WolfSong and COVID-19

Hi folks,

There’s a title I didn’t ever expect I’d need to use!

As I write, there are just six weeks until my album launch gig and I’m getting excited. HOWEVER, as the situation with COVID-19 currently stands I may have to make the decision to postpone the event until a later date. Several of the people directly involved with my launch or their close relatives either have compromised immune systems, lung conditions or are over 60 (or a combination) and I will not be the cause of any preventable risk to their health.

Right now, I feel it’s a little early to be making that decision, but I’m making alternative plans so if I do have to postpone the event, I’ll be able to offer a suitable alternative that will mean none of us need to leave our homes (much less shake hands!)

If the worst happens, what I intend to do instead will be to have a live video launch on 25th April, and post a launch video onto my youtube channel (please make sure you’re subscribed *here* in case this happens, so you’ll get an alert). Unless the situation with the pandemic escalates exponentially, the CD itself will still be released on April 25th so you won’t have to wait too long to get your hands on a copy.

If the launch event has to be postponed and you have already bought a ticket this will of course be valid for the new date (whenever that is) or if you prefer you can put the money towards a copy of the new CD or instead have a refund. Details for each of these options will be available if and when the decision is made to postpone the event.

Obviously I’m hoping that we all get lucky and the virus turns out not to be as contagious as we fear, but as of today I’d say it’s about 50:50 whether I have to postpone. I shall keep you posted.

Stay safe,

Cxx

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WolfSong album launch – 25th April

WolfSong album launch – Saturday 25th April 2020

Almost exactly two years since the release of “A Different Kind Of Normal” comes my next full-length album release, WolfSong”. After a slight delay (during which the company from which I ordered the tickets lost and had to reprint them!) I can finally announce all the details. Actually, you could read them off the photo of the tickets, but this way is more fun!

My special guest for the evening will be Tilly Moses who will be playing a set during the first half of the evening. Tilly is a brilliant musician so please check out her website if you’re not already familiar with her music.  During the second half of the evening I – and a few friends – will be playing as much of the new album as we have time for.

The Venue

Henley Community Centre main hall, Ipswich, Suffolk. There is a stage, a bar, and a car park. Also there are other useful things like seats and heating and lights, which normal people would probably take for granted but I feel compelled to mention.

The Tickets

Available from me or through AD Music priced just £5, which is the same as my previous album launch. This is a Very Good Deal, I’m sure you will agree, because if I was pricing tickets according to the rate of inflation they would be £5:16 each. Actually, I wish I’d done that, now I come to think of it… where was I? Oh, yes.

WolfSong album launch.

April 25th, Henley Community Centre.

Please buy tickets!

Cxx

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The Chronicles of Don’t Be So Ridiculous Valley

A book review, I hear you ask. Of someone else’s book, on your music site?

Well, yes. Because its a good one, and its by one of my favourite musicians, and because its one of the silliest and most magnificent things I’ve read this year. No, make it this decade.

Don’t Be So Ridiculous!

The book of which I speak is “The Chronicles Of Don’t Be So Ridiculous Valley”, by Mr Mike Batt. Yes, he of The Wombles fame. And also Katie Melua, who wasn’t one of the people inside a Womble costume. Did you know that Steeleye Span once depped as Wombles on Top of the Pops? Wait, I’m digressing again aren’t I?

Don’t Be So Ridiculous!

Anyway. The Chronicles of Don’t Be So Ridiculous Valley is a story about a slug called Ergo who accidentally moves in with a married couple of fairies who own colour-co-ordinated helicopters. Dotty, the wife, has a younger sister who Ergo the slug falls in love with. But to make things more interesting, rather than waste time telling Little Else (the sister) how he feels, he starts a war! Not any old war either, but a war against the nasty pigfrogs, who…

Look! I haz signed copy!

Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out! Suffice to say, there is a satisfyingly happy ending. Two happy endings, in fact, because I found out earlier this week that Mike Batt had already shared part of the story on his website way back in 2000. Why does this make me so happy, I hear you ask? Because if someone that well known is allowed to take twenty years to find the right time and publisher for his novel, there’s hope for me yet!

Oh, I should tell you where you can buy the book, shouldn’t I. Here. You should definitely buy a copy. Or put it on your Christmas list. (Why am I so good at asking you to buy other people’s stuff and so uncomfortable saying “please buy my CDs?”)

So. Other excellent things… Its A4 sized, and hardbacked with a marvellous author’s bio on the back. Mine is signed and I got postcards with mine, but I ordered mine back in August so I think they might have been for early orders only. Here’s a picture of them, though…

Postcards!

“He has ginger hair and is medium sized”. Marvellous.

This wasn’t really a book review, was it? I don’t know what it was. But I’m going to post it anyway.

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No comments!

Hi folks,

You may notice that I’ve switched off comments on most of my pages (not necessarily posts – we’ll see how that goes) for the time being. This is because when I logged in on Friday evening I had over 16,000 spam comments awaiting moderation! Rather than read through them all, you won’t be surprised to hear I deleted everything en masse…so if you commented in the past couple of weeks, it may well have been lost. Sorry about that.

So for the foreseeable future; if you’d like to contact me, please go to my “links” page and choose one of the social media options. Facebook or my disguised email address are the best options. In the meantime, please keep sharing “Max the Pirate Cat” far and wide!

…Speaking of Max, several people have said they’d love to see his story in the form of a childrens’ book. What do you think? Is that an idea I should be pursuing for 2020?

Cxx

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June Festival Flashbacks!

I thought it would be fun to share a few pics from some of the festivals I played at earlier this summer. Enjoy my June festival flashbacks!

First up – E-Scape

Carys at E-Scape

E-Scape 2019: David Wright and Carys

Carys at E-Scape

with Glenn Main

E-Scape 2019 finale!

~ E-Scape photos by Sophie Watson


Forgotten Lands

The following week saw me in Cumbria on the Scottish Borders where I was a guest vocalist with Steeleye Span’s lead guitarist, Andrew “Spud” Sinclair. Everyone had a great time at this little festival but it would have been even better if the rain had eased off…if you look closely you can see several inches of mud at the bottom of my dress!

Forgotten Lands 2019. photo by Ian Brown

with Andrew “Spud” Sinclair of Steeleye Span


Next came Folk at the Boat which was my first solo performance of the season.

A rare picture of Carys actually looking at the camera!

…and we’ve Beaten the Streetlights Home!


I don’t have many photos of the IPC Wolfshead camp unless you’d like to see pictures of dogs. But you’d like to see pictures of dogs, wouldn’t you?

Little Orange Dog, wide awake at quarter to seven on Saturday morning!

Nanuk and Little Orange Dog

Singing “WolfSong” to Nanuk


For the last weekend of June was something completely different – filming for one of John Whittaker’s music videos. The track is called “Bed of Nails and the finished result can be seen here. Here are a few photos of a fun (and extremely hot!) day

Looking wide awake and relaxed before filming started!

Mr Punch and friends

Tied up in Maypole ribbons!

No Caryses (I am fairly sure this is the correct plural of my name) were harmed in the making of this video – honest! Until next time…

Cxx

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Max the Pirate Cat

Meet Max the Pirate Cat!

Did you know its ginger cat appreciation day today? No, me either, but what a great excuse to introduce you to Max the Pirate Cat!

Max is the boldest pirate ever to set sail, and I’ve spent a whole year illustrating his story. The result is my new youtube video which I really hope you’re going to watch if you haven’t already.

A whole year in the making!

When I first decided to make this video, I wanted to draw all the pictures myself. This was not going to be easy, because I’m not a natural artist (I got a D in art at school)!. However I AM very determined when I want to do something, so I found my old Lee J. Ames “Draw 50 Cats” book and got to work.

It was soon obvious I was going to need more help, so I enlisted the help of friends who posed for me and bought another couple of books, namely Polly Pinder’s “How to draw cats in simple steps” and Susie Hodge’s “How to draw people”. Armed with books, photographs and of course an internetful (is that a word? It is now!) of pictures of pirate ships, I got to work…

Very, very slowly! I decided to draw the pictures in A3 so I could include sufficient detail, but overlooked just how long that would take! Some of the close-ups of Max were finished in an afternoon, but others took much longer. The picture of the ships’ battle took three days! Others needed the help of my long-suffering housemate. who got used to my cries of “Can you photograph my head from behind/my feet/my hand holding this key?” at random times!

…and of course, the cats.

Because no less than 4 feline models posed for me. Firstly Hobnob, Daughter of Biscuit who says she’s delighted to have been my “Mews”. Buffy the studio cat and Fluffy Felis-Catus are quiet on the subject but Freycat has finally redeemed himself for last summer’s – ahem – incident! However he has currently renamed himself “Freycat the Longsuffering”. Apparently being released at the top of the stairs at least ten times in order to get a decent photo of the downstairs-departing rear end of a cat is most undignified!

Finally, a huge thank you to David Wright for recording and mastering, Sophie Watson of Captain Morgan’s Rum Do for melodeon and Graham Bedford for the fantastic video.

Please watch and enjoy…

Carys x
You can also download Max the Pirate Cat via my bandcamp page.

 

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Gaia Dreaming ~ New EP out now!

My new EP, Gaia Dreaming, is now available on CD and download via AD music, though the official release date is 8th August, the day I played Cropredy Festival fringe. Incidentally, I keep mistyping fringe as”fridge” which is one of those things I probably shouldn’t mention…
I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out for two reasons in particular. Firstly, the title track is my first ever instrumental release. There’s an interesting story behind WolfSong, too. Its the edited version of what will be released next year as a much longer track, and it resulted from a songwriting workshop I ran last year. So I actually have eight co-lyricists on the track – thank you all! 
Gaia Dreaming EP artwork

1. WolfSong (Radio edit) (3:34)

2. Gaia Dreaming (4:31)

3. Gather In (2:34)

4. The Season Turns (2:54)

Press Release

‘Gaia Dreaming’ is an EP offering from Carys that contains 4 new tracks, all with an earth-based, natural theme that offers a preview of her next album. The title track is also Carys’s first solo instrumental release.

Carys is joined by David Wright, who provides rhythms, piano and assorted sounds, Sophie Watson on whistle and Mim MacMahon on fiddle.

WolfSong (Radio Edit) is a shorter version of the title track of the aforementioned new album, set for release early in 2020.

‘Gaia Dreaming’ (and indeed the forthcoming album WolfSong) further enhances Carys’s standing as a unique talent; a singer songwriter with a distinctive style who beautifully interprets her songs with a creative verve and enthusiasm.

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Cropredy 2019

I first attended Cropredy Festival in 1997, but this year was different. On Thursday afternoon before Fairport Convention’s acoustic festival opening on the main arena, I played on the Field 8 stage. It was my biggest festival to date and made more exciting because so many of my friends – some of whom I’ve known since long before I even owned a guitar – were there. I also released my new EP, Gaia Dreaming, and I had “A Different Kind Of Normal” badges, too!

Playing at a festival I’ve attended for the past couple of decades was a new experience, but a brilliant one. I was lucky to be playing on the Thursday afternoon because it meant that I could then relax and enjoy the rest of the festival…despite gale force winds and torrential rain. Oh, and a leaky tent! Field 8 is a lovely venue. It’s just a few minutes walk from the main arena, but it feels like a community on its own. Plus their pizza and baked potatoes are delicious!

I’m really hoping to be back next year but in the meantime, here are a few photos. A big thank you to everyone who came to listen and especially Gerry del Guercio for booking me!

Carys playing Cropredy Field 8

Carys at Cropredy Field 8

I Am Sam, who also played Field 8.

 

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E-Scape Saturday 1st June 2019

Hi folks,

This Saturday sees the annual E-Scape festival. Hosted by record label AD Music, its an all day festival of live electronic and ambient music held at ‘The Cut Arts Centre’ in Halesworth, Suffolk, UK.

E-Scape 2019 line up

The schedule this year is as follows:

11:00 Venue opens
12:30 Auditorium doors
13:00 – 13:45 Axxent Opaque
14:00 – 14:45 Infinity Curve 
15:00 – 15:30 E3
15:30 – 17:00 Wavestar II
17:30-19:30 FOYER: Nik Owen Jones
20:00 – 21:00 Glenn Main
21:15 – 22:15 David Wright and Carys

Tickets are £35 for the day which includes a Virtual Ticket – this means you can download the entire day’s concerts to listen to after the event. You can also buy a virtual tickets even if you aren’t able to attend so you can hear the concerts (6 CDs worth of music!) afterwards. Details are on the flyer above.

Hope to see you there!
Cxx
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Four and a half years…

Four and a half years. Seven countries. On land, on the sea, in the air, underground and under the sea. AND NOW IT’S FINISHED!!!

Seven countries: England, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Scotland and Norway. I managed to add Scotland when I was on a songwriting weekend in North Cumbria… I drove over the border for the sole purpose of adding a few stitches! Whilst travelling to concerts, as soon as there was a traffic jam, out came the stitching. Waiting for a soundcheck – time for some stitching. On an aeroplane? Just make sure I put my scissors in the hold luggage so I could cut the threads once we reached our destination!

Repelen, Germany. March 2017

On the plane to Norway, June 2017

For those of you who saw this on facebook, here are a few more pics of the finished cross stitch.

I started sewing in public as a way of dealing with my near-constant anxiety. It has another fantastic benefit though – at least from the viewpoint of a woman with autism. You see, I have a ready-made topic of conversation whenever anyone speaks to me! Maybe this sounds strange to people for whom chatting comes naturally, but having something to talk about has done wonders for my anxiety levels in public!

And here’s the final picture: (Yes, I’m rather proud of it..!)

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