Abusing My Position Video
21st May 2017
A little while ago I was approached by Little Dragon films, a local film company here in Cambridge, about using one of my songs for a music video that they wanted to make. They had already got permission to film at The Cambridge Museum of Technology and had come up with a concept for the story they wanted to tell. The question was, did I have any songs that would suit the concept. As much as I would've loved to make a video for a new song, the story seemed to lend itself best to 'Abusing My Position'.
We arrived early at the museum. I had managed to persuade the members of The Hot Lights to join me on set as my band mates. The idea was that we were poorly treated workers in the midst of the industrial revolution, so we'd all arrived in our best factory workers attire, waistcoats bowler hats and all. The weather helped us to get into our roles quicker as it was a miserable day. We were immediately impressed by the setup though as there must’ve been at least 15 other people, all with their own role in the production, from make-up to director and everything in between. The museum was also an impressive sight, and even more so when we fired up the machinery.
The first shots of the day were of the band and I miming along to the track. This was probably the most challenging part in terms of keeping a straight face. As we mimed along we were getting smoke pumped in from every direction, which made it difficult to see and breath at times. It was also quite cold at that time as the heating hadn’t yet kicked in so we were trying our best not to shiver (a difficult thing to do for inexperienced actors)
As the day progressed we moved on to filming the story, and then to individual shots of each band member miming along. The bulk of the story line was acted out by our big mean boss, played by James Murray-White, and the lead worker played by Mark Simkins, and they both did an excellent job. The band and I also had a little bit of acting to do but it was nothing that a bunch of amateurs couldn’t handle. The main thing to concentrate on was not falling into the machinery. The whole day was a brilliant experience and it was great to see how a full crew work on a professional production. Everything went smoothly and we all left excited about what the final edit would look like.
Fast forward a few weeks and I was sent the first edit. I was really pleased with how it all looked and only requested a few minor tweaks. Basically asked them to take out some shots of me. It’s always a bit strange to see myself in videos and I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it. But hey ho, I’m really pleased with the final thing and I hope you enjoy it too.
Tour preparations well underway
11th April 2017
So excited to be heading out on the road shortly. People keep saying it must be tiring to tour but when I compare it to my life when I'm at home it seems much more like a holiday than real work. It's mostly driving, coffee, hotels, wandering around, more coffee and lots of waiting around. Oh, and a little bit of playing music. I'm hoping to do a lot of writing in between as the plan is to start making a new record when the tour finishes. I've at least 4 new songs that I'll be road testing on this tour.
Please take a look at the dates here. and if you can make it to one of the shows it would be great to see you. From what I've heard Calan are a really great live band and put on a really fun show. I've been listening to them quite a bit over the last few months and I'm really looking forward to seeing them live and getting to know them. If you haven't heard them, check them out at calan-band.com.'
Proper's top 100 albums list
22nd December 2016
Yesterday I found out that Rhythm On The City Wall has been named in Proper Distribution's top 100 albums of 2016. I was quite taken a back to be included in the list, especially since this is across all genres. Proper are one of the biggest distribution companies in the UK so for them to pick my album is a huge honour. Take a look at the full list here. I'd like to thank everyone who helped with the making of the album, including all the amazing musicians who contributed their time and talents, as well Polly from Wild Sound Recordings. I'd also like to thank everyone who supported it through the Kickstarter campaign. I couldn't have done it without you.
On the road with Calan
22nd December 2016
In April and May 2017 I'll be supporting Welsh folk band Calan on a 21 date UK tour. It'll be the first time I've visited Scotland and there are plenty of towns and venues I've never played in before, so all very exciting. Calan are an amazing folk band from Wales, if you haven't heard them before you're in for a treat. You can find them at calan-band.com. Be sure to check them out and it'd be great to see you on the tour if you can make one of the dates. All dates and ticket links are on the live page. You can also see them by clicking on the image
Rhythm On The City Wall OUT NOW
29th June 2016
My new album Rhythm On The City Wall is officially out today. It's available to buy through the shop as well as all good music retailers. You can also listen through iTunes, Spotify and any other online streaming service you may wish to use. I'm glad the wait is finally over and I hope this album gets out to as many people as possible. If you like it please share it and tell friends to have a listen. I look forward to getting out and touring with these songs, as well as some new ones that are in their infancy. Hopefully see you on the road. Sign up to the mailing list for semi regular updates about live shows and new content.
New Album Out July 29th
29th June 2016
I'm pleased to announce that my new album 'Rhythm on the City Wall will be coming out on 29th July through Wild Sound Recordings and distributed through Proper Music. It's been quite a long wait but for all the right reasons. Read my latest blog The Bird Has Flown... to find out why this album has taken so long to release. The good news is that when it is released it'll be available not just online but also in shops. Don't expect it to be on the shelves but you should be able to order it at your preferred music store. I'm quite tempted to do that myself just to check but I'd probably have to leave my name, which would be a little bit embarassing. Alternatively you can order through the shop and I'll post it out asap.
Great gig at The Portland Arms
19th April 2016
A couple of days ago I played an amazing show at The Portland Arms in Cambridge. It was the first gig I'd organised for quite sometime so I was a bit nervous about how it would go. It was initially supposed to be an album launch night for my new album 'Rhythm on the City Wall', but for various reasons the release date for this has now been put back. So the Portland show ended up being just another show, albeit a very special one. Jack Burrell kicked off the night in some style with his own brand of indie folk, demonstrating his excellent songsmithery and fine guitar and banjo playing. I then hit the stage on my own as usual, before being joined by the amazing Richard Curran on mandolin and violin. Richard was there right at the start of my recording career having played on 'This Is The Place' and he also provided all of the strings parts for the new album. Despite being a long time friend it was only the second time we'd played together, so it was a real treat for me, and also for the audience. Once our little set was over I was joined by Cambridge band 'The Hot Lights'. I've long been a fan of theirs and was honoured to have them backing me up on the night. Despite only a handful of rehearsals they really pulled it off, and I felt totally comfortable and in completely safe hands. Perhaps I'll get them back for the next album launch, which will be for the same album. Stay tuned for news of the new release date.
Big Comfy Session
A few weeks ago I played a lovely, intimate gig at the Big Comfy Bookshop in Coventry. I was really happy to be back there, having made quite a few friends there from my previous Coventry gig back in February. I was also glad to be supporting Ed Prosek, as he's a great writer and performer, and someone who I've been listening to over the last couple of years. Before the gig I teamed up with Rob from Redwood Photos to film a short interview and a couple of songs. Here's the interview and a performance of a new song called Hammersmith Palais. Check out my version of Tom Waits' Hope That I Don't Fall in Love With You over on the video page.
I'm super excited to be heading back out to Germany, and this time I'll also get to see a bit of Switzerland. It'll be my first time in Switzerland so I can't wait to get there. I'll be flying out to Zurich on the 10th May and coming back from Germany on 27th. Check out the route by clicking on the map, the roadworks look like they could be a problem, so it's probably good we're taking trains this time.
This is The Place Now Available
I'm really pleased to announce that I now have more copies of my debut album 'This Is The Place' available. I've been out of stock for about a year and a half now but I've finally managed to get some more pressed. I listened to it when the new pressings arrived and it brought back a lot of nice memories of my first experience in a studio. I like to think that I've moved on and developed my style a bit more since then, but I still get people telling me how much they enjoyed this album, and for some it's actually their favourite. If you'd like to purchase a copy you can buy one from the shop.I'm looking forward to getting back into the studio soon to start work on my third release.
New video of 'With Your Eyes Closed'
A couple of weeks ago I went exploring in the Kent countryside and found a cool place called Perry Woods. I decided it'd be nice to make a video there, so the next day, we (my wife and I) went out and shot this. It was a bit noisy as the birds were in full voice but it was quite peaceful. It looks like I'm pirched up quite high but I was actually sat on a fallen tree. It's a new song and will more than likely be on the next release. Hope you enjoy it.
So I've just returned from my UK tour, although technically I should really call it my English tour, as I only made it as far as North Yorkshire. It was an incredible experience to be 'on the road' for almost an entire month though, and there were some really great gigs along the way. Here's a picture from a gig I played in Coventry, courtesy of Redwood Photography. You can read more about my adventures on my blog page.