I’m still pretty much in hibernation at the moment. However I’ll emerge blinking into the light for a short public performance at Lancaster’s Storey on Friday 20th January. I’ll be the musical guest of the monthly live literature event Spotlight, which has operated in the city for two decades thanks to the dedicated hard work of Sarah Fiske and Ron Baker. More information here.
Some of the earliest performances I did in Lancaster were for Spotlight so I’m looking forward to being back again. I’ll be performing a mix of pensive ballads and a few lighter pieces.
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… I often ask myself… but the answer is a bit of a mystery at the moment for an assortment of reasons rather beyond my control. And I’m taking a break from public gigging for at least a month or two whilst I ponder matters musical and otherwise.
So it was nice to finish this particular phase of my performing life with a lovely concert at Hornby on 4th November, in the fine company of Paul Kilvington, Ed Harrison and Hugh Lawrence. And a really fabulous audience, to whom I offer my sincere thanks. It’s always been an honour to do what I do when there’s an audience who listen – an all-too-rare rare treat for many singers and musicians these days. And I’m very grateful when it happens.
If you want to listen to me, you can still do so here….. and here.
If you want to contact me for any reason, you can still use this bit here.
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… aren’t quite with us yet. But on their way I fear. So I’m cheering myself up by looking at the various nice gigs I’ve got over the coming months. I’ve just put quite a lot of them on the calendar, with more to come. I’m doing at spot at Morecambe’s fabulous Vintage Festival, several things at Lancaster Jazz Festival, and making my first appearance at the DogHouse Cellar Bar in Ramsbottom. Plus I’m honoured to have been asked to perform at the Rotary Club event shown on this poster. Further details of all these gigs here….
And the other, really nice thing, is that I’ll be doing quite a lot of piano performances in Lancaster at the Apothecary Bar from now on. They have just installed a very lovely vintage Bechstein grand, which is a joy to play. We’re finalising the schedule at the moment, but do check back for updates soon.
It’s such a treat to play a nice piano in a proper cocktail bar – something I’ve wanted to do all my life. You can find the Apothecary’s Facebook Page here, and, as it’s run by Gillow proprietors Mark Cutter and Natasha Burns, you can guarantee it will become something special and unique.
…so that must mean ukuleles? Well yes, as it happens. The Gillow Ukuleleans are hosting a day of four stringed fun at the Robert Gillow on Saturday 16th July. And then I’m preparing for my annual series of gigs with Eileen Guppy, including performances in Lancaster, Garstang and Eccles. We’ll be including quite a lot of new and interesting material, so do come along and join us if you can. And I’ll be back at the wonderful Stockport Plaza in August too. More information on the gigs page.
Despite my wild promises to record an album at the beginning of the year, various events (including my own head….) have conspired to put this project on hold whilst I have a re-think. Wish me luck….
I reached my largest ever audience last week… although I couldn’t see any of them. I did a live broadcast for BBC Radio Lancashire, chatting to broadcaster Sally Naden and performing four songs. Which was great fun, despite the odd slip of the fingers in the heat of the moment. If you’re curious, and looking at this within 30 days of the broadcast, you’ll find a link below that you can listen to. I’m in the last hour, so you can slide the counter along to about 1:35
Goodness. Halfway through April already….
But that’s okay, because nice things coming up soon include a return visit to Zeffirellis in Ambleside with Ed Harrison and his trio colleagues Robin Joiner and Hugh Lawrence on Saturday 14th May. And, by way of a contrast, I’ll be live on the airwaves on my tod, when I do a solo guest performance on Radio Lancashire the day before. More details of all of these, and lots of other things now up on the gigs page. It would be great to see you at any of these if you’re free.
I’m pleased to say that this year’s solo performance at Lancaster’s astonishingly beautiful Ashton Memorial raised a thousand pounds (exact total awaited) for the Friends of Williamson Park, as well as being a lot of fun. There’s a nice video of last year’s gig here or you can find a shorter version on You tube if you’re pushed for time…, which will give you an idea of the atmosphere….
A couple of nice gigs coming up in the next couple of months. This coming Tuesday 8th March I’ll be back at Kendal Jazz Club. A while since I’ve done this gig, so I’m looking forward to singing for the members and guests again. Further details here: Kendal Jazz Club.
And then, on Friday April 15th, I’m delighted to be back at the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster’s Williamson Park for a solo vocal/piano performance. I’ll be the guest of the Friends of the Park, who are raising funds for specialised play equipment for children with disabilities. The Ashton is an amazing and atmospheric building, and playing there last year was a real treat, so I’m looking forward to doing it again. I’ll be including lots of Spring songs in the set, and the admission price includes refreshments. Further information on the adjacent poster (which you can click on to see more detail), or visit Friends Of Williamson Park
And in the meantime, I’ll also be doing all my regular local sessions at the Robert Gillow in Lancaster, where I’m often to be found on Tuesday evenings, Wednesday teatimes and Saturday mornings…. See Gigs page for further information.
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January. Yay! With the solstice over I’m starting to think about what to do next. I’ve just been trawling through some live recordings and put a few up on my new Jazz page, and also different examples on the Listen page. So if you’ve got a moment to spare, please do listen and let me know what you think. There’s some amazing instrumental work on the jazz songs from some of my wonderful colleagues, so I do recommend them.
I’ve also started adding dates to the diary, – more to come shortly.
And (modest fanfare….) my main focus this year is on finally recording a proper album, featuring some of my favourite songs from over the years. I’m grateful to the supportive friends and audience members who’ve badgered me into getting this project started, and I’m making this little announcement so I can’t change my mind!
Hope to see you at a gig somewhere. Happy New Year!
Nearly at the turning of the year, thank heavens. And I’m starting to think about new projects, which I’ll share more of in January. In the meantime, I’m pleased to be doing a final run of local gigs at the Robert Gillow, including a gig with the wonderful Andrzej Baranek and Ed Harrison on Tuesday 15th December.
And also a shift to a new mid-week spot on Wednesdays from 5pm – 7.30pm:
I’ve played the piano at Lancaster’s Robert Gillow pub every Friday for several years now, and have really enjoyed having a regular work-out at the keys. The sessions have been increasingly well-attended by end-of-the week relaxing folk, which I’ve been glad about. But I’m now really enjoying singing as well as playing, and it seems sensible to do that in a slightly more gentle atmosphere than the occasionally boisterous Fridays. So I’m taking on the Wednesday slot at the pub (again from 5 to 7.30) instead, and will be at the keys and microphone there every week from now on. It would be lovely to have your company, whether you want to listen or just unwind with a book, a friend, a coffee, a beer or a treble gin and tonic depending on how your week is going!
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I’m not normally a “chirpy in the morning” kind of woman. So it has come as something of a surprise to me that I’ve greatly enjoyed doing a series of Jazz Breakfast gigs at my Lancaster base The Robert Gillow. Starting at 10am and running to midday, these sessions have been an opportunity to make some laid back music, explore new material, and offer a suitably relaxed and subtle environment for customers wanting to imbibe a coffee and fuel up for the day. Initially conceived as part of the Lancaster Jazz Festival, the breakfast gigs have become a regular feature of the Gillow’s weekly music schedule. I’m likely to be there most Saturday mornings until Christmas, sometimes solo, but more commonly singing with guitarist Jon Moore. Full details are on the gigs page.
At the other end of the day, 20th November also brings my favourite annual concert gig in Hornby, with Paul Kilvington, Ed Harrison and Hugh Lawrence. Plus a first visit to The Boathouse in Windermere on 27th with Jon Moore, and a Winter Dinner jazz event at Stockport Plaza on 28th November, with the musical assistance of Vinny Parker, Dave Turner, Nigel Cretney and Harold Salisbury.
Whether you’re an owl or a lark, it would be great to see you!
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