Time to look back on a year, but I don’t want to do it as a blast of my own trumpet. More like a wave of gratitude for all the help I’ve had and the things that have gone well.
- to the Heaven Sent for being at my side on the stage and sticking with me as I doggedly create my own niche genre of DUM (Deeply Unpopular Music): James, Suzy, Fi – thank you!
- to John Lawrence, our former keyboard player, who joined us for the album launch gig, shortly before his sudden and tragic death. The songs he recorded with us were played at his funeral and my heart goes out once more to his widow and young son.
- to Gerry Callaghan, who’s done more than anyone over the last two years to make my music sparkle. I’ve learned so much about recording just sitting at the mixing desk with him, and we’ve enjoyed working together on lots of songs including the Four Little Leaves trilogy
- to my wife, Mrs Lamont for putting up with the physical absences and mental absences caused by trying to record three or more albums at one time
- to Liz Jones and Philippe Monthoux for the artwork and photography that gave the Heaven Sent and In Another Life their own branding over the last year. To Liz also for persuading me to book the upstairs Voodoo Rooms for the launch gig against all my ‘nobody will come’ fears
- to Terry Dray for the videos for End of Tears, In Another Life and of our launch gig. And for the banter.
- to Richard Fryer for the publicity drive that got In Another Life on the radio
- to Kyle Lemaire and his company Indepreneur.io for teaching me how to really use Facebook and giving me a convincing rationale for music marketing, and Cheryl Englehardt for the same re email
- to The Touring Network for encouraging my first tentative footsteps on the road to playing in the HIghlands. Not much to show for it yet, but I’m keeping right on (to the end of the road …)
- to Ged Brockie for his patience in teaching me to read music and set my sights on competence on the guitar
- to Findlay Napier and the Glasgow Songwriting Festival for another eye-opener of a weekend
- to everyone who’s read this blog or my emails and especially those of you who’ve replied to tell me what you’re up to. Every single reply really matters!
I’ve tried a lot of things this year, succeeded at some and failed at others. Maybe I tried too many things or I was just over optimistic. I didn’t get my Highlands tour or more than one gig in Glasgow or any festival gigs. My first attempts at designing merch were duds. You live and learn. Ged said to me ‘You’ve got to be able to imagine there are thousands of people out there who would love your music if they heard it. If you can’t what’s the point?’
Here’s what I managed to get done, again with gratitude to everyone who helped:
- the Heaven Sent album In Another Life
- History of a Love in Ten Objects
- Ne Me Quitte Pas
- She Wants Out
- A Slip and a Slide
- Four Little Leaves
- The Last Thing She Said At The Airport
- Box of Tricks
- Sullen City
- Stuck To Your Name
- Famous Blue Raincoat
- Ye Banks And Braes
- Christmas On Earth
- covers of Bowie’s Heroes and Queen Bitch to be released in January
- a whole album of solo(ish) songs to come out in the spring
- another few I’ve still to find the best way to release
Artists I’ve written about
- Jackie Leven
- King Crimson
- Gabriel Yacoub
- Andrew C Ferguson
- The Handsome Family
- Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks
- Rogue’s Gallery
- Robbie Basho
Books, movies and TV I’m glad I found
- Happy by Derren Brown
- The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
- The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu
- Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen by Eric Lerner
- Roots, Radicals and Rockers by Billy Bragg
- The Kosambi Intrigue by Susan Carol Stone
- The Wrong Box by Andrew C Ferguson
- The Burning Land and The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell
- Poverty Safari by Darren McGarvey
- Chosen by Lesley Glaister
- Don’t Be A Jerk by Brad Warner
- Game of Thrones, The Last Kingdom, Vikings
- Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Defenders, Daredevil, Avengers
… and so on. I think that’s enough!
Thanks for being with me in some way or other through this weird year. Who knows what the fates are already sniggering over for 2019. Let’s celebrate who and what we have around us right now!