A month of writing (with a little rock)
I started the last blog post by saying that January is typically the quietest month of the year - for gigs that is. Very true, but February is a very close second. It's very much a month when it feels like the live scene is starting to wake up again after a massive hangover, or something. I've had a few live shows in the second month of the year; there's been a couple from Fred's House (an acoustic folk gig and a wonderful electric one) and a couple of stand-up bits and bobs. It's mostly been a month of writing, though, because let's face it: the rest of the year looks a bit daft already.
I've got three new shows on the go - alongside Short Plays for Marvellous People which opened in London in January and will be touring a little in March, I've got two rather lovely shows confirmed for the Edinburgh Fringe this year. This year's solo show is called IF IN DOUBT, LISTEN TO JOE JACKSON, and is the show I've wanted to write for years. Anyone who knows me well will know that I'm a massive fan of JJ, and whenever I feel low, insecure or just over joyously happy, whacking a bit of Mr Jackson on my record player is the thing that is very much my safe place. The show went through various different titles, such as 'Lanky Man Lost in China,' and 'The Better World of Paul Richards' before settling on this ambitiously musical theme. I'm hoping to tour record stores with it in the summer, as it's the sort of show that would work well surrounded by the glorious smell of 45s, and then it runs for all three weeks in Edinburgh - I'm back at the Globe Bar, 2.15pm, the same slot/venue I had last year and I'm thrilled to return to one of the friendliest venues ever.
The other show we have confirmed for Edinburgh is a play called LITTLE SPARKS, which runs in a paid venue (I try to do everything with the Free Fringe but such is the technical requirements of this piece, we've had to go for a theatre space with stage lights). I'm really excited by this one, mostly because I'm not in it; I am purely the writer and producer. It's a play that has developed from a short story I wrote a while back, about bored fire wardens in an office, frustrated by the actual lack of fire. It's essentially a love story, but it's full of petty arson and we're having a great time bringing it to life. It'll be directed by the wonderful Emily Starr and stars Alan Hay and Stephanie Swan. The show is set for a full Edinburgh run at Jury's Inn, 1.05pm. This production is proving to be very expensive to put on, so we have a Crowdfunding page here if you'd like to chip in, in return for some cracking rewards: https://www.gofundme.com/little-sparks-edinburgh-fringe
There's a couple of other shows I'm trying to get over the line for Edinburgh this year, more on those soon.
In the meantime, I'm still teaching a lot of great young students; my client list is seemingly growing daily and I get to work with so many kids who are annoyingly talented considering most of their ages aren't even in double figures yet! There's so much talent out there; the next generation of drummers are all jazzy yet rocky, flexible and, if I get my way, smiling a lot. I'm still playing a lot myself - Fred's House are gearing up for the forthcoming tour to promote the new album, and I'm also gigging with Gavin Chappell-Bates, having played on his latest release which is out soon.
February was a nice month; March just looks a bit crazy, however...