Its Been A While...!
How do I even fill you in on the past 4 years (four?!!)
Well, the short version for now?
Another baby, moving house, starting a new teaching job, gigs, travels, lots of fun, love, loss, struggles, high and lows. The pandemic! Quinn starting school (!) Podcasts! Clinics! and so much more.
The over riding theme that keeps coming up for me is self belief and to go for what I've always wanted. I'm not sure where I started to ignore my dreams or keep them quiet - perhaps when I fell pregnant? But having Quinn and then Indiana (Indy for short) has taught me so much. They have taught me to be the mum I want to be and to be able to teach them to live their dreams - I also need to pursue mine :)
The quote above has been resonating so much lately. ANYTHING is possible. Find out what matters to you and take steps towards it everyday.
I hope to write on here more often and fill you in the past few years but for now you can check out my website and socials for way more frequent updates.
In Full swing
Last entry I was having a bit of a freak out about splitting my time between drumming and being a mum.
Well since then, I'm doing a lot more drumming, freaking out a bit less and loving the changes I'm seeing in my daughter everyday. She is not yet 2 but has started with tantrums already which is of course a huge challenge.
On the whole though, she is such a funny, sweet and clever girl who I'm so proud to call my daughter.
The best days for me are when I just get to hang out with her or as a family just us three <3
I have been blessed with more drum teaching so I am not doing as much picture research anymore. Just one day a week at the moment and for three other days I teach. I've found myself more busy - which I'm not a fan of BUT I did ask for more drumming work and thats what I've got! It feels really amazing to be drumming more and teaching it again. I forgot how much I enjoy giving lessons.
The struggle for me is really just trying to keep a balance of home and work.
Yes I want to take the gigs when they come in but I also want to see my daughter. The other point I didn't expect or think about is tiredness.
Luckily Quinn is sleeping a lot better now but its far from consistent. Throw in a couple of gigs or long rehearsals and I can feel pretty tired. The voice in my head is saying "get over it and drink some coffee" but I do worry that sometimes I take on too much and then feel exhausted for the days I have off - which are when I'm supposed to be having fun being mum.
So... not sure if any of that makes sense really. But I'm pretty happy with the way work is - I just need to stay on top of it and tweak a few things so I can actually enjoy the moment instead of being overly tired or feel like I'm juggling lots of plates.
I think its been said that that is what a parent does - wrestling with work and family life to get a balance and maybe there is no such thing as getting it "right" or managing to juggle everything. I have no idea but I'm sure as hell trying :D
Thanks for reading
Having a wobble
A few weeks ago I felt like I was having massive doubts about everything. I wrote down how I was feeling so this is kind of a diary/blog entry. More to put it out there that it is possible to get what you want but also what happens when it all comes at once or when you perhaps are scared that you can't keep it all together...
A few weeks back...
So things are going in the totally right direction, as in, I wanted to do more drumming and new opportunities have presented themselves. Thank you universe for that 🙌🏻🙏🏻
But I gotta tell ya, I’m knackered!
I’m used to being tired, up in the night with baby but now I feel added pressure.
Pressure from myself if I’m honest - I have a bad case of the disease to please
I had to work late the other night and once upon a time night shifts were my bread and butter. I loved the hours and I would sleep in til about lunchtime.
These days? That just can’t happen.
So after my late shift the other night which in fairness doesn’t happen a lot these days I was up the next morning as usual with my daughter but it so happened that later that day I had rehearsal.
This rehearsal didn’t end until 11:30pm and I didn’t get home until 1:45am.
To say I’m tired today is an understatement. I’ve really struggled as I’m wanting to be the best mum with my daughter but it’s hard keeping your patience and energy up when you’re so tired.
I’ve also had multiple messages about the gig that’s happening this weekend and whilst I’m happy to converse about the arrangements, sometimes it’s hard to reply. If it’s dinner time and I’m feeding the baby it’s not always ideal to be on my phone and you know what? Sometimes I don’t want to be available for that anyway. I want to be present with my child not checking and replying to a dozen messages.
This is all part of the parcel of being in a band - I know this but it’s just made me doubt myself today. Am I ready for this? Can I do all this?
To top it off I’m starting teaching soon - I am so excited about this but my goodness it feels like it’s all come at once and whilst I wished for this - the reality is making me feel all wobbly.
Yes I want to gig and earn my money by doing what I love but it’s everything else - the rehearsals, the practice time, the band admin which might trip me up.
Yes I want to be the best musician I can be and boy the past few weeks I have been practicing as soon as the baby naps right until she wakes. I’m practicing whenever I have a moment - which isn’t much at all.
I'm tired but I do feel a sense of pride for being as prepared as I can be.
On the other hand there is a voice inside going “is this worth it?”
I don’t think I could keep this up if I was working most nights in the week - that I know. But for now I think I need to stop this writing and go to sleep!!
Perhaps after a good rest I’ll have a fresh perspective and feel a lot more positive
Right now I’m an exhausted mother who wants to be a great mum and great drummer but right now I really don’t think I can be both at the same time.
How can I give my all to both? It’s a fine line I tell ya!
Not sure how long I can juggle it for and it feels like it’s only just getting started.
So now its a while after and of course I have a new perspective. The gig went great and since then I've been practicing lots and somehow we are in the process of moving too so its all go.
I am loving teaching and almost feel a bit more ready and strong for all thats to come. Yes, its hard splitting my time between being a mum and practicing and gigging but I feel its a necessary part of it all. I want to show my daughter she can be whatever she wants and so I have to follow my own advice and just go for it. Yes it can be hard to juggle things but I have an amazing family and support system and the more as time goes by I am getting better at asking for help. The moral of this story is, go for your dreams and don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way.
I think there is a quote that says “we are given only what we can handle” or something along those lines and I try to remember that in my many moments of doubt.
Thanks for reading
Keeping it real
I never really told you about my first trip away from the baby so I thought this would be a good time..
It was the October just gone and I was due to go to Paris to play with a band and we were going to stay for three days and nights.
The fact that it was going to be three whole nights away from my child for the first time certainly had my stomach in knots and I knew right away this trip might be quite hard for me.
Of course I was excited to get back out there playing but I was worried I would struggle with missing my girl.
Well… the trip went really well.
Luckily my husband had taken some time off work so he could help the in-laws look after our little one (I mentioned I have the MOST supportive husband right?!!)
So I knew she would be happy enough without me and may not even realise I’m not about.
We get to Paris and we had sound check on the first day. The venue was the AccorHotels Arena! I have played some big gigs in my life… but this would be my first arena!!
I loved the whole professionalism of everything. The tech team were so efficient and friendly. We had plenty of time to sound check and sort out levels and my drum monitor even had a label with my name on it! Love it!
So the gig we were doing is a corporate gig so parts of the arena were blocked off but still, the space was huge and I was so excited to play. We were due to play the next day and then we would be playing for the fashion label Agnes.b at their shop. very chic!
SO…. gig time comes around, I’ve been missing Quinn and we have shared photos already and I can’t think about her too much without getting a little teary. But I have to stay focused, gig face on and off we go!
The set is great, the venue is full and the sound is fantastic. I have such a good time and am buzzing when I come off stage!
Not soon after I call my husband to see how little one is doing and to my horror he says she has a high temperature and isn’t so great.
Now, talk about a slap back down to reality!
There I am absolutely flying from the show only to be brought back to reality and wanting to get home as fast as my legs will carry me.
It was such a maternal gut feeling of wanting to be with my baby and comfort her. I knew she was going to be ok with my husband but the fact I couldn’t be there really really sucked!
It was a defining moment for me really.
So many shows I’ve played and you live for those good gigs where you feel invincible and everything flows. Don’t get me wrong, I still love and will always seek those moments but now, when I’m not with my child, she is still with me. In my mind and in my heart.
Might sound really mushy… but its true. SO the fact that she was poorly really was difficult and I felt overwhelmed with mum guilt and worry.
Thankfully after a night of a million texts and calls to my husband, our daughter was doing a lot better in the morning!
The rest of the time in Paris was super fun. The show in Agnes.b was great. I literally felt like I was in the movie ‘The Devil wears Prada” as everyone around me was SO chic!!
I had a great time but of course my mind always went back to her. At the clothes shop I wanted to buy her an outfit and I had to stop myself talking to everyone about her!
Eventually it was time to return home! I was beyond excited!
I have to say, I don’t remember if she went crazy when she saw me but I knew I felt complete again.
Kids I feel are there to test you, to make you put everything in perspective and they certainly give you a focus and a love that you may never have felt before.
I was always worried I’d feel resentful of a baby if I had to give up certain career moves but as I think I’ve said before, nothing could be further from the truth.
I’ve had more opportunities this past year then ever and its all about mindset.
I always want to be with my baby but if I have to go away I want to show her that you can do anything and be anyone you want to be. I couldn’t do any of this without my family and I want her to see that too. Family comes first. work second - or maybe even third or fourth, depending on your situation
I’ll leave you with this quick story. So if I ever need a reminder to keep my head level and keep my feet on the ground I know I have my daughter and husband to thank for keeping me humble.
There I was on instagram the other day and to my astonishment a really great drummer who I admire started following me and even commented on a post! I was like “woop! woop!” How cool is that?! Turn to my daughter who then decides to throw up all over me! Haha!!
Til next time
And just like that... She's One!
Can you believe it? I certainly can't! Our little one turned one a few weeks ago!
It seems like yesterday that I was in bed and my waters broke.
I will never forget coming home from hospital and my mother in-law had decorated the house with balloons and banners. It was such a special, warm welcome for our new arrival.
The first few weeks were a blur of uncertainty, immense love and immense fear too - fear that somehow our gorgeous baby would disappear suddenly.
The house was filled with flowers and gifts and I will cherish those early weeks and months and still am so touched by how many people helped to celebrate the birth of our daughter.
Motherhood has been the biggest surprise of my life - not that I would become a mother as since I turned about 25 I had an idea that I'd like to have children. What's been a surprise is just how much joy having my daughter has brought me.
Maybe its obvious but I just wasn't prepared for how much love I would feel and how much my life would change for the better.
Before her, I was far too worried about career stuff and would get caught up in insecurities very easily.
Now, it's not like they have vanished but they are considerably further down on the priority list and lets be honest, having a baby really does put things into perspective.
It's not that I fear less - in some ways I fear more (as mentioned earlier) but I feel I face those fears a lot more quickly now. Nothing gets me more motivated then when I think of how accountable I am - not just to myself but to my daughter.
How can I tell her to take risks, follow her heart and be brave when I can't be?
She is more motivation then I've ever needed to be better then I was yesterday.
The past year has gone by so quickly - as everyone said it would. There have been loads of ups and downs - from the usual being up all night long, being pooped on, vomited on, not being able to shower for what seemed liked days. Feeling like a failure, feeling blissed out, feeling like such a bad mum to feeling like I have got this.
Without a doubt having family and friends around me has been amazing and has been my saviour more than a few times. My husband has been with me every step of the way and together we have some how managed to keep this little person alive. We hope she's as happy as we are.
Thanks to everyone who has been reading this. I have more stories and thoughts to come.
Here's to another great year ahead...
So.... I've joined a band
I haven't written for a while and thats because I have been so busy. I have gone back to work a few days a week and on top of that, I've joined a new band.
It has been crazy busy but at the same time it has been brilliant, putting myself out there and my confidence has grown to no end.
So let me back track a little, when my daughter was 6 months old my husband took 6 months off work. He was in an amazing position, that his work had a shared parental leave scheme so he was eager to take advantage and have some one on one time with our child.
I, at this point started back at work - very slowly at first - one day a week and then perhaps two shifts a week when needed.
For those of you who don't know, I have a few video/picture editing skills which I learnt from my brother so since I've been about 20(ish) I've been able to have flexible media jobs around the drumming gigs I've had, which has been a God send!
So there I was, going back to work and I tell you, the first few weeks were a blur. Every time I was in the office I just thought about my daughter! It was so tough!
Something else I found hard was letting my husband take the reigns a bit - I might make this a separate post but it was definitely a learning curve going from the one who stayed at home all the time to the one who was out working and having to ask my husband about the routine etc..
I was at first working just one day a week but things slowly started to change. My husband for one wondered whether I should work a bit more so he could have some one on one time with the baby and also I started drumming a bit more too.
So, busy is what I did and what I am good at it seems!
I started going to the studio at least one day a week. I upped my shifts to three a week and I also set about looking for a band.
It didn't take long before I found a band looking for a drummer, they were after a drummer who could sing too. I used to sing when I was younger so I thought "why not?!" Singing has always made me feel good so why not challenge myself and try this out?!
I was asked to send a video of me playing. The band were pretty professional with a bunch of gigs planned and paid for so I quickly set about practicing and getting used to singing and playing drums.
To cut a long story short. I got the gig!
Since then its been go go go! I've been working and on top of that fitting in long rehearsals with the band. I have been so incredibly tired some days, working, then practicing and don't even mention the mum guilt that comes with that!! Some days I have barely seem my daughter and I have missed her beyond words!
Juggling working, drumming and being a mum has been hard.
But it has also been a privelidge.
I know I live in a world now, completely different to older generations, where I can go out and work and I can follow my dreams. I am so completely blessed to be in this situation.
I know I wouldn't have been able to do any drumming without the support of my husband and my family.
Everyone has mucked in and helped, its been amazing. THEY have been amazing and still are. I truly don't know what I would do without them.
So the day came when the band had their first gig. I was quite nervous but also really excited to get out there and perform.
My husband was still off work and so he accompanied me to the show helping me with my drum stuff whilst my in-laws looked after the baby.
For one gig, it took a bit of planning, of course way more then it did pre baby. But we all handled it together and what seemed like a big deal changed to something totally easy and manageable.
I feel so so incredibly happy and blessed to be able to drum in a band again and be earning money from it. Nothing will change the fact that when I'm not with my baby I miss her so so much. But I am also motivated to get more drumming work because If I have to work and be away from her, then it's better to be away doing something I really enjoy.
I don't know how things will pan out once my husband goes back to work but I have a feeling if I have enough notice then with a bit of planning and self believe... anything is possible!
The below quote has been ringing in my ears over the past few months. It's an African proverb which I see daily with my daughter. It's not just me and my husband. It's his parents, his brother and my sister-in-law, my parents, my brothers and sisters. Its the neighbours who ask how she's doing and the friends who are often on the end of the phone to share and offer advice.
As my baby approaches one, it definitely feels like we've all done this together, something I didn't expect but am totally and utterly grateful for.
"It Takes A Village to Raise a Child".
I thought I'd make this post about hypnobirthing as I've had a few people ask me about it, I go into a bit of detail about my labour experience so if you don't fancy reading that then perhaps skip this post ;-)
When I discovered I was pregnant I knew I wanted as peaceful a birth as possible. Think, water birth, candles, music and as few drugs as I could handle.
It's not that I wanted to feel the pain and be a martyr or anything. I just wanted (ideally) to reduce my recovery time and I didn't like the idea of any drug slowing down the birth process or being passed on to my baby.
In the lead up to the due date I read two books, the first was Ina May's "Guide to childbirth". This, randomly was recommended to me by someone at the hairdressers and I'm so glad I remembered it because the book just put me at ease instantly. It contains many birth stories and mentions lots of techniques to help relax you and get you to the right place where having a natural birth is a lot more possible.
The other book I read was Katherine Graves' "The hypnobirthing book". This tome is the standard when it comes to hypnobirthing classes. Its full of visualisation and breathing exercises which again, are there to help relax and empower you when in the thick of contractions.
So.... did any of these techniques actually work?
Well in short, they absolutely did. My waters broke on the Sunday evening and within the hour contractions started. They started very mild and far between but quite quickly progressed to being every 3 minutes and lasting more then a minute/minute and a half.
Through the initial stage - whilst I was at home, breathing and visualisations really helped
I also found leaning against a wall - face resting on my arms, was best to get through each contraction. Oh and also... in hypnobirthing, you're encouraged to call a contraction a "surge" as it seems a lot less frightening! I wasn't so good at remember that one but the breathing and visuals were constant. * As a side note, it also really helped having my mum and husband there reminding me to do these things, like relax my jaw, breathe slowly and generally encourage and keep the atmosphere as calm as possible.
So, visualisations... what did I exactly visualise? Well, might sound a bit cheesy or cliche but every time I had a "surge" I pictured in my mind a flower opening. I also said the words "relax relax relax" in my head and really simple, the word "open"
The idea is to so be as relaxed as humanly possible to enable your cervix to open - the more relaxed you can be and to actively encourage all the movements that are gonna happen 'down there' the better!
Movies have a lot to answer for. The way they portray a woman in labour is awful! So much screaming and tensing up and also apparently contractions only seem to last an hour at most before baby arrives. The truth is, labour (especially if its your first) can last a pretty long time. The female body is absolutely amazing in how it changes to let the baby move down and out but... of course, it takes time and you need to try and go with it.
The pain.... I was asked shortly after labour if it hurt.
The short answer is yes. But because it builds up I found it very bearable, it was the tiredness that I found hardest to deal with.
The contractions got to be quite painful (in the end) but overall I would just call the whole experience very intense. I knew that with each painful moment I was getting closer to meeting my baby.
The breathing techniques I used were also great in aiding with pain relief. The first one I did A LOT was one where you blow a raspberry with your lips - like a horse noise. It sounds funny but every time I did that, my bottom half relaxed.
I also kept my breathing very long and deep as possible.
Towards the end, contractions were lasting quite a while and there wasn't much rest up. At this point I started breathing deep and on exhale saying Omm as low and for as long as I could.
It sounds proper hippy dippy but it really did help and focused my mind on to the Om and not what was happening.
Hypnobirthing was a great help to me because I was able to get to 8 cm dilated without any pain relief, it was only when I got to 8 that I asked for gas and air which helped me get to fully dilated not long after.
Unfortunately for me, I ended up having to go from the birth centre to hospital and have an assisted delivery. Unbeknownst to be but I was't able to pass any water for quite a while and my full bladder was stopping my baby from being able to come out - no matter how much I pushed. Which was a lot!
Happy to report, that once I was in hospital I was really well looked after and had a pain free forceps delivery thanks to modern medicine. Yes, it wasn't in my birth plan and wasn't what I wanted but at that point I just wanted the baby to be out and healthy.
My recovery afterwards was quite slow but I definitely think that hypnobirthing played a massive positive part in the labour - even if the ending wasn't quite what I imagined.
Now, months later. I have beautiful baby and if I am blessed to have another child in future, I will definitely be using hypnobirthing techniques as I think they really helped to keep me calm and focused. :)
Being In a Band
Since I started playing drums age 16, I have always been in a band. More often, I've been in several at the same time. Thats what a lot of us drummers do.... play for a few bands; so long as we can remember the various different songs, speeds and any tech involved, we're in!
I have absolutely loved playing in a band. I love how quickly you form a little family with its own quirks and dynamic.
I've been in VERY dysfunctional bands yet I've also been in the most heavenly and easy going groups too.
There's something I find totally intoxicating about gigging. I love love LOVE being back stage, or especially when I'm onstage before the venue opens. There's something special about being around the techies whilst they assemble the stage and whilst we do sound check. Its like its our secret club and I always enjoy the team work involved to get things ready for show time.
I love how music brings everyone together. You can get the biggest high when you are playing and if you can get "in the zone" whilst on stage then you're probably playing a blinder of a set!
I love how afterwards, still buzzing, you can make lots of friends, just because they loved the show. Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of these folks may not go on to become life long friends, but I've certainly made some great friends - all because they happened to be at the gig and start up a conversation. A few gigs down the line and we've gotten to know each other and then I really look forward to them being at shows, for the fun, laughs and their feedback.
I love the recording process with a band, all the discussions leading up to it; click? no click? structure changes? Other instruments? backing vocals?
The collaboration involved is something that can really test a band to see whats working and whats not.
I have certainly been in bands where the teamwork wasn't particularly balanced and so making any kind of group decision was near impossible. Some people don't want to lead but will not be told what to do either - this for a band, is disastrous.
In the past its felt that my whole life has been on a hold for a band. We've been with management and had fantastic tours but for some reason the band dynamic just couldn't hold together and the band broke up.
Getting the right chemistry in a band seems to be like gold dust, its not only finding the right people, with the same mind set and ability its finding those who have the same expectations and commitment.
Some bands have great chemistry on stage but off it they can't stand each other.
I have been in situations where on stage the band have been totally killing it! Every song feels great and the set is really well worked out and everyone appears to be best friends. Off stage things have been so tense that no one talks to eachother!
So throw in a bit of success, egos, money, spouses and suddenly the dream of being in a band can quickly turn into a total nightmare.
Having said that, fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately?!) I am still courting the idea of being in a band and will probably always love the feeling of being in a gang and making bloody good music together!
How will having a baby impact my ability to be in a band?
I'm not too sure but I think I may have just joined one! But that's all for another post!
Moving the goalposts
I'm pretty lucky. Since my daughter was born I was able to breastfeed her. 6 months later I'm still going, albeit’s a lot different now.
The first 3-4 weeks were pretty awful. I felt sick every time it was feeding time and couldn't really eat much.
Everyone around me was fussing and thinking "oh goodness, she's depressed! She's not eating!!"
The reality was that I was pretty fed up as I wanted to eat but just felt too sick to do so.
Thankfully, I was prescribed some anti-sickness medication a few weeks in and things finally calmed down.
The nights of my retching over my babies head whilst she ate are gone and I was able to start eating some good meals again!
Since then, breastfeeding has become a total joy! The connection and calm that comes with a feed is something I want to remember forever.
With the joy of breastfeeding also came a little bit of frustration. You see, like most things in life we tend to move the goalposts.
We go about setting ourselves all kinds of goals and once we’ve reached them, instead of celebrating and feeling good we quickly change our end aim to something further up the “goal ladder” so to speak.
So for me, once the initial high wore off that I could feed my child and not feel sick, it quickly became apparent that if my daughter needed food then I was it! I couldn't really plan to do too much or to go away for any length of time. I felt somewhat a little trapped.
Of course when she was a newborn, I didn't want to leave her at all but as she grew I started to feel a little bit restricted in what I was able to do - no gigs or rehearsals were on the cards that was for sure!
So, myself and my husband decided we wanted to give a bottle of an evening, that way I could get more sleep (this didn't happen of course, every time she cried I would wake immediately!!)
Anyway... what a bottle DID do was create more bonding time for my husband and my daughter and it also got her used to feeding off something other than me! :)
Eventually we moved up to a couple of bottles a day and I stopped expressing milk and we tried a bit of formula..so far so good!
Its amazing to me how things progressed and creeped up on me in a way.
Here we are, she's 6 months. We're feeding her veggie puree, formula and we're down to only one breastfeed in the morning.
I remember the first time I tried expressing milk with a double pump, with the sound of it and the way the bottles look with the funnels attached I definitely felt like a farm animal being milked. My husband even affectionately (?) started calling me "milk cow"
So with this new lease of freedom that bottles gave me and a whole lot of questioning about consuming dairy - "If I have felt this terrible feeding how do cow feels being made to do it ALL THE TIME?!!"
Anyway, I digress (!) …Things started to move on, as I've mentioned here, I started drumming again and slowly getting back on the gigging horse.
All along the goalposts have kept moving and in life this seems to be something we give high praise to. We WANT to progress we WANT to see things changing and be able to say we’ve come X amount of distance in as little a time as possible.
Change seems to happen automatically - so why are we always trying to make it progress quicker? Only just this afternoon I caught myself wondering when my daughter will be crawling. And then I’m sure it’ll be walking, school and so on…
I have been feeling so conflicted and emotional about all of this.
At one point all I wanted was to not be at the mercy of my daughter for feeds and to have a bit more freedom and now I have it? Well, I feel sad. Sad that the precious time we shared is coming to an end and that I'm not needed as much.
I'm pleased that on the whole I really enjoyed breast feeding and tried to enjoy every moment with her.
Gone are the days where we'd wake up and feed, watch the morning news and then I'd feed her again to sleep. Gone are the gentle, quiet middle of the night feeds. And gone too are the bitty 4am feeds, that lasted merely seconds before she slept again, whilst I struggled to resume sleep - That I don't miss!
But I think what I’m learning, or trying to at least is to really and I mean REALLY here (not just some hippy dippy quote I’ll forget in half an hour) but I’m trying to enjoy every moment as much as I can. Because as everyone has told me… it goes by SO quickly! Kids grow SO quickly!
Along the way I’m trying to re asses my drumming and how I can have both a career and also enjoy motherhood. I’ve got a beautiful new drum kit and am investigating how I can make the best use of my time to serve others with it but also not take away too much time from my family.
When I find out what that is, I’ll let you know (new blog post maybe soon!) but until then, enjoy the good bits, laugh at the bad and celebrate every goal you reach!
So after my little dalliance last month back in the rehearsal room, things have naturally moved on… I played my first gig!
The first gig post baby was something I had been thinking about since I first got pregnant.
Along with all the worries motherhood would bring, I had many doubts with how - and if ever, I’d gig again – somewhat dramatic you may think but with a load of hormones flying round my body and no time for any practicing for months it was easy to get on the worry train and ride it to death.
So, what was the gig? Well, it was a cross between street drumming and Stomp!
A brilliant drummer friend of mine – Katie, has created a 2-person percussion show called Bang on! She has been running workshops and gigs for about 15 years and the two of them have been all over the world drumming on dust bin lids, buckets – and pretty much any household object they can lay their hands on!
I got the call to stand in for her friend and had about a week to prepare.
I was flattered that she thought of me and wanted to do a great job. The only way I know how to go into a job and do it well is to prepare, prepare, PREPARE!
I think it was a Gavin Harrison (amaaaaaazing drummer) video where he was interviewed about gigs he’s got and he said it was all down to being prepared.
Well, since I’m a mega fan of his and of the mindset that I always want to do my best. I was pretty much transcribing drum parts as soon as I was off the phone having accepted the gig!
Now, having a baby and preparing for a gig don’t really go hand in hand BUT thankfully, she is of the age where she is napping roughly (on a good day mind!) About three times in the day.
So there I was, baby down for a nap? Music paper out and headphones in!
Within a few days I’d managed to write everything down and was now using nap times to have a bit of a practice on my practice pad.
In an ideal world I’d go practice on my drums but we’re between houses at the moment (long story – and perhaps another future post?!)
So, I made do with my practice pad and was looking forward to the upcoming rehearsal and gig.
Because of said housing situation I thankfully could leave baby with the inlaws whilst I went to rehearse.
The rehearsal went really well, Katie showed me lots of cool grooves, how the show works and made me feel totally at ease.
Gig day arrives and I’m up at 5:30am! The gig is a day time thing, up past Birmingham so we needed to set off early to make sure we could set up in time.
We were expected to do three shows and three workshops throughout the day and I have to say, it was a lot of fun!
Lots of grooves, laughs and audience participation!
This really felt like the perfect gig to have post baby, not only did I get a few goes at the show throughout the day but with Katie’s relaxed attitude all I ended up worrying about was whether my breast milk would leak through my top!
Seriously! I hadn’t left the baby for that long without a feed before*
(*don’t worry kids, she was being looked after by her father and is totes used to a bottle!)
But yeah, all day, no feeding equals ouchie hard rock boobs – not fun!
So after a very fulfilling day of drumming on a pretty cool rig of buckets, trash cans, old guitars and pots and pans. I returned to a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a sleeping baby and the task of hand expressing my breast milk.
How rock n roll am I?!