This week has been one of the most intense, creative and rewarding weeks of my life. It was a week three passions in my life, politics, music and business, were all in play and I got to test myself in all three areas.
On Monday I attended the Liberal Democrats Policy Roadshow in Edinburgh where members of the Policy Committee, councillors, candidates and members of the party contribute new ideas as part of the formulation of the Manifesto for next years Scottish elections. Some really great ideas came from it and hopefully I was able to contribute a couple I had as well. If you are a member of the party then I strongly suggest you get to one of the Policy meetings to contribute to the general debate within the party.
Tuesday saw me focusing on the forthcoming launch of a new business I have created. The idea comes from a problem that a lot of jazz musicians I speak to have, namely how do they get gigs and build a touring career. I must get ten requests a week from jazz musicians who want me to look after their careers and I usually have to politely decline. However I have been in the process of creating a new online business that will make it much easier for them to build their touring careers. I created this business using some of the tips from Tim Ferriss’ amazing book ‘Four Hour Work Week’ where he shows you how to create a business that only requires four hours a week. Essentially Tim’s concept is about how to automate and outsource all the major functions of a business and pretty much 95% of my new business uses outsourcing from India, UK and USA to create revenues. In the process I’ve written a 50 page e-book detailing and distilling my method for booking concerts Worldwide and the new business and website is going to be launched in the next fortnight.
Thursday had me talking at a political hustings for a campaign I can’t actually talk about publicly. However what I can say is that the experience has been immensely rewarding for me personally as I’ve got to meet a lot of voters and spent time talking to them about their issues and how the Lib Dems can win more seats at the Scottish elections in 2011. It must be the performer in me but I truly enjoy hustings (for my non-political readers a husting is a political debate as part of an election where candidates a quizzed by a room full of voters – think Question Time). I like the combative nature of hustings and the preperation that is required. My years learning improvisation as a musician has also proved useful as the basics (creating a theme/mood, improvising around that theme, bouncing off others ideas and restating the theme) have a lot of similarities in music and politics.
Friday was a bonkers day as I had to fly down to London to play drums with Martin Taylor’s Spirit of Django on the BBC Radio 2 show ‘Friday Night is Music Night’. The venue was the beautiful LSO St Lukes and it was spine-tingling to share a stage with the BBC Concert Orchestra as they played Brahms and the theme from Lawrence of Arabia. Aled Jones hosted the night and the Cornish male choir ‘Fisherman’s Friends‘ were also on. You can hear the show again here and also see my wife Alison talking in the dressing room beforehand. After the show Alison, guitarist John Goldie, a friend who does PR for BP (less said about that the better) and I headed to a party given by Dizzee Rascal’s drummer Alex Reeves to mark the 27th birthday of his girlfriend Lotte Mullan. Lotte has recently signed to Island Records and has a beautiful voice. Check out a video of her here.
Flew back early Saturday to attend the Alyth Show for a lovely sunny afternoon walking around the prize sheep and cattle as well as catching up with friends. Congratulations to our friends young daughter Tally of Shealwalls Farm who had her first win at this years show. Also bumped into Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Growth John Swinney and had a quick chat about politics and my campaign in Ayr at the Westminster election. I cheekily took the opportunity to do some gentle jesting about the SNP’s mishandling of the Curriculum for Excellence but John took it in good spirit.
Today consists of a mixture of gardening and political campaigning and looking forward to a fun week ahead including some more campaigning and concerts in the lovely spa town of Strathpeffer as well as playing at a sell-out concert on Thursday as part of the Glasgow Jazz Festival.