I’m so proud to announce that Waves Deluxe is now available to download from:
I poured my heart and soul into this album and I truly hope you enjoy it and love it as much as I enjoyed and loved making it.
This is a slightly different blog for me as it doesn’t involve MUSIC!!!! I still thought I’d share with you though as I had such an amazing weekend! For my birthday present Sam decided to take us on a bush craft weekend course. I had no idea what to expect…
When we arrived on Saturday with our huge back packs filled to the brim of torches, sleeping bags, spare pants(!) etc we immediately went out foraging for food.
After 3 hours of foraging we found ourselves with SO MUCH FOOD! It gave me a whole new appreciation for nature. Food is everywhere. In the trees, on the ground, by the rivers… We found beautiful watercress (which we later turned into watercress soup), jack by the hedge (looks like a weed by is actually part of the mustard family and GREAT for flavouring) plums, damsons, apples, black berry’s. We learnt that you can also plantain on bites or stings if you can’t find any dock leaves… It’s amazing!
When we got back to our site, we had to start thinking about building our shelter. we were all given saws and knives and sent off to find some wood to make tent pegs out of…
I found using a knife very hard at the beginning, I was so paranoid about it slipping and cutting off a finger! But we were taught three different and very safe ways to use it, so it was just a case of practising!
Once our pegs were ready we were taught three different types of knots to use to get our tarpaulins to stay up:
Evenk hitch knot
I am definitely doing to be practising these as by my first go I had forgotten them all!
I was rather proud of our coat hooks…
But we got there! We couldn’t find two trees within the right distance of each other so improvise with a small fallen tree. It made it harder, but very satisfying once built! This was our shelter for the night. If we had stayed there any longer than one night I’m sure we would have raised our “bed”… But it was forecast to be dry so we weren’t too worried. I was more scared about rolling over in the night and squashing a little hedgehog!!!
Then we went and sat around the camp fire that Aaron (our instructor) had got started for us.
It was VERY smokey. Especially cooking on an open fire. I found wearing contact lenses was a real bonus! Something about the way the smoke hits the light by the trees looks really beautiful though, almost dream like.
Sam and I cooked the first meal for everyone. Luckily they had some supplies other than the ones we foraged, so we cooked a vegetable and rice dish. We saved the watercress for watercress soup the next day.
We then went off to pick long nettles to make rope. It was pitch black now so by torch light we worked. We took the sting out of the nettles by passing them through the fire. We then battered them flat using the backs of our saws. We did this so we could pick out the pulp. Then, with the remaining strands we used a special techniques to braid then together, forming a surprisingly strong rope! I didn’t take any pictures because my battery had gone and it was VERY dark!
The time came for us to go to sleep… I have to say it was rather daunting being in the middle of the woods and sleeping like that. You could hear so much wildlife, so much rustling, so many noises… It was hard to settle and quite uncomfortable. It wasn’t the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had, but I think your body adapts quickly and after a few nights of it I’d probably sleep like a baby!
In the morning we got up and had breakfast around the fire and then… LEARNT TO MAKE FIRE! At first we were given one match and had to make an individual fire out of it. We all failed. Then, after being taught the correct way to lay a fire with the surrounding resources we were given a fire stick. with one spark I was amazed at how it took to my dried grass/twigs.
We took a break for lunch, and attempted watercress and jack by the hedge soup. It was pretty hard to get it to taste nice without stock/an onion/butter. We gave it a go!!
After this we learnt how to make spoons from a log!
I used my knife and a persuader (a big heavy piece of wood) to cut the log in half. To do this you place the knife on top, in the middle, and the hit it on the top with the persuader and keep hitting down on the knife until it splits…I then used some charcoal to draw myself a basic sketch of how I wanted my spoon to look. I then used the knife an persuader technique to get the ends off. After that stage was complete the real arduous work came into play. I used my knife to chisel away at the wood for about 2 hours until my spoon was done. Three different knife techniques were used to make THIS (mine is on the right)
It turns out I’m big spoon and Sam is little spoon!!
We were feeling very very tired by the time the course had finished. I learnt SO MUCH!! It’s amazing to learn these skills and I would recommend it to anyone!
Wow, Carfest North – that was SUCH an experience. Half way to arriving the window in my car broke. It was a wet and windy journey up the motorway but I made it in one piece!
I arrived on Saturday to be greeted by Chris Evans and Hiten with their heads in their hands informing me of the very sad news that one of the pilots from the air display team – Kevin Whyman had tragically died in a crash that had happened just an hour before I got there. It was mortifying… Everyone on the day tried to carry on and be as professional as possible. But there was a sober mood. I really do send all my thoughts and prayers to Kevin’s family and send them as much strength as possible. Losing someone that close to you is the hardest thing ever and I wish I could do or say something to help them through this time.
After arriving I headed over backstage and had the great privilege of meeting and chatting to many inspirational artists and bands – Joss Stone was so lovely!
I also met The Feeling, Seasick Steve, chatting with and brushed my teeth next to Sophie Ellis Bextor in the glamping later on (what a delightful lady she is – her performance was awesome!) saw my lovely friends Ward Thomas, met several key people in F1 and generally had a wonderful evening with some wonderful folk.
My “tent” was practically a HOTEL!
For a start, I could stand in it!!
IT HAD PLUG SOCKETS!!!!!!!
Hay bails with Sunflowers!! The ultimate. My lucky number is 4… and my tent was no. 4, too which made me smile.
On Sunday, after this wonderful being arrived: (Mr Sam Rommer) Who was joining me on cajon and backing vocals.
We went off to see some cars!!
They were utterly gorgeous. Apparently 51 Ferrari’s were there. I saw all of Chris Evans’ Dirty Dozen… and took photos of them all, too!
I think this was my favourite though!
After seeing them, it’s quite funny how I arrived and parked in this:
I even got to “meet” the Chitty Chitty Band Bang” car which was a CHILDHOOD DREAM!
Soon after that I left the paddock and headed over grab my guitar…
Then we were taken over to back stage in golf buggies. SO MUCH FUN!
Tuning up backstage…
Here we are back stage in Chris Evans’ dressing room waiting to play! There was a beautiful tribute and a one minute silence held for Kevin Whyman, which was very moving. Especially as I saw his family briefly backstage after. I felt complete empathy for them. I tried to hold back the sadness and watched The Proclaimers do their set.
He welcomed us on stage just after The Proclaimers came off and it was quite a moment!!!
We performed “Riptide” – it was single of the week on iTunes and a good foot stomper so I figured it’d be the best song to do. I was only expecting to do one song, but then Chris asked me to play another, so I played “A Place Called You” (on guitar!) which went down really well! It was hard because I didn’t have any sound through my monitor, so could only hear what I was singing after a 2 second delay from front of house sound bouncing back at me! Despite the challenge it was so much fun! Shortly after I finished, Jack Savoretti went on stage and as he passed me he said complimented my set which was lovely – we went out front and watched him do his thing and WOW! He was amazing!
Thanks to the people who tweeted me this photo’s!
I came back and we decided to make a move, I needed to get my car fixed and didn’t want to be sat in Monday morning traffic. I couldn’t leave without having a photo by the naughty step though.
It was a surreal and amazing weekend. I can’t wait to play Carfest South in a couple of weeks!! Thanks to the amazing audience at Carfest who clapped along and cheered. It was a gig I’ll never forget. xxx
Hey everyone!! If you’ve come hear because you heard me play on Radio 2 this morning I would like to say THANKKKK YOUUUU SOOOO MUCHHHHHH!!!!!!! It all stemmed from Chris’s awesome week-long music festival he held at his pub last week… I played on Monday and Friday, alongside the one and only Seasick Steve! It was brilliant! Chris then invited a few of us to come and play on his show this morning to recreate the open mic night vibe last week, and what fun we had! The idea of an open mic MORNING is actually rather quirky!
I was playing at Monmouth Festival last night and had about 4 hours sleep, so I truly meant every lyric when I sang “So Stop the World” – “I’m fighting through that traffic half asleep under my make up!” It was lovely to see Mike Bushell there doing the news. Mike used my music a lot for his BBC Breakfast sports updates, and it’s so great to have his support!! His book “Bushell’s Best Bits” is amazing!
After everyone performed Chris then asked us whether we’d like to come and play at Carfest… WOAH! So this weekend I’ll be playing Carfest North on Saturday AND Sunday. I can’t WAIT!!!!
Here’s the link to listen back to the open mic section on this morning’s show.
Good times ahead!
I also want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who texted and tweeted words of encouragement. It meant SO MUCH to me. Thanks to Sam Rommer for being there with me at the open mic’s last week and today, too. WOW. I am feeling TRULY FORTUNATE right now.
I’m so grateful to Digital Fix for this exclusive feature on my brand new “live in the studio” version of “A Place Called You”… Check out the feature HERE:
And the video HERE:
Hey there lovely ones!!
I’m proud to announce that I will be releasing a digital deluxe version of “Waves” with 8 new tracks added to it!
You can pre-order here:
Hey there beautiful friends…
Some of you who pre-ordered the single may have had some trouble in downloading it. Turns out even Apple make mistakes… Who knew?!
Anyway – If you are concerned about being charged twice DON’T BE, please all go to the link below to download the single:
You will only be billed AFTER it appears in your iTunes library.
I really hope you all enjoy the song. I wrote it for all the people in the world who feel like they’re forced into being someone or something that they’re not. We are all diverse, unique, different and we should REJOICE at that and be proud of who we are. What we enjoy. What we like doing. What we can’t do. What we really can’t do……In my case, it’s DANCING! But does that stop me….?
Love you all!
If you are a non APPLE here are the other links to download the single:
Nashville – Week One!
I arrived in Nashville on 1st June and was met at the airport by the AMAZING Michael Spriggs and his beautiful wife Carla. They’ve got to be the warmest and sweetest people in the whole of Nashville.
After some dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s we arrived back at their home. WOW. What a beautiful place!! Wildlife everywhere – hummingbirds, deer running around with their baby fawns, two raccoons (who visited us at 7 on the dot every evening for snacks), chipmunks, birds galore and yes… BUGS GALORE! But we will get to that later…
After I put my bags down in my bedroom, Michael showed me around the house and I saw his studio for the first time… I had to pinch myself!!!
What an amazing writing room and studio.
Michael and I started writing immediately! As you all know, I have an unhealthy obsession with stringed instruments. Among 120 guitars, banjo’s ukuleles, mandolins etc he also had bouzouki’s… (an instrument which originated in Greece). I was so inspired by the sound that we wrote a song the second I picked one up, it is soooo pretty! I can’t wait for you guys to hear it!
I had a whole load of meeting’s and writing sessions scheduled for the first week of my trip… Here are some of the highlights of my first week in Nashville:
Spencer Day – an awesome writer and artist – check him out!
Sarah Spencer – beautiful inside and out!
Matt Koziol – comes with Charlie (the worlds cutest dog) and has the most beautiful voice EVER (Matt does, not the dog!)
Billy Livsey – WHAT A TOP PERSON! Lovely to finally meet his wife, too!
I was sad not to see my friend Jenn Bostic whilst in Nashville (her home!) but I was able to meet Kyshona, one of her friends who is BEAUTIFUL and WOWZA, that girl can sing, too!
Michael and I met with JW for lunch, manager of Trace Adkins. He is a lovely, kind soul and I am so grateful to him and his team for giving me the honour of performing on two of Trace’s songs from his album “The Kings Gift”.
I went to visit Mike Dungan at Universal Music Group. It was an amazing opportunity to play him my music and to have his feedback. I was thrilled to hear that he loved it and said “this is the music I really like to listen to”. He introduced me to Sam Hunt, and Pain Killer – two of the label’s exciting new artists. They are amazing! I’m looking forward to showing them around London sometime!
On day 2, I ran into an injured fawn on the side of the road… It was the sweetest little thing!!! Michael and I took it to the animal sanctuary. In the car, it must have thought I was its Mum, as I started getting licked! I could have cried!
I met some awesome dogs – one I particularly loved was aptly named BANJO!
On Saturday night I went to the Opry for the first time! It was magical to meet the incredibly talented musicians that have played there for decades and to hear Sara Haze sing “Riot” which was recently cut by Rascal Flatts… It totally blew me away and I was thrilled to be able to give her a big hug and thanked her for the song.
Which leads us on to Sunday… Wow.. That week went by SOOOO fast!! Sunday was an exciting day for me as I went to collect my gorgeous Sam from the airport, and began to introduce him to the wonder of Nashville! The next two weeks will follow soon….