Losing and Finding


So last nights gig supporting the Smoke Fairies in Nantwich was a curious affair. It started a little ominously as I somehow lost my bank card on the way up and arrived a little flustered. Playing in the very old Crown Hotel – one of the oldest surviving buildings in this old roman market town, built on salt mining – there was alas nowhere to get changed or practice, nor time to get something to eat so I explored the pleasingly uneven floors and found myself in a small and all pink janitors closet. It had a bit of a David Lynch vibe to it which only contributed to the sense that I had come a long way to parts unknown. So focusing all my energy (see concentration face) I went out and played to the very nice Words & Music Festival audience. I don’t know quite how it went down, perhaps the chat was a little much, but I gave it everything and met some great people after the show.

The Smoke Fairies played a rocking show, all noir-y blues rock with harmonised vocals and serious faces. The crowd loved it and brought them on for two encores. They did roaring trade at the merch stand as I rather enviously looked on, and we managed to have a tiny and slightly awkward chat about how they hadn’t heard my set, but their manager and I realised we both know the Smugglers record lot and that was cool.

Chris and Annie very kindly put me up, we talked owls, ate cheese on toast, slept for 6 hours and then they dropped me back at the train station to climb into the iron horse for another early morning journey south.

Big thanks to Nigel Stonier and Thea Gilmore who organise Words & Music Festival for inviting me and all the super friendly volunteers who make these kind of events what they are. Onwards!

Supporting the Smoke Fairies!


I’m really excited to have been asked to support the Smoke Fairies this evening at Words & Music Festival in Nantwich. Check them out below.

A capella for the 21st century


Inspiration comes in many forms. Another day I’d like to talk about the many small things, found in curious places, that give me pause for thought or make me sit up and think. I spend a lot of time looking at the sky for instance. My flat is quite high up and the angle of the windows means that when you’re sat down or when I’m lying in bed, all I can see are  the clouds, ever changing or the quality of the light and how it changes with the seasons. The weather feels close. But more of that anon.

In the midst of trying of working with the amazing musicians who’ll be recording with me in December, while we get arrangements together and talk about sounds, I’m also listening to lots of music that’s coming out now. Not so much to take things from it as to firmly ground myself in the context of my musical surroundings. Into this landscape this album will come.

Undoubtedly Bon Iver has a huge part to play in shaping those hills, and with his new album, has brought together a lot of different sound worlds into one fractured, at times jarring, but never less than beautiful whole. This song in particular encapsulates the best of it- a gospel a capella ballad – strange and raw – all processed through a harmonically filtered vocoder. Man and machine meet. This could only have been released now. You should listen to it.

New Video!

From the vaults, I’m excited to be able to share this live session of ‘No One’s Fault’, recorded at The Old School Room in London a little while back. Big thanks to everyone at The Old School Room for inviting me down (and for the twinkling faery lights!) x

Autumn UK Tour!



I am ready to make this third album now, rehearsals with line up who’ll be joining me are thrillingly underway and the studio is booked – the foothills have been reached, final preparations for the big climb begun! As part of the workout, it was great to play as a band for the first time at Smugglers Festival. In the meantime, lots has been going on. I was touched to be asked to sing with the Roundhouse Choir again (having sung with them at the BBC Folk Awards back in ) to join Jamie Cullum at the BBC Proms in August, it was quite an experience – you can watch a little of it here.


But the big news I wanted to share is that I’m delighted to announce that ahead of going into the studio in December, I’ll be playing a series of solo concerts showcasing all these new songs across the country, starting tomorrow evening at Kings Place in London where I’ll be supporting the wonderful Emilia Martenssson and her new Elda Trio as they release their debut album – I’m really touched that they have covered one of my songs ‘Winter’ on their new record. There are still a few tickets left.

Then after two lovely shows in October supporting Benjin for his album launch and helping the Green Party in Norwich to raise some funds with Mari Joyce, I’ll be hitting the open road in November with the singular talent of Alabaster Deplume. We’ll be heading back to lots of my favourite places, sharing stages with some old friends – SiNK, FaceOmeter, Mikey Kenney, Ditte Elly – and looking forward to making new friends along the way. Please spread the word and hope to see you at a show on the journey.

Finally, just before going into the studio with the new band, I’ll be playing probably my last solo show for a while at Rich Mix on 2 December supporting the amazing Vula Viel. It will be a big one for lots of reasons and tickets are already selling fast so please get in early and get yours now!

The Magic Lantern – Autumn Tour Dates

22 – Kings Place (Hall 2), LONDON w/Elda Trio

8 – St Mary’s Old Church, LONDON w/Benjin
19 – Bicycle Shop, NORWICH w/Mari Joyce

November Tour w/Alabaster deplume
1 – Waterstones, High St, BIRMINGHAM w/FaceOmeter
3 – The Klondyke, MANCHESTER w/Mikey Kenney
5 – St Stephen’s, Stockbridge, EDINBURGH w/SiNK
7 – The Cumberland Arms, NEWCASTLE w/Ditte Elly
8 – The Prince Albert, STROUD
9 – The Lighthouse, DEAL
10 – The Talking Drum, MARGATE

2 – Rich Mix, LONDON w/Vula Viel

Big love and more updates on the record to come! Jamie x

Poster by Raimund Wong

A Journey Begun – To The Islands

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Time is fickle thing, at turns hot and angry and at others suddenly languid and longing – a burning silver thread that plays in the wind. For my part, I have a condition that paradoxically causes me to both long to speed time up and ache to slow it down.

I am making an album now. I can feel it. I want to be done already, to be sitting excitedly in the glow of it, and yet the journey has only really just begun. I will promise nothing about when it will be done this time, I’m in it for the long haul and it will be done when it’s ready. Already, many people have helped equip me for set out on the road this time and there will be more companions to share the horizon than on the last one, and that fills me with joy at the fun we’ll have and difficulties we’ll overcome together.

But I just wanted to tell you all, that in spirit, I’ve started and I’ll send you postcards to mark the way – To The Islands. x

New sounds are brewing…

These guys…xML guysThese

The warm glow


Just to say a huge thank you to everyone who came down to the Green Note last night. It was a great evening and so wonderful to play all the new songs for the first time – I’m very excited about their future! There are plans a-foot, and I just want to get on now and get them out to you. Samantha Whates was excellent as ever and it was a pleasure to play clarinet with her with Jesse Moncrief on violin.

As I was about to go onstage Alabaster Deplume got in touch to send me this link of us playing together (its me on keys) at the last ‘Peach’ night. I think it really captures the spirit that Gus creates and which I feel very privileged to be a part of – check it out:

Album 3 ‘To The Islands’!


It’s become a strange habit to start my updates to you with an apology at the delay since the last one. The honest truth is, I worry about troubling you unless I have something great to share that is truly worth your time.  I tread perhaps a little too cautiously sometimes, but know that my silence is not neglect, nor is it taking any of your for granted, quite the opposite. I couldn’t do this without you, so thank you! So, with the explanations out of the way, a lot has been going on since we last spoke – including having raised over £800 for the Campaign Against Living Miserably from the sale of ‘Love of Too Much Living: Remakes’. Thanks to all of you who have got behind it and all the artists involved.

But a new year is rushing on and I have been adventuring! I could tell you many stories over tea and home brew of wide red deserts and sweet sage tea, the salt of the Dead Sea, parrots on a plane in Amman, Melbourne’s stifling heat and the crystalline breaking of a heart, snakes on the beach in northern NSW, the queer thrill of watching huge men compete to chop logs in half, narrowly avoiding getting hit by lightening, and swimming silently in a sacred lake, as still as sheet of obsidian, black with the oil from the tea trees all around. I could also tell you about love in its many colours, and how powerfully bittersweet it breaks over you, how it ebbs and flows, how different it looks in the morning, quite in the afternoon, hot and angry at night.  In the midst of it all, I took my guitar and began keeping a diary.   Since I’ve been back, and throwing myself like willing jetsam into the great wave that is London life, I’ve made time to pause for breath during these mornings, cold and fresh and at times movingly beautiful in all their early spring breaking. Life it seems has a restless habit of moving on, and on.

In short then, and with a full heart I am overjoyed to say that I have nearly finished writing the music for what will be my third Magic Lantern album.  I’m delighted to say that is has the working title of ‘To The Islands’. All I can say at this stage is that it will not be a solo record and I hope to begin recording later this year. I’m very excited, and I hope you will be too! I have a few exciting concerts coming up in the next few weeks and months where I will be playing most of these new songs, so please come down if you can and hear them – I can’t wait to play them to you.

Until then, you can listen to this setting of the poem ‘The Inside of a Heart’ (by Alabaster Deplume), that I made as part of Danny Green’s (of Laish fame) We Come Alive covers project.

I have also been working with an amazing string quartet as part of the Phaedra Ensemble for whom I’ve been making some arrangements of new songs and singing some quite far out contemporary classical music which has been a really exciting challenge. I have also been recording some more songs as part of my new project with Joe Webb as ‘Elephants’ – you can hear our latest single ‘Robin’ here – the debut ‘Elephants’ album will be out soon! I will also be appearing with Sam Lee and the Roundhouse Choir at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at the Royal Albert Hall later in April. Onwards!

Upcoming Concerts

  • 21 April – Green Note, London
  • 2 May, Rich Mix, London
  • 11 June – Kings Place, Hall 2, London

Big love

Jamie x


It’s Alright With Me…