I am only now just coming to land – some 4 weeks later – having performed and recorded the Big Sing version of Live Again at St John’s Wood’s RAK Studios. Sunday 21 August was the day that twenty-seven willing singing participants joined my fantastic line-up of pro musicians and me to sing backing vocals on the song that will soon be released as a charity single in aid of mind health awareness. It was a beautiful day. That is all that can be said really. Trying to find any other adjectives to describe the event almost minimises its significance. I give thanks to everyone for their hard work, energy and participation and a big thank you to Mental Health First Aid England, Caffe Nero and to RAK for allowing such a large group of us to descend on, and make use of, its premises. An amazing day. The single will release in October so stay posted for updates on the date.
Yesterday, I finally allowed Help Musicians UK to have, and to publish, a blog that I started writing about two months ago. The delay was mostly as a result of the slight trepidation I felt about making public what is a very personal story.
In touting myself as an advocate of mind health care and as someone who believes that mental – or mind – health should be destigmatised, it makes sense that I should give my reasons for doing so.
The SING4SANE Big Sing project is also soon to take place in a recording studio and I know some of you may wonder why I am putting myself through the trouble of organising such an event. After the weeks of delay, it finally felt right yesterday to release my story.
Help Musicians UK has been very supportive in allowing me to use their website to talk about my own charity project, given they are a charity themselves. And the team has been very considerate and patient in waiting for me to deliver my write-up which I’d promised I would have delivered to them many weeks before.
I thank them hugely for that. And, if you might like to read my words, please visit their website to read my blog by clicking here.
I say it after just about every performance at The Green Note but it’s very true that last week’s gig at this basement club was again very special.
A tightly packed room meant we were all warm in temperature but there was a lot of warmth coming direct from the hearts of everyone present too. Truly a feeling that I’d love to be able to put in a bottle.
Here’s a snippet of the night in the form of a recording of Live Again on which the audience joined backing vocals towards the end. They were perfect candidates for the SING4SANE Big Sing recording project so I was glad that some signed-up too.
I recently chatted very briefly with presenter, Jo Good, about the benefits of singing in lifting one’s mood and it can also be used to bring people together – hence why I’m organising the next SING4SANE Big Sing event.
You’re welcome to have a listen to the short clip and, if you’d like further information on how you can join the Big Sing, please get in touch.
Last month I was lucky to be invited to join Sky TV’s The Chrissy B Show to speak about the making of my song Live Again, how I’m learning to release my voice and to explain how both these things combined have led me to use the track to try to raise awareness of mental health matters and to organise a SING4SANE Big Sing to fundraise for the charity, SANE. You can have a watch of the short interview by clicking on the image above, or clicking this link.
It is always a delight to perform at the National Portrait Gallery and earlier this month, the feeling was the same. A beautiful setting teamed with a considerate and appreciate audience brought a perfect opportunity to perform an acoustic set of songs alongside guitarist, Jack Ross. Thanks to photographer, David James, for taking photos. More of these can be seen via my Facebook page.
Finally I’m able to present a little video which gives a short taster of the day experienced by all involved in the SING4SANE Big Sing at the end of February. Featuring a short interview and some of the pics from the day, in under 3 minutes, you’ll get a bit of a feel of what happened. It was pure joy. Just click on the play button to have a watch on YouTube.
Play button link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tGaYVOVfJc
My band (Nick Pini, Arthur Lea, Tim Nugent) and I had a great time last Friday performing at the Royal Festival Hall as part of their Friday Tonic series. The crowd was big and supportive and we had a fabulous time introducing songs old and some newly written toons too. There’s a bit of video footage to be shared. This first track is a song called Hit the Ground by singer, Lizz Wright which we performed impromptu on the night. Will share others as we receive. Do have a watch and a listen. More dates to come.
Some of you will have heard me banging on for an age about my plans to host this event and now the date is very soon upon us. To recap: Sing4SANE is my idea to gather together a group of like-minded individuals who might wish to join me in singing Live Again – a song from my forthcoming album. The aim: to encourage unity and togetherness and to raise awareness of mental illness in addition to showing support for mental health charity SANE. Anyone can join be you a fully-fledged singer and performer or an-in-the-shower singing enthusiast. Or come along if you simply wish to stand-up for mental health awareness and be among the crowd. For more information, just get in touch. Contact details are on the poster.
…so much for the support shown towards the crowdfunding campaign that has been running on Pledge Music. I’m pleased and overwhelmed that I’ve exceeded my target and am now working very much on the release of my new mini album, Stripped Back. Of course it was in October that the Stripped Back launch party was held; as a result of the delay to the release October’s launch may well be considered the “pre-launch” celebration and another launch may be organised closer to the revised launch date so stay tuned, as they say. In the meantime, if you haven’t pre-ordered the new record but would like to do so, there’s still time. Just head here to my Pledge page.