I’m out and about doing a bunch of gigs where I’ll be playing all the ridiculous love songs I’ve written recently (including this and more to come if I get my act together). The tour starts in London at The Lucky Pig in Fitzrovia on 17th September and all the details are on my gigs page. I’ve got some great people joining me – the brilliant Gavin Osborn and Simon Allen in Bath on 9th October and Phil Davies in Manchester on 19th. Hope to see you at one of the shows…
I’m having such a brilliant time on tour with MJ Hibbett, I thought I’d best write about it. Maybe the fact that he’s done a blog about every gig so far (actually nothing’s appeared about last night in Leicester yet but I’m sure it will and it was, to probably quote his forthcoming post… GRATE!) has spurred me on. Read his blog here.
I don’t think either of us were expecting much apart from a bunch of nice gigs playing to a few people in pubs and bars, but so far it’s been.. well it has sort of been that, but we’ve had more people than we expected and it’s been a huge amount of fun. Croydon was the first stop and we had a fine attentive crowd and it was brilliant to hear MJ’s songs again. In fact, he’s got so many, he’s been switching it up a lot and playing totally different sets which I am thoroughly appreciating. Not because I don’t want to hear any of the songs again but because it’s wonderful to hear different ones. They’re bloody good. I’m sticking to similar, though certainly not identical, sets as I have new songs I am keen to bust out at any cost. Last night in Leicester I chucked in a few different tunes which was fun, although I did forget the end to Ed Sheeran’s Number One. I think I got away with it, essentially by descending into a flurry of swearing which seemed to go down well.
I think this must have been particularly appreciated by Jan of PASALB (Plymouth Argyle Supporters Association London Branch) who has been to all three shows so far. That’s commitment. It’s been a joy to have a regular gig attendee although I am worried we may need to stage an intervention.
The Leicester audience was a gathering of delightful people. A couple said they’d decided to go for us over some better known names in the sense that they had actually heard of them. Maybe the lower price point was an incentive, but they said they were glad they chose to see us. And thus, we won the Leicester Comedy Festival. Also, Sue was a French teacher – something that was revealed in the middle of her impressive Henri Le Chauffeur de Camion Amoureux translation efforts.
Camberwell at The Joiners last Sunday was a total joy. I’ve been playing the open mic there a lot recently and it’s a lovely room run by lovely people, so I’m glad we managed to fill it as a load of MJ fans turned out and the gentle pressure I applied on all my SE5 friends and acquaintances seemed to work. We had a blast. As MJ mentions in his blog we have different styles but they do compliment each other which is definitely making for great shows.
Next up it’s Sheffield, then Manchester followed by Bristol (at my friends’ Maria and Noel’s brewery which will be extra fun because they do incredible beer) and finally back to the home of MJ’s Totally Acoustic gigs which I’ve enjoyed playing at and attending on many occasions, The King & Queen in Fitzrovia where excellent beer is also available (but not as good as Maria and Noel’s unless we can persuade them to get some New Bristol beers on tap there…)
Come along to one of the shows. Now we are nearly half way through, I can absolutely 100% guarantee fun. All the details are here.
Here I am sat at my messy desk/studio previewing some tunes that will be coming your way soon. I had a lot of help with this from my good friend Attlee Common who appears at the end (courtesy of his sole agent, Jane Common) If you don’t already, it would be lovely if you’d like my Facebook page and sign up to the mailing list for updates. Thanks. x
… won’t be interesting enough to stay on tour, thankfully. Except the gigs, which will be 100% guaranteed mayhem.
In the new year of 2019 I am playing a few shows around the country with the brilliant MJ Hibbett with whom I have gigged many times and who is delightful company on and off stage. We’re calling the tour ‘No Headliner’ to make it clear we are absolutely equal as humans and also so we can finish early, have a drink and a chat after the gig before going to bed at a sensible hour. Let’s Rock.
We shall be adding a couple of London dates to the tour and I’ll update details for tickets etc. as they come in, but for now here’s the dates…
Sunday 17th February 2019: The Joiners Arms, Camberwell, London
Wednesday 20 February: The Globe, Leicester (part of the Comedy Festival and tickets are already on sale here)
Thursday 28 February: The Green Room, Sheffield
Thursday 7 March: Gullivers, Manchester
Thursday 14 March: New Bristol Brewery, Bristol
Here’s the pic we put together hastily for the Leicester Comedy Festival programme which illustrates how serious we both are about creating absolute mayhem on stage…
Look forward to seeing each and every one of you at one of these places.
I am in the charts, the Contemporary Musical Comedy chart. This means I am a fully-fledged, living, breathing person who is making musical comedy right now in contemporary times. It’s lovely to be included alongside a load of very good people who are on the radio and television…
Hello! I recently got my acoustic guitar repaired (the electrics were in bits) and set up (I have no idea how to look after my guitars) by a nearby expert John Procter. Should have got it sorted ages ago, but delighted that I now have a guitar that is much easier to play and sounding great.
To celebrate I’ve busted out a bit of a new tune. I’m working on some to release later this year and they are mostly slightly wonky love songs. The usual nonsense….
Thanks and if you aren’t following me on Spotify then please do – there’s loads of tunes on there many of which have been properly recorded rather than knocked up in this mess of an office/studio/junkyard.
Hello. You know when you’re living with someone, a significant husband/girlfriend or boyfriend/wife, you think something’s gone missing you often blame then when actually the story is somewhat different? Maybe you left the thing on the bus, maybe it’s in your coat pocket, or maybe you didn’t eat that last piece of your favourite cheese after all. Well, here’s a song about men being f**kwits with added cheese puns….
Having said that, yesterday I was, like, totally vexed as to the whereabouts of my headphones. And then my wife pulled a tangled web of wires from her coat pocket and put them on the table. There were four earpieces. Yes, she had taken my headphones. But then she did apologise directly using the power of speech rather than bang on about it in a song, so who’s the better person. You decide.*
*It’s her, obviously.
Interest declared. I am only writing this blog in a bid to get you to watch my video and buy my song. But there’s a lesson in it. Not the view/purchase, that’d just be you showing what a good person you are and doing something nice for once in your life. Look at all the free content I’ve provided. And it’s a good song, so buy the blimmin’ thing. Is that a deal? Excellent. Here’s the link to buy Flat Packing Anger Management on iTunes.
Why is there a lesson in it? Well, this song and the subsequent album came about because a couple of years of ago something amazing happened – Channel 4 commissioned me to make a short pilot – or taster as we often call it in televisual show business – of a spec musical sitcom script I’d written. As you can imagine I leapt around the room when I got that call and screamed with excitement. I was surprised because it’s quite a risky idea, but they liked the script and if someone likes something I’ve done then I like them, they’re ace. Genocidal maniac gives me a five star review? Cool!
The commission meant recording a few songs with a full band and working with my musical production genius of a friend, Gus Bousfield, who not only used to work with me in TV, but who also writes, performs and produces brilliant music. His band Gurgles have become faves of Stuart Maconie on BBC 6Music. Nice work, Gus.
As a creative process it was immensely challenging but incredible fun and I felt very privileged to have been given even a small budget to produce the music and then shoot some scenes to show how the script would come to life. We cast Diana Vickers and David Elms who made a really great couple and Javone Prince as a crazy ex-boyfriend of Diana’s character. It’s rare that a pilot feels perfect – you want it to be brilliant and guarantee a series, but even if it’s close to doing that, it should at the very least be something you can build on to develop an idea further – and this was no exception. The cast was great, lots of elements worked and overall I was really happy with the result. There were certainly things I’d change moving forward but I was proud of something I’d put a huge amount of effort into.
I’ve used this from the taster as a video for the single….
The reception to it was positive at the channel, but in the end like most projects it didn’t move forward. Gutting, but them’s the breaks. Pick your self up, dust yourself down and scream into the abyss. The chances of me getting the project as far as I did were slim, they always are. Of course, I think it would have made a really good series but the competition is incredibly tough and I always see rejections as part of the process. Even the most talented people have to be committed, persevere and bounce back from rejection to succeed.
What I decided to do, though, was use the songs I’d recorded as the basis for an album. I’d enjoyed the process of recording with a band so much that I thought, ‘what the hell, keep on rocking.’ I’ve got some good songs really well performed and arranged, so it would be a shame to just hide them away on a hard drive.
I think there’s a lesson in this somewhere. Maybe it’s that having completed something that you think works or has something so it, then it’s worth looking at different avenues to move it forward. I don’t believe it’s a good to focus on one idea for one medium for too long once it’s been rejected by everyone. It is good to be passionate and committed to an idea; you should care for a horse that’s living, treat a horse that’s injured or unwell with love and attention, but as for a dying one… put it out of its misery and bury it in your bottom drawer until all the commissioning editors have moved on. Then you can whip the horse repeatedly until it comes back to life. What you should never do is keep flogging a dead idiom.
But if you can find another format or arena where your horse can live on, then feed it some hay, strap on your saddle and ride off into the sunset.