Guys, I made a playlist on YouTube of videos featuring ME!

…Wait, come back! Please! Please?

Due to computer breakages and lack of foresight in terms of backing up, I am severely overdue a new showreel, especially if I’m supposed to be taking this ole presenting lark a bit more seriously.

Therefore, I’ve made a playlist of videos I feature in on YouTube. Naturally most are from my own channel.

What’s that? You want me to host your awesome telly/radio/online show? Me too! Let’s chat.

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How to grow up

I’ve wanted to vlog for a while, but knew that simply talking to a camera probably ain’t gonna cut it these days.

There’s something about vloggers like Tanya Burr and Zoella that weirdly compels me to watch – and they are very watchable – but I wanted to do some brief, lighthearted videos that look at different elements of being a so-called ‘grown up’. It’s not necessarily advice for young people that’s helpful right here and now, but it’s about making the idea of being an adult less intimidating, whilst also exploring what that actually means – do your thoughts change? Does your behaviour drastically alter? How do you actually know you are one? What does being ‘grown up’ actually mean?

I’m not planning on talking about makeup and clothes – although I’ll probably wear a lot of silver garments. I’m also not investing in amazing lighting or sound – at the moment, there’s just no point. I’m still exploring the format (and yes, it’s probably very typical YouTube in that I’ll be using jump cuts and cutaways, but hey, that’s the medium).

My first video isn’t about something that everyone will experience – it’s not something everyone wants to do (or sadly can afford, given this day and age), but it’s something personal to me, given that a question I’m often asked is; “why on earth would you live on your own!?” Hopefully my video sums up why I really enjoy it and why it was the right choice for me.

My flat is a shared ownership property – meaning that I pay a mortgage on 25% and pay subsidised rent on the rest. So I can decorate it, but I’m also responsible for paying for repairs should anything go wrong. I can staircase to buy 100%, or I can sell my 25%, splitting any increase in value with the housing association who own the remaining 75%. There’s no point in satirising between as whoever buys next will also be shared ownership and will have to buy my entire share – much more difficult at 50% than 25%.

One of those ambitions I’d had for over a decade (genuinely since becoming a teenager) was to have my own place, and although I don’t own the whole property, I feel that I’ve achieved something.

I should also add, no animals or muppets were harmed in the making of the above vlog, although my sofa is lucky to be alive…

More vlogs coming soon – please let me know if there’s a topic you think I should cover!

Meet Graniella!

Graniella loves a ‘natural look’ (false eyelashes, red lipstick and eyeliner – naturally), shower gel and brushing her hair.

And she’ll sell you ANYTHING.

Graniella is the creation of my friend (and gifted stand up) Grainne Maguire. We shot this yesterday and I dusted off my iMovie skills. (And my Mac, which took four hours to upload it!!!)

If you enjoy, please do share and let us know if you’d like to see more!

My Harkive – 9th July 2013

I start at 8:00 when my alarm forces me awake and I immediately turn on the radio.

I won’t lie – this is almost permanently tuned to Radio 1, although the track (that even Nick Grimshaw comments as sounding like a ‘rubbish Cotton Eye Joe’) makes me wince (I later find out that this is called Ring A Ling by Sneakbo. This morning it’s mostly chat though – I’m an out and proud Grimshaw fan so this is fine by me. Plus, I’m 24 so I’m still within the Radio 1 target audience. (I know you’re judging me!)

As I head out the door to the district line, I have a listen to a mix of a song I’m working on on my iPod. It might sound odd to some, but I find it useful to listen to my own music (sometimes I find it quite hard) on various devices so I can see if the listening experience changes – for example, my macbook speakers are pretty poor so an iPod is far more preferable. The track in question is called Twelve Feet Under and I’ve put it on Soundcloud and shared it with friends to try and get their thoughts:

Often I listen to a podcast or something from the BBC Radio Comedy output on the tube to work – this morning it’s The Show What You Wrote, which is being podcasted as the BBC Comedy of the Week. However, as it finishes before I arrive, I pop my iPod on song shuffle and on comes the Sufjan Stevens song John Wayne Gacey Jnr.

Later, at my desk, I notice a blog post on Twitter about The Rumble Strips by This is Fake DIY. It includes a Youtube video of their song Alarm Clock, so I give that a listen. I was never a big fan so I listen more out of curiosity than nostalgia. It’s ok, but I prefer the upbeat (but slightly similar) sounds of the dearly departed Larrikin Love.

After lunch I have a major hayfever attack and run out to Boots to get some eyedrops. Trying to take my mind of my swelling, itchy eyes, I take my iPod with me. As before, it’s still on shuffle. The tracks it treats me to are Magic Touch by Golden Silvers, Four Kicks by the Kings of Leon, Night Terror by Laura Marling and Live Wire by Fyfe Dangerfield. I do have some current stuff on my iPod, including Bastille, Lianne La Havas, Bastille, Daughter and Kate Nash’s underrated third LP, Girl Talk – oh and Yeezus by Kanye West, but I also have plenty of older stuff I can’t imagine not taking on the go with me.

After work I hop tubes between Great Portland Street and Angel. My iPod is still in an eclectic mood and plays A New Found Land from Villagers’ (brilliant) second album Awayland, The Look of Love (Nina Simone version), Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) by Florence & the Machine, The View from the Afternoon from The Arctic Monkeys (who I have never stopped loving in the past nine years), Isobel by Bjork and She’s Lost Control by Joy Division. Naturally the latter sets me perfectly in the mood to see comedians John Robbins and Joe Lycett test out their Edinburgh shows… or maybe not.

Post comedy, it’s back to dashing between underground lines. Impressively I manage Angel to Bromley-by-Bow in three different lines and four songs… although I do chat to my friend Doug from Angel to Bank so technically I only listen to my iPod for the second two lines. These songs are Landfill from Daughter’s Wild Youth EP, Old Stone by Laura Marling, New by No Doubt and, rather perfectly, With You Now by my friend Jake Flowers’ band Oaken Lee. I say perfectly because I’ve just received a message from Jake about Twelve Feet Under.

Don’t forget, you can still submit your listening habits from the 9th July over at Harkive.org now!

The victoria sponge to my brewing leaves…

Heres the new song I’ve put on my soundcloud

I recorded it yesterday/this morning with lots of precussion and boundless enthusiansm….which quickly waned as I did take after take on the keyboard (I’m a rubbish player.) A lot of the other tracks/instruments were thankfully done in one take. It’s another rough realisation but one day it would be great to get some proper recordings, particularly of tracks that sound entirely different live.
The song is called Leaves and Crumbs and is based on a cartoon that Alex has that says ‘You are the victoria sponge to my tea.’ He had a rough script that has yet to be filmed which says that ‘tea is cake’s love.’ After I put up a video about 5 mins after writing it someone on youtube said it sounds a bit like a nursery rhyme and needs more depth but to me this song is allowed to sound like a nursery rhyme. In a way its a metaphor about growing old with someone and hoping that they will love you despite the aging process – which is a simple thing. (I think anyway…)
Feel free to download and pass on if you wish.
On tuesday I’ll be playing at the Bulls Head at an event called Bazaar (part of Mosely Festival.) I’m not sure when I’m on but possibly near the end so hope to see you there.

Looking for my Nature Boy

This is an early incarnation of ‘Nature Boy’ which I wrote with my friend Fuzz. I was teaching her some simple chords for uke and she told me about a scenario which she wanted to turn into a song and hey presto!

When Fuzz was still at school she was ‘in love’ with a boy and wrote about him in her diary etc… One day she got him to participate in an art project for her. She took him to a park, put lots of jewellery on him and took a photo. To create her final composition she plastered diary entries over the picture. I haven’t seen it as I think Ikon gallery kept it after it was displayed (I need to check with Fuzz.) But I thought it was truly a lyric worthy tale.

Right now I am experimenting with finding a ‘video editing style’ on Youtube and currently favour a Bob Dylan style quick edit/written notes. My shtick is that my updated version is environmentally friendly as it doesn’t waste paper! I need to find a ‘nature boy’ for the video to do put jewellery on basically! He probably needs to emcompass an ‘indie’ boy style (Think Topman—cardigans and the like.) I could use more than one boy, I’m not sure yet. My audio recording is still shabby and has a maraca, keyboard and ukulele on it. There was something quite joyful about making it, I enjoy it’s raw feel. I’m not a pro so why pressure myself? Currently my recordings are so I can experiment visually. I’m hoping to make a great video for ‘Disappointed in Me‘ and another for ‘Whoops.’

Here is a music video which uses the style. This song has inspired me to start the ‘Fake Project’…but more on that another time.

This song, ‘Fake Joe Lean’ is simply about the idea of saying that someone you may be attracted to looks like someone else. For example if you’re trying to explain what someone looks like in a conversation you may say ‘he/she looks like so and so.’ I like to call these people ‘fake’ not because they are, but because they become a lookalike for someone well known often without even knowing it….

If you know anyone who may fit the bill give me a shout!

Frank x

Get Frank setlist no.1

I have decided to start doing ‘dry runs’ (um…less dodgy than it sounds I hope!) for when I do proper gigs. At the mo my voice is a bit sore so I can’t push it too much but hey…

What I plan to do is divide my songs into four song groups or ‘Get Frank setlists’. I also need to get used to my lovely new guitar!

This setlist involves one of my new songs (numero uno) followed by three ‘ole warhorses’

1. Cautionary Tale (apologies for my awful singing on this one…)

2. Disappointed in Me

3. Untitled

4. Whoops

On reflection….it is fairly obvious to myself that I should not have consumed wine before playing…therefore consume wine before watching!

Frank x

Christmas numero uno.

There’s one thing about christmas that has certainly lost it’s magic…

With the annual predictability of the number one made complete by ITV talent shows there is no excitement in that once all important battle for the xmas top spot.

This year Alexandra Burke, winner of the 2008 X Factor has broken records and shot to number one with her cover of Lenoard Cohen’s Hallelujah (+ Gospel Choir arrangement.)

The issue with Hallelujah is that the X Factor version is just a big fat showboat for it’s performer. Alex has an incredibly powerful voice for her 20 years but clearly has little life experience with which to fuel the emotion of the song. Hallelujah is not the song of a joyful winner and this is why I believe her version doesn’t work.

The production of the track is far too clean and detached: Karaoke with better backing vocals. The backing was not rerecorded for each X Factor finalist which means that any hope of ‘style’ that the acts might have cultivated for themselves would be buried beneath a non negociable tempo.

The ITV talent show has taken away the necessity of Xmas TOTP. How long before it removes the necessity for the Xmas chart full stop?

Frank. x

P.s- as I have been talking charts…

Got to no. 16 on the most watched uk musician youtube chart (day)

P.P.S

So far am no.67 on the most watched uk muso chart (this week)

Viral stunts

Today I was thinking about my youtube  aim to get 100 subscribers before my 20th birthday. As of today I have one day less than a month and 7 subscribers to collect. It’s not exactly Bryony Makes a Zombie Movie in terms of ridiculously ambitious deadlines but to me it’s still a challenge.

So if you have any ideas or examples of people who have managed to lobby the usual system of gaining fans through talent and have simply used eyecatching tricks to gain support.

I was thinking maybe hold a sign in the town centre asking people to sub..or at uni, I’m not sure yet.

Wish me luck!

Frank x

Open mic-ing

Student life, it seems, is no longer about getting drunk, staying up all night chatting or going out on a whim.

As the christmas season approaches, so do deadlines and currently no one seems to be doing much socially which I feel is a shame as my dying kidney is back to happy and I can’t properly celebrate.

So today I’m off out to open mic at The Soak in Selly Oak as I’ve got nothing better to do (except um…work) and I’m going to play and probably leave…or stay depending on who is there.

The thing about open mic in The Soak is that only a few people are there for the event itself, everyone else is boozing, snooker-ing or gathered around the large screen watching some type of sport. Some will find this offputting, others will like that not everyone is examining them. I’m in between the two as on the couple of times I’ve played there before, I’ve been unable to hear myself playing and as a nervous newbie to the bussiness of gigging etc… I can’t even hear my own mistakes. This causes me to panic and make even more errors- so I act self-deprecating and laugh it off. No one will ever take me seriously until I do myself I suppose.

Tonight I’m going to play a couple of covers and a few of my own. I usually play originals but if you open with a cover people seem to settle a bit more. Their ears prick up because they’re trying to work out ‘what is that familiar-but not so similar tune.’ The eureka moment when they realise could lose their attention or retain it for longer, depending on the listener.

Will post a ‘set list’ and some you tube videos later…