Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Helen and the Horns on Gideon Coe Right Now

Drawing a Poster for Gig in Bolton

Sitting still, still.
But at least drawing today.
No brain... I hope it returns soon.

Gigs and Events 2020: Poster Pending

6th March (not a gig) Talk in Brighton Library, evening, details to follow.

7th March- Nottingham
International Women’s Day: film screening and gig 
The Angel Microbrewery

8th March Resonance FM show for International Women’s Day, 4-5 p.m.

21st March- London, Lexington with Vic Godard, Johny Brown and Simon Rivers

9th April- London, Paper Dress Vintage supporting The Flatmates

12th April- Leicester supporting the Flatmates

18th April- Monks, Beverley

23rd April- Bolton with Amy Corcoran
The Beer School, 88 Market St, Westhoughton, Bolton, BL5 3AZ

28th May-Bristol, Thunderbolt supporting Johny Brown and Pauline Murray

29th May- Brighton supporting Johny Brown and Pauline Murray

30th May- London, Betsey Trotwood supporting Johny Brown and Pauline Murray

19th June- Glasgow Nice’n’Sleazy’s supporting Johny Brown and Pauline Murray

20th Sunderland Paradise supporting Johny Brown and Pauline Murray

Monday, February 10, 2020

Caroline Coon

Caroline is fantastic not just as a painter but as a political activist. I am thankful to her for her support when I needed it most. Without going into details of the painful past, she lifted a book you will see in passing in this film up to a respectable height in the best way possible: putting on an amazing party and inviting the women interviewed in the book to it.
Some of them hadn't even met each other before, and they forged friendships of a lifetime. Subtle political action like that is very much underrated.

Fiery Bird, Radio Woking Tonight

Thank you to Elaine McGinty for inviting me! The broadcast is between 6-8 p.m. tonight:

When the Wind Blows

Yesterday, the wind blew me and the Offsprogs to Strawberry Hill House and back. It was my birthday present from them, and I have many pictures of stained glass windows, memories of delicate Holbein drawings and a desire for it to be MY house. It was a fabulous way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
There is more to write another time about this.
Take a look:
It's a wonderful place
The only thing is: it's not on a hill.

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Starting to Make a Batch of Pea Soup

By golly, you have to be strong to do this!
The handle has come off the stamp already, and I had to wedge it back in.
A few a day, doing a bit at a time, three stamps to stamp, then green ink painting to paint.
On hundred vinyl copies of a miniature album, five songs on each side: shortest, about 20 seconds. Longest, two minutes.
Release date the 29th of February, a non-existent day.
No additives: Pea Soup

Friday, February 07, 2020

Photographs In My Mind's Eye

Some of the best things in life are impossible to photograph; eat your heart out Instagram, really.
A rehearsal where two people feel challenged by working together, but manage to lock their guitar playing into a secure and magical groove, concentrating for two solid hours, barely speaking.
And a recording session where the music just flows, head space opens up, ideas come tumbling down and settle on the music machines like many-coloured butterflies.
That too.
And as for teaching: well, when your students pull rabbits out of the hat and look just a surprised as you are, to find them there.
Big that!

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

The Wrong Square

I've landed on the wrong square on the Monopoly board. One of the places I worked for a year and a half didn't pay my income tax- and the hyper-clever computer at the Inland Revenue didn't notice, either. That's no holiday for me this year, then.

Demo From Yesterday

This is one of the three songs that we recorded yesterday. It's an old one that I've revived the words too (it has been released as an instrumental). The other two need a bit of editing. It's nice to play bass again, though this bass line will be redone at some point.
It's so great to work on music again.

Monday, February 03, 2020

Book: on the move

Yesterday I sent what I hope is the final draft of the book to the editor. I could endlessly tweak, add, re-edit... but it has to stop: it has to be finished.
I am very grateful to Martin Greaves for reading through it and giving me useful feedback, to David Sheppard for looking at an early draft and being really encouraging, and to Sarah Killick whose transcription skills finally got the thing moving. And more than 30 women who agreed to be interviewed: well, thank you indeed.
So today, I'm at work as usual with an array of bananas on the desk. This evening I'm doing more work with Johny Brown on his songs, as second guitarist for the gig at The Lexington on the 21st of March, and tomorrow I'm going to record some new songs with Ian Button. Only two, I thought, but there's another one with temporary lyrics, and also some songs already there recorded that I could do some overdubs on to. And I'm really looking forward to both those things.
By the end of the week I'll know about the gigs for the first part of the year, and I can start fussing on about those: some with Pauline Murray and Johny, both solo, a couple with The Flatmates and some on my own, as well as The Lexington.
I'm waiting for a student who hasn't turned up, but (don't tell anyone) I don't mind. I worked a humungously hard week last week with a day with 12 scheduled tutorials over six hours, and this week I'm visiting a new placement host organisation as well as teaching. I have started giving the song writing students rapid-fire exercises to do. Last week's was a song for the Queen's 100th birthday, and this week will be an eight-line song to sing about homeless people in the street, with a chorus that passers-by can't forget. Let's see what they come up with.
The Green Goddess is here beside me, a bit like a faithful familiar. She is waiting for action and I've done a bit of playing already, cautiously. My fingernails are frail and feeble which means that my wintertime diet has been lacking. They only need to last another couple of days.
Come on guys, you can do it, I know you can!