HELLO THERE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!
After a fantastic Christmas both Frippy and I are ready to launch into 2023 with a ton of energy and enthusiasm for live performance and love of rock music.
WE WANT TO ROCK OUT.
It has been ramped up in this house since Boxing Day.
We even had an offer for one of the UK’s biggest music festivals on Christmas Day!
This morning Robert and I sat down and planned the next three years. It’s an exciting and invigorating plan which includes two totally new albums, which will turn Posh Pop into the first of a trilogy.
We have a New Zealand-based film crew following us from March onwards for 12 months for a full length documentary about the phenomena of Sunday Lunch and our relationship.
They will be in our home and on the road with us. Surprisingly Robert is completely open to this.
And we are heading toward some TV ideas. Again surprisingly Robert is totally open to this.
2022 was stressful for almost everyone I know. A BLOODY BRILLIANT year but stressful all the same.
My sister said it was one of the worst years of her working life, it is well known that everyone on the front line of the NHS have been pushed to their limits.
My brother found the year so stressful he had a stroke in September, he is now well on the way to recovery.
All three of us found one common cause of stress and that was absolutely nothing was correct, either on line, in e-mail or in any paper trail, meaning almost nothing could be finalised and be put to bed. We where addressing a constant stream of avoidable problems.
It seems miscommunication was the biggest cause of trouble.
Creating constant distraction having to dealing with a certain level of incompetence, everything from paperwork mistakes, to bank mistakes, to bad grammatical meaning in e-mail miss leading the truth of a situation.
I am a firebrand when challenged and I stamp on problems before they can cause real chaos, but the chaos kept unfolding all year.
I wonder how many artists in the world walk on stage to perform while trying to sort major avoidable F—Ups.
Optimistically I feel 2023 is going to be bloody amazing. The energy so far is completely different and uplifting.
This New Years Eve we seemed to forget to make Resolutions. Instead we decided to put our needs first, that being time and space to think.
The immediate result was no e-mail and no phone from 5pm on a Friday until 10am on a Monday. This way we can both pick up our guitars and have creative thinking time. We both realise we are now in the new post covid world, life style and business are merging into a new hybrid, a 7 day week culture. We have both surrendered to it, embraced it even and it wont last forever, so we’re making the most of it.
In the last 3yrs we have changed beyond recognition, gone against everything we instinctively lean towards, an easy life and we now except we are working 7 days a week!
Each day we are learning the new set for TOYAH AND ROBERT LIVE. Robert’s loving it, he has always loved other peoples rock music and learning it along side our own music is throwing new light on everything.
On Boxing Day I started to design the lighting for THE SUNDAY LUNCH TOUR in Oct.
Fripp doesn’t like to be lit, in recent years I’ve managed to make him understand that the audience buy tickets to see him as well as hear him, so this year he is going to be seen. I like my lighting to have drama and back reference to styles and emotions of rock nostalgia.
For example I LOVED the lighting trends of 1979 and 1980, the dramatic floor lighting at our feet, up lighting our faces, making us look contorted. Then there were the lasers, rising up over the dry ice, these created pure drama.
On the Sunday Lunch Tour I am looking for this drama and expression.
Side light, Up lights, down lights, white light, long shadows and reflectors….with a touch of Bowie at Earls Court in 1978.
It’s been a surprising reminder, looking back to the first rock shows I ever attended as a teenager.
Marc Bolan at the Birmingham Odeon in 1972 used the most basic lighting, but he was so beautiful to look at, the 2000 girls in the audience just screamed over his every move, as long as we could see him, that’s all we noticed.
David Bowie at Coventry New Theatre in 1972 used light to dramatic effect, Bowie always standing in red light while The Spiders where in blues and greens.
Hawkwind at the Top Rank in 1973 worked almost in the dark apart from oil lamps, it was impossible to make out their faces as they where silhouetted by intense deep colour and contours, the lights strobing for two hours painting the back drop in acid trip psychedelia.
Black Sabbath, again in 1973 played almost in the dark, in what appeared only front floor lighting, Ozzy looking berserk and sinister. These where some of the most exciting shows I have ever seen.
This coming Oct we are looking at using projection, shadow and good clear white light to bring the audience into a space that they will remember as much visually as they will musically.
The October tour is a fond overview of Sunday Lunch and it’s shaping up everyday into what I hope is a great musical party with a lot to laugh about.
I have learnt so much in the last 12 months. The biggest lesson being that every artist needs a rock solid team through thick and thin.