A happy 2014 to you! How fares things in diary land? Did you get any natty presents?
Okay, enough about you.
How much of the 47 minute running-time of Channel 4’s recent folk music documentary would you expect to be devoted to female artists? A little more than 5 minutes 26 seconds, right?
Yes, that’s right – I actually counted it.
Which is not to suggest I don’t have anything better to do than sit in front of 4OD on the computer noting down timings on a spreadsheet. Because I really really do. Christmas is less than a fortnight away and I haven’t bought anyone presents yet. But this was a documentary that took me from curiosity and cheerful anticipation to bafflement to shock and eventually to cool fury.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Start at the beginning.
SO… the main event.
Today is the day it goes online. And here it is!
Yes, I have been very silent.
For which I apologise. You might remember I mentioned something about an album, ‘Joy & Jealousy’? My first solo project, of all-traditional songs ‘n’ tunes? It took about a year and a half to make, and the album was unleashed on a vulnerable public on 21st September, at the Old Fire Station Theatre in the centre of Oxford. More on that in a bit…
And since the launch, if I’m honest, I’ve basically been slouched on the sofa watching telly.
Actually, that’s not true at all. It just feels like that when I look at my mountainous To Do List, featuring ‘Now you need to promote the damn thing’ plus ‘All the other shit you should have got done over the last 1.5 years’.
Just building up to releasing the album it felt like I was proofing sleeve notes while being interviewed on the radio while opening the door with my toes. And I felt ON IT. I felt like I was getting so much work done. In the vacuum after the urgency of the launch… it’s just been hard to get back into the groove.
But I have been getting there.
I mean… I’ve just made another album!
This is what I’m dealing with today… this is what I’m looking down the barrel of:
Summer, it seems, is finally a-comin’ in. And I’ve just been to the moovees.
On a day this delightful, where better to be than in a dark room surrounded by strangers?
I’m going to the cinema about once a week at the moment. This is mainly album-recording-based.
Oh yes, I’m working on an album. Have I mentioned that? ‘Joy & Jealousy’ : launch booked for 21st September in the Old Fire Station, Oxford. And, for some unfathomable reason, this will be the first serious proper LP that I will be releasing under my own name. (Having now only a couple of EPs under my belt, and the odd collaboration floating out there somewhere in cyberspace.)
I’ve been working on this album since March last year, and I’m currently on schedule to get it finished by the end of July (i.e. next month). I’m trying to frontload as much of the remaining work as possible, so I really am working like a bastard. And loving every second of it! But it does mean I’m quite antisocial at the moment, and am getting studio-based cabin fever. The perfect antidote to which, it seems, is cinema.
Quick work, my friend! I like your stylings.
In that case, this is one of my favourite 3 minutes in all the world: