Friends in France, I’ll be returning in June for another series of concerts. Join me!
Hold up they don’t love you like I love you, slow down da da da ba da ba daba. Right hungry. Would it be wrong to have waffles for breakfast? Wait where is my phone? Maybe I should call it. Ah I hear it now next to the sofa. Ooh missed call someone’s popular. Yes that was me just now. How did I not see that coming. OK time to write about Watch Yourself. Make it funny. No wait that detracts from the music. Make it profound, but not too serious. Being serious brings people down. Hold up they don’t waffle like I waffle, slow down they don’t mm mm mmmm mm. Wait I’m gonna get my guitar.
I’m delighted to share my new song Watch Yourself. Writing it was a crazy challenge but it changed my life forever.
Thank you to all the great people who were involved in … Read the rest
Ladies and Gents…. My new album The Manual is available to download between now and midnight on Thursday 8th October here: http://po.st/pledge. If you miss the deadline, you’ll have to wait until the official release next year ….
What an adventure. I hope you like it. Stick your comments below.
x… Read the rest
Two days in… my original Many Fish To Fry target guitar has sold and a huge list of you have already ordered the new album from po.st/pledge. THANK YOU.
If you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’d like to say a few words about this fine companion – a Tanglewood TW-12 – as it heads for a new home.
In September 2007 I was sitting on my bed writing a new song called ‘I’ll Be On My Way’. In hindsight, it involved singing nothing of importance and then passive-aggressively muttering the title. The guitar part involved tapping – that’s the technique where you produce a note just by pressing the string against the fretboard without using another hand to pluck it. It was by all accounts a tricky guitar part. I couldn’t see the frets very well so I tried turning the guitar over flat on my lap. It … Read the rest
My Valentine’s Day this year was a double date with BBC Radio Bristol and my gorgeous new guitar. People get so hyped up that day. Giving flowers and chocolates is evocative of love, but it’s mostly about desire, which is a different thing. There are so many things about Valentine’s Day that look like love until you get a little closer and realise they just aren’t.
It’s the same with song lyrics. Think about how often we use “need” and “love” interchangeably, when they’re just not the same. The Decemberists, who I saw in Bristol this week, have a big chorus that goes, “I wanted you, I needed you, to make me better,” and it feels like an anthem for dependency, not love. Colin Meloy is no linguistic slouch, so that’s probably exactly what he meant. Saying “I need you” when you feel too weak to cope alone can be cathartic. At … Read the rest
One of the biggest privileges of being a musician is getting to meet lots of people.
Not everyone loves it. When asked “There’s someone here who would like you to sign their CD” I’ve heard artists say “oh just tell them to fuck off”.
That might sound like unforgivable disrespect of your audience, but some artists thrive on being untouchable. They know the illusion is more powerful to their audience. Deprived of reality, the illusion never shatters. Would you rather Dave Jones disappoint you with what Heroes is really about or retain the magic and mystery of David Bowie? Not that that’s what was happening with the artist I’m thinking of. They were just being an arse.
If you’ve met me you’ll know I’m usually quite relaxed talking to people. But for some reason everything changes if I’m looking at a camera and not a person. I get self-conscious, manic, want to do anything but calmly look down a lens. Sometimes … Read the rest
A little while back a website asked me to write a blog – ’20 Ways To Become A Successful Indie Artist”. Of course there had to be a definitive number between 7 and 42, or else it would break #1 of The 35 Sacred Laws Of The Internet.
My first response was to write a long blog about the definition of success, my second was to delete it all and decide I had no bloody idea and shouldn’t comment.
But anyway I’m reneging on all that now – I do have a bit of an idea and should definitely comment.
The basic gist is you don’t have to measure success only by how many Facebook likes you have – choose your own definition. That could be platinum albums and the o2, but it could be producing an EP of songs that you really believe in or overcoming stage fright. What … Read the rest
When it’s time to make a big decision about something important, for example what takeaway to order, my friend Alex has an excellent solution – The Make-A-Face Game. It’s very simple – someone gives you each option one by one and you let your face react naturally to each in turn. When it’s apparent you’ve grinned much wider for curry than pizza, you’re ready to order.
I was trying this for a question that’s been on my mind:
“What page should open if you click on a link to pre-order this album?”
It went something like this:
Make a face for Amazon
On a boat in late 2012 my friend Amy fell in love with a man from Barbados. After two years of mostly-justifiable but tedious bureaucracy, two weddings and a very large file of photos, love letters and statements, he was finally granted a UK visa, landing last week to the flowing of many many rums. The motto on their personalised commemorative celebrational chocolates was Love and Admin Conquers All.
No word of a lie, I ain’t too bad at the love bit, kind of a big deal in fact. What I am less good at, no word of a lie, is admin. Kind of a small deal with that.
But no more – for tomorrow is a big planning day with my elite brain trust council. We are going to plan the year to within an hour of its life. We are going to speak in short, efficient sentences. … Read the rest