Tour Dates 2020

Here are the dates for the first 3 months of 2020!
I am so excited to be heading out with Robert Lane for some of these shows.
I will also be presenting my 2020 release “You’re not Singing anymore” at the Big Comfy bookshop in Coventry on January 31st. This will be a chance to hear songs and stories from this record before it’s official release in spring, I also have my first ever show at Cecil Sharp House – this will be a songwriters circle format and I will be performing with Alex Seel and Greg Hancock – definitely a highlight that I am looking forward to already.

Thanks as always for following my adventures. It means an incredible amount to me.
Hope you have a lovely Christmas and end of year – see you in the next decade 🙂

 

Below the poster are all the links you will need for tickets 🙂

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January 13th – Colindale folk Club Info and tickets
January 22nd – Southey Taproom Info and Tickets
January 31st – Big Comfy Bookshop Tickets and info

February 1st – West Malvern Social Club Tickets and Info
February 9th – St James Church Hall, Exeter Tickets and Info
February 23rd Bluebell Roots Arlington Tickets and Info

March 7th – Tower of Song Birmingham Tickets and info
March 13th – Colmworth Golf Club – details to be added asap
March 14th – Cecil Sharp House – London Tickets and Info
March 15th – Unplugged Corner, Harpenden –Tickets and Info
March 20th – The Harrison, London Tickets and Info
March 27th – The Manor House, Sedgefield Tickets and info
March 29th New Mills Sofa sessions- Details TBA.

 

Tour Dates 2020

March 2019

 

March started off really magical. A meet up with the other Maidens to continue rehearsals for our first outing in May! – which seems VERY close. It does fee like things are coming together but with all of us having a lot of other things going on time to meet up is short and we snatch evenings between other things to work on the setlist. I am so excited for what is to come though and genuinely can’t wait to be out gigging with Kathy and Jess who were already such good friends but we have grown even closer during this process – hopefully that will show in the harmonies.

I have been documenting a bit of my journey of joining the band in Vlogs on my youtube account if ya fancy a look, click the link—. Minnie’s You Tube

My first gig in March was for Marcus who hosts house concerts up Birmingham way. these concerts are always a real pleasure, as most house concerts are, I really love the idea that people open their homes, sometimes to strangers, to share music with them.
I was opening up the evening for Grimm Fawkner who I 100% recommend you check out. I thought he was something really special and it was so nice to spend the evening with him, Marcus and other friends. Love this snap of Marcus, Me and Grimm 🙂

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I couldn’t stay the night as needed to whizz home to be up early for the Helle’s Belle’s Hertfordshire Roller Derby Home Bout. This is the team I Skate with – although I am not quite at bouting standard just yet! Hopefully one day! The skateres representing the team are the stars of the show but the home bout really is a full league effort where it is all hands on deck to human the tickets, lay the track, sell raffle tickets and cakes, welcome other teams and generally make sure the whole day works like clockwork. The team did amazing, it is always so inspiring to watch them skate.

Roller Derby is one of my favourite things to do. I only get to go once a week (sometimes less when things are super busy) as music gobbles up most of my free time, but I love it dearly, every week I am terrified and every week I overcome that and there’s something really good in that! It has welcomed me in to its arms and introduced me to some of my best friends, it’s made me fitter, stronger and braver.
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March also saw an outing with the ‘Rebel Choir’ ( I am not sure if we settled on this name, it just sort of came about when I put a few friends together to support Dacorum’s Extinction rebellion) This time was an outing for International Women’s Day. Myself, Jess Distill and Lizzy Hardingham sang some songs (including the awesome “Nana Was a Suffagette”) firstly down in Hemel town with the Labour Women’s Network and then at a male prison where we sang and held a little singing workshop. It was really nice to be able to celebrate IWD with singing. Here we are in Hemel Town 🙂

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This month I also welcomed Steve Warner to my prison open mic where he performed for residence and shared with them stories of his faith, how he became a songwriter and also about his experiences with dementia and the creation of a charity single and also with mental health. He was such an interesting performer. I really hope he will come back soon. I have a few more artists lined up which I am funding from a campaign I held with my newly forming charity “Josie Dear”  I really feel the visitors compliment the work I am doing in the prison and are an important part of helping to take people out of their daily challenged and relax, talk, enjoy music together.

Then the final week of March …I began recording my Football EP at Spareroom recording. I am really in love with the process of recording. This record feels very different. I am reworking old songs so in many ways there isn’t the same sort of personal investment. With my own songs I am always quite open to lots of production ideas from people I am working with, I have a lot of my own ideas but think it is quite good to get an outsiders view on songs you have written yourself, about things you’ve experienced yourself, through eyes which are your own, processed by a heart which is your own, played on a guitar which is your sound, with hands which have certain limitations and a certain style, all told by a voice which is your own, in a tone you know, in a range you are comfortable with…you get my point? It is good to get a producers/outsiders ear involved. This record however is quite simple, the songs are re-working of old folk songs and as much as I have added instrumentation in areas and Nick has certainly added his production skills and flair – more on that in another blog I am sure – I have kept it pretty much just me and my guitar. I have adapted the songs to suit a Minnie style and to try and tell the story of the journeys they have made from their origin to the terraces/kop choirs (Did I mention they are all folk songs which are now sung as football chants?!)
bit essentially I wanted the traditional songs to shine through and be recognisable and I hope they are. One track isn’t in a key which suits my voice at all, it is quite a raucous number and to get it out I have to really sing quite differently to how I am used to – I wasn’t so keen at first and found myself saying quite despondently to Nick that I sounded like Mary Poppins. But it has grown on me, I think I am finding my folk voice – I hope people will hear it and love it (and not be too reminded of Mary Poppins) I was really pleased to invite Tom of  TCW Productions to capture some footage of the recordings. Getting my parts down in the studio was stage one and there’s some more bits to come. I am not too sure when these songs will venture out in to the big wide world but I am excited and nervous to know how they will be received.
Anyways sorry, as always the blog is late, is poorly written and all over the place 🙂 But if you are a reader of my blogs, a watcher of my vlogs, a listener to my songs, THANK YOU!!!!! 🙂 xxxx

March 2019

February 2019

February has had sunshine and it has had snow. It doesn’t seem to know what’s going on. It also went by really quickly!

February started with a trip to see the Transatlantic Sessions at the Barbican, my friend Helen had a last minute spare ticket which she kindly gave to me! The sessions are a mixture of artists from both the USA and the UK. Molly Tuttle was the standout for me. I hadn’t heard her before so it was such a nice, inspiring discovery.

February also saw my first proper gig of the year out playing at Dan’s The Punch House Open Mic in Ware. It was a really lovely evening, filled with good music and good friends. This is my favourite snap from the night – we are right in the middle of singing Didi’s “F**K off” song 🙂
Thanks to Tony Birch for capturing the moment

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February was also the month that saw my car go in for an MOT nnngh!, Lots of continued rehearsals with Said the Maiden (which reminds me I should post another Vlog!) and more ballet classes  (my New Year/New thing)

A standout weekend was the opportunity to travel to Southport to play at Love Folk Festival (Thanks to Neil and all at Fatea for that great opportunity) I got to stop off in Chester on the way and walk the ancient city walls, there was time in southport for chips at the end of the pier and then I went to Liverpool for some touristing – including my first trip to The Cavern Club! 🙂 Stopped off to see Granpa on the way home. Was a lovely weekend.
Thanks again go to Mr Tony Birch for capturing this snap from my set at Love Folk

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I also saw The Stables who were, as usual, super playing some older material I had never heard before as well as stuff from the latest album, I roller skated lots, saw friends, went for lunch and ate too much falafel with Helen, Emma and Marian from the library, took my niece shopping and drank coffee in the LP cafe with my dear old friend Sophie

Another highlight was I had my first Josie Dear event. I had run a campaign to raise money to get musicians in to prisons and the first event was in recognition of LGBT+ History month. I bought Miri along for performances and a Q&A. We visited two prisons in one day and both sessions went well. I think Miri made a really great impact. Here is one of my favorite bits of feedback from the day.  It is a little blurry so it says..

“Would you like to see more LGBT events happening here?”

“Yes without doubt as it felt like I had a normal life again”

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I am really pleased with the artists and events I have been able to line up with the funds that were raised and hope I’d be able to perhaps springboard the successes for his small campaign to go for some bigger funding in the future.

I have also been demoing my Football Ep as I go in to the studio at the end of March to start recording. I have been painting my kitchen which we started doing a makeover on in January – I sort of had this idea I would do a room a month as part of a New year overhaul but we are sneaking in to March now and I am still on the first room but nevermind. I have also been busy trying to introduce two new cats in to a house which already has a rabbit and a cat in it!! I know! It is going ok. Kind of.!

February 2019

January 2019

I stopped blogging so much, mostly because I started vlogging instead. However I really like having a blog I can look back on. I printed out my first year of blogs and put them in my memory box. I quite like the idea of being able to do that – it is even nicer if people do read and engage with the posts – so thank you so much if you are reading this.

So, I have made a few New Year’s Resolutions and one of them is to monthly blog. So here I am January 31st getting the first month down.

January started really well, surrounded by good friends at a small house party we welcomed in the New Year. I always make resolutions and find January has a nice “blank canvas” feel to it. I make a lot more resolutions than I keep but that’s by the by.

My first week of 2019 was full up with Music Technology teaching, the teacher I Job Share with had extended his time off over the Christmas/New year break so I got to take the class for a whole week for the first time. They were a new group as well and there was a *lot* of stumbling blocks and paperwork to unravel but I think I managed it. They are a really nice, and talented, group of guys so I am looking forward to working with them over the next few months.
I am doing a lot of learning on the job for this role and currently studying the Level 2 music tech course myself. It is quite nice to be learning alongside the men who come to the sessions, I am going in voluntarily a lot to try and learn as much as I can.

January 6th was my Nephew’s 13th Birthday! It is crazy he is now in to his teenage years! img_0382

I did the New Year thing of getting to the gym a lot more and I am hoping to keep this up. I am part of a Roller Derby league and have some fitness goals I really want to achieve this year. I also took up a Ballet Course which I am really enjoying. I hope it will help with my balance for Roller Derby! I am also really enjoying the music – we get to dance to ‘proper ballet music’ and it is all a lot harder than the ballerinas make it look.
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I was also pretty pleased to be invited along to play at a lovely event at Watford Museum where I got to sing love songs for two hours straight surrounded by beautiful artwork! The exhibition is still showing, if you are near Watford I highly recommend it.
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One of my favourite bits of January was working on a secret recording project which I can’t share right now but I have made a vlog all about it to share in due course 🙂

I also decided to set up my own charity.  It is in memory of my Grandma and I hope to run different campaigns and fundraisers to help spread a little joy now and then. The first fundraiser was to get more musicians in to prison settings. So many generous people donated and I am pleased to say I have already spent some of their money booking wonderful events – first one next month so I am sure to write about it in my next blog.
The fundraiser is still live if you would like to get involved/find out more at this link Josie Dear

I also ventured to my first Labour Women’s meeting. Another New Years resolution is to get more politically pro-active. They were a really nice group of people doing some great projects and I am going to be involved in their International Women’s Day celebrations in March which I am excited for.

I also got involved in a Street performance. Sue Hampton has written a short play about Climate change. I helped to put together a choir to sing the Extinction Rebellion song at the beginning and ending of the play. It was a great experience and I think the choir will be meeting again in the future to do more so watch this space.

Um another thing was I have set up this Creative Admin Club – we haven’t had our first meeting yet. It was inspired by a talk at the From Me to You conference. I plan on getting my creative friends together once a month to try and get some of our admin done – whatever that may look like – claiming PRS, emailing back clients, writing a blog?!, all those onliney things that can really help to spread your music, art, photography etc. to a wider audience but that you sometimes don’t do because you don’t find the time or you aren’t too sure – if you’re reading this, based near Hemel Hempstead and you maybe wanna join then give me a shout.

There’s been some other really lovely things happen but I am about to go and have a little glass of wine and a rest..it’s been a busy week and as the last day of January I think I can break my dry January right? But if you got this far – thanks for reading, please write back to tell me what you are up to, or link me to your blog if you have one.

 

Hope to see you sometime soon for a cup of tea or at a gig 🙂 x

 

January 2019

We want beans not goals

 

Spring should almost be springing (although I write this on a chilly Saturday, having had a radio show appearance cancelled due to snowy weather!) but spring is *almost* springing and with that comes plenty of lovely gigs. I have had a few magical ones to start the year already and am keen to get more. I have some lovely local ones and some really not local at all, need to take a plane to ones. I have some collaborative shows in the pipeline too and I am really excited to get things sorted so I can start promoting and badgering you to get a ticket and come along.

But in the meantime….

As some of you know (and i am guessing if you are a reader of my blog you may be one of those people) one of the projects I have up my sleeve is to release a record of Football songs – I am at the stage with that where it may  not seem like it’s happening, but it is. I am taking any opportunity – such as this weeks snowed in days off work to keep up the research and start nailing down the songs I want to rework/create/cover/pay tribute to on this record. I am SO excited about some of the ones I have discovered.

So here is a little update on things that are circling my head about this at the moment. 

 

Why do I want to do this? Well I am super fascinated with the oral tradition of folk tale – I did a whole masters degree in it – I am keen on that idea that some stories are somehow innate to us, I can’t remember being told Little Red Riding Hood, but I know it – maybe not the same version as you, but I know it, I love the way we twist them and change them and continue to share them and nobody takes credit for the original.  I like that the way we choose to talk about/kill off/forgive the wolf can say a lot about our society or us individually.

I’ve been increasingly more interested in Slave/Worker songs, I love to hear people reworking them in folk clubs, although ever growing in popularity it does still feel to me that these sort of musical moments are a niche, unique and special thing, sung by and listened to by, people who actively choose to engage in music and the tradition of shared stories through song.

Football Chants  seem to me to be one of the lasting oral traditions of our time that are not sought out by local historians or musicians but are sung almost religiously on the weekends by hundreds of thousands of people who do not consider themselves ‘folkys’ ‘musicians’ ‘social commentators’

If you know a football fan who attends matches, who says they aren’t into folk music, perhaps start singing the Wild Rover or something similar at them – I bet they’ll know how to join in. They aren’t likely to be singing the same lyrics. It’s much like Little Red Riding Hood in that way !

So football chants are pretty much designed to encourage your team on to a win, or discredit and distract the opposing team! Some of them are mean, angry, offensive, some of them are encouraging, social commentary, heartfelt, proud – just like the people who sing them-they have their light and their dark.  But where there is hate there is often social commentary – for example, the line of a chant
“I’d hate to be a Scouse, eating rats in a council house”

is pretty offensive – but a quick google search of poverty in liverpool in the early 90s and it gets you to realising that perhaps even these chants have something honest to say about our history in the UK.  I don’t know? but it’s something that interests me.

You’ll hear things you instantly recognise but wont necessarily know why. My favourite to hear is “Oh when the Saints Go Marching in” because it is a song I have heard my Grandad play and sing, and also a song my mum occasionally sings around the house.

There is something about familiar lyrics or even just melodies that feel like home. And I think when a lot of people all start singing something you instantly recognise then that feels really magical to me. I feel a surge of energy and excitement – much more than I do when any goal is scored! – The songs aren’t spontaneously written on the spot but they sort of feel it, they feel like we all know them by heart just like we know how to breathe! This is my favourite part of a live game,  I am perhaps a football fan for all the wrong reasons. I recall similar feelings when I have been in church and everyone sings together. I honestly think if we all stand on a picket line and sing with all our hearts we could change the whole world. 

In my ‘research’ so far, it has been hard to pin down who ‘owns’ a particular football chant or where they have originally come from. They beg and borrow from every genre known, from call and response work songs, hymns, pop, rock, music hall, nursery rhyme – it is all there. Many players have received the Seven Nation Army Treatment way before it became the unofficial anthem for Jeremy Corbyn.

Teams will happily take a chant from other fans if a player with a decent chant transfers to them – it is often just a case of singing a new colour, someone can easily be “Born to be Blue” one season and then “Born to be Red” another!
Club specific songs are hard to pin down – I have already had some great conversations with people who insist that a chant is “theirs” rather than someone elses – seems every single manager has at some point in their career had an “army” that was “barmy”

So far my conversations with Fans/Chanters have been casual but as part of this project I would like to document that too somehow? Maybe some vlogs?

Of course some of the chants are more complete songs you’d know and weren’t necessarily written with the team in mind but they nevertheless belong to that team and there is a football chanters unwritten code that you wouldn’t take it – I guess Liverpool’s ‘You’ll never walk alone’ would be the obvious example of that

It is SUCH an interesting ‘genre’ / way of sharing music with it’s own sort of unwritten rules, ways of being, crediting, sharing, performing. I am obsessed with it! 🙂

 

So I am working on ideas, plans, schemes to put a record together. I want to work with other people, hear from other people, create something wonderful as a tribute to my new favourite genre of what I see as some of the last standing oral tradition we have.
So please get in touch if you want to be involved in some way/any way or have any advice or guidance.

 

And yes, everybody has already recommended I do the John Barnes rap! 

 

We want beans not goals

Germany and Luxembourg October 2017

I say to people “this tour has really snuck up on me. Where does the time go?” But that’s not entirely true. I’ve been all to aware that this tour was just around the corner and that I hadn’t really finalised plans and sorted things out for it. Somewhere between starting a new job, planning an album launch and all the other usual life things I was just running out of time. But I made it! Rushing around like a mad person last minute to get my guitar set up, pants packed and some rehearsals for the gigs done. I arrived at Zoe Konez’s place in London late on Monday night. I’m already 20 minutes late. She’s running later and zips round the corner on her scooter. Some instructions around where the bathroom is and which cat can’t be let out and then we sleep.

An early start to head to Germany awaits and we are both already tired! The comfiest nights sleep at Zoe’s house is followed by a smooth drive to Folkestone to meet Will and then we are on the train and headed on our adventure! -after picking up some snacks in the misleadingly named “99p max” Store.

First gig was for sound garden concerts. It was a great experience. I love

House concerts. I love the whole concept and old fashioned community feel of them.

Our host has made pumpkin soup and it is so wonderful! I feel like any attempts the germs have been making to attack me for this tour have been put in their place by this soup. Followed by a small glass of Mirabelle from the Black Forest.

It was lovely to meet everyone that night! We had such a great time, there were people from all over the place (Netherlands, USA) and of course the wonderful and supportive Ralf who did a 150km round trip to come and see me! Thank you!!!

Before leaving Duisburg we have a look at the Turtle and tiger sculpture 🙂

On to Cowhide concert! A place I’ve visited twice before and am so excited to get back to. The usual warm welcome from Dietmar, Karin and their family greets us.

We learn they’ve had quite a tricky time lately, many people may have thought to cancel but not these two. House concerts is what they do and they do it so well.

It’s always such a pleasure to be in their company. I hope to be back

One day soon

the adventures continued and it was probably one of my favourite tours! Düsseldorf via koblenz, a stop off with the Polizei, dinner in the amazing Soul food, lucky cents being given to us at a gig some exploring of Düsseldorf.

We then headed to a gig at Spirit of music, a one night stop and only a few hours to explore but this was my first trip to Luxembourg and it was so so beautiful. Maybe I can go back one day and explore a little more 🙂

Then a trip to cafe lichtung in Cologne with a wonderful audience who made us not want to leave, I’m sure we will be back again soon.

Such a lovely time with Zoe and Will. Until the next tour 🙂 xx

Germany and Luxembourg October 2017

August 2017 

My blogging hasn’t been as on it as 2016! Due to mixture of being too busy with the stuff to write about the stuff but also not having wifi at home, or my own pc or laptop. You get an hour a day free wifi in my local library and I can use the laptop and my parents place and my wonderful friend DiDi lent me her old gaming laptop for a while but generally I’ve struggled a bit to keep up with emails and blogs and things which aren’t just in a handy little app. 

I was feeling pretty excited about getting a new computer as I’d managed to save a bit of money but then I’m leaving work on Monday evening, the brakes lock on my car, one trip to the garage later and all my savings are gone! 

Back to square one! 
So this months blog is another vlog made on a handy phone app! 
Hope you enjoy it!!!

Here be the link…..

Studio vlog!

August 2017