Carys’s Musical Review Of 2018 Which Nonetheless Doesn’t Include Every Live Performance, Rehearsal Or Even Every Concert I Attended Because That Would Be Silly
The musical year began on 6th January playing in The Netherlands and having colds! In the middle of the month my album crowdfunder closed with well over 100% funding which meant suddenly everything was very real indeed! The rest of the month included 8 recording sessions. A really organised person would tell you which tracks were recorded on which day. Sadly, I am not that organised person.
With less than ten weeks before the album launch, I spent 10 days at David’s studio this month…again, I have no records of what was recorded on which date! At the end of the months there was (for England at least) an impressive quantity of snow, which did not stop me from getting to the studio though my car almost got stuck at the end of the road!
According to my diary I was at the studio 12 times this month, including one period of 9 days/nights of which 7 of them were in the studio and I was also working full time! During that week Mike (bass), Tim (guitar) Sophie (whistles and vocals), Sue, Mim and Rosemary (vocals) all recorded their parts for my album. I remember the evening when Sophie was in the studio as the night I fell asleep on the floor. She and David recorded everything and woke me up to listen when it was finished!
Also, to prove my magnificent lack of organisational skills, during the last week of March I finished writing (and we began recording) 13… yes, that’s 13 as in “A Different Kind Of Normal”!
April is a blur. The first ten days were spent finishing off the album mixing and mastering; a weekend of Code Indigo rehearsals…and now the truth can be told. We didn’t even think about the album artwork until the beginning of April. The majority of it was done in a 24 hour period without much sleep and the entire album mastering was finished at 6pm on a Monday evening before I leapt in the car and drove to Felixstowe, arriving 8 minutes before I was due to play live on Roger Pettit’s radio show! Roger, if you wondered why I was twitching a bit in the studio that evening, that’ll be the reason!
The 20th was Mike’s 70th birthday and the day after he officially became my stepdad by marrying my mother. Despite everything else going on I somehow found the time to write a song for the occasion; called “Hot Tub Honeymoon” (don’t ask!)
Then on the 27th, THIS happened!
Bill Pipe’s xxth birthday festival (which was indoors) and Spring Wood day (which was, as the name would suggest, completely acoustic and in a wood) started the month. At the end of the month we started rehearsing as Code Indigo for E-Scape. Aside from that…I sold quite a lot of CDs, which was A Good Thing!
Code Indigo played its final live performance on the 2nd at E-Scape. It was a brilliant day but also quite emotional (as anyone who heard me introducing the band at the end of the concert will attest to!) A week later I made my earliest ever radio appearance to date, starting at 7am on Ipswich Community Radio.
I spent the rest of the month delightedly listing every radio play I could, including the BBC and somehow entering One World Radio’s charts at number 68! For those who are as obsessed with such things as me, Welcome Home was the early leader in terms of airplay; but Beating the Streetlights Home has just about caught up now. Whether this means that tracks with the word “home” in are more likely to get played on the radio I couldn’t tell you…
The New Forest Folk Festival was July’s undoubted highlight! No , I wasn’t playing, but it was the best festival I went to in 2018! Acts I particularly enjoyed included Burgess, Nicol and Kemp (yes, the Rick Kemp who played bass on “Apocalypse Dreams”) Julie Felix, TradARR, Little Johnny England, Steeleye Span, Reg Meuross, Gerry Colvin, Winter Wilson… and that’s about a quarter of the line up. I bought my ticket for next year before leaving! It was also the hottest weekend of the year and I was very glad Little Orange Dog had stayed home!
The following weekend I was the closing act for Stowmarket Carnival which was also the hottest weekend of the year.
A week later, this time with dog in tow I was at the Wolfshead Camp during the hottest weekend of the year where I ran my first ever songwriting workshop…for people who claimed they couldn’t sing, much less write a song. And guess what – EVERYONE had written lyrics by the end of the session! To celebrate, we had a campfire and we all sang Baby Shark…
To round out the month was BROMFest, run by the Columbines. It wasn’t hot.
A relatively quiet month performance-wise, during which I attended Cropredy Festival; my stepdaughter’s wedding and saw the fantastic Wavestar at Awakenings, though not necessarily in that order!
Alyfest on the 8th and the Half Moon Folk Day on the 9th, comprised a weekend which could have been subtitled “Two festivals and an ambulance” after my stepdad collapsed onstage! Thankfully he was fine, and more importantly so was his bass guitar, though Peter Kerr (whose band he was playing with) ended up with a bruised leg from Mike’s fall! Apparently Celandine’s performance was perfectly acceptable, though unsurprisingly I don’t remember much about it!
– Went to see Lindisfarne at the Apex. They were brilliant! Elsewhere, rehearsals began for the November Awakenings concert.
David Wright and guests – or was it friends playing at the Awakenings on Saturday 17th. I’d woken up with a nasty sore throat and spent the day in a state of high anxiety that I wasn’t going to be able to hit that top D…and then when the time came it was almost – ALMOST – easy! Code Indigo fans got a nice surprise at the end of the evening when Robert Fox joined us onstage for “Code 14”.
On the 1st I played at Pooka’s Pageant where “Wolf Song”, created at the Wolfshead Camp back in July, had its inaugural performance. A week later was the IPC festive pantomime, which this year was titled “Law and Disorder – Supernatural Victims Unit”.
As far as the day job goes, on the 14th I accompanied 80 eleven year olds to the Lille Christmas Market. We left the school at 3am and arrived back sometime after 9 in the evening. It was a successful trip and we even brought home the same 80 children as we took with us!
Festive sessions are always fun and this year The Dove was no exception; though I surpassed even my own efforts a few days later when I began the evening singing “We Need a Little Christmas” (from the musical Mame) at The Half Moon and finished at Needham Open Mic when Rosemary joined me onstage to sing “At the Turn of the Year” and then, after requests for encores had exhausted my supply of prepared festive ditties, The Boar’s Head Carol…completely unrehearsed!