having a chat with a new fan on my Facebook page the other day (Matthew Hyde) and he asked me to cover a Tegan and Sara song called 'Walking With a Ghost', so that's my plan for tomorrow!

One question that took me by surprise at the audition (although it really shouldn't have done!) is what direction I see my music as taking... I guess that has always been a good question with me cos I just love too many styles of music but most predominantly I really love singing jazz and I like the electronic style songs I've written on my iMac such as "Spirit Like You" and "Theories From Von Krahl" with the latter being a bit more experimental.

Perhaps I need to write a new song (or rework an old one as I love doing atm) and see how I can use my jazz vocals with an electronic arrangement & acoustic guitar... could be NICEPIES!

Challenge Accepted! :-p

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Last Night

Thanks to Claudia for taking the video last night and to Patri for making me laugh!

These were the songs I played:
  • Kate Bush
  • Summertime (cover of Billie Holiday)
  • Killing Me (used to play this in Mothership)

Aaaand here's the video of Summertime... :)  Click on the YouTube logo at the bottom right of the video to open it in YouTube and make it bigger...

Screenshot from Vid!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Playing at Open Mic @ Earl Of Camden tonight

Going to the Earl of Camden again tonight for the open mic session! Come along if you're free!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

With Pure Heart

This is the song I played at the Earl Of Camden on Monday, I think it went down better than the covers I did so I might record this over the weekend! I'm still chasing up my video of Monday too...I haven't seen it myself yet...

So...With Pure Heart... The lyrics are quite negative but its good to embrace the mood you are feeling sometimes and let yourself feel certain things, then you can move on and leave it behind...

With Pure Heart

Words are only words
Words are only sounds
Words can feel so powerful
And mean nothing at all

It's foolish to hang on so close
To anything that's out of your control
It's foolish to believe that
Another soul will save your soul

I've had lovers that leave me
I've left other lovers bleeding
Learned too much to love completely
Have I ever loved at all?

It's not the final destination
It's the journey that I'm travelling
It's the steps I'm taking one by one by one

And each step may bring me closer
To some vision of perfection
But it's temporary, everything will change

Then you'll be back finding your own way
Just your own soul in your own skin
Stronger than ever standing on your own

Then you'll be back finding your own road
One direction paved for your soul
You know you can't rely on anything at all

You can't rely on anyone at all , but yourself

Thursday, January 12, 2012

PA Hunting

If it wasn't for the fact that I get to feel a *little* bit like Monica from "Friends", I think packing would be a task of terrible woe! Especially *this particular* packing! When I left Ireland, it was exciting because I knew I was coming to London but this packing is just something that has to be done so I'm having to find other amusement within it.

Once I've got all the packing out of the way, I need to go window shopping for a PA system - if anyone knows anything about PA's, drop me a line!  I want to be be able to play my own gigs with a decent sound. I remember Lucy and I played a gig (when we were just starting Beyond Obsession) in a pub that didn't usually have bands on back in Sheffield in about 2002 and we got paid something for it but we were putting both the guitars and vocals through an amplifier so the sound quality was pretty dire... So I want to get playing some of my own gigs soon - with excellent sound! And hopefully excellent music :-p

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I bought the domain a while ago but couldn't work out how to link it to this blog but I managed to do it today! Woot!

So now you can just type in this address (  )  and it will automatically redirect you to this blog!

Plus I had some spare time to make the blog look prettier yesterday so it's had a lil face lift too... :-D

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Last Night @ le Earl

It was only the second time I've played since I moved to London... the first night was with my mate Beth Swain at Camden Eye just before Christmas and I played You're So Vain (Carly Simon), You Know I'm No Good (Amy Winehouse) and an unusual choice of my own song which was called "Broken".

I did go to the Earl Of Camden open mic night in my first month here but I got there quite late and didn't get to play...apart from playing to another local artist outside the venue later on after he'd been rapping for me in the  So I thoroughly enjoyed last night... it feels GOOD to be playing live again.

I decided to go with some older classics last night:
Waitin' Around To Die (Townes Van Zandt)
Without Pure Heart (my own song)
Where Do You Go To My Lovely (Peter Stadt)

There might be a video on its way for With Pure Heart that a friend recorded for me... will update this when it comes through...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Open Mic @ Earl of Camden

Heading down to the Earl Of Camden tonight for this :)

Scrawlings of Monday Morning...

Hmmm Monday morning... my last full week of work at PwC... I had a good weekend though, a musical weekend is always a good weekend.

I have stacks of unused lyrics - probably 2 or 3 carrier bags stuffed to the brim with sheets of paper with scribblings on, anything from a few lines to whole sets of verses... Many of them of are quite dark and are a result of break ups or just general bad times.  Although I think it's important as an artist to embrace and explore these times, it can also be a strain on your state of mind if you get too involved with them... I think I have distanced myself from a lot of those times now and like to think I have learnt something from having  passed through each experience... However it means that I don't often feel like using the lyrics from back then to write music to now... although every now and then I will dig something useful up :)

Last year, not longer after he died, I received a gift of Gil Scott-Heron poems.  On Saturday night, I had the house to myself and started reciting his poems as melodies with accompanying chords - I know for definite that some of them are already part of a song so I chose the ones I didn't know the songs to. I remember Gil talking during a song on his final studio album in 2010 about how lyrics should fit with the feel of the chords so it almost felt like I was treading on delicate ground if I want to remain respectful of Gil and his work. There was one in particular I liked, so I'll continue to work on that this week and will post it if I like the results :)

On a slightly separate note, I was thinking how I could continue to update my YouTube Channel if I don't have access to a computer, my Mac will probably go into storage soon until I find new job and somewhere new to live but I realised my iPhone is excellent at recording video and might even sound better than my Mac (I have a problem with my Mac atm where it will only record in one!!!).  So anyway I can still record videos on my iPhone, wherever I am, which is excellent news as I want to go full speed ahead with my musical resolutions... :)  I'm working on a fairly recent Tori song at the moment, a 60's pop tune and a cover of a song by The Beautiful South...even amongst the imminent threat of being homeless and jobless, I'm sure I will have a new video to post on YouTube soon!

What else matters; other than music and love?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

You're So Vain (Carly Simon cover)

Amongst the craziness of London life so far, I've managed to record a new cover:

Carly Simon's "You're So Vain"

Arrived in London

So I'm in London now... I arrived on 10th October with 2 car loads full of stuff (not exactly the guitar & suitcase scenario!) and got myself settled into a room in a house at the bottom of Camden Square. I had a few days to settle in before starting work and so I got to explore Camden Town a little more than my brief visits as a tourist before.

It's been a rough a few months though as the job was much more demanding than I expected. At the worst, I was leaving the house at 7am and not getting home until 9pm and feeling exhausted most the time. I didn't even have time to pick up my guitar, let alone actually learn new covers or write new songs.  I also wasn't enjoying the job at all and in the end, I decided to quit... It's thrown things into turmoil a little now as I need to find another job in order to stay in London although I've already decided I should leave my room to either live in a hostel for a bit or stay at friends' places.

Soooo, once I am back on track, the plans for this year include starting gigging again now that I'm in London and I want to cover a lot more songs and putting my own twist on them (and record for my YouTube channel) and I'd like to start working with other musicians again...

So Happy New Year to all!  Let's see what this year will bring! :-D