End of year 2021

2021 is coming to a close, and I have to confess I’m slightly confused as to when it actually started! It all seems slightly Lockdown-blurry, so I’ve resorted to looking through my diary for insight. Insights such as Feb 9th “make paratha” or April 8th’s classic “get milk” weren’t exactly helpful.

Here on Jurassic Island we started the year with a 6 week Lockdown announcement. I continued the LOCKDOWN SIEBEN livestream concert series, picking up on New Year’s Day, with Concert 38 Mellow Hello 2021. Save for one week, these continued right through to May, up to the final Concert, 55. Have just re-watched the finale of that, me under the rug, shaven maggot boy cat perched on top, with a sense of both pride, achievement, and horror! These gigs were such a lifesaver for me.

Then followed 3 short Kev movies, where Not So Big Kev got a good BBQ, Kev employed popular music to entreat the Boxsets (Boxset!) to arrive, and then tried to teach me how to do music properly (“stop that, Matt, it’s like a disco beat for beta males and lady versions”) before I started a ‘new but entirely the same’ set of concerts called SIEBEN ONLINE. There were 6 of these in 2021, with number 7, Jurassic Pork happening this coming Friday. That makes 24 online concerts for 2021 🙂

55 weeks in the making, the 10 CD BOXSET (and five album’s worth of live tracks) of all things Sieben in Lockdown eventually arrived, after many trips round Polish roundabouts. And I managed to get them out before the horror show that is post-Brexit posting to the EU. They also ‘broke even’ which is a stunning testament to your generosity. Here’s the boxset in all its glory, in my new shop. Huge thank you to Ziva for building this new swanky website in 2021, too.

As for live (in person) concerts, I’ve one more to go; my Sieben Christmas Special. It’s an annual tradition that I give out presents to all audience members at this; not simply poor quality rubbish, but bespoke disappointment guaranteed for all! So sad that new Lockdowns have prevented many of the Facebook Lockdown Sieben group from being able to attend. With this final concert of the year, I’ll have done 15 live concerts in 2021. A huge and warm thank you to Oswald Henke and the Goethes Erben crew for carrying me along for the 9 dates of their German tour, which was wonderful. Add to that amazing gigs from Shanti, Alex and Anne in Bermeo, Basque region at Mareak Jaialdia Festival, The Church House Sheffield, and Ciaron/PHAT Productions, Cloak & Dagger in Bristol, I’ve been pretty lucky with concerts this year. 38 concerts in total, live and livestream; one was both! Thank you Matzi & Julia in Baiersdorf for that, and the lovely company and hospitality throughout 🙂

So, last livestream this Friday. On my Bandcamp, I’ll be releasing my Minack Theatre DIGITAL SINGLE; two tracks (Donald Crowhurst being the other) where I’ve gone for high-fidelity, concentrated around the song and my voice. They’re free to download, pay what you like, don’t pay, pay as a ticket for Friday; mainly I’d like you to hear them. I’m re-working the old (of course) to set the tone for the new album, and finding better ways of recording my voice along the way. The bootcamp of Lockdown certainly help me work on such things.

A fitting end to the year will be my Sieben Christmas Special at The Dorothy Pax. Last few tickets for that are still available – and if you’re skint I have some ‘gifted’ tickets from the foreign tribes who sadly can’t get to us now. Simply email me. Though I am tempted to insist you assume their personality for the evening.

Some concerts already announced for me in 2022 (see EVENTS section), including Zwickau (DE) and L’Homme Sauvage Festival (FR). Ilkley, Cologne, Hannover, Sheffield, Wales and Budapest may also feature 😉 I shall continue with my SIEBEN ONLINE, I’m aiming to do roughly one concert each month, and for sure a Summer Solstice Special. And I’m working on a new Sieben album for 2022 🙂

Hopefully see you at my livestream on Friday, 8pm UK time. And there’s a handy permanent link via my website now here 🙂

Matt Howden – 8th December 2021

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