So here it is, another year over, another end of year blog. But it has been a pretty good one, if I'm being totally honest.
I played 94 solo gigs this year. That's an average of 1.8 per week, which is a little off the pace for me compared to previous years *checks old blog posts*. There are a couple of possible reasons I can think of for this;
Firstly, For the first 9 months of this year I was working a school job. I know I've been working other jobs before while gigging more, but I can't say it doesn't have an impact on both having time to actually find and book gigs as well as being awake enough to play them!
Secondly, all of my recurring gigs have now stopped. I was running the songwriter's sessions at The Crown Joules for the first half of the year, but they decided to take their live music output in a 'different' direction. The gigs there were great while they lasted, but sadly, last they did not. I've also finished playing at Village Coffee in Codsall after many years. I'm not aware that they have any live music on there regularly now.
However, a lower gig output is somewhat outweighed by the fact that I finally finished and released my newest album, 'As I Live and Breathe' in 2017. It was a long time coming, and I'm incredibly proud of the way it came out. People seem to like it too! Massive thanks must be given to Dickie Davis, Dan Hart and my wife Kayla who all appeared on the album.
Stemming from the album launching, I've played my first ever gigs with a full and this year too, and they were great fun. I've got another one at The Robin 2 coming up in February, for which tickets are available here. It's going to be a great show, so come down and get involved :)
On to my highlights of 2017. Other than the obvious launching of the album, I also did a mini tour at the beginning on November which was a success. One of my favourite gigs was playing at Rough Trade Records in Nottingham for a multiple union event to talk about young people's pay. Tour aside, I also had a great time at Strummer Jam, as well as discovering cool new venues like The Windsor Theatre in Birmingham and Tom O' The Wood in Warwick.
Away from the stage, I've finally taken the plunge and gone full time with music as my solo job. It's going alright so far, but I'm sure I'm about to feel the January pinch!
In 2018 I hope to have a real go at making full time musicianhood work, as well as finding a new venue for the songwriter's sessions and generally looking to book more cool gigs. I've got some cool ideas for stuff to do at home too, but they need some refining yet so I'll keep them close to my chest for now.
See you out there,