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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The Flown Tour : Part The Third

Ey Up 🙂

Well how’s it going? I am having a great week,  things are going good and I am feeling very productive. In fact, I would go as far to say that I’m on a roll! My ability to get work done however, is directly linked my spring tour coming to an end…booo 😦

But hey, what an awesome two months it’s been; it has been proper cathartic to get back out on the road and just play! I’ve had a chance to play loads of songs from the new record (more news on that soon!), I’ve done a couple of gigs with my lovely band and I’ve also frequented some right lush venues. So all in all, a very special send off for Adelphi, so here it is,   Part 1 of the final round up from The Flown Tour:

This is gonna be well pic heavy cos…well just cos 🙂

Well I headed off to Seaton, Devon for a return visit to the lovely Jurassic Folk. A cracking event hosted in a night club…the most exciting thing about it being in a night club is that there is a pole dancing podium in the middle of the room! Not many folk clubs can boast that now can they! I was tempted to have a go, but I decided that I really couldn’t afford to break any limbs so that was the end of that :p

I’ve gotta show you these…they belong to Hilary, the lovely hostess from jurassic folk. The pink laces just make them, don’t you agree?

Woo Dr Martens!

Woo Dr Martens!

After that gig I was up at the crack of dawn and on the road for 6am to get myself over to cambridge for a day in the studio with Stu and Sam laying the bass down. I was cream crackered, mornings are not my cup of tea! On route we did pass Stone Henge, however from the road it looks distinctly less impressive and strikingly more like the ickle spinal tap version which did make me smile at early o’clock 😀

The day in the studio was great, although I will admit I was a little sleepy at times and had to eat A LOT of malted milks to maintain focus! Sam played amazingly, I’ve known him for 19 years and the dude is just a bass master! Much like the guys in the video below!

…Sam is also a moog whisperer

Moog getting involved :)

Moog getting involved 🙂

Next on the touring schedule was Bothy Folk Club in Southport. My first time at this proper club full of fantastic resident singers and a very friendly audience! It’s completely acoustic and so given the opportunity to not be stuck to a microphone I was having a right boogie on stage…I made a joke about being like beyonce…worrying, I know :p however it seem to fly over the heads of the most traddie in attendance

Hehe, I wish I could move like that…my standard dance moves are much more akin to an octopus trying to put on a jumper 😀 Anyways, Fatea Magazine came and reviewed the evening…you can find it by heading to their website and clicking on ‘live’ 🙂

A few days past and I was flung back into the studio, working with the beautiful soul that is Joy Gravestock. Oh man, it was such an awesome day, it was the beginning of all the grand plans falling into place. I just sat and listened 🙂

Joy

Joy

Busy day alert! 2 festivals in a day! although I have been known to do 3 😉

First up the utterly scrumptious and brand-spanking-new Derbyshire festival ‘Hairpin Hullabaloo‘. I was playing there  with Mills and Chimneys, but the main reason I just have to give this a mention is because this festival was run by my very good friend David Gibb of David Gibb and Elly Lucas with help from ‘Mills…’ compadre Julian Butt and they did a smashing job! 2 days of great folk music including Jez Lowe and The Bad Pennies, Pilgrims Way, Greg Russell and more. Here’s to the brilliant hullabaloo long may it reign! 🙂

How gorgeous is this stage?!

How gorgeous is this stage?!

BEAUTIFUL VENUE ALERT!!! Pot Belly Folk Festival at Kettering Arts Centre is a relatively new venture too, this was their 5th folk festival and what a special day it was (I was there for the evening only but I was told the day was just as mighty!). Held in a church this place had a real magic atmosphere to it…proper spinetingling stuff! And I was headlining…headlining…a festival…totally cool 🙂 we did have a few technical hitches but once we got going  all was well. I managed to catch the lovely Hadrian’s Union and Jez Hellard, whom I had never seen before but was totally ace!

Jez Hellard rocking out!

Jez Hellard rocking out!

Just three more stops on the solo dates then I shall leave you in peace for today 🙂

Record Store Day was on the 20th of April and I headed down to ‘David’s‘ in Letchworth for a cheeky stint in their beautiful shop which sells not only records but books/instruments/cake and everything else that is good in the world! I spent lots! Or Rob did, I wasn’t carrying cash 😉

The 1963 production for Radio 4 of The Hobbit = GEEK HAPPINESS!!!!

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

The lushly (yes I did make that word up) Dunton Folk is pretty brand new, they started at the back end of 2012 and are really passionate about supporting acoustic music and putting on a fantastic programme of gigs. Also in a church, the venue is just gorgeous, in fact as we drove into the village we could see the church, sun blazing down, flower beds all in bloom it just looked like something out of a water colour ya know 🙂 My old friend Kate Denny (formerly of The Kittiwakes) did a beautiful support set. Awesome arrangements, accompanied by Charlie Skelton…ah it was just so up my street, lots of death, misery and crunchy harmony!

The very last date on the tour was at a launch event for Beverley Festival and I was sandwiched in between 2 lovely gents. T.E Morris who was new to me, but boy has he got passion! And headlining that evening was Steve Tilston. Supporting Steve was my first ever paid gig and it always feels great to play on a bill with him. The man is just such a beautiful songwriter!

Also at this gig there was caravan in the backstage area! Awesomesauce!

Indoor caravanning for the win!

Indoor caravanning for the win!

Right then, that really is enough for today 🙂 But check back tomozipan for the part 2 of this blog where I will be rambling about

  • The recent Lucy Ward Band gigs
  • Top 5 Tour Stats
  • FESTIVAL SEASON!!!
  • The forthcoming new album

Ciao peeps, hope you are enjoying the sunshine!

Luce xx

Folk Alliance International : A Canadian Adventure

Ey Up So here it is, a blog about the most mental, overwhelming and downright brilliant experience you could ever have…ok this might be a slight exaggeration cos owning a pet dragon would probably be slightly more mental, overwhelming and down right brilliant but none the less Folk Alliance is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Basically, it’s four days of extremely well organised chaos and delegates from all over the world turn up to share knowledge, experience, contacts and most of all the music that they love! Just to give you an idea of the scale there was something like over 2000 delegates there; mostly musicians but also promoters, agents, Radio DJ’s, Publicists, Festival organisers and more. It is unlike any expo/conference or gathering that we have here in the UK that’s for sure : ) The 25th Annual Folk Alliance International (FAI) took place at the Delta Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. Can we just take a moment to admire how cool their commemorative poster was:

Sgt Pepper for folkies!

Sgt Pepper for folkies!

I bought one and have had it framed to put up in my office 🙂 hehe I feel I haven’t really explained quite what FAI is yet, it just seems too mammoth to sum up in a few sentences…but none the less…here it goes. The core programming for this event is based around, panels, workshops and showcases.

  • Panels: A chance to learn; whether it’s about how best to present your music in international territories, how to handle your security at festivals, the relevance of Child Ballads in modern folk music or just sharing experiences of music in a social justice context…pretty much any question answered in an array of sessions for artists and others alike. 
  • Workshops: A chance to learn! Ukelele, or any other instrument for that matter (highly recommended FUN, particularly if your brain is all mushed up from jet lag and late night showcases 😀 
  • SHOWCASES: Imagine this – 3 floors + the conference suite of the biggest hotel in Canada, each room (that is usually a bedroom) has had the furniture taken out to make way for chairs, scatter cushions, PA’s, mini bars, buffet selections and bunting to put on gig after gig, artist after artist, all night til two in the morning. Each room showcasing up to 10 artists a day. As you walk down the corridors all you can hear is music pouring out of each and every doorway…first a singer songwriter with a bluesy feel, then a band modelled in the image of canned heat, then a trio singing French folk songs, then a harpist, then, then, then…

The showcases are the best and worst bit of FAI…

Best because of the wealth of amazing and varied music that you get to see…I saw so many really cracking artists that I may never had heard otherwise. Highlights included Les Hay Babies, Ashley Condon, David CeliaTeresa Doyle and October BrowneRose Cousins, the lists goes on and on.

Worst because you can’t help but miss loads of fantastic musicians who are showcasing next door, down the hall or in the room directly above you, but you can’t catch ’em all eh?

FAI is like a festival and a conference had a baby! It’s awesome! I played 6 showcases and sat on 1 panel whilst I was there but when I wasn’t playing I really made the most of being at this wonderful unique event; watched tonnes of music and took in every panel that I could. The only spare hours of my day were spent eating pancakes, going to the really tasty vegetarian buffet restaurant just next door and sleeping off my jet lag before my late evening showcases.

FAI taught me the power of day time power napping,  so you can stay up late watching great music – so thanks for that guys, I am truly grateful 😀 hehe

There was not only me but a massive great contingent of British artists showcasing, flying the flag for UK folk music, it was a very special thing to be a part of, there was: Jim Moray, Karine Polwart, Martyn Joseph, Georgia Ruth Williams (whom I had never heard before and she is flipping brilliant!), Sam Carter, Breabach, Rachel Sermanni, Sam Lee, Kilmarnock Edition and Joy Dunlop.

As I have never been to Canada before I also took the opportunity to go for a jaunt around Toronto, to take in some local culture and just so I could really say I’d been : ) My favourite part of Toronto was Kensington Market, some local Torontonians described it to me as being like The Laines in Brighton – but I think it was more like Glastonbury Festival, full of boho hippy’s in vintage gear buying organic fruit and chai tea…twas right up my street I can tell ya! And the whole place was covered in amazing street art

Street art in Kensington Market

Street art in Kensington Market

I also managed to find, not one, but two cheese shops…just in case you have never read one of my blogs before…I LOVE CHEESE!

 

And so that was it, 4 awesome days which were over in a flash! I met loads of really great people and I hope that it will not be my last time across the pond because I truly had a ball, FAI has such an amazing sense of community! In fact I am already plotting on how to get to their meeting in Kansas next year hehe…dya think if I click my ruby slippers together I’ll make it? :p

Lastly, thanks so much to the English Folk Dance and Song Society who took both me and the lovely Jim Moray out to FAI and exposed us to this amazing experience, it really was a wonderful thing to be a part of and a completely unforgettable experience that I have learnt soooooooooo much from : )

I think I have rambled enough…except to say I am now off on tour for two months 😀 you can check out my tour dates here

you take care

Luce xx

News news news ‘For The Dead Men’ release date and more

Ey up Blog beans 🙂

Hope you are well, this is the first in a series of blogs to fully update you on all things 2011, brewing in 2012 and generally bring you up to speed with everything. I have imaginatively named it BLOG MONDAY (my creativity astounds me sometimes hehe). Anyways I hope you had an awesome festive season and that it hasn’t been too difficult to get back into the swing of January type things.

So my news! Those of you who follow me on facebook (feel free to add me if you’re not already a facey b friend) will already know that I am releasing ‘For The Dead Men’ as a single. But I can now announce that it will be officially released and available for download on the 22nd of January.

mock cover before final editing

Physical copies will be available but they will be limited and only available directly from me (that’s how singles work apparently hehe). But although I am an advocate of the joys of mp3’s (vinyl still reigns as the king of all formats btw!) if you do want a physical copy you will also get an exclusive remix of ‘Maids When You Are Young’ that won’t be available anywhere else. Cool eh?! :p

Since being jammy enough to get my contract and record my album there have been A LOT of firsts; lots of amazing experiences and lots of hard work. I’ve been very much learning on the job but to be totally honest with you I am having an awesome time doing exactly that! 🙂 This is my very first single…I feel like a member of the Spice Girls…I mean, a single, that’s what pop stars do…so cool.

Can you tell I’m a bit excited?

Currently, the lovely Stu Hanna, who also produced ‘Adelphi has to Fly’, is working on the final mixes of the tracks for the single.

The photographs for the artwork were done in December (watch out for a later Monday blog for more details), by the marvellously talented Elly Lucas. And we spent last Friday working together to design the artwork for the promo sleeve. Twas a long day but I think we’ve made something that is pretty darn cool, even if I do say so myself 😉

There is still a lot to do…I still have to film a ‘For The Dead Men’ video and get all the other stuff in order to make sure people can actually listen to the new track! I’m sure there is even more stuff to get on with than that…but I find small chunks of work, coincide much better with my ability to achieve stuff.

Now then… you are fully filled in on the imminently impending single release, which was 22nd Jan in case my rambling had erased it from your mind.

But what you don’t know (mainly cos it was only decided yesterday) is that I will be releasing a 2nd single. The date isn’t confirmed yet but we are thinking march/April. The track is already recorded and it is……….

……..

…..Oooo I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist teasing ya! Everything I have told you is true but I’m going to keep you in the dark about which track it is for the moment. Mainly so it can be a lovely big suprise 😀

What I can tell you is, that it was recorded at the same time as ‘For The Dead Men’, and was intended as a B-Side. Best laid plans :p

So now I have most likely annoyed you with my ‘I know a secret you don’t know’ antics I am going to toddle off and start preparing the rest of blog moday, I am hoping it will be sufficiently interesting so you will be able to forgive me for leaving you in suspense! In fact as an extra apology please enjoy this picture of me as a bear

me being a bear...as you do

Take care you guys

Luce xx