Advent – Day 17

Advent - Day 17
Advent – Day 17

I don’t think Father Christmas has this sort of power!

Neil Cowley Trio

Neil Cowley Trio
Neil Cowley Trio

Phil and I were lucky enough to get tickets to the Neil Cowley Trio’s gig at the Union Chapel last night.

What an amazing gig.
They played their beautiful new album ‘Spacebound Apes’ in its entirety which was just fantastic. The album deserves to be listened to all the way through and to hear them play tracks such as ‘Weightless’ and ‘The City and the Stars’ live was just jaw dropping.

Neil getting the stage to himself to perform the haunting ‘Grace’ was a lovely interlude (and also a fitting end to side 1 of the LP).

Sorry, this is turning into a review, which is an accident. Basically, the gig was incredible and the three guys are so amazingly clever that you do wonder how this sound is being reproduced so accurately. I’m still not sure how they play ‘His Nibs’ or ‘She Eats Flies’ without someone’s arms or fingers flying off into the audience!!!

Today’s quick sketch was inspired by one of the many faces Neil pulls while playing. He really is an inspiration to watch and the joy he feels while playing is palpable. This cartoon was attempt to capture one of the looks he gives Rex or Evan while they’re really going for it in a number!!

If you still haven’t allowed the joy that is the Neil Cowley Trio into your life yet please check them out. Their new album is gorgeous and I cannot recommend it highly enough as a piece to use as a muse, listen to and talk about.

Dream In An Open Place

Dream In An Open Place
Dream In An Open Place

This drawing was a long time coming.
It is inspired by my recurring thought that if it were 100 years earlier (as in, I’d been born 100 years earlier) I would possibly be in the trenches of France right now. Or dead.

The title comes after the Vangelis piece of the same name. While I was studying the First World War this particular track, from his 1995 album ‘Voices’, made me think about a moment of calm after the storm in the trenches. I’m not sure why.

Knowing Vangelis this piece of music is certainly about something more beautiful.

This drawing looked a lot better in my head. Perhaps I will revisit it one day when I have more time.

This was drawn on the Procreate App (on the iPad Retina) with a 53 Pencil. Incidentally, I wore the nib of my stylus out finishing this!!
A time-lapse video will be on my instagram for those interested.



What a brutal year it has been. We have lost so many amazing, talented and era-defining artists in such a short space of time.

No cartoon I can draw will every do someone like Prince justice.

I have my sister to thank for getting me into Prince. She is nearly 6 years older than me and I grew up hearing ALL of his music in the mid-eighties. Of course, I hated it all then (or pretended to) but as I grew older I realised how amazing all of the music was/is.

I now feel extremely fortunate to have been at a Prince gig in 2007 for his ‘Planet Earth’ tour. It was at the over-sized, rubbish-acoustics O2 Arena in London but he performed in the round and he sounded amazing.

My main question, and the not-so-hidden message behind today’s cartoon is:
Who is replacing these wonderful artists?


Fred enjoying Autolux's amazing new album 'Pussy's Dead'
Fred enjoying Autolux’s amazing new album ‘Pussy’s Dead’

Nothing makes me happier than discovering a new album…that I really love!

This year has been a great one for music so far; but Autolux’s new release, ‘Pussy’s Dead’,  really caught me by surprise. I love their first album (‘Future Perfect’) but I’ve never been able to source a copy of their second (‘Transit Transit’). Since then they’ve been off my radar.

Then, thanks to Spotify, I was told their new album was available for me to listen to. What a lovely surprise and what a great album. Totally not background music (the best kind) and it totally fucked with what I was expecting from an Autolux album.

Their sound is just as fresh as it was back in 2004 and so if you like the same music as I do and you’re looking for something with a bit of an edge then look no further.

They’re also doing a small tour which is bringing them to a single London date…perhaps I’ll see you there?

P.S. Living in the UK I’ve yet to source a copy of ‘Pussy’s Dead’ on vinyl…but rest assured that I will find a copy. No way will a CD do of this baby!!