This was part of the solo set I performed supporting Matthew P, great venue which we will be going back to at some point.
Here are some pictures from a lovely gig we did last weekend at the Waveney Greenpeace Winter Fair in Southwold, Suffolk.
Hello All. Here is a report in the Eastern Daily Press about my time in New York performing on Broadway and experiencing Hurricane Sandy. I am still here and to put things in perspective I would like to say that compared to 1000’s of people in New York still cleaning up their homes and businesses and still without electric and water after 2 weeks my experience was hardly an ordeal! There is still a lot to do and many areas will not be back to anything like normal this side of christmas.
I arrived in New York on the evening of the 21st of October. After a ridiculous 3 and a half hour queue to go through customs, a customary welcome to the United States and a time longer than I could run a marathon we were finally heading in a taxi to our apartment which would be our home for 2 weeks. We had a day off before we began working and I used it to go for a run and get adjusted to where we were staying which was in Brooklyn.
We spend a few long days in the dark teching the show. This is the process of aligning all the lights and sound, making sure everything is looking and sounding great, it is also a good opportunity to get accustomed to the space.
Our first performance was to 500 school children. They were brilliant, so much cheering, clapping and singing along. We then had a press night which was a success as well. We had an after show reception where we were able to chat to all of the staff and crew from the New Victory Theatre and they filled us with many words of encouragement. We then spent a weekend performing to public audiences which was fantastic. There was quite a buzz around the show and we had some great reviews and a few nice interviews with different media.
Then Hurricane Sandy appeared on the horizon, We were planned to have a few days off. It turned into 4, due to the damage and disruption it caused to the city.
I ran home the night before the storm started. I ran through Battery Park and over the Brooklyn Bridge, along the boardwalks that would be swamped and destroyed by the huge surge of water 24 hours later. I saw all of the preparations being taken and I could only imagine they were being over cautious.
I decided to stay with my family in Red Hook while the storm passed over us, because people didn’t expect much from Hurricane Sandy they were quite calm, we were 2 or 3 blocks away from the evacuation zone but we couldn’t imagine it would be that bad and so we were quite relaxed and excited.
It was a surprise how bad it got and a very intense experience. I went outside at around 9pm on the day of the storm and was very scared to see trees blown over and even the side of a building ripped clean off. I had to hang onto a railing at one point, otherwise I would have been blown over. I stayed inside from that point onwards! We woke to see that the devastation was widespread and very close. We had been 2 or 3 blocks away from being flooded and very lucky.
We waited all week to see whether the city was going to recover and we could start performing again. I had also planned on running in the NYC dash which was part of the marathon weekend but alas it was cancelled. Finally on friday we performed an evening show to a small but appreciative audience. Hundreds had cancelled but the theatre had given free tickets out to some of the areas of manhattan with no power so children could get out and do something. This was a really nice gesture and we felt in some way that we were helping out to restore some normality.
We ended the week with a flourish of shows which finished on Sunday to an audience who stood and applauded Mojo’s last exuberant blast of energy.
It has been an incredible experience to be part of a show which travelled to such a prestigious area as Broadway and an even more surreal one trying to work and live in a city as huge as New York while it was on its knees.
It was sad to see the end of Mojo but exciting to move forward and begin thinking of something new as well. Theatre has an ephemeral nature which is always progressive which I am starting to really love.
I am now staying in New York for a few weeks, visiting family and friends. I have been joined by my partner Kathleen Williamson. Together we are performing our vocal duet ‘You & The Night’ at The Living Room in Brooklyn on the 17th of November.
FREE MUSIC MOJO ON SOUNDCLOUD JUST CLICK ON DOWNLOAD AND ITS ALL YOURS ENJOY!!!
So we have done three shows now on 42nd street Broadway, and they have all been really different, We played to a packed out theatre of school kids the other day which was really exciting they really enjoyed the show and clapped and sang and cheered throughout! Last night was the opening press night which was a family audience and different feel again, two more shows today! Leo
If you are in New York and want to see the show follow this link to the New Victory Theatre website.
Ladies and Gentlemen my new E.P is now available to download!
Run & Become is a collection of songs from 2012, a 4 track E.P that was recorded and produced at my home studio. On these tracks you will hear my vocals, guitar, percussion, drums, bass, trumpet, piano, mandolin and even the sound of my feet running for the title track and single RUN & BECOME. This song combines my two passions. It is inspired by my running exploits and takes inspiration from the late guru Sri Chinmoy and his phrase ‘Run & Become’.
“This is a song I hope everyone can understand and take inspiration from, it is about doing things you are passionate about because they can set you free, especially if you don’t put too much pressure on yourself and remember to enjoy!”
For the video, I teamed up with friend and fellow filmmaker Theo Godley. It was created in September in two days. A camera strapped to Theo’s car filmed me running down miles of Suffolk lanes during day and night whilst training for the Round Norfolk Relay.
Thank you Salzburg! I have finished my month away rehearsing and performing in the show MOJO by Theatrerites, it was an incredible experience. We were part of the Salzburg Festival. We were looked after very well, we had great reviews, appeared on Austrian TV, and performed to a packed theatre, can’t really ask for more!
Next stop is New York! We are performing in the fall. It is on Broadway at the New Victory Theatre.
I also got to live and rehearse in London for three weeks right round the corner from the Olympics while it was all going on, seeing a whole pub erupting to the result of an athletics event is really my idea of heaven. If you want to read more about my running thoughts and experiences go to my running blog here: Leo On the Road My new entry is entitled ‘Olympic spirit and finding my Mojo’
After a fantastic few weeks in London rehearsing and soaking up the Olympics, I am now off to Austria to the Salzburg Festival with show MOJO, which I perform and compose music for. We are performing next weekend its going to be a blast.