Typically, January has always been the quietest month of the year...a time to work out what I actually want to achieve over the next twelve months, which projects I should be pushing. With that in mind, I was determined to hit the ground running this time around, and made a 'short' list of 19 things I'd like to work on. I mean, a few of them will naturally be put aside, but 2018 has got off to a good start, creatively at least. My new solo show, Short Plays for Marvellous People, opened at the lovely Etcetera Theatre in Camden. It's a work-in-progress, but it feels like good work that has certainly made progress since the initial private readings and the audience were onside throughout. It's a show that will tour in March/April, with a proper theatre run in June and then the Edinburgh Fringe in August. At the moment it feels like a notepad of lovely ideas, rather than the show it could be, but it'll get there.
Talking of the fringe, I've recently nailed the second draft of a play I've written that will be heading north to the biggest arts festival in the world. I'm not in this one, instead preferring to hand it over to a cast of proper actors, all of whom are amazing. It's called Little Sparks and is a dark comedy about fire; the initial read-throughs and cast discussions have been great and we're all keen to take this as far as possible.
In the meantime, the final sessions for the third Fred's House album have been great, with strings and brass added, and we've just had the double A-side masters back. We're off on tour in March and I can't wait to get back on the road with those guys. I've also been working with my old mate Gavin Chappell-Bates, having drummed on his lovely new album (which is out next month, I think), and I'll be playing a few live dates with him.
Alongside all of this, I've been teaching drums to students of all ages and abilities across Cambridgeshire and I'm having a great time doing so, there's a couple gaps left (mostly Monday evenings) if anyone fancies it. I've also launched a new crash course, in which I reckon I can make anybody into a drummer in 6 hours. Up for the challenge? Drop me a line!