I’m over the moon that Lauren Lavern played ‘Air At The Top’ on her BBC 6 Music show yesterday morning – the first radio play from the new record. She said lots of lovely things including that it reminded her of Randy Newman (ace) that it was a ’very beautiful track’ and that the record was ‘very, very special’. I’m blushing now. You can hear the show again here, ‘Air The Top’ comes just after Richard Hawley at about 21mins. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04dcsmg
3 Track Album Preview for 48hrs Only!
In anticipation of the album release and as a thanks for your patience I am very pleased to share a three song preview of the album with you here. The link will remain live for 48 hours, so just a sneak peak!
Love of Too Much Living
Album Is Finished!
The album is finally finished! Thank you so much Max Jones and Dean McCarthy – couldn’t have done it without you!! Release 4 October on Smugglers Records! Xxx
The tired warmth of coming home
Just returned tired but elated to London after an epic few days have taken in singing in Stroud, County Sligo in Ireland – see the photo of the wreck i passed – and finally playing in Scotland for the first time at the Electric Circus with Jane Blue & The Hunters (see photo) and Gwennie & The Old Accord – a really wonderful night full of music, thick accents, discussion on the relationship between art and science (check out the great work they do at www.ascus.org.uk), late night drinking, early morning rising and finally a long train ride transecting a great swathe of this beautiful, paradoxical country. Next monday is the final sequencing session for the album after which i promise it will be done forever and I will soon be able to announce dates for the October and November tour i’m doing round the UK and Europe. I’m getting super excited about playing in Glastonbury next week and trying to find time to dust off my organ chops to play at my sisters wedding in two weeks – i’m going to sleep with a smile on my face. x
Tour Reports, Album Update and the Summer!
Its been a crazy little time and i’m just holding it all together which is my excuse for leaving it so long between updates. It’s been so good to get on the road and out of london and i’ve been lucky enough to do some great, great shows all over the place.
It all started with the lovely little tour i did with the amazing Firefly Burning where we headed to the Pheonix in Exeter. The venue is huge and the audience slightly more modest, word of our arrival clearly didn’t get around, but the show was amazing. The Pheonix has probably the best sound of any venue i’ve played in and together with a light show that wouldn’t have looked out of place at a U2 concert and the 25 people in the audience certainly had a spectacle. My good friend Jess McCallister opened up and her beautiful songs set the tone for an odd but wonderful night. Heading through the night to Bristol, i woke up in my favourite city only to get a last minute call from Dean McCarthy, who is mixing the album, to ask if I could fill play at in industry event he was hosting as part of record store day at short notice.
Being on tour and having no gig that night it seemed the only thing to do to get on the next train where upon i arrived at SAE and played to the sound engineering students following a very lively panel discussion with some record label execs and reps from record stores about the future of the music industry. Again, a weird gig, but i met the guy who runs the Truck shop in Oxford who invited me back to do an instore in the future so it felt like a mission well made.
Returning to Bristol to meet up with Firefly Burning again we played at the glorious Cafe Kino on Stokes Croft which always reminds me of the type of cafes you get in Berlin. A friend and local bristol songwriter Andi Skellam came and opened up and a lovely audience of friends new and old packed out the basement. Firefly Burning played an incredible set. We finished our tour back in London at the Gladstone in Borough. I’ve played there a lot in the past but its been a while since i’d been back but the gig was just a warm and friendly as i remembered. I only just made the gig on time and was still catching my breath when i started playing but for me the Gladstone gig was definitely the highlight. All in all a wonderful few gigs and a real pleasure to spend some time with the Firefly Burning team whose music is so intricately conceived but humanely and movingly put together, it was a real inspiration to play alongside them.
With a few days rest and practice I then went out on the road again with Sam Lee & Friends, supporting them on the first four dates of their tour to promote the release of their new EP. Sam, as well as being a totally lovely guy with a killing band with the most unique sound, was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2012 so the tour was of arts venues around the country. It was amazing to go to towns such as Pontardawe and Cardiff in Wales, and Shoreham-by-Sea and Oxford to play in front of audiences of 200+ every night. It was a real indicator of what success in this sort of field could look like and it made even more excited to get this album out and to launch it on the world. Travelling around in the tour van was fun too, as all the band are friends from various musical scenes in London and it great to hang out in the country, talk about music and jam a little.
The Oxford gig was the last of the four i joined them for and it was in this incredible church, St John The Evangelist, a truly beautiful space with a great acoustic. Having spend so much time in Oxford recording and mixing the album is felt almost like coming home and Dean McCarthy, who i’ve been working with on the record came down which was great.
But what of this long awaited album i hear you say? Well, I’m getting close. It is nearly there. I had actually thought that it was pretty much finished but after listening to the masters against some other tracks i decided it still needed a few tweaks and we’re currently in that stage right now. If it takes a few more weeks, or even a month, so be it – it will sound all the better for it, and when its released on Smugglers Records in late september, all this stress and hassle will be forgotten (i hope).
So as i concentrate on finishing the album and getting the design together, i’ve been discussing ideas for videos with various directors and looking at dates for shoots which is all very exciting. In the meantime, the summer is shaping up to be a great one with confirmed dates at a bunch of festivals. Apart from festivals though i will be taking a break from gigging, particularly in London, before the album launch which i’m already planning – its going to be amazing. Thanks so much for all your support and love, hope to see you at a gig soon,
The Magic Lantern – Summer Concerts
- 22 May – The Harrison, London w/Bouche
- 24 May – C-Fab Festival, Linconshire
- 1 June – Bath Fringe Festival, Bath
- 8 June – House Gig, London w/Alabaster Deplume
- 15 June – Electric Circus, Edinburgh
- 21 June – Camden Crawl at The Roundhouse, London
- 22 June – Aldeburgh Festival (Pumphouse), Aldeburgh
- 29 June – Glastonbury Festival (Bandstand)
- 15 August – Green Man Festival
- 22 August – Shambala Festival
- Late September – ALBUM LAUNCH!
Love of Too Much Living
Tours and Plans!
Pals. I went to Oxford last sunday and finished mixing the album! The design is looking sweet tour and the mastering is going to be starting next week. I’m putting some secret and very awesome plans together for september which i’ll announce when they’re ready…
But for now, i’m so buzzed to announce my tour dates for April and May – and i’m delighted to be doing some dates in April with the totally amazing Firefly Burning and then some dates in May with the incredible Sam Lee. Then the summer festival season starts, bring on the sunshine! Hope to see you at a gig soon! Big love J x x
Magic Lantern – April & May Tour Dates
16 April – The Pheonix – Exeter w/Firefly Burning
18 April – Cafe Kino – Bristol w/Firefly Burning
27 April – The Gladstone – London w/Firefly Burning
2 May – Ropetackle Arts Centre – Shoreham-w/ Sam Lee
7 May – Pontardawe Arts Centre – Pontardawe w/Sam Lee
8 May – St David’s Hall – Cardiff w/Sam Lee
9 May – St John the Evangelist Church – Oxford w/Sam Lee
24 May – C-FaB Festival – Lincolnshire
The Living Room, Soho, Feb 2014. Photo by Janssem Cardoso.