My Top 5 Albums of 2012

Albums20121As 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!


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My Top 10 Duets

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.

Here are my 10 favourite duets!

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The Greatest Living Rock Voices

Happy 2012 everyone!

After a brief spell of blog-block, I’m back and have kickstarted the year by listening to a lot of rock. Which started me thinking about how much I like rock vocals – there’s something totally unique about hearing a really good rock singer. Some are deep, dark and disturbing…others huge, high and soaring…and some just knock your socks off.

Earlier this week I tweeted about this blog post and asked for some inspiration. Here are the Top 20 (living) rock singers, as voted by the Twittersphere, in alphabetical order. Have a listen, you might find something cool – when you’ve finished, make sure you vote in the poll below!

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Louise & Andrew Garvey’s Wedding & Ebor Week 2011

Huge congratulations to Louise and Andrew Garvey, and a big thank you for inviting me to perform on your special day. Although I’ve played at the Merchant Adventurer’s Hall before, I’m always struck by what an incredible venue it is- one of the oldest and most prestigious buildings in York, built in the 14th Century.

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My top 20 vocalists of all time

“You’re a singer – who’s your favourite then?”… has to be one of the most common questions I get asked at gigs. The hard thing is, I very rarely have an answer ready – it’s an impossible question! It depends on the genre, on whether we’re rating singing ability as opposed to performance, and bunch of other things.

I decided to write a list of my favourite singers – going purely on vocals, not songwriting, or skill as a performer.

Here, in no particular order, is a list of my favourite 20 vocalists of all time.

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My Glastonbury highlights

This was my second Glastonbury experience, my third ever music festival, and what a weekend it was. 4 days of mud, sunburn, cider, camping, rain, sunshine, wellies….not to mention some amazing music.

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Charity begins…in Yorkshire

Sunday was a fun day. I was rudely awakened at 6:30am (a time I rarely see on a Sunday) before strapping on my running gear and attaching a race number to my shirt. I spent a few minutes wondering how I’d gotten myself into this position.

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30 Day Song Challenge

A month ago I joined a Facebook campaign to choose a different song every day, to represent different emotions and different points in my life. I’ve been happily tweeting away my choices over the last month, but here they all are, in one place!

Feel free to join the campaign at

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My Top 5 Workout Songs

I’m currently in training for a 10K race, which is taking place in June (my justgiving page is here, if anyone’s feeling generous). An interesting (and unexpected) bonus to go alongside all the aching muscles and stiff joints is selecting a decent playlist to accompany a good run.

Here, then, are my top 5 workout songs:

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The End Of The X Factor?

This week it was officially confirmed that the fuzzy-haired, high-waisted, man-boobed Cowell would not be returning to this year’s series of The X Factor.  He’s chosen instead to concentrate on making and breaking dreams stateside as part of the launch of the US version, which is of course in no way the same show as ‘American Idol’. No, no similarities at all.

Those who know me well know that I’ve despised this ‘talent’ show for many years now, and I truly hope that this will be the nail in the coffin. In this week’s update, I’ll try to keep the ranting to a minimum as I explain why.

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