Sunday, 16 September 2012


This blog is a short one to share my next plans. There a few.

I shall begin the Paper Music Project next week with Edward Briggs in Brighton. Ed and I shall make music out of Paper and share it with you at the Manchester Art Gallery on the 11th of October at 7pm (2 shows that evening) to mark the opening of the 'First Cut' Paper exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery and to launch the Manchester Weekender - featuring Rob Ryan and lots of incredible artists from around the globe. Its free.

Also, Alice and I embark on the Laughing Garden at Bury Light Night (20th of October from 7pm) - also free. More about that soon.

I shall be recording an acoustic album next month and am putting a few new tunes together for it - this is a wee collaboration with Katie Tavini and will feature a few lovely guests.

Lastly, I have set up a pledge music project where you can pledge a bit of money towards us making a video for the Plastic Bag Song (part of '30', the album) in return for some exclusives from me. The way it works is that you pledge some money toward the project in return for either a T-shirt handprinted by me or a handmade copy of my acoustic album or a copy of '30' - there are all sorts of new goodies to pick from and I will put your money towards making a video that will hopefully raise awareness for the damage plastic bags are doing to our planet and get non-biodegradeable plastic bags banned in the UK. You don't actually give me any money till the project is completed - you just pledge to support should I get it done. 20% of any profits will go to Greenpeace and if there are any other profits I shall give it to all the artists and engineers involved. Please support this - it means a lot to me. Thank you.

You can pledge here

Thank you for reading.

Have a LOVELY day!!! x

Sunday, 2 September 2012

30 songs

(My art room)

Scientists have suggested that it takes 30 days to form a new habit and that with a bit of willpower you can make this happen. I now believe this to be true. Since the beginning of this project I haven't stopped writing and I am way beyond the 30 days now but I am still writing every day. A great teacher of mine once said to me that creativity is like a tap that drips to begin with and then more you stick with it the more is gushes. I truly believe this and I know now that blockages are manmade and therefor can be cleared.

So, I began, in my art room on a nice warm afternoon. I wrote my first song which gave me the idea. I doodled a picture and didn't know what it meant so I posted it on Facebook and asked and whilst I was waiting to hear the answers I wrote a song about the cross and what I thought it meant. I finished the song in half an hour crazily, it just flowed right out. I realised then, that it would be good to try and do this everyday for a month or so just to see what might come out - both creatively and also to see what blockages might be lurking inside.

 I wrote it up on Facebook to commit that I was going to write 30 songs in 30 days and if I am truly honest I didn't really think I was going to get past 5 days. I thought I would struggle and then fizzle out. I asked Facebook for suggestions for what I might write about other than love and 150 suggestions came back! So, I began.

I set a few ground rules for myself. I decided I would need to finish the chords, melody and sections in a day but that I could add a few extra lyrics later if they all needed and actually, they all seemed to get finished on the day bar 2 which were collaborations.

I wrote for six days and each day I looked down the list on Facebook and picked whichever title took my fancy for that day. At no point did I ever focus on writing 30 songs. I only ever approached it as writing one song in a day and I did that for 30 days. I have problems with authority including my own but thankfully reverse psychology works. If you want to do anything for 30 days the momentum will begin with committing to it and you won't really have a problem as you only have to do one thing 30 times not 30 things.

I set up a collaboration with Matt Owens on the 7th day as I thought I might buckle and hoped writing with someone might help. This was a beautiful day. It was sunny outside and we both wrote on guitars.  I have mostly always written on my own and couldn't really imagine writing with someone other than drinking and having a jam with someone.  For the first 10 days of this project I was on antibiotics and not drinking made the project even better!

I set a rule with the collaborations that whomever I was working with could pick the title - still from the Facebook list. The most exciting and scary moment of every collaboration is the moment after a title has been picked and the song is about to be written because insecurity and ego set in. It's a strange thing because even though you know you are going to create something it isn't already formed so you worry that it may not happen or worse, that you will come out with nothing but dross. If, however, you learn to channel your creativity and be patient with yourself and your instrument, it is never very long before something worthwhile starts to flow and that really happens every time! I was amazed at this. This really blew my head to smitherenes. You really can make it happen every day. You might not get a killer song every day but you can write a song and that song will lead you somewhere and that's a beautiful gift.

(Ian Reynolds)
Song 'The Goose is Cookin'

I had many many many special moments in this project and I unblocked a lot within and I watched many blockages melt. I shared lovely days and food with everyone in this project and I was blessed to be able to  have the time to enjoy it. 

(Ben Williams)
Song ' We Salute The Breakfast Beast'

Matt chose to write about doors. Then, I had another week writing on my own each day. The insecurity still set in each day that I may not write another song EVER again but somehow something worthwhile came out each day and I got the chance to write about things that as a singer/songwriter I may never have got the chance to write about had it not been for Facebook's suggestions. Thank you everyone.


(George Borowski)
Song 'Chest of Memories'

I set up 14 collaborations for the last 2 weeks and I think this was a great move as I think I may have given up at this point had I not as I was beginning to flag. I felt compelled to finish as the collaborations that were set up were all with great writers and artists and I was both looking forward to working with them and learning and I was equally scared. This fear is a red flag to a bull in me, so it made it easy for me to stick with the project.

I was very lucky to work with everyone that I did and some of those sharings would never have happened if it weren't for this project. I collaborated with poets in the USA, artists in Japan, Liverpool, London, Gibraltar, Manchester, Scotland all sorts.

So now what? Well, 30 images in 30 days and hopefully 15 of those will also be collaborations and then I will put it all together and share with you. Thanks to everyone who sent this project a positive thought and to all who got involved and to all those who wanted to. Love. x


(John Ellis)
Song 'The Dark Alley Fairy'

(George Borowski)

Song 'The Plastic Bag Song' Tom Davies

(Tom Davies AKA DaviesQuiet)
Song 'The Plastic Bag Song'

Song 'Lucy'

Alabaster DePlume
Song 'Glove'

Louis Barabbas
Song 'Glove'

'Glove' Alasbaster & Louis

Becca Horne
Song 'October Blue'

'October Blue' Becca Horne

Kuki's Uke

Kuki, 'Im Tired of Getting Older'

Kuki, Song 'Im Tired of Getting Older'

Fionnuala Dorrity - Song 'Tom Cunningham'