2009 to Present Day
This was the year of my divorce coming through, my 50th birthday and my move out of London to St Leonards on Sea.
My 50th I celebrated by inviting 25 of my best female friends for supper, which was cooked by my dear friend Jacqui Pickles.
Mike Thorne my wonderful producer friend and his wife Leila leant me their London apartment in Notting Hill Gate in which to hold the party and I had such a wonderful evening and I felt so loved!
Earlier that day Jacqui had booked me into her hairdressers to have my hair cut short and I came out feeling and looking like a new woman!
||A few weeks later having moved to the seaside (I was living just across
the road to the sea) and living 5 minutes walk from my best friend
Angie and her partner Len, I found myself with the band at The Blue Note
in Milan to launch the ‘Where It Hurts ‘ album in Italy. Dominic, Tony,
Henry and Martyn.
A matter of days later I was singing at the 606 (one of our favorite
venues) and I met the man I hope to spend the rest of my days with.
‘Where It Hurts’ had us touring all over Europe and the UK and had great
St Leonards was one of the best places I have lived and to date I have lived in 36 different houses and flats. In March we moved to Hastings and lived in a Tudor cottage in the heart of The Old Town. What a wonderful atmosphere and what creative people we got to know!
||In June my friend Angie discovered that her cancer had come back with
vengeance. She and her longterm partner Len Shelley, a wonderful artist,
had one of the most memorable and magical weddings I have ever been to.
It was in the woods at the bottom of her yoga teachers garden in
Winchelsea, near the sea. This was where Angie kept her bees and this
was where she wanted to live.
Tony Remy and I wrote a song that we sung at the wedding . Unfortunately
a matter of weeks later Angie started radiotherapy and it was back and
forth to Maidstone Hopsital. It was during this period that Len appeared
to be ill himself. We found out he had pancreatic and liver cancer and
it was advanced .Things happened so quickly and before long Len and
Angie had a hospice at home. We all as their friends muddled together to
help facilitate this and Angies’ wonderful mother moved in.
Len died a matter of weeks before Angie and before the end of the year,
we had lost two wonderful friends and talented artists.
I wrote a song for Angie about our last night together called ‘Heaven is
Right here with You’ which one day I will record. Angie was such a huge
inspiration to me and there is a huge hole in my life where she once
In November we organized a memorial concert for Angie and Len at St
Marys in The Castle and so many of Angies friends were there, including
her gorgeous and talented son Rufus. Alas it was to be the worst night
of snow for years and so many people, including musicians coming from
London and Brighton, could not get there.
As much as I loved living in Hastings, without Angie it wasn’t the same! It is a place I will always love and return to!
Most of the year was spent doing concerts in Italy and UK and Austria with the band.
In January we did our usual sell out Ronnie Scotts shows and throughout the year many concerts in Europe and UK.
my son had finished GSCEs it seemed the right time to move to my
partner Mark’s house in Kent. Our garden was a graveyard and our
neighbours a real community.
In the Summer we had many more concerts around the world and much
It was wonderful to reunite with Jimmy Somerville
for an 80s revival at The Brighton Dome, dueting ‘Don’t Leave Me This
Way’ on the same bill as Boy George, my friend of old. In September I
returned to my old haunt Brixton, with a concert at Mass in the crypt at
St Matthews Church, with many special guests, including Ashley Slater
from Freak Power.
In December we launched Cello Songs in Italy
and performed three nights at the House of Jazz in Rome. We did many TV
and radio shows including Christmas at The Vatican, where Enrico,
Dominic Miller and I performed ‘Fast Car’ with an orchestra as well as
many International stars, such as Dionne Warwick, who stood next to me
when we were introduced to the Pope.
I shook his hand whilst the others kissed his ring.
It took all year to not miss Hastings on a daily basis but we are so please we moved to the countryside.
In January we did our usual sell out shows at Ronnie Scotts with the Fallen Angel Band.
In February Tony Remy and myself guested with Noemi at San Remo Song festival with Enrico Melozzi conducting the orchestra.
May 2012 I got married to Mark Pulsford, the love of my life, at the
606 where we had met 4 years earlier. We had a humanist wedding and
many wonderful friends and family came and shared this special occasion
with us. Earlier that day we had an intimate ceremony in the garden of
my brother and sister in law, for both our mothers, who could not manage
being in a small jazz club for health reasons.
Antonio Forcione, Ian
Shaw, Tony Remy, Tim Cansfield, Liam Genockey, Henry Thomas, Jennifer
Maidman and Annie Whitehead all entertained us with their wonderful
gifts of music and thanks also to Steve at 606 and his staff, we had the
best night of our life!
My good friends Julie and Kathryn came from as far afield as New York.
||Two weeks before the wedding we launched the Cello Songs Project at the
Hay Festival and later that year in November we launched it in London at
The Purcell Rooms, in Bristol and in Southampton, with the Celestial
Cello Quartet and Jenny Adejeyan and a star studded choir with Tony
Remy, Henry Thomas, Enrico Melozzi and Michael Rosen.
Otis duetted on Bob Dylans ‘I Shall Be released’. Thank you all so much
for your support for this. Just before the Cello Songs concert I was
informed that our dear, dear friend Reg Simmonds had died of cancer. The
evening was dedicated to him.
|Reg has been an amazingly inspirational man and loved Jazz with a
passion. He and his wife Deidre part lived in London and Burnham Market,
in Norfolk and was determined to educate the friends he had made in
Burnham Market, in what was and what wasn’t good in music.
so many concerts for the likes of myself, Ian Shaw, Liane Carrol and
always turned the concerts into raising money for deserved causes.
Henry and I sung ‘I Shall Be Released’ at Reg’s send off along with many
other musical friends. Because of his passion for Mercedes cars ‘Lord
Wont You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz’ was what we all sung as they carried
him out of the church.
Reg Simmonds the world is a sadder emptier place without you!
January started with the usual sellout Ronnie Scotts shows with
the Fallen Angel Band.
Early in the year I took part in a performance of ‘The Vagina
Monologues’ in a gorgeous yet tiny theatre in Margate raising money for
In May Antonio and I went to Vienna to play at Porgy and Bess and it was lovely to see Betty and Roman once again.
a great deal of my concerts are in Italy which at this time was without
a government and a Pope, work dried up for us all for a while. Good
things always come out of difficult times and a lot of writing took
place getting ready for the incredibly busy June/July/August/Sept and
Oct. I played duo concerts with Tony Remy in Italy and Glasgow
International Jazz festival.
|Through the Summer I played many concerts in UK and Italy with my band
and In August Antonio and I started to record the album we hope to
release next year and in September we sold out three nights at Ronnie
Scotts with the wonderful addition of Jenny Adejayan on cello, Adriano
Adewale on percussion and Matheus Nova on acoustic bass guitar.
In November we launched Pledge Music which is a way we hope fans and friends can help empower us to make the next album.