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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A New Year! A New Era?

Well here we are in a brand new year it seems totally beyond comprehension that Camden Calling is now in it's third year of life, from a tiny seed of an idea in early 2008 to a wee window box of assorted greenery poking up through the compost in 2011. With so many plans that I can hardly tack enough trellis quick enough to the wall.

Last year ground to a pretty gruelling climax, the members were tired, I was tired and we were all talking in terms of "next year" and "after we have had a rest." We really forgot to look back over the year and truly see the achievements we have made. Busy gigs, external bookings for members, members moving into employment, personal relationships that many thought beyond their capabilities, a total storm over the last 4 months of the UK Unsigned Charts, and an even greater desire to stand up be counted. In December all we wanted to do was batten down the hatches and............................get to next year.

Well and midnight on the 31st of December I can verify that the New Year fairy does not come and take all the ills of your world away, she does not grant you 3 wishes and she does not leave a big pile of cash under your now limp Christmas tree. But I think she does make you stop and think while sleeping; she certainly gave me good bash around the head with her attitude adjuster.

Before New Year I will freely admit I had been carrying Camden Calling around my neck like some epic biblical curse or a medieval ball and chain. Reams of paper and notes everywhere no sense of how I was going to put it together and a sense of semi impending doom.

But on Jan 2ND I sat down at my desk started to make contact with the callers and found that literally everything was falling into place. The reams of paper still exist but they are now thought ordered and we pushing ahead as a team.

The Camden Callers are stepping up to every challenge I set them and I think we have developed a sense of freedom with this project. Ambition is a double edged sword that can sometimes be a hindrance making us feel we are owed more. I believe we have freed ourselves of that. We have replaced that emotion with motivation, dedication, and the realisation that creativity alone is not fuel enough. I have of course had my dose of extra procrastination and keep it in a secret place less our team meetings go on for years. I think young Rukas found it last year and almost fatally overdosed.

In essence this has been an incredibly productive month we have exciting projects planned which I do not want to shout about lest jinx, but we have some very nice funding bids in and some really wonderful people on board. I feel that at last people are beginning to see what I am trying to achieve with this project and that somehow they are starting at last to get it. I have been quite overwhelmed with the support the project has been getting from seemingly unconnected people and would like to thank everyone that has given advice, put themselves out and are flying the flag. My hope is that this blog is going to be updated with some rather jolly announcements over the coming few months.

We have several great new members on board so I would like to welcome Ros, Stuart, Fatu, Tosh & Martin to the team new members are still being interviewed and we will have our full compliment of 15 members very shortly. Some pretty crazy plans are in the pipeline and we are aiming to develop our gigs into a full on assault of the senses, so expect new visuals, artwork, poetry and theatrical musical pieces complete with puppets.

I would like to thank Strummerville for buying us a wonderful keyboard this month and we are very excited about getting into rehearsals with it and developing some new pieces as well as shaking up the stage shows of some of the longer standing members. But all in time..................and our mantra for this year is slow & steady to produce the quality. With so many new members on board I also need to make sure that the group is developing strong interpersonal relationships that will stand the test of artistic temperament.

The full on madness starts next week when we start gigging again and we also have an art project to complete Friday with Thames Reach who have provided us with a space and some extra artists to paint our all new CC banner. Photos of the day will be up on the blog shortly.

Our new friends at Recharged Radio are coming to meet with us next week to plan a whole show dedicated to the world of Camden Calling, Richard is following in the footsteps of the CC legend that is Chris Warburton; joining Poached Creative to learn all things web journalism based. Fingers crossed Richard will be taking charge of a new blog based project to knock your sock off, but hush for now tis a matter of funding.

Finally on a note of shameless promotion we have been shortlisted this month for the RISE award for "excellence in improving the quality of life and well-being of mental health service users receiving support in the community." You can vote for us by following this LINK voting closes 5pm 28th Jan.

So all in all a pretty good start to 2011.

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