2020: It’s my second year of being a full time, self-employed musician. I made a pretty decent living for my first year last year, gigging at weekends and anytime, anywhere that would have me, playing unpaid gigs with my trio The Luke Edney Band to help grow audiences and awareness for my own music, as well as teaching guitar during the week to subside my income. Looking at what I already had booked gig wise for the year already by February, with my guitar students starting to grow in numbers as well, 2020 was starting to look pretty good.
Then March hit, and I guess you know the rest. Couldn’t go to pubs, couldn’t play at music venues, couldn’t rehearse with my band, and couldn’t go to people’s houses to teach them guitar. The first two weekends that lockdown was brought in, I lost £985 as soon as Boris uttered them words. That was me pretty much fucked financially, right? A couple of weeks previous, I had been advised by my ex that I should take a look at teaching on zoom just in case things go tits up (better from her, top lass). I remember thinking pretty quick after shit started to hit the fan, “great fucking idea Luke, go be self employed with no security of your income!” – I’m pretty self-critical, obviously. The older I get the more I'm aware how common it seems with creative depressive types, but it helps me stay in my own head, and not up in the sky with my potential ego. Who wouldn’t want to go and actually do something they like doing for a living?! So I slowly started to get over my stupid childish behaviour towards myself, but I didn’t want to do live streamed gigs, I didn’t want to do anything creative to help make people feel better about it all like I always try to do. I’m one of those guys. Quite often to me it doesn’t matter if I’m feeling shit, just so long as I can put a smile on someone else’s face, even when I’m struggling, I’m pretty happy.
So there I was, (getting bored yet? If I was listening to someone tell this story I would have fucked off for a fag and left them chewing the bar maid’s ear off long before this paragraph. “Yeah we get it Luke your life was shit suddenly like everybody else’s you self-centred ginger C word”) hibernating and feeling pretty sorry for myself. As a man who hates watching the bullshit that has become the news, and after watching the constant facebook warriors rattling on about a load of bollocks all plastered with the phrase COVID19 CORONAVIRUS BRUV, I decided I might do something to make MYSELF feel a bit better. I sat listening to a Luke Combs song, looking at my dusty Rokit KRK’s and thought, “I wonder If I could write, record, mix and release a new body of music within a week.” If you’re by any means releasing music, you’ll be thinking, “fuck off Luke, there’s no way you can send it off and get it released in a week”, and you’re correct, points for you, but the point was actually not being a creative, but being a creative with a deadline for a change, processing something I’ve never tried to rush (unless you remember my first EP release “Bipolar Love”, terrible production quality because I rushed to get it released). So that was my point in the first place, I needed to cheer myself up by setting myself a goal of creativity I had never done before, and obviously the endgame would be that it would help and inspire others as well.
With this rushed creativity in mind, if I was a music industry exec, how would I capitalise if at all, from the current situation, but as a creative, how could I make my point made on a global relation. The three songs I wanted to write were, “I wanna get drunk with my friends again” (last couple of singles seem to do well in the pubs), “imagine the people who were just starting a relationship and couldn’t see their partner”, and “fuck me I’m depressed, but I can be better, and this will all change, and I bet a lot of other people are feeling the same way”.
No ground had been one I wanted to release for years, but never had it right. Never had it just how I wanted it. Recently, I’ve realised that you’ll never have something you created exactly how you want the world to see it, and it’s a realisation I’m slowly starting to get used to. I knew this song had a lot of heart, I knew it would mean a lot to a lot of people and I had previously been testing it with audiences at various open mics around my local area. A few times I tested it at the two open mics I run at both the Crouch Oak in Addlestone, and The Kings Head in Shepperton, but the first of which time being at a GT Live Session with the fabulous Gavin Thomas of Guildford (go catch a show when you can). I decided this after discussing with my Canadian friend (he’s really American but loves the banter) Mat, who came with me that night, the point to him being that after what he was going through, he could probably do with hearing it. Of course, he told me it was shit and how dare I assume his feelings in this day and age. I thought FUCK YOU MAT, I’MONNA RELEASE IT ANYWAY, PILGRIM. (He thoroughly enjoyed it, I had to put something in to keep you reading this).
The love song. The lack of sex. The empty bed. This started as something I was looping on my strat. I was just jamming along, practising some solo techniques, and moving between major and minor key improv (that's boring, you're boring everybody, QUIT BORING EVERYONE). So, I had the idea for the solo before I wrote anything down for lyrics. This felt like the right song to add the “corona” and “remoaner” lines into, as it worked as great juxtaposition to the lovey-dovey nature of it. Another thing to note about this EP was that I wanted to try and make it very easy to play within the trio, and because of how quick I wanted to get it all done, everything was done within 2 takes, barre any backing vocals.
Pint Of Numbers
The “piss-up with the lads” song. Let us back in the pubs, let me spend all my wages in 20 minutes! Like I said, you guys seem to really enjoy the drinking songs when I play the pubs, and I wanted to make it a bit more personal. So I mention stuff like Our local by the river “The Pelican”, a gorgeous pub situated on the River Wey in Addlestone/Weybridge borders, where we spend most of our summer getting lobster red and blind fucking drunk, as well as our other local “The Crouch Oak’s” beautiful barmaid mother/daughter team-up Bev and Louise. Halfway through this song, I got the idea of getting everyone involved to send me videos of them in lockdown to make up a music video for release day. If you didn’t know “Pint of Numbers” comes from British slang, asking for a pint of Kronenbourg 1664.
In the end, I finished it all within 5 days and sent it off to be mastered (by Pete Maher of petemaher.com , top lad and very reasonably priced for unsigned artists) and then finally for release and started about making the video while the robots on digital distro were doing their thing. Of course, by the time I got my masters back I had an ear infection and couldn't even listen to them in their full glory properly yet. By this point I had already finished the album artwork as well. At around this time, Liz herself decided to do a speech to the nation, I didn’t watch it, (can’t stand watching the news if you were paying attention earlier) but I thought it would be funny to make the artwork relatable to the news and specifically the Queen’s performance. So very quickly I put my head on her body, called the EP my very popular saying “Don’t Even Worry About It” and called it a day.
I always try to do many things at once, when I hit a mental block with production, I usually find something useful and productive to do. I always am heavily involved in my music artwork. I’ve personally created every single artwork piece for released music myself from scratch, barre “I Don’t Like Whiskey” for which, I wrote an outline of what I wanted and then had the linework commissioned by a clearly very talented artist, Rafael Ortega. I later coloured it in and added the title and text and everything. I still owe Raf a CD with his artwork on the front that contained all my latest singles which I would’ve also sold at gigs for those of you who still love a little souvenir and a bit of merch.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed it or whatever, please go stream it, mans needs to make money innit fam!