DIAL M FOR MADNESS
A few days ago on a wet and dreary Thursday morning, Raven made a journey we had never made before, physically, or for that matter, spiritually. Kirsty, childhood friend and fellow Raven, knocked on my front door at 8.30 am and together we loaded up Polly Peugeot before setting off into the grey drizzle to Butlins, Minehead, where we were due to perform with Madness at their annual Weekender. I’d...
Apologies for the sabbatical length gap between my last post and this one. I know there are a few people who read my blog on a regular basis (well I know 4. You are each equally appreciated, especially you, Mum) who have been wondering when this post was scheduled. I’ve been on tour with a bigwig, such a bigwig that saying his name elicits sarcastic “ooh, look at you!” jibes from fellow...
Madness at the Olympics
MADNESS AT THE OLYMPICS This blog entry is shockingly tardy and briefer than usual (thank GOD, I know you’re all thinking. I recently had a short chat with a trumpeter friend of mine at a recording session who said “Your blog looks good.” “Oh really?” I said, flattered, “Which one did you like?” “Oh I haven’t READ it, it’s longer than bloody War and Peace! I have a job.”) The best thing about...
Mayhem in Mexico
Mayhem in Mexico ¿CUÁNDO? Last week. For three days, just enough time to fall in love with the place, not enough time to get acclimatised to the time zone. As a result the jetlag on the way back was a BITCH. All four of us have been swinging violently between narcolepsy and insomnia ever since we returned five days ago. ¿POR QUÉ? Raven were invited to perform at the festival marking the 25th...
Oh dear readers: today is a bad day. Not bad by a normal person’s standards….indeed, I have a roof over my head, my two week old marriage is thus far intact, I’m in possession of all my limbs, and my family are alive and well. I strongly suggest that if any of the above nightmare scenarios are in fact happening to you at this moment in time, that you stop reading now, because what I am about...
Jadventures in Iwate (part 2)
TOP 5 JANECDOTES PART 2 For any late comers, I’m in the latter half of a two parter about my recent tour of the Tohoku region with a much downsized London Metropolitan Orchestra. To learn about the reasons for it and the players that went, feel free to catch up by reading THIS. 4. Catatonic in Kitakami It was about day 5. I won’t sugar coat it. As the days went on, serious fatigue set in. I am...
Ode to Joilets (Part One)
I am meant to write Strungout once a week. It’s been about a month since I last wrote, which according to the “how to be the best/most read blogger” blogs I have been reading, is a cardinal blogging sin. I have a good excuse though, sort of. I went on a very intense tour of Japan, and then got back and worked like a dog. The last few weeks have also been occupied by my impending...
All at C
This week, I checked how many “reads” StrungOut has had, and where from. Loads of you have read things I’ve written (way more than I thought. Like, thousands of you)….some of you have commented, some of you are in Australia. By my standards, it’s going ok. So I will plough on. I said a few posts ago that I am soon to marry a handsome man. This is true. We are to wed, in 5 short weeks or so,...
Dental Illness Now I’m out as an ex-inebriate, I can tell you all SORTS of stuff. Like about my trials with the dentist. (Bear with me, my dentist is an extraordinary character.) My mum is going to get upset reading this, as she was militant about looking after our teeth when we were children. She took us the dentist religiously and always made sure we had squeaky clean pearly whites. It wasn’t...
Panic Stations I’m about to out myself: as a sufferer of performance anxiety. Any regular readers will know that I was born a worry-wart and a self confessed neurotic. I’m also a shameless show off, so I was addicted to performing from when I was a little person. Marrying these two aspects of myself has caused me considerable angst in the past. I spent years trying to hide my chronic anxiety with...
So some regular readers of StrungOut and faithful twitter followers will have noticed that my last two posts are no longer available for public consumption. There is a reason for this, but boringly, I’m not at liberty to tell you what that is right now. Bear with me, I’ll try and be interesting about other things. I’ve been bowled over by the sheer number of people that read them and commented on...
Practice makes Perspiration
Next week, me and Mr A Cello will be performing some solo cello music at 93 Feet East in Shoreditch (trendsville.) (If you would like to attend, buy tickets HERE.) Whenever I have to perform solo, I start practising like it’s going out of fashion, out of fear, mainly. Practise is not only my insurance policy against fucking things up in front of loads of people, it keeps my technique semi decent...
Strungout String Quartet
Introducing the Ravens (sometimes our less polite male colleagues predictably call us “The Shavens”. They have zero imagination.) 5 answers to FAQ’s about Raven (www.ravenquartet.co.uk) [[MORE]] 1. We’re called Raven for no special reason except that we HAD to come up with a name on a deadline. We could have debated it ad infinitum, but Time Out needed our biog to...
“How d’you get that under your chin?” The only drawback about being a cellist, is carrying a cello… [[MORE]] It is quite heavy, and cases with wheels, unless they are weighty unwieldy ones designed for flights, aren’t great for the cello, which is old and expensive. Mine is 200 years old. You only have to fart in its general direction for one of the seams to come unglued and start...
My Year Trying Not to be a Cellist Ok so at least nine people have read StrungOut over the last few days, and I have thus far received no “you’re shit, go home” type comments, which is nice. Thanks to my facebook friends that have said encouraging things, I am going to keep writing. So one of the reasons I started StrungOut, was so I could tell people about the reality of what it’s like being a...
Sinister String Samples
“Good artists copy, great artists steal” - Pablo Picasso Early on Saturday morning Edith Bowman played the new single by Plan B, Ill Manors, on her Radio 1 show. I’m a bit of a fan of Plan B….I’m not fanatic about his songs necessarily, but I follow him on twitter, and he may be the hardest working man in music. I’ve seen interviews with him and his lack of media training is a...
New Kid on the Blog
Strung Out is about my life as freelance cellist in London. I’m not sure how it will turn out, as I’m a blogging novice. A blovice, if you will. In fact I’m an habitual luddite. Saying the word “blog” makes me feel like a character in Nathan Barley. Just so you know a bit about me, I’m a girl, I’m 28. I grew up and studied in Manchester, I’ve lived here in South London for 5 years. I’ve been...