Saturday, June 28, 2008

Harlow, Ronnie Scotts and Egg Banjos

Well what a week! After the BBC Radio 4 show Loose Ends show we were off to Harlow for the Mid Summer Festival on Sunday 22nd June - we filmed some of the festival and it was lovely singing in the sun! The audience were fabulous and I met up with friends from Dundee after the show.

Monday 23rd June - Ronnie Scotts

We travelled into London earlyish and checked into the hotel. Martin and I had a radio session which was really fun and very enjoyable. We had some very good friends coming down from Scotland to the Ronnies show, one very special friend flew down in his private plane to be there! As well as having a long list of press guests and two record company executives from Sony Japan, Ronnies was pretty much full!! We played 2 one hour sets which I think was quite unusual for a week day show - the audience were a real listening audience and there was absolutely no chat while we were playing! The show went really well and we chilled out with our friends after the show. A fabulous young guitarist called Marcus Bonfanti came along too with his partner Lizzie and I was really thrilled to see them.

Tuesday 24th June - Rays Jazz In-store & Ronnie Scotts

Martin and I had an in store at Rays Jazz which was bursting with people before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the show. Not sure what dress to wear - but went for a black and white 50's style number! Short but kinda cute! The show went extremely well - and again we had a load of press people there as well as the execs from Sony Japan. Ready to eat something - we all headed over to Little Italy for something to eat with the Sony Japan executives. I took my Haverhill Lamp with we - just as well as the lights were so low that none of us could read the menu.

Wednesday 25th June - travel home - can't wait to see the cat!

With a couple of days to get back to base and I had a radio interview with Alan Steadman at Radio Tay. Alan is wonderful - I can remember doing my very first radio session with him many moons ago. We had a great chat on and off air. I mentioned that I had just been in Broughty Ferry with my girlfriends including my old singing pals - The Penny Dainties! They were all off to see Sex and the City but I couldn't go with them as I had my interview with Alan scheduled in. I might just go to the Flicks on Sunday.....

My mum came to Radio Tay with me and I was quite excited for her as she had never been in a radio studio before. So there she was sitting beside me while I was chatting on air. I just saw her face beaming. Alan played 3 tracks I think - He's A Tramp, I'm Confessin' and If It's Magic. He has been such a great supporter over the years and he runs a fabulous jazz venue in Arbroath at Hospitalfield - I haven't played there yet but would love to.

So I was really looking forward to Saturday - a whole day off and a well anticipated visit to Visocci's cafe in Kirriemuir for Egg Banjos - ie fried egg rolls. If you are curious as to why they are called Egg Banjos - you can ask me if you are really interested and I'll let you in on the secret - hee hee! Visocci's in Kirrie is the best! There is nothing like it!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

London Music Show, Haverhill & BBC's Loose Ends

Since last checking in I've been out on the road with the Freternity band in Darlington at the beginning of June. I managed to squeeze in a radio interview with BBC Radio Suffolk before heading to London for the London International Music Show for 5 days supporting the launch of the website. It's a cool new website for guitar nuts a bit like a Myspace for guitarists.

We arrived at the Excel Centre armed with all the exhibition bits and pieces as well as a 12 year old bottle of Glenfiddich whiskey. I saw some great guitarists including Joe Satriani and Paul Gilbert ...oh and Jason Bonham popped past our stand as well as Courtney Pine! It was full on to say the least!. I did find some time to whizz around some of the other stands and came across the Tascam stand where the guys there had a massive jar of retro sweets - Parma Violets the lot! Well I immediately dipped into the jar with permission of course. I thought it only polite to revisit the guys with my bottle of Glenfiddich and some glasses! I was made very welcome and we made "Whiskey O'Clock" at the end of the day a statutory requirement. In fact, we all really hit it off and as a lovely surprise when on the last day of the show the Tascam guys gave me a portable digital recording studio to take back to Scotland with me!!! I was so thrilled .. what a lovely kind thing to do and I will certainly make great use of it! Those guys Rawk! I think that some of them are going to try and get along to the Ronnie Scott's shows too.

We came back from the London Music Show
absolutely shattered with having been on our feet for 4 days but thankfully we had some help on the stand. We had hired in a team of promo girls and guys. It was real team work.

Back from London and with a couple of days to cuddle the cat and catch up on normal stuff I was off to Glasgow to be a judge at the Young Entrepreneur Awards. The teams I was judging were fabulous but for me there were 2 stand out entries, one school from Inverness with their "Eat 5 a day" giant fridge magnets and the other school from Shetland with their GoEco bags! Very enterprising and lovely bright kids! I even bought 3 of the Fridge Magnet packs to take back home. I wonder who finally won the award? I should find out this week hopefully.

So - Thursday 19th June and it's an early flight to get down to Haverhill for a show at the Arts Centre with Martin. I wondered if my new pink suitcase would survive the baggage handlers??? Or even arrive at the airport at all! The Royal Highland Show was on and it was a complete nightmare getting to Edinburgh airport with massive delays due to the shear amount of traffic - almost missed the flight! Phew that was close!

Thursday 19th June Haverhill Arts Center
Martin and I have been doing shows with some props - lamp, table, picture of my cat...... but of course impossible to travel with when it come to flights. As it happens the Arts Centre had fabulous green battery lamps so I managed to pull together the props I needed for the show. I ended up actually swapping the lamp for a couple of CDs ... so I have my own travel lamp now and it looks very retro. All set for Ronnie's now!

Friday 20th June - day off so made the most of it and did some shopping for some on the road essentials.

Saturday 21st June - BBC Radio 4 Show Loose Ends with Clive Anderson

It was an early start to get to the BBC for the show and once we got our sound check done it was straight onto recording. Martin and I played "If It's Magic" and the other musical guest was pop group "James" who played a song from their new album called "Hey Ma". The chat guests were Anne de Courcy author of "Snowdon", actor David Bradley who played the caretaker in Harry Potter, Peter Moffat writer of new BBC Drama "Criminal Justice", Rachael Stirling actress who was talking to Matthew Sweet ,presenter of BBC4 documentary "British B Movies: Truly Madly Cheaply" and comedian Todd Barry from New York who also starred in TV series "Sex and the City". What an interesting day that was! Loads of great chat and laughter after the show had been recorded.

So tomorrow I have a show in Harlow - so signing off for now as I need some extra ZZZzzzzz's!
Ciao for now


Monday, June 2, 2008

A Bonkers Weekend

Wow what a mad weekend I've just had. Shows in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Vence in the South of France.. It all started with a very early Friday morning 30th May.. off on the road to get to Glasgow for a radio session at Smooth Radio with Martin Taylor.

We talked about the new album "1:am" and selected three tracks to be played on the show - True, He's a Tramp and If It's Magic. Martin wrote the music for True and I wrote the lyrics. He's A Tramp is that fabulous Peggy Lee song which is really the anthem for the Disney movie Lady and The Tramp. I've been trying to get hold of a copy of the film - so must get searching around on Amazon! And of course the last track we selected was the version of that wonderful song written by Stevie Wonder - If It's Magic. When we were recording the album we made a radio edit of the track but I think the station played the full version.

Then we were back on the road to Edinburgh to get to the Queens Hall for the sound check. Doors at 7.30 and showtime - 8pm. Have a look at the footage for "Again" from the Edinburgh show.

Saturday 31st May - The City Halls Glasgow.

Well.... this is the first time I've been in this venue although I have played a concert in the Old Fruitmarket which is more or less in the same building. It's a big venue!

Now I do love a little bite to eat but never before singing. My rider is always just water, still not fizzy or as they say in Italy solo aqua. The audience was great and Martin and I both noticed a lot of smiley faces. I recognised a few familiar faces in the audience and I really enjoyed the gig.

Another early start tomorrow, early flight to France so I then headed off to my hotel.

Sunday 1st June - an early flight to Nice to do a show with Bill Wyman and his Rhythm Kings in a Chateau in the hills in the south of France. We were picked up at the airport and whisked off to a remote location up in the hills overlooking the Cote d'Azur. It was a great night, the atmosphere was amazing and the scenery stunning but that early flight the next day is always on the horizon.

Monday 2nd June - not too early a start so there was time to munch on some breakfast before flying back to the UK. I'm saving all the good juicy stories for my book!!! Looking forward to getting home and seeing the cat and I hope my husband has been keeping the Aga wiped over!

Ciao for now