The Flown Tour : Fourth, Final and Festivals

Ey Up 🙂

So here it is, the follow up to yesterdays blog 🙂

Band gigs:

WAHOO! It is very rare that I get the opportunity to play with a band so these gigs were something truly special 🙂 I am wayyyyy lucky to work with such talented and kind people. Ahh man I was just buzzing!!

First stop was a sold out gig in my home town of DERBADOS!!! The audience was crammed full with not only peeps who like my music but also my family, friends, old school teachers and other people I have met along the way. There was just something in the air, but no need to call out the instigators (see what I did there), there is just something about playing in your home town that has a vibe like no other. A distinctly scary vibe lol, I was bricking it!! But in all the good ways 😀

woop band!

woop band!

The band line up is an ever changing, ever growing array of awesome people and I was blessed to be able to have both Sam Pegg and Joy Gravestock there, but also my self pronounced surrogate parents O’Hooley and Tidow. We had very little time to rehearse together given everyone’s busy schedules; in fact, the first time Joy played with the rest of the guys was at the sound check before doors! But it’s a true testament to those guys for pulling it off, they really nailed it.

In fact there was a brilliant moment after we had finished one of the tracks, I stepped back so all the guys were in front of me and witnessed an exchange of looks across the stage that said silently ‘Oh my Jeff! That actually worked, we did it ARGGGHHHH’ 😀 hehe.

Actually, I’m getting ahead of myself a bit here, given that this was a special night, I went all out with the stage decor, lanterns/chairs/cushions/throws/telephones/vases all from my own home and a load of cut tree branches on the edge of the stage that had come from my mums garden. I had a lot of help from my family, we built a diddy, cosy nest for us to play music in and it felt well good 🙂

Me and Rob also made a big pack up picnic…no band of mine is going unfed!

PICNIC!

PICNIC!

My lovely band devouring the picnic backstage at The Guildhall, Derby

My lovely band devouring the picnic backstage at The Guildhall, Derby

There was lush sound, groovy lights, a smoke machine…it was like being on stars in your eyes! and I totally loved it hehe!

Vids to come of that evening by the way peeps so keep your eyes peeled on facey b, Twitter and YouTube.

We were lucky enough to not only have 1 night of band loving but got to do it all again the next day in Abingdon, thanks to the lovely Jenny at Seahorse promotions who had booked in the most amazing little guildhall you’ve ever seen with a gorgeous minstrel gallery and everything! Just look

Toooooooooo cute!

Toooooooooo cute!

More Than The Music also wrote a really lovely review of the night…have a gander here

So then as the very last note on this here tour check out the Top 5 Tour Facts:

1: 3000 miles covered (this is travel to and from gigs only)

2: 8 car picnics consumed (just to clarify, this is where you eat picnics in the car, not when you eat cars as a picnic!)

3: 5 completely sold out gigs

4: 200 songs performed

5: Last, but certainly not least, the sound effect we used on Belinda’s electric piano was entitled “Massive Organ”

Proof!

Proof!

FESTIVAL SEASON IS HERE!!!!!! and that is mightily exciting! I have done a couple of early spring gatherings but this is the beginning of my summer spent living in a tent hehe. I will be playing at:

And I am proper excited about playing all of them!!!! There are lots of festivals that I have never been to before, Beverley, Towersey, Big Tree, Greenbelt but also I am going to be going to my spiritual home/the festival I grew up going to as an artist for the very first time: Glastonbury WOOP!!!

 

Lastly, my new album is very very nearly ready…the 2nd cut arrived in the post this morning 😀 Happy days!

ARRRGGGHHHHH sooo excited!

ARRRGGGHHHHH sooo excited!

See you soon peeps

Luce xx

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Belated 2012 round up, the future and so on :)

I am sure you have all seen the terrible news this week about the tragic accident at a Fisherman’s Friends show that killed Paul McMullen and Trevor Grills. I have written this blog today with a sadness in my heart as it was over 2012 that I met, worked with and became friends with both of these kind and talented men. My love and thoughts go out to their families in this time of great tragedy. Both Paul and Trevor made an impact on many peoples lives and they will not be forgotten.

Ey Up 🙂

Well here we are, 2013.

What with having the lurgy and starting to record the new album, January kinda flew by and before i knew it…it had gone. But even though we have now rolled on into February this IS the first blog post of the new year, so it seems appropriate to do a quick round up on all the mentalness that 2012 held…so here we go, a whistle stop tour of the year that was! Bestest highlights only to keep this blog to novella length hehe! 🙂

January:

  • I started the year with a lovely writing holiday on the Devon/Cornwall border, in an attempt to kick start my mind into second album gear 🙂 I think I succeeded more in scaring myself half to death with the thought of ‘the difficult second album’ but a year later it’s all written and I am finally in the studio laying it all down 🙂
  • My first Derbyshire Volounteers gig – This was veryyyyyy special, I had been inducted into the ranks of ‘official’ Derbyshire Folkies, playing in a scratch band with the likes of John Tams, Barry Coope, Fi Fraser, Kendrick:Needham, Cupola, Mick Peat and more…there are nearly 20 of us in total! It’s just an amazing opportunity to play with a myriad of ridiculously brilliant and giving musicians, plus I think I am the honorary baby of the group which is quite a nice experience hehe
  • For The Dead Men was released…

February:

  • THE FOLK AWARDS! what an amazing experience that was, and looking back nearly a year on; what an array of amazing opportunities that award has brought my way…a really special evening that I certainly won’t be forgetting in a hurry. Click here for full blog on the folk awards!

March:

  • I went on tour with the lovely Phil Beer, the man is truly a ledge! Beautiful music, beautiful venues and a particularly beautiful sandwich in Torrington I seem to recall, cheese and pickle, mmmm
  • I moved house, and painted it every colour you can imagine…BUT NOT MAGNOLIA! 😀 I also put a tardis in the kitchen, you know, just in case the doctor wants to come for tea 🙂
Polyfilla Poser

Polyfilla Poser

April:

  • I visited the hallowed halls of Cecil Sharp House for the very first time. I guess for all folkies the place has a strange majesty to it (sounds daft but it certainly evokes that feeling in me); perhaps because you know it holds the roots of  the tradition, or perhaps it’s the gorgeous little bijou cafe, either way, it’s worth a visit. I was supporting my self pronouced ‘surrogate lesbian parents’ O’Hooley and Tidow (btw, have you listened to their 2nd album yet? It’s beautiful!) Find more about their music here.
  • We got kittens! And they are well cool! Totally make the house, I named mine Ziggy Stardust, for this reason: ‘Screwed up eyes and screwed down hair-do, like some CAT from Japan’…’Well hung with a SNOW WHITE tan’…there really is no better name for a white cat wouldn’t you agree? 🙂
Ziggy

Ziggy

May:

  • Rob got Laser eyes! I was kind of hoping that this would mean he would be like Cyclops from X-Men and be able shoot lasers out of his eyes…apparently, that not how it works 😦 boooo! but none the less this got a mention because science is amazing, a 7 miunte procedure followed by perfect vision, it’s just unbelieveable! 🙂
  • I somehow managed to land myself a gig at the famous Ronnies’ Bar, yep, i do mean the famous jazz club Ronnies Bar, but what a spectacular evening it was. I’ll be honest, I was pretty apprehensive as to whether he audience would go for my brand of daft banter but they were well up for it. It was transformed into a folk club in minutes and I am very proud to say that I even had the suited and booted business men singing ‘Maids When You’re Young’ hehe 😀
  • May also saw me headline a festival for the first time ever. The small but perfectly formed Doncaster Folk Festival! You know what, I spent my childhood going to music and new age festivals, I spend my working life at Folk Festivals, and this festival, despite being a very simple and small set up, has an amazing vibe. The crowd are always up for a laugh, they are warm and giving and it’s all indoors so no mud (I am not put off by a bit of mud but it is a pain when you’re carting stuff about) Plus there are hot homemade stews on a dolly trolly…whats not to like!
  • It’s very rare that musicians get to go to gigs cos they are always gigging themselves;  and in all honesty, when I aint gigging, the novelty of a night in is sometimes just too much to resist. But back in May me and Rob went to see Coldplay for the 2nd time, and I tell you, big arena concerts aren’t my fave (if you are at the back you sometimes can feel so disjointed from the gig that you feel you might as well be watching it on the telly) but this gig was amazing! An inclusive, emotional and communal experience from start to finish. Cracking night!
I love you Chris Martin!!!

I love you Chris Martin!!!

June:

  • Festival season was well underway by this point, and the  true beginning of my summer under canvas…i am definitely the queen of camp! Palatial tent for the win!
  • Cupola:Ward had it’s first gig. Tis proper exciting to be part of band, especially cos I almost always play solo! And even more especially because Cupola are all so flipping talented, I just get to prance around pretending I’m Mick Jagger or Iggy Pop :p
  • Mills and Chimneys combined with mighty Sinphonia Viva to undertake a mammoth project involving schools from all over Derbyshire in composing music and songs inspired by their own county’s history. It was the first time I’ve worked with an orchestra, and my they are a clever bunch of clogs! And the kids were amazing; singing songs we had written for and with them – not a dry eye in the house!
  • A true rarity! I went to a festival purely as a punter! Isle Of Wight Festival is a blast. It’s got a really chilled communal vibe and when it wasn’t raining, the sun was so glorious that my nose was not dissimilar to Rudolph’s. Best acts we saw were probably Biffy Clyro and Joan Armatrading (I cried at her gig, I love her music so much and she is such a beautiful performer)…ooo and it was a bit muddy to say the least:
MUD :D

MUD 😀

  • And then we went to Sark. Sark is amazing. No cars, No pavements (cos there are no cars to run you over), No streetlamps (The sky was bursting with stars!) and a cracking little festival! You must go! Because Sark is awesome!
Playing in a vineyard :)

Playing in a vineyard 🙂

Ah man I’ve rambled on loads, congratulations if you have made it this far, I am just rubbish at being succinct! Right, time to step it on up a gear WARP SPEED AHEAD!

July:

  • Supported Seth Lakeman again…I love him!
  •  I was invited back to my old school to judge their music festival. I was in it 7 times, very weird to be the one making the decisions hehe
  •  I met oddsocks and the journey of becoming a composer for theatre began…yay 😛
  • I played for the first time at Cambridge Folk Festival, and somehow managed to pull a full capacity crowd…MENTAL! Whilst I was there I also did a stint for Sky Arts (for both tv and an exclusive web interview)…MENTAL! watch the exclusive video here.

August:

  • Rebellion punk festival! Oh man, it was so good! And I had the most boring hair out of anyone there which made a refreshing change hehe :p It was great to be included! Folk and Punk are very similar in my mind, songs of the people, by the people…plus I can now say I have supported BOW WOW WOW…’GO WILD IN THE COUNTRY’
  •  More dashing up and down the country for festivals 🙂

September:

  • The recording of the soundtrack for Folie a Deux!  And working with the amazing Barna, a Hungarian gypsy fiddle player who’s music was out of this world…more about that project here

October:

  • My beautiful new nephew was born, he is my 9th little one and a right little man!
  • Netherlands tour and european jaunt…which was brill…so much cheese…more info here

November

  • Premiere of Folie in Amsterdam! My name on the big screen, utterly mad, but an amazing moment that I will treasure.

December:

  • After working through out the year on writing new material for the album I was back in the studio beginning to lay down the bare bones of the tracks 😀
  • Took part in an amazing collaborative project with the Hullaballoo Community Quire down in Brighton. They had set some of my songs to music and we performed them together in a beautiful chapel, ah man, twas just lovely!

Then it was xmas, and xmas is always super special in our house, what with 5 brothers and sisters and 9 nieces and nephews you can imagine it’s a pretty hectic one 🙂

I played 28 festivals, 86 Folk Clubs, traveled 16,00 miles, and (soppy moment brewing)  I want to thank each and every promoter, committee, techy, audience member, pie maker and pizza seller that I have met along the way…you continue to make my job a pleasure 🙂

So there you have it, 2012 in a nut shell!

I’ve babbled way too much already, but in the worlds quickest run down 2013 has much in store for me already:

2nd album release  International Folk Conference in Canada, Touring again in Holland, more touring, the release of the Penguin Companion album (more details of that coming soon) and so much more, I can’t wait to see what else 2013 has to bring 🙂

For now, you take care out there, and live everyday like it’s your last.

Luce xx

Glastonbury and 3 cheeky little collaborations :)

Ey up blog beans!

 

How the devil are you this week? Well I hope! I am tired, still not fully recovered from Glastonbury hehe. It was my 8th visit to the most wonderful festival in the world ever (just my personal opinion) and I had a cracking time! I could possibly write and epic novel about Glastonbury so here are my top ten Glastonbury 2011 factoids:

1: I have a tradition of having crazy hair for Glasto; this year I went with a turquoise/lime green/pink combo! MERMAID HAIR 😀

2: The mud was the sort of mud that tries to claim your wellies, which when you are tramping round a huge festival site for 5 days can become a little irritating…I, in my glass half full sort of manner, imagined that every time my welly got stuck it was because Glastonbury never wanted me to leave (yes being wet and cold and muddy for 5 days does effect your brain in strange ways)

3: I managed to catch both the secret acts on the park stage this year! Radiohead and Pulp! Brilliant! Radiohead were epic but Jarvis Cocker does hold a special place in my heart (check out his ‘Sunday Service’ show on BBC radio 6, cos it’s ace!). Pulp’s triumphant return to Glastonbury was nothing short of majestic, it was a pretty magic moment.

4: As always there is an endless bounty of food at Glasto, a million choices from all over the world, this years highlights were garlic bread with caramelised onions and cheese, lebanese mezze (fast becoming my fave way to dine!) and a most delectable frozen yoghurt from Yeo Valley, greek yoghurt and honey LUSH!

5: I only went to see one of the pyramid stage headliners, and that was Coldplay. I have been waiting to see them for almost 10 years, which i know sounds ridiculous but I missed them all three times they played Glastonbury and just never managed to get to any tour. Well anyway long story short, they were great! I was crying from the second song in, it was just a magical evening, it’s hard to explain if you haven’t been to glasto…but picture the scene – the sun is going down sending the sky a warm pink, there is no cloud tonight so you can see the faint outline of Glastonbury Tor in the distance. You are standing with your closest friends surrounded by thousands and thousands of like-minded and beautiful people (Glastonbury makes people beautiful, if only for those 5 days), one of your favourite bands takes the stage [insert any band you wish] and they sing, and you sing, and everyone around you sings ‘Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones, and I will try to fix you’

6: Most exemplary performance of the weekend had to go to Bright Eyes! Conor Oberst is an epic songwriter and musician anyway but his performance was utterly flawless. He hates this reference but for those of you who haven’t come across him, he’s this generations Bob Dylan…Conor Oberst teaches me everything I need to know about life.

7: There are always silly phrases that get coined at Glasto base camps, this year we had a few ones of note…’Living the bread’  a term for having a wicked time, also there was ‘Sparlay’ a derivative of sparkly which was used not only to describe things that were glittery but also attractive people lol.

8: On Friday night I went on my own down to the spirit of 71 stage to watch Melanie…she was fantastic, she’s really still got it and her voice sounded great, accompanied only by her son it was just great to see such a legend perform. The best thing she said all night was ‘I don’t think this should be called the spirit of 71 stage, I think it should be called the spirit of humanity’…now that is what glasto is about!

9: Despite having been to Glasto loads this was the first year that I drove, and man was driving home hard work! Thanks Dad for all those years you drove!

10: Glastonbury is my spiritual home. FACT. I grew up going to that wonderful place and I know it has shaped me, long may it reign! and long may I be frequenting its fields in a fairy costume 😀

 

So that was glasto dudes! So I’m guessing you want to know about the cheeky collaborations now…no? well I’m gonna tell you anyway hehe

On the thursday of Glasto my great friends David Gibb and the Pony Club played the bandstand, I went along to support them and they invited me up on stage to sing ‘Gospel of the Sun’ with them! Twas amazing! I was jumping up and down like a mentalist…cracking moment!

The second collaboration is a project that has been sitting on the back of the aga for a while but is finally starting to come to the boil. Cupola:Ward is, well, exactly what it says on the tin! Cupola and me! You can check out their music here

http://www.myspace.com/cupolafolk/music

I am guessing that if you are reading this blog you know what I sound like lol. And here is a little video of our first ever outing back in February 🙂

Anywho things at Cupola:Ward HQ are hotting up and we have gigs coming up and an EP heading your way so keep your eyes peeeeeled

 

The third and final collaboration was with the fanatstically talented Anna Esslemont! She is just a legend anyway, I met here last year on tour with O’Hooley and Tidow and we bonded over crazy footwear! Anyway, we both accompanied John Jones of Oysterband on his walking tour a couple of months ago. We were trying to think of every song we could that mentioned walking…this was one of them…and John made us do it on stage…crazy daisies

 

Right then i’ve rambled on plenty enough!

 

Have a great weekend! xxxxxxx