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|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 reviews.
|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 was. 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.
As 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 songwriting.
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.
In 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.
My son 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.
He organized 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 charity.
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.
As 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.