Its been a wild, whirlwind of a week and a half and I'm drawing breath but only just to put down my case and washing and get my stage clothes ready again, as in a couple of days I head out to Berlin with Simon Wallace and Davide Mantovani to perform Hard Rain at this lovely German venue -
And only 10 days ago we played at St George's, Bristol. What a superb night. Great sound and a great gig and a whopping house of people. It was wonderful to be back in Bristol because its been ages, and we found a very good Korean noodle bar with the biggest plates of fun starters - word of warning to singers - probably best not to have the salt and pepper things when you're just about to sing and need all the hydration you can get……
Then it was blood moon super luna night, and we were in the middle of the most glorious countryside - deep Sussex - for the Chiddingly Festival. Again - a great night, a packed house, and a drive back under the most glorious moon I've seen for many a while. So many of us were moon gazing that night - all over the world, as we did since time immemorial. And we were amply rewarded.
|"and the moon rose over an open field"|
And here's Davide and Simon sound checking in Chiddingly -
|Simon Wallace and Davide Mantovani soundchecking|
Then I was off to the States to perform for The Kate TV show which will be broadcast in early 2016 all across the USA. So no pressure! We rehearsed at Michiko in New York as usual, the mighty Laurence Hobgood on piano and keys, Wilson Torres on percussion and Michael Olatuja on double and electric bass. Then on wednesday we headed out to Old Saybrook Connecticut - the guys in the minibus with the equipment and me in the back of Gail Boyd's car with her husband the esteemed Walter Beach at the wheel. You can read about Walter's book, (its wonderful) - here
We stayed at the Old Saybrook Inn and Spa which may be one of the best hotels I've visited recently. The room was bigger than my flat here in London, and the view from my balcony was a slice of heaven. I had the balcony window open all night and drifted in and out of sleep to the sound of waves slapping against the sides of boats, which creaked and heaved in the water as the wind came up. The dawn breaking was worth getting up for, and its not often you'll find me saying that.
|Dawn breaking over the Sound from my balcony window Old Saybrook Inn and Spa.|
The TV session was a fiery and marvellous experience. I was chomping at the bit to get this new material onto a live stage at last. We'd recorded and mixed already and the album, Shelter From the Storm, will be released on Linn Records in February 2016, with a UK and a US tour in March and May respectively.
Lida Emert did the best markup - honestly, that woman is a star. She listened and then did what I wanted but about ten times better. And was a joy to be with.
|Make up by Lida!|
The staff at The Kate theatre in Old Saybrook could not have been more accommodating or kinder. Outfit wise I went for a catsuit. I know. I was talked into it by one of stage clothes shops. They said, "go on, try it" so there I was in a catsuit. To be fair its a French catsuit which meant it was glam and not super tight - it was more Mrs Bloggs goes Paris than Emma Peel if I'm honest. Nonetheless it was glam.
|The catsuit after the show…...|
Glam is essential. I'm an old school punk glam gal. So it was French catsuit and studded boots. But to the important things - I can't speak too highly of the musicians I am working with. Laurence Hobgood is just a star. That man is a joy to work with. Inspiring, bar-raising, and funny too. Michael and Wilson were a delight all the time, and what is it about musicians and bananas? They love 'em. Potassium must make for good playing…..
|Michael Olatuja and Wilson Torres soundchecking at The Kate|
|Laurence and Michael at sound check|
I had a slight jet lag moment with Bali Hai but after couple of false starts we sailed through. It was high tension and high jinx. Laurence described it as "bold". That works for me. Its a bold album. I can't wait for it to come out. Just seen the artwork and love that. Here's a bunch of photos of the filming.
|This is what we looked like from the audience…….|
After the show we hung out with a bunch of fabulous friends from the O'Neill including Braiden Sunshine who is wowing America on The Voice, and rightly so. What a talented and lovely young man he is.
|With Braiden Sunshine after the show|
Leon and Anne took us to a roadhouse bar for drinks called if memory serves, The Monkey Farm. That was something. Good nachos. Good nachos are a wonderful thing. Extra jalapeños. Thats the trick. And the next morning we said goodbye till we meet again for APAP in January and touring in the New Year.
|With Wilson, Gail my US manager, Michael and Laurence in the hotel the morning after.|
Then it was back to the UK. Sardine time on the plane, so slept little. But returned to find the podcast I did with James Taylor is out. Its about life and music and so on.
And to Corby to do our Deep Roots Tall Trees concert which was a huge success…. photo of the choir and the musicians and I, here…..courtesy of Janet Halsey….
|Deep Roots Tall Trees choir with Mark Brennan, George Reilly, Gareth Fuller and I at The Core in Corby|
and then to Crazy Coqs to sing Love Me Tender with Jenny Carr on piano and Dudley Philips on bass. And now its off to Berlin. Which is where I started. So, hope to see you at a show soon……meanwhile….I'm off to Berlin! Namaste! See you there.
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