Sunday, August 31, 2014

Songs of the Week

Tracks I liked muchly from the last week or so...

1. Tops - Outside
A beautiful vocal, sensitive lyrics, a little 80's sounding and very relaxing.

2. DJ Vadim Ft. Katrina Blackstone & Serocee - Magnetic (Mr. Bird Remix)
I missed seeing DJ Vadim at Glastonbury this year but I'm making for it at the moment be playing tracks such as this one on repeat :)

3. Tricky - Sun Down feat. Tirzah
New track from Tricky.  Loving this! New album 'Adrian Thaws' to follow on Sept 8th.

4. Kero Kero Bonito - Sick Beat
Very 2014.  Reminds me a bit of Le Tigre. Rapping/singing in both English and Japanese over samples and beats and lyrics sharp and full of wit. Wit, I tell you!

5. Tieks - Sing That Song ft. Celeste
According to the Zoo Music website, Tieks has co-written for Florence + The Machine and Duke Dumont which I am both a big fan of.  Loving these tunes below too.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

One more from Vashti

I had no idea Vashti Bunyan had been recording a new (and final) album for the last 7 years! What a wonderful surprise!

She's had 2 studio albums, one in 1970 and another in 2005.  However what really caught my attention was a 2007 compilation release of her demos from the 1960's called 'Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind'.  Most of the songs really did sound like demos - delicate, fragile, from the heart entirely and her beautiful mesmerising voice.  Here's one of the tracks from that demo compilation:

And now she's back with another album... here's the article I read and also a link to one of the new songs :)

Link to article:

SongPop Joys of Jazz

This weekend I spent time in Sheffield to go to the wedding of an old friend and old bandmate too (now Lucy Cambell), and spent some time staying at my parent's house as well.  My other half Carlos joined me there too and we met up with friends on the Sunday for some hairy dogs (german beer...mojitos...creamy cocktails and erm a battered sausage) and didn't come back until Monday afternoon as it was a bank holiday here in the UK (although I had college in the evening!).  I've been completely thrown now and have no idea what day it is.

So tomorrow morning I will get back into my daily routine that I have at the moment of Exercise > Home made smoothie > Meditation > Self Affirmations > And then whatever Music related tasks I have set myself for the day. Today's plan was going to be around catching up on some Mastering work for college but I went to meet Beth (Mucky Cherub) to do a bit of planning as we need to finish mixing our album before the end of September *and* we have lots to organise before our next gig on 10th October. I won't go into that but its mainly to do with merchandise to give away/sell on the night.

So... I've had this blog for a while now... I can confidently say 'years' in fact.  I only really use it to talk about the music I'm creating whether with Bilamie, or solo projects & collaborations - ie. creative things!  And when it comes to music, I generally have a lot to say and I don't get to 'say' nearly as much as I'd like to.  I'm always trying to get into new or old bands and making lists of favourites songs/albums and its a shame that I don't really make notes of this anywhere, other than annoying the people around me lol. So I'm going to try a slightly new direction with this blog - and that is to write about music in general as well as my creative projects.

You know one of those annoying games on Facebook?  Well, I find all games annoying on Facebook apart from this one, but I have it as an App instead: SongPop.  I started playing it back in 2012 when I lived in Manchester and it got me into lots of new music; mainly jazz artists such as Bill Powell, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, John Coltrane. I'd been into vocal jazz since around 2003 when I lived with a friend called Lily in Sheffield and she used to play Billie Holiday to me whist we drank red wine. From that point, I grew to like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Anita O'Day and many others.

Yes - these are all female singers.  I've always preferred female vocals to male - in all genres.  It's not something where I can pinpoint 'why', its just a personal preference. I do make an effort to listen to male vocals too although for jazz, I've only really bonded with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Since getting into vocal jazz, I've been slowly moving further towards instrumental jazz such as the artists I mentioned earlier in the post; and tonight I've been trying to broaden my horizons further with Marian McPartland, George Shearing (who are both from the UK..woo!), some beautiful jazz piano by Erroll Garner, and also Vince Guaraldi.

It's been a very quiet year for me so far for getting into new artists as I've been concentrating more on creating than listening but I feel something ethereal with jazz music. It's like it presses a switch in my head and takes me to a calmer place.  Of course, if this place has a good red wine (Spanish/Italian/Argentinean) and some mini blocks of cheese to go with it then thats even better.  I do love to cook whilst listening to jazz music too though.  It's just very therapeutic.

Here's a few of the new jazz songs I've been listening to:

Samba De Orpheus by The Vince Guaraldi Trio

I was looking for a track to put by Erroll Garner and chose one of my all time favourite songs 'A Fine Romance' but I couldn't find it on YouTube, and then I stumbled across this; its another jazz standard 'I Get A Kick Out Of You' but watching him play and seeing smile and enjoy made me smile too:

And one more from Marian McPartland this time, playing another classic, 'There Will Never Be Another You'.

I have no idea how it is now nearly 2:30am.  Tomorrow I have to wake up early to go jogging. THAT should be interesting.

So yeah, I better go.


Monday, August 25, 2014

New Bilamie gig: Weds 22nd October

Booked the next Bilamie over the weekend.

Weds 22nd October
The Library, 235 Upper Street, London, N1 1RU.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Song: Purple Steeple

Here's a new song, it's called Purple Steeple.

It's about being able to feel the calm whilst in the bustling city; to just feel the heat and the energy from the sun and from the people around. Living in a big city can make you feel drained - but not if you turn that feeling on its head and let it feed you instead.

I don't assign myself or believe in any particular religion, so the term 'purple steeple' is like a metaphor for a tower of strength; looking after and believing in others, and in yourself.

YouTube Link:
To display the video bigger and in a new screen, click on the YouTube logo at the bottom right of the video :)



I feel the sun in my sleep
I feel the sun, I feel the heat

Mmmm slow motion
Bathing in the ocean
Of the people and the laughter
And the streets

Mmmm slow motion
Mmmm calm in the commotion
Drinks, rocks and
Harmonies and feet

While I recharge
Somethings goin' down in the city
I need this time
To cleanse my soul

While I recharge
People are spinning 'round in the city
We need this time
To feel worthwhile

When I wake up
I’m walking down to the city
Feel the waves
Washing over me

When I wake up
I’ll be venturing through the city
I wanna feel the life
It makes me feel alive inside

I’m gon' be alive, when i feel my
Mind free, get free, lost in the people
I’m gon' feel alive when i rake my
Seeds from the flowers of the purple steeple

Every time you say your truth
You grow a little inside

Gig Amendment for Bilbao, Spain

A quick note - for the gig that was originally scheduled for Saturday 25th October in Bilbao, Spain, we've now had to change it to:

Saturday 1st November

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Gigs for Sept/Oct 2014

A quick update on the gigs coming up in the next few months!

Friday 19th September @ Moroder Sound Club, Madrid
I'll be singing at Nelue's album launch including the 2 songs we collaborated on and 3 others from the album.

Friday 10th October @ The Gunners, Arsenal (London)
My electro duo Bilamie will be playing our second gig (unless we squeeeeeze quickie in before then)

Saturday 25th October @ Sala Sonora, Bilbao (Spain) (change of date)
Saturday 1st November @ Sala Sonora, Bilbao (Spain)
I'll be singing 5 songs from Nelue's album at his gig and also singing a solo set too.

Another Nelue gig to be confirmed for November soon.

Something's Goin' Down In The City

Ya know how annoying it is when people are happy and they feel the need to tell you how happy they are.

Or when people write words like 'YA' !

Well...I'm really enjoying this 'creative period' I've assigned myself at the moment... We are making progress mixing the Bilamie album, I'm mastering an album for an old band mate, might be collaborating with someone from college on an electro/techno song (writing/singing a vocal) and I've nearly finished a new Web Sheldon song too - which is going to be pretty different from anything I've recorded in the past (out....this.....week.... i hope!!)

I thought when I was unemployed I was going to have loads of free time but it's really not the case. Aside from all the music stuff (number one priority), I was going to continue learning Spanish but that plan has gone on the back burner having being sacrificed for other daily things like weight lifting, singing exercises and meditation. But they are all going well.  Except I'm finding meditation incredibly challenging!  Trying to clear your mind and concentrate on one thought for 15 minutes - almost impossible. lol

I'm trying to pay attention to this phrase at the moment; 'work smart, not hard'.  I am someone who will happily start several tasks at once and work on them simultaneously.  And I think that is ok, because you need variety in the work you are doing - but the point I have to stay fixed on now is the end goal - getting things finished... but I'm setting myself deadlines and it seems to be working well.

Although this week one of my deadlines looming is to design and order business cards both for Bilamie and Web Sheldon and I spent 2 hours this morning trying to work out how to utilise

Ohhh on Friday, I'm going into college to work with a mate who is mastering a couple of songs on proper hardware (instead twisting nobs on a computer screen, we'll have a real desk!) so that's pretty exciting.

And I guess I should sleep now as tomorrow there is another full day ahead! :D

So in conclusion:
1. New song very soon.
2. Meditation is REALLY DIFFICULT.
3. And we *best* have a thunderstorm soon. Just because I love them.

Buenas Noches :)