Friday, 20 April 2012

purple rinses

So it happens to all of us - age. We all grow older and when you're  young you're told that you should enjoy your youth and treasure every moment of it but that doesn't seem to make any sense really because you truly don't understand what it is that you apparently have.

Now, in the worlds that I come from looks are a hugely important thing, at times seemingly more important than health if you take cosmetic surgery into consideration. Growing up, there was a heavy demand on looks in the communities I lived in and I had all sorts of confidence issues and for a couple of years I remember trying very hard to never look in a mirror or a reflective window because what my head had to say about what it saw. I got through a lot of my teens and twenties turning the volume up on my personality so that I didn't have to face how I saw myself.

As a singer, a female singer, looks have always come into my work especially when I was signed and was told I shouldn't wear a dress shorter than than the knee due to someone's opinion that I didn't have 'good legs' or a few peoples questions about whether I had thought about losing some weight as I put a fair bit on. Even at university I was told I had been marked down by one of my tutors for not appearing as sexy as one of the other singers being marked. Difficult for the confidence - those types of comments really, and the demons started to lurk over my shoulder and it was a tough job shaking them off.

I had a streak of white hairs right through my teenage years - just a few of them that I never even questioned - in fact they made me feel quite special. I've fluctuated in weight all my life and gone from skinny skinny skinny to voluptuous. It always seems to be a shock to me a few months into either shape and then I buy a few new pieces for my wardrobe that make me feel good about my new shape and all is good again.

Now, this new change I face now is a tougher one it seems for me as I have been messing with my hair since I was 12 and have dyed it blue, red, orange, turquoise, pink, dreaded it, shoved it off, cropped it, grown it long and tye-died it, streaked it, extended it - you name it I have probably done it to my hair and enjoyed it. So, recently when I noticed that a fair percentage of my hair was growing in white I spent quite a while thinking about it. What to do? Do I keep dying it forever? Do I embrace the white? The crazy part is - I have been dying it for so long that now that I have stopped it feels bizarre every time I look in the mirror as I seem to be ageing in years daily ! Ha ha.

I am, however, curious about this new look. If white hair is natural surely it must suit us all?

Coming back to being a female singer... if not having 'good legs' or needing to lose weight is an obvious issue for the industry I am in - are white hairs going to be welcomed? He he. Don't think so. What to do? Have we really got a society that frowns upon ageing so much that we can't embrace it and see it as beautiful and a sign of wisdom. Must all singers in my field reflect youth? Do men have the same problem in the industry? Will I get less work?

Cool Down Rewind is out in two weeks as a single for radio with a brand beautiful new remix by the unbelievably talented Davies Quiet my long time wonderful friend and guitarist and I'm getting radio play and hopefully some tv features soon. What to do? Do I go on breakfast tv with my new found hairdo or do I play the game everyone's playing and does that then lead to pulling my skin over my head and into my neck?

Will I find it even harder that I already do in my career if I have a peppered hairdo? Should that matter? Should I be one on the ones to embrace it and make it feel beautiful to me. Should I just get on with this and find some new outfits to suit my new hair? Please please send me your thoughts. I'm intrigued to see what you all think.


Ps here's are some lovely words to listen to about ageing...

Friday, 6 April 2012

Louis Barrabas 7 The Bedlam 6 around Europe in a Van

So, my job can be tough at times because I never know when the next penny is going to stop in my purse or if another song will ever bless my life again and the constant tightrope walking between my career and life can get incredibly tricky a times but when projects like going on a little European Tour with Louis Barabbas & The Bedlam 6 come along it makes it all truly worth it and reminds me of why I do what I do in the first place.

Louis asked me to join them on their tour around Europe with 10 dates through Austria, Germany and Switzerland and I really had no idea what to expect from the band or the tour. I was blown away by both, the kindness and humility of the team and the welcome we received from every venue and audience were an absolutely joy and I came back refreshed and excited.

Here are some of the offerings EVERY venue made to us out there in the Erp no matter what size venue or how many tickets were sold...

Coffee on arrival, someone to greet us who then showed us all around and introduced us to the venue's team, snacks in our dressing room - A DRESSING ROOM - snacks were usually fresh bread, cheeses, fruits, yoghurt, tomatoes, cake, biscuits, fruit juice etc and this was all before each venue gave us a lovely home cooked hot meal and a lovely bed to sleep in. I have to be honest here I have gigged the UK up and down and I could count how many venues have given me a hot meal, most venues don't even give you what the Europeans offer as a snack.

Simple. Treat a band well and they will excel at making a show into an event to remember. I find it sad that its near impossible for me to find venues that are willing to work together to really make things happen. They do exist and hope they will forgive me for generalising but there seems to be a tiredness with venues in the UK that spreads its energy right through the band and to the audience. How do we fix it?

It seems in Europe there is a lot more team work between the venue, the band and the audience and everyone works together to make the show an event and the event a great experience for everyone involved. Now, all this combined with a band that is relentlessly talented and hardworking and bang you've got yourself five minute long screaming stamping encore - every night.

We had a blast. I had a lot to learn and the boys put up with me and my millions of bags of art materials, boxes and endless photo taking. I spent every day making my Jools Holland boxes and trying to memorise Louis' PHD length lyrical wonders and having a blast with the audience and the band in the evenings.

I love sitting in a van for long periods of time staring out the window and listening to tunes. I so rarely allow myself to just stop so, these moments were truly precious to me. Thanks to the Bedlam 6 for being so welcoming and learning some of my songs, being parient with me and being so positive and supportive and to Louis for taking a risk with me and sharing a wonderful opportunity with me and to Sarah for selling my handmades every night and for being a friend and support whilst we were travelling - lovely lovely company from all.

We had some fun times too after gigs obviously (red-light district Hamburg and crazy club after & Bremen - my favourite city.) I learnt so much from Louis on stage too - I really love his energy on a stage and his ability to take an audience to the ridiculous. He is so quiet and gentle before a gig and then as soon as the spotlight hits - out comes the fisherman's ghost on acid ! Awesome.

I shall be singing with them tonight (friday 6th of April) at the Deaf Institute if you'd like so come share what we created around Europe. Love.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

It's been a while

Hello ! Hello ! Howdy and heeberdeedooha-yeep.

I have had a day in the sun and its turned my head round. Right round like an owl. I hope you are a well and too have enjoyed the glorious weather we've been having. i have a lot to tell you about and will during the next two weeks but first... here we are yet something has changed. A new experiment has begun. One that will change the face of the earth. One that will attract the other planets closer to us thus causing all black holes to implode. One that may melt your face pulling your hairline to your chin and confusing the passers by walking behind you. Yep. This experiment will be written about by historians and scientists alike and will cause bearded men everywhere to scratch their heads raise one eyebrow and do a little dance in sheer glee when the penny drops. Yipedy-yay.

The 6 degrees to Jools Holland.. Its a giggle for me a little project that excites me. I want to see what happens.
So I have filled six little boxes with our music and my art and I have sent all six to six continents - South Africa, Australia, USA, South America, Europe and Asia. The six people who've kindly agreed to be the 6th degree of contact do not know Jools Holland most have never even heard of him. These six people will send the box to someone they think may be in the right direction of the Jools Holland. Then those people will pass it on to someone they think may be in the right direction.

The rule says these boxes should all arrive with Jools within six passes.

Quids in people - how many do you think will get there? In how many passes? How long do you think it will take?
I bet £1 that all six will arrive within the six degrees of separation within 2 months. If you'd like to see what happens - follow us here or catch up with what happens here- LOVE !

If you like the website - it was designed by Paul Brickles - find him here

Enjoy ! I wish you well.