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

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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

FOLK AWARDS! :D Horizon award winner 2012

 

Ey Up!

How goes it? 🙂

Sorry it’s taken me til now to get to blogging. Yesterday was taken up with travelling home, radio interview, appearance on local news tv and just generally trying to catch up with emails and some of the lovely messages you lot have sent through…I think I will be doing that for most of today as well which is right lovely ! 🙂

So anyways, if you didn’t manage to catch it I was lucky enough to win the Horizon Award which is for emerging talent and the contribution they have made to our folk scene over the past year.

My lovely shiny folk award and my lovely shiny shoes

Check out the link below, you can watch the folk awards there and there is a full list of nominees’ winners and links to  highlights etc 🙂

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/events/folk-awards-2012/

So then, I am quite sure that this post is going to be a completely confused ramble of excitedness but I am going to try and tell you the full story of the day leading up to it, my experience of going to the folk awards for the first time, the after party and what happened next (perferably in that order)

Wednesday am

I woke up a bundle of excitement, which was a very welcome change from the nervous adrenaline that I had previously been experiencing! And knowing that I had to nip to town to get a few last minute bits and bobs (bangles to be precise) I hopped into my scruffs, got all my 3 potential outfits for the evening ready and in the car…in fact by the time Rob finished packing the car, I think I had all but the kitchen sink  and my pink elephant totempole! But anyways, I found what I needed and we headed straight over to my folks and piled everything and ourselves into their navy blue wonder vehicle and set off for Salford. The journey was picturesque as we went through Derbyshire, up to Glossop and on to Manc from there…the snow on the hillside and the sheep in the fields…it was stuff of folk song I can tell ya 😉 . We did as we always would do on any Wardy journey, stuck the ipod on and sang like crazy people all the way, Bohemian Rhapsody, Itchycoo Park, all the classics 🙂 in fact in the ipod shuffleness we did even get Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’…which in the law of my scrumptious mum mean we have to stop the car, get out and boogie on the side of the road, which scared a lot of passing traffic I am sure.  But we had fun 😀 (we have to do it to the B52’s ‘Love Shack’ if it ever comes on too)   

This was awaiting me on mum and dad's doorstep...dafties!

Wednesday pm – the arrival and getting ready

When we arrived at MediaCity UK, the new home of all things BBC, we were staying in an apartment there…it was very swish I can tell ya! White walls, dark wood flooring, posh bathroom, even posher kitchen and a glass coffee table that everyone but me seemed to bash their shin on at some point within the first 10 minutes :s hehe. Seeing as various family members where going to be making the journey up we thought it best just to have a base for everyone to congregate at 🙂 So we went down to ‘Booths’ which is Waitrose but even posher…it was that posh that they had nearly sold out of quails eggs lol :p . We got all things tasty, saw Steve Knightley purchasing some hot grub and headed back up to the apartment to start the long process of getting ready, freaking out, gathering the fam and stuffing our faces 😀  

This is THE dress, this was taken as i walked out of the changing room buying it at COW, Birmingham

The next bit is all a bit of a blur really cos it seemed to fly by all too fast. I did my face and despite taking 3 potential outfits settled on one straight away – a vintage 70’s maxi dress which I described in a previous blog as being Farrah Fawcett meets a mirror ball-esque :p . In the process of getting dolled up I got a phone call from Radio Derby and did a little chat live on air with them…really good to see that despite loosing Folkwaves that the main shows are still willing to give air time to folk 😀 I think the chat was mainly me rambling on like a nutter getting all excited but anyways, after that was done I mounted my mighteous Irregular Choice shoes and off to The Lowry Centre we went.

Me and Rob on the way down in the lift

 
 

on route with Rob, Mum and my lovely sis Jan

Wednesday pm – The Folk Awards

In we went and straight away I saw loads of people I knew, which put my mind at rest I can tell you, all the nerves changed to the excitement of just being there. I have said a lot over the past couple of days that just being counted amongst a load of musicians who I deeply respect and whose music I love was plenty enough…winning was an added cheeky bonus. So we took our seats, my mum and dad in the circle, my sis and one of my bro’s up in the gods, Rob’s folks stuck behind the camera crane thing. Me and Rob defo got the best seats out of all of us :p

We’d worked out I was on the end of a row so thought that could bode well for potentially having to get out and go up on stage 🙂 but on getting into the theatre most of the nominated acts were on the end so that put and end to that notion and all there was left to do was wait. Luckily  both my categories were in the first half…otherwise I think I might of exploded with the tension!

So we watched the awesome Martin Simpson + Band open the show and I cheer extra loud for Will Pound’s harmonica solo (cos he is quite frankly one of the loveliest fella’s in folk) and for a split second I kinda forgot what we were here to do and was just enjoying some cracking live music, then Mike (Harding) and Julie (Fowlis) got to introducing the show and the nominees for the first category and it all became very real again knowing that Horizon Award was up next.

So it gets to Horizon Award time, and the camera’s are rushing round trying to get shots of all the nominee’s faces…I make sure I am sitting up staright and am prepared to pull my best not too disappointed face hehe…and then Badly Drawn Boy, who was presenting this award, said something along the line’s of  ‘she has……from Derby’  and the combination of singular female combined with my home town gave the game away before he had even said my name. We were sitting behind John Tams and family, his gorgeous wife Sally turned round, wiggled her finger at me and exclaimed ‘It’s you!’ accompanied by the rallying cry of ‘C’mon Derby’ from Tam 😀

I was blown away, I honestly had no inkling as to who would win and didn’t dare entertain too many daydreams that it could be me so as not to get my hopes up.

Blurry pic...probs cos my dad was few miles away and shaking with excitement :p

I then had the arduous task of making it from my seat, up the stairs and accross the stage without falling over in my beautiful but very high shoes (I took the opportunity to wear platforms as being both tall and incapable of singing unless my feet are firmly rooted, means it is very rare I get to wear such beasts!). I made it, and even managed to make a speech. I will admit to you guys that in the few daydreams I allowed myself, I did have think about who I would want to thank. The emotions I was feeling were all the obvious ones I guess, just awesome to recieve such a recognition, and a bit surreal really given I had watched the awards from my living room the year before and said to my folks, ‘well, all i’ve gotta do now is get there’ and for it to happen just a year later…well it’s cool beans! I also remeber thinking that the theatre looked very purple lol 😀

After recieving the award I was ushered off stage by Badly Drawn Boy and we headed into a room off the wings where a photographer was waiting to take our pic against a Radio 2 back drop, I can’t find it yet but I am hoping the pic will turn up online soon so I can stick it in my scrap book!

I headed back to my seat to the sound of wonderful Seth Lakeman doing his thing, and waited for the interval to see my folks. I was quite sure and content in the knowledge that I would not win Best Traditional track although it was cool to be included amongst the likes of my hero June Tabor with Oysterband, Emily Smith and Martin Simpson. On that note didn’t June and Oysterband just clean up! I’m not suprised, Ragged Kingdom is a cracking album!

Anyways, it gets to half time and me and Rob go dashing out to try and find my mum and dad…massive hugs, tears from my folks and lots of friendly faces all coming and saying congratulations which was a right lovely feeling. I tell you, I’ll be buzzing off this one for a while.

Posing for photies 🙂

 
 

Me with my folks 😀 (i'm bending down so I don't dwarf them :p )

 
 

With my sis and bro 😀

 
The rest of the ceremony was great, sprinkled with cracking performances, more wins for Derbyshire based acts…there must be something in the water it would seem. We were sandwiched bewteen Tam and Jackie Oates which meant the camera’s were hanging around us quite a bit…which meant no chance to let it all hang out but that was probably for the best :p

For a full write up from the Gaurdian check out the link below, where Colin Irwin has said: ‘Lucy Ward – a resplendent figure in blue hair and voluminous dress – took the Horizon award for best new act’…BOOM :p

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/feb/09/june-tabor-bbc-folk-awards

Wednesday pm – The after party

Well after the ceremony was over, I’d hugged lots of people and seen my family off, me and Rob headed round to the bar at the Lowry where the wrist banded after party was cracking off. I’m not a great fan of this hobnobbing schmoozing malarky but it seemed to flow really easily, meeting new people and catching up with old faces. I guess that’s folk all over though aint it, a sense of community comes easily 🙂

Right then, the true highlight of the event ladies and gentlemen…

I GOT TO MEET AND HUG JUNE TABOR!

After chickening out of professing my love for here before, I felt that this might be my only chance, so as we passed each other I just stopped and blurted out how I find her music so inspirational and how the way she sings just speaks to my very core.

ME AND JUNE TABOR!!!!!!!!

What a woman!

I don’t want to sound like a name dropper, but if I told you all the folkies I got to speak to I’ll sound like one, so in short, I got to talk to a hella lot of people I seriously respect. Just thinking about it now to write this here blog it’s…well…mental! I mean the Dubliners started up a sing song in the bar, a moment I will surely never ever forget witnessing.

Me and Mike...him green, me blue...2/3rds of earth wind and fire?

Anyway, back to the apartment we trotted home about 1:30am, I know a lot of people stayed up much later, but we were shatterd and I wanted to get chance to see my mum and dad, cos as I said in my speech (sentimental bit coming here) my mum and dad help me soooo much, I wanted to be with them to share all the excited emotions and good stuff. Below is a pic of me, Rob and mum watching my acceptance speech back on the BBC Radio 2 website :p

🙂

 

I feel I have rambled muchos and that this is possibly the longest blog post in living history ever! So for that reason, I will save all the backstage details of my trip to East Midlands Today TV Headquarters, twas very cool.

Right then, after spending all of today slaving over a hot computer, I am off to a little family gathering to celebrate, CRACK OPEN THE PIES!

Ciao for now,

Luce xx

ps: I just wanted to say, it can be really hard to talk about things like awards without sounding really diva like. I really hope I haven’t come across that way and that it truly was a pleasure to just be there 🙂

Part 2 my first ever music video, the unwrapping, and your chance to order ‘For The Dead Men’

Ey Up

They are here!!!!!!

At last!!!!

So so excited when my folks rang to say that a great big cd filled parcel had arrived for me!

Arrgghh excited and holding scissors

 

oooooooo...lush

 

yay!

 And here it is…my first ever music video…ARRRGGGHHHHH…and your first chance to hear the studio version of ‘For The Dead Men’

 

 

Full run down of making the video in a Blog Monday coming soon 😀 but please feel free to share this video on facey b, twitter and all the other things you are connected too in the mean time 🙂
 
So, I’ve said this before, but just incase you missed it, though ‘For The Dead Men’ will be available to download, physical copies are completely limited edition.
 
In addition to the title track there is a cd exclusive that won’t be available for download (a chilled remix of Maids When You’re Young)
 
NOW THEN…
I was hoping for my next sentence to be something along the lines of…and here is the link for you to buy it should you feel so inclined
 
HOWEVER…
 
it would seem that either all of the technological world is out to get me (I have even roped IT Champion Rob to help me, but still no joy) OR ‘the man’ has got wind of the sentiment of my song and is putting all sorts of moriaty-esque barriers in my way to stop the message from spreading
 
Gotta love a conspiracy theory 😛
 
So here is what I propose, for now, til I can Sherlock my way out of this jam, if you would like a copy then please drop me an email with your name, address and how you would like to pay (paypal or cheques preferred), I’ll email you back and we’ll go from there 🙂 
 
 
They are £3.00 each and £1.oo postage + packaging to UK residents (£2.00 postage + packaging to send overseas)
  
So for now peeps, that’s the best I can do 🙂 ninight, see you soon xx

Date changes! and a little tit bit of tomorrows BLOG MONDAY :)

Ey Up Blog Beans

How goes it? Well I hope! I have been off to the pasty filled delights of Cornwall/Devon this week  to try and make some head way on material for my new album, and squidge a bit of a holiday too. It has been smashing, uber peaceful, pretty creative and just generally lush all over 🙂 but I shall tell you more about that tomozipan (knicked that word from Miranda Hart, I LOVE THAT WOMAN)

Miranda...be my bride!

 So anyways my lovelies, those of you who read the last BLOG MONDAY, or follow me on Twitter/Facey B will know that today was due to be the release of my forthcoming and first ever single ‘For The Dead Men’,

however,

‘For The Dead Men’ will be released on 29th January 2012

So only an extra week to wait, and an extra week for me to get nervous/excited and become a babbling wreck! :p

The download of the single will be available from all the places you would expect, itunes, amazon etc butttttttttt…there are some REAL LIVE COPIES that not only have the single but a cd exclusive (that won’t be avavilable for download)…a maids when you are young remix, which has a rather chilled and cheeky vibe even if I do say so myself.

Now then, here’s the deal, the physical copies of the CD are completely limited edition. Basically, It’s a one off print, so at risk of sounding like I’m giving you the hard sell, once they are gone, they really will be gone 🙂 I must say having a limited edition single is pretty cool, I feel like a Spice Girl, Blue Spice perhaps? But anyways, You can only buy the real singles directly from me so I’ll pop a link up on here tomozipan (I will never get bored of using that word!) and  if you feel like you want a copy, you’ll be able to get one 🙂 if you’re fast enough :p

Soooo then, BLOG MONDAY will contain all sorts of goodness,

  • the filming of my music videos…plural!
  • the recent mother nature photo shoot with the wunderbar Elly Lucas ( find out more about her beautiful self here http://www.ellylucas.co.uk/ )
  • annnd what I got up to on my recent trip to Devwall/Cornon…see what I did there 😛

 

woo me and a palm tree

Right then, now you are fully updated on proceedings, I shall take my leave.

Hope you’re having a smashing sunday, see you tomozipan

BEST WORD EVER xx

‘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

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