Great Fatea review from Sat 21 Jan 2017 in Exeter:
“After a short break to allow everybody to raid the wide variety of Twiggs Gigs cakes (which are becoming a legend in their own right), Peter James Millson stepped up for his set. In the flesh Millson is humble and unassuming, not full of stories and anecdotes, but with a confidence in his songs to do the talking for him. It is a confidence that is well placed, with a set that was both engaging and enthralling from start to finish.
From the first song, In Winter (taken from his debut album Sweet The Love That Meets Return), to the superb cover of Nancy Griffiths’ Love At The Five And Dime, Peter had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. There were a few more songs from his most recent album, The Red Café, including a spine-tingling rendition of the title track, and the wonderful Hook On The Line. The majority of the songs he played were new, with several due to be released on his next intriguing album, Mobile.
Mobile is an album recorded entirely on a windows phone, which is due to be released this year. Peter was at his most passionate and eloquent when talking about the album, which is clearly a project he is hugely proud of. There’s a campaign coming soon to Indiegogo, and if the songs he played at the gig are anything to go by, he’s right to be excited by this one. In particular True Believer and We’ve Got It All are fantastic songs, showcasing Peter’s vocal range and unique delivery. It sounds like a campaign well worth backing.
The gig finished with a new song, Two Wheels Good, and Victory Lap from The Red Café. The former came from his memories of riding his bike while listening to Prefab Sprout’s seminal album, Steve McQueen (named Two Wheels Good in the States), and is full of a sense of nostalgia. Victory Lap is Peter’s ode to the great Glen Campbell and is a gorgeous song.
It really does feel as if Peter James Millson will soon be a name on everybody’s lips, and that 2017 could be a real breakout year for him. Certainly on the strength of this gig, he should be a far bigger name than he is right now. Mobile is one of the most intriguing concepts I’ve heard of in quite some time, and I’m eager to hear how the songs will turn out. I’ll be backing the crowd funding campaign, and I hope many more do so as well. This has the potential to be one of the best of albums of the year.
I’d urge anyone to get out to see Peter James Millson perform (and indeed Border Tales, Greg Hancock and Jo Hooper) if he plays near you. Having travelled from Berkshire to Exeter myself to see him play, he’s well worth the journey. Given there was a couple that had come down from Essex just to see him, I’m sure they would agree heartily with me”.
I’ve got a new album all done and waiting for you to hear. Produced by Boo Hewerdine and recorded… on a phone.
Boo came up with the idea to make a record using only my phone (a Windows phone) to record with. The early demos I’d recorded in this fashion to show to Boo had a real affecting elegance and not losing that was an idea that was there in the room with us as we listened. I set about simplifying the structure of all ten songs and experimented with phone position in relation to me and the guitar/piano/voice. We then picked the most beautiful of all the (straight, live) takes and spent a long time on the mastering (Chris Pepper) and the running order.
The result is a very moving and affecting record. We’ve all been blown away by it, actually.
I asked my friend, the illustrator, Paul Blow to listen to it and see what came to him in terms of imagery. The cover you see, of the girl and the arrow and the bird, is the result. It left me speechless.
My wife came up with the brilliant title: Mobile.
We want everyone to hear this and so would like you to help us by contributing to the costs of getting an initial run of CDs pressed and of getting someone to do us a press campaign.
I hope this record sounds like your sort of record. Songs of love, life and, of course, hope.
I’m playing on the Saturday 21 Jan in Exeter at St James Church Hall. Doors open 7.30 p.m. and support is from Border Tales (sublime harmonies a-la CSNY). Tickets are a tenner. I have new songs and I can remember some old ones. Would love to see you there.
A live version of We’ve Got It All recorded earlier this year at the Green Note. Back there again with Dan Whitehouse on the 6 December. Tickets.
This Sunday (26 June 2016) I’m playing at Hope Hall in Exeter in Devon. Gonna be a great night. The amazing Jess Vincent headlining. New songs, The Red Café songs, older songs. If you can make it, it’d be great to see you. A lovely evening in store. Send you home happy.
(Photo by David Leyland)
My second long-player—The Red Café—is out now. It’s one of my precious little sketchbooks and I’m very proud of it. Get a copy of your very own.
(Photo: Mark Entwisle)
Last week we started work on a short film (a video!) to go with the title track of the new record, The Red Café. Tonight we have a night-shoot—at a café—to get the rest of it done. Directed by Graham Trott who also did the video for Being Young in 2014. Playing a piano and looking arty: it’s what I do. The edit will be on Friday and my eldest son will be in-charge. We’ll be going into the night to get it right. All being well, you’ll be able to see it on Monday. The song is one of my absolute favourites I’ve written.
This weekend I’m off up north to do an album launch gig for The Red Café with Pete Greenwood and Lisa Marie Glover. It’s at the Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds at 7.00 p.m. on Saturday 21 May. If that’s near you, it’d be lovely to see you. Truly great songs aplenty AND coffee. Come and say hello.
There’s also another launch in London at the Green Note in Camden next Thursday 26 May (link takes you to tickets). I’m sharing the bill with Jess Vincent. It’s her gig really but she’s such a nice person that she’s let me hijack proceedings. Come and see us both. We’re gonna sing something together though the rehearsal for that may be half an hour before stage time. Gonna be a fab night.
Listen, I gotta go. The Red Café is out on Monday 23 May and there’s a page here somewhere where you can order that album along with my previous records.
Been playing some nice gigs with Jinder, Jess Vincent and, on Tuesday just gone, Kris Drever.
Kettering and Nottingham with Jinder were knockout as ever. Main memory of that weekend however is drinking red wine from teacups till 4.00 a.m. I’m too old for this.
Last week I played a couple of benefit gigs. The beneficiaries being those poor sods stuck in Calais. One was with Jess Vincent in Bristol; happy memories of a very tired sound man. The other was here in my home town of Bridport at the Soulshine Café.
This week I was up in London doing a gig with Kris Drever. I opened one of the (sold out) shows for him at the Green Note in Camden. One hell of a guitarist and singer and some songs that land feelings that most of us find it hard to get a handle on. A really lovely audience, too.
I’m back at the Green Note for a double-bill with Jess Vincent on the 26 May (just before The Red Café comes out on 23). Jess is such a positive force; you can’t stay grumpy in her company for long. Looking forward to it very much. We’re thinking of doing one or two songs together. Harmonies and everything.
Some nice words coming in bit by bit as people start to get review copies of The Red Café. When the choice quotes arrive, I’ll post them here for you to marvel at.
Boo Hewerdine said he’d phone today. He didn’t. I, on the other hand, bought his new CD today. That should do it.
I’ve made some nice friends in music.