OK, so not exactly a year, but we have no more sessions booked before January so here's a top 5 of my personal favourite Big Comfy Sessions of 2014 and separate top 5 Comfy Covers. First off, a massive thanks to Rob at Redwood Photography (@redwoodphotos) for being the brainchild (brainman?) behind the idea. Without him none of this would be possible. Also a massive thank you to Richard (@Mr_spoon) Harrison for getting on his knees, contacting artists and begging. And also filming too. The two of them are like an old married couple; arguing all the time but solid as a rock. Finally thanks to Victoria at the Treehouse Bookshop in Kenilworth who very kindly hosted them til The Big Comfy Bookshop (@bigcomfybooks) opened. So here's my top 5 Big Comfy Sessions: 1. Vena Portae Richard dealt a major trump card by getting Emily Barker in to record. She was on tour with her new band Vena Portae so they all came along for the ride. It was the most fun interview I did and I could have continued for ages. When we told Victoria who'd be coming to The Treehouse, her email reply was one of many capital letters and much aarrgghhs. Her favourite artist I think!
2. Luke Jackson I had never heard of Luke Jackson before but Rob swore he was great. He stopped off as he was travelling from Stockport to Kent. He was outstanding. His voice, his guitar playing and his general niceness. He's since gone on to support Marillion on their European tour.
3. artPACKT with Rosie Bans I had personally known Rosie for about 3 years as we crossed paths at a gig my band Barricades Rise played in London. We'd stayed in touch and when I heard they were doing a small tour I grabbed her, along with Anne McDonald and Mike Nisbett AKA artPACKT. They were hilarious!
4. Chains I'd heard of Chains as Rich was a fan, and they'd notched up a fair few youtube hits with their covers but I wasn't expecting the duo to be so funny, tight, and downright brilliant. It was probably this session that made me think we're really onto something cool here.
5. Nizlopi By this point (around 13 acts later) I didn't really get nervous about the interview part, but when Nizlopi came in I had a few flutters. They had a number one in the mid 00's with the JCB song (which incidentally I never heard!). They had regrouped to go on tour and as they're from Leamington they very kindly dropped in beforehand. They were CRAZY! So animated and open with their answers.
So that's the originals, and now here's my top 5 Comfy Covers. What we've found is that the playing and interview go really well, but the point when we ask the artists to speak direct to the camera and say 'This is my comfy cover...' they get so nervous and crack up! 1. Chains (again) They did this off the cuff and as 1 take. They'd never played it before and pulled it out the bag. Beautiful
2. Spooky Wagons Sometimes the artists play covers by bands even less well known then they are! (Looking at you Speak, Brother!), but Spooky Wagons took it the other way and covered a recent top ten tune.
3. Shanade I knew literally nothing about Shanade as she was a last minute replacement the night before. She blew me away completely, with several other Fargo Village tenants stopping work to poke their heads in.
4. Wes Finch The very first Comfy Cover. Wes was a gent as he was our guinea pig and he came up trumps with this lovely cover.
5. Roxanne de Bastion Roxanne was pissed off. The latest John Lewis add had stolen her idea of a cover. But she played it anyway. And it was ace.
We had 19 sessions since April, and have already got 8 booked for 2015. Thanks to all who played. You can view all sessions at www.bigcomfysessions.com Merry Christmas Michael