On Saturday I was part of a panel discussing men, childlessness and creativity as part of Chester Storyhouse's Childless festival. I wrote a song for the occasion which sort of explores the concept of legacy, hence the title What You Leave Behind. This is just a phone recording of the very first live performance of that song, I'm working on a full recording of it now so look out for that in weeks to come.
Today my new single, One Night Stand went live across all major streaming platforms. Now I'm an honest man and I absolutely wouldn't want you to leave it looping overnight for the sake of the fractions of a penny I'll make off each stream. That would be dishonest, you'd be ripping off the billionaires who own Spotify, come on now, have a conscience.
I've been on holiday this last week. My broken leg earlier in the summer lead to cancellation of a planned trip to Croatia for the Love International festival and to cancelling a camping trip too, but we managed to get away for a lovely week in various parts of Wales. I've been talking with my partner Dawn about a new series of videos for my Youtube channel on the subject of mental health and creativity so watch this space for more news on that. I've also started recording the song I've written for Storyhouse's Childless festival and there's likely to be another new release of a duet coming next month. Don't forget, you can stream One Night Stand from all major streaming services from this Friday, presave it here
My new single, One Night Stand, will be on all those horrible streaming services from September 15th, but I'm excited to announce that if you are COOL AND SEXY you can listen to it right now on bandcamp. You will only be able to hear it if you are COOL and SEXY. If you can hear it please comment below that you are, in fact, COOL AND SEXY.
Next month sees this year's Childless festival at Chester Storyhouse. The 2 day event (September 23rd-24th) explores childlessness in all its forms. I have
been roped into volunteered to take part in one of the panels. I am childless by choice and will be part of a men's panel discussing what it's like being childless, either voluntarily or involuntarily, and how it impacts creativity, purpose and legacy. As the panel will be looking at creativity I was "volunteered" to write a song for the event, which I have done. It's "global exclusive first-time performance" will be at this panel.
For more info follow this link https://www.storyhouse.com/seasons/storyhouse-childless/
I hope you enjoy this photo of me working in my studio that is completely genuine and not posed for the purposes of having something to put on social media at all.
I'm going to do a Youtube channel update soon to cover some things I should probably talk about. I've recorded another song recently, it's a re-recording of another old song, Get Into My Jeans, which I'll probably release in October/November. I've also written a new song for a thing which, again, I'll tell you about soon. So that's two songs produced and another written in just a few months. Now obviously this has something to do with my broken leg and being stuck at home, but something else is going on here too.
I had a fairly severe mental health "episode" at the end of 2021. In the olden days it would have been called a "nervous breakdown". It wasn't very nice. I was shortly after diagnosed with depression and anxiety, put on medication and went into counselling. Throughout 2022 and much of this year, apart from a few acoustic covers gigs, I've done very little musically because I found "being creative" too difficult and all my energy was put into getting better.
I am a lot better now, but I still struggle with my mental health from time to time. Some friends have encouraged me to talk more openly about stuff like this. I'm reluctant because I don't think anyone really cares. However, I'm also aware that assuming nobody cares is a symptom of my depression. To be honest I also assume nobody really cares about my music, but I really like it so I don't mind putting it out there.
To summarise - I have been doing a lot of creative things and you shall see the fruits of my labour shortly. It comes after a dry period caused by me being a mentalist. I'm a bit better now thanks.
I'd promised back in March to play this wedding in August and I didn't want my broken leg to break that promise. Huge thanks to my long-suffering partner Dawn for lugging all my kit around and for helping me setup. This was my first gig in several months and it went really well thanks to a lovely audience. I'd never even visited The Chester Fields pub before, it's a smashing spot!
My new song is finished and currently squirreling its way into streaming services across the globe. It features a magnificent guitar solo by Rick White who is one third of Echochamber and will be on general release from September 15, although I may release it earlier on Bandcamp and on here because I don't give a toss about streaming services.
The observant amongst you will notice that I haven't played many gigs of late. I hope this picture goes some way to explaining why. On June 1st I went climbing to Pentre Halkyn, a lovely little natural bouldering site near Holywell in North Wales. Mistakes were made. On June 2nd I had a fairly major surgery to remedy those mistakes and have been out of action ever since. Consequently I had to cancel gigs I had arranged for Cornerhouse and Chester Market. I can still play sitting down of course but live gigs tend to involve lots of equipment and lugging that around at the moment is not an option. This self-imposed house arrest has meant I've finished another one of my songs (see previous post) and am well on the way to finishing another so I hope to have a couple more tracks out over the next few months. I hope to be back playing live before Christmas.
Many, many years ago Les "Fruitbat" Carter put together a compilation of unsigned acts called There's A Madman On The Roof on his label Spinach Records. I was on it with a song called One Night Stand. I re-visited it recently playing it live for the first time in a long time and I quite enjoyed it so I've been working on a new recording. It's nearly finished and will be my next release. Watch this space.