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Perthshire Amber 2014 with a little bit of Shambolic

Had a lovely time up in Dunkeld for Perthshire Amber this past weekend. Invited to play at the open mic on Saturday and host an acoustic session in the Taybank (although, if honest, wasn’t fully sure what that meant I needed to do). Decided to make a weekend of it so set off travelling on the Friday, heading into Glasgow en route for an evening of literature, music and comedy in the form of Shambolic at The Project Cafe.

10514561_747059442032322_2955888493350407359_nPreviously known as Discombobulate, I’d played before at one of lovely Magi and Ian’s events back home in Wigtown as part of the Book Festival alongside the awesome Alan Bisset and lovely Kirstin Innes about three years ago. So I was looking forward to catching up like a weird literary reunion, plus I quite like the Project Cafe, they make great crepes, have really good gingerbread and a tiger in the toilet…

Anyway it was a lovely gig, I enjoyed myself, was thoroughly entertained by everyone else performing and laughed quite a fair bit. It’s nice to perform among other creative types that aren’t necessarily music based, I always wonder if a writer would take something different from a piece of music. But then again, I think about this with everyone. Thankfully the audience enjoyed me singing at them and have said nice things. Cheers very much Ian and Magi for having me. Something I definitely recommend and would like to go back to.

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Onward to Perthshire!

10350329_815575761835731_8046777527348939533_nT’was the last weekend of Perthshire Amber so sadly I think we missed the main ‘amber’ tree leaves excitement bit, but it was still lovely, and what a quaint place Dunkeld is! Had some soup and mango juice (obviously important information) at Spill the Beans before playing at The Wee Festival Hall in the Royal Hotel. Bumped into Auntie Liz after, a fabulous lady in her own right but also the mother hen of the folk scene and queen of Celtic Music Radio, before toddling off to The Taybank for the acoustic session.

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I have attended my fair share of sessions and jams, however I never really get involved with traditional folk as I don’t feel qualified enough. I know that’s a stupid thing to say because it’s just a jam and there isn’t much you can do wrong but whenever a trio of fiddlers whip out a couple of intricate jigs and reals, amdist figuring out what I could play that would compliment their piece, I’m worrying just a little bit that, my singer/songwritery attempt to offer a joiny-in song, Jolene might not be accepted.

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Despite my, maybe over-dramatic worries, I belted into Jolene, they joined in and the lovely Fiona sitting next to me did some really nice harmonies. So I guess my anxiety isn’t anything major and I’m over-thinking things. The folk scene is a really accepting tribe of humans, some have their particular ways things should be done, but most are really nice welcoming people that are open to things a little bit different, i.e a young girl with a ukulele and a vocal effects pedal, ha!

Aaand back to Spill the Beans we headed, with a quick stop in the charity shop on the way (I bought more books, it’s becoming a charity shop curse). We had cake. Tea and cake. And it was lovely. All in all the festival vibe was brilliant, they do a fantastic job. Despite us only being there a day, you could tell; everyone seemed happy and I rather enjoyed myself. Thanks very much for having me Perthshire Amber, hope to see you next year!

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A Grand Northern Ukulele Festival 2014

My first ever ukulele festival was amazing. One of the best ever experiences at a festival to date; so many happy, wonderful, nice humans and that’s before getting to the fun of the uke. Such a fabulous little instrument connecting all these fantastic people together.

We arrived on the Friday at the hotel (right next to the lazor quest and internet cafe, in case you were wondering). A hotel in which I later learned that pretty much everyone playing was booked into. All the artists had been emailing, prior to the festival, to organise a meet up and dinner that night to mingle and introduce each other. So I vaguely, via the interwebs and line up, knew of the characters I was about to meet, but not really.

After being entertained by small children getting drenched in the water fountains outside the train station, Father and I headed to the restaurant and sheepishly sat by the window (me) and ordered drinks (father) whilst we (me) proceeded to people watch, guessing whether these humans with trilbys and small instrument cases making their way towards us were ukulele players or had just time travelled from the 1930s. But that was just Jake.

edited DSC_1597-1(No but seriously there were Steampunkians in the form of the Mother Ukers, Trilby and Bowler wearers – including myself – and even a tailcoat, which lovely Tricity Vogue pulled off amazingly)

I’ve genuinely never felt so accepted into a new group of people so quickly than I did that night, although the usual not knowing awkwardness was definitely there, I felt triumphant that I’d chatted to and recognised faces from Ukulele Underground, ukulele YouTube videos and general ukuleleish Facebook connections. All in all everyone was lovely and I truly felt like I was part of something awesome.

After food we all made our way to the Head of Steam, to meet up with all the festival go-ers pre-festival and the other performers who didn’t make it to the meal to have a jam and watch Lionel K Hubert. Although missed Lionel (sorry!) we did catch snippets of Phil Doleman, and Andy Eastwood with a bit of Michael Adcock, which was all rather fabulous, plus lots of jamming that I harmonised on (although no one probably heard me, which was may be best as I couldn’t hear myself). The Head of Steam was THE place to be pre-fest and after the main concerts. There was a right good after party on Saturday night, in which I thoroughly enjoyed myself chatting to…nearly everyone. Didn’t even jam, which is something I regret and will look forward to joining in with next year.

Too early for my brain to function properly on Saturday morning, Father drove Clarice, the festivals ambassador of awesomeness, and myself to BBC Radio Leeds in which we chatted about how fantastical the festival was going to be, then I sang a bit and that seemed to go down well.

I want to chat about the rest of Saturday and Sunday but my brain is all a happy mess and for the life of me cannot remember which order anything came in so to summarise, I tried out some utterly gorgeous ukuleles, met even more amazing people, soundchecked at some point and got excited about the stunning natural reverb, attempted to jam songs backstage, walked up and down an inordinate amount of stairs, went to an awesome record store called Vinyl Tap to watch chilled Mr Remco or Ukulelezaza, had cake and tea, played a very, very small ukulele, watched Krabbers and The Mersey Belles, ate pizza, spotted a gold postbox so then tried to figure out who had won an Olympic gold medal from Huddersfield (still don’t know, and Google is cheating), experienced Tricity Vogue and the dancing penguin, made a mental note to tell Kris his sandwiches were fab, laughed a lot at Vonk and Vlam, watched the flipping Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britian and at some point Saturday night I sang onstage to a incredibly lovely audience who laughed and joined in, ukes and all, and how I smiled, I smiled so much that whole weekend my cheeks burned.

Feel like I’ve missed so much out. It was such an enjoyable weekend.

One CRUCIAL thing I need to mention is that on Sunday, myself, the hilarious Chonkinfeckle, fabulous Tony the GNUF co-organiser, amazing Ben Rouse and a bit of brilliant Vonk and Vlam were filmed for BBC Look North. Got some pics in the gallery below but here is the finished piece:

Compiled some photies, some mine, some not (I tell you which) this is just so you can experience the weekend with me and get your tickets for next year…

SEE YOU THERE! 😉

Click me for my GNUF Gallery (Use arrow keys to navigate)

P.S I also won in the raffle!!! A Moselele Bambookulele (it smells really good) and an arg…arg..argapo (?) t-shirt10624595_771204722938475_2791554594513978523_n

Remember to check out Ed Sprake Photography for even more amazing photos of the festival http://edsprake.com/

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Dolly Parton’s Jolene & BBC Radio Scotland

Ta da, here you go, my latest cover of a brilliant song. It’s amazingly written and something I love to perform in my live sets.

With regards to the fancy stuff on my vocals in the vid, absolutely no additional effects were added to the track in the studio. Everything was done in one take using my TC Helicon VoiceTone Harmony G-XT pedal and MP-75 Microphone with D.I. through my beautiful Fishman Loudbox Artist amp. Do love my tech. My babies.

I was also incredibly lucky enough to be invited to play my Jolene cover LIVE on BBC Radio Scotland on The Culture Show with Janice Forsyth.

Was in the studio with Vic Galloway too who was chatting about cover songs

Available only for a week and in the UK, but LISTEN AGAIN on iPlayer by clicking here.

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If you’re part of Team Bestel you’ll be able to get this for FREEEEEEE as well some other mp3 goodies, if not sign up: Click me to join Team Bestel 

Or if not, got Twitter? It’s on Twitmusic too: http://bit.ly/ZoefiedJolene

 

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Sir Lucas and the Moon OUT NOW

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Click me to buy!

Here is the official snazzy video for the single, Nobody Knows, off the album, filmed in The Bookshop in Wigtown complete with blurs and glows and such:

So that’s it – Sir Lucas and the Moon is available NOW (yay) Here are all the places in Dumfries & Galloway were you can pick up your copy.

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But it is also available online, on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon MP3.

If you would like a physical copy you can buy them DIRECTLY from meeeee by clicking here.

Thank you for all your amazingness. I honestly couldn’t have done it without you guys

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Sir Lucas and the Moon Pre-orders are LIVE!

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The countdown to the album release is here!!! You can pre-order your own signed copy now and I’M SO EXCITED.

SAVE THE DATE: 14.1.4.14

that’s 2pm (GMT) on the 1st of April 2014

LESS THAN 20 DAYSSSS!

Have a listen to all the snippets to the 10 track album here and tell me your favourite in comments:

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It’s been quite a crazy few months getting all the album stuff ready, and I know it’s taken a while but I wanted to get everything right and it’s been incredibly hard work. I’m not with a record label anymore so this whole album was purely done by me, I mean, everything was done by me. Well obviously I didn’t hand make the CD’s and I have a brilliant engineer and producer, but utterly everything else was all done by yours truly, even all the artwork…

If honest, because of that I’m rather nervous releasing it as I have no idea if it’s genuinely good or I’m being biased. But then again, I know I can be a perfectionist at the best of times and would never produce something I wouldn’t want myself. Aaah, it’s all so nerve wrecking though. This album is all my random thoughts and feelings and ideas over the past couple of years all squished together in a big blob of musicness with extra ukulele magic. It’s so bizarre to think that you lovely people will hear it all and my little voice will sing at you and you might like it, you might dance, it might even make you happy and that’s just amazing. That’s the dream. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Thank you, you beautiful people. Even if you’ve just found my little corner of the internet and are reading this now. Thank you.

So if you fancy it, and would like a signed copy of the album, you can click here to order one and I will love you forever

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End of Year Round Up 2013

That’s it! 2013 is coming to a close.

This year has been utterly amazing, I thank you all for being a part of it.

Remember to check out the video above for all the highlights and pics with a lot of you guys over this passed year (you can also laugh at the evolution of my hair, whilst I cringe…what was I thinking?!)

Thought in this post I’d play catch up to all the brilliant-ness that has happened over the past couple of months.
Starting with this, my Dumfries & Galloway Life Magazine, People of the Year Award. Given to me as Performing Artist of the Year, how amazing is that?

Then I was spotted on BBC’s Hebburn, little poster of meee:

Proceeded to do some brilliant gigs right through December all the way to Christmas Eve, were I had the honour of being asked onto BBC Radio Scotland on the Culture Show to have a chat and a sing song with the lovely Sanjeev (sitting in for Janice).

If you missed it, you can listen again here:

And that that’s, exciting year just gone, exciting year ahead. Very much looking forward to 2014 and all things ALBUM, dun dun duuun!

See you next year 🙂

P.S Shameless self promoting about to happen. If you sign up to Team Bestel NOW you’ll get EXCLUSIVE FIRST HAND FABBY GOSSIP about the upcoming album!!! Click here

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