A Year's retrospective and what's to come
Posted: 10th July, 2011
With it being just over a year since my debut album, Rags & Robes, was officially released I thought it might be a good point to do a wee retrospective, a recap on the year gone for me. Cliché or not, it’s difficult to believe it’s been just a year since then – it seems like a hell of a lot longer to me.
In terms of my music it’s been a fantastic twelve months in every respect and at this point last year I wouldn’t, and couldn’t, have hoped for things to go better. Never having released anything before, in the proper sense, I was a bit apprehensive about how it would be received, in the papers and mags, the radio, and most importantly by the punters and music enthusiasts. I’ve been really chuffed, to put it mildly, all round about the response. Perhaps most surprisingly and encouragingly for me have been the comments on my own songs and with prompting I’ve had I will keep on writing for sure. It’s difficult to pick out highlights really, but I’d have to say that being chosen as a ‘top ten folk album of 2010’ in MOJO was one. As were the exciting features in the legendary American mag Sing Out! and Canada’s Penguin Eggs. Fingers crossed I might even get over that way someday soon.
Towards the end of 2010 I was surprised and really pleased to find I’d been awarded Fatea Folk Awards’ ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’ accolade. A look at the previous winners was humbling indeed. But what would probably have to be the highlight of my last twelve months was being awarded the Horizon Award at the 2011 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. It was, once I’d gotten over the culture shock, a great night and I’m still not sure whether I was more happy or shocked to have won.
The last twelve months has also seen me busy and all over the place with gigs. I’ve had a brilliant time performing in venues dauntingly large and, well, dauntingly small, from the North of Scotland to down near Lands’ End and all in between. But regardless of where, the audiences have invariably been lovely, warm and receptive. It has been a real pleasure. So I’d like to take the opportunity at this yearish point to say a big thanks to you all who’ve made it out to the gigs, hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have and very much hope to see you again soon.
It all looks set to continue and with plenty coming up. At the end of July I’ve got the pleasure of playing at Cambridge Folk Festival and then the second half of August has me at several festivals, Scotland, Northern England and in the South. September and onwards are busy with lots of exciting and varied gigs, including one at The Royal Albert Hall.....well, kind of.....
Meanwhile, I’m busy working away on material for the next album, both writing songs and arranging lots of traditional material. I’ll going back into the studio to record towards the end of this year. I’m very excited about this and how it’s all sounding, but more on that soon. I’ll be gradually introducing the material in live performances in the coming months so listen out!