And so to the new year. New ideas, new schemes, new shows and with a fair wind some new songs.
And just like that, 2022 is almost at a close.
This has been some year…
My new album ‘For Everything Under The Sun’ was released, and I want to personally thank every one of you who has bought a copy so far.
The year delivered so much, but I have to say receiving a personal call from Evan Dando inviting me to open for The Lemonheads as they toured the iconic ‘Shame About Ray’ across the UK, was nothing short of surreal.
Not only did I have the pleasure of playing some great stages (including the London Roundhouse) but I was able to witness, firsthand, the extraordinary talent, which Evan seems to breathe, take to the stage. I watched in awe as he both succeeded and struggled in pursuit of his art. Moments of triumph in the early shows, ending with moments of pain.
A true artist who lives his music.
I guess that’s how the truth is. As harsh as kerosene, sometimes, and not always easy to be around. It was, ultimately, a joy and something I will never forget.
Unbelievably, in the same month, I had the pleasure of opening for the wonderful Marc Almond and his band of wizards on his UK tour. Starting with a special Sunday night at The London Palladium.
Throughout the tour, I was made to feel part of the gang by band and crew. Marc’s repertoire of songs draws from many different places, and he and the band moved through each song with skill, dynamism, and fluidity, like a well-oiled machine. Marc had the grace to invite me up on stage to sing with him every night, and I had the opportunity to play to his audience in beautiful theatres across the country. Meeting members of that audience at the merch stand at every show.
I was surprised and also humbled at how attentive they were, considering I was unknown to them just 30 minutes previously. It’s probably true to say that these shows did more than anything previously to convince me that I have the chops to get the job done.
A lot of miles covered, accompanied by plenty of tunes: powered by way too many Greggs cheese and bean bakes.
From the great North West cities of Liverpool & Manchester to the raucous, joyous Glaswegian crowd and concluding at the magnificent Birmingham Symphony Hall, it was a special couple of weeks. To be able to sing on these stages with my brother Adam and sister Teresa provided eternal snapshots that are now planted and will live, forever, in my memory.
Throughout the year I played various festival stages with my band The Crown Electric, starting at the inaugural Lost Causes Festival in February, and then into summer. These included Glastonbury, Americana Fest, Nibley, Nozstock, Lakefest, and concluding with Shiiiine On in November. As a live band, we faced certain challenges trying to recreate the new album: The songs are so layered and nuanced: produced by the supremely talented Michael Smith.
The challenges were those of presenting the songs without much deeper pockets for band retainers and multiple musicians on stage to play every instrument.
We reworked certain songs in the rehearsal room, and when combined with songs from my previous records, we managed to find a live identity that produced the same power as we had intended, albeit with more stripped back raw energy. I’m grateful to every musician who joined me on stage in The Crown Electric this year; my brother Adam Lipinski, Graham J Nicholls, Stu Englefield, Jon Whitfield & Mike Sutton. For giving up their time for little, and sometimes no money, yet still dedicating themselves to the songs and performances.
A special mention to my wife Saph for her support and understanding over the many days and nights spent away and for having to listen to me sing and play pretty much every day. Incredibly she’s not sick of my music yet. At least I don’t think she is!
Many milestones achieved this year and also many lessons learned. My gratitude to partner in grime, Iain Robertson.Many hours spent together – making plans, plotting the months ahead, long, late motorway miles discussing all things music (and the Universe in general) Always seeking some sense of truth as to where our part might be best played.
A thank you also to Mi Casa Music for making the release of ‘For Everything Under The Sun’ a reality.
To top off the year, I was also humbled to be nominated for the Best Male Artist of the year by Radio Wigwam. A major indie radio station that has supported my new record all year.
Some exciting plans and shows already in place for the coming months.
Lost Causes Festival will be taking place once again on Saturday 25th February – tickets & info available here: https://lostcauses.xtixs.com/event/lost-causes-e0q9
I’ll be out on the road on a UK record store tour and looking forward to seeing some familiar faces up and down the country – full details to be announced soon.
To the fans that have followed me over the last few years, and to all the new faces who have been introduced over the last 12 months – to everyone who has bought my new record, a ticket for a show or a t-shirt; your support is vital and every single one of you is part of this journey.
Wishing you all love, peace, happiness and rock n roll for the year ahead.