When smartphones and tablets first started to dominate headlines, many commented that this would herald a new era of music creation and collaboration. Back in 2010, Blur and Gorillaz’s Damon Albarn wrote and recorded an entire album using his iPad – three years on and the list of intuitive, beautifully designed apps is growing by the day! The only problem is that with over 700,000 apps to choose from, the selection is baffling.
Here’s my pick of the must-have apps for musicians.
As we near the end of 2012, I’ve been looking back through my iTunes library and thinking about the tracks I’ve most enjoyed listening to. It’s been a terrific year for music and I’ve been spoilt for choice in choosing my five favourite albums.
In the end I went with a mixture of albums that surprised me, a couple that indulged my guilty pleasures and one that I’ve just played pretty much non-stop. I’ll leave you to guess which ones are which!
This week I’m delighted to be involved in two fundraising efforts. This Friday I’ll be performing at the York Marriott Hotel for their exclusive pre-Christmas shopping evening….AND on Sunday evening I’ll be at the York Holiday Inn helping to raise funds for York High School’s amazing Team Tanzania project. Come and join us!
The weather’s turning cold, the trees are changing colour, and it looks like it’s been nearly two months since my last post.
How slack of me!
In my defense, I have been pretty busy though – in the last month I’ve played for several weddings, recorded some new tracks and performed for the Arsenal football squad. That last one was a total fluke, but it sounds impressive doesn’t it?
According to Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston, it takes two.
Which is a bit of shame for me … as a solo performer I rarely get to play duets. I’ve got a soft spot for the good ones though – from classics by Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald through to recent efforts by Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett.
Two weeks ago I was offered the chance of a lifetime – one of my Twitter pals (@timesmasher) offered me a pair of spare tickets for one of just three shows that Queen were playing in London. As luck would have it, I happened to be in London on just that night, so I seized the opportunity. A lifelong Queen fan and a (relatively) new Adam Lambert fan, I knew that this would be a night to remember.
Before their recent string of shows in Moscow & Poland, I remember reading an interview with Adam, where the interviewer asked him how he felt about filling the shoes of Freddie Mercury. I liked his answer a lot:
“I do have big shoes to fill, fronting with Queen. But – I’m bringing my own shoes. Ones Freddie would have thought were cute.”
Ask anyone to describe the experience of hearing a Regina Spektor song for the first time and I guarantee that one of those three words will pop up at some point.
I first heard Regina’s song ‘Fidelity’ playing in a clothes shop in New York back in 2006. I’m a sucker for a great pop song, but there was something utterly quirky about her voice that made me stop and listen [dammit, third paragraph and I've already used 'quirky']! I was instantly a fan. Seeing her live for the first time at Glastonbury 2009 was a terrific experience and I couldn’t wait to see her in a more intimate setting.
Earlier this year Regina released her latest album “What We Saw From The Cheap Seats”. I wouldn’t call our seats cheap…but this is what we saw/heard from our seats that night.
Even now, when I’m performing covers I’m still surprised by how powerful a good song intro can be. Those crucial first few seconds can be so unmistakable- the look of familiarity that cascades over someone’s face as they realise what they’re about to hear is uncanny.
Here are my top 20 most memorable, and epic song introductions. If you think I’ve missed any, pop a comment below!
Booking entertainment for your wedding day is a huge decision. It’s going to be one of the most memorable things about your big day! There are all kinds of things to look out for to make sure you make the best possible choice – here are my top tips for booking your wedding entertainment:
Standing amongst a hot, sweaty, dancing mass of students, kids, couples and forty-somethings in Manchester Academy last night, it’s hard to believe that Mark Foster founded the Californian band just three years ago. He originally named the band Foster & the People, but people misheard it as “Foster The People”. Eventually, he took to the nurturing image it evoked of “taking care” of people, so the name stuck.
Their hit single “Pumped Up Kicks” finished 2011 as the sixth-best-selling digital song of the year, with 3.61 million copies sold. By the time the group took a break in December 2011 they had toured for 10 consecutive months to promote their album Torches.
Last night marked the first show of their European tour, which will take them on to London, Cologne, Berlin, Paris, Brussels and Warsaw.