Happy New Year folks! Can we still say that? What’s the cut off point? It’s the 22nd January….
So looking at my last blog post, which dates back to October after my big chat about keeping this blog going every week….Well I failed. Miserably!
Anyway, so after the last post, I had my launch gig at The Golden Lion on the 15th October, which kicked off the JACKSON project with a full house and great atmosphere. I was a nervous wreck pretty much all of the day and the majority of the gig. A whole load of friends and musicians attended, which was most appreciated but at the same time heightened the sense of nervousness as this was/is a project I’ve been harping on about for a long time and of course one would want the performance to be flawless and live up to expectations. For me, and the band I believe it did that very thing; the feedback was really positive and the spectators were with us from start to finish, making the whole effort, build up and promotion totally worth it.
A brilliant, much needed gig and I know it’s a few months late, but thank you to all those who attended and big up to Schoolboy’s Death Trio!
So, moving on – Onwards and upwards. JACKSON is a project I’m giving my all to. In November, we produced 2 music videos: Live performances of Rain (A track which is on my upcoming EP in February 2016) and an alternative version of Change (from my original EP recorded as a 5 piece). These were brilliantly filmed and edited by the fantastic Laura Palmer (www.photolaura.co.uk)
Who I can’t thank enough for the excruciating pain in the ass it is to film 8 members of a band playing 8 completely different parts all day in my stupid weird songs which jump from section to section, and sync it all on her own.
In addition I was very lucky to get Lloyd Starr record and mix the audio parts for these live performances (lloydstarraudio.com/) and thanks to them ‘JACKSON’ is now on youtube.
These 2 videos have really paved the way into what is looking like a hopeful and successful first full year of this project – Festivals and various venues are offering slots to perform as a full band which is exactly what I have been intending to do for a few years now. It has taken the time it has for various reasons to reach a point in my musical career so far to be writing, fronting and managing a band where the music created is truly what I love, projects my personality the most and pushes my compositional limits. I have the band members and personal life to thank for this.
Now into January, In terms of ‘JACKSON’, we have now completed our second gig at The Gallimaufry, covering James Morton’s Groove Den night.
Over the time he has been resident at this venue, James has built up a really successful night that brings all lovers of Funk, Soul and Groove vibes there.
Even for cold miserable January, we had a full house and great sound on stage, which, from what I’ve heard, was equally good from the crowd’s point of view.
This second gig of ours felt so much more relaxed; the pressure and anxiety of the launch gig and wanting everything to be just right and bang on (which of course it never is and looking back is a negative way to feel about how a performance should go) had gone and therefore made us play so much better. It obviously helped by having much better quality sound on stage!
The lads in the band were on fire and it projected into the audience. A really top night, and we even played 2 brand new previously unheard ridiculous tracks without about 7 different sections!
Here we are then – UP to date with JACKSON.
Next stage – Having the new 6-track EP mixed and completed by Lloyd Starr and a brand new music video filmed and edited by Laura again. (However this time not a live performance and more of an acting thing!)
These 6 tracks are a mixture of Funk, Progressive Rock, Jazz, R&B and anything in-between. They are what I would say is my most creative work and cannot wait to share it with everyone. Lloyd is absolutely the man to make this record magic and can’t recommend him enough.
More gig/festival announcements coming up soon – Watch/Read this space!
With Soul Strutters – We are continuing to play every week, roughly 4 times a week! This has to be the most fun and energetic covers band there is. It’s always a complete pleasure in performing with these lads every single time. Since October we have now gained 2 new residencies – Every Sunday night at Mbargo on the Clifton Triangle, and every Thursday night at The Brass Pig. Both free entry, come and have a boogie with us. The weddings are flying in thick and fast and 2016 looks to be just as busy as the previous 2 years being in this act. Check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/soulstruttersuk for gig listings and videos etc.
Another aspect of the musical journey that I’d like to mention is the beginnings of my radio career (haha). Being a massive fan of Alan Partridge and posting various songs on Facebook, presenting a radio show has been something I have always wanted to do. Although I thought I would be doing this when I was more middle-aged, the lovely gents of Bristol Soul Train have given me a weekly show on Soul Train Radio! Every Monday you catch my show at www.soultrainradio.co.uk at 6-8pm, and of course, I’ll be spinning ample Rare Groove, Disco, Funk, Jazz and Soul as well as chatting about Bristol-based acts and plugging their own music on air, live! Tune in and text in for some shout-outs and Partridge-like chatter.
So rather than giving it the “weekly blog post update” lies, I’m going to stick to a monthly blog at the least and hopefully more entries. That, even I can stick to, right? RIGHT?