We had loads of entries for our Neighbour of the Year competition! Thank you to everyone who entered (for your kind messages as well as your entries). After much deliberation between the four of us, we have picked the following as the winning answer to the question “What would your neighbour say is the worst thing about living next door to you”
“I’d say my neighbour’s current beef with us revolves around me (badly) playing Iggy Pop’s The Passenger on guitarwhile my 3 year old son shouts PASSENGER, PASSENGER, PASSENGER…”
Congratulations to David Shortall (and Herbie) who wins two copies of the album and four tickets to our show at the Finsbury in London.
Folk & Feast
We had a really really lovely evening last night at the Bhaji Shop for Sheffield Food Collective’s ‘Folk & Feast’ Christmas special. Laura from Sheffield Food Collective says it was a record-breaker for them in terms of the amount of donations raised for Sheffield’s Food Banks too. Thanks so much to all who were there, especially for joining in with our 2000 miles cover. If you can, get to Sheffield Food Collective’s next show – Mike Heron (Incredible String Band!) with Trembling Bells, plus support from our friends Big Eyes Family.
That’s our last gig then until the big Neighbour of the Year tour, starting in January! I shall also take this opportunity to suggest you buy stuff as Christmas presents, shall I? Yes I think I will. Albums! T-shirts! Gig tickets! Happy shopping.
We met some truly wonderful musicians, including the brilliant human being Roy Bailey and guitar genius Martin Simpson, who let me stroke his hands for luck. Here’s a terrible pic from my phone of us with Martin Simpson and Fay Hield. It looks like we’ve been trapped in a cupboard together (but we don’t mind).
The statue goes up in 2016. Presumably the one of me is scheduled for sometime shortly after that.
Here’s a live performance of ‘Shelter’, the closing track on the new album.
It’s pretty much identical to the album version, as that’s how I recorded it in the studio; me and my guitar, one take. It felt like that was the only way to record this song.
It’s a song of gratitude, the gratitude I felt towards my home and my husband when I looked back on this particular year in which I wrote the album; a year that started with a car crash* seconds after I felt an overwhelming conviction that ‘everything was going to be alright’. A year that saw me spend a lot of time sheltering in our house as things went from bad to worse with a series of shitty events, but a year that I’d eventually pull myself through, thanks to the security and comfort I could rely on at home.
*only the car got hurt. We walked away (with just a small cut on my hand), dusted ourselves off, left the written-off car in a ditch by the road and made it to Rory McVicar‘s wedding only a couple of hours late. I had a delayed shock reaction a day or so later, but at the time we were determined to get to that wedding rather than sitting by the road for the rest of the day waiting for the recovery services and feeling upset. Life’s too short for that.
That’s one enormous sky, there I’ll peer out from your arms, here We grow slow as grass; don’t rush And you, with your serious voice, shhhh
My lily-coloured love, don’t say too much But pull my bones apart from their velvet clutch In the middle of your heart I laid my touch In a bid for survival
Since the moment I said everything was alright I have been sheltering in our house As a curse storms about A curse storms about and I open a window I’m dying to get out these days
But there’s so much to be learned from staying in And waiting for my love to cover my skin In the middle of my heart a truth’s growing I am oak
A curse storms about and I open a window I’m dying to get out these days
And you’re the only one who’s seen in my head You pull me off the floor and put me to bed In the middle of the room you held me and said shhhh
Here’s a live version of track two from the new album, filmed earlier this year at the Lyric Festival:
And this morning, that lovely Lauren Laverne went and made the title track of Neighbour of the Year her headphones moment on the BBC 6 Music Morning Show. You can hear it here (at 1:40:36). Thanks, Lauren!