Some Days

Not so much a video as a stilleo.

From the E.P. The Beautiful Truth.

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Me when I was older

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My friend Mark Ponsford took a photograph of myself and the great songwriter Jinder (who is playing electric guitar with the PJM band) and it appears to have caught something that hasn’t happened yet.

This is the beautiful thing about photographs: they can say whatever you want them to say. I have great hopes and plans for the PJM band and I look forward to one day being able to look back on all the good music we’ve done. This photograph seems to have been taken then: in the future. Here’s a picture of me when I was older.

Mark is the man responsible for the artwork on the current E.P, ‘The Beautiful Truth‘, and is also working on the artwork for the album ‘Sweet The Love That Meets Return’ (out 31 March 2014 28 April 2014). He’s a painter and a photograph taker. He likes Nick Cave and is currently to be heard raving about Chris TT.

Be good, be sensible and, until next time, be yourself.

Keys in the wrong place

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Handful of albums I totally love at the moment are James Maddock’s ‘Another Life’; Kathryn Williams’ ‘Crown Electric’ and Emily Barker’s ‘Dear River’. 

‘Dear River’ is very instantly gratifying yet gets more complex the more you hear it. ‘Crown Electric’ is definitely Kathryn Williams’ best and the track ‘Sequins’ kills me every time. Oh, to have written a song as good as that one. ‘Another Life’ on the other hand just feels like home to me. I ‘got’ it as soon as I heard it and I think it’s the most played of the three. 

One of my boys has, in indelible marker, written the names of the notes on the white piano keys at home. But in the wrong places. Can freak you out a bit as you glance down.

I’ll get him back.

A following

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Gigs, gigs and more gigs. Build a following. It’s an enjoyable slog is how I’d describe it. Just got back from a solo gig tonight. Enjoyed my new version of ‘Love Is A Lie’ in a new more comfortable key. Changing keys as a singer of your own songs is like making your own clothes (I would imagine): you can get it to REALLY fit you.

Got a rehearsal with the band this Sunday and I’m very much looking forward to it. Want to get some band gigs in the diary as soon as possible. I love doing solo shows but nothing beats counting four and having everyone land on the one and take your little song to the moon. 

Off to make further inroads into the cover of my album ‘Sweet The Love That Meets Return’ tomorrow. Funny how in my head I’ve basically finished writing the NEXT album and this isn’t even out yet.

Patience is what we all need but patience is difficult at times, no?

 

Being Young: back in your box

Been talking to a couple of key people about the launch of the album next year and we’re now agreed that we’re gonna postpone a single launch until the new year. There’s been loads of great feedback for Being Young so far so thank you for that. I promise you it’s all going to be worth it.

I’ve just come back from playing a little set at the Three Tuns in Honiton, Devon not too far from where I live. Post-gig ‘cheesy chips’ with chilli sauce outside in the cold with my friend Elijah is as good a way as any to see-in the midnight hour. Some happy punters now have their mitts on the Beautiful Truth E.P. Tomorrow (Wednesday 20th) night I’m playing at No 10 in Bridport. Invariably an ‘interesting’ night.

My most played albums at the moment are (in no particular order): Kathryn Williams – Crown Electric; Prefab Sprout – Crimson / Red; Emily Barker – Dear River; Danny & the Champions of the World – Stay True (nice cover on that one); Treetop Flyers – The Mountain Moves; James Maddock – Another Life; Robert Vincent – Life In Easy Steps; Ethan Johns – If Not Now Then When; Israel Nash – Rain Plans; Ron Sexsmith – Forever Endeavour. All on CD and all great.

I’m looking after the boys tomorrow. They have friends staying over tonight and I’m delivering them all to school in the morning so see you later; I’m going to bed.

Arrived in a box

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CDs arrived in a box today. These are the E.P. called The Beautiful Truth. There’s a lot of stuff going on and it confuses me sometimes.

I spent most of this year making my first album; with Danny George Wilson as producer (it’s totally SENSATIONAL).

I ALSO recorded some stuff at home, separately, in the downtime (can’t stop writing, you know). Utterly delighted to get some of my favourite musicians on there and Adrian McNally of the Unthanks agreed to mix it too. I’d been listening to the Unthanks’ ‘Diversions’ series of albums a hell of a lot and just got in touch with him. He’s done a great job.

Get a copy of the E.P. for yourself if you want: HERE

The album (out on 31 March 2014 28 April 2014)… man alive… it’s KILLER.

Spent various parts of today cooking, washing-up, getting my head around applying for a tasty photography project that’s come up (I’m a photographer too – in-case you weren’t aware), watching a bit of the Were Rabbit (Aardman Animations) with the boys, walking over the fields with the boys watching deer and getting my shoes wet. Nearly finished writing a new song. Sounds cool when I list it out for myself but I feel like I’ve done f—all today. Laters.

17th November 2013

Eldest’s birthday today. Love that boy. Love both my boys. He’s gonna be a great stop-motion animator one day. Wait: he already is. Played a Bill Fay album (the recent one) whilst I sat in the light from the standard lamp and wrote names and dates on the back of photographs with a bic biro which was emotionally draining but in a good way. Took clothes to the launderette. Went to the harbour at West Bay; boys playing; Rachel and I sharing a cheap coffee. Took lame postcard photographs of the harbour with my phone. Discussed a possible radio interview in Totnes next week with John Elliott. Same day as I want to rehearse the band. Spoke to the ace drummer (and my brother-in-law) Paul Wigens about my record. He’s made a few (including a few with my producer Danny George Wilson) so I listened-up. Tried hard to stay awake enough to watch some Arrested Development on Netflix and write these words but I fell asle…

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Lurning Curve

Quite enjoying the steep learning curve here. 1. Make a great album: reckon I’ve done that with the help of Danny George Wilson and Chris Clarke at Reservoir Studios. 2. Get it mastered: first time I’ve had the pleasure. Makes a big difference. Thanks to Mark Lord at SuperNature. 3. Assume that everyone wants a copy. 4. Hire a press agent: have done just that. 5. Put a band together as solo shows alone are not enough to carry this album live: found one. In rehearsals now. Sounding grand and expensive. 6. Record cover artwork: harder than I thought and I’m an image expert of sorts. 7. Remember that music is something very special that can make a difference to someone’s day. 8. Remember that music is just stuff and nonsense. 9. Make friends. 10. Drink coffee.