LEEDS – 31st December, 2016
‘Another year over, a new one just begun’ – Happy Christmas (War Is Over) – John and Yoko and the Plastic Ono Band
Well, thanks 2016, you were certainly a year.
From the death of everyone’s favourite person in the world – David Bowie, as if I need to say it – through Brexit, Trump, more celebrity deaths that you can shake a three-pronged trident at, plus seemingly everyone’s ongoing list of relationship trauma and health woes, and hardly any good films coming out, either… it’s definitely been a year.
For me, as you might have realised from this blog of late, it’s been very much a learning experience and one that has taken me on some soaring highs and some exceedingly perilous lows. But there is much to be grateful for and much to be happy about.
I’ve finally finished my album – as mentioned the other week, I had rewritten some of it and so went back into the studio to re-do that, which actually weirdly put a real finishing touch on it. It’s now a better and more thorough journey, in my opinion. And it’s so 2016 it hurts.
I wanted to get the music bit out of the way so that I could concentrate on doing the Pledge campaign and getting them all sent out. As I always harp on about, I do all this stuff on my own, so the fewer distractions, the better. It’s hard work trying to run a campaign, finish off a record, be ordering jiffy bags, sort the artwork, answer questions from people and do video updates and so on all at the same time. Increasingly as I get older, I find that I have to be in the correct headspace for certain things, so you don’t really want to be putting the vocals on the ballad while you’re arranging merch deliveries.
I also want to keep this short. Launch it at start of Jan, get the music up start of Feb, get the hard copies out to people by start of March. Keeps it nice and neat and tidy. I don’t want it dragging on – partially because I don’t have a million video updates I can use, as the studio stuff was 99% just Andy the producer and me, and we’re pretty boring.
I’m putting out a new video tomorrow (I probably won’t end up posting this for ages because I want to space them out, for no apparent reason) which I hope you like… I thought ‘Sticks And Stones’ was a nice easy one to get onboard with, but I’m a bit worried if some people will like this one less. It’s a bit more pop/indie than many are used to. I like it, mind. It’s called Same Old Sun. It’s weird when you listen back to songs you wrote a year ago and you realise that it could have been written about yourself a year in the future, completely unwittingly. I suppose we’re all our own worst critics.
Tonight, traditionally a night for celebration and boozing, I’m going to stay in on my own with the cat, as I am scared that she is scared of the fireworks. which she utterly couldn’t give a shit about. I got wrecked a couple of days ago at the annual Christmas game of poker which we hold in memory of one of the lads we used to play with – Neal Addison – who tragically took his own life four years ago. Neal was a great bloke, an enormous music fanatic and an incredibly good poker player. So we all celebrate his life once a year with a big game of poker, which turns into/actually is a massive piss-up, and this year I only went and won it.
Due to a bunch of heightened feelings related to a million and one things, and probably the 6000 pints, I ended up a bit of an emotional mess by the end, and woke up the next day (on the sofa) thinking that I had probably done my drinking for the year. So tonight is about staying in, toasting the advent of a new year with a cup of tea and waving goodbye to easily the worst year in memory.
Happy new year, may your 2017 be fruitful in the ways you both want and need it to be.
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