A bonkers week

Last week was bonkers. One of those ‘no buses for ages and then three come at once’ kind of weeks except there were no buses.

It all started like this [cue music]

On Sunday I played in Harvey Brough’s Requiem in Blue piece. There’s a 200 piece choir, early music instruments, Liane Carroll, amazing kids, Roy Dodds, Clara Sanabras, Harvey, and more. It’s an amazing piece to be a part of. There’s an album launch too on the 9th of July. Here’s a little clip of the gig.

There was a scary moment when Harvey asked me to play something on my own and I blindly said yes only to realise I’d be playing straight after Liane Carroll. If you haven’t heard Liane you’re in for a treat. She’s all music; it just pours out of her. Anyway, she did a solo piece. It was utterly amazing. And then I had to play (actually, just dicking around on the guitar for a bit would be a better description of what I did). I was really nervous. But I like being nervous so I enjoyed it. [must write a post about nerves soon]

Monday and Tuesday I did the late, late, late set at Ronnie’s with the house band. It finishes at 2am, and with a teething baby, who’s fond of a vampiric lifestyle, that’s a challenge in itself :) [not that the baby was on the gig. “4 month old baby kills it at Ronnie’s”. (I’m going off on a tangent, aren’t I. And I’m running out of parentheses)] Tuesday was good as we got to play a longer set before the bit after the set when it gets a bit Pontins for my taste. It’s not like there’s an after-hours knobbly knees contest or anything but it does get quite, er, comedic. Anyhow, I got to hear Ravi Coltrane too. Which was nice.

Wednesday I had a gig at the WOW collective for the first time in about 2 years. I decided to do a trio so I could play and arrange some standards. I put it together with Dylan Howe on drums who is fantastic and a bass player called Nick Walsh who is also fantastic. Had a blast. Again, quite a lot of stuff whirring in my head, but good to get the first one out of the way and get on with doing some more. I did a nice version, at least I though so, of Haunted Heart that I’ve been wanting to do for ages. The crew down at Way Out West are fab and if you’re in or around Richmond I can’t recommend it enough.

Thursday I had a gig in Nottingham with Theo Travis. I love this band. Bit of a Milk-Tray/Ninja gig. Steam up to the venue with 30 mins to spare, play, go home. Great gig tho and lovely people who run it too.

Friday I had a recording session with Gareth Lockrane’s band – Grooveyard. Super music; quite a roast but a good challenge. After that I had a gig at the 606 with the London Horns. They recorded all three recent gigs so I might persuade Barney to put all his stuff on Bandcamp. Great band.

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Sat and Sunday I taught at home. I’ve got some fantastic students at the moment. I relish the opportunity to spend time doing this.

Went to Kew and the zoo after that, here’s a nice pic.

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Monday I had a session with Steven Wilson. I’d been looking forward to this for ages. He’s one of my favourite musicians, amazingly productive and inspiring. We recorded a couple of tracks that basically involved going banzai on the guitar all day. So much fun.

So that’s been sort of my week. Check back on the blog to 2 month’s or so ago and you’ll see I was doing NOTHING for a few months so it’s super nice to be involved with some exciting projects. There’s some good stuff coming soon too: finishing the duo record with Steve Lawson and the Japan trip with TALC. All in all I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

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