T-shirts and prints!

T-Shirts

Be the coolest person you know in a brand new Nat Johnson t-shirt!red-tee-croptees-1

They come in a range of sizes and are available at this very moment:

Men (in forest green, cardinal red or navy)

Women (in red or navy)

Signed A4 Prints

The t-shirt design is based on my painting of a nuthatch in beech leaves, inspired by a little nuthatch I met in Endcliffe Park:

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Buy a Nuthatch print

And this little fella is one I painted for a friend’s 50th, but I liked him so much I thought I’d share him with you as well:

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Buy a Silver Fox print

Everything’s a tenner. We’ll be taking t-shirts and prints along to this weekend’s festivals and to Cardiff next week. (You can see all our upcoming gigs here.)

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For sale: Tanglewood, GSOH, answers to the name “Floss”

**** UPDATE – THE GUITAR HAS BEEN SOLD ****

I’m selling this lovely Tanglewood TW115 AS electric acoustic guitar:

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She’s in fine condition, despite being on many adventures with me over the last few years. I’m only selling Floss because I’ve just bought a different Tanglewood. They’re great guitars.

There’s a little bit of wear and tear, as you’d expect from a gigging guitar, but nothing at all significant or particularly noticeable:

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I’m asking for £160 (cash, cheque or paypal). The buyer will need to collect either from Sheffield or from one of my upcoming gigs, so Indietracks (Derbyshire) / Tramlines (Sheffield again) next weekend or Cardiff on 1st August.

Email me: nat@natjohnson.co.uk if you’re interested. First come, first served.

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Daft Craft Raft Race: Aftermath

Today, I raced my daft craft, the Craft Craft, in the Daft Craft Raft Race (say it again.)

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It raced in the first heat, battling against many perils, like walls and …water. It was TENSE. Spectators shot at the rafts with water pistols, with no regard for the safety of the crews on board.

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There was a clear winner in my heat. Alas, it was not the Craft Craft. I battled for second place with Stuart Faulkner‘s guitar ship. It was declared a draw (but I think I really came third). The winner of our heat went on to win the whole race.

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I left empty-handed. Awardless. The speech I had prepared was never to be uttered.

Katherine and Oliver tried to console me with a post-race beer, but it was useless.

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Through my tears, I would like to say well done to the organisers and my fellow rafters, and congratulations to the winners. And thanks again to Gertie’s for sponsoring me and to the anonymous donor on the Just Giving site! I hope lots of money was raised today for Recovery Enterprises.

I’ll be back.

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Daft Craft Raft Race: The Craft Craft

Presenting: THE CRAFT CRAFT.

This is my daft craft for Sunday’s Daft Craft Raft Race in aid of Recovery Enterprises. It is LIGHT AS A FEATHER, STIFF AS A BOARD, sailed by Captain Neve Campbell and her crew of teenage witch friends from 1996 hit ‘The Craft‘:

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As you can see, I have incorporated many spells into the Craft Craft. Each witch has their own spell, calling upon the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North/South/East/West. There are spells to both starboard and port, whilst the magical videotape has been removed from its casing and inserted within the hull.

As the next image shows, the casing has been repurposed to invoke the supreme deity, Manon:

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I have tested it in the bath. It floats.

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The Daft Craft Raft Race: preparation

Avast! I’ve decided to enter the The Daft Craft Raft Race this Sunday, which from the looks of it involves a chaotic mess of people shouting at things they have chucked into the Porter Brook. Naturally, I wanted in.

Construction began today. It started well; I was full of beans… you could say cocky.

Definitely cocky. I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t have any of the stuff I need. Everything falls apart. I have made a mess. I have now also made a shopping list of all the things I didn’t realise I would need and given up for today. Here is a glimpse of a part I did manage to make:

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However awful my daft craft turns out (it’s going to be shit), it’s all for a good cause; as well as giving me a licence to shout a lot in the park this Sunday, it’s for a great charity – Recovery Enterprises, which supports people with mental health issues to develop enterprising and creative ideas and initiatives.

My official sponsor is Gerties Cafe, Walkley’s finest purveyor of breakfasts and exotic teas.

If you’d like to sponsor me, please do so here and add a comment to say that you’re supporting ME! Thankee!

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Indietracks compilation

Get your summery indiepop fix with the Indietracks Festival compilation – 55 tracks for £2! Including Straw and Hay from me (from I’m Across, I’m Ashore). All proceeds to Midland Railway Trust.

Listen/buy here

And you can get your Indietracks tickets here. We play on the Saturday night in the Church.

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Connie Converse: Event Announcement!

I’m so so happy to finally be able to announce this!

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If you’ve seen me in the last couple of years, you’ll know that I often drop in a Connie Converse cover, such as Roving Woman or Talkin’ Like You. The first time I heard one of her songs (on Gideon Coe’s show), it was one of those stopeverythingstopmovingjustlisten moments. I immediately went in search of more, and discovered Connie’s story, leading to her disappearance in 1974. I also found her recently rediscovered and released recordings from the 1950s.

I became a little obsessed with Connie at first, I suppose, but I hadn’t felt like this about another musician for a long time, well in fact, ever – listening to these long-lost songs, I really felt like I knew her, and that she knew me. I could sense her personality and her pain, despite the technical precision of her performances, despite the distractingly beautiful imagery or the clever (and often-missed/misunderstood) wit in the lyrics. I know that had we met, we would have completely understood each other. Connie feels like an absent friend to me.

I played ‘Roving Woman’ for the first time at a small festival in Northumberland and afterwards, a friend said “you should play more of her songs, you should bring them to life”, thus planting the seed for this event…

Lots of thinking and plotting and planning later, and thanks to Sensoria Festival and the Arts Council, I can now present Roving Women, at Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield on Wed 1st October, as part of the Sensoria Festival of music, film and digital! Here’s what to expect:

The Film
In my early searches for anything Connie-related, I came across a student (soon to be graduate) filmmaker in New York, Andrea Kannes, who had also had a really strong reaction to Connie’s music and decided to make her first documentary about Connie. Andrea visited Connie’s family and was given access to a filing cabinet packed with Connie’s stuff – recordings, letters, drawings – and the resulting film ‘We Lived Alone’ will be shown on the night too.

Andrea and I have been emailing each other for a while now, and brilliantly, she will be flying over from New York to present the film at the event. Then we’ll be chatting to each other on stage about it all, before we get to the musical performance. I’m really looking forward to meeting Andrea properly and showing her the delights of Sheffield! Here she is with Phil and Jean Converse, Connie’s brother and sister-in-law:
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The Music
Connie’s recordings are generally just voice and guitar (though she did experiment with multi-track recordings in the 50s too, because she was amazing) but I’m trying to imagine how the songs may have been recorded/performed later had Connie had success as a songwriter, whilst of course performing them in my own style. I’ve chosen, with some difficulty, my favourite songs of Connie’s – the ones which speak to me the most – and I’m arranging them for my usual players i.e. Katherine, Hannah and Oliver, along with Chris and Neil from the Figureheads.

Joining us will be various members of the magnificent Stannington Brass Band. Playing with a brass band is bloody brilliant but more than just being great fun and sounding wonderful, I feel like the brass represents the weight of my feelings about the songs, so this part of the instrumentation is really important to the event.

I’ve also written two original songs about/inspired by Connie that we’ll be playing on the night too.

Tickets
Tickets are ONLY FOUR QUID! I know! Get em here.

We all hope you will join us on the 1st October. Also remember to keep an eye on the rest of the festival programme as it’s announced- Sensoria are renowned for putting on some really special events in some great little locations.

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