My final gig in Montreal was playing in this lovely gazebo in Little Italy as part of the city wide extravaganza for the Grand Prix! A huge shout out to goes to my friend Cath.A.Strophic for hooking me up with a slot. Here are some photos!
Posts Tagged ‘Live Music’
Last week I played in a secret loft in montreal, as it was a secret I can’t really give you many details, but I do have some photos to share with you! :)
Finally, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to my friend María for these beautiful photos and also for inviting me into her home and letting me share my music with her and her amazing friends!
I feel that if this post were only a few weeks late then I could apologise for not having written in a while. But as it’s over a year since my last post it’s probably going to be easier to catch everyone up than to apologise about it!
Over the last year I’ve been up to a myriad of exciting musical endeavours and I’m hoping that come 2015 I’ll have an album for you all.
Around June/July I was really lucky to meet Barry Walsh and Tasso Argyrakos while I was working next door to their tattoo studio, Ink City North. At the time they were organising lots of in-store events and after hearing me practice they asked if I wanted to play a few tunes at their next soirée. I jumped at the opportunity as I was growing weary of open mic night shenanigans, and so my first proper gig in Montreal was a show at Ink City North supporting reggae legend Vernon Maytone.
A huge and heartfelt thanks has to also go out to Facteur Malice for the stunning photos she took of me at the show, it’s been nice to have some photographic evidence of me playing solo! ;)
Around the time I met the boys at Ink City North, I also began saving my tips from work and taking some guitar lessons with Mr Tim Dobby. This really helped improve my confidence and it was lovely to have someone other than a YouTube tutorial to direct all my musical questions at! I’m really hoping that you’ll all be able to hear my playing in my upcoming recordings and we’ll agree that my time with Tim was money well spent! ;) You can also listen to Tim’s delightfully pretentious band, Lakes of Canada, by hitting their name.
Between October and Christmas, most of my time was eaten up with my guitar lessons and with work. I dabbled in comedy for a brief time but I managed to get caught in some drama that made the whole thing infinitely less appealing and I refocused on making music my full time gig. However, during my brief flirt with comedy we were lucky enough to make a few good friends, one of them being the talented Kate Connor. After going to support Kate when she performed at The Wiggle Room for their weekly variety show Voix de Ville, I asked producer/co-host/all round comedic individual Paul Ash for a slot on the next show.
Voix de Ville is a variety show with a “monarch of the mountain” element thrown in for fun! At each show, all the acts are competing for crowd votes in order to win the grand prize of $100 and the honour to return the following week to defend their title. Guys, I won 4 weeks in a row! I really can’t express what a confidence boost that whole Wiggle Room experience was but I had a blast and I met some super awesome people, including everybody’s favourite republican Kitty Vanderbuilt & artist Salgood Sam who drew this awesome sketch of me performing!
Still on a high from my run at The Wiggle Room I decided to pursue paid gigs more seriously in and around the city and to peace out open mics for a little while! The first of these was a slot at Bar de Courcelle, allbeit it was the middle of the Canadian winter and it wasn’t the busiest show I’ve ever played, it was a nice foot in the door and a nice reminder that I’ve still got it! ;) Since then I’ve had a couple of slots at Mad Hatters and I have more coming up later this month. (I’ll include a full list of upcoming shows in the side bar).
ALSO! I’m ashamed of myself for forgetting, Kayla and I got engaged on Christmas Eve, I suprised her with a beautiful ring made by Meshu which is essentially a map of where we met and all the places we went on our first date. I think she was suitably surprised and as it turned out she was also working on a surprise for me! I’m the proud owner of a Taylor 214-ce and he sounds beautiful and he looks nice and he’s full size. Perfect! If you’d like to see a video of Kayla surprising me you can click here.
Anyway, back to the chronological order of things! I’ve had a really exciting year, and I feel like I’ve managed to build a wee Canadian fanbase for myself. I was delighted with my recent placing in the Cult MTL – Best of Montreal readers poll this month which I feel also proves that I’ve been adopted as an honorary Montrealer by everyone here! ;) I couldn’t ask for a better result than coming 3rd place to Leonard Cohen!
I think that brings us up to date! A year is a long time though, and surely I’ve forgotten to mention some stuff/people along the way! If you feel that you’ve been overlooked lemme know and I’ll apologise profusely!
So I’ve been back in Canada for about 10 days now! I can’t believe that’s all, but it is!
I don’t have a band yet (so this post won’t be particularly musical) but I do have a job! Huzzah!
I’m working in Léché Desserts in St Henri. We’re a gourmet doughnut shop, and if you hit that link it’ll take you to the website. Alternatively, you can click here (for facebook) or here (for twitter) and show some support! For any of you who knew me through my teens you’ll know that I worked in a bakers, so this feels like familiar territory- only there aren’t any dinosaur cats and my uniform is hot pink instead of saltire blue! I genuinely am really enjoying my new job though, so if you could like or follow us (even if you’re from Scotland) that would be lovely!
I haven’t spent much time on my music this past week and a half… this is mostly because all my spare time has been devoted to sleeping and trying to learn French! I’ve enrolled in French classes, and I spend about 1o hours a week in a class with these Portuguese kids trying to scramble together enough french to communicate as I don’t have english to fall back on. I’m confident I’ll get there in the end, but it’s exceptionally draining and nerve wracking.
Although, admittedly, I haven’t had as much time to devote to my music as I would like, I have written a new song and broken past my writers block! I’m sure once I’m in a routine that I’ll find the time to record it and let you all hear.
All in all I’m happy to be back in Canada, and Montreal is feeling like a much friendlier city now that the snow has melted and my work permit is in my sticky paw! I’m also happy to be back home with Kayla, I missed her an indescribable amount when I was in Scotland – as many of you know and experienced first hand – and she has a fantastic new job as Film Editor for Cult Mtl (it’s a bit like The Skinny but in Montreal). You can read her debut articles here and keep an eye out for new stuff too!
I’ve arrived in Montreal! :) The weather is spectacular, and I’m hopefully going to manage to do some songwriting this week… Scotland was pretty hectic and didn’t really leave me much time for creativity.
Anyway! I’m in such a good mood that I’ve decided to give away a free download to celebrate!
Lewis, who we all know now, took the time out to make this awesome remix of my latest single, Tin Man. If you’d like to own this song (for free!) all you need to do is like & share my facebook page with your friends! :)
This weekend has been insane- to say the least! I launched my brand new single on Friday at Hula, then I raced across town to a house concert run by Donna Maciocia (who you may remember from my EP Launch). The whole thing was being arranged as a fundraiser for The Samaritans (if you click this link you can donate to their very worthy cause), and Donna grabbed me last minute to step in and fill a slot. I must say, I’m delighted I was involved. I’ve never played a gig that was so intimate and I can’t express how much of a confidence boost it was to be so well received when it was one of the few times I’ve ever played completely solo!
To top off a brilliant weekend (with a great many appreciated CD sales!) Red Dog Music just gave my EP a top notch review! I’m beyond chuffed!
Thank you everyone who contributed to make my last weekend in Edinburgh so spectacular. I leave here feeling positive and loved and above all – so very confident.
I launched my debut EP in The Wee Red Bar in Edinburgh last Thursday. I was so overwhelmed by the turn out and support that I felt I wanted to write thank you cards or something – Kayla told me this wasn’t the done thing and would probably be a bit expensive/difficult considering the amount of people who were there! So instead I’m going to try and thank everyone via a wee blog post.
Firstly, I’d like to thank Tom Wilding who helped me book the venue when I was in Canada and struggling to do so myself long distance! He was an absolute life saver and pushed the event numerous times via his promotions page SC Music. A total professional with a genuine interest in the Edinburgh music scene I’d urge everyone to go and like his page!
Next I’d like to thank my tremendous support acts, David Ritchie, Hannah O’Reilly and Donna Maciocia. David unfortunately didn’t end up playing because he was bowled over by tonsillitis but I can hand on heart promise that you all missed out as he’s one of the most talented young musicians I have the pleasure of knowing. If you click on his name it’ll take you to the facebook page for his band Scotia, who I luckily saw doing their thing a couple of weeks ago! Hannah and Donna were given apt introductions on the night of my EP launch, so all I’ll say here is that both are genuinely influences of mine, so if you like my tunes you should look them up!
I owe my band a huge debt of gratitude for giving up their time to practice with me, learn all the parts, and in some instances write their parts! Steve Fivey stepped up to the plate as my Percussionist, Scott Galbraith was on fiddle, and Lewis Rumney played guitar and sang. I’ll talk more about Lewis later as I owe him sincere thanks for about a million things, but I’d like to use this space to document what an incredible experience it was playing with this line up and how immensely proud I am of everything we achieved in such a short space of time. Videos will no doubt start popping up over the next week and you’ll all be able to see for yourselves the hard work we put in and how much it paid off on the night of the gig! I had a ball with these dudes!
My partner Kayla came all the way from Canada to sit at the front snapping photos and singing along. She’s seen this EP come together behind the scenes for over a year, and she’s put up with all my self doubt (and, in contrast, some unflattering bouts of ego!). The fact that she still sings along to tunes I’m borderline fed up of hearing reminds me that she’s not only my partner but my biggest fan. Thank you for all your support and your faith in me.
My family. My Dad bought 10 tickets to my gig which were all snapped up by members of my immediate and extended family! So many of my cousins came and brought their friends, and my Mum stood at the front for my entire set! As we’re not a particularly musical family I really appreciate that you all came and that you seemed to enjoy yourselves. Thank you!!
The Rumneys! If Lewis hadn’t have contacted me out the blue over a year ago to tell me he liked my songs then I would still be recording voice memos on my iphone and leaving everything half finished. I’ve been privileged to work with a multi-instrumentalist/producer as talented as he is, and he has become one of my best friends. I’d also like to thank his family for their hospitality and support over the past year. Elaine has fed me, and I’ve probably had my weight in cups of tea – as well as seeming to genuinely enjoy my music! Moray has offered much needed second opinions and was kind enough to film/record the gig on Thursday night. Thank you all for opening up your home and making me feel so welcome.
There were so many people in the audience I fear I might get myself into trouble if I start trying to individually thank you all- in case I accidentally omit anyone! Please know that I tried my absolute best to speak to each and every one of you, and I’m sorry no one got much of my attention. I know that so many of you came from further a field than just Edinburgh, a couple of you even came from outside Scotland! I can’t express how overwhelmed I felt on Thursday evening sharing my music with so many of my friends and family. I hope that you all enjoyed yourselves, you certainly made sure I did! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming, and singing, and being so phenomenally supportive!
PS. A few people missed Thursday, but we won’t dwell on that! All I’ll say is, my EP is available to buy here! ;)
Not really… Just a Scot in Montreal. Still French, less 50s. Anyway, moving on!
Sorry that I haven’t posted for a while. I’ve not had much to say… Ivan and I fell out so I stole his Croatia shirt and hid him under the floorboards. Other than that life has been pretty dull.
UNTIL! Last night! It was St Andrew’s Day, which is the day when Scottish people pretend they’re as much fun as the Irish and get drunk in the name of Religion.
Given that I’m in Canada, I had to improvise. So as I didn’t have any Scottish people to party with, I spent my St Andrews Day with a few Canadians and a couple of delightful Irishers.
Here are some photos (with narration where necessary)
These are our lovely new Irish friends Gráinne & Donal. We get along primarily because they enjoy drinking and fighting.
As you can see, we’re tight. I don’t even miss Ivan.
This band! This fucking band. Wow. Check them out. The 24th Street Wailers just wow.
These two guys were really lovely, I told them we could be friends but then I just made them save our seats every time we went for a cigarette and never really spoke to them… One of them was English though, so I kinda felt he was ruining my St Andrews Day vibe. FREEEEEEDOM! or something like that…
In conclusion, it was the best St Andrews Day I’ve ever had. I can’t recommend spending St Andrews Day on another continent highly enough. Fact.