Christmas Time Is A Time For Song
I was pleased to fit in two gigs last Saturday – the first, a lunchtime slot in a large venue in The City with Ben Hazleton on bass and Dom Pipkin on piano. We were playing ‘background music’, which doesn’t sound very glamorous, but it was a joy to be playing with my friends, and it was also a reminder of what good musicians I get to play with. I felt like the music was full of fun and spontaneity while still being appropriate and tasteful, and it gave me a real buzz. The second gig was playing Christmas tunes outside near Elephant and Castle. With Laurence Corns on guitar (with a battery powered amp over his shoulder), and Miguel Gorodi on trumpet. Again, it was a joy (if a little cold), playing our own interpretations of well worn Christmas favourites.
I was able to cycle to both gigs from home, and got home feeling well exercised and happy. I had been doing what I love doing and have been starved of since March.
In London we aren’t allowed to meet friends and family indoors, but I met my two sisters and mum outside one of my sister’s house on Sunday for a glass of mulled wine. My sister’s partner was selling his hand made pottery out of the front of their house. After about an hour of catching up we had to go home though because it was too cold to stand still for long.
I finally finished my Christmas song. A friend of mine, Caroline Jackman, who is an artist filmed herself creating a drawing of themes that came up in the song, and I speeded it up and synchronised it with the song. Gazel Argan and Dai Price, friends of mine, added harmonies in the chorus, and Roy Pfeffer mixed it all in his studio. Roy had recorded the drums for me, and also provided me with much needed motivation. Having put the song up on YouTube, I posted a link on Facebook with an apologetic comment and received a handful of acknowledgements. After Roy called me and gave me a gentle roasting for being so apologetic I edited my comment and tried a bit harder to create some interest in it.
I had included a link and invitation to donate £1 to Crisis homeless charity if anyone enjoyed it, as well as a link to download the track. Three days down the line I’ve had about 240 views, only half a dozen donations (albeit generous ones), some kind comments, and no downloads. I don’t feel it’s really caught people’s imagination. There had been moments when I thought it might somehow make me some money, and I’d be able to pay the people who had been involved in it but that seems like a fairytale now – I don’t think it’s caught people’s imagination.
It's just three weeks away from the date when the UK leaves the EU and Brexit is becoming newsworthy again. Apparently we’re now only two days from the point when the UK and EU give up trying to get a trade deal. Many think leaving without a deal will be an economic disaster for the UK (as well as sowing the seeds of Great Britain’s breakup).
And I’ve just been told I’ve got an imminent tax bill of thousands, as well as hefty accountancy fees to pay.
So it’s pretty hard to be jolly at the moment.