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Back in Australia, And Back from Europe!!

Well folks, here I am, back in Australia, returned from Europe summer tour no.5.  With shows through Holland, Italy, and Ireland, with a few spots in Switzerland, France and the UK, we played 50 or so shows in just over 3 months, I can’t believe we got through it all, and made it back!!  It’s quite unbelievable if I think about.  Though sorry for such a delay in this new post…..time goes by so fast, you don’t even realise it.

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Back on the road and headed to Europe!!

As I sit here in the beautiful countryside, just outside of Sydney, I can’t believe how time has flown by so fast, it’s already July.  Last time news item, it was the end of May, and I was recovering from a broken ankle.  What a period that was.  Desperately trying to regain my strength, getting over this massive injury, I was determined to get back into things.  Whilst maintaining balanced recovery, you’ve gotta keep going, otherwise you just stand still.  It’s a case of making small actions, small steps, and with each little progression, things get better.

I must have done over 50 shows since mid Feb, having travelled as far north, as Cooktown.  Despite the challenges that have been thrown my way…..it’s all steps within the bigger picture.  With just a few days now to go, before I hit the road again, I’ve a short amount of time of quiet out in the country.  And in this moment, I am hit with some sad news – a dear friend of mine passed away a couple days ago.  A great musician, and great human, he played for Tailor Birds for a few special shows.  He also recorded on the latest album, and I’m forever grateful for him – the music we played, the beers we drank, the chats we had, and as I look back on this time that I knew him, as I’m now starting to walk again, I have to move forward, there’s no other choice.  And this is where the ‘Stilts on the Water’ tour begins…..

With just a moment to breath and remember my dear friend, the ‘Stilts on the Water’ tour is launching through Europe, tour #5.  Heading through Holland, Ireland, Italy, and the UK, we’ll be playing our first ever Irish Festival,the Boyle Arts Fest, and our first ever appearance in Italy, Ferrara Buskers, a 10 day street festival.  With some new venues and festivals, we’ll of course also be playing some old favourites incl. Taribush Kuna, Fantasia Fest, Amsterdam’s Dokhuis, Woodburner at London’s Dalston Eastern Curve Gardens, plus a run of shows outside London’s Tate Modern, and a run of street shows through Ireland.  This and more, dates will be added as we go, as no doubt this tour like all the others, brings the unexpected.  After touring for the past few months through Oz, with all the ups and downs, I’m pretty excited for this one….new venues, new band, new music, new sound, it’s set to be a great summer!!

So….check out our tour dates people….I’ll be joined by a few special guests, Jerome, our dutch pianist for our Dutch festivals and gigs, Bob Glynn, our drummer for the Boyle Arts Fest, and some other guests no doubt throughout these next few months.  Plus…..we’ve got some new promo shots & possibly some radio happening, this is all in aid of promoting the new record, and new developed sound that is ‘White Feather’.  Please keep checking back on both our website tour dates page, but also on Bandsintown and our social media Facebook & Instragram for all additional shows.

So, the ‘Stilts on the Water’ tour begins in a matter of days….please look after yourselves folks, as life is short, so go for your dreams, shoot for the stars, but remember to never fear to fall back into your loved ones arms.  Sophie  xx

The Road Is An Interesting One

What a period its’ been since we last posted some news in early April.  If you don’t follow our social media – facebook and instagram, you may not know the news……just over 6 weeks ago, over the Easter weekend period, I was playing at the Bluesfest busking competition.  42 acts were selected, including the Tailor Birds……and that night, after I played the semi-finals, I went to park our van, and had a bit of an accident.  I broke my ankle.  A visit to the hospital confirmed this, we had a tri malleolar fracture.  It’s been quite an intense period, and so it’s definitely been a time of recovery and figuring out how to move forward.  So now that our news has been laid out, we can fill you in on the backstory, and how this period has gone.

When such an accident happens, everything changes, and your mind, body and spirit has to find a way to make it through, out the other side.  An accident happens in a split second, something you can never predict.  It was mid february, and I had started touring full time.  In just 2 months, I’d played over 30 shows, and the van conversion was one of the best things I could have done.  April rolled in, Easter was coming, and I was heading to Byron Bay to play the Bluesfest busking comp.  I never classed myself as a blues artist, but I’m one for trying new things, seeing where they lead.  Those 15 minutes, performing 3 songs, passed in a split second, it feels like a dream.  And as the rain shattered down, the semi-finals drew to a close.  I waited for the rain to stop, before I headed off to get some sleep.  And that’s when the unbelievable happened.  I parked the van, got out the car, I slipped and fell, and crack, I heard my left foot split.  I was soon to find out that I wouldn’t be able to walk for 6 weeks, and that’s when everything changes.

You might be wondering what has happened since that moment.  Firstly, we got into the finals of the competition, so we of course, had to play that, the one show we played in this period, and did not cancel.  One of 8 acts, it was a great final.  Such amazing artists selected, it was great day.  Apart from that, all shows have had to be cancelled these past 6 weeks, its’ been a case of rest and recovery.  So the result…..we didn’t win the competition, but all is well – it was an amazing couple shows, leading to an appearance at the actual Bluesfest next year.  We also rescheduled St Albans Folk festival for next year.  But here is the wonder that is the Bluesfest busking comp.

And whilst I’ve recovered, I’ve been non weight bearing.  A couple days ago, the cast got taken off, and I’m now on the road to recovery.  The x-rays show that all is healed, the metal plate and numerous screws in my left ankle are nicely fitted, and the pain is pretty much gone.  And now, with the help of a moon boot, I am able to walk.  Six weeks have passed, and it’s time to get back into things……with building back up momentum, zest for life also comes back.  With that in mind, I’m playing shows again, whilst taking a bit more time, to not rush, but instead heal.  With a bit of help from a muso friend of ours, we’re driving up the coast, and heading to play the following :

  • Brisbane City of Sounds
  • The Bohemian Bungalow in Eumundi
  • Appearances in Port Macquarie, Milton, Pomona, Mackay, Cairns, Port Douglas
  • The Riverbend tours all the way up in Cooktown

And whilst we get back into things, playing some nice select shows, it’ll be a peaceful, beautiful trip up north, headed past some beautiful spaces no doubt.  This has to be my favourite tho……Jourama Falls :

And if that wasn’t enough news, it’s time to release a new record, a half hour piece of music, ‘Stilts on the Water’.  This will be an interlude between album no.2 and 3.  A half hour release, an affordable record, inspired by these past few months of shows, it’s coming out soon folks.  And whilst all that progresses, and some new songs appear, ready for album #3, I’ll be prepping for Europe.  Time has yet again, flown by.

SO……you wonder about July…..??  I’ll be returning to Europe.  Not only will this be tour no. 5, but we’ll also be adding Italy into the mix.  With a return to some beautiful spaces, and some new appearances, we’ll be including :

  • Boyle Arts Festival – our first ever Irish festival booking
  • Ferrara Buskers – our first ever Italian festival booking, and first ever performances in Italy, this is a massive street festival over 9 days, with over 300 acts.
  • Taribush Kuna, Holland
  • Fantasia Fest, Holland
  • A big London show – Woodburner events at the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
  • A run of appearances out the front of the Tate Modern
  • Street shows through major towns in Ireland
  • Local Amsterdam and other Dutch gigs
  • And more no doubt!!

This will be the ‘Stilts on the Water’ tour, watch this space for everything tour related, tour van related, and most importantly dates.  In Europe I’ll be introducing some special guests, and I’d love to see you.  So whilst prepping my mind, my body, and my brain for these coming months, all is looking well.  If I can walk again, all must be well!!  So…..til next time, look after yourselves.  Sophie  xx

We’re now on tour full-time….what a feeling

Three months since our last news post……that feels like a long time ago, and 2016, what a year that was.  Sorry for such a delay, but 2016 was a busy one.  Last year saw the release of new single, Ashen, & album #2 ‘Wide Awake I See The Storm’, we did our 4th European tour & some Aussie touring through VIC, QLD, NSW, & SA.  We also played a run of shows inside & outside an actual climbing wall in Brunswick, Melbourne, we had some pretty special radio airplay from numerous stations around Australia & Europe, and we also had a lush Rhythms magazine review of the new album.  It’s great to read some really special reviews of the album, and it’s of course thanks to the guys at Foghorn Publicity who do our Aussie publicity.  Looking back over that list…..man, how is it possible we did all that……I can’t quite believe it myself.

Though a lot has changed since my last post.  Months go by so fast, it’s key to keep moving forward.  And after last summers’ European tour, the work is starting to pay off……people are buying our music, coming to shows, we’re gaining new fans, and linking in with some good people……we’ve played numerous festivals – medieval, fantasy, small community, and larger more experimental festivals.  With the success of last years’ Castlefest, Fantasia Fest, Landjuweel, and Taribush Kuna, and through all our touring through Europe, we managed to get our first ever Irish festival booked in for summer ’17 – the BOYLE ARTS FESTIVAL.
YES…….I can’t quite believe it myself……it’s all good!!  So yes, life is good, it just takes time to get there, wherever there is!!

Last September I flew back to Melbourne, after 30 plus shows through Europe, in two months.  I sat and looked at my house, walked up and down the hallway 100 or so times, drank numerous cups of coffee, did a veggie juice diet, started more bookings, continued to play more shows, went for a 5km run or 2, and generally re-assessed what to do moving forward.  Whilst continuing to play more shows, I needed and wanted to make a big change…….I was hesitant to come back to Melbourne and go back into the same pattern.

October arrived, and I decided to go on the road full-time.  It was too hard going back and forth.  I’d been inspired by all my travels, and tours, that to really make this sustainable, we had to make the move to touring full time.  It was a risk, but definitely a calculated risk.  I’ve toured quite consistently for others and for myself for the past 10 years or so, and with all the other work I’d done, it was not so much of IF, but HOW we would do this.  And with my lease ending in mid Feb, I packed up the house in Melbourne, and turn a van into a portable home and music venue.  In Dec I found it…….a 2002 Toyota Hiace Commuter, that I would convert into a mobile home, work space, living space, and with the ability to be a pop-up music venue.

The aim was that the tour would be all about the power of the people, staying open to opportunities that happen when you are present.  So I sold, chucked out, gave away, threw away, pretty much everything, and moved the rest into storage.  And in my search to get to what I have now…..it was too hard to find something that was already made, I decided to build the thing myself.  Looking back it was a massive job, but at the time, I guess you just move forward, and try make the best decision you can possibly make at the time.  Anything is possible really, and this is proof.  5 weeks later, it was done. Definitely not an easy task, you’d be surprised tho, that it’s all just steps.  You might ask what we did??

  • I watched a heap of videos, looked at van conversions, and planned out a few different designs.
  • We took out the seats and stripped the insides.
  • I insulated with reflectix, foam board, expandable foam, a massive roll of recycled insulation and other bits and pieces.
  • Myself and Daniel my drummer in Melbourne, designed the space and got to work.  After many hours……..and with the help of a few other builders, helpers and friends, we carved out our wooden panels, sanded, polyeurethened, and built the whole thing into what it is now.
  • I got the van weighed and moved all my stuff in – PA system, electric violin, clothes, merch, kitchen, work stuff, bedding, everything, including the kitchen sink, quite literally.
  • Along the way, I’ve had a few additions I’ve needed to do – sorting a few of the cables, tidying up the place, generally getting it more homely, finishing the roof, but we got on the road, and we’re now pretty much complete!!

You can see a heap of pics on our Instagram page, plus a hyperlapse video of the whole van fit-out is coming soon, but here’s a few pics to tie you over….. :

So where are we now??  It’s April, early April, and I’m at the start of week 8.  After 10 years based in Melbourne, I’ve now released myself from one spot, from paying high rental costs, tying me down to one space, whilst also flying back and forth from gig to home, to gig to home……I can now actually tour Tailor Birds full time, keep our costs down, and most importantly, make impact!!  What a thought that is…..perhaps we can bring some positive change in a world that is constantly changing.  And the van is done!!!  It’s now my home for when I’m in Australia, and it’s completely mobile.

Since the start of this new tour, I’ve played over 25 shows, through 20 or so towns, and all is well.  Though last week we had Cyclone Debbie forcing the cancellation of a couple gigs up in Northern Queensland, but I’m safe, which is the main thing.  Next week I’ll be up at the Byron Bay Bluesfest Busking Competition, and we’re then set to play the St Albans Folk Fest in NSW in just a couple weeks.  This month is looking pretty nice.  I love what I do, but yeh, it’s not all so easy……..it’s key to get a bit of routine within long drives, booking shows on the road, playing as much as possible, promoting as much as possible, staying balanced and generally finding what works, and what doesn’t.  I’m a one woman solo act at the moment, and that was one of the main reasons to get this happening as soon as possible.  So that I could test out this new touring schedule and change of life, and then could go to Europe for Europe tour no. 5, nicely sorted, and then come back with a more concrete touring system.  And we’re getting there!!

It’s amazing to think that we now have the ability to pop up literally everywhere and anywhere – festivals, gigs, market shows, street pop ups, Australia wide, life is not too bad.  We are a grass roots, tangible artist, bringing quality music to all parts of Australia, music to people that they can connect with immediately…..inspiring others to move forward with their dreams.  And quite amazingly we’ve restored our happiness, having the ability to make others happy, which then makes us even happier…..we’re now a wheel turning in constant motion.  And that to me is a success.

So til next time folks…..”I’m not sure where the road will lead, but I know it’s headed somewhere good, as my heart is warm.”  Sophie  xx

Christmas is coming, and the year is wrapping up

Well what a year it’s been, we’re on the cusp of posting some thrilling news, whilst also updating the website with new elements, but for now, we thought we’d keep things simple, and just say Merry Christmas!! Hope you’re all well, and wrapping up the year with at least a moment to reflect or take a few hours break from all the craziness that life generally tends to bring.
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Gosh, it’s been a while since our last post, but we’re now back in Australia!!

I can’t quite believe it’s been a whole 3 months since our last news post……gosh, how does time go by so fast.  With lots of goings on, to keep up our news here, well, that took a backseat…..but all is well, everyone, we’re moving along.  And finally, here we are, a news post!!

The last time we spoke, I’d arrived in Europe, in beautiful Amsterdam.  We’d just played Taribush Kuna fest, & the De Bazaar market, and were headed to a house concert type show, & Fantasia Fest in Roden.  The start of our 4th European tour, with the new album in tow, our seeded paper with music clips on, and beers from our dutch brewer, Brouwerij Klein Duimpje in Hillegom, all was good.

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Nicely settled in Holland, the Europe tour has begun!!

Just over a week ago, I jumped on a jet plane in Melbourne, and 20 hours or so later, arrived in Holland.  It’s great to be back, getting on a bike, riding round the canals and generally seeing the beauty that is Amsterdam.
After all the work of recording the new album, mixing, mastering, getting artwork made, getting it to print, the new album is ready, and able to be brought to all our fans in Europe, perfect timing for the album launch tour through Holland, Ireland, and the UK this summer.
And so I arrived in Holland, and the first thing was to drop off all my luggage – violin, pedals, merch, clothes, and all things for the tour, and to head to Brouwerij Klein Duimpje, a local brewer in Hillegom, a little bit south west of Amsterdam.  I wanted to not only bring the new album on cd format, but also bring a special release item that was distinctly Dutch…..and so we linked up with a Dutch brewer.  And in linking up, we made a special release bottle of beer with album download code for our dutch fans – buy a beer, buy an album……And so this is now made up, and with physical albums also in tow, things are looking good.  We may make these available to order for anyone not in Holland, we’ll see what’s possible!!

Beer imageAfter picking up the beer, I got over the jet lag, and got myself ready to start the tour….just a few days later, headed to Dwingeloo, for our first tour date, at the wonderful Taribush Kuna festival.  One of my favourite festivals around, it’s set in the beautiful dutch forest, with some beautiful people running the whole thing.  It was great to see the festival growing in a nice chilled way – with additional stages, cool additions of brewers and hairdressers, WWF, and of course the beautiful sculpture dotted around the festival.

We played 2 shows, opening the Café de Guanaco stage, did 2 sound recording workshops, and teamed up with the boys from Bovenste Knoopje Open, the perfect mix of theatre, cabaret, music, poetry, and of course humor.  They jumped up and played some tunes with Tailor Birds, and vice versa, with the festival then asking us to do a special combo show late Saturday afternoon.  Lots of fun, the boys are great, love ’em.  This may continue in some form, perhaps get them up for another show or 2, you’ll have to wait and see….who knows what’s possible…..anything is possible, so keep your eyes and ears peeled.

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Following Taribush Fri and Sat, I headed to the De Bazaar market for a Sunday early afternoon show……the market is massive, I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s amazing.  So many people, so many treats surrounding you, we had a beautiful stage set up, and was a great way to end the weekend.  Then, back to Amsterdam, to get ready for a bit of a last minute booked in house concert type show on Friday night, and then onto the wonderful fantasy festival, FantasiaFest on Sat/Sun.  Set in Roden, near to Groningen, north of Amsterdam, in a beautiful forest, it should be a fun one, a perfect continuation on from Taribush Kuna vibes.

And so…..not sure when I’ll be able to post next, so here’s a bit of cuteness for you……

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And in case you don’t know where we’re headed next, following Fantasia Fest, are some more festivals, Castlefest, plus the amazing Landjuweel which we’ve just heard our set times for, plus the wonderful Sonsbeekmarkt in Arnhem.  So keep your eyes peeled…..and check our tour dates http://www.tailorbirdsmusic.com/tour-dates/

And keep checking our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/tailorbirdsmusic/ for our Where’s Wally weekly Tailor Birds events – Know where we are…..post where we are.  These are starting up tomorrow, Fri 29th July ’16 – with a different Tailor Birds track off the new album up for grabs each week.  Want to know more……check out our facebook page.  And til next time, we’ll see you soon, cos the album launch tour of 2nd album, Wide Awake I See The Storm, is full steam ahead.

The new Tailor Birds album, ‘Wide Awake I See The Storm’ is coming!!

Just a little bit of exciting news for you guys……we’ve been touring, recording, getting artwork done, booking shows, playing shows, doing publicity work, and it’s now, nearly time to head off to Europe on a bit of an album pre-release tour.  In preparation for the this album release, we’ve made up a little video, announcing album #2 Wide Awake I See The Storm pre-release dates, and of course thought we should share this here!!  Have a watch, we hope you enjoy.

The album has been sent off to print, & Europe is comin…!!

Another week rolls by, and Melbourne is settling into winter time. What weather we’ve been having in Australia, it’s been quite intense. NSW and QLD have been devastated by storms and crazy weather, though here in Melbourne we’ve had things a bit easier, thankfully. Of course, our thoughts go out to everyone who has been affected.

And here in Melbourne, we’ve been hard at work, finishing off the new Tailor Birds 2nd album. What a job its’ been, but it’s now complete – a lush combination of electric violin, vocals, electronics, guitars, brass, drums and more, this album features some amazing musicians. I can’t believe it, but we’re now done. All final tracks, recording, mixing, mastering, and the art work, have all come together, to completion, and it is now at the replication plant, on it’s way to becoming a physical album. You guys, our wonderful fans can now finally hold this in your hands.
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Back from tour, and back in the studio…

It’s been a couple months since I last wrote a post, and figured it was time to update you all.  The last time we spoke, we’d just arrived in Queensland, and since the last piece of news, we’ve been touring, recording, and amongst other developments and changes, and our 2nd album release date is soon to be announced.
The Winters’ Fall single launch tour is now complete – we played a run of shows in QLD, NSW, and SA – various gigs, little markets, and some brewery/winery shows.  We went through some beautiful towns – Peregian Beach, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Adelaide, and of course back in VIC, for the Sedona Wine Estate’s Easter Sunday, and Melbourne for the Harvest Festival at the Ceres environmental park.

The shows went well, it was great to take the Tailor Birds sound to other Australian towns outside of VIC, see how people responded. We were lucky enough to have a wonderful local musician Felicity Burdett, join us for the QLD shows.  We then did solo and duo shows in NSW, and our newest Tailor Birds member, Sean Crowley on guitar, joined us for SA.  The tour went well, it looks like we’ll be doing some more Australia wide touring later this year.
We weren’t able to make it to the other side of Australia (WA, and far north Queensland, central Australia, and down in Tassie), though we hope to head that way later this year, or in early 2017 if possible, alongside returning to QLD, NSW, and SA of course.

In the past few weeks, we’ve had a few band changes for the Australian shows.
We sadly said goodbye to Anthony Winnick (vocals/guitar) who has gone onto some other projects of his own, and we wish him well.  His vocals we’re glad to say, feature on a couple of the tracks on the new album, so that’s good news.
We also welcomed newest member, guitarist Sean Crowley into the Tailor Birds fold, for the Australian shows at least.  He’s brought in some really cool, tasteful vibes to the Tailor Birds sound, and the trio is sounding pretty lush, what with drums from Daniel, guitar from Sean, and myself on electric violin and vocals, all is well.  There’s even a few surprises brewing…..

BACK IN MELBOURNE, WE’VE RECORDING NEWS…….we’ve a short break from shows, and it’s now back into the studio, finishing off the final few tracks of the new album, set for release in both Australia and Europe this year.  This is an album recorded in all sorts of places, all over the world, with some amazing guest musicians.  More news re. that to come…..but for now, just a little bit more to do, and we’ll be done.  WOOOOOOOOP!!!

So……you’ll soon be able to hear all our hard work, and get your very own copy…literally in just a few months.  We’ve released new single Winters’ Fall, so stay tuned for the release date of the full length album, as it’s coming soon.
So….dates, gigs, tours, recordings, releases……it’s all happening.  STAY TUNED, and look after yourselves.  Sophie  xx

For now, here’s the latest tour video which finishes up our Winters’ Fall single launch tour, taken whilst in South Australia this last month.

 

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