Its nearly February. This time last year I was getting ready to start trying to complete 14 songs in 28 days for the annual February Album Writing challenge (see http://fawm.org) by downloading a few plug-ins (I was after some decent brass sounds and I still don’t have them). It did seem a bit of a task - after all with other commitments it meant between 4 and 6 hours per “song” - but hey, it should be fun.
The first night of February I laid down the basics of a track and then finished it on the 2nd. I called it “and he killed a cyclist in norwich” and banged it up on soundcloud. Missing out a few days by the end of the month there were 14 rough songs and a few bits and pieces. But most amazingly there were the best part of 1000 plays on soundcloud.
Amazed? I nearly fell off me chair when I looked! To me that was incredible - although I have been writing, playing and gigging for more years than I care to remember my contribution had nearly always been watered down or tempered by “band mates” - “you can’t do that, its silly/weird/wrong” - and those plays made me re-think whether it was ever worth me doing my own stuff vaguely seriously!
The play count continued to go up and so I started my reverbnation account - and facebook page toward the end of March and watched amazed as the play counts continued to grow at something utterly unbelievable like 3-400 a week!
Those 14 songs were a good start but I’ve only moved three of them forward - “eating chocolate kebab”, “cyclist in norwich” and “silly bubu” - the rest are there and one day… By May I had completed our first EP “keith” which was then scheduled for a July release and included “silly bubu” together with three later compositions.
By July I had my first facebook likes, a handful of twitterers, the play counts kept going up and I continued to be amazed at the reception - nice comments, couple really kind reviews of keith. It had to stop sometime huh? Nope! Those numbers just went on and on growing whilst I sat there and watched - I did nothing re promotion (except sending Keith to one reviewer), I didn’t rely on the goodwill, or pity, of friends to bump numbers up through “befriending” them all and sending constant “love me, slurp me” requests - I’m really unsuited to all that stuff - most folk I know don’t know what I do, if they ever do and ask what do you play I usually respond with a very monosyllabic “noise” accompanied by a conversation killing look ;-) If anyone reads this they’ll probably be thinking - yeah, right, but its true, I turn self-deprecation into an artform many years ago!
Its not stopped you know. 3rd single “dem dur burrs” is coming out in a fortnight. The video for “chocolate kebab” (released in December last) has got an award from some t’interweb site for being “original with high production values” and those fucking numbers just keep going up! If you had told me this time last year that the RN play count would be 50000 plus, 200+facebook likes and 1000+ twitterers I would have had you committed! Abso-fucking-lutely incredible.
Those numbers also led to “me” becoming “we”. The experiment is now a 5 piece (OK so one of them is a novation launchpad) oozing with chemistry and making a damned fine noise which will only get better over the coming months.
So I have those numbers, the experiment is very real and, at the risk of repeating myself, if you had told me exactly one year ago today I would have been laughing so hard there’d have been flooding alerts. But that’s where I am and I would like to thank absolutely everyone who has commented/helped or simply clicked like or even just put up with my pointless tweeting without unfollowing me then I’d like to thank you, to thank you a lot, for making this past year pretty much unforgettable.