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!