2014 – A work in progress year

2014 has been on the whole an odd year. Eventful, yet uneventful in some ways. I have been referring to it as a work-in-progress year.

I endeavoured to embark upon 2014 in a more productive, positive and focused manner and in the main that was the case.

I started the new year in a positive light, with a brand new full-time job to get myself involved with. The company was great with some really lovely people. However, as time went by, I increasingly felt that it wasn’t quite for me and set about looking for something new around August time. I found what I thought would be a great position and duly handed my notice in in the September. It had been around 20 years since I had actually left an employer and it was a scary and exciting prospect.

After a couple of months involving a rather stressful false start and a brief and very intense period of seeking new employment again, I landed a new role which I started at the beginning of December. I am looking forward to taking the job forward into 2015 and hopefully far beyond. The team are fantastic and I feel like I am settling in pretty quickly. That short but crazy time in between really brought home to me just how many people believe in me and I felt very humbled and much more confident in myself. I have evidently come a hell of a long way since the spring of 2013.

I also started the year involved with venue activities at Vampire. It seems like an age ago now. The club was great and had created a buzz but behind the scenes, the cracks were showing and the business did not last beyond February. Throughout March, April and May, I was involved with a place called Tavern In The Town to varying degrees but by that time, I had lost motivation and if I’m honest was getting a bit disillusioned by the whole thing. I had started my new job in January and whilst that was going well, I found I was struggling to do everything that I had set out to do and in particular, I felt my music was suffering because of it. I left the whole thing behind sometime around Spring Bank and the owner decided to make some fundamental changes to the venue anyway, rendering it somewhat different from what we believed to be the original brief.

The whole spring/early summer period of 2014 was an emotionally murky time for a few reasons and it was apparent that some re-evaluation was necessary. In contrast to the tragedy and intensity of 2013, it was more a period of coming to terms with and putting to bed many things.

The bands have carried on regardless throughout the year.

Dawn of Elysium played a decent chunk of gigs. Less so than 2013 but what we did play was (in the main) good. There was some progress with new material but not much and no recorded output. I am really wanting to improve on both in 2015.

Suicide By Cop grinded on painfully, managing just 3 gigs in 2014. We were getting nowhere, really slowly and we had lost focus. We took the decision to finish the project at the end of the year and start afresh in 2015 with a new name, retaining only the newest material. The band as it was had run its course some time ago and it was only after our friends band made a similar decision to start afresh that we came to terms with this for ourselves. Since making that decision and playing the old songs for the final time, I am genuinely excited about letting go of the old baggage and progressing things as we should. The last gig was on 5th December, almost 6 years after the band started. To coincide with this, we have released a 15-track album of all of the material which was recorded throughout the lifetime of the project. Entitled “Zeitgeist”, it comprises the three EPs and some previously unreleased songs.

Despite the lack of newly recorded output, I released a remastered version of the Dark Embrace Tears of Pain EP from 1995 as well as completing the Dawnraiser album Blow By Blow from 1996.

In August, I had the opportunity of buying a car from an elderly relative who was giving up driving. I had been toying with the idea of getting a vehicle anyway so quite quickly I got myself on the road. I had not driven since I had passed my test in 1998 and I surprised myself at just how quickly it came back to me. Apart from the odd prang, I have been generally doing well with my driving and it has improved day to day life in a lot of ways.

All in all a good work-in-progress year. I have sorted out the foundation pieces of my life and found a good job, got myself driving etc. and things have improved significantly. Music has unintentionally been left on a back burner which is something I want to rectify in the new year.

Here’s to 2015 and all the adventures it brings.

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