Well I've made it through to week two, hurrah!
We had a great rehearsal for 'Not Now Charlie' mid-week in which we managed to get two new tunes pretty much finished. That gives us quite a healthy stock of original material now and I still have two more at the draft stages. Although to gig seriously we need to double our existing set so I'm hoping inspiration will strike sometime soon.
Apart from that it was mostly just teaching and getting some students ready for their upcoming grade examinations. Why is it that teachers feel mush more stressed about theses than the students do....?
I had some free time at the weekend to do some practise and managed to spend some time going through the 'New Real Book' and checking out some of the tunes I never play. I discovered a few that are pretty good and will be going in my set from now on. This great Kenny Barron tune for one:
Until next week
It has come to my attention that I am pretty useless when it comes to writing a blog! I often get so caught up in the day to day madness of gigging, teaching, composing, studying, practicing, organising, rehearsing and all the other household and business related chores that I never have time to reflect on what has been happening. I want to try and rectify this in 2015 and have challenged myself to post a blog once a week. It might be a general update on what is going on, a gig review, teaching idea, cool video, album review or whatever else comes to mind (you get the idea though?).
So I'll start off by giving you an overview of January so far. After the relatively quite couple of weeks around christmas that I spent with my family in Portsmouth, it was straight back to business when I returned to Newcastle. 'Not Now Charlie' managed to secure a gig at the Cluny 2 supporting our good friends 'The Slowlight Quartet', which went amazingly well and we received many compliments. This has refocused me on writing more charts for the band so that we can start gigging seriously this year. Next up was a three day mini tour with 'The Juggernaut Love Band' to Manchester (Matt and Phreds), Leeds (Duck and Drake) and Harrogate (The Blues Bar). Although it was an exhausting weekend away every gig was fantastic and the audiences were really up for our disco/funk/rock/soul tunes. I play keyboards for the JLB which always makes for a nice change and was made even nicer by the fact our singers dad was acting as roadie for the trip so I hardly had to lift my gear at all. Bonus :).
January's gigs finish with a Strictly Smoking Big Band gig for the good folks at QDOS productions. The run many pantos across the country but Newcastle is their flagship show apparently. We have been lucky enough to play for their cast and crew party for the last 4 years now and it's always good fun, although a 22.30 start time straight after a 2 hour rehearsal tends to test the mind and body on a friday morning.
Hurrah, week one complete. Stay tuned to see if I can get past week two!