Well, it has been just over a year since my last proper blog entry. I don’t have much new to say and I don’t know if anyone will read much of this but my friend Wayne hinted I should write an update. So, why not?

2012 was a fantastic and chaotic year. As I stated in my previous entry, there were many changes in the latter part of 2011 and it was a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions as I left my old life and started to establish a new one. I resolved that 2012 was to be a year of fun and happiness and in the main part it was. There were gigs, festivals, parties, nights out, random trips and lots of spontaneity – which was exactly what I needed to blow away the cobwebs. New friendships were forged and sadly some old friendships faded. Lessons were learned about people, places and situations and overall, a sense of perspective was gained.

As the year went on, the apartment I moved into in September 2011 turned into “home” and my girlfriend and I began the process of settling down together properly. It has been a period of adjustment for both of us as we have tried to strike the balance between planning for the future and living for the moment. We are getting there now I think.

Musically, it was very much two sides of a coin.

On one hand, the new project (originally The Wraith) which began last January evolved nicely after a slightly shaky start and ended up becoming Dawn of Elysium. It took a little while but we developed it into something which we are all very happy with, managing to do our first couple of gigs and record our debut EP before the year was out. The future looks exciting for Dawn of Elysium and I am looking forward to getting back into the rehearsal room now that the New Year period has elapsed. I blogged about this on the Dawn of Elysium site.

On the other hand, it wasn’t the best of years for Suicide By Cop, saved in the main by playing at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy in Morecambe last June. Gigs and even rehearsals were thin on the ground for most of the year due to external commitments and problems. This ended up with our drummer, co-founder and my best friend Steve Ward deciding to leave the fold. I wrote about this on the Suicide By Cop site if you want to read about it. We are all saddened by this, including Steve and we are set to finish this phase of the band properly with some more recordings and a farewell gig due to happen in March. The rest of us have resolved to soldier on and find a replacement. Despite my current despondency towards the situation, I personally think that the project has a lot left to offer and I believe we still have our best years ahead of us. We have been going for 4 years and in the grand scheme of things, we haven’t really done very much gig-wise. We have some great material which I am very proud of and have committed a decent portion of it to disc but there is still more to do to realise the potential of the band.

The studio based project (The Last Cut) has not happened yet to any real degree. There has been a small start and a few emails / conversations but no real work has started as yet. It remains to be seen whether we will get round to it in 2013. I would personally like to but it depends on other people’s commitments as well as my own, it just hasn’t worked out very well just yet.

After an enthusiastic start to the year, I gradually all but phased out my promotions activities. The Commercial gig didn’t come off in the end as the management chose not to adopt the live music format. Right Up The Bracket II at Bradford Rio’s was a great day but despite talking about it, I never did any more events for the club before its closure in April. I did a few events for The Black Swan in the first half of the year, including DJ nights and also helped with a punk night at a short lived venue called Utopia but after a while, I admitted to myself that I wasn’t enjoying it and I wanted to concentrate on my bands. That said, I am collaborating in organising an all-dayer this year at The New Beehive. I like being involved in the odd event here and there and am not ruling out more. At the moment, I have had my fill of DJing. I had some great times last year but I think I would like to give it a good rest for a while. I am up for doing the odd night here and there if asked but am not actively seeking it.

I have enjoyed being a punter for a while to be honest. It has been nice to discover/rediscover more places this year. We occasionally have nights out in Halifax and Leeds and it has been a refreshing change. I think we’ll be visiting these places in particular more regularly as and when time and finances allow.

I have resolved to stop smoking this New Year and thus far I have managed 8 days smoke free. I know it is early days and I have been down this road before a few times so I don’t want to turn this into some half arsed smoking diary which may or may not get abandoned. Nonetheless, I have been 8 days with no cigarettes or any replacement therapy and the cravings have subsided to a large degree. After a tricky night in the pub at the weekend, the drinking side of things started settling down as we (unusually) went out on Sunday and Monday night too. I do feel I am ready to end my 18 year relationship with nicotine now. It has been a wholly fruitless experience on reflection and I am sure my lungs and bank balance will thank me for it. I have done the easy part of giving up, now for the much harder part of staying given up. Confidence is high though.

Anyway, as always thanks for reading and I hope 2013 brings you all your hearts desire 😉

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