So I really haven’t been keeping on top of my website recently, something to go on my list of new year’s resolutions (probably should have gone on the 2014 resolutions, but lucky it didn’t as this is my first post of this year!) Well it’s been a very busy year looking back to January 2014, which now feels like a lifetime ago. The year started with a great tour all over England as part of the Maz O’Connor trio, playing with Maz and Laura Carrivik of the The Carrivik Sisters in a double bill tour with welsh folk band Jamie Smiths Mabon. This saw us perform at some lovely venues all around the country, meeting lots of nice people and travelling some looong distances (the 500 miles from Fareham to Kirkcaldy was particularly long).
The end of spring and into the summer was filled with various gigs, ceilidhs and lots of teaching, including the final stages of the Raising the Bar project at The Custom’s House, a 2-year project that I was very proud to be part of, aimed at introducing young people to being in a band. This was followed by a very enjoyable week teaching on the Coquet Voices project in Rothbury, introducing young people to their heritage and dialect through music-making and song-writing, and an inspiring week in Denmark playing with the Tappy Lappy Quartet as well as a brand new band brought together for the week, involving some of the best musicians I’ve ever had the pleasure to play with.
The highlight of the year, however, has been the two tours with Världens Band, a 14-piece ‘Transglobal Roots Fusion’ group based in Sweden. First was a knackering but amazing month spent in Sweden during summer, playing at all the major folk festivals to fantastic crowds and with some really amazing musicians. There wasn’t much of a break after, however, as the final touches to the band’s first UK tour were needed, which I had spent the last year and a half organsing, before taking place in October 2014. And what a great tour, playing to sold out crowds at venues including Sage Gateshead, Musicport Festival (where we will return in 2015), A Carefully Planned Festival #4, Leeds and Newcastle Universities amongst others.
There are now lots of exciting plans for 2015, which I will write about in a later post as this has gotten rather long! But please check back soon or look at the rest of my website for the latest news and to see where my bands will take me during 2015…