Well we are half-way through 2017 and I type this on the back-end of a gloriously sunny (and very hot!) week in June. There has been a lot of speculation on my future plans, especially as the release of ‘The Water’s Line’ in 2014 is now beginning to seem rather distant, plus I have always believed that to stay ‘relevant’ (whatever that entails) an artist must keep writing and releasing new material. A new album has been on the cards for a while but whilst the last couple of years have been very successful career-wise, they have been less kind on a personal level following a number of family bereavements, three miscarriages, various illnesses and – quite frankly – shit times. This does not make for happy song writing! However, I have never stopped writing entirely, it just becomes a matter of how do I best express what am I writing about? Difficult circumstances often lend themselves to poetic representation, but equally they can hinder it. For example, one track I have recently completed took over 100 recorded demos/drafts, several lyric re-writes and about a year and a half in total before I considered it ‘complete’. Multiply that process by ten tracks and you can begin to understand why the new album has been taking so long. It’s not that I don’t know what to write about, it’s more a case of finding original and listenable ways to express something that can be rather unsettling. Life is not a straight-forward affair and neither is songwriting. This does not mean to say the new work is going to be one long downer – on the contrary, it contains far more optimism than cynicism – but I have found it a challenge to grapple with the realities of grief whilst decorating tunes with stark imagery. Perhaps I should just go instrumental… Anyhow, I am 7 songs in (the total number of ideas and demos probably equates closer to 700), I have the whole summer to try and pin down 3 more. I envisage a recording period over the winter and release sometime in Spring/early summer (latest) 2018. Wish me luck! Ant
It has been a while since my last post, during which time a big change happened in my life when my wife and I decided to move from Bristol to Wells in Somerset, first renting and then eventually buying a bungalow! Wells is brilliantly located for the Somerset music scene, being close to Glastonbury, Pilton, Priddy, Wookey Hole, Burnham-on-Sea and of course Bristol and Bath.
This year in particular has been a big one for myself and the band. Following performances earlier in the year at the Ritz in Burnham, the Cider & Cheese Fayre at the Ring O Bells in Compton Martin, the Hawthorns in Glasto and Bar Brunel in ‘Bridgy’, plus numerous appearances at the Old Duke in Bristol, things really took off when we opened on the main stage for the Priddy Folk Festival, swiftly followed by headlining sets at the Bristol Harbour Festival (Grain Barge stage), Avonmouth Music Festival and the Wookey Hole Music Festival. We then played the small but perfect Priston Festival (hope to be back there on the main stage next year!) and we’re about to headline the Chandos Road Street Party back in Bristol.
Not only that, but we were a featured artist in the new and upcoming ‘Live at the Orchard’ series of films, in which you will be able to see a 20 – 30 min web episode of us playing live in a recording studio and also giving a bit of insight during an interview.
There’s yet more to come this year, including another appearance at the Old Duke and the Tobacco Factory in Bristol. Do check out the ‘gigs’ page of the website and hope to see you there! Ant
18th August 2014
It has been just over a month now since The Water’s Line had its release and already 100 copies have been sold, which is great news! This is where the hard work really begins as a self-promoting musician as cds need to be sent out to countless radio stations, to magazines and bloggers for review and to gig promoters for bookings. Sometimes it requires hours, if not days and weeks, stuck behind the desk and computer sorting it all out whilst trying to find the means to earn a living at the same time. For every superstar, major-label backed performer, there are hundreds of grassroots artists going it alone. We need your help! If you enjoy the music, please, buy my album, tell people about my album, play people my album, come to the gigs, and take 5 minutes of your time to write an Amazon or CD Baby review of my album. Musicians work to make you feel happy, to make your life – and our own - more pleasureable (and bearable), but just as importantly, to create art and to make a legacy of creation. I will always value your support so long as you value the art I create. Thank you.
22nd June 2014
My third studio album is finally ready for release! The Water’s Line features ten original songs with a cast of ten musicians, expertly engineered by Rob Williams of Ruby Studios in Bristol. The launch date is set for Friday 11th July and there will be a launch party on this date at the Polish Club on St. Paul’s Road in Bristol, from 7:30pm (with fantastic musical support from Jane Thomason and Rob Vasey’s project Neureille). The album will be available for harp-copy purchase at this gig - and at any gig from then on – and online downloads will be ready by the end of the month, from all the usual merchants (i.e. CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes etc). More details on this will be posted to the ‘Purchase Music’ page of this website once the release is in full motion. I hope you enjoy the new production, I cannot wait for you to hear the new recordings! Ant
13th May 2014
I have finished recording the new album and it is currently in the mastering stage of production. All has gone relatively smoothly and with plenty of time to spare before launch (which is a luxury I do not always allow myself!). As I am moving house at the end of May, artwork and pressing of the new disc won’t happen until June, but everything is still on course for a July 11th release date. The launch party will be held on that date at the Polish Ex-Servicemens Club on St. Paul’s Road in Bristol. More details on that to come. In the meantime, the Drakes and I have a gig this Friday night at the Bank Tavern in Broadmead, Bristol, for the Coppafeel charity weekend. We’re on about 8pm so come on down, entry is free! Ant
18th March 2014
Rehearsals for an upcoming recording project are in full swing. In April 2014 I shall be heading into Ruby Studios in Southville, Bristol, to recording my third LP, to be titled ‘The Water’s Line’. The LP will feature ten tracks and a full band, returing to the folkier roots of 2010′s ‘Hurricane Rising’. More details to come!
13th February 2014
Check out my new website! Designed by clarinetist extraordinaire James Stallwood, content updated by yours truly. We have lots of great gig news, biography, photos, videos and this blog. I hope you enjoy the music I create and invite you to look around the site…