Although I didn’t know it at the time, the night I first met John Parker and Luke Concannon from Nizlopi in 2010 became quite a significant one where every act on the bill split up and started playing music with each other.
Since then I’ve been lucky enough to share a stage with John regularly as he brought his double bass to life on my songs. The end of Nizlopi was very hard for him, but over time he’s developed into an irreplaceable session musician for lots of great artists.
Moving on was hard for Luke too, but he’s managed to record an exceptional solo album, and now they’ve agreed to their first set of dates back together since the split:
Sunday 16th June – support from Paper Aeroplanes and Rob Bearsby
Monday 17th June – support from me and Antonio Lulic
Both nights will be at The Borderline, London and sold out in a few hours. If you got a ticket for the Monday, I look forward to seeing you there.
Things seem to have moved forward quite a bit recently. In the space of a week I met some engineers and producers and spent two days rehearsing new songs with the band. I’m starting to get a crazy feeling in my belly… maybe it’s time to get into the studio again??
There are 16 songs on my current list. Some feel like the best I’ve ever written, others less so. The current plan is to record the first batch soon, release some, then just keep going.
In the meantime I have a stack of gigs this month:
|4th May 2013||Miss Peapods||Cornwall||TIX|
|9th May 2013||The Angel||Suffolk||FREE|
|11th May 2013||Bucks Student Union, supporting Everything Everything||High Wycombe||INFO|
|13th May 2013||Gaslight Club, Oporto||Leeds||FREE|
|16th May 2013||Guitar Bar||Nottingham||£5/£3|
|20th May 2013||Moles||Bath||£3|
|23rd May 2013||Full Moon||Cardiff||£4|
|31st May 2013||South Devon Arts Centre||Totnes||£8|
I’m so sorry there are such big holes on this list… London, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton and many more, I’ll be releasing a stack of Autumn tour dates in the coming weeks. I really do want to play everywhere then, we will leave no town unturned.
Much love, will do tour blogs for this month’s dates too, see below for the first one.
“Yarrrgggh” the grizzly bear roared.
“Yargh yourself” I replied, darting behind him in one smooth motion and leaping high on his back, pointing towards the sunrise. “Let’s explore the wilderness”.
Well anyway I think I’m coming to the end of all that nonsense now, so here’s an idea.
How about we go to a really small venue, maybe 30 of us or something. I’ll play mainly new songs and together we’ll get a feel for which ones are good, and which ones are, quite frankly, amazing.
What I’ve got in mind is a ‘Work In Progress’ theme. Be prepared for me to stop a song half way through because I’ve been hit by the crushing realisation that it’s rubbish. I’ll talk a bit about the songs, and you should feel free to voice your opinions if you want to.
We could do it sort-of-regularly as the songs develop into an album. Maybe once every couple of months in London, and in other parts of the UK as well if possible. Because it’s not the finished article, I’ll make sure the tickets are as cheap as possible, basically just enough to cover the pyrotechnic display in the finale.
It’s not a focus group or anything – just a chance to play new material to people who will be honest and will forgive me if I make the odd foray into a genre or subject one should never foray into.
If you think that’s you then let me know, along with where you live and we’ll try and make it happen.
Or just stay tuned for when the ‘Work In Progress’ dates are announced.
In the meantime, I’ll be doing short sets in Nottingham, Bristol and Bury next week, with other dates planned for April and May. My gigs page has more info: http://www.jakemorley.com/gigs
Big grizzly love
Some spambot or international hacking movement deemed it necessary to hack my site. No demands were made, so I presume I just have to write better songs.
Sorry to anyone who wasn’t interested in The Darwin Awards or rare Christian books, it’s all fixed now. Who does this and why?
It’s permanently set up for live music, with drums, piano, guitars, amps, a double bass (yes John Parker) and a pool table. Speaking of pools, there’s actually a swimming pool under the stage which they don’t really use. The trapdoor is under the drum stool…
If there’s one thing they have here in Canada it is space. It’s not much more expensive to build a big house than a small house, so they figure why not make a room like this? After 20 hours of travelling to a foreign country, this is what you want to see when you arrive.
I’ve been working on a song forever now called Watch Yourself, it’s been the source of a lot of love and stress for me, perhaps too much. I even broke down into a sobbing mess about it last week, not much of a cryer so that came as a bit of a surprise. Anyway I made a bit of a breakthrough on the plane journey, writing some new words on a sick bag (hey even if the lyrics are rubbish it’s gotta be a better destiny than the sick bag was expecting). So feeling a bit better about that.
If there’s one thing they… ok one sec if there’s two things they have here in Canada it is space and extremely lovely people. I’m staying with a wonderful family, who are friends with many other wonderful people, all of whom seem to smile warmly, show genuine interest in other people’s lives, and have interesting jobs like “geo-technical engineer” and another long job title I heard which basically consists of walking in the woods with your dogs. I’m starting to see what all the fuss with Canada is about.
My gig at Coldsnap Festival tomorrow night has sold out now, and it’s a lovely room, so the scene is certainly set. Dala, Derek Joyce and I did a songwriter’s workshop today where we talked about songs and played songs in an independent bookstore (was just the right side of hippy). It was hosted by CBC Radio One which is the equivalent of BBC Radio 1, only they have fewer banging beats. Dala are lovely, have exquisite voices and songs that people love on first hearing. They’re very popular in Canada, and had the crowd eating out of their hand at their gig tonight. Compared to them I feel like my stuff isn’t as easy for people to like, which initially gets me down, but ultimately I’m cool with it. Everyone has to be themselves right? I don’t mind if my music is less accessible.
If there’s one thing… ok bored of that joke now. Another thing canada does is snow. This is proper snow, not sunday league amateur dramatics snow. Snow where you could accidentally walk into a wall of it and never find your way out again. Tomorrow I’m going snowshoing, which I’d never heard of until I got here. It’s basically walking, only with big shoes to stop you sinking in the snow. Something like #jakemorleysnowshoeing was apparently trending on twitter here, tho I think the person who told me that was exaggerating because like everyone here she was really friendly. Or maybe she didn’t know the threshold of how many tweets make a trend. Still I can’t wait, tomorrow we’re walking on snow, doing two more radio shows then a sold out gig . Yes. Yes please.
Yesterday I got a late-notice invite to play a gig in Camden for Signature Brew. They work with musicians to design their own custom beer and they’re good guys who love their music so I said yes. Besides I fancied getting in some stage time before going on tour to Canada next week.
Gigs have a way of holding up a mirror to you, and I guess I looked like I’ve got a few rough edges, but I’m feeling passionate about what’s to come and excited to share it. Bring on Canada, will be very pleased to meet you.
Also – loving this setlist lying around backstage from a previous gig:
Atoms For Peace was always my favourite song on Thom Yorke’s solo album The Eraser. One of the vocal melodies in it is so good it’s worth applauding it loudly while you listen.
His new band of the same name are about to release their first album. Love the production on this, like the bits at the end where they take the reverb on and off the claps. Even if it’s not to your taste keep looking for new music, there’s always more to create. Let’s push things forward!
Spending every day only playing your own music is the best way to lose all possible perspective about music. Maybe some great artists do their best work by avoiding perspective, but I kinda like it.
Liz Lawrence has made a wonderful album, and I got huge amounts of joy playing bass on it. Even from her early demos she had real fire in her belly and a stubborn sort of confidence that often characterises the best artists. She ain’t just mucking about…
She’s ready to release it now, and you can even name your price to buy it on her bandcamp page. Well worth a listen:
This is what I’m expecting…. I hear it is -15C at the moment…
It’s very easy to forever be looking into the future and thinking “I’ll be happy if…” while all the cool stuff is happening RIGHT NOW. Look! A monkey went by on a jetski and you missed it.
I may be deep in plans for the rest of the year, but in just a couple of weeks I’ll play my first tour of Canada. This is just what I always dreamed of – making music, seeing the world, meeting people…. all a real privilege to soak up and wash down with maple syrup.
If you know anything or anyone in Vancouver, Victoria, Prince George or British Columbia more generally, I’d love to hear from you. A friendly face to meet, a musician to listen to, a place to eat, an indispensable factoid, a handy way to avoid mortal danger, anything at all, get in touch.
For those in the area, my gig page has more info on where I’ll be. I’ve had quite a few messages from people in other parts of the US or Canada who were hoping I’d be visiting somewhere closer to them – I am sorry about that. Hopefully this trip will lay the foundations for a longer Canada / US tour next time. We’ll see. Ha there I go thinking about the future again… x