Hello beloved readers,
As I write, Spring is upon us, the first signs of daffodils and crocuses can be seen emerging through the green areas of the city, and the rare and welcome sight of the daylight sun can be witnessed from the streets of Edinburgh. And all around us, there are positive signs at last that after a long and tiresome wait progress is being made in the return to normalcy.
There are still no formal signs of when live music will be able to resume in Scotland or in mainland Europe but we can be more hopeful in the knowledge that in England live music events will be able to take place from the 21st of June, a fine way to welcome in the summer indeed. Sadly this comes too late for my proposed tour of England which was rescheduled to early June this year, and has now had to be rescheduled again (please see gigs page for exact dates). And spare a thought for my twice delayed Scandinavian adventure, originally scheduled for March 2020., then rescheduled for March 2021, only to be rescheduled once again for March 2022. Third time lucky….I hope, but it’s so chaotic organising shows at the moment, there’s one show in England I’ve rescheduled five times!
I’ve been keeping busy with live streaming in the meantime, my latest one in conjunction with Music From Scotland can be viewed here, but please be quick as the link will expire at the end of the month. If you are watching for the first time and wish to make a donation, please do so here, it would be very much appreciated. I was highly honoured to perform my latest ever concert at 0130am as part of the online Gung Haggis Fat Choy Burns Supper, British Columbia’s award winning annual celebration of Chinese, Scottish and Canadian culture, curated my the wonderful and enigmatic Toddish McWong. And by special request from my Danish fans, not to be outdone, I performed my earliest ever concert for the good people of the Sulelaegen i Magtenbolle, it was certainly a challenge to have the voice and the technical facilities all ready for a 9am start (somewhat of an anathema to musicians mostly attuned to a start some 12 hours later in the day!) but fortunately it was still a lot of fun, and those who woke early to enjoy it were similarly receptive. Please don’t hesitate to contact me here if you would like to book me for an online private event or concert.
Reflecting upon the past, recently the sixth anniversary passed since the talented Simon P Biggs and I released the video for ‘A City Beautiful‘ to the world, and belatedly released my first ever music video. It is hard to underestimate the positive effect this video had on my career at the time – the ability to finally have a video to pitch to venues and music promoters proved invaluable, and the beautiful, delicate and highly skilled animation that Simon provided to accompany the story the song tells impressed far and wide. And it led to a song I’d never previously played live becoming one of my most requested – it’s strange what a video can do for a song, whilst also teaching me a lot about how much I know my own material!
Moving forward six years, and to my latest video, recorded by Glasgow filmmaker Martin Forry, one with a very different feel, filmed as part of a set of two videos in the heartland of Glasgow’s abandoned industrial docklands. The song is called ‘Forever Take The Blame’ and the video can be viewed here – please do watch it and share it, the powers of the dreaded Facebook algorithm decreed that it wasn’t going to be shared very far and wide at the time of the initial release in January and so I’m still trying to push it as much as I can. And of course, if you’re reading this and haven’t subscribed to my YouTube Channel, please do so here, it would be very much appreciated, rest assured plans are afoot to make the next video.
I’ve been delighted with the reactions to ‘Hand On My Heart’ from all over the world, but at the same time I am more than a little frustrated not knowing when I’ll be able to share these songs with you in person. Belated thanks also to Jim Gilchrist for an excellent review in The Scotsman which you can view here. If you haven’t yet heard the album and would like to do so, please purchase a copy directly from me here.
Lastly, for those of you who have followed me for more than a decade, I’ve set up a Bandcamp page for my alter ego ‘Man Gone Missing’ – please take a look here. Downloads of all the tracks from both albums are there, if you are already on Bandcamp, please follow the page and download until your blues-filled hearts are content.
A full Bandcamp page for my own act will follow in due course as part of a move through 2021 to take all my music away from streaming sites, always giving priority to physical releases and then to paid downloads via Bandcamp.
I’ve literally just a few copies of ‘Beyond Desolate’ left which can be purchased here – if you wish to hold one of the last genuine copies of the first ever album I recorded and released then please hurry.
Thank you, as always, for reading, and here’s hoping I’ll see a few of you folks over the summer and autumn to come.
In the meantime please stay safe and healthy.