Grace Lightman

11393435_1441177209519048_1633894770362933073_oThis week I had breakfast with Grace Lightman, and we spoke all about what she is up to at the moment and it was super.Grace sings, really rather beautifully and in the last couple of years has gone from being the lead singer in a band to becoming a solo artist, writing her own songs.  I have a great admiration for anyone who can sing (I can't) and also for people who make a decision to pursue a career in something they truly love, that really makes them happy.Grace's voice is exquisite, and incredibly moving - and the music she is creating, her voice and the music, combined with her lyrics, is very poignant, conjuring up a sense of melancholy with a rather dreamy twist to it (listen to Black is the Colour).  It is absolutely beautiful, there is really no other way to describe it.Grace currently has silver hair, and with her big alluring green eyes, and kooky black and white outfits, when you meet her, you just know she is someone.  What I like about Grace is that she is very down to earth, she is passionate about what she does, she is confident, and she's a hard worker.  I have seen her perform, and she captivating, but actually you also kind of want her as your best friend.  She is fun and sassy, and very open to new ideas and has a wonderful  imagination.  You couldn't put her in any sort of box, but perhaps that is the perfected art of a performer.  And performing is what she loves most - when she performs 'the whole world stops', for her it is 'the ultimate state of being' - and it is something, she told me, she just couldn't live without.So after leaving a band 3 years ago, Grace realised that she needed to not only sing music, but also create it - up until this point she had only ever performed.  She began to be mentored by a song writer, spending two years learning to write songs, and meeting her current writing partner, Patrick along the way.  Grace and Patrick write their songs in the deepest countryside on a farm, in a room full of pianos, with chickens in the farmyard outside.  I love the image of Grace with her silver hair, and super outfits writing music on a farm - a chicken even features (accidentally) on one of the tracks.Grace and Patrick have hit on something incredibly special and ever since have been building an album, writing to a specific sound and visual palette - of which the first release is Vapour Trails.  Grace describes her music and image as sounding, and looking like the Twilight Zone.  We are thinking vintage sci-fi from the seventies, and I love this, for me it conjures up the image of old school sci-fi, in black, white, and silver, with lovelorn extraterrestrials lost in time and space.Grace will be releasing her first official single soon from this album, and has shot a video for this, directed by the film director Alex Lightman, who also happens to be her brother.  I am so excited to see it.And in the meantime if you would like a taster, Grace recently played a gig which was music directed by her writing partner Patrick - the line up was San Felu, Waylor and Grace Lightman.  This was her first gig with a full band, and she also sung one song with each of the other bands, I suggest you have a little listen it's all wonderful:Vapour Trails - Grace LightmanSanctuary Blues - San Felu feat. Grace LightmanHungover - Waylor with Grace LightmanSo excited for your single and video release Grace, it's going to be be magnificent!Alice xxxwww.gracelightman.comFacebook page: Grace LightmanPhotos by Dmitry Serostanov12717291_10153216869371783_8627927675988797149_n906110_1487461274890641_7992104535184984457_o12227757_10153065724111783_3708487841266401618_n

Peter Vaughan - All Over the Shop

Today I am veering from the path slightly, and will give you a detailed update of my weekend activities tomorrow.And instead, I am going back to Peter, musician and writer, who I met up with on Wednesday and to me, in my unemployed status is a breath of fresh air - I think he only asked me once how my job search is going, and instead very kindly allowed me to ask him all sorts of questions about what he gets up to.  For the record, he is completely not 'all over the shop' but he does love to use the expression 😉..So as I am writing this I am listening to Peter Charles Franklin Vaughan’s album 'The Road that leads to Love leads back out again', which is incredibly heart warming.Peter creates his own music - always melody first, lyrics second, and describes his music as 'traditionally folk'. He has recently written a song about the Thames and I really enjoyed listening to his explanation of this process. The song evolved first by creating a melody on the guitar, playing with chords and rhythm, trying to recall the sound of an English river - a recent reading of Jerome K. Jerome's 'Three Men in a Boat' was part of this inspiration. This led to further research on the Thames, and the incorporation of place names along 'The Devil's Highway' a Roman Road that ran from the bridgehead of the Thames. To Peter it is important that his music will 'translate infinitely' - it can be understood by everyone, and he always incorporates metaphors and adds an element of humour to his lyrics.I am not a particularly musical person, although I do enjoy listening (and dancing!) to music a lot, and it was really wonderful to hear Peter speak so eloquently about his process.Peter sings and plays guitar and has started performing his own music with a band - he is thinking of calling it 'Peter Vaughan & sons'. He also currently plays bass for both Lou E and Dregas. For Peter, performing live is an adrenaline rush, a chance to show off, and to make people listen to him - because if you can't say it in a song, when can you say it. I think it is incredibly exciting that he has spent the time teaching himself to create, write, and perform his own music. He only took up guitar aged 16 after hearing a friend play 'House of the Rising Sun'.Peter also writes, and recently won a prize for a short story 'Real Love' which I have just read.  It is incredibly poignant, a love letter to friends, and has a Kerouac-esque feel to it.  To me it is a quiet, but powerful homage to a new generation of artists, musicians and writers, united by a a deep, abiding friendship and mutual respect for each others endeavours.  He himself is very well read, Hemingway, Nabokov and Orwell were mentioned as people who have inspired him, along with the Albert Camus quote ' A novel is never anything, but a philosophy put into images'. We also spoke about Orwell's six rules on writing - I learnt rather a lot!We spoke about a few other things including dressing up - Peter likes to be able to laugh at his own appearance and is often changing his hair style, narcissism - he sees himself as a narcissist; his first tattoo - a memento for being part of the shoot for the band Formation's new single 'Love'. He really enjoys hosting and cooking for people (he is a vegan) and finally that he would like Daniel Day-Lewis to play him in a film about his life.Peter is one of these people who is entirely himself, and does not make any compromises. He speaks very eloquently about things that absorb him, and he is always interested in your point of view. For me it is really exciting to speak to someone who is wholeheartedly pursuing their passion, has veered from the unconventional career path, completely taken it in their stride and I am very excited for what is to come next 😊IMG_0716IMG_0715IMG_009812341547_10153601613585845_5361957211499214468_n