True to my word I am back again with a follow up blog detailing all the fun and games myself and my artists have been up to over the past few weeks.
Things don’t show signs of slowing down, in fact quite the opposite!
I began last months blog talking about a competition I was running with some local musicians and Cambridge 105. ‘The Balancines’ wrote and produced a track titled ‘Monsters’ which they felt having recorded it was a little contemporary for their voices. They approached me and asked whether I’d help them run a competition to look for someone much younger and prettier who might be interested in working with them to re-record the track for a potential future release. Well, I’m pleased to say that we found a winner – and a really good one at that! Last night (as I type this) we announced that Heather Merryn Ford was the person we chose to go forward and work with The Balancines on the track. The standard of the entries we received was really high, infact Heather’s entry was sent in quite close to the deadline so whilst we were heading along one road in terms of who we were going to pick as the winner, our minds changed quite suddenly once Heather’s video dropped into the inbox. I was really pleased with the level of entries we’d received, running the competition was a little bit of a risk – I wasn’t sure whether it was going to sink or fly but thankfully it all worked out! I look forward to keeping up to date with what Heather and Chris and Simon from the Balancines get up to together.
A couple of weeks ago I was visited on the Cambridge 105 show by the guys from Cambridge band ‘The Abstracts’. They were forced into a hiatus about a year ago having been riding the crest of a wave in terms of success and popularity over the previous few months due to their lead singer leaving the band. They came in to spread the word on their search for a new member so if you’re a singer songwriter and can also play an instrument and think you can commit to being part of a band then drop them a line – they’re great guys and the music they make is top drawer. Drop them a line if you’re interested on [email protected] or visit The Abstracts on Facebook.
Gigs wise, I write this on the day of our next NMG Sessions which is an Acoustic special featuring what I think is a really strong line up of talented young band Scenario, the beautiful Sarah Louise, double Dan’s – Dropout Dan and Dan Wilde and one of my favourite Cambridge acts at the moment – Gary Hellman. I’m sure it’ll be a great night of music!
I’m giving the NMG Sessions a break for a couple of months as I’m busy with other commitments but they’re back in July and August – and i’ve already got the line ups sorted! The immensely talented folk/pop duo – The Floe are headlining on 25th July and will be supported by the equally amazing Elliot Porter & The Missing Pieces and B Sydes. Then, on 29th August it’s a much rockier affair as Total Emergency reform for a one off gig in our honour (they were one of the very first bands I interviewed in Cambridge then they split up and went off to University soon after.. however I’ve remained in touch with some of them and convinced them to get back together for a gig!). They’ll be supported by our band 28 Boulevard and one other TBC.
The Bath House Acoustic Nights have finished their trial run which was so successful that they’ve given the green light to continue them indefinitely which is great news. The last couple I have attended were really good – Two Intents and Jon Hart & Ellie Jamison played a month ago and Lucid, 28 Boulevard and Ollie & Will played a fortnight ago. The next few nights include Christian Smith, Mark Shepherd, Will Clark, B Sydes and The Pickering Brothers. They’re all free entry and begin at 8:30pm every other Thursday at the Bath House on Bene’t Street, Cambridge.
I mentioned at the end of my last blog that I’d been approached to provide some artists for some outdoor acoustic nights at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Cambridge, I’m meeting the guys there tomorrow so I should have more information on that soon.
On to what my artists have been up to..
Well, 28 Boulevard go from strength to strength! It’s been a busy time for them over the last 6 weeks as we built up to the release of their new single ‘Logistics’ which was finally out last Saturday – it’s been a long process waiting for that release, the single was recorded over Christmas and the video right at the beginning of January! The single sounds great and the video looks even better. Thanks to Bugs at Half Ton Studios and the guys at Philbarn Studios for recording and mastering the single, also thanks to Nigel Kinnings for recording and editing the video. You can see a link to the video in a previous blog post and a download link to the single on iTunes is available on the homepage.
June will be a mega exciting month for the band as they’re going on tour supporting a London based band called ‘Room Service’ for 4 dates! We’ll be taking in Cardiff, London, Birmingham and Brighton in the space of a week – it’ll be lots of fun, I’m really looking forward to tagging along for the ride (and being taxi) but it’s the biggest test for the band yet as they will have to be at their best for 4 consecutive nights. I’m sure they’ll smash it.
They also played the Junction last Friday with a storming set, there will be photos and videos of that soon.
Lucid won the Huntingdon Band Competition this month which was well deserved, I was pleased they had some success in a competition having had a pretty horrific experience in one at the start of the year. They played their first gig in J1 at the Junction too, it’s difficult being first on stage but they handled themselves well and hopefully they will be back again and further up the bill next time.
I wrote in my last blog that my mission at that time was to secure some London gigs for Lucid, well I’ve been successful! They’re playing Acklam Village on Portobello Market on May 19th. I’ve heard from a few Cambridge acts who’ve played there before that it’s a great place to start out and on a nice day is gauranteed a decent crowd. We have some other London dates to announce soon as well. Those who’ve seen Lucid play live lately will have heard most of their new material, we’re working on getting them into the studio soon to record and release a few new singles.
It’s early days working with Lost Lungs – I haven’t seen them play a gig yet! However that’ll change next Friday (3rd May) when they play the Hunter Club in Bury St Edmunds. That’ll be a good night – and they’re playing with Hard Actors and Mirror Signal – both of whom I’m looking forward to seeing live for the first time. I’ve got them all coming over on Bank Holiday Monday for a filming day in Cambridge too – just so we can get some content up on Youtube, there will be some busking and punting going on.. hope it doesn’t end with anyone overboard!
28 Boulevard and Lost Lungs are playing Homegrown Festival this August – it’s a festival in Suffolk which is all about giving artists from East Anglia an opportunity to play in a festival environment. I met with the organisers the other day and excited to be doing some interviews and podcasts for them which means I get to spend all weekend there interviewing all of the artists once they’ve come off stage – that’ll be a great experience.
Since my last blog I was also offered a new radio show! I will be hosting ‘STAR Talent’ on Star 107.9 for Cambridge & Ely on a weekly basis from the middle of May. It’ll go out in a late evening slot – probably at 10pm and looking likely to be either on a Monday or Tuesday night. I start recording that show in a few weeks so am on the look out for music to play and guests to have in for an acoustic session. To get a show on commercial radio is a dream, it’s the next step on the ladder for my radio career and one I didn’t think I’d make at points in the past so to say I’m excited to get started is an understatement.
I think that’s all the news I have for now, I’d better get back to working on Cambridge 105’s outside broadcast at Strawberry Fair.. I’m writing to bands inviting them to play our tent at the moment.. I wonder if your band will get an invite?
Until next month (possibly!)