Monday, 26 April 2010

Radio Star

With most of Britain either avoiding the election or loitering around at airports waiting to either arrive or depart, I managed to get myself on the radio again via Michele and her superb PR skills. This time it was on BBC Radio Manchester on the Heather Stott Coffee Club, sharing the hour with Ruth Daniel who runs Fat Northerner Records and Sharon Peak - the Northwest Hairdresser of the Year.  It was a really good experience and I was a lot more relaxed than before, to be honest I have not listened back to it so you will have to let me know...the ladies on the show seemed a lot more at home chatting together, but I suppose the art of conversation is one of those skills that improve the more times you do it.  ( I think I need to jump back onto Google and look up how to sound good on radio....or just get out more)

We went through the papers and picked up on a few stories that made the news including rather uncomfortably, an article on debt...(which I seemed to have more of than the other independent women in the room) An article on honesty, and an article on reading in bed to your partner...( again not much to talk about there, not being one of the 7 in 10 who reads in bed.)

The rest of the week has been spent trying to write a solo set for Static Island (me a musician) having become disillusioned with Swerve I am  now actively seeking other projects, labels and producers.  Strangely enough as soon as I had made the concious decision to go for it, I may have got myself an audition with Resist - a "Goth-Rock" band based not too far away and as I mentioned earlier I bumped into Ruth Daniel who I passed on a link of my earlier tracks to.. (still not heard a reply).  It shouldn't be too long though before I get myself a "gig". 

I did spend a rather unproductive morning emailing about 40 schools in the Trafford area asking if they would like me to visit, but have had no response as yet.  I have to admit it gets really frustrating when that happens, as at the start of the year it seemed like the way forward, but it has been over a month since I last performed my work, and I feed of the energy that it produces.  

I suppose in a way - it's a good thing, at least I will have more time to prepare for "celebritydom"

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Media Darlings

On Good Friday ( about two weeks ago now) I was invited onto Shine -T.V. to talk about my book with the girls. Even though it was only for 15 minutes it's still longer than any other tv appearance I have done. The invitation came via our brand new PR manager Michele Hart who managed to achieve in 2 minutes what we have been trying to do since the launch of the book - and that is get more people to realise we exist.

I shared the show with a real hero Alison Halstead who despite having a rare diabetic condition - has not let it get in the way of supporting the Rays of Sunshine Children's Charity and raising over 16 thousand pounds to help other childrens dreams come true.!/pages/Rays-of-Sunshine-Childrens-Charity/60569121064 .

Before the show I got to meet both her parents and sister, and after Maya and Arisha turned on the charm  in no time at all we were all sat off screen digging in to coffee and biscuits.  The girls and I signed a copy of the HPM and donated it to the charity and I offered to come and visit at some point in the future, which I hope comes true because rumour has it that there is a rather good chip shop.

The show itself was a bit of a blur, and I was looking forward to posting a link - but unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a DVD of the show anywhere as the station one was having "tech probs" on the day, so for all you know I could be making this up.

Last week I had an altogether different booking after being invited to be part of a live guest audience to comment on the political debate for the forthcoming elections....blimey talk about being out of my depth, I was told by the producer that there would be a cross section of the public in the room.  But when I got to Dukes bar in Manchester and entered the Brindley Rooms upstairs, I almost wanted to turn around.

As well as Tony Livesy  from Radio 5 live, there were a host of other leading political analysts and commentators from several newspapers to ensure "fairness and then the audience was made up of graduates, professionals etc, and on my table there was a medical pharmacist, a language and speech therapist, a professor of politics..........and me.

It was quite strange because normally you would think that spending at least 6 hours in a room solely focussing on political debate would be enough to put you to sleep....but I manage to concentrate for almost all of it.  And although I had made up my mind to refrain from making any outlandish comments or jumping into an arguement that I would obviously lose, I couldn't help voicing an opinion on the fact that the three leaders did look a bit like they were on Blind Date with their opening statements.  I had come to the conclusion that making a non political statement would hurt sales - afterall a voter is a potential "bookbuyer"

Inbetween the Radio and T.V show came Easter and again I wasn't really able to do anything worthwhile with the HPM...there was a brakedown in communication with the director of Zombelina, which is now resolved and I spat my dummy out at the Swerve Record label owner at his apathy - which is now also resolved. 

Perhaps one of my major achievements is the fact that I have learnt to embed HTML code onto the blog, so for the first time you are able to hear a very rough recording of "Theme Music to the Hairy Plug Monster"... while on our sisterblog you can hear the opening bars of what is going to be a moving soundtrack.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

The thing's that dreams are made of......

I have to admit, that following last weeks foray into the world of film and "Zombelina" taking her first tentative steps......I did allow myself to be distracted slightly.

After all its not everyday that one of your stories gets animated. to follow the development of the project, I have set up another blog there is not much there at the moment but there will be some images and regular updates as and when I get them.

Meanwhile back at home, the kids are off again for two weeks, and the weather has taken a turn for the worse, leaving me housebound with the two girls bouncing off the walls looking for something to do. This has made writing almost impossible as each time I get into character, I am interrupted by " Dad - can I have?".

We did manage to get out a couple of times to the woods and go foraging for wild flowers which resulted in building up a generous supply of nettles and Herb Robert for tea drinking ( full of all the nutrients you don't seem to find in today's vegetables. Herb Robert is also known throughout folklore as a medicinal herb and has many properties that you should really look into).

I did manage to start on another story for the "Spooky Story Collection" about a chef in a countryside inn who has a novel way of dealing with unruly travellers.

Miss Carr's Pies

The pies of Miss Carr were the nicest by far,
the filling was rich and so tasty
The mouthwatering smell, that the town knew so well of the short crusted savoury pastry

But who knew the truth, why Miss Carr kept her youth
And could pass off for anyone’s daughter
Using secrets passed down from mother and gran, And the usual flour and cold water.

That's all there is so far, as it has been hard to get any time alone with the computer. Another major distraction has been my keyboard which has been out of its box all week, and has received more than its fair share of TLC.

It should be noted that when I was 12 one of my favourite bands were The Human League, and a recent airing of Synth Britannia followed by a short documentary of the band on BBC 4 rekindled a whole host of emotions as they went through the history of the synth-pop legends.

Thirty years on, they had been reduced to performing as part of an 80's tour before being signed up by Wall of Sound Records to release another album.

What has this got to do with anything?

Well, being a songwriter and a bit of a "keyboard whizz" myself, I convinced myself that I could possibly join up with the band and write some tunes for them.

( a bit like a young lad turning up with his boots at Old Trafford in the hope the SAF might ask him to come on in the second half.)

I then set about trying to track Phil Oakey down by joining various sites on Facebook and My Space and sending out random emails to him, before finally plucking up the courage to contact the record label direct.

Unfortunately the new album has already been written but has not yet been recorded - they did ask me to send some songs in, so you never of them may get included.

I can but dream