So I'm sitting on the Eurostar watching an orange sunset over snowy fields somewhere near Dover *digs out iPhone map* actually between Ashford and Hythe to be precise, and feeling a little rough around the edges after last nights' gig in Camden at the Barfly.
Woke up early for an acoustic performance for SBTV and then had to dash for the train with a guitar and steel pan being rather disobedient as I dragged them through Kings Cross. I sat in seat 82 and reflected on what was a small venue, but a really big gig for me. It sold out despite the weather and this was the first sign that we're starting to be heard of in the UK. Okay, us Roudettes could have packed the place on our own, but last night felt like the real start of something. A small gathering of Londoners singing New Age with me - which was a quality moment. And now I've gone and counted chickens, cursed the whole thing and am now destined for the bargain shelf. Typical...
One must be careful when mentioning a UK invasion of Germany but that's exactly what happened last weekend as Florence and the Machine, Katie Melua, Ed Sheeran, and myself (spot the odd one out?!) took to the stage along side local acts for The Voice final. All slightly out of our comfort zones performing duets, I was relieved when Florence whispered that she was as nervous as I was backstage.
It seemed like the contestants' entire lives had lead up to that moment and to have it ruined by a British lapse in concentration or stage stumble would have been dire (viewing figures were around the seven million mark). As we chatted away I had quite a few "oh my god pinch yourself, they're all more talented and interesting than you and have sold way more records and even, oh my god, broken America" moments, but a nicer bunch of artists you could not have hoped to find.
Ed Sheeran has just started his European promotion and we joked about German fans walking straight passed him (the Biggest male UK act of last year!) to ask me for an autograph. He'll be getting mobbed at Heathrow airport tomorrow morning and I'll be on the 52 bus from Victoria! Anyway the performances went down a storm and we did Ol' Blighty proud (and in my case St. Vincent and the Grenadines as well).
The situation in the Middle-East is far too complex for an uneducated musician like myself to usually comment on. However I could not help but feel a sadness in my heart and a sickness in my stomach as I watched images of dying children being carried out of burning buildings in Homs, Syria on the BBC this week.
To be speaking of such suffering and brutality in this supposedly enlightened day and age seems absurd. It's easy to forget how close these conflicts are, being only a short plane ride from Europe, and the fact that Syria's first lady grew up in West London brings the conflict even closer. There seems to be a fine line between a cultured, secular, wordily, political academic and a murderous dictator; lord only knows what pushes a man like Assad across it.