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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‘She watched the green leaves fade and fall’…2011 in an epic nutshell :)

 Ey up Blog Beans,

Well well well, here it is, the second instalment of BLOG MONDAY! Which, in case you had missed it, is my ingenious plot to get you up to date with all things 2011, the stuff that’s brewing in 2012 and just generally make sure you’re filled in. It has taken me some time to write this here 2011 review so I can only apologise for my tardiness and hope that you can find it in your hearts to forgive me 🙂

SPRING!

Well after recording the bulk of ‘Adelphi Has To Fly’ in the winter of 2010, Spring 2011 was a time for working! Going through the rough mixes, popping down to the studio to record odd extra bits and bobs, getting photo’s done, approving artwork and a whole wealth of stuff I never even considered would need to be done. It was quite an anxious few months if I am honest. I said this at the time (in fact I think there is a blog  mentioning it) but I felt that making the album was a bit like having a baby (especially given as it took exactly 9 months from signing to release)!  Now, I haven’t yet spawned a sprog so I can’t say for certain, but, the sense of spending months trying to make something that is lovely and as perfect as you know how to make it, and then it’s born (released in album terms) and  you have quite little control over it. People will like it, or they won’t, and they’ll judge accordingly. Very odd.

all the album artwork 🙂

Having said all of that it was also a ridiculously exciting time! Hearing my music professionally recorded for the first time. Seeing boxes of my album being produced. I’m going to sound like a right cheesy drip here…but it’s the dream for any musician aint it! And I felt suitably lucky, jammy, excited, humbled and just ooooooo I dunno, CHUFFED! 😀

the first box of CD's

Working with Stu (Stu Hanna of Megson) was an awesome experience. I was quite nervous as there are all sorts of horror stories out there of producers who change too    much, and make it their album instead one that is distinctly the artist’s. But with Stu I really found he knew how to get the best out of my performance, and between us we made an album that I am really proud of. I’m really excited to be working with him again!

So with all the manufacturing done, the promo copies sent out for review and potential radio play it was essentially a waiting game. Adelphi was officially released on 13th June but prior to that I had a festival launch at Shepley. Ah man, it was the most nerve-racking thing EVER, just all the pent up energy of  9 months of work and preparation… and in addition to that it was one of the very first (and so far few) outings of The Lucy Ward Band (O’Hooley and Tidow and a lovely bass player Sam Pegg), I was bricking it, but it was amazing too…are you ready for more cheesiness? Hope so cos here it comes :p it kind of felt like, I was a proper musician, I know that sounds daft, but launching the album was kind of like saying ‘it was worth not going to uni, it’s been 3 years since you left 6th Form, this is your degree now’

 
 
 
 
The Lucy Ward Band – Main Stage Shepley
 

Now I’ve stopped vomiting verbal sentimentality all over your good selves I will move on to SUMMER!

A rundown of summer factoids for you

1: I had the pleasure of attending Priddy Festival again this year, smashing place. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s like a tiny little Glastonbury and I love it. This year however, they had big screens…twas ace…i felt like beyonce! Anyways, I got a DVD of the performance and let’s just say there was a bit of a wardrobe malfunction during the concertina section of my set and purple bra was on show…oh dear :s hehe

me being beyonce

Cupola:Ward

2: The first ever Cupola:Ward gig was had, at Belper Folk Club. We then went onto Sidmouth and have had another couple of gigs since. Things are going well 🙂 I am mainly loving it cos I’m getting the chance to practise my harmony singing skills!

 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
3: My first ever Sidmouth! It’s amazing; every other shop is a bakery…nom nom nom! I was there with Cupola:Ward but did do a little solo stint at O’Hooley and Tidow’s cabaret! Where they opened the show with a Euro Pop reimagining of ‘Are You Going To Scarborough Fair’ complete with robot dance moves! Those ladies are crazy! I love em! And it saw the very first outing of my cover of Pulp’s ‘Common People’  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jp7HmNnIpw 
 
4: D’o’bergines was born! The power harmony trio that is myself, the beautiful Miss Ruth Notman and the scrumptious Miss Anna Esslemont. This is a very slow burn project but one the sisterhood has been cast, there is no breaking away from it 😉 I mean we even have two sets of code names for crying out loud: Notster, Bluey and Cowbag & J-Lu, Rihanna and Britney!

5: I recorded a Jingle for Adam Wilson’s Quiet Revolution on HFM radio…A jingle! So cool!

6: The Guardian reviewed ‘Adelphi…’ and gave it not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 mother flippin stars 😀 I was and still am soooooo stoked

7: I got my first ever standing ovation at Shrewsbury Folk Festival (I got two in the same gig). I think it was another one of those moments where everything came together. This video is the encore of the set; after the first ovation, it’s pretty shaky cos, I’ll be honest, my Dad’s crying, well so was I and all. An amazing feeling

 

Me and Mike Harding - u have no idea how much trouble I got into with my Dad for wearing that leopard print top to meet him :p

8: I got interviewed by Mike Harding, which was pretty ace! I walked into smooth operations HQ really nervous and one of the first things I said was ‘Thank you so much for this Mike, it means a lot that you would play the album and show it some support’, he turned round and said ‘I wouldn’t play it if it were rubbish’. Well that told me lol 😀 .Then after recording the interview we then spent another hour nattering about politics and literature, twas a lovely afternoon. 

There is not room to fit everything here but summer really was a blast! I had a couple of weeks to collect my thoughts and get back on the admin bicycle, then I was back on the road again for my AUTUMN tour.

Autumn saw my very first headline tour! Crazy! I have always just done gigs, lots of  gigs, but not a kind of organised array of headline dates spread across 2 months with matching tour flyers. It was another step forward in what had already turned out to be a mental year. I tell you, me, and ward incorporated (my folks and Rob) are on a steep but fun learning curve. It was the first time really where it was truly upon my head if I couldn’t get a crowd together. But I was really lucky, none of the gigs were just me, my mum and a dead dog. And in fact there were even 3 sell out dates. Very very cool! Having said that, that success rate was also based on working with a lot of really great promoters and clubs, it just all seemed to come together really. I must of done something blummin amazing in a past life to deserve all this good fortune I can tell ya!

The scariest one was probs All Hallows Church in Leeds, I had sold only 2 tickets in advance and was really worrying but then 30+ people walked in and bought tickets on the night. Phew was all I could say!

Well autumn turned to WINTER (as tis the natural order of things)

I was expecting quite a chilled out November/December/January, winding down gigs and getting down to some writing; but as per usual it turned out to be the exact opposite of what I expected (In a good way mind you!)

First off, the blummin Folk Award nominations (see past blogs for uber mad ramblings on this subject). I am still completely overwhelmed about it all,  when I sit down and think about how cool it is to even be included in the awards; tis surreal really. Very nervous for the award ceremony already, I watched it on the telly last year and they had Roger Daltrey present an award…ROGER DALTREY!!! In the name of Baba O’Reilly there is no substitute for that man (see what I did there :p )

I wrote  ‘For The Dead Men’ in September time, a bit of a protest song really, there is a live version on YouTube. I sent it to Stu and the peeps at the record company just as a ‘hey, this is what I have been working on’, and if I am honest, as a cheeky little nudge to say ‘I am up for a 2nd album if you are’ 😉 hehe. And, well they really really liked it and we decided to put it out as a single.

So December has been filled with recording and photoshoots( full deets brewing in the next BLOG MONDAY) and all that kinda stuff…as well as loads of food and Crimbliss type celebrations.

Geisha Mother Nature

 

I also got round to some daft xmas offerings of the musical variety! 🙂

tiny ferrets!!

 In other news, none music related, 2011 saw me move house twice,have ferret babies (although I did not personally give birth to them!), I zumba’d a lot,

glasto moustaches!

glasto moustaches!

I Glasto’d for the 8th time, I saw Jarvis Cocker in real life! And to top it all off I jived in the middle of Tesco and my folks bought me a banjo (the first thing on my santa baby list, now all i need is a motorhome and a spot on Later with Jools) !

So there you go, you are filled in, wishing you all an amazing 2012 🙂

Lots of Love

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