Monday, 24 March 2014

March 24th and the album's out along with the daffodils!

I walked back though St James Park today and there were so many daffodils. I thought of the Lakes and the way daffodils make the heart sing. Make poets write…..They're so cheery. And they were cheering on the Hard Rain release which is today! Joy of joys. The record on my own label comes out! So, here's bags of news about it all.

We had a wonderful show at the 606 with Simon Wallace on piano and David Mantovani on double bass and Max Petrossi took some wonderful pictures.

The CD's on all kinds of media - for example super duper hi fi freaks who spend more on their equipment than I do on shoes, can download the album at super duper levels from Linn Records High Definition site here

and that's wonderful.

I finished my short story and now the BBC will find someone to read it, (I had some fabulous ideas so I keep my fingers crossed) and there'll be a date in May when the radio'll go on and there it will be. Unfortunately I couldn't think of why George Clooney should read it, sadly. Believe me if I could've I would've.

Today I did one good and one bad direction. I directed the lovely young man in a wheelchair who was en route to the Nigerian Embassy which for some reason is in New Scotland Yard unless he was having me on which is always possible as I've always been incredibly gullible, to the right road. That direction was good. Then some French people - quite old - wanted Twinings (who knows?) and I sent them by accident down the wrong road. So, one good and one bad. The other week I was walking home in the rain and a young couple stopped me looking for a particular hostel nearby - the weather was so very bad (cold cold cold) and they were so wet I couldn't bear it so I walked them there. They were, it transpired, students from Spain and Italy and in love and I always think of all the times I've been in foreign places and people have been brilliant to me. You have to give back. I hope the elderly French people see it that way…..

You can get the new CD on Amazon and its on Spotify and a thing called Deezer and another called Digital 7. Its a whole new world.

This coming week we're playing in Chester at Alexanders, and then I'm in Corby for the weekend. And for anyone who wants to know what I'm doing in Corby - which is tremendously exciting - its this -

So have a great week, and remember, if giving directions, try to think first before you send elderly French people down the wrong road. I have to go because the Archers has started and I shout at the radio when Helen comes on.

Happy spring!

Aloha. Ciao and Namaste.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Spring, Stockport and short stories…..

Last week I had a call from the Beeb asking me if I'd like to write a short story for their week of singer songwriters writing short stories series. As, unless I have a serious kick in the backside or a deadline the size of Paris, I'll do almost anything to avoid writing - including cleaning the fridge or doing the car tyre pressures, I said "yes", because I thought, well, that'll be one chapter nearer my biography ever starting. So I got cracking and managed to do a bunch even on the train yesterday en route to Stockport to see my mum and "do things", as she mysteriously puts it. The "doing" means looking through old family photos and deciding if anything can be thrown away. As my hoarding genes come pretty much pure straight from my mum, most of what was in the cupboard has, having been examined and oo and aaghed over, gone back into it. How do you spell "aagh"? I'll stick with what I had though the red line's gone under it.

Mum is watching "Call the Midwife" or something similarly titled.You'd have to pay me to watch that. That's why I'm writing this. Every so often I glance up and think, no, there's not enough money in the world to make me watch this. It'd be like Clockwork Orange where they had to pin his eyes open to keep him from looking away.

Had nice news here and there about the album, and various interviews and so on. Its coming out in the USA at the end of May, and I'm writing a short story.

Today we drove past Jodrell Bank, spring blossom and daffodils, snowdrops and lambkins. Spring has sprung even in the Northwest.

Corby songwriting group and Head of Snakes rehearsals continue apace as we hurtle towards our wonderful workshops at the end of March.

Now the midwife is sat chatting to a nun. Who writes this stuff? We had nuns at my school, and they were quite good value, unlike the cheerless lot on this show.

Last week brought 2 extraordinarily fab nights working with Julian Clary, Sarah Travis and Philip Herbert, aka Hugh Jelly. St James Studio was packed to the rafters with old JC fans and friends and generally lovely people. We did some of the old songs, too, including Mincing Machine and Uncanny and Unnatural.

Here we are back in ye olden days…..

Rehearsals took place at Julian's earlier in the week, with quite a lot of laughing and some good food and a little wine. I love St James, as I can walk back from it to Pimlico in the moonlight along my quiet streets. Here's a backstage madness photo…..

The gang reunion and music brought back so many glorious memories for us all. It was a total joy. David McGillivray factoted us - I know thats not a word but its what he did, and great fun was had by all.

Next weekend on friday March 14th I'm in Norwich -

and I'm at Cheltenham Playhouse on saturday March 15th, here -

and on sunday 16th March at the fabulous 606 in Lots Road, Chelsea.

So we'll see you there I hope!

Spring - gorgeous - whatever you are doing, wherever you are - enjoy every minute of it……Namaste, Barb