Talking the talk, walking the walk…

Only 5 years to catch up on now so I reckon that I’ll try and power quickly through 2015…

For me (and Dawn), the year starts out in England as we finish off a gig at the Lamb Inn in Burford – which was a regular NYE gig that we’d done for a few years, but this was the first time that we’d done it as a country hoedown (which went down very well indeed). After this we headed home to get ready to fly out to Australia. – the idea was to get sleep on the flight.

As Dawn posted on FB –

  “Well cheerio to 2014. Highs and lows.
    Busy busy busy with 80 plus gigs … No wonder we’re a tad tired!
    Home less than an hour. Van emptied. Showered. Packed our bags and 
   heading off to Heathrow. January 2nd hit Melbourne.
   Awesome start to 2015 … Who Hoo!

I had agreed to play at Tasmania’s Cygnet Folk Festival with my WoodworX trio. No money of course, but it was part of my plan to get back into the Australian music scene. It was the first time I’d been to Tasmania since a trip there when I was at high school, so it was great to get back in touch. I found out more recently that the drummer from my first serious band MSG – Mike Gissing – had moved there so we probably walked past each other without recognition. The other two members of the trio were Marilla Holmes (female vocals) and Peter Anderson (accordion and acoustic guitar). WoodworX was originally a collaboration between myself and another Australian singer Toni Wood (thus the name) playing a mix of Australiana and blues. As Toni had moved to Germany, I needed to find someone to fill her role and I had done some work with Marilla at the National Festival in Canberra a couple of years before. We went down well, though the blues stuff was more successful that the Aussie songs.

After Cygnet we trekked up to the Tamworth Music Festival to help out Marilla who was performing at Andrew Clermont’s Supper Club. It was the first time I’d been to the music festival and met some great performers (and saw some very bad buskers!). One funny thing was that we met some Tamworth residents in Tasmania who had fled south to get away from the festival crowds! The other first for me was to do my first trans gig when asked to play on stage for ladies night. The last gig was another freebie for my cousin’s local Australia day party down in the Hunter Valley – another first for me.

So then back to England to a packed gig schedule with highlights being gigs for the Duke of Bedford, Green King and various festivals including the East Barnet Festival – the biggest Community festival n London. We were booked for the last one by Barry Ainsworth who was the recording engineer for the classic Otis Reading song ‘Sitting on the dock of the bay”. Apparently he was the one who suggested the whistling at the end of the track. The Hoedown Band also did a northern tour with 10 gigs in the week around July 4th and when Mungo Jerry came along to the launch of our Christmas single in London and hopped up on stage to perform his 70’s hit – ‘In the summertime”.

Another highlight was a gig with world famous Pedal Steel guitarist – BJ Cole – who also recorded some parts for the first Heywood & Moore album that we started recording this year. A great bloke and a fantastic musician. I also did an Aussie gig in London in November when I depped on guitar for Doug Jenner’s bush band – Buckley’s Chance – for a gig at the International Maritime Organization that was being hosted by the Australian Government.

On the recording side we provided a Hoedown Band track and I provided three instrumental tracks for Nub Records’ 100×30 album. This CD was a pointed political comment on the way Spotify treated – and paid for – tracks that they streamed and generated quite a bit of journalist comments, got into the Guinness Book of Records and changed the way Spotify regarded tracks (not for the better sadly). We later also did tracks for the Shakespeare and Christmas CDs as well. Other recording and studio included many radio interviews and we also recorded some station idents for our hosts.

The year ended with a NYE party dance in the home counties. No mad flight this time, we waited till Jan 6th before we flew back to Australia. Will say something about this in the next blog.

About Brian Heywood

Brian Heywood is a free range musician who specialises in edgy roots / country / celtic fusion music. Previous work has received comments such as "... aggressive, top notch fiddling set off by periodic guitar explosions." - Tom Nelligan, Dirty Linen Magazine (USA), "Just when it seemed as if newer electric British roots bands were getting thinner on the ground - Very welcome and very good." - fROOTS Magazine (UK) and Steve Barnes Fairbridge Festival Artistic Director (Australia) - "... a rocking band - I was delighted with the audience response."
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