Thursday, 27 August 2009

The Blackout Sessions

As I sleepily edged my way down the stairs this morning, the sound of the hammer that woke me up persistent and resolute behind me, I stumbled upon two quite large boxes sitting in the hall. The relief that they had come in time (leaving for Summer in the City tomorrow morning) almost immediately turned into excitement as I dragged one of them into the kitchen and set upon it with a big pair of scissors. Eventually I made it through the defences and pulled the cardboard back to see the design Paul and I had been working on just a few days ago staring back at me from a hundred CD cases.

A second wave of relief came as I picked up the nearest CD and examined it to find everything in it's right place and printed well. But nothing compared to putting a disc in the CD player and pressing play. It takes about 4-5 seconds for my CD player to recognise a disc when you first turn it on. That was probably the longest 4-5 seconds of my life. But hurray! Recognise it did, and the intro began.

I still can't really believe how quickly this has all come together. It's even turned out better than I had planned. A week ago I wasn't sure I was even going to get proper jewel cases and all the extra artwork that goes with it... Getting Paul on board really made that possible. We even chose a four sided insert over a two, and I wrote a little piece for the inside rather than trying to squeeze all of the lyrics in (never would have happened, my songs are heavy on the lyrics, it would take about 10 pages to fit them in!) I'll put the lyrics online anyway. Oh, speaking of - I bought yesterday. For now it's just redirecting to the youtube, but it's going to be one of the first things I get to work on after Summer in the City, especially as that'll be where I sell the CDs and t-shirts from.

Well then, if you're going to Summer in the City, I'll see you TOMORROW!


Thursday, 20 August 2009


I made it to my Aunt's in Guildford. There's a shower and there's relative quiet and there are no distractions... I can't even get the internet on my mac because I don't know the password, instead of asking for it I'm gonna leave it that way so I can only access it up here in the study. Otherwise the album will never get done!

Today I'm just sorting a few things out and I'll probably put some fresh strings on my geetar, and start going over some of the tracks I recorded before Malta, then tomorrow it's time to POWER THROUGH!


Leaving... Again.

So I left Malta, hung around London for a few days and then came home. While I was away the bathroom was being done up, so I was hoping that on my return it would basically resemble the type of bathroom you might use if you went to visit the Queen. As it turns out it looks more like a bathroom you would use if you went to visit someone whose house had recently been bombed.

So the job isn't quite done yet. Unfortunately I'm trying to finish this live album before Summer in the City, which is nine days away. That's not much time to work with. Now I can live with recording an album without having a working shower in the house, but having constant noise in the room next door from 8am - 6pm makes it fairly difficult.

So I'm leaving. Again.

My Aunt is on holiday at the moment so I called her up and asked if I could borrow her house for a while. So having been away from home for three weeks, I'm off again a day after getting back. Funny thing is it's just down the road from Sophie's where I've been staying for the last couple of days, I should have just gone straight there!

I reckon I have about three days to finish the album in order to get the CDs printed in time. Wish me luck!

Saturday, 15 August 2009


Woke up (relatively) early today and so I read a few of the 81 blog posts I've missed since being here. There was one from Jay about a road trip he's been on and the idea of leaving something, someone or some place behind. I've been thinking a lot on the subject lately as well so I thought I'd try to get some of it down on paper (so to speak).

These thoughts always come when I'm travelling, I suppose because for every place you go, you have to leave some other place behind. Maybe just for a few days or weeks, or maybe for an indefinite amount of time. Take today for example, I'll be getting on a plane and leaving this little island, and though I'd love to come back one day, I can't know that I will. I might never see this place again... The yellow buses, the sun scorched rock beaches, the assortment of off white buildings of all shapes and sizes that make up the city landscape... They might all be forever confined to my memories.

But memories are pretty powerful. I realised yesterday that I'd hardly taken any photographs here, but I thought back to some of the places I've been and the strongest memories are so much clearer than the photos I have in a cupboard somewhere. I remember so perfectly the waves crashing against the rocks in Portugal, the steep steps spiralling below me as I stood high up on the cliff. I remember road tripping to Benicassim, not knowing where we were and just saying "Keep the sea on the left and drive!" And I'm sure I won't forget the sight of the Blue Lagoon any time soon. It was remarkable - like someone had tried to design paradise.

Leaving a place always gives me mixed feelings. I'm really looking forward to seeing England again. As nice as it is to get away for a while it's still my favourite place in the world. I've been to so many beautiful places but never considered living anywhere else. But at the same time I don't want to let go of this place. It has so much that I won't be able to enjoy for such a long time. On top of that having been to somewhere new I want to do it again! So really I want to be in three places at once; home, here and somewhere else.

People are awake now so I'm going to cut this short(er than I'd thought it would be).

Speak to you when I'm done leaving.


Friday, 7 August 2009


So I've been in Malta for about a week, which is why I haven't been around the interwebs that much lately. We have found some free (or not so well guarded) waves of wifi floating about and so we are able to check in every now and then.

I was hoping to write some songs but I haven't really had much time to myself yet, but I definitely want to get at least one done and filmed while I'm out here. I don't want to waste the outrageously fortunate position I have found myself in of having a guitar to borrow for the three weeks I'm here.

It went like this; I saw it would be quite expensive to take my guitar on the plane, so I asked my facebook people if anyone lived in Malta and knew where / how cheap I could buy a guitar for, because I could get my hands on one in England for less than the cost of taking mine on the plane.... If the same was true in Malta then I could buy one on arrival and leave it / give it to someone / smash it up on the last day. After a day or two I got a reply from a guy called Neil who was all kinds of lovely and said he'd have a look for me. He gets back to me the next day, not with the price of a cheap guitar, but an offer from his friend Dan to borrow his Takamine for free!

This is possibly the greatest thing that's ever happened. For one thing, I found people who watch my videos in Malta, which is pretty fucking small, and then they turn out to be the nicest people in the world!

Anyway, Malta is beautiful. But I don't know how the people manage to look so good. With the heat and humidity, the wind and the salt, I look an absolute mess as soon as I step outside! We've travelled around quite a bit and have a few places lined up over the next few days that we've been saving until everyone is here (Laura arrived tonight), but I think my favourite place so far is just down the road. There's a rock beach about a hundred yards away from the front door and we've been down there at night a couple of times. When it's late and the heat of the day has subsided, you can sit out and watch the sea stretch out forever... It even comes in behind you when the tide is high, with just a little bridge connecting your tiny island of rock with the rest of the beach.

Being here has really awoken my love of traveling. I don't think I'd ever want to live outside of England constantly, but if I had the money I would definitely spend a few months a year abroad just to change the scenery. With any luck, if this music thing goes well, the opportunity may arise without it having to be a holiday. If I can fill a few large-ish venues in a few cities in a country then the trip could pay for itself... Of course I'm a long way off being able to do that! But it's nice to think about.

Ok now it's almost 5am and Ian is running around like a mentalist, I should go.