SPRING IS ALMOST HERE! Which hopefully means all those nasty winter bugs will DIE! This is me trying to put a positive slant on things.
February was just weird.
Absolutely stunning shows: Halifax, Holborn, Bacup, Selby, Stamford, Norwich and Scarborough, all fantastic.
Beautiful teams of people making the shows happen. We, the band, love meeting new crews. They work bloody hard and are all so different.
From one man setting up Selby all on his own to the gorgeous boys at Norwich running the tech effortlessly, to magnificent Penny running Scarborough Market Hall like a true Boudicca warrior queen.
Last month the stage was my sanctuary like no other time and the audience my guardian angels.
Working with Jools Holland on his soon to be broadcast new Radio 2 show was a joy. Never having the chance to spend catch up time with Jools in the past he had done his research, he knew where I lived right down to the colour of my front door, he had holidayed on a boat many times, going past the bottom of my garden everyday for two weeks and has recently become acquainted with my friends and neighbours here in the flooded heartlands of Worcestershire.
I am enticing him to come and stay.
I don’t get out much, apart from the many concerts but I also met up with Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and his wife Netty and again have encouraged them to come up north of the south and hang out.
And the gorgeous actress, writer Taj Atwal is encouraging me to use WhatsApp more, linking me to actors we have both worked with. Taj is a lovely human being who may be somewhat bemused at my rather hermit like existence.
Andy Doble, master of the keyboard is madly into Ancestry.com and has discovered he is my seventh cousin……..yep! all his ancestors are Willcox’s.
DEMON MUSIC released TOYAH SOLO, THE BOX SET and I seem to be doing well for them. 5 vinyl releases come out on Friday 13 March which is joyous. And you never know what else….
There has been a very positive meeting with Cherry Red Records, who now own my first 7 albums. Cherry Red want these albums out in the wider world and fully exploited which will be the first time over quite a few decades.
There’s a very strong rumour the film TO BE SOMEONE will be out at the end of April and apparently it’s really good.
But February was more than “tinged with sadness”.
Dear Wonderful Colin Hinds flew away on the 18th Feb after a very long illness.
Colin had exceptional talent. His guitar playing, his voice were like no other. He was a fantastic songwriter and a brilliant show man.
Not once did I witness Colin be negative or say anything bad about another person, he was a quiet soul who came into his own with a guitar and microphone, then his musical language flew beyond any form of expression I knew, a true creative.
Audiences where enthralled by him, he added nectar to my strident power.
I truly believe he taught me how to find my voice in the past 6 years. The acoustic shows have taught me so much, but Colin’s natural instinctive ability was like a light illuminating the way. He was a natural who would ascend out of his quiet stillness and rocked us out. GOD BLESS YOU COLIN.
Before the news of Colin passing I was already trying to deal with the news of Caroline Flack taking her own life.
Shouting at the TV became a norm after this.
Cruelty took Caroline’s life.
I can’t say I “knew” her. I spent a week working with her in 2010 on COMIC RELIEF DANCE OFF.
Back then Caroline was clearly ascending to the heights she reached at the end of life. She was a fabulous dancer, beautiful women, incredibly clever and wonderfully honest. She didn’t agree with the judges comments on this show and was vocal about it. No way did this shining light deserve the last months of her life to be so brutal that her only option was to take her own life.
If hate is so easily delivered to anyone via anonymous apps I believe agents and producers need to create a barrier, hire social media PAs, put a person in between the talent and the haters, so a valuable potentially life saving perspective can be built.
It seems the shorter the message the more harm it does because of ambiguity of meaning.
I believe above all 99.99999999999999999% of people want friendship, support, life affirming experiences and love.
My work takes me into real flesh and blood communities. I meet my audience in intimate settings, art centres, rock clubs, village halls. These people are not haters, they are fantastic real people, we interact in a socially acceptable way.
To all vulnerable, lonely, heart broken people, young and old who seek solace in social media I say firstly seek the brilliance of yourself.
Not in yourself…….OF YOURSELF.
WE ARE ALL MIRACULOUS, THE FACT WE ARE FLOATING ON A BALL OF ROCK IN A VAST UNMAPPABLE UNIVERSE SHOWS OUR OWN PRESENCE IS A MIRACLE
Noone on the end of a keyboard can tell you anything other wise that is anywhere near the truth of what and who you are. You are miraculous. Live the miracle, trust yourself, no one else knows your truth.
Rage and unjust behaviour will sadly always be around. But perspective is vital.
Talking of “weird February”, a visit to a Well Women Clinic revealed I have gained 2 kilos since becoming a full vegetarian! Yikes……that’s coming off immediately!
Potatoes have been banished from the house.
The TOYAH AND HAZEL ELECTRIC LADIES cannot come quickly enough. I am now desperate to get on the road. I must not wish my life away but I can’t BLOODY WAIT!
Lastly for some reason I keep dreaming about Martin Kemp and his son Roman. It is the same dream every time. We are in a large American car driving down Oxford Street in London, happy and laughing, when we drive past Bond Street tube we all look at the building where the Kabbalah Centre is. That’s it, that’s the dream…. I feel as if I know them both.
It goes without saying BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD…… but also…… BE SAFE, TAKE CARE AND SEE YOU OUT THERE.