The year started with an exciting trip to BBC’s Media City to play on the Marc Riley show for Victoria Hume, promoting her Closing EP (which has just been championed by Lauren Laverne in her best of 2016 list). It was the first time I had played on live radio and was a little nerve-wracking but all went well and it was a fun trip with Victoria and (viola and musical saw wizard) Quinta. Back in London I also got to do my first TV appearance when Victoria was invited to play on the Ayala Show with full band - you can see that here
The early part of the year was taken up with recording my own EP, Rocks Of Bawn, which came out in June. The five tracks are all traditional songs, inspired by my time working for The Song Collectors Collective. I was delighted that so many wonderful musicians played on the EP. We launched it at New Roots Presents, a brilliant London folk club run by Rory Carlile, and also performed some songs on the Nest Collective Hour on Resonance FM - my second radio appearance of the year!
The next major event of 2016 for me came when I was asked to perform as a “Troubadour” for an exhibition by Ragnar Kjartannsson at the Barbican Art Gallery. This was definitely the strangest job I’ve ever had and quite possibly the most rewarding too. It involved playing a song on endless loop whilst wearing pyjamas and drinking beer. For two months. True story. You can read my blog about the experience here.
Other highlights included reuniting with Amy Walker to play some shows promoting her latest album Unravel; some barn stomping gigs with The Trad Academy Shanty Choir (particularly one at a naval base banquet – lots of healthy guffawing in dinner jackets!); a session for a forthcoming reggae EP and one for a new documentary film. I was also delighted to be promoted to Senior Teacher with The DaCapo Music Foundation, a music education charity I work for; I’m now teaching a large guitar ensemble, a teenagers folk/pop group and a group of beginner adults alongside my one-to-one students.
In the latter part of 2016 I’ve been writing and recording some new music (you can hear an instrumental demo here) and I’m looking forward to getting my head down in the new year. First gig of the year is supporting Victoria Hume next week, January the 4th in Hackney - more info here!
Wishing everyone a very happy new year!