Reckless Heart Release

So the Reckless Heart EP is out! And you can get CDs in the Store and download/stream it wherever you see fit. It’s six piano songs, live, recorded in a in May’17 at the Brook Studio by Andy Brook, with the absolutely awesome Daniel Fitzgibbon on bass and Dan “Mighty Danny” Smith on drums. I haven’t gone all-out with a big launch and the “official” reason I’ve been giving for this is that… it’s different, it’s not my core material, this was a massively fun side-project and they’re not songs that are part of my live set – I might have played a couple of them once, ever, several years ago (for anyone who remembers the glorious days of the Hoodoo’s open mic in Croydon).


The deeper reason (and the reason I’ve been dithering over the release for two years) is because the songs are still incredibly raw for me, hefty emotional songs about some of the toughest specific moments I’ve been through. There are songs about feeling completely intimidated performing; about loving someone who will never, ever, be able to love you back; about relationships devoid of intimacy; about being supported through a referral into life-changing (probably life-saving) psychotherapy; about cracks in a marriage; about sanity called into question. And quite honestly, I wrote these songs out of desperation, and I was angry: angry about the situations I was in, about things that had happened, about things I’d done. I cracked, and songs leaked out. So every so often over the past two years, I’ve picked up the project to work on the artwork or plan the distribution or whatever and thought, nah, I’m not sure the world needs to hear the worst of who I’ve been, regurgitated in musical form. And I kept going round in that circle until a friend at a gig told me to just do it anyway. Other people write in rawer ways. You are not necessarily handing your pain on. To everyone else, it’s music. I’ve been playing the piano since I was five – a lot longer than I’ve been doing a lot of things – so it makes sense that the songs I wrote there would get at the deeper stuff. And all of this over-thinking only happens when I do that: think about the record.


When I listen to it, it makes me really happy.

Because it’s a different energy, and a different sound.

Because the day we recorded it was a hell of a lot of fun.

Because it was something I had always dreamed of doing.

Because I never imagined getting to work with guys this talented.

Because I hear the three of us all pulling off riffs and turns that were genius and totally of the moment, live

Because in their way all these songs are about people I loved very much and who were hugely significant: my ex-husband, my ex-boyfriend, the ex-boyfriend before that, my therapist, the other musicians I met when I first started gigging, the alter-ego-muse I occasionally try to chase.

Because of what I’ve learned.

Because one of these songs is the first song I wrote, and by extension because writing and playing songs has changed my life in such massive, magical ways.

We had a great day, and I love these songs, and I hope you’ll enjoy them.  

Beacon Backstories: Last Summer

The more I write about the songs the more I realise how much they’ve made things better for me. Maybe not one particular song but as a whole, it’s very comforting to know they’re out there in the world.

Premise: A cheery song about the premonition that life was about to get better, and a close friend was about to arrive.

I wrote the core of this under a tree by the stream at Beddington Park in a break between sets at the Wallington Music Festival, during a boiling hot year that I think must have been 2015. I spent a lot of that summer running around parks and lying in the grass in the sunshine – slept barefoot is a bit of an exaggeration but not by much – and also spent that year and the years around it playing a lot of music and making a lot of friends, so this song was a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Recording Process:

This was one song that just got happier as it went along and it really was a team effort. The draft track having been passed around everyone was invited to contribute their own lines – Chris came in first with his bass line that pushed the song further on its cheery little path and then Vicky gave us a range of sounds by experimenting with different beaters – we ended up going with something top-endy to sit in the mix alongside Daniel’s snare. But the real show-stealer was Aidan’s ultra-catchy mandolin riff that had us all chirping along for days after that session. Then thought we’d throw in some vocal echoes in the verses.

Feature Lyrics:

Heard you calling in the rain coming down

Barefoot in the grass I slept


The way it’s always seemed to me

Life leads us where we need to be


Listen out for:

Extremely cheery mandolin starting 0:14 and onwards… and some tasty mandolin harmony at 2:44

Band stops in the verses like 0:23, 1:24, 2:42


Best band song by far! Lots of fun to play, great to have everyone pile in wherever it comes in the set.

Live video of Last Summer at Ruskin House (Croydon Folk & Blues Club) night 25th March 2018.

Beacon Backstories: Messages

When someone asks you, outright, if you’re in love with them, what do you say?


Recording Process:
Super straightforward – guitar and vocal first, piano added after. I was aiming for a drumless mix and it turned out to be one of those rare songs that works equally well on piano and guitar.

This song was fun to write and if you’ve seen it live you may well know the story because it’s one I love to tell – suffice to say that I lied when I told you I wasn’t in love, but darlin’ you lied to me too is a real-life extract and the song is about concealing the truth as much as telling it. I’ll admit to not having always acquitted myself well in matters of the heart; but sometimes writing a song can right a situation in your head and provide those words you needed at the time but failed to find, and for that reason I find singing this song immensely satisfying (and it’s also quite slushy in its way, which works). The bridge is one of my favourite to sing, it’s quite close to the top of my range and I remember writing it thinking it was a bit of risk (putting things together in the studio is a good time to take risks). There are good practical reasons for playing this one early in a live set as the bridge acts as a good barometer for how well my voice is warming up – the rest of it being fairly low and comfortable. I try to write to the edges of my range wherever possible (it’s not that far!) because I think you can get some really good emotional tension at the top end, or by slipping into falsetto at just the right point – for that reason there are songs that I wouldn’t be able to guarantee would work at the start of a set, but this isn’t one of them (I’m thinking Flowers maybe, or Wish These Years Away, or something like Daughters of Mercy).

Feature Lyrics:

You’re so easy to love, it’s not like I can help it

Listen out for:

Piano run at 0:10 and on the entry to all the other verses. The spectacular Fabia Anderson very kindly did the honours on piano at the launch night (as well as treating us to a spellbinding solo opening to the second half) and gave this 4-note run some special attention; it’s still hummed by members of the band as Fabia’s solo whenever we play it live if she’s not there :)


More likely to get played than not, it usually fits in the set somewhere.



Beacon Backstories: Daughters of Mercy

Premise: Well If you can hear it it’s probably in there… feminist anthem? anti-trumpist rallying cry? Love, understanding, empathy, kindness, are what’s needed to save the world and we should be bold and unreserved in their use.  

I wish I had some great story about how this song got written, or that I could even remember when it was or what I was doing at the time. I know it must have been at around the same time as Saving The Day because I was experimenting with circle-of-fifths ideas in both of them (loosely!) This was definitely an occasion where I felt smaller than the song, and didn’t feel like I always knew where it was going, but sometimes the songs come to us and through us and although we try to channel them we don’t always have a choice about what they say – just a choice to write them down or ignore them completely.

I’m not generally a politically-motivated writer, which until recently I believed was because there was little, if anything, in our politics that was worth drawing attention to, and that even by writing about something you hate you become a mouthpiece for it or towards it or at it – net result that there is more of it in the world, not less. Braver, funnier and clever people than I do amazing jobs wielding songwriting to this end, and I am so grateful they do. I have my opinions, same as anyone, but my default stance is that I’m not really engaged enough or informed enough to comment publicly and anyway, I tend to retreat into a multi-dimensional internal and often imaginary world to counter what I find disappointing or uncontrollable on the outside. I believe that people can always keep trying to treat each other better, and it feels like we live in times where there is a stark choice and a determined effort to be made, to keep trying to be better, and to focus on what we have in common, when there are so many forces trying to pit us against each other.

Anyway, I invented an imaginary army and called it Daughters of Mercy.

Recording Process: Fairly straightforward, guitar + vocal, bowed and plucked double bass, and some strategically placed cymbal rolls.

The set of these three mixes one after the other (Behind the Lines, Fire on the Mountain, Daughters of Mercy) was the strongest statement I could imagine making to start the album, musically and conceptually.

Feature Lyrics:

The only occurrence of the word Beacon (well, Beacons) comes around in the final verse – the light theme continues, and here, too, light is a symbol for hope.

Listen out for:

De-tuned bottom note in the bass at 2:12.

Coda section from 3:30 – putting those layers of vocals together was one of the most fun parts of the whole album for me.

Live: Only ever tried it twice! But those who made it to the launch at the Oval will remember this one as the pivotal moment where Daniel played drums and bass at the same time ;)

Beacon Backstories: Fire On The Mountain

Fire On The Mountain



Premise: Fairy-tale princess gets kidnapped. Loosely inspired by the Beacons of Gondor scene from Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.


Recording Process: Another last-minute unlikely addition to the album, this one started out with a drop-D guitar part that I couldn’t play in its entirety (great start so far for the album with unfinished/impossible to play songs!) We cobbled the guitar together in sections and again I think there were some fairly incomplete lyrics that went along with it until quite near the end. It’s again down to the magic of the studio that there’s a complete song to show for this – listening back to it now the details on the guitar. This was the first of 3 songs I decided would benefit for a bit of piano treatment and maybe that’s when it really started to come together - because the piano line is incredibly satisfying to play. Then Dan added drums, lots of low toms and splashy cymbals, and I put the viola line on top – there is an instrumental draft version still up on Soundcloud here which I like at least as much as the sung version.


The bottom note in the vocal line (holding on) is a bottom D! I was quite proud of that. I can’t get there in the normal course of things – I think you can hear from the recording that I’m pushing the limit of my range, but it’s amazing what warm-ups can do.


Feature Lyrics:

He’d post a sentry standing watch at night

Always said I was his queen of darkness in his palace of light


Listen out for:

Guitar slides e.g. at 0:20

Piano accents at 3:50

Viola line in the bridge especially 3:51 - 4:03


Live: don’t know/can’t do it (haha!) but it was a lot of fun with the band!


Beacon Backstories: Behind The Lines

Behind The Lines

Premise: Love, separation, war and death

Recording Process: This was very nearly not a song at all, and very much an experiment in writing about something - war - that I know nothing about. Usually I have a fairly settled idea about a song pretty quickly but my uncertainty over Behind The Lines meant it was hard to pin down - I’ve never had so many combinations of possible lyrics and parts of verses for a song before or since! It reminded me of writing poetry in school almost. In the end I related it back to something I do know something about: writing .The central idea of giving someone a book where you’ve written down all the things you’ve felt about them, for them to read and draw strength from when you’re far away – well that’s just the sort of thing I would do.

Musically, I knew I wanted to do something unaccompanied or at least with no guitar, something that would foreground the vocal (don’t get me wrong, I love to play, but singing is the bit I live for) that could maybe be the album opener. I had unfinished fragments of Behind The Lines floating about quite late into the Beacon process – there’s no Half-Light version because it didn’t exist as a song at that point, and anyway it would have been just the vocal… might work, might not. On the day we went in to record Vicky’s bodhrán session she kindly played the rhythm along to a quickly cobbled-together guide track of mis-ordered lyrics and humming – almost as an experiment, but it was enough to give me hope that the song might eventually come together. We kept discussing it during the sessions that followed and Gareth talked about asking Russ to come in and drum, which he did, bringing an authentic WWII-era snare with him. I really feel like I owe Gareth a lot for getting taken up with this song and encouraging me to keep trying ideas lyrically and on the production – not sure I would have persevered with it on my own. I think the vocals went down next, and then we put the viola drones in, recording all the notes of the scale and bringing them in and out on the faders to make chords, until it ended up being the perfect atmospheric start to the album.

Feature lyrics:            

And summoned he no angels there

In the dark, laid his wounds to shadows bare


Listen out for:

The augmented 4th in the drone at 3:13

Forever-reverb on the last note of the vocal at 3:47 onwards.


Live: works well with just the bodhrán and harmonies, and Vicky’s been known to throw in the harmonies as well. At the launch night we had Maggie Smith put the drone in on her shruti box – it was the first song of the show and a brilliant feature to kick off with.


There’s now a video of the hand-written lyrics here.



Orpington Liberal Club - 19th January

Starting back the year after a bit of a break with a gig at Orpington Liberal Club - on a wintry Saturday night in deepest darkest Kent, preceded by curry with friends and wrapped up with flowers and chocolates (I only won the raffle! I’m considering that an auspicious sign for 2019!) It was a shared set with Bernard Hoskin who splits his time between Kent and Cambridge and who I consequently run into a fair bit at gigs - in fact we played back-to-back at one of the OLC garden parties back in the summer. The Liberal Club to me is one of those places that you only have to visit once (particularly if it’s for anything music-related) and you will walk away with a whole bunch of mates and feel at home there forever afterwards. They run a whole range of music events of different scales and genres so there’s always something to get involved with and they do know how to give a warm welcome.

It’s been about 6 weeks since my last gig, and having had some time to pause and reflect I am feeling much more relaxed about things in general; person first, musician second after all. I need some new songs to revitalise what I’m doing live; as much as I love my existing songs, my darkness has shifted and going through the process of stepping back into it because of pressures to perform just seems really counter to me-as-a-person thriving, for the moment. I also just need a whole lot more home alone time to be happy than I thought I did, so I am writing a bit more, and going to other people’s gigs a bit more, and gigging ever so slightly less, and am in a contemplative phase about all things creative which may yet see me more active on the blog and sharing a bit more via livestreaming of what comes out of the process. It has been good to be reminded that, ultimately, creativity is freedom and there are no rules on how you approach it or what you then do with the output. I am feeling ever-better and long may that continue! On that note here’s the first ever outing of Ahead of the Game courtesy of the OLC’s Peter Muldoon:

Beacon Backstories

Beacon  was released a year ago on Monday!

Beacon was released a year ago on Monday!

Something I’ve been toying with (in between getting distracted by Scotland, France, Cornwall, and so on) is writing up a blog series on the stories behind the songs on Beacon and how they came about. This is something I’m tempted to do with every release to be honest, so I usually set it aside, but with Beacon it won’t quite go away - I think because there was so much more involved in its making, there is that much more to tell. I’ve worked on production before, for and with other people, but I think when it comes to your own material, as a songwriter there’s this extra dimension of suddenly having all these extra sounds to play with, but also the challenge of, how do I keep the sound true to myself, and communicate that to all the other people involved?

I think also that something I’m becoming more aware of as I talk to people, is how listeners hear the songs can be so far tangential to where they actually came from and the real sources of inspiration behind them. Sometimes I agree this is better left well alone and the beauty of songs is that they can mean so many different things to different people - I remember reading something Seal was supposed to have said once, about not including lyrics in the album inserts because he’d rather people hear the words the way they wanted to. But I think for me, maybe the time has come that I do just need to talk about it all, a bit, so to coincide with the anniversary of the launch I’m make a start and see how it goes. There were also parts of the recording process and moments within the songs that were incredibly exciting and meaningful for me at the time, which I fear will be lost otherwise. It’s a chance to go back and listen to some of the tracks again with a bit more knowledge of what went into them.

So here, setting the scene for your in-depth Beacon experience, are the characters:

Vicky Keohane - Bodhrán
Aidan Keohane - Mandolin

Father and daughter, Aidan and Vicky are friends I know for quite a while from the Croydon folk/folk and blues clubs - Ruskin House, Lime Meadow etc. They play together as a duo and in various other groups. Hilarity and high-energy abound. Vicky also played on the Doesn’t Take Much EP earlier in 2017.

Chris Hyde-Harrison - Double Bass
Maggie Casey - Whistles
Stephen Nurse - Chromatic Harmonica

These are all fantastic musicians who I’ve met through folk clubs or different open mic circuits in central/south London - I think it says a lot about the complexity and wealth of the different live music scenes here that there was no overlap between anyone until we worked on this project.

Gareth Cobb - Bass guitar
Russ Watts - Drumming for Behind The Lines

Gareth was the engineer, mixer and co-producer and it was his studio where we recorded Beacon and Half-light (not to mention These Hours as well). It was so great, after three years of having him work on my stripped-back acoustic projects, to finally have him play bass on Beacon. Russ was introduced via Gareth and the studio to add the military drumming on Behind The Lines.

So that was the palette, and these were the people. We had wind, strings, percussion; a little bit of everything to gently embellish these songs and coax them out of their acoustic beginnings. Piano was recorded at Perryvale Studios just down the road. I wanted a choice of subtle accents rather than a uniform wall of production for this project and was quietly pleased that by accident all the songs came out with slightly different selections for the mix - a couple are just me on guitar plus vocals and harmonies, others have almost everyone on at once, and there’s just about every combination in between. It felt pretty obvious what most of the songs needed as we were going along, and while I suppose there’s always more you can do if you have the time, there wasn’t anything critical I felt missing from these mixes. What was interesting in hindsight, was working the songs up for the launch as an ensemble, and having various members add new things in and swap parts (or even play two parts at once!) - there’s no way we would have done that during the recording stage because the Beacon “band” such as it loosely is didn’t exist until after it was finished - but it’s great to see the songs continue to evolve.

I’m going to be taking you on a tour through bits of the recording process (the bits I remember!) favourite lyrics, live notes and miscellaneous thoughts on the songs and generally feeling grateful for this project and to everyone who worked on it.

I can't believe I haven't posted about LINE (!)

How how HOW can my last blog post be from June?! I really thought I had blogged at least a little bit more than that. My own sense of time has been a little bit out of sync with the speed of things on the internet - the gigs have kept happening, the videos have kept coming in, the occasional new song has been making its way out.

What is really unforgivable is that I never blogged about the LINE (Live in the North East) gig in July - I think you can really blame Scotland for this and for being so darn distracting afterwards. In the end the date got moved from Thursday to Tuesday (thanks to the amazing LINE team who seem able to pull a gig, including full audience, out of nowhere, just like that - I appreciate it takes a lot of work to make things look so effortless!) As a consequence of the change in date though I ended up going to Scotland after and not before - doing a thousand miles or more on my own in the car and soaking up the beauty of the Caledonian summer. I may come back and post some pictures that’ll attest to why my attention may have been elsewhere!

This was an amazing gig on a boiling hot summer’s evening opening for the fantastic Steve Pledger, who up close was every bit the intense and authentic performer I had been led to believe he would be. I was thrilled to have the chance to duet with him on There We Are - the one-off performance of which was captured for the LINE youtube page, link to which below. LINE run some pretty incredible gigs, but more than that they are all just lovely people who really do just care, there were so many sweet surprises along the way and we’ve kept in touch (updates to Jo’s boot collection a concern now dear to my heart) despite the distance (did I mention that I tried to get there via Norfolk? Not the quickest route so I’m told). The audience were really welcoming and we were lucky enough to have Roots and Fusion’s Rick Stuart there who has blogged a review of the gig here; I also had one very good friend come to watch who I knew from way back in my last couple of years of teaching. We all took advantage of Northumberland’s spectacular beaches the next day.

LINE, you wonderful lot, I wish you weren’t so far, but it was one of the highlights of my year meeting you.

Road trips and inspiration

It's not really "news" to say that I haven't been here as much lately! Been making the most of the weather and taking a bit of time out in between gigs to get out and about exploring, on road trips, on long walks, taking some time away in the peace and isolation offered by our wonderful countryside. 

People ask me whether I do much songwriting when I'm away and the answer is mostly... not really! - but I do always have my guitar with me. Sometimes being away from home gives me more of a chance just sit down and try new things or finish up old things; sometimes I just get caught up in the driving and the walking and the miles covered and whatever might be around the next corner or behind the next bump in the road. In a wider sense, though, I'm inspired by the beauty and endless growth in nature, and everything I see seeps down to inspire me - you never know what might resurface in a song at a much later date. 

So that, plus dealing with some life stuff, and being a year older, is what I've been doing really. The gigs are still rolling in and I have a new list of dates to collate and share shortly. 

In the meantime I wanted to share a few of my favourite vistas from the Lake District where I got extremely lucky with the weather last month! 

Resting Place live video, BBC Gloucestershire, and gig on Friday

There's a new video of Resting Place here - this is from the Ruskin House gig in March, with Daniel Fitzgibbon on drums and Aidan Keohane on Mandolin. This is a neat (short!) little song that I love to play live, I remember first hearing those drums in the studio and how the song just came to life (though there's a version on both Beacon and Half-light so you can have it either way). It's also my "angry" song, take that as you will!

I'm very grateful to Johnny Coppin for including it on his acoustic show for BBC Radio Gloucestershire from a couple of weekends ago - it's available on the iPlayer here if you'd like to hear the show in full. 

Also a reminder that I am playing at the inaugural She Shows event at the Leyden Gallery (Spitalfields) on Friday night there is music from 8pm, info here and tickets here. Thanks to everyone who made it to the beautiful (and warm!) night at Blackheath Halls last Friday! I have been playing a couple of friends' open mics this week so rushing around a bit but hope to be back with some more videos and updates over the weekend!

Win or Lose, and naming the muses

I've had a bit of an idea... 

When I was thinking about posting today's video I found myself wandering down a story-path that took me back to where it was written, the various parks that supplied the imagery and the people who influenced the lyrics and the atmosphere. And here I hit the usual difficulty - because I want very much to go into detail about the circumstances and the influences and the people I'm grateful to for being so powerfully present in my life and harbouring my art, but it seems dramatically unwise to call these people out by name or to go into too much real-life detail - songwriting is so personal and subjective and I don't believe any of the people I've written songs about know for sure that the songs are about them (not to assume that everyone would care, but I would if it were me!) 

SO I've thought about using code words to build up pictures of the personae that have been formative for me and would help give some more context to the songs, and at first I thought about stealing some names randomly from some established pantheon - Greek, Turkish, Japanese perhaps - but then I thought, what do I actually care about? Trees! Why not use species of trees? This would let me build up pictures and interlink songs that relate to the same people, and maybe sneak some things into the Language of Trees and Sky blog too. My knowledge not being that distinct maybe we'll all learn a little something too hah. Perhaps I've been over-indulging lately in Robert MacFarlane's nature lexica. Personally, I love the idea of an imagined Forest of formative influences - it reminds me a little bit of Judy Dench's Love of Trees and this quote from her interview in the Guardian: 'Many of Dench’s friends are remembered in trees. “It’s something living that goes on,” she explains. “You don’t remember them and stop; you remember them and the memory goes on and gets more wonderful.”' And of course Tori Amos talks at length about her muses who seem to be very well-defined as individual characters. 

I would love to know what you guys think of this. In the meantime here's the band version of Win or Lose, which appropriately has my favourite ever tree-themed bridge lyric as well as an appropriate dose of light imagery (it is a Beacon song after all): 

Rob Anderson and I used to sing this song a bit although we never recorded it (the rest of the SumnerAnderson collection is here) - the last line of the last verse "I'll be your side-kick, if we ever get that far" always reminds me of singing this with him and of some hilarious side-kick-themed joke poster artwork he did for us - happy times. 

I've been up in your branches, hanging down
I've been planting the magic in your ground
I've been the voice of illusion in your ear
I'll be the light that guides you
as you go on from here

Video flurry

We're having a video editing day here at ASM HQ (heavily interspersed with coffee and naps!) - I've got a new lyric video in progress and have managed to get hold of some close-up footage from the Croydon Folk & Blues Club gig a couple of weeks ago, thanks to the very patient Colin who videoed practically the whole set on his phone! It's great to have the atmosphere with the band captured, lots of giggles and everyone looking relaxed at Ruskin. If you can make it there tomorrow night you can catch the Dave King Band - Dave King was at Ruskin the first time I ever went there and I've never forgotten his song People My Age. Also there that night was the wonderful Christine Halpin and someone I've still yet to identify who gave a most beautiful rendition of Richard Thompson's Beeswing, a song which has never left my heart as a result. 

Anyway I digress. In summary, we hopefully have live band videos coming down the pipeline of about half of Beacon, not to mention Go Out Of Tune's Half-Light special that gets released next Friday. In the meantime here a couple of oldies from a wonderful gig two years ago in Wandle Park  (not the one with the Beacon tower but another great and much-loved central Croydon park!) - the first live version of Swim Any Sea and the time Renegades got invaded by a helicopter and then a tram. 

Solid Ground - Go Out Of Tune live session video

Here is the first of the videos from the Go Out Of Tune live session last weekend (I'm not sure Max ever sleeps??!) at St. John's Hoxton. There are plenty of reasons why I went with Solid Ground - it just feeling right for the setting being the main one (I made the decision when I got there) and also being the first chance I've had to do a video in this kind of setting I wanted to choose something that was comfortable and that people will know and hopefully enjoy. We made two videos; the other one will be revealed on the GOOT channel next week - it's one of the new album songs but I'll leave you to find out which one when the time comes...

Along the Tracks feature

Neil King featured Beacon and Half-light as albums of the week for this Along The Tracks episode back in February - it's now here on Mixcloud to enjoy in full. It starts with Behind The Lines and ends with Fire on the Mountain and has the Half-light version of Daughters of Mercy in the middle, which seems logical to me as Tide Will Turn was Neil's pick from These Hours if I remember rightly - to me there's a correlation between the two. Many thanks to Neil and to FATEA for their support as always! 

Ruskin House -

Sunday night we had a band gig for Croydon Folk & Blues Club at Ruskin House - our second outing as a band and a great night it was too! I went to the Ruskin Folk & Blues club a lot when I first started playing and a lot of the regulars there supported, encouraged and mentored me as I was learning how to perform - not to mention that it was the testing ground for most of my songs! So it's lovely to play there and we had a great crowd who were familiar with some of the songs. Thanks to the hard work and attentiveness of friends in the audience we've managed to snag some quite good bits of video - the first is here, which is Last Summerand there'll be some more to come. 

Packed night at the cosiest of venues!

Packed night at the cosiest of venues!

Dan and a happy Maggie with her Shruti box

Dan and a happy Maggie with her Shruti box

Anne Sumner & friends POW 25 March 2018 018.jpg

St. John's Hoxton

I had a great afternoon filming live song videos with Go Out Of Tune at St. John's in Hoxton today. We did a version of All These Little Things which will show up on the GOOT channel and a super long take of Solid Ground which will go out on mine. The acoustics at St. John's are just incredible and it's quite a setting as you can see from the pictures. It's been a while since I've done any serious video work and and having that quiet space just for those songs, an hour of calm in amidst the bustle of gigs and travelling and everything else that's been going on, was just wonderful. I'll be back with the video links once they're posted!


...and other things...

So I had the day off after Eastbourne (day off regular work that is!) - which is just as well as I was on such a high it took almost an hour of post-gig debriefing over coffee and another hour and a bit of a drive home to come off it - and spent some of the afternoon jamming some new ideas with the awesome Daniel Fitzgibbon. Daniel is a top guy but a multi-instrumentalist, he played percussion on Beacon and bass on Reckless Heart (more of which soon!) and played both together on Daughters of Mercy at the Beacon launch night. He has super ideas and his knowledge of chords far surpasses mine I'm always learning something from him. 

Then in the evening we tried some stuff out at the Project B open mic. I probably get to an open mic about once a week these days, mostly to try out new material or meet up with friends, as there are some that only happen once or twice a month and it's the only way to catch up with some people! This was nice and chilled with bass and guitar, we look pretty engrossed(!); I think Renegades was probably the song that worked best in retrospect. 

Today I've been at rehearsals with Sarabande Stone who I'm pleased to say have recording dates coming up! Most of what we do is improvised so it'll be great to capture it in its current format. And tomorrow I'm shooting videos at St John's in Hoxton with the lovely people at Go Out Of Tune - so some miscellaneous non-gig stuff is going on behind the scenes this week. I think about all the people I've met and the experiences I've had in just this one week and it blows my mind!

Photo by Mike Bale

Photo by Mike Bale

The Lamb Folk Club, Eastbourne

I had a really lovely evening at the Lamb Folk Club last night - first gig in Eastbourne for me and the first chance to hear the lovely Rowan Godel, who sang a mixture of her own originals and traditional songs, some unaccompanied - her voice is just divine. You can check out her latest EP September Skies on Bandcamp here. It was a fantastic venue with really great sound and one of the most attentive audiences I've ever played to - I think we both made the most of the opportunity to indulge in every note and as you can see, we had a great time!

Many thanks to Nick and everyone for having us, and to John for all these photos.