40 gigs update

The 40 gigs plan is go!

First gig will be 1st February, C Duncan at Thekla courtesy of the lovely Jacqui . Other wonderful friends, Dawn, Udall, Claire and Janine have pledged gigs for me.

Help to fund me getting to the target of 40, or these Bristol venues  do gift vouchers Colston Hall and  St George’s that I could use to get tickets to a gig there anytime in the year.

I am so grateful for the support shown so far, and the positive way this silly idea has been embraced. Thank you



This year I turn 40. Everyone kept asking “what are you going to do?” and I didn’t have an answer. I’m not one for big parties. I didn’t want to travel on a special trip. My son suggested I had a bowling party, and a grown up version crossed my mind as a possibility.

Then I thought some more. And I decided what I want to do.

40 gigs. In my 40th year.

The last couple of years have been challenging; my Mum died, I’ve had 2 major surgeries and survived sepsis. For the first time in my adult life I am healthy and I really want to celebrate being alive and getting older. Music, live music, makes me feel more alive and connected than anything. Which is why I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my 40th birthday than this.

I’ll start, probably, with Elbow on March 9th and I’ve a ticket to Michael Kiwaunka a week before my actual birthday in May. And nothing else booked as yet. Leaving me needing 38 more gigs before 8th March 2018.

To achieve this  I am asking that kind folk like you buy me a ticket to a gig, any gig, or donate money to a fund I’ll set up for me to buy tickets/fund the travel that may be required. Any offers of transport or accommodation will also be gratefully received. I want this to be a shared experience so if you are planning on going to a gig, take me with you! I want to see old friends again and make new ones along the way.

I’ll travel – anywhere within Bristol for a start but Cardiff, Oxford, Exeter, London, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham are all achievable. I’d love to get to Scotland if I can for the legendary crowds. Big gigs, little gigs, known artists and surprises, I’m up for them all. I just want 40 gigs. Any style of music. Live music anywhere, anytime, any genre. I’d love to see you on my travels and share a gig with you.

There’ll be caveats of course, has to be Wednesday or Thursday night in Bristol (or Cardiff), every other Friday, Saturday or Sunday anywhere else and as I don’t drive within public transport reach (unless you are offering a lift as well!). I really can’t afford to fund this all on my own, and I know it’s a big ask, but its a big birthday and I want to see it in and out in style. A style all of my own. Will you join me in the musical journey of a lifetime?

Recently I met up with an old friend and agreed to let him take my portrait. I’ve never let anyone photograph me before, I went behind the lens so I couldn’t be in front of it.

This is the resulting  photograph

Ever since I saw it I can’t stop thinking about what it means. To be seen. About how we present ourselves. About what we think we reveal and about what we cannot really control; how others see us. About identity. About how we age and change and grow. About how my discomfort with the process reveals more than the shot itself. About how very intimate an experience it is to sit for someone.

And I’ve been trying to put together some words to explore and explain this. For once I’ve found myself failing at the one thing I am usually very good at. Maybe I should let the image stand alone this time.