So there goes 2015. It was a good year. Musically the last twelve months have contained some real triumphs for me.
Signing with Bad Elephant Music (BEM)
Yes, this year I became a signed artist. That doesn’t mean what it did a few decades ago. There’s no big recording advance to spend on cocaine (I have to buy my own), no massive media machine or marketing juggernaut to get my music in front of the masses. Just as importantly, there’s no chance of ending up hideously in debt or being told to compromise on my creative decisions. BEM is the very epitome of cottage industry, run by a wonderful team of dedicated nutters who do it for love not profit. Because there aren’t any profits.
Also, they all live in a cottage.
What difference does this really make for me as an artist? It means certain things aren’t my job any more. I don’t need to book the CD manufacturer, or sort out mastering, or taken on quite as much of the PR and telling people about my music as I did when I was on my own. Just as importantly, it gives me a bit of moral support and validation for what I’m doing. It lends a legitimacy to my work that I didn’t quite feel as a one-man-band.
So ta BEM, it’s appreciated.
They’re having a January sale. Here’s a link.
Fit the Fourth
My fourth album is my best yet. All right, I might be biased, but it really is. Fit the Fourth rounds off a musical journey begun five years ago when Seven Bells John first started haunting my songs. Of the 55 minutes of music on the album, 30 of them are about Seven Bells and his final comeuppance, culminated with Seven Bells Redeemed, a song I’m incredibly proud of. Add to that three other nonsense tracks with some of my most difficult, silliest music to date and you have what I will regard as my masterpiece until I get the next album finished. At which point I’ll think that is best and forget everything I’ve done before.
It’s 6 years that I’ve spent working on these silly steampunk songs. Over the next 6 months of so I’ll finally round off that chapter of my work, but for now this is my latest and my best album. Thanks to all those who’ve listened to it and enjoyed it.
I played some really fun gigs this year. I don’t often get the time to organise live work, so most gigs I play are ones that are offered to me. Nevertheless, I booked one gig myself and was asked to play a further 6 in 2015. I got to more areas of the country and played to some of the largest (and smallest!), most engaged, and most indifferent audiences of my career to date.
I had a blast.
In 2016 I’m playing The Yellow Rooms Brighton on Jan 23rd (EDIT now postponed!) a BEM showcase on Feb 13th in London (tickets here), and Eppyfest (tickets not on sale yet). There should be more gigs in the works too, I’ll let you know when they’re booked.
As I’ve said before, the best way to get me gigging in your part of the world is to ask. We need a room and some people to listen, and means to make sure I don’t lose any money. It’s dead simple!
All in all…
…It’s been a good year. What’s next? This year there will be some tidied up re-releases with extra tracks this side of summer and a brand new album the other side of summer. I’ll have a few more other projects on the go as well, many of which should come to fruition in 2016.
As I’m often at pains to point out, I don’t make this music for a living, I make it because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t get to listen to the music I want to hear. The fact that a few people besides me like it is amazing. Thanks for listening. More music soon.
The latest episode of my Sunday Bootleg podcast ‘Lee Valley Temporal Anomaly’ is available here.