Monday 28 November 2011

Andrew Roachford / Singer-Songwriter

This weeks TT Test is taken by the wonderful Andrew Roachford [link]. His band Roachford formed in 1987 was the biggest selling UK act on Columbia records for ten years including the hits 'Cuddly Toy' and 'Family Man', as a writer he has been approached to write for everyone from Michael Jackson to Chaka Khan, and recently he has also co-written and sung lead vocals on the new Mike & the Mechanics album. His new solo album 'Addictive' has just been released & you can catch him live mid-Decmber at the Jazz Cafe in London [link] !! What is your wake up song at the moment ? I really love Adele's song "Rolling in the deep" it's actually quite refreshing to hear something new with some blues influence that still sounds contemporary at the same time. Which work of art or single event has most influenced you in your chosen profession ? My family are all quite musical, so I grew up with my uncle and my dad practicing in the living room which was great, but the first time i was old enough to hear my Uncle(Bill Roachford) playing his saxophone at a gig I was completely blown away and I knew from them there was no other profession for me but music. If you could travel back in time, which period would you most like to visit and why ? I think there was something special happening in music in the early seventies and so much of my big influences were at their best (in my opinion) at that time. I would have loved to have seen Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and Sly & the Family Stone live at that time :) I love eating out and discovering new restaurants, can you please recommend one to me ? My mother lives in Barbados and i go there as often as possible, one of the best restaurants there has to be 'The Cliff' [link] It is on the west coast of the island and of course it is situated on a cliff by the sea. It's the second best food on the island after my mums cooking!! What is the best advice you ever been given relating to your professional/creative life ? The best advice i think i have ever been given as far as my professional and creative life would be... "Don't be afraid of making mistakes". Tell me about your new album. Personally, every time I make a new album I have to feel the sound or the songwriting is evolving - even if, unfortunately, it turns out not to be true ! Do you feel that you are still discovering & revealing new sides to yourself on 'Addictive' ? I think a lot of people think that once an artist has done a couple of albums then that's as good as it's ever gonna get. I love all the albums I've done in the past, however I think that making albums are a learning process and as you grow as an adult your music grows with you. When I'm in the studio now I think the main challenge is to not put myself in a limiting musical box, which can easily happen when your first album does really well and people think that it is what defines you as an artist. But now im on tour and I'm playing some songs from my new album, they work well and bring a new energy to the shows.

Thursday 17 November 2011

The Bandana Splits / Sometimes

This week's wake up song is the very chirpy 'Sometimes' from the American trio 'The Bandana Spits'. It's the perfect feel good track for this late Autumn weather we are enjoying. I have a terrible confession though, close harmonies do slightly scare me, I'm not sure if this is because I don't know how to sing them or because at one point in a song with close harmonies I feel as if I have overheard some music spill from the basement ballroom in 'The Shining'... I guess this is my own musical neurosis & please just enjoy this totally wonderful tune without my aural baggage & besides the harmonies aren't that close!! love tt

Monday 14 November 2011

A Round Heeled Woman

Saw 'A Round Heeled Woman' at the Riverside Studios [link] this weekend. It's based on the true of Jane Juska who placed an ad in the New York Review of books which read ' BEFORE I TURN 67 - next March - I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me.' This is a very brave thing to do especially when you consider that she had not been touched for 30 years. She received 63 replies, from men aged between 32 and 84. She doesn't meet all 63 men ! However, the play does depict some of her more interesting encounters. Sharon Gless stars in the play... if anyone knows me they will know how exciting it was for me to see her performing in a theatre as I am a huge 'Cagney & Lacey' fan !! She is terrific in the play & it is well worth catching. And can you believe this ?!! Tyne Daly will be appearing in London early next year playing Maria Callas in 'Master Class' [link] !!! I've already bought my tickets :) love tt

Saturday 12 November 2011

A Little History of the World - E.H.Gombrich

My most amiable companion for the recent gigs has been the 1935 classic 'A Little History of the World' by Austrian born art historian and writer Ernst Hans Gombrich. It's a book that was aimed at young readers - & in Gombrich's kindly, avuncular tone events from long ago seem much closer & connected to us. This humanity & warm-heartedness is touching & it leaves me dreaming of a world where people express their ideas before their egos. Perfect for any one who wants a satisfying read but may only have time to read in snatches - as every one of the forty chapters is self-contained - and of course for any one who loves great story telling! Strongly recommended, love tt

Thursday 10 November 2011

A quick note...

Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the recent gigs in Lodz & Basel. It was a lot of fun to play Lodz with the different duo of double bass & clarinet/sax & flute - and Basel was slightly nerve-wracking. I hadn't realised that the performance space was going to be so big ! Thank you again for all those who came to the shows, hope to see you again soon ! Also, thanks to Agata Borowiec for taking this lovely photo which with her kind permission I have posted here ! love tt