Breaking my back, crowdfunding an album, & other such tales

tl:dr – I broke my back and the band & I launched a crowdfunding campaign for our debut album. Long-winded version below! December is one of my favourite months of the year. Only October can really compete, but this isn’t a post about October, so we’ll set that aside for now. In December my living room is transformed into a red and gold wonderland. Every morning I pretend I’m walking though to the Gryffindor common room (as a proud Slytherin this is blasphemy I know, but I don’t care) and I eat chocolate like the Dementors might appear at any minute. The forbidden love between a Slytherin and Hufflepuff In December I get to buy and/or make the (in my opinion) perfect presents for my loved ones and wait with delicious anticipation for the day they get to open and enjoy them. I wear huge snuggly jumpers, drink gallons of tea, eat mince pies with abandon, watch Elf and Bad Santa, and sing and play terrible carols on the piano. In December Craig and I make our own advent calendars where every day reveals a new fun activity. For example, one day might read: “Let’s draw a caricature of each other tonight!” and another “Let’s wait for some calm, crisp weather and go for a late night walk with the dogs in the moonlight.” The options are endless, the surprises delightful, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that the activities can even be life-affirming. I love December. But this December hasn’t gone quite to plan. If you don’t know this about me already, I love to...

I’m not dead, I swear!

Fox Mulder So I promised in my last blog that my next post would include a compilation of Fox Mulder-related puns, but then I neglected my blog for six months and have only just re-appeared now. Oops. But don’t worry, I keep my promises. So without much further ado, I present to you the much-anticipated and highly-current Fox Mulder-related content: There was also a ‘Cocks Holder’ but the image was too distasteful to share here. Moving swiftly onwards… General Update So what have I been doing these past six months? Well, mostly I’ve been incredibly busy with my new company SmartInk Ltd. I landed a fantastic contract helping to organise and promote the inaugural Shetland Reel Music Festival 2015 in Unst, where I was lucky enough to get to spend the whole weekend with a ton of amazing Shetland musicians, visiting US acts, and my good friend from The Voice 2015, Daniel Duke. Frank Strang, Daniel Duke, me, James Salestrom & Jim Salestrom on stage at SRMF 2015 I also got to meet two very cool guys who supported both myself and Daniel during our time on The Voice (and ever since), David and Sean Chriscole, who traveled all the way from England for the Festival. Now that’s dedication! Music Update So what have I been doing musically? Lots of gigging, lots of writing, lots of jamming. In October I recorded a video for The Joker with Road Crash Productions in Nottingham. It was a fantastic experience, with loads of FIRE. The video is currently being edited and should be released before year’s end. The Joker videoshoot. Photo by...

Questions about The Voice, Pt.3 (FINAL)

I finally got around to answering the last questions that were sent my way post-Voice madness! So let’s dive in and finally get this finished so I can move on to a new topic… 12. Where do you see yourself in the long-term? Here! #goals But really, I have no idea. I’d love to record at least one album, maybe do a little touring. I’m working on these things at the moment, so bear with me! I’d like to read many more books and continue to learn about the world around me. I’d like to say hi to every dog I meet. I’d like to travel as much as possible and create many happy memories with family, friends, and others along the way. Maybe someday I’ll achieve my dream of writing a novel and/or getting my PhD. But the truth is that I have absolutely no idea, so I guess we’ll see! 13. Have you ever been signed to a record label? I’ve never been signed. Hint hint, Pieface Records. Oh wait, that’s just Marcus Hoffman. 14. Who are your musical inspirations? I grew up loving the classic 90’s icons: Green Day, Hole, Skunk Anansie, Veruca Salt, L7, alongside a firm love of classic singer songwriters like Joan Armatrading, Leonard Cohen, Warren Zevon, Tracy Chapman etc. Then I started getting into metal in a pretty big way, enjoying the big prog-metal groups (Dream Theater, Aryeon, Rush, Opeth) in my later teens. Today I’ll listen to most things from cheese-pop through to electro through to scream/growl-based metal. I have no idea if any of my listenings translate into writing inspiration,...

Questions about The Voice, Pt.2

Let’s dive straight in! 5. How much time did you get to spend with the Coaches? Quite a fair bit of time, but obviously we didn’t hang out with them all day every day. We had a night out with our Coach plus individual Coaching Sessions where we could ask for advice and just have a good ol’ chat. I got advice from Sir Tom on caring for your voice when traveling (he is a pro) and on the difference between performing for a crowd vs performing for a camera (he said there’s basically no difference and to always perform as if to a crowd). We also got a fair bit of vocal coaching, which was one of the best things about the whole experience imo. Although I can no longer say that I’ve never had any professional dance singing lessons 6. How did you feel about your Battle pairing and song? I didn’t expect to be paired with Sasha but upon reflection I think it was a smart decision. Both Sasha and I didn’t manage to deliver 100% at our auditions (Sasha due to stage fright, me due to exhaustion) and I suspect Sir Tom shrewdly estimated that we might be able to help each other to reach our full potential in the Battle. My favourite thing about this pic is Craig’s Dad in the background I was delighted to get to work with Sasha because we get along really well, but I could tell even then that Sir Tom had a vision for her (which he has since demonstrated clearly) so my chances of winning the Battle...

Questions about The Voice, Pt.1

Warning: this got LONG. I wasn’t kidding when I say I have a tendency to get verbose. Also, consider this part 1 of an ongoing series because I’ve only managed to answer 4 questions in this post. 1. How and why did you end up going on The Voice? Because it is my humble ambition to one day be a pointless answer on Pointless. Or I could tell you the real story, which is long winded and kind of boring. But you asked for it! In May last year The Voice sent a talent scout up to Shetland. I’m presuming this was part of the BBC’s commitment to involving all geographical locations in its work. I think it’s fantastic they made the effort to do that. At that time, I worked as Marketing Manager for Shetland Arts. The Voice got in touch asking for advice on the best way to see a good cross-section of the local talent. We told them that the most logical thing to do would be to approach the Shetland Singer Songwriters’ Group that holds monthly open mics in Mareel. Because we are logical and creative… Sheila Henderson (who runs the group and is a talented singer songwriter herself) and I had started sharing hosting duties at the Singer Songwriters’ Nights, and we were worried our regulars would be scared off by the scout’s presence, so we both signed ourselves up to play. Our worries were unfounded and we ended up with a packed auditorium. I never considered the idea of it going anywhere. I hadn’t really watched The Voice before (not out of dislike,...

Bloggery Business

So I decided to finally start the blog I’ve been considering writing for the past six years or so. So hello everyone! (aka Craig, Andy, Emma, and possibly Angus J). I’m planning to cover a number of topics here, including my music, but I’ll also be including general musings on subjects that interest me. To begin with, I thought it might be a good idea to gather up some of the most frequent questions I’ve been receiving regarding my time on BBC’s ‘The Voice’ and answer them properly in my next post. Me at the best of times I’ve been attempting to answer messages as they’ve come in, but I’m not doing a great job of it – see the “you have 42 unread messages” notification I got on my phone last night – so it makes sense to sit down, get organised, and deal with the majority in a oner. Plus, it gives me the chance to get wordy, as is my natural inclination. So yes, if you have a Voice-related question or comment, feel free to chuck it my way on social media and I’ll do my best to include it and respond to it in my next post. Sample question: why do you always look confused and/or like you’re going to cry when you sing? Just to get the ball rollin’ on this bloggery business, I’m going to re-post a personal reflection about my time on The Voice that I originally wrote for The Shetland News. Here you go: There’s a hashtag currently trending on Twitter and Youtube called #DearMe. The idea is that you write...

‘Liminal’ now available

Lisa’s new E.P. ‘Liminal’ is available now. Download: iTunes, Google Play, Bandcamp Buy: Bandcamp, Mareel, High Level Music, Burra Shop, Scalloway Shop Stream: Spotify,...
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