Saturday, 30 January 2010

pre-divorce jitters

hello from amongst the boxes.

today, my five and a half year tenure at here at what was affectionately own to all - well, most.. ok, at least some - as Marwood HQ comes to a close, memories put into storage, their actual physical presence to be lost forever from the moment the door shuts for the final time.

i have had my best and worst times here, and i'd like to think the former outweighs the latter. i recorded This Is Not What You Had Planned almost in its entirety about twelve feet behind where i lay now, i wiped a tear from my cheek as i finished the final take of 'You Can Hold On Once' ten months later crouched on the floor to my left (i still can't believe, given it was only three tracks of mine, how problematic putting my part of Exclamation At Asterisk Hash together proved to be) and have spent most of the past fortnight cross-legged here, putting together bits of the album slowly. it's all done by the end of March - the dates are in the book. from then on: artwork, mastering, promotion, release, relax.

tomorrow evening i leave here for the final time, away from the intermittently-leaking bathroom ceiling, the paper-thin walls and the shitty boiler, over to a first floor rented room in the house of a friend of a friend. he is nice, the room is nice, the area is.. sketchy, but where around Reading isn't? the past few days were spent measuring the dimensions of all my important stuff, of the corresponding widths and depths of my new home to decide in advance which parts of my life must be given the boot. in fairness, most of it is coming with me by some miracle of feng shui. provided my measurements are right. did i mention i'm shit at it?

but in truth, i'd rather be staying. i hate leaving anywhere, and this is the first place i called mine since i left my parents' ten years ago. to go back to living in someone else's house feels like, and is, a step back, and i have made no secret that i am worse off now financially than when i was working in a supermarket at 16. but, these things must be done. i don't want to leave, but i have to leave. for the greater good, as Inspector Butterman would say.

to all who sailed in her.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

a midwinter picnic

just a quick one - this Sunday (24th) is the second Midwinter Picnic, organised by politically-charged super-songwriter Chris T-T, and i'm honoured to be invited to play.

running at West Hill Hall a few minutes walk from the station, it's a charity alldayer which is an organisation well worth your pennies. i think it's seated, i heard a rumour it's BYOB, and at £12 it's a touch more than your normal hard-earned, but for your money you not only get me and Chris, you also get The Singing Adams (ex-Broken Family Band, who i seem to miss more every day for some reason), Dry The River and Thomas White (of Electric Soft Parade & Brakes) amongst others.

the last clutch of tickets are here for your buying pleasure:


Monday, 18 January 2010

so this is Christm.. oh, no, wait, it isn't anymore

heh. sorry. time gets away from you.

happy new year? it's far too late to bid a teary goodbye to 2009 (which turned out to be one of the greatest years in the history of human life, if you're me and/or my immediate life) so i'll just say: thanks to those who came along for the ride, particularly Barry (Oxygen-Thief), Jim (Lockey) and Frank (Turner), everyone who came out to the tour, faces both new and old, and anyone who made the special gigs that much more special, from the decade-closer at the Union Chapel, to the best rainy day ever at 2000 Trees in the summer.

but onwards, and upwards. the past few weeks have seen me neglect everything, ever, in my bid to track down a new place to live at the end of the month. i've found one, it's all on, and business can now resume. after five and a half years, i'll be sad to leave this place. not this place, where the walls are too thin and the heat escapes so readily it's impossible to heat, but the paths i walk every day, and that old guy who has eyes like a teddy bear.

still, the irons are in the fire, the wheels are slowly turning again.

a couple of points to note:

Evening Post's one to watch for 2010
the lovely Jenny at BBC Introducing took it upon herself at the turn of the year to write an article about how 2010 should be my year. it's good to have people fighting my corner without even the need to ask:
(yes, the link is from the Wokingham edition, but it's the only one i could find)

the Rising Sun Arts Centre gig on 26th Feb is now not on the 26th
but on Saturday the 20th. Tom Williams couldn't make the 26th after all, so the 20th will have to do.
tickets here:

hello, you.