Sunday, 30 December 2012

Goodbye old year, Hello new

Firstly – a thousand apologies to those of you who started to follow this blog when we first appeared online in the Spring and have since been disappointed with our lack of activity on it recently. To be quite honest, we did a few blogs early on and then went away for a little tour and then once we’d missed a few weeks on the blog we just sort of, didn’t do another post for a while. There we go. Nice and honest.

So a big well done if you have stayed with us this far, thank you and we promise to be more timely and regular with these things from now on.

Which leads me (Holly) nicely on to the topic of this particular post. With the closing of one year and the opening of another, combined with the lovely time off that some are fortunate enough to have (we are amongst the lucky ones), I’m always drawn into the trap of thinking what I will do differently next year, what I want to change, things I would like to do more often etc. This sits fairly strangely with me, as one part of my mind says that real change should come from within at any time and shouldn’t need a different year number to prompt it. But it just so happens that I have some idle time right now and therefore I have had some time to think about it. Here’s my list.
           Listen to even more music
I had a bit of a panic early in 2012. Years ago, I wore out my iPod because I walked around a lot listening to it almost constantly. I now cycle far more and, since I don’t listen to music when I’m cycling, I often found that a day went by and I hadn’t made time to listen to just one song that I’d either never heard or truly loved. On realising this, I hastily got hold of a new little pod and invested in some new music and have felt completely enriched by the whole experience. Recorded works are often completely different to the artists’ live show as there’s more space to play with imagination and work beyond the realms of what is achievable live. Only by actively listening to recordings can you fully appreciate the artistry which has gone into developing them. The music truly can and will speak to you through those headphones. I want to do even more of this. I want to listen to music whenever and wherever and however I possibly can.
     Go to more gigs
Live music plays a big part in my life. However, the times I spend listening to live music are often a result of us also performing at the same event. This can lead to listening to similar types of stuff which, although wonderful, might get a little restricting. I want to experience a much wider variety of live performance. I want to challenge my own assumptions about what I like and what I don’t. I want to travel somewhere to take a chance on a show I’ve never seen before and I want to immerse myself in it. I want to be surprised. I believe I have a fairly open mind when it comes to most things but I want to actively expand my horizons in this way in 2013.

      Make more things
This encompasses quite a lot of things, not least of all songwriting. Over the last few years, I have been learning so much about being ‘free’. I once thought that this solely meant not working and writing music all day. I now know that it doesn’t work like that. My current definition of ‘free’ (which relates closely to my definition of ‘successful’) means enjoying every single thing that you do. And when I constantly put pressure on myself to write better and better songs when it’s not coming naturally, I start to not enjoy the process of songwriting. But what I have realised so far is that by occupying my brain and hands with other creative things that I enjoy, the songs will formulate themselves and all I’ve got to do is pick up my guitar and play them out. So I resolve to SEW, COOK, KNIT, RUN, DANCE, READ, LEARN A NEW GUITAR PIECE and do anything else that I fancy and not feel guilty about doing something else other than songwriting, because they are essential activities in the formulation of a healthy mind and hence good songs. (It also helps that many of these things can be done whilst listening to music, which can only provide a catalyst for those good ideas to come). And when I have made said things, I am going to share them with the world – which leads on to the next resolution.

     Get better at keeping in touch
I have always been useless at this. But in the age of the Internet, there really is no excuse. I am going to remind people that I exist at least once a day in the form of a little story, quote, pondering, link, gig plug or new video. Without you lovely people supporting what we do, we won’t be able to do it any more so the least I can do is say hello.

      Love everyone and everything
This goes without saying. There have been a few acts of fate happen this year which have made me lose a bit of hope that it really will all turn out alright in the end. But you simply cannot go through life being miserable, can you? So I am going renew my enthusiasm for laughing in the face of adversity when it hits me and finding the positive where there seems to be none. Nobody else can do this for me and it should be an enjoyable process for me to do anyway.

So there we go. Five (admittedly broad) things that I vow to do more of in 2013. Previous resolutions of ours have included 2010’s ‘Never Shop In Tesco Again’ and 2012’s ‘Go Vegetarian’. We have kept both of those faithfully and life has been immeasurably the better for it, so here goes. Come on 2013. Show me what you’ve got.

HT x

PS Here's a lovely video we did last week to say thanks for your support in 2012. Turn up the volume, it's quiet xx