Posted on: January 6th, 2015
Ey Up Folks!
Happy New Year! Though it’s been back to work for most this week, I hope you’ve had a corker of a festive season and a good time was had by all! I also hope you are now fully recovered from what is usually the most manic time of year (well in my experience anyways). Being one of six kids with a myriad of nieces and nephews you can imagine it gets pretty crazy catching up with everyone (have you watched the episode of Vicar of Dibley where Geraldine goes to four xmas dinners? That’s me!)
So here I am, sat in my lounge, taking a lovely bit of chill time to reflect on the year that has been; my laptop is perched upon my knees and I have a piping hot horlicks at my side to help me along (Horlicks? I hear you cry! ‘You’re only 25 Luce! – ‘I don’t care, it’s well tasty!’)
So here we go 2014 in a nutshell, a summary of happennings that most defiantely will miss out loads of noteworthy bits but I’m gonna try and capture the highlights as I attempt to preserve this crazy rollercoaster for when I am old and purple (instead of grey!) and hopefully it might be vaguely interesting for you guys too!
* I was in a young’uns music video
* Big Cupola:Ward gig at Derby Guildhall, happy days :)
Photograph by Graham Whitmore
* I went to the Royal Albert Hall for the first time to attend the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards where I was super jammy enough to be the youngest person ever nominated for the prestigious title of Folk Singer Of The Year!
Cecil necklace of dreams custom made by Dotty Flamingo
* The first full Lucy Ward Band gig
* A couple of cheeky gigs were had while we (me, Rob and my folks) worked for hours each day preparing for the upcoming the LWB tour!! :D
* The first ever LWB tour – You guys met this tour with more enthusiasm and support than I could have ever expected, making double encores and standing ovations a common place thing which blew my mind somewhat!!
The final night of the tour at Matlock Pavilion – you gotta love a home gig! Photo by Graham Whitmore.
* My big bro got married to my super lovely sister in law :D
Me and my bros at our Steve’s wedding
* Festival season kicked off, I went all over the shop: Whitby, Upton, Bristol, Chester, London, Chesterfield to name but a few of the towns.
* Glastonbury Festival!! I had the massive honour of playing on Billy Bragg’s LeftField stage. As the man is my hero, this was just totally nuts. I wrote a brand new song for the festival (commissioned by Billy and 14-18 NOW) called ‘Lion’ about a young man who was shot at dawn during WW1
* And here is Lion performed with the Brighouse and Rastrick Band
* Saw my first gigs in Germany at the marvellous Stimmen festival…lucky for us it was during the world cup finals!
Me and the Lovely Anna Esslemont (fiddle player extraordinaire) avec festival posters!
* LWB played Warwick main stage…WOOOO I love WFF
* Me and Rob got engaged! He popped the question as we were heading down the harbour on Sark…I later found out his plans to propose on little Sark a day earlier had been foiled by a lack of hire bikes on the island and by band members using their initiative to catch earlier boats…doh! :p
* I got to play at the 50th Cambridge Folk Festival! It was the first time I had played there since my full capacity club tent showcase back in ’12
* I actually went on holiday for the first time in 3 years. Ok I went camping with the family but for some pure, unadulterated chill time it was ace!
* Chumbawamba put together a special concert to raise awareness for Gaza, I was so touched to be asked to be part of something so special, varied and vital alongside chumbas, Roy Bailey, Yorkshire Life Aquatic, magicians, poets and more.
* I embarked on a 5 year project with the open university and a vast array of other collaborators on the future of sustainabilty. Sounds fancy eh? and clever? More to come on this through 2015 ;)
* The mad wedding DIY begins slowly as preparations for the second LWB tour got underway
* LWB AUTUMN TOUR – Where you guys took on the challenge and made it even bigger and better than our spring tour. We had a lot of fun on the road and it seems like a good moment to once again thank Sam, Joy, Steve, Belinda and Heidi for their music and general awesomeness! I had a blast, learnt so much and I am looking forward to the next incarnation of the LWB as it evolves and grows with Album number 3.
* I was commissioned to write a song for The Verb on BBC Radio 3 and performed it live on air for their Elizabeth Gaskell special…cor blimey, that feels almost surreal just saying that outloud.
* I collaborated with Brighouse and Rastick Band at Homegrown Festival. I can’t describe what a special opportunity it was, but I will say is that I am the sort of person who cries when they walk past the sally army on the street cos the sound is so beautiful and pure…imagine that ten fold and the having to sing. They were awesome and keep your ears peeled cos we are talking about hopefully working together again in 2015/16
* I became a real grown up…I know this because I bought my first ever new carpet, and it turned me into the kind of person that doesn’t let people where shoes in their house (or atleast not until I’ve spilled tea on it) GROWN UP!
* I worked with the fabulous Oddsocks again, writing tunes for their fabulous production of Wind In The Willows (which is still on tour so go check it out). It is always a pleasure to work with them and also great to get a chance to step outside my norm and write something a bit different :)
* First ever German tour!! Although I visited Germany in the summer for a festival appearance I got to return to the land of awesome food (yes, that is what I am calling Germany now) for a headline tour. It was wonderful to get a chance to explore the country and the gigs were a blast, plus I finally found a country that treats bread and cheese with the respect it deserves! Brot mit Kase anyone?
* Me and Rob got married and it was by far the most wonderful day of our lives so far. We were completely overwhelmed by the love, kindness and support from our family, friends (not to mention you lovely lot) that both of us spent most of the day in floods of happy tears. You can see our short, and sweet wedding video below, glitter dinosaur party in the woods wedding anyone?
* Rob had used up all his holidays from work on touring with me in the summer so we took a mini-moon at a little eco writing retreat in Herefordshire. There was a piano there…I now really want a piano…
* The last throes of the month were full of planning for 2015 , album number 3, gigs, the universe and everything
So there you have it! 2014 was a total adventure. A year of trying new things, new sounds, new band… this time last year I just felt like the time had come for me to push the boat out musically, to up my game, to try new things with my live performance and I think it’s been a great year and a huge learning curve that will hopefully serve me well as I hurtle head first in to starting work on album number 3. I wanted to thank all of you who have supported me over this year, all of you who have come to listen to me on tour with the band, followed me online, seen me at festivals, bought my records (SOPPY PART BREWING ALERT) it really does mean the world to me.
Anybody who is self employed knows what hard work it can be being your own boss, work is always just on the laptop so switching off isn’t something you do often and days are pretty much always 14 or more hour shifts. For musicians it can be even harder because you spend so much time doing all the admin, gig booking, promoting, planning, that sometimes it’s hard to find the time to actually write and play! But to be able to sit here, looking back on another year where I have been lucky enough to be a full time professional musician and enjoy all the wonderful experiences and variety that this crazy lifestyle brings I know that it’s been all worth it, but mostly I know that this definitely wouldn’t be happening without you! You are awesome, and I mean that in the fullest, most sincere way a person possibly can.
2015 holds much in store for me:
* I am heading out on my fist solo tour in over a year! I’ll be performing a series of intimate concerts where along with some of your favourite tracks I will be playing brand new tracks from my forthcoming record. You can find out more about the Return To Roots Tour HERE
* Album number 3…more on that later
* and some exciting collaborations…
Right, I reckon I have waffled on enough, happy new year folks :)