2019 – a sum of parts

2019 has been a truly great year for me. I have been busier with music than I can ever remember and I am feeling more energised for it (although my ears are feeling a bit punished!).

As I alluded to in my summer blog entry, I am now in three full time bands (although from the way people ask me I’m sure they think it’s more!). I am having loads of fun with all of them and although I have been a part of some of them longer than others, I consider each of them with equal priority. There are no side-projects here, just projects.

Dawn of Elysium has been undergoing a much needed metamorphosis over the last year, resulting in us expanding our numbers from three to four and eventually to five. The band is sounding and feeling a lot more together than it has for a long time and we are all enjoying it immensely. I have written about this extensively in the latest Dawn of Elysium blog entry.

Crash Scene Flowers reached the end of its second year of existence in November, although the current line-up had only been together for a year in August. Creatively, it’s still a very young entity and as such, things are still taking some time to develop. This has been compounded at times by limited rehearsal time for various reasons. That being said, we have a number of original songs and have played live three times in 2019. We’ve got our first proper recording sessions booked for February 2020 and are rehearsing for that as and when time permits. I have some great ideas for the production and I’m really excited to get my teeth into it. It will be great to have something tangible on which to build the band. We are hoping to get out and play a bit more next year once the EP is finished.

In June, I was invited to join long-standing Bradford punk band Threshold Shift. The band has been in existence since 1988 in various guises and they last called it a day around 2012. We have all been friends for years and when they started talking about starting the band back up, I was part of the conversation. I replaced long standing veteran and local legend Phil Hey. He was obviously given first refusal to be a part of it as is only proper but given the success of his band Psychlona, he did not have the time to commit and so the invitation was duly extended my way. I honestly didn’t think I would be able to handle three bands, two can be more than enough at times but it has actually had the opposite effect and made me feel more invigorated. We have had so much fun playing together. At the moment, it is a case of working through their extensive back catalogue of material. We played ten songs in Scarborough in August and sixteen songs at a big hometown comeback gig at Bradford’s Underground in December. Further gigs are already being confirmed for next year and we have all decided it is something we want to continue with, not just playing the archive but writing and recording new material. I have made the existing material my own to a point as I was encouraged to do my own thing. It seems to have been well received so far and has been so much more fulfilling than learning songs as covers verbatim.

I am extremely lucky to be working with so many talented musicians. We have an awesome little family of bands and we are all really good mates.

Studio work has taken a bit of a back seat, given that I have been rehearsing up to three times a week and have played a number of gigs with all three bands but that will hopefully change as I work on the new Dawn of Elysium output and then the Crash Scene Flowers EP in the coming months.

Bradford By The Sea was a lot of fun back in August. I have recently been told that we might be able to make it happen again next year but more on that later.

Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and all the best for 2020!

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