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i-Things

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I've been up to my iBalls (sorry) in new technology this week. I decided to have a geeky update on gadgets at the Apple store and have spent the last few days trying to get the new gizmos plus my existing phones, laptops, TVs, desktops and tablets to all talk to each other. When they all work as intended the vision that Apple have shown in transforming our daily routine is remarkable.

I remember, aged seven, my mother bringing home the first mobile phone I'd ever seen. Her boss had given it to her in case of emergency as she was heavily pregnant with my sister. Roughly the size of a small suitcase and complete with hand set and aerial, for a small boy it was pure sci-fi. When I contrast that with the all singing all dancing phone apps of today I know that we've just witnessed the most intense period of technological advancement ever.

Maintaining it all does seem to take up of a lot time however.

The late great music producer/song writer Johnny Dollar (a mentor of mine and friend of the family) never owned a mobile phone in his life. With the likes of Neneh Cherry, Youssou NDour and REM in his discography and his services in high demand I always envied his uncluttered approach to life. He had an answering machine on his home phone and would call you back when he was good and ready. Paradise.

Writing and recording continued this week with several sessions along side my friend and co-writer Guy Chambers. We've been setting up camp in his living room to start the day and then walking to the studio in the sunshine to record whatever we've come up with. I much prefer sitting down with piano and guitar to pen something first rather than looking to technology straight away. There's no right or wrong with this process though and if I really knew what I was doing I would have written another hit a lot sooner!

Guy and I had cause to celebrate at the end of the week as I flew to Stuttgart to receive my first award as a solo artist. The Radio Regenbogen Awards (don't pretend you havnt heard of it) recognise the biggest radio tunes in Germany and it was a real honour to win song of the year. After receiving a puzzled look from airport security, as a flamboyantly shaped glass and metal object went through the x-ray machine, I paused to reflect on the flight home. Even if it's the only award I win I'll be grateful for a whirlwind few months. Actually that's rubbish, I want a Grammy.

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