2012 was a year of big change for me. In the Spring Mark Gill and myself called it a day on our musicial partnership of 10 years. Whilst it was hard for me to digest initially the parting was a mutual one and we remain good friends and I will never rule out playing with him again. We have left behind not just good memories of some great gigs but also a good body of work. I have put together a 2 Album Anthology of everything we have recorded both live in the studio and as part of the package it also features a live DVD with 4 full sets from The Musician. The tracks have been remastered and sound so fresh. More news on the release and launch of this very soon, which has taken a bit longer to get out than I intended.
The majority of 2012 was spent steering Wildfire Sessions events and let it grow and I have concentrated mainly on that - hosting, promoting and managing so many events and had the pleasure of meeting and working with so many great artists - many whom have developed so rapidly right in front of my eyes. It's inspiring that as the demise of X Factor mentality is now more than evident so many people of all ages want to come out and express themsleves live, especially on the acoustic scene. Lots of great original songwriters out there hungry to play. All we need now is for even more general audiences to truly appreciate the talent they can see at their local pubs/live music venues (often for free) and the effort involved and to stick around. It can be frustrating when it's taken for granted - and I'm often left thinking do people actually come out curious about seeing some new music or are they only coming because their mates are playing (and then often leaving)? Thankfully it seems at the same time there is a now good following of audience who are starting to come to along regularly to more of our events and check out the acts (many of which can be seen here). We have some cracking nights. I can't thank enough the venues, hosts and great staff who work alongside me who do their upmost to help get people there and make it as good a gig possible everytime.
This focus has left lttle time for me to create. I have forged a very good duo partnership with Kev Lee (guitar/vocals/mandolin) plus also managed a couple of low key performances with Lou Short (bass) and Jake Patrick (drums) and would like to develop these avenues further. At the tail end of the year I was lucky enough to back US singer songwriter Janet Robin for a few terrific gigs and play a couple of support sets for Simon Friend (of the Levellers) Seismic Survey and top Leicester band Ferris. I also appeared on The Leicester Music Scene Xmas Single with some of the Citys' finest musicians - many of whom I had seen at Summer Sundae Festival where I compered The Musican stage over the summer. It was a good end to 2012 and reminded me that I need to get out there and get some new songs out, which I am now scheduling some writing time for.
Anyways, just thought I'd take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support, hope you have a great year - look after yourselves - let's see what 2013 brings us.
(Below is of me and Luke Smith at The Red Lion, Bozeat 28/12/12 taken by landlord David Archer).