Week 52: Where Has The Year Gone?

So here we are…the final week. Who’d have thought we’d get here? 

Instead of talking about what I’ve done this week, I’m going to the delve right into the song. And then talk about my ONTAW highlights. I knew this song had to do a few things to finish this project off properly. My friends told that they wanted something epic and not just like a normal week. I thought about some of my favourite albums and how they reach their climax(giggidy). I also wanted it to reference as much of the project as possible. I suppose the biggest influence with this song is song called ‘4 Simple a Words’ by Frank Turner. It’s a song that starts on piano and goes to a rocky section, then has a breakdown and ends loudly with a singalong. That was the template I wanted to use. 

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The intro of the song is based around my song ‘Last Man Standing’, it’s a similar feel and instrumentation, the melody itself is also kind of similar. Towards the end of this section, I’ve done something that I’ve never done. There’s a tempo change, but it’s gradual. The tempo of the next section is around 15bpm faster, so I sped the song up gradually over the Chorus repeat. The hardest thing about doing this is that all the instruments and vocals have to be in sync together or it doesn’t work. I think it worked?

The second section is the main bulk of the song. It’s the same chords as the first section but rockier. All the lyrics in this section reference songs from ONTAW. The only one I didn’t manage to squeeze in was ‘Last Man Standing’ but we’ll get to that. I did mess up with the recording of this part as I recorded it a little too fast so it was almost impossible to sing. I had to record it line by line. I only discovered it was too fast after I recorded and edited everything. 

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The section of this song is where I decided to get a bit fruity. All year, I wanted to do a sort of Motown type song. I never got round to it for some reason but this song NEEDED it. Originally, o never wrote lyrics or a melody for this section. When I was recording the vocals, I just looped the section and ‘freestyled’ until something suck. I did this with a song called ‘Waiting for the summer’ as well but that didn’t come out as good. To interlude this section and the next section, I became a geek. One of my favourite finale’s to an album is on Abbey Road by the Beatles. The song is called The End. There’s a drum solo in it, which I have always found quite iconic. I decided to emulate that but within the means of the song. It also lead nicely into the sing along ending.

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To end the song, I became a geek yet again. The chord sequence used is similar to ‘Home Is a where The Heart Is’ by Mcfly. That’s the end song to their album ‘Motion in the Ocean’, which is my favourite album of theirs. I also thought it was a perfect end to the album. There’s a dialogue over the top. A few years ago, I was mixing a band called Soul Circus, and they they asked me to put a speech in one of their songs. I used a sample from a John Lennon interview at the time and I always loved the way it gave new life to the song. I knew that I wanted something like that at the end of this song, but I thought that if it was me speaking, that’d be lame. I went through some royalty free speeches but they didn’t fit. When I was writing ‘Last Man Standing’, I was watching a lot of interviews with Ryan Tedder. In one he mentioned that he will be the last man standing. That’s where the inspiration for that song came from, I thought it was only right to put that speech in. I loved the way it sounded. To me, this was a perfect way to end the project and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. 

So that’s it, 52 songs in 54 weeks. I’m really annoyed at my self that I didn’t manage to do it on time. It turns out that trying to do this while working and doing a few tours is pretty hard. I probably could’ve tried harder as well, but there’s a lot there to be proud of. 

In that respect, these are my favourite 5 songs that I’ve wrote this year:

  1. Too Proud To Say
  2. Let Loose
  3. Strong Enough to Take the Fall
  4. Last Man Standing
  5. Don’t Worry about Me (I’m actually OK)

And from that…to my least 5 favourite:

  1. Waiting for the summer
  2. Did You Catch The Sun?
  3. Out of my depth
  4. Camden nights part 1
  5. Protect yourself

It’s not that I think these songs are bad, they just didn’t come out the way I wanted them to. 

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Artwork by Josh Elms (www.joshelms.com)

I’ve been so blessed by the support shown to me this year during this project. The biggest thank you goes to Joshua Bunting Elms, who has provided me with unique artwork every single week. A lot of people have been more interested in the artwork than the song and that’s completely understandable. Josh stormed it absolutely every week. He never asked for a penny from me during all of this as well. I’m almost certain that last time we were out, he bought my drinks as well. So as a thank you, all the money from my bandcamp sales now go to him. So please be generous!

www.dannyruffontaw.bandcamp.com

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He’s also set up an online with prints available from ONTAW. Check it out:

www.photoboxgallery.com/joshelms

Being able to tour these songs 3 times this year has been incredible. It’s been mad playing them and people knowing them. The most overwhelming gig for that was when I played Newcastle in October. I played a few songs that I’ve never played live and some people knew every word. It was incredible. I’ve never had a feeling quite like that. 

Again, thank you. Thank you. I can’t say it enough. Thank you. 

So what does 2016 hold? After my tour with Ryan Hamilton in March, I’m taking 6 months of performing my original music and going to write and record an album. Who knows if it’ll happen or not?  

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Again, Thank You. Without people caring, the project would’ve been almost pointless. 

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Week 51: Blank Page

Week 51… The penultimate week. I’m a little behind, I was supposed to finish last week but I’m still amazed I managed to get this far. Anyway….let’s do a summary of what 2016 has been like so far.

I saw the new year in at the Townhouse in Oswestry. It was my second year on the run doing that and it was split into two parts. I’m going to call it ‘The Posh and the Peasants’. I did refer to them as that on the night so it’s all good. I played in the outside bar before midnight to the normal public. Some of the requests I received were Tenacious D, Bieber and Girls aloud. I quickly had to put my sensible head on and go inside to play to the people who paid a ridiculous amount to be there. It was all fun, after the gig I went back to my brother’s where I played catch up. Within an hour, I consumed more than most and proceeded to put 90’s garage songs on the playlist. I probably solved all the worlds problems but was too drunk to remember. 

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Since I’ve returned to London, not much has happened that can be considered exciting. I’ve been writing and recording and made a list of a lot of things to do before January is out. I have also given my self a new challenge for 2016. I’m going to try and read a book every month. I used to enjoy reading many many years ago, but stopped for some reason. I also want to learn some new words. I have used all the big words I know for lyrics already. Firstly, I will be reading Frank Turner’s ‘The Road Beneath My Feet’. 

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Last Wednesday, I found my self in soho, in a venue called ‘The Spice Of Life’. A band called ‘Bond Street’ were playing. This was a band that my friend Tom started. They play modern pop songs with a vintage feel. It was boss to be fair. Highlight was their version of Gotta Get Thru This by Daniel Bedingfield. 

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Anyway, onto this weeks song. Dave and I have been planning this song for a while. The idea of this song is to write about having writers block, which it turns out is a very real thing. I also knew that I wanted to do a collaboration with Dave in this project, I think people kind of expect it. I thought it would be funny that it was the penultimate song that was a duet, and about writers block. 

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Artwork by Josh Elms (www.joshelms.com)

The writing took place in my house. I had an idea for a chord progression, which Dave took and added a bit of class to. I had the idea for the lyrics in the verse 2 days before the writing took place. I was trying to enforce the fact that if I can’t write, I’m useless. The original lines I wrote in my phone were: 

‘Like a guitar no strings

A bee with no sting

Piano with no keys

An illusion you can’t see’

Or something like that. We brainstormed loads of them sort of lyrics until we had a couple of verses. Nick was also home and procrastinating, so he got involved with the writing. He added some right gems. It also reminded me how much fun co writing is. There was a lot of Jaffa cakes and coffee consumed. Also…can we all just appreciate Nick’s speech? Obama’s got nothing on this guy. 

For the video, it was obvious what we had to do. Sat at the bar, pretending to write a song. Then Nick would appear with flames and looking sharp. That was obvious right? I love this video. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you to Dave for all his hard work putting this video together. 

I hope you enjoyed that, only 1 week to go. Check back next week for the finale. It’s a biggy. 

3 songs that are blowing my mind this week:

Bay City Rollers- I Only Wanna Be With You

Fort Atlantic-Let Your Heart Hold Fast

Bear’s Den-Agape 

Check out the spotify playlist here:

Also…Get tickets for my tour with Ryan Hamilton in March here: http://ryanhamiltonmusic.com/

And of course, you’ll want to be going on these websites:

http://www.davejgiles.com
http://www.nickkentphotography.com

Week 50: Such A Shame

Previously on Danny’s on blog…I got drunk on Christmas eve. And Christmas Eve Eve. And Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve. Let’s pick up from there.

It’s become somewhat of a tradition over the past few years, where I’d wake up on Christmas Day with a hangover. This year was no exception. When I was younger, My Mum would wake me up at around 7am with a cup of tea and the words ‘Has he been?’. Of late, she has understood the importance of my sleep. I still managed to wake up in the AM. That is an achievement in itself for me. I got some awesome presents, although we all know that Christmas day is all about the dinner. It’s the only day of the year that you can have a whiskey in the afternoon and not be judged. The rest of the day consisted of me in bed watching films. My brother’s dog also came round, she’s the closest thing we have to a kid in our family. She rips heads off teddies and requires a lot of attention. I also ended up going to a pub on Christmas Day. Don’t judge me. I was promised Turkey butties…which I didn’t get.

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Post Christmas, it was back to normality. I tried writing when I was Wrexham to no luck. I got some basic ideas. I’m always aware that my neighbours or my Mum is listening and I’ll get the ‘I enjoyed that song before Danny’ speech from then. I did a couple of gigs up North before coming back to London to get productive again. That’s when I started recording this song.

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The final version of this song was the 3rd version I tried. Originally, It was just me and an acoustic live. I then tried something similar but with an Outro that went on for about 2 minutes. I felt like I was trying to roll a poo in glitter at this point. I decided to leave the track for a few days  to try and give new life to it. New Years went by, and still the track had not come together. I left the track and moved on to write other songs. It was around about 2:30am in the morning when I wrote the Outro for this song. The rest of the song just came together then. A lot of the inspiration for the arrangement came from my song ‘All This Love’. ‘All This Love’ was one of those tracks that I ended up liking about 2 months after I released it.

Week 50 - Such A Shame

Artwork by Josh Elms (www.joshelms.com)

The lyrics for this song are a mash up of lyric ideas I’ve had over the past year. I wrote the lyric ‘We used to say I Love You, now we’re barely friends’ around July time. I just never found the right song for it. The whole premise of the song is a mix up between my life and a conversation I had with a friend over Christmas. Recently, I’ve been having really vivid dreams recently and I was telling my friend about it. We were talking about how it’d be a great opening line when trying to chat a girl up. This was when we were drunk….it doesn’t sound so great when you’re sober.

‘Hey, you were in my dream last night, I just thought you should know’.

‘We’ve never met’.

See…not so smooth. The dreams I’ve been having have been mostly based around gigs. It’s been annoying because it’s been waking me up and I love sleeping. That’s where the outro came from. ‘All I want, all I need, is for this to pass, A dreamless sleep’.

The video is a bit tongue in cheek. I did a video at the end of 2014 talking about my plans for ONTAW. In that, I said that I’d do a video every week and maybe have a video of me walking through a park. It’s only took me 50 weeks, but it’s here. It wasn’t meant to look as good as it does but Nick got involved and he’s got the magic touch. There’s also a few moments to look out for that are quite funny..

  1. The Disappearing dog.
  2. The disappearing old man at the end.
  3. The time that I tripped over a twig.

I hope you enjoy it! This project is nearly over and I’ll leave you in peace for a few months!

3 Songs that are inspiring me and blowing my mind this week:

Bleachers-Rollercoaster

Manic Street Preachers-Your Love Alone is Not Enough

Oasis-Little By Little

Check out the spotify playlist here:

Also…Get tickets for my tour with Ryan Hamilton in March here:

http://ryanhamiltonmusic.com/

Week 49: Let Loose

Let’s pick up where we left off…the beginning of the Christmas nights out/gigs!

My friend Dave asked me to support him at his Christmas show this year in the Garage in Islington. I originally wasn’t going, then I was going but wasn’t going to play…but who am I to resist being centre of attention for 30 minutes? It was such a great night. It was also the first time that my girlfriend (as of night) had saw me play. By all accounts, I had a lot of fun playing. It was a nice show to end the year off with. Saw loads of great people and I drank a lot. So much that I had to be put to bed around 1am, and everyone else went to Camden. I MISSED A CAMDEN NIGHT!

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A hangover later, I returned back to Wrexham for Christmas. Since I was around 17, the 23rd December has always been the best night out of the year. There was an event called the Xmas Spruce at our local venue. Of late, the gig itself got less important. I put this down to the fact that I did not hear 1 Christmas song all night. Despite, I was out with my best mates from School. All was good. I went to friend Adam’s house beforehand to see his daughter, who I don’t think I’ve been to see since she was born. She kept grabbing my beer. She’s already a star.

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So 24th December….a hangover happened again. This is all to be expected at the festive time of the year. I was woken up by my friend Carla who brought round a Coffee and presents. We had our own Christmas in my house at 11am, accompanied by a bitching hangover. I didn’t have long to feel sorry for my self before going to my gig for the evening. It was at Voodoo Moon, which is a cocktail bar in Wrexham. I was to be playing with my best friend Sam Jones. We had a duo called Sexxx Boxxx. We pride ourselves on being awful. It went a lot better than I thought it would and we had ALL the fun. I wish I could say more, but part of the deal for the night was that I was getting free drinks. I got in at 4am. It was at that point, I realised Christmas Day was going to be a struggle.

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Anyway, onto this weeks song. It’s called ‘Let Loose’ and it’s my favourite song that I’ve done for about 20 weeks I think. This one has been a long time coming. I remember writing the main riff around September time. When I was on tour with Dave Giles and the Candle Thieves, I was messing around on the loop pedal with it. When I started dating my ‘special friend’ in November, I wrote a chorus for it. As cheesy as it sounds, it was originally called ‘Butterflies’. It’s a thing me and Nick talk about a lot. This song was almost ready by Mid November but not quite.

Let Loose Artwork

Artwork by Josh Elms (www.joshelms.com)

HOWEVER, the girl in question banned me from writing songs about her. So I had to find a new subject. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been filming stuff on my phone knowing that I’ll use them for a music at the some point. I had the idea of calling a song ‘Let Loose’ for a while but I didn’t know it was going to be this song. I had no idea what I wanted the song to be about. Anyway, being back at Wrexham and speaking to my friends about stuff gave me this idea. For some reason or the other, some of my friends had been going through shit times and decided not to ring me. They said it was because they didn’t want to bother me. If somethings wrong, you should speak to someone. Holding stuff in can lead to worse things and I hate that. ‘This world can get shit sometimes, you gotta let loose’.

I’m really pleased with how the recording came out. This was partly down to the fact that I knew exactly how I wanted it to sound before I started. I was in Wrexham and started recording the song but it was on unfamiliar equipment, so I decided to drive back down to London for one day to record the track. I was up at 8am and worked right through until 11pm. I knew the samples and sounds I wanted to use. I wanted to sound a bit like Arctic Monkeys meets Jason Mraz. Luckily for me, I have awesome housemates. When I was programming the track, my housemate Oli came in and gave me tips on how to programme the drums and also added a few cymbal patterns here and there. Nick also heard the track and asked me to play on it. I’m not one to refuse. He raised the track another level.

Hope you enjoy the track, here are 3 songs that are blowing my mind and inspiring me this week:

Elbow-Grounds For Divorce

Arctic Monkeys-Why Do You Only Call Me When You’re High?

Newton Faulkner-Badman

Here’s the Spotify Playlist:

Also, get tickets for my tour in March with Ryan Hamilton here:

www.ryanhamiltonmusic.com

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Week 48: Wicked Web

So I’m a bit behind. Finishing all 52 songs by 8th January may be a bit of a stretch. I’d like to blame St. Nick and Alcohol. I’m going to backtrack a bit for weeks blog…Let’s go back to the 15th December…

On the 15th December, I was told about a gig going on at the Monarch in Camden. It was a night for Rob Skipper, who was a member of the bands ‘The Holloways’ and ‘Hares’ as well as playing for alot of other people. Unfortunately, Rob passed away this year after over dosing on Heroin. The night was to celebrate his life and music. At times I felt like I was gate crashing a party that I shouldn’t be at, but it was a beautiful night to be a part of. With great music!

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Picture taken by Dave Giles (davejgiles)

Speaking of great music, the day after, I went to the O2 arena to watch Welsh legends, ‘Stereophonics’. Since I was around 12 years old, the music of Stereophonics was forced down my throat. That’s what you get for growing up in a small Welsh town. The first songs we’d learn in bands were the likes of ‘Local Boy In The Photograph’ and ‘Bartender and the Thief’. I’d grown up loving the Stereophonics despite their last few albums. Their recent material may not be the best but they have such a catalogue of hits now, it’s amazing. I’d only ever seen them in a festival, so to see them at a headline gig was really exciting for me. I went on a band outing, with the band who let me sing for them, ‘In:Session’. Great night. Even Rob Brydon came out to sing a song as well.

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The day after that, I was on my way to Manchester to play the Cinnamon Club in Altrincham with Dave Giles and Lizzie Jane. This was the 3rd year on the run that I’ve done this gig . I love it more and more each year. At last year’s gig, I ended up going on last, which is technically the ‘headline slot’. I don’t know why this was but it was the first time I’ve felt comfortable in that slot. That probably shaped what was to come in 2015. So to return back to that stage and that venue was a treat! It’s organised by ‘GigBuzz’ which is a promotion company run by my friend Abi. She’s awesome. She pays bands and actually promotes the gigs…barely any promoters do that these days. It was also great to see Lizzie Jane play and plenty of people turned up. If any of you who were there read this, thank you for coming!

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Photo by Andy Carson

Anyway, onto this weeks song. This is my 2nd Collab this year. I planned to do more but I never got ahead of my self and my time ran thin. This collab has been on going since about August I think. I toured with Ryan and his band ‘People on Vacation’ in February and we’ve kept in touch ever since. We’re going on tour together this March! WOO!

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I knew that I wanted to release a song with Ryan at some point because we had similar styles of writing, and I thought that it would work. I had a song called ‘Crooked Heart’, which was never quite finished but I released it anyway. I remember that I always loved the verses, but the rest of the song was a bit poo. So I sent an acoustic version to Ryan to see what he thought. I was expecting a reply within about a month. The next day, he emailed saying he’s rewrote the verses a bit and wrote a chorus. I was amazed. The week after, I wrote the second verse and the bridge. We were sending it back and forth until we thought it was ready. He then recorded some vocals.
At this point, we were still unsure of the arrangement until we asked Rob Lane and Mickey Richards to get involved. They are the rhythm section for People On Vacation and also for Ryan’s solo stuff. I sent the track to them, they sent me back some drums and bass. It all came together a bit too easily. Can’t thank them enough for getting involved!

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Artwork by Josh Elms (www.joshelms.com)

So there it is! I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it with these guys.

Here are 3 songs that are blowing my mind this week:

Stereophonics-Indian Summer
Hares-Pink Radio
The Holloways-Two Left Feet

Here’s the spotify playlist:

Also, get tickets for mine and Ryan’s tour here: http://www.ryanhamiltonmusic.com

Week 47: Christmas Day

‘Danny, Are you going to do a Christmas song this year?’
‘Yes…Yes I am’.
‘What song are you doing?’
‘I’m going to write my own’.
‘It better be festive’.
‘I’ll try’.

Before we get onto my festive offering, here’s what I’ve been up to this week.
On Tuesday, Nick and I went to the filming of the TFI Friday New Years Eve Special! I originally applied for tickets for the week before because Mumford (and sons) and Nathaniel Rateliff(and the nightsweats) were performing. Instead, I ended up with New Years Eve tickets. I’m not one to sound ungrateful, but I feel we ended up with the dregs of musical guests. I enjoyed Izzy Bizu and Sia…but by christ, never go and watch New Order. If you’ve ever had a drunk uncle who thinks he can sing on Karaoke, you’ve pretty much nailed New Order there. Despite that, the whole show was alot of fun and was great to be a part of. Also, Olly Murs is annoyingly good looking in real life.

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On Wednesday, I found myself back in Cardiff filming for a TV show called ‘Exit 7’ for the Made In Cardiff channel. It was the first time I’ve had to mime for that sort of thing. I’m glad we filmed again, I remember being really hungover for the first recording and sweating profusely. Don’t drink, it’s bad for you apparently.

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On Thursday, I found myself back in Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park filming stuff for this Christmas Video. I went with ‘my special friend’ as the owner of my local cafe calls her now. It was pissing down with rain but we still had a lot of fun. It also gave me another chance to redeem myself at Ice Skating. When I went with Dave, he outshone me. Luckily, ‘My Special Friend’ hadn’t Ice Skated (is that the right word?) in years, so I had the upper hand. The rain didn’t help though. I was that much of a gentleman, that I didn’t even laugh when she fell over. Well, not immediately anyway.

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On Saturday morning, I continued my Annual residency at the Candle Factory in Cheshire. It’s the time of the year when I support Santa. I’m pretty sure that’s the biggest support slot you can get. This is the 3rd year that I’ve done it. It makes me feel a little bit more Christmassy because you get to see how much the kids love Christmas. I miss that about Christmas. The past few years, Christmas for me has been a day off. I’ve tried to chill out a bit more this year. I’m playing it again on Saturday, can’t wait!

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On Sunday, I played a house show for a family in Portsmouth. I’ve known them for a few years now and I love seeing them. House shows are the perk of this job..You go to someone’s house, they feed you, they give you drink and they want to hear your songs. I LOVE THAT! Lauren, the daughter, is a singer and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to sing with her. Due to obsession with ‘Love Yourself’ by Justin Bieber, we did that. It was great, she’s so talented. They also appear in my Christmas Video!

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Speaking of the Christmas video…..let’s get onto the song. This song has been written for YEARS now. In 2008, my brother got drunk and we had this conversation:

‘Danny, you like writing songs don’t you?’
‘I do yeah Jimi…why?’
‘I’ve had a dead good idea for a Christmas song’
‘Go on…’
‘It’s called The Bells Are Ringing’
‘Go on…’
‘That’s it. You do the rest, you’re welcome’.

I accepted this challenge and wrote a song that year. It’s changed very little over the years until this year, when I’ve decided to release it. I’ve made 3 Christmas videos before with me covering famous Christmas Songs. Here’s one:

I always had fun doing them but decided to stop last year for some reason. With this ONTAW project, I thought it would be the prime opportunity to finally release my song! The only problem was that the song wasn’t very good. NOT TO WORRY!

Christmas Day Artwork
Artwork by Josh Elms (www.joshelms.com)

Since moving to London, I’ve made friends with some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. So in attempt to ‘polish a turd’, I got them involved! It started with me putting down an acoustic and a vocal. Next up, I got Nick Kent involved on Bass. I sent him the track and an hour later, he was in my room laying down a bass line. He nailed it. He added the run down at the beginning of the track which added that festive vibe. He then laid down some backing vocals and made me change one melody. This turd was already getting a fine polishing (maybe I’ll stop using that analogy now).

Next Up, I had Josh Elms in my house! He was round because we were at the Frank Turner gig. He’d done my artwork all year and it was high time he recorded voals on one. Beautiful man, beautiful voice.

Up until this point, I still wasn’t 100% on the track but I could see it getting better. That’s where Dave Giles comes in! He recorded some backing vocals, piano, glockenspiel and Jingle Bells. You don’t need me to tell you that after that, the track was as festive as a Rudolph’s nose.

Where next? Guitars? I started recording some electric guitar but they sounded so bad. I’m not the best at electric guitar. Unless I’m trying to be Springsteen, it just doesn’t work. I asked my friend Ben Witherstone to put some festive vibes on it. He put down some beautiful parts and gave me the idea to give the money made from this track to charity!

It was almost done. But what is a Christmas without a brass section? It’s not good. Luckily for me, my housemate Jack is a brass king. He’s played for everyone and also played a trumpet solo on my track ‘Don’t Worry About Me (I’m Actually OK)’ and that is one of the reason I still like that song. He put some absolute game changers on the tracks. There’s little bits of ear candy if you listen to the song. There’s intertwining parts of different Christmas Songs and Carols. At this point, I was completely sold on the track and actually getting really excited!

Last part to go….SAXOPHONE SOLO!!!!!!! Every good song needs a Saxophone solo. Never underestimate the power of Sax Solo. Luckily, my friend Carter had been crashing at our house for a while before he goes off on tour. He’s the saxophone king, a very enthusiastic and camp one at that. He put down a few solo’s and we chose the best bits. He also added a little of flute for that festive vibe. Now the track was complete. I’m so happy with the outcome.

Now for the video! I had to film this video over a fair few weeks. Basically, any time I was out and I saw some festive, I’d film it. Most of it was done my iPhone as you can probably tell. Me and my ‘Special Friend’ went on a date…I say date…I promised her a nice festive day. We spent the day walking around Central London and everytime I wanted to film, she’d film it. She’s still speaking to me for some reason. I also filmed a bit when I was in the Candle Factory and the scenery was FAF (festive as flip). Every one who got involved was such a legend. I hope you enjoy it! If you buy the track on bandcamp, all the money will go to the Shelter charity. T’is the season of giving after all!

Here’s 3 songs blowing my mind this week:

James Bay-Need The Sun To Break
Mcfly-Rockin’ Robin
Weezer-The Christmas Song

Check out the Spotify playlist here.

And also…here are a couple of Christmas shows I’ve playing with Dave this year, be great to see you at one! Click on the pictures for tickets.

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Week 46: Hurt Like Hell

This week has been filled with festive cheers and gigs. Here’s what I’ve been up to.

On Tuesday, I ventured into Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. I missed the chance of going last year due to the fact no one wanted to go with me. Luckily this year was different, I went on a double date. I went with Dave and his better half Faye and the lady I’ve been trying to impress lately. Before we met Dave and Faye, I decided to cook us a meal so she could meet my housemates, which including her main competition…Nick. Things were going well, and as far as I’m aware, the food did not give her food poisoning. I cleaned the house in the day and bought a new air freshener (bear with me, this is important), it was Mulled Wine and Crackling Fire scented. I know what you’re thinking, how can you smell Crackling Fire? Believe me you can, and if you can’t, go on Youtube and type in Crackling Fire and you’ll get a video to accompany this delightful smell.

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So as I was saying, things were going well until I brought the food out. Nick took it upon himself to place one of our candles (that are in whiskey bottles…cheeeeers) on the table. Now, it was candle lit dinner. But THEN…my mate Carter decided to get his saxophone out and play us some music during the meal. Hits such as ‘Careless Whisper’. Can’t get any cheesier right? It was at that point, Nick brought his camera out and started filming. There’s a point in the video that Nick describes as the most awkward thing he’s seen. Truth be told, I found it hilarious and how many people can say that’s happened to them on a date? Somehow…I win.

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We then went to Winter Wonderland. It wasn’t as festive as I hoping but it was great fun and in great company. I went Ice Skating with Dave while we left the women to discuss how awesome I am (I assume that’s what they talked about). I thought I was dead good at Ice Skating, I was waiting for my call up to the next Olympics. This was until I was told that I look like an old man with a knee replacement.

1st december winter wonderland

The rest of this week has been filled with me trying to catch up on this ONTAW project and gigs. I’ve been writing as much as I can and trying to get as many collaborations in as I can. At the moment, I have 3 more half recorded songs, which will get me back on track. One is a transatlatic collab, and another is a Christmas song.

Hurt Like Hell Artwork
Artwork by Josh Elms (www.joshelms.com)

This weeks song wasn’t meant to be released this week. I started writing it last week and wasn’t intending on putting 2 cheesy songs next to each other. However, I had the artwork ready for this one so I thought I’d release it. It’s kind of obvious what this one is about so I won’t go into it too much. I’ve had the idea for the lyrics in the chorus for about 6 months. I think someone said them to me on a night out and I’ve been waiting to find inspiration for the rest of the song to come since then. The rest of the lyrics came quite easily after looking through my notebook of song ideas. I also impressed myself by putting the word ‘Fruitful’ into a song. I’m not sure if it’s actually a word but I like it.
There’s also a line that talks about a doorstep. The incident I wrote about didn’t happen on a doorstep, I just wanted to put ‘Doorstep’ into a song after listening to a song called ‘Too Little, too Late’ by The Candle Thieves. I liked the way that Scott said ‘Doorstep’. Have I said Doorstep too much in this paragraph? Maybe? I digress….

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This is a sound piece of Advice from Nick’s Waller that came out on a night out on Friday. Shortly after this, we did a Jager Bomb. 

For once, I was really pleased with how the recording came out. Originally, It was going to be just vocal and acoustic. I got bored and added a few more acoustic guitar parts. It was lacking a bit of bottom end, so I added a bass guitar. It was at this point, I felt it was all or nothing. If something is worth doing, it’s worth over doing. I added a piano and a few backing vocals in the chorus, but it still lacked something. For a while now, I’ve wanted to put a beat in a song similar to ‘I’m On Fire’ by Springsteen. I thought I’d try it and see what happened. All of a sudden, the song lifted and it all seemed to fit together alot better. I also did something I’ve been meaning to do for a while in the second verse. I added a harmony doing a 3rd over the main vocal line. Alot of songs I’ve been listening to recently do it so I thought I’d give it a go. I love the way it came out.

So there it is, I hope you enjoy it. For the video, I did a lyric video as I feel a performance video of me singing to a camera would’ve been weird and cheesy. This is also probably going to be my last lyric video of this project. I ran out of paper.

Here are 3 songs that are blowing my mind this week (don’t judge the first one):

Justin Bieber-Love Yourself
Passenger-Wrong Direction
Bruce Springsteen-I’m On Fire

Check out the Spotify Playlist here:

And also…here are a couple of Christmas shows I’ve playing with Dave this year, be great to see you at one! Click on the pictures for tickets.

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