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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Billy Bragg, For The Dead Men and Fishermen

Ey up 🙂

Well ya know I was going to do you a big fishyfriends write up

Me and the Fisherman's Friends 🙂

…well I am still going to do that…but as per life I have turned on facebook and got distracted :s hehe

I got distracted because Billy Bragg has shared the video for my single, ‘For The Dead Men’

‘Good day for news yesterday – James Murdoch goes back to New York with his tail between his legs, the Tories are forced into a U-turn on workfare by activists putting pressure on big business and then hearing this new song on 6Music late last night “Stand up and take to the streets, they can’t ignore us if we all choose to speak”. Brilliant’

I first saw Billy Bragg when I was just ten years old at Glastonbury, he blew me away and since that time I have held such a massive respect for that fella and his music. I’ve seen him play a number of times (including a duet with Bill Bailey! which was nothing short of brilliant!), poured over his albums and just well…he is up there in my eyes as one of those people who has done so much, and written lyrics that I covet and..

What I am trying to say is that it is very surreal that Billy Bragg has heard of me, let alone likes my song.

Totally true, utterly stunned bit out of the way, someone asked me at my gig on monday why I wrote this song and why ‘dead men’; it was quite a big question and I think I could of rambled on about it for yonks (you know how I like to talk :p ).  Well I have been thinking about it more since that question and thought that for this weeks post I would have a little muse about what inspired it, how I wrote it and how I feel about it now.

Why did I write it?

I wrote it out of desperation! I guess it was a reaction to what is going on in the world, catalysed by watching the marches, riots and revolutions unfold on my tv screen. I am a total pacifist, and a veggie one at that so please know that I would never condone any violence, but there was something about watching  those who were making their voices heard (in a peaceful way) that just…i dunno…spoke to me.  

 Why dead men?
 
It started out as a reference to those who have marched before us, but as the song has developed I feel it has become more than that. I really think it refers to us all, ‘the dead men’ are those of us sticking our heads in the sand, ignorant to what is happening and our power to affect it. It’s apathy. It is also all those on the thin edge of the wedge who have been left deal with the true fall out of the cuts and reforms… while the rest of us (including myself) sit in our warm, paid up homes thinking about cutting down our broadband package.
 
The response that this song has had so far has been quite overwhelming with lots of you guys sharing it online, it has been knocked around ‘occupies’ all over the world since I recorded it, Mike Harding has shared it, it’s beginning to get airplay and today with Billy Bragg sharing it with his 90,000 + fans on facebook it really feels like something important is happening. It’s just great to know that there are people out there who feel the same.
 
please continue to share this should you feel so inclined
 Just for your info, this single is my first new release since my album last year. It is available on itunes and amazon as a download and if you would like a physical copy then they are only available from me, (just £3 + £1 for postage and packaging)…just drop me an email on info@lucywardsings.com and I’ll get back to you asap 🙂   
 
 Right then
 
I best go get ready as it is the first date of my tour Spring Horizon Tour tonight…very exciting as I am kicking off with a Derbyshire date 😀
 
For full list of tour dates click to —> http://www.lucywardsings.com/dates.php
 
Have a lovely thursday guys
 
Luce 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