Well 2019, from photo/video adventures to Down For Life Music stuff, and everything inbetween, you’ve been pretty tough in places and inspired a great deal of soul searching about the future, but you’ve also been fantastically feisty and brought some happy times and memorable highlights my way too, and for that I can only say thank you.
From building then destroying whole studio sets to wandering around cities, from creating Stonehenge out of cardboard to smashing up desks, to freaky clowns and spending time with friends, I've had some real fun times making music videos and doing shoots. Thank you to all those who have trusted me with their visual content the last 12 months. Without you I’d have less friends and be even more broke. :D Aaron Buchanen and the Cult Classics, Aggro, Aviira, Black Water County, Buskerteers, Dead Posey, Dramalove, London Cocktail Club, Mclars, Novelists, Placeholder, Omega Initiative, Schemata Theory, Scream Blue Murder, Shadow Warriors, Silent Divide, The Injester, The Survival Code, The Lounge Kittens, The Uncharted, When We Wake. <3 <3
Thank you to everyone else who might have shared a little bit of 2019 with me, I hope you know who you are. Thank you so much.
And of course THANK YOU to everyone in the #DFLM family, my business partner in crime Mike G and all those who work in any way with us - I bloody love our family. Mad PROPS and congratulations to everyone on their achievements and growth this year. Get ready to level up in 2020. Our Hollow, Our Home, THECITYISOURS, THE UNCHARTED, Ursus, Lock and Key (RIP).
Here are some of the show highlights of the year.
FEBRUARY was all about 10 days around the UK with Our Hollow Our Home, THECITYISOURS and The Uncharted. A really great time spent with a lot of talented people I admire. A few days after our return me and Mike welcomed TCIO to Down For Life Music and it was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. I definitely owe a drink to whichever God made our paths collide.
MARCH saw me invited to join my long time friends The Lounge Kittens at a number of their UK headline shows, including a sell out Engine Rooms show in Southampton. I totally love spending time with Zan, Timia and Jen because there’s never a dull moment. Killer days and incredible vibes. I’m so proud of them and their achievements, and to be a part of any of those is always an honour.
In APRIL Mike and I were invited to Sweden by another long time friend Stoffe at High 5ive to attend the 10 year anniversary Adept shows in Gothenburg and Stockholm, that OHOH were billed on. The whole weekend was amazing. Sweden is a beautiful country that I’ve visited twice before, both times at the invite of Stoffe, and I had such a good time. The venues and all the bands were outstanding, and the hospitality we received was truly exceptional.
The first weekend in MAY was Teddy Rocks weekend. This is a 3 day annual festival that happens pretty much on my doorstep. This year I spent it mostly working in the artist merch tent with my good pals Heart, Emma and Terry. I say ‘working’ lightly cus honestly I probably spent more time making cups of tea and watching bands, but it was bloody ace. You should go to Teddy Rocks in 2020 ‘cus it’s a bit good.
JUNE was Download, a festival that I’ve been to a LOT of times. I’ve always had a bloody great time but for an old lady with arthritis in both knees an hour walk uphill to the public campsite through rain and sloppy mud 3 inches thick is a task, so this year was pretty tough. Witnessing TCIO headline Takeover at Download 2019 in a tent with 3000+ people in it however made it all worth it, as that will forever be one of the most emotionally charged, proudest memories of my management career. #drownload
AUGUST was largely about TCIO’s debut album ‘LOW’ release, and a sold out album launch show at Boston Music Rooms in London. ‘LOW’ is a rager and one of my favourite albums of the year (go stream/buy that shizz), and the show was all the awesome. August also saw me flying over the channel to France to shoot again with Novelists. We went urbexing in a huge abandoned building that I wish existed somewhere near me cus I’d love to shoot a video there. Awesome couple of days with 4 of the nicest guys in music. The month ended with my first ever visit to Burn It Down Festival in Torquay, which I highly recommend.
In SEPTEMBER I popped to Nottingham for the last ever Macmillan Fest. Repping the DFLM roster OHOH and TCIO smashed it, Invisions were as always solid, and I saw Oceans Ate Alaska for the first time. FAN. Big ups to Kris and his crew for a rad day. Such a shame it was the last one.
OCTOBER was largely about Holloween. In fact most of May through October is always largely about Holloween as it takes a lot of planning and putting together. Helping to organise music events is one of my favourite things to do though so as always I was in my element and had a blast. Biased I may be but the OHOH/DFLM team that puts together Holloween totally nailed it again this year. I can’t wait to see how it grows in 2020, and beyond.
October was also album tour time for TCIO. They took The Uncharted and Lastelle out with them on a 7 day UK run, 6 dates of which I booked. It was cold and rainy, I slept a whole night in a van in -2 degrees because of a flat tyre, and the Glasgow show got cancelled by a promoter with little faith. Despite this though adventures were had and the shows were awesome.
In NOVEMBER I went to Reading Rising, discovered Dead Posey and finally got to see my favourite band Northlane live in Southampton. I had high expectations and they did not disappoint. Straight into my Top 10 of favourite shows ever. Randomly bumping into Marcus in the venue lobby was cool too - I spent days afterwards grinning, and Alien has been on repeat ever since. All the DFLM artist releases this year aside, it’s my favourite album of 2019.
DECEMBER has been leisurely, but I was involved with a music video project I can't talk about yet and made my first guitar playthrough videos, which will be released asap I'm sure. It's only taken 8 years. I'd love to do more of those next year if anyone's game.
And that’s it. Bye 2019, you’ve had your + moments but it's almost time for you shove off. I can already smell 2020's perfume and I'm impatiently waiting to meet her. I feel like I’m leaping into 2020 and the next decade not really knowing what the future holds for me and my camera, so I’m really hoping she’s happy, has some encouraging words and comes bearing some bloody good gifts.