New album progress

So I feel like I’m happy to say the new album is finished. Been listening to the final masters and I feel pretty satisfied, which I’m sure most others musicians would agree such satisfaction is a rare occurrence! 😛 Just got the artwork to put together now, and then it’s up to YOU to decide the final track listing! I’m going to be having an online listening party where you can vote for your favourite tracks (more on that later….)

Fare thee well, for now!

Marc.

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Cats are amazing!

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So I’m staying in a hotel in Liskeard tonight and the owners have a gorgeous cat named Tigger. He obviously loves the attention he gets from guests! He’s just chilling in our room right now, sleeping on my sisters lap 🙂

Tomorrow I’m headed back to Nottingham to play at the Guitar Bar, supporting Greg Holden & Katie Costello. The gig starts at 7:30pm and entry is £7 on the door, but I can put you on the £6 guest list if you email me or leave a message on the Facebook event wall (which you can find through my fan page or website.)

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Oxjam huddersfield tomorrow! PLUS Confirmed for 2012 Glastonbudget festival!

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So i’m off to Huddersfield tomorrow to play at Little Buddha Bar as part of Oxjam Huddersfield – I’ll be on at around 8pm but there will be some great bands and artists playing from around 4pm at lots of different venues so make sure you check them out 🙂

Oh yes and as the post title says – I got an email through today saying my place at Glastonbudget 2012 is confirmed, which is great news 🙂 I’ll let you know ASAP what day I’m playing and stage times etc so you can get tickets if you’re thinking of coming along!

I keep mentioning it but it’s because it’s not one to miss – I’m supporting Greg Holden & Katie Costello at the Guitar Bar in Nottingham on Tuesday 18th Oct – it starts at 7pm and you can get tickets HERE

Also check out my youtube channel for some new covers – there are some up now and there will be more to come in the next few weeks 🙂

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Blogging on the go!

So my phone contract ran out recently, and seeing as I wanted a cheaper monthly bill I thought I may as well upgrade my phone too!

I’m now pleased to announce I’ve entered the world of smartphones (albeit later than most!)

Right now I’m posting this from the WordPress Android app that I’ve just installed!

What does this mean, you ask? Well now I can blog on the go, which will be great when I’m on tour etc., so hopefully I should be blogging more regularly from now on!

Hope you’re all having a good week! Don’t forget I’m playing at the Little Buddha Bar for Oxjam Huddersfield on Sat 15th, & I’m supporting Greg Holden & Katie Costello at the Guitar Bar in Nottingham on Tues 18th – hope to see you there 🙂

Marc.

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LeftLion December 2011 cover shoot escapades!

So yesterday I went to the Black Cherry Lounge (formerly ‘The Rig’) at Rock City in Nottingham. Why was I there? Well, several weeks beforehand LeftLion magazine announced via The Nusic podcast that they were going to be doing something special there. For the December issue of their magazine they wanted to take a photo of the entire Nottingham music scene (or thereabouts, anyway) to use as the cover picture. To do this they had hired out Rock City for an evening. Considering LeftLion are a not-for-profit community organization I found this pretty incredible.

The idea was fun, brought creatively minded people together and also helped to create press/social media buzz about Nottingham (yet some people still weren’t pleased – more on that later!) So there I was, stood in the Black Cherry Lounge with a group number, waiting for it to be called so I could take my place within the photoshoot going on in the main stage area of Rock City. I swear everywhere I looked all evening there were familiar faces.  Gerry Trimble, Long Dead Signal, Gallery 47, Delta Sun, The Golden Troubadours/Oldboy, the Nusic team, Nina Smith, Motormouf, Royal Gala members, Breadchasers, Baby Godzilla, Poddingham Paul, Liam Bailey, Mr Roo Inns, Roger, Bainy & Andy from Notts live – yeah, I could be here all night – you get the picture!

Once the photoshoot kicked off we all stood there for half an hour or so whilst everybody tried to organise themselves amongst the chaos. There were so many people there it was hard to get everyone in the picture, so ‘take a step back’ got called out a fair bit! There were some issues with taller people blocking others, but seeing as the photo was taken from above at an angle I think it should turn out OK.

Whilst this was going off there were two hipster/indie kid types behind me, presumably from some band too awesome for a mere mortal such as myself to have heard of. I wish I knew who these guys were so I could name & shame them (although I’m too nice to do that anyway) as these guys were some of the BIGGEST PRICKS I have ever come across in my life. They spent the entire shoot whining about ‘how shit‘ it was, saying over and over ‘this is a TERRIBLE idea’ etc in mocking, whiny voices. I was so tempted to say to them ‘well if it’s so shit, why the fuck are you here??‘ Granted, the organisation of the whole event wasn’t perfect – but why would it be? They should appreciate that lots of people had worked fucking hard, in their SPARE TIME to make it happen. I’d like to see them do better anyway – although considering at one point they said ‘we’re the only ones here who are going to make it anyway‘ (yes, they really did say that) they probably thought they were masters of the fucking universe or something.

Anyway, despite that dampener on the evening there was only one other disappointment for me. After the shoot there was an after party in the Black Cherry Lounge – only about 50 odd people stuck around for it, out of 400 odd people. Way to miss an excellent networking opportunity, Nottingham! Seriously, this is one thing that disappoints me about the Notts music scene – you get an amazing opportunity like that, and people don’t make the most of it. Still, those of us that stuck around had a laugh and a banter and all was good. Motormouf and an eclectic array of other musicians all entertained us with a freestyle jam on the mini stage there too, which was cool.

So yeah, all in all a fantastic evening, only marred slightly by some people’s attitudes. I would like to say a HUUUUUUGE thanks to LeftLion (and Nusic too, and Parisa from Basement Forte) for organizing the whole thing – I am very grateful for such an awesome opportunity. I await the December magazine in anticipation! 😀

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Singing tips for those bad vocal days!

We all have them right? Whether it’s a cold, sore throat, dehydration or any number of other causes – all singers have their off days. Sometimes it happens for no apparent reason, often due to lack of sleep and/or stress. As I’m currently struggling with ongoing sinus problems (or at least that’s what the doctor tells me) I thought I’d share with you the tricks I’ve learned to deal with those off days, and also how to minimise them:

1) Sleep well, maintain a balanced, healthy diet – seems pretty obvious, right? You would think so, but it’s amazing how many of us don’t get enough sleep, or neglect our diet. I’m not the best at keeping on top of either – but it’s amazing how much better I feel when I am well slept and eating decent meals!

2) Drink LOTS of water – again, pretty obvious. But again many people don’t drink enough water – especially singers. You should be drinking more than 8 glasses a day. I find it’s helpful to keep a big bottle of water by my side, especially on the day of a show- that way I can stay constantly hydrated. This is probably the easiest step of them all, and yet the one that has the biggest difference!

3) Lemon & Ginger – both are great for a rough throat of for fighting a cold. Try ginger and lemon fruit teas – or squeeze some fresh lemon and mix it with boiled water, honey, and a bit of ginger. It tastes great and really helps soothe your throat and clear out your airways.

4) Vocalzone tablets – these things are great! They’re essentially a mixture of menthol, myrrh tincture (I think?) and other good stuff. Tom Jones and other famous singers use these. Simply take one about 10 minutes before you go on stage. They are very soothing and help you to relax when you sing. You can get them from most pharmacists and health food stores, as well as music shops. In the UK they’re about £3.50 for a pack of 24 tablets, so they’re not bad value.

5) Vocal warm ups. Just as an athlete needs to warm up their bodies before an event, so they don’t strain themselves, a singer should warm up their vocal chords. If you can, before practicing or playing a show, you should do warm ups for 10-15 minutes. I usually last 5 or 10 before I get bored! (haha)

Some simple excercises are A) humming. Start with the note you can hum with the smallest amount of effort. Keep humming that note for a few minutes. Once your voice starts to relax, starting moving up the scale. Don’t push your voice, do it gradually, and don’t force yourself out of your range. B) vocal trills or rolls. I’m not going to try to explain this – here’s a video instead as it’ll be easier for you to grasp:

Just doing these simple excercises can go a long way in making your singing life much easier. It doesn’t stop there though and there a lot more excercises and vocal techniques you can learn – which is why may professional singers opt for singing lessons.

6) Quit smoking, quit drinking – although both are considered to be equally bad for the voice, most people don’t drink alcohol constantly throughout the day, whereas many smokers smoke throughout. I used to smoke and quitting was the best thing I did. I found it surprisingly easy to quit, but it may be worth you seeking help from your GP if you’re struggling.
As for alcohol – I still drink socially every now and then, but I refrain from drinking at shows until after I’ve performed. All I’d say on this one is be sensible – your wallet will thank you for it anyway!

7) Vitamin supplements – they will help strengthen your immune system, and Vitamin C can help prevent colds. Right now I’m taking Vitamin C and Vitamin B tablets. The Vitamin C tablets are chewable and taste yummy.

Obviously this is all suggestions based on personal experience, and if you are having ongoing vocal problems it is best to go see a doctor or ENT specialist and try to get to the root cause. I am certainly no expert and not qualified to give proper advice. These tips are generally aimed at people who have the odd off day, rather than someone with ongoing issues.

Hope someone finds this helpful, just thought I’d share some thoughts with you 🙂

All the best,

Marc.

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My debut album ‘Perfectly Fine’ almost sold out!

Hey everyone, been making some good progress lately and been selling a lot of CD’s at shows, and I’m pleased to say I’m almost sold out of the first run of CD’s! Unfortunately it’s looking like it won’t be possible for me to get another run done, for several reasons – but mainly due to a lack of funds (due to the cost of releasing my new album Remember Me.)

However, it will still be available to buy digitally online via marcreeves.co.uk, Amazon & iTunesfor as long as the internet continues to exist – so if you’re enjoying the tunes then help support me in my music making quest by picking up a copy! 🙂 You can do so knowing that you’ll be helping me fund potentially getting another run of CD’s done, and also in funding the new album and other future music. Basically, by buying my music you are enabling me to make more, so if you like my music then it’s a win – win situation for both you and me 🙂

All the best,

Marc.

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