Live Solo Session With Kandu Arts
I have been working on a couple of projects with Kandu Arts recently. They are an inspirational organisation based in Chippenham that work in the community using arts to help reach and engage often the most marginalized individuals in society. In early June 2021, they invited me to go and record a handful of songs in their recording studio.
I turned up to the studio to find an old upright piano covered in peeling stickers on the keys to help people find the right notes. Whilst it was a well used and abused piano, something about the casual nature of the session brought out a really comfortable and laid-back performance in me. Brothers Tommy and Che Deedigan were on hand to capture the sound and video recordings. I sat down, played a tune to warm up my voice and then played three songs back to back. I was happy with each take so moved on. Thirty minutes later, we had one of my favourite ever solo sessions captured.
And here are the three songs I played......
ONE. "BLACKTHORN". I wrote this song a couple of autumns ago on an autumn equinox after scratching myself on a gnarly piece of blackthorn. At the time my mind was full and crowded. Little did I know that several months later we would enter lockdown and the space in my mind I craved would be granted in a way I could not have ever imagined. Be careful what you wish for!
TWO. "LISTEN TO YOUR DREAMS". This is my newest song. I wrote it literally days before this recording session. A neighbour came round to see me for a coffee and we got onto talking about dreams. He flagged up to me how it is important to pay attention to what you dream about as they can be a mirror to what is happening in your life.
THREE. "ADVENTURE LAND". This is one of my oldest ever songs. It was one of the first songs I ever wrote back in 1999. At the time I was playing with band mates Joe Holweger and Neil Muttock, we formed a band called 'Orangutan' and recorded an EP in Joe's bedroom in London. The EP contained 'Adventure Land' but has never been released. We did go on to record an full album with Orangutan called 'Ember' which you can listen to here.. Nice to have an old song resurface.