Tag Archives: Lisa Redford

Ho Ho Holy Crap It’s Almost Christmas…

24 Dec


Goodness, 2013 has flown by and here we are, what feels like just moments after the summer ended, on the cusp of Christmas and then the New Year. As is customary at this time of year, the festive songs are everywhere and for today Alphabet Bands will be no different.

If you’ve been reading Breaking More Waves these past two days, you’ll know that the big man himself has been in residence, effing and blinding and drinking all the whiskey. Due to contractual restrictions, Santa is unable to make an appearance here as well but that doesn’t matter as we managed to have a good rummage in his record box while his back was turned (chatting up one of the lady elves he was) and grabbed a few tunes for your enjoyment.

We’ll be back after Christmas with more of the best new music and probably some sort of look back over the year, talking about our 2013 and the like. For now though, enjoy the songs, both old and new (and especially the Christmas jumpers from the Air Marshall Landing guys) and have a wonderful few days with family and friends.

Us Baby Bear Bones – “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”

Port Isla – “Snowfall”

Mahoney and the Moment – “Call Me Back (I’ll Wait Til Christmas)”

Air Marshall Landing – “A Holly Jolly Christmas”

Maps – “Merry Christmas (My Friend)”

Will Bloomfield – “Tower Breakers (Christmas)”

Strangers – “This Year (Christmas Song)”

George Ezra – “Let It Snow”

Heart of a Dog – “Railroad Man”

Lisa Redford – “I Believe In Father Christmas”

Merry Christmas everyone, see you on the other side when our belly will be bulging and our blood type will be Rum.

Norwich Sound & Vision: Day 2 – Gig Preview

11 Oct

So, after a cracking (and tiring) night out all over the town, we’re ready to do it all again as Norwich Sound and Vision Festival hits day two. Thursday was great, but Friday looks like it could top it. Let’s see what’s on the stocks for this evening in our day 2 gig preview.

NSV13 Friday

Day 2 – Friday
Undoubtedly the biggest attraction for Friday is likely to be the appearance of two brothers at the Arts Centre. Fresh from their recent appearance on Later… Drenge (23:00) headline the Infectious Music stage with support from Superfood (22:10), Radkey (21:20) and Dems (20:30). As if that wasn’t enough, there will also be a DJ set from Alt J (00:00 – 02:00). Unsurprisingly all pre-sale tickets have been sold and there will be limited space for festival wristband holders. Get there early people.

Elsewhere the Hog and Armour will be rocked to its foundations by Islet (21:40) with a possible late show from the indomitable God Damn. For an altogether more relaxed and mellifluous evening of fine tunage, look no further than the Bicycle Shop where Alphabet Bands’ favourite Lisa Redford (who we first met at last year’s festival incidentally) will be headlining (22:00).

Open will be having a late night groove to some soulful R’n’B and Hip Hop sounds for the Tru Thoughts Showcase and The Plugg Presents…. Topping the bill there is the fantastic (and previous Mercury prize nominee), Ty (23:30). Also performing will be Rodney P (22:45) and Harleighblu (22:00) amongst others.

Tilting Sky are taking over The Birdcage for the evening and will feature Alto45 (22:00), Damien Flynn (20:45) and Meadowlark (21:30) amongst their number. Meanwhile a special one-off showcase at The Assembly Rooms will include the beautiful sounds of Wooden Arms (19:30) and a full band performance from Halls (21:30), and over at Olives, the Monotrome records showcase hosts Niagara, M+A and the very good indeed Midas Fall (times tbc).

Down at The Waterfront, the main room has Nina Nesbitt (time tbc) to look forward to, and the studio will be home to San Cisco (21:00), F.U.R.S (20:00) and Bloody Knees (19:15).

Finally (for this preview, there is still more going on elsewhere), Raevennan Husbandes and Ollie Rudge will be playing acoustic sets at Cinema City.

Where we’ll be:
As tempting as it is to just plonk down at the Arts Centre for the duration we’re gonna take a risk and head out across the city once again. While logistics will be a nightmare, we will try and make it to some if not all of Wooden Arms and Halls at The Assembly Rooms, Alto45 at The Birdcage, Superfood and Drenge at The Arts Centre and Ty at Open. How successful/feasible that plan is remains to be seen.

Tracks of the Day

For more information on the festival as a whole and a full list of performers and a programme of gigs, visit the Norwich Sound and Vision website.

Tracks Of My Teens: #12 – Lisa Redford

17 Sep

Tracks Of My Teens

More fun for you this week in our occasional series, Tracks of my Teens, as Alphabet Bands (and Whispering Bob Harris) favourite Lisa Redford delves deep into memory bank to share three tracks she loved and was inspired by in her teenage years. Enjoy.

Lisa Redford TomT

Morrissey – “Suedehead”

The Smiths and Morrissey have been a soundtrack to my life ever since I heard The Smiths’ eponymous debut and Hatful of Hollow. There are so many songs to choose from that have resonated with me but “Suedehead” has always been a favourite and reminds me of my first trip alone to the US to visit friends who were living in San Francisco. They’re also huge Morrissey fans and I have fond memories of travelling along the freeways in the California sunshine singing along to that equally summery guitar riff. I also have a soft spot for some of his B-sides and “I Know Very Well How I Got My Name” is a gem which appears on the 7″ vinyl and 4 track CD. I liked that one so much I ended up recording an acoustic version.

I love Morrissey’s unique lyrics and humour and those early solo singles like “Everyday is Like Sunday” and “The Last of The Famous International Playboys” with Stephen Street are excellent. I also really like the poignant video for “Suedehead” where he is in the US on a pilgrimage for one of his heroes James Dean.

It was during the release of my favourite of his solo albums, Vauxhall & I that I first saw him live at Brixton Academy. I’ll never forget the intensity and energy of a live gig and in the heightened excitement I even endured being trampled on by a crowd of ardent fans much bigger than me eager to attain a small piece of his shirt that he’d thrown into the adoring audience desperate to have something of his to treasure.

Kate Bush – “This Woman’s Work”

I’ve had to include a Kate Bush track as listening to her music was also very much part of my formative years. Her music is so unique and has this really magical quality. It was unlike anything I’d ever heard before. As a young teenager I wore out my parents’ copies of the albums The Kick Inside and Hounds of Love in the days when you actually listened to a whole album from beginning to end and I would love listening intently to each track and enter Kate’s ethereal world. “This Woman’s Work” is one of her very best songs and is just so moving, definitely a song to give goosebumps.

The Supremes – “Someday We’ll Be Together”

I’m lucky that my parents are such huge music lovers as that gave me an eclectic taste. As well as growing up listening to a lot of classic songwriters like Neil Young and Simon & Garfunkel, electronic music, indie and punk, I also heard a lot of soul and Motown. I remember this song being the last track on a Best of Supremes album and it was definitely the one that moved me the most. It’s such a beautiful song with a really heartfelt sentiment. Another soulful emotional track I love is “Abraham, Martin and John” which Marvin Gaye recorded.

I was struck by the lovely melody of the song and the effortless emotion of Diana Ross’s sweet soulful voice. The song has stayed with me and I was recently filmed doing a ukulele cover. The video is filmed in a cafe in Norfolk by local photographer and film maker Claudia Taveria Photography.

Lisa’s latest track, a cover of OMD’s “So In Love”, is available as a free download (below) and you can catch her live at the Norwich Sound And Vision Festival at the Bicycle Shop on Thursday 11 October.
Entry is £5 on the door or FREE with a festival wristband

Read more about: Lisa Redford

Stalk Lisa Redford: Website / Facebook / YouTube / SoundCloud /Bandcamp / Twitter

Living in a Digital World – Lisa Redford Interview

25 Jan

Lisa Redford3

Over the years, Lisa Redford has gained quite the reputation as “one of our finest singer/songwriters”, an opinion expressed by the legendary Whispering Bob Harris no less. With a fervent and devoted fanbase, she has experienced success and critical acclaim for her warm and honest folk music, on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. Yet as an independent artist for Lisa, the music is just one of many different aspects of her life as a performer. We met up with Lisa before Christmas, as she was preparing to relax and make use of the quiet time to write, and talked to her about the amount of work required behind the scenes and the way technology has both helped and hindered artists.

We first met Lisa at the Norwich Sound and Vision festival and, as well as how friendly and engaging she was, we were struck by the fact that she wasn’t just there to perform, but to learn as well. Each day Lisa was there at the various delegate sessions, listening to speakers discuss various aspects of the music business and ways for artists to promote themselves. It was surprising to us, given the success that she had already achieved but there is no sense from her that a level has been reached; she wants to keep going and achieve more. What’s the point in writing all this wonderful music, if no-one ever gets to hear it?

“It’s about getting that balance”, she tells us as we sip our drinks in the pub, shielded from the wind and rain outside. “Because you might have that great release, EP, album, but if you’re not promoting it as well it’s just going to sit there”. Which immediately brings us to a problem faced by so many independent artists, just how to do you get and maintain a profile and get your music heard? Social media has become a massive part of our everyday life; we use it as individuals as do businesses and brands that have quickly realised just how important it is to engage with existing and potential customers. It’s no different for musicians, Lisa agrees.

“I try to do something in the mornings; Twitter, Facebook. I’ve also got my main website in WordPress, and also there are so many other ones as well”. Indeed there are and Lisa uses a few, she was even keeping her MySpace page reasonably well maintained before Justin Timberlake started bringing it back, sexily or not. With this legion of digital platforms available, promotion has theoretically never been simpler, pretty much all the people you need are just a tweet away. Well yes, but it is a double-edged sword she explains. It’s one thing to be able to ping a link or something to Bob Harris on twitter but so can anyone else. You have to compete for airtime with the DJ’s, the labels, the bloggers, that aspect hasn’t changed, it’s just that now, even more people have a route in than ever before.

That open line of communication also works both ways; she too is contactable by anyone and via a number of different avenues. At least when you had just the one site, all your correspondence came in one door, now you have to keep up with them all just in case something gets missed. Not just from industry types either, fans are in regular contact and Lisa is determined to ensure anything she puts out, be it on twitter or her blog, is interesting for them.

”You have to be creative, not just musically creative, but generally creative, coming up with interesting posts and things like that. You can’t just have the same thing you want to have like new songs, or videos, or photos. It can be difficult because if you want to get people to know about certain things, you do [have to] repeat sometimes. It’s about keeping it interesting”.

Keeping it interesting is a challenge all of us who seek to engage others online are faced with, and one that many have taken on with pictures or posts about anything and everything to do with their lives. It’s an approach that Lisa doesn’t favour, so don’t expect to see any instagram shots of the Redford breakfast anytime soon. ”I try to mostly keep it music related”, she explains. ”I’m not one of these people who are into every detail; I quite like to keep some mystery, if we can these days. Sort of [like] Kate Bush, I can’t really see her tweeting about her cat”. Mind you, Lisa notes, if Kate Bush was just starting out today, ”then it would be a different ballgame”.

While the idea of Kate Bush taking pictures of her pets, meals, the snow or whatever and posting them up to be shared thousands of times over round the world is entertaining, it is a valid point. Engaging through social media is now very much part of an artist’s day job and getting the balance that Lisa mentioned is key. Too much and you risk turning people off, too little and you risk people forgetting about you completely. You have to post regularly she agrees, to keep in people’s consciousness and to maintain momentum. Also, as was discussed at Norwich Sound and Vision, to show people you are worth investing time and effort in. An artist with a reasonable online profile and fanbase is going to be much more appealing to radio pluggers, for example, than one without.

Lisa Redford4

As an artist who spends a reasonable amount of time in America, it is doubly important to Lisa as it helps raise her profile there as well. It used to be that you would aim to be in a music magazine and that would be what you could point to, the NME profile or the review in Q or MoJo, Melody Maker or Select, to name a few. Now though many have shut down the presses and those that remain have digital editions as well. Print can’t keep up anymore (even The Dandy has closed down) and the onus is very much on digital media and how artists make use of it. It’s something Lisa is acutely aware of and a challenge she seems to be enjoying as she looks to head back over to the States.

“I’d like to sort of be back and forth type thing, like I have been doing. Do like a tour [in the UK] in the spring, summer to promote the EP and then maybe record back there”.

As well as all the social media stuff to think about, there is a copious amount of admin to get done, especially if you want to get out and perform, and then of course there is the actual process of writing and recording the music you want to promote. With so much to do it must be hard to prioritise. ”It’s making sure the time you use is useful”, she points out. “I’m quite organised, but even if you have a list in the morning, the time just sort of flies by as well!”

Factor in the additional difficulties of trying to arrange an itinerary from thousands of miles away, and even Lisa’s organisational ability will be stretched. You always have to think so far ahead though don’t you? Like I say, I am a one man band, so it’s having to plan everything, you know? Before you know it, it will be spring… And I will be like “oh, I should have booked those festivals”. It’s very difficult and again, like with anything here, you need to build up even more press”.

With all this to deal with, finding the time to actually write and be creative can be difficult, especially as, by her own admission, writing can sometimes be a slog. “You can’t just do it in five minutes; you’ve got to really get into that head space. You can’t just churn [them] out. You know what I mean?”

We do, for all its myriad benefits for promotion and establishing a local and global fanbase; social media can’t actually write the songs for you. That remains entirely in the gift of the artist and luckily for Lisa; it is a gift she has been blessed with.

Lisa’s latest EP Reminders, recorded in New York City, was released this summer and can be bought on iTunes or directly from her bandcamp page.

Stalk Lisa Redford: Website / Facebook / YouTube / SoundCloud /Bandcamp / Twitter

Watch: Lisa Redford – “I Believe In Father Christmas”

21 Dec

Lisa Redford2

Yesterday we started to get into the festive mood with a post jammed full of Christmas Classics, both old and new. Today we have been touched by the magic of Christmas once again as we share with you this lovely little video for Lisa Redford‘s beautiful cover of “I Believe In Father Christmas”.

The keen eyed amongst you will probably notice that the video includes footage from our own session with Lisa from the other week, nestled within the wonderfully cute soft-focus footage, that’s because both were made by the good people at Sessions Productions. We think the seventies aesthetic they’ve used looks fantastic and the video also gets massive bonus points for the inclusion of Lego and the famous Blue Peter Advent Crown. Though our favourite bit has to be the wide-eyed excitement of the kids as they look up at the Christmas lights as they drive past.

It’s a gorgeous video for a gorgeous track and one that feels absolutely perfect for the festive period.

Have a very Happy Holiday period and we will see you again in 2013.
Hohoho and all that.

Alphabet Bands.