What Jessie Did Next...

...being the inane ramblings of a mundane Yorkshire bird.

It is done, sent off, completed. The studio is once again quiet and tidy – I’ve even managed to hoover the rug. Even so, it’s littered with soldered makeshift instruments and lyrics scribbled, printed and sellotaped to random surfaces: they adorn the shelves, the mic stands, even the back of my chair. But my first solo album is finished and out of the door – it’s a wrap!

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One of the longest-serving computers I have kicking around is a shell server which since 1993(ish) has hosted my email, domain names, and websites.

Of course it’s been patched and reinstalled but I never bothered actually clearing the configurations up to remove old projects. Yesterday it suffered a bit of a meltdown and I took the initiative to finally do some tidying, a process which largely involved manually going through everything bit-by-bit, line-by-line.

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Those of you who are regular readers will know of my love of all things Eurovision: the song contest which, despite being about us all getting on and loving each other is quite the global battleground. I threw Eurovision parties alongside my ex for around ten years, then in more recent times hosted small intimate get-togethers while friends watched the show. Last year I said I wouldn’t host another one, so throwing caution to the wind I booked myself a ticket to Stockholm for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.

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Having a bit of spare time on my hands over Christmas last year I started writing music again, all leading up to an album release on 17th November 2016, a year after the first song was written. It’s a bit of a mix of genres and styles, but I play most things on there, involving talented pals when it feels right.

You can find out more about it (including a rather nice interview written by student journo Andy Carson) over on The Bleeding Obvious website.

There’s also a Facebook page, and a Twitter stream – of course there is, this is 2016…

The dust has settled on the whole circus of the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, a year which felt stranger than previous events for a number of reasons.

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Last weekend Simon and I revisited our Eurovision Song Contest 2015 submission “Mirrorball” (which didn’t get picked, obviously – that laudation going to Electro Velvet). We did however decide it needed to be released properly, and when better to do it than Eurovision season itself?

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I finally got sick of my Apple Airport Express network not quite behaving, and having to jump through hoops to play from the big fileserver holding my MP3 collection, and having to deal with sodding iTunes. My current workplace has a pair of Sonos units which are used in the office as a jukebox for the staff to play whatever music they want, and that seemed to tick most of my boxes.

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Similar to last year, I contributed an article for Leeds independent Jumbo Records‘ fanzine to commemorate Record Store Day 2015, carefully put together by my lovely pals Reb and Antonia – given lots of people won’t have managed to get a copy, I’ve reproduced the article here…

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Two bits of music for you!

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A few weeks on the heels of my post about Unity, we got a response from relevant bit of the BBC…

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unity_logo_800pxHey everyone, I’m in a girl band.

Yeah, I know, it definitely wasn’t on the plan, but here we are… I’m part of an all-female act called Unity from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK, who are hoping to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with our song Mirrorball.

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Ben's Head-ShavingAs announced a couple of weeks ago, my young son Ben had decided to raise some dosh for Cancer Research UK by having all his lovely locks shorn off.

Given he’d be walking around completely hairless for a bit, it seemed sensible to do it at the start of the half-term break so he had a chance to get a little bit of head-fuzz back. Thus, last Saturday we headed to Charlies Hair Salon in Wakefield (note: no apostrophe) to get the deed done.

The lad was remarkably chipper and quite excited when we arrived, and a small crowd had gathered to make sure he went through with it! Sitting in the chair, full of smiles, the hairdresser asked nervously, “Are you sure? All off?”

“All off.” I confirmed. “Bald as a coot.” And so it began…

ben_composite

…and it was done in less than ten minutes, all ready for the cold snap we’re due next week!

In total, the boy raised £862.50 for Cancer Research UK, and we’re very very proud of him of course – well done kid, this is one very proud Dad!

Thank you to everyone who contributed and who gave a few quid (and lots more sometimes!) when I asked, and thanks to Charlies who did the head-shave for free and ran a collection in the salon during the shave – you are really stellar people!

Hairy Ben“Sponsor my son, please!”

My son Ben has taken it upon himself to raise a bit of dosh for Cancer Research UK by shaving all his hair off and going bald, and he is seeking sponsor donations for it. He’s always been the lad with the longest hair in his school, and is well known for his mop – it’ll be a bit odd seeing him bald (and I don’t envy him given it’s approaching winter). All power to the lad though!

The hair, once snipped, will hopefully be going to another cancer charity to weave wigs for kids who’ve lost their hair through chemo, etc. so it’s all good!

If you can find it in your hearts to chuck a couple of quid his way please, that’d be lovely and he would be epically grateful (and so will I!). I’ll post some photos once he’s all bald, and maybe even Ellie will do a video of the ritual head-shaving on Youtube.

His fundraising page is at https://www.justgiving.com/ben-rowbottom/ – even a couple of quid would be welcome, please!

nltj_podcast_logoI’m podcasting again, under the monicker of No Less Than Jess. It’s got its own (rudimentary) place to listen which is over at www.nolessthanjess.co.uk but you can subscribe via iTunes Podcast Directory.

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07473_freedomtoIt’s Pride season in the UK – all sorts of carrying-on-alarming from the LGBT scene and its supporters, rainbow flags and walking groups, free hugs, camp-as-anything acts, and a lot of very very drunk people. The first Pride for me is usually the big one in London at the end of June which – after a hell of a car-crash of a parade in 2012 – has bounced back with aplomb.

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