Amazingly, I’ve been able to carry on working in 2020.  I feel incredibly fortunate that this is the case, as I’m aware that a large percentage of people working in music/sound have been completely screwed this year, and I don’t take my luck for granted.

So this year, more than any other year, I would like to thank everyone that has hired me to work on something for them – it means a lot.

Looking back on this year feels so weird, that I can barely put it into words.  

Back in January, I played drums for Joe Seager at one of his gigs in Shrewsbury, and played a filthy game of Cards Against Humanity at a party with some friends in Derbyshire.  Both feel like decades ago.

The initial lockdown was hard for everybody, and different reasons for each person.  Some people were lonely, some lost their jobs, some got Covid. 

We were lucky that none of those applied to us, but our children (aged 11 and 6) were off school from March until September.  That’s a whole lot of time for kids to not be seeing their friends, not learning.  

My daughter finished junior school in that time and all the things she would normally enjoyed (end of term prom, Guides camp, school trip to the countryside) were cancelled.  My son is the family extrovert and thrives on social contact and lovely school and learning.  It was sad to see his natural inquisitiveness and upbeat nature gradually melt into months of iPad use.  

My wife Sarah did a superb (and very patient) job of home-schooling them both, but it’s really hard to keep kids occupied indoors for six months – it’s unnatural. It would have been easy to get very depressed but everyone has their own coping mechanisms:

For me, I kept a Word document called “Things I Want To Do In 2021”.  It’s currently seven pages long, and most of the things on the list are things that we may have taken for granted in any other year, but I’ve longed for this year:

Some of the things I did a lot anyway and really missed them: 

  • Stay in a pub in the Peak District
  • Seeing friends in other parts of the country
  • Going to a beer festival
  • Go on a group walk in Derbyshire

Others were things I’d always meant to do and never got round to:

  • Go to a festival
  • See an orchestra live
  • Go to a ceilidh
  • Have a huge disco at our house!

I normally take January off to have a break, tidy the studio, do admin, learn a few new tricks etc.  I’m not doing that this year.   I’m heading straight back into things.

In the meantime, have a happy new year. Things are very “tier 4” at the moment, but I have faith in the vaccines (is there anything else we can have faith in?) and I look forward to a time this year when we can have some kind of party, go to a gig, go to a pub, whatever your buzz!