The end of a year is always a good time for reflection and thinking about aims for the future. Back in the day I used to always do an ‘end of year round up’ summarising what I had acheived during the year and now I am back up and running again I wanted to do the same for 2019.
Behind the scenes I was readying the return of ATP at the end of 2018 and the first part of the rebith plan was the release of ‘Begging Your Pardon (an introductory collection)’ which was released in March.
The main reason I wanted to release ‘Begging’ was to draw a line under the old ATP music that I had released before and it gave me a chance to revist and remaster some of the old songs to form a cohesive collection.
At the time I did some press / promo for the album but it didn’t really gain much traction, still, it was a start.
Next up for me was getting a new ATP:LIVE set ready so that I could play gigs again. I needed to work out which of the older tunes I wanted to keep in the set and also bring in some of the newer songs that I was working on.
In the 5 years that I wasn’t doing ATP I feel I learnt a lot about what it means to put on a show and this time round I wanted to whole show to be more upbeat and include ‘pigeon trivia’ between the songs.
I also wanted to find a way of being able to do ‘electro busking sets’. In 2018 I spent a lot of time going to festivals with my friends in ‘The Voodoo Tweed Cult of Your Mum’ – I really admired their ability to rock up and play anywhere. As an electo artist this is now so easy but I really wanted to find a way to do this.
So in June I did a few practice runs and got to a stage where the ‘ATP eco-electro’ shows were also ready. I was using a USB powerbank and MiniRig speakers and USB lights.
So by June – I had a new live show and the ‘eco-electro’ shows ready to go but no gigs booked. But I also had tickets for Glastonbury 2019 so spent the weeks before the festival contacting every stage, every person I knew to see if there were any slots left at all. The weekend before the festival I managed to secure a late night slot at ‘The Open Arms’ which is one of the bars opposite the GreenPeace Area. I also managed to get another small slot on the Green Fields Info Stage.
As far as comeback shows go – that week at Glastonbury was amazing. I got to play some excellent shows and the ‘eco-electro’ shows went down incredibly well.
I continued to play more of the ‘eco-electro’ shows during the summer at all the other festivals I went to. My plan for 2020 is to find ways to improve the set up and create more of an experience for the people watching. I need to get more speakers and lights too.
Then came the summer and in July I had the pleasure of supporting Moon Hooch at their Brighton and London shows.
Both of these were fun shows to do. The London one in particular stands out as one of my favourite shows that I have played. Omeara is such a beautiful little venue and the crowd were amazing.
The focus for me then was to finish off ATPLP3 and get all the promo for the new album ready. This is something that takes me ages to do. I have said a few times that I do everything on my own and that really is true. I don’t have a manager, press company or record label – I love making music and performing but the admin side of it seems to take up 50% of my time.
In the Autumn I did a couple more live shows; playing at LagoonFest in Hove and played a ‘Spirit of Gravity’ show in Brighton. Again, both of these were excellent shows and the ATP pigeon masks went down well.
Then came November and the release of ‘Those Stolen Moments’ – my third album as Amongst The Pigeons.
The response to the album has been excellent, I got some nice reviews and feel I reached a lot of new listeners.
For me personally, I am really proud of the album. It was fun to make and i feel I have been able to really refine the sound of Amongst The Pigeons. One of the reasons I stopped making music before was that I felt I had taken ATP as far as I could – maybe at the time that was true – but now I feel refreshed and ready to push myself and continue to explore how far things can go.
I also managed to fit in doing a remix for Tom / Fast Trains – this was the first remix I have done in ages and it turned out well. I’d like to do more remixes in 2020.
I ended the year doing a final show for The Big Sleep Out, again at Hove Lagoon. This show was to support awareness and raise money for Homeless charities.
So – I guess in summary – 2019 has been a very good year. I have described it to a few people as a ‘rebirth’ – this is the start of ATP2.0 and I haev a lot of plans for 2020.
I am already booking shows and festival slots for next year and over the last few months I have been working on new music. I am not 100% sure what form that will take yet – whether I will do a full album or an EP. There are two distinct directions the new music is going in, so my current thought is there might be two releases, both of which have a different feel and sound to them.
I also want to push the live shows and find ways to make them more interactive.
I wanted to end this by saying a MASSIVE thank you to anyone who has come to a show, carried my kit, danced, worn a pigeon mask, listened to my music, talked to me after a show, done a review / interview, given me a shout out, played me on the radio etc etc etc
You are all amazing – thanks x