After being very quiet on the music front for a few months, I've finally ungagged myself with the first single I've released for a year. Or rather, I was ungagged by an article I read in The Times by Caitlin Moran on the 21st March 'Where is London if Soho is gone?'.
Since the 1st December 2014, along with Guy Hamilton and Colin Vaines, I have been running Save Soho with the ambassadorial help of Stephen Fry and Benedict Cumberbatch. I had no idea what impact this would have on my day to to day life. I guess this is what happens when you form a committee with such highly revered members of the showbiz world. And thank goodness Stephen and Ben embraced the challenge. The support for the campaign has blown me away and whilst I have had no time to do anything else, it has been inspiring to discover how many people from all over the world feel exactly as I do about the changes happening in our little village, and indeed London in general.
Film makers, jounalists, companies, media shakers and movers have all been appearing in mine and Save Soho's inbox by the thousands every week. For an indie singer living in a ramshackle bedsit in the middle of Soho, it's been something of a surprise. But a delightful one.
In the maelstrom of everyone else's wider concerns about Soho, I'd forgotten why I started Save Soho to begin with. Naturally, my concerns were about music. Where were all of us misfits who made underground music going to go when all our places kept being shut down?
And then Caitlin's article came out and it struck a chord. And then I got my guitar and struck a few more. I realised that because of the day to day work I do on Save Soho, I hadn't actually made any music for months. But out it came.
Like a storm that had been brewing in the back of my mind for months.
Sometimes we write songs because we WANT to write a song. Sometimes the song grabs us by the scruff of our neck and forces itself to be written.
Photo by Iain G Reid @beanotownphotography
Saturday 21st March - I read 'Where is London if Soho is gone?'
Sunday 22nd March - I wrote Hearts 4 Meat.
Monday 23rd March - We formed a new band called The 100 Futures and recorded our first single in a home studio in North London.
Tuesday 24th March - Overdubbed a few backing vocals and my broken tambourine at home in Soho.
Thursday 26th March - Designed a logo for the band along with the artwork for the single.
Friday 27th March - Nick sends the mastered mix of the song.
Saturday 28th March - I chuck the lot over to iTunes.
Tuesday 31st March - Single is self released
This is the most instant DIY experience I have ever had in music and the whole thing was done on zero budget, but a fortune in love and good will. I've never felt so lucky.
The good news about Save Soho is that I'm now working on a project called The Reservation with Alan McGee as an effort to bring music back into Soho. Putting our music where are mouth is so to speak. But there are many ways that one can try to protect an endangered culture.
It's predominantly artists who fear for London and what is happening to their place in it. I would urge all of us to express that fear, that passion. It is the only voice we have that can't be taken away. Paint, design, write, make music, make films. CREATE. Because if we saturate London with creativity, someone, somewhere will finally realise we have to have special little places for those creations to flourish.
"Pure heart created this beat, so stop selling our hearts for meat"