If you have missed the previous editions of this feature, then you can catch up at the links below and then come back to find out what has happened since.
There’s only one place to start. How was Glastonbury?
As excited as I was to be part of the official Glastonbury line-up this year, I really didn’t have high expectations of the show itself. Perhaps that was a defence mechanism to tackle nerves, but I’ve met plenty of bands for whom Glastonbury was not actually a great gig (due to timing, weather, etc). I was opening the Acoustic Stage at 12:00, so I really wasn’t sure if I’d have much of an audience at that time of day. The overall mood was surreal due to the news of the referendum result and everything that came with it.
The second I started singing, I realised that the tent was quite full and, more significantly, that everyone was with me, listening to the lyrics. It was really moving and I can honestly say I didn’t expect it. I enjoyed every second of performing and had a great day after the set too, exploring the site and catching soaking up as much music and good vibes as possible, regardless of stormy rain showers and slippery slopes. It’s true what they say you know, Glastonbury is a bit muddy…
I’ve never played at a Festival where the staff backstage were so relaxed and helpful. The entire operation of Glastonbury is so impressive and I really hope I get experience it again. Thank you so much for everyone who came to see me play, who spoke to me afterwards and to all of you who sent well wishes before and after.
What else have you been up to this last month?
I’ve been in the studio working on some of the new tracks. I decided to put the first of the new songs, Train Tracks, out on Bandcamp last week, seeing as it was topical and I really felt like sharing some new music with everyone before the Glastonbury show!
In the week prior to Glastonbury, I also had the opportunity to perform live on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire, while I was in the West Midlands for a show in Coventry at the Big Comfy Book Shop and a living room gig in Birmingham. I finally got to meet Brody Swain (from the BBC Introducing show), who’s been really supportive over the last couple of years, so that was great. You can still listen to the session here (02:08): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03x0djz
During those shows I sold the last couple of copies of my debut album, The Real Thing, so I’m pleased to report that my first album is now extinct, at least in physical format. If you have a copy, thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy it. Meanwhile, I’m busy making the next one.
What has been your highlight?
I believe this question is superfluous in this month’s edition James… Getting to perform at Glastonbury was one of those career goals you vaguely work towards for years. I can’t believe I reached it this year and it’ll take some time before a new highlight pushes this one out of the memory limelight.
What about a lowlight (if any)?
This too is unfortunately easy to answer this month. Waking up to the Brexit news at 5am on the morning of my Glastonbury gig was pretty terrible. I appreciate this isn’t exactly music related, but bringing people together and spreading love is what music does. In a way, at least being at Glastonbury was a beautiful relief, albeit a brief one. I am so saddened by the anger and fear making permanent marks in our headlines and across the world. Over the last month, I have been told that my vote shouldn’t have counted as much as others because I wasn’t “born and bred” in the UK. I’ve witnessed racism and hatred being banded about unabashedly and without consequence by citizens and institutions alike. I sincerely hope this is not indicative of what lies ahead.
Has there been any new music that’s made a mark on you?
Yes. I’ve still not listened to the entire album, but I have heard Radiohead’s ‘Daydreaming’ and it is wonderful. I caught Aurora’s set on the John Peel stage at Glastonbury and it was incredible – so good! I’m still mainly listening to Tame Impala though… such a shame I couldn’t stay for their set at Glastonbury!
What’s the plan for the next month?
For the longest time, Glastonbury was the thing to focus on. Now that’s over, it’s time to regroup, get back on track with emails and all the boring admin stuff, as well as continue with songwriting and recording. I have a few shows coming up, such as the city showcase at Embankment on July 17th and a little showcase at PRS for Music in Kings Cross on July 14th. The first thing to do though is to have a long sleep and try and scrape the mud off of my shoes…