Injured shoulder, new song composed, studio sessions and first gig for many years coming up to organise. It's been a busy few months! Sorry for the recent radio silence, let's start with the shoulder story before the music news.
Pain, lots of tablets, lack of sleep, more pain with pins and needles in my left hand. Finally diagnosed by my physio as nerve damage in my neck. Lifting something heavy at work at an awkward angle did the damage. It will take at least a couple of months to get better, with exercise and manipulation.
My wife and friends, pillars of support, suggested concentrating on my music to take my mind off it all. So good friend and talented pianist Ira Thomas offered to notate a new song I'd started in the summer and I now have a fantastic piano backing track. Sound engineered and track mastered by another good friend Mark Walford. More about this song later.
On to my wife and I organising my first gig for many years. Our chosen venue, Sutton Salvation Army. We proposed an "evening of songs and stories", chatting about the inspiration behind my songs and being a singer songwriter. It was a thumbs up from Gordon and Kate Cotterill the SA Majors leading the church and community centre. We decided that as a thank you for all the support they have shown us and our local community, all ticket takings will be donated to the annual SA Big Collection. Ticket funds will help vulnerable people nationally, as well as the Sutton Salvation Army to continue their fantastic local social welfare work.
So let's get some money raised, if you are in or near Sutton, Surrey on Saturday 23 November 2019, 7:00pm tickets sold on the door, £5 each, gratefully received donations for children age 12 – 16 years (with an adult). Doors and coffee shop open at 6:15pm, get there early for a cup of delicious Fairtrade coffee crafted by our lovely volunteer Tati!
As if you need further incentive, I am breaking my golden rule of showcasing my new song "When It's Gone" before final mastering. It's just me, my voice and Ira's piano track to convey an important message to the world. The song is about the destruction and almost cavalier attitude to our environment. The seeds of the song came from news of devastating fires happening on the hills of Eston, my hometown and nearby Guisborough Woods, acts of arson. The same hills where I grew up. Where a group of residents actually fundraised and bought Eston Hills purely for the enjoyment of all.
You know, there's an aspect of being a performer and a singer where you need a lot of confidence and yes, some ego. So it's humbling to showcase my songs for such a deserving charity, Sutton Salvation Army and to raise awareness of issues faced by the Friends of Eston Hills. What their efforts show reflects something bigger in the whole of Britain. A need to join together, take action to maintain the beauty and natural resources of Britain. This is what music, and hopefully my songs, try to achieve: to make you think and feel. What you then do for your neighbour, your community, that homeless or isolated person, is up to you.