Musings, newsings...

Piddinghoe Church Dec. '22 Photo and lighting by Cliff Dowding

Bonjour -  hope you're well. But this is all about me I'm afraid, please get in touch to chat. The big news is tha I recently played a solo concert, totally in French, to an audience of 50, of my songs which I translated into French  (with a little help from my friends and AI!). It took months of preparation but it was worth it. A great audience and even a great collection in the ‘chapeau’. After all that I seem to lapse into a bit of a exhaustion with just a few Open Mics, lovely Bluebell Roots, and Lovely Chateau Velo amongst others. A new departure at the OMS in Malling Community Centre where I ventured into a set of Storytelling and I really enjoyed that. More to come, certainly.

An echo remains of 2023 with a wonderful, long holiday in France and very happy to play for the Piano Course at Le Canel again, led by James Lisney, at the end of their week. I've phone recorded some new songs, on the Songs Page and will get round to recording others soon. 

In  May I was featured for 2 hours on radio Hailsham in Des Parker's Acoustic programme, great fun, 10 songs, and the time went really fast! Also a spot in the gorgeous Bluebell Roots in Bates farm with cooking by the equally gorgeous Phillippa Vine, always look forward to these.

Old news but still so interesting…I've photographed for the New Sussex Opera again and the  'movie' I made of Belle Lurette (link) is on Youtube and we had a grand launch at Depot, it was brilliant, so  well received.

I'm doing a fair few Open Mics and loving it, but trying to spread around - Bluebell Roots, 6 Bells, Printers Playhouse...  another play at the Pines Residential home in Hove. It's always a privilege to perform there but a tricky one in terms of reception as so hard to gauge if the audence is having a good time. But one lady wept during a love song, one was effusive in her comments after and a couple stayed to chat, I couldn't ask for more. The session is after lunch and it's warm so I lose a few to sleep but that's a lovely thing to see also. A very nice place. Just about 15 plus the staff and the brilliant Jack, the activities manager.

December 17th, a great evening in Piddinghoe, in aid of the local Foodbanks, with the Coppers, Rachel Fryer and Adam Bushell and more. "A great concert and you were a really important part of it - funny, thoughtful & very creative. We raised nearly £1000 for the food bank! So a huge success" - Adam B...

Many thanks to Linzi (and Marcus!) of Mr Jones for some lovely photo's/video. Mr Jones Open Mic in Shoreham-on-Sea in early October was awesome, I must do more. I've just been asked to be the guest on Des Parker's Acoustic Show on Hailsham Radio on May 6th 2023 at 13.00.

September, Zu Cafe in Lewes was finally forced to close, so sad. I wrote a song especially for them and performed on the same stage as Grace Nichols and John Agard reading their poems and the always jolly Pam and de Femmes.

Phew, end of July and just played a great gig At the Aztec Brewery in California. Mind you, I had to translate a few of the witticisms for the Americans, a really receptive audience.  Now for France!

What a lovely venue the Bluebell Roots at Bates Farm is! Great food and hospitality and a very responsive audience. I had a brilliant time and hope to be back there in tha Autumn. Also very good to be back at the 6 Bells, Chiddingly, post covid.

On 6th March I had the privilege of playing "Sign of the Times" at the vigil for Ukraine on Cliffe Bridge in Lewes. I changed a few words but essentially the same as what's on the songlist here. On the 9th March I did a slot at The Guesthouse Storytellers with songs about failure, the theme of the evening!, and also performed another for International Womens day.

In mid-October I had a lovely little interlude, at the Crypt Gallery in Seaford, playing Tide Mills tunes to visitors. I'd worked very hard on the main Tide Mills lyric so it was good to give it a second airing.

The Tide Mills Celebration in early October was itself tremendous, I enjoyed it so much. Audience comments ranged from "Brilliant!" to "I'm a physical therapist and the way you related to your audience was just so wonderful", and my grandson - roadie for the night - said "It was so good, I'm really proud of you", it doesn't come any better. And he took the photo too.

 I played "The Neptune" in Hove  and it was both a lesson and totally enjoyable. Great crowd, not always listening... but brilliant comments afterwards. If I can make someone's day better then that's a good thing!

The excellent online magazine for Songwriters, "Write Away", had a 2 pager on me and my song "Pennies" in July. Link to many thanks to Jane for that.

Yeow, the gig in Piddinghoe was truly rewarding and fun. the audience joined in on the first, yes THE FIRST, song and that made the whole set rock. The fish and chips was great too. Many thanks to my collaborator Rowena!

"SHAME" was on Internet Radio Willingdon in March, thanks David "Wattsy" for that, a very nice choice of sounds for an hour of Sussex Showcase..

2 new efforts! I've added a song which is partly in French and I've collaborated with my friend/muse/teacher Charlie to add piano on 'The Pennies', any resemblance (the song not Charlie) to Billy Joel is purely intentional. I've upped the number of songs I'm allowed to use on the site - why not, get them out there!

"The boy with no name", for my new Grandson, Manny.

"The Buckle Belles" - for the sea swimmers of Seahaven.

"Ruthie Pie" - written for my daughter, to celebrate her special birthday.

Radio Sussex played "Humanity" on the Joe Talbot Show, and he said "I think that's rather lovely" - this amid the mass of poppy pop is a compliment indeed, thank you Joe.

It's been a time of reflection and, as we've not been directly affected by illness, some peace. Time for writing and learning, catching up on half completed projects, DIY, sheditating, cooking, TV, longing, missing...  you.

Many thanks to Jon for the  photo's in with Lola the friendly horse.