Posted by blatantblithe on November 16, 2010 Blog posts | Music | Personal | Social | | 8 comments


Performing in Escape, Swansea, in 2006. An oldie, but I like it.


If any of you follow me on Twitter (@catherineelms), you will have seen that I had a crappy weekend.  Hank and I had one of those “come-on-let’s-be-realistic” conversations on Saturday. I cried a lot.  Thank goodness he was over to give me lots of cuddles and supportive advice, or I would’ve been completely lost.

I was upset about a lot of things, most of which are too personal to write about on my blog.  But the relevant thing to discuss is this: my music career is at a complete standstill at the moment, and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it.

As mentioned before, I’m doing everything very cheaply.  Hank and his friends are recording/mixing/engineering the album, but they’re so busy with uni work at the moment that they just haven’t got the time to do ANYTHING for me.  Hence why there is still no free single yet – Hank’s too busy to mix the songs, and I sure as hell don’t have a clue how to mix songs.

Hank’s friends are the session players of the album, but they’re too busy for studio time at the moment.

Hank edits my photos, but he’s too busy for any editing at the moment.

Hank takes photos of me with his SLR camera, but he’s too busy to even see me at the moment, let alone arrange a photography session.

Hank helps me with website design, but… well, you get the picture. (Thankfully my web developer Saara is still on board, so we’re hoping to finish the website as soon as Hank gets the time to do his side of things.)

So then I thought: well, I’ll start doing some gigs instead.  That way I’m still developing myself musically and hopefully gaining a few supporters along the way.

But no.  Hank’s friends are my backing band, and they’re too busy to gig.  I could come to them in Leeds and make it a little easier for them, but it would be a nightmare to lug around that big heavy piano on the train, and on a bus to the city centre.  I wouldn’t want to run the risk of getting it stolen.  None of us have cars in uni, so we have to rely on public transport or walking.  And even then, they’d still be too busy to gig, let alone meet up for rehearsals.

So then I thought: why don’t I perform solo gigs instead?

And then I realise just how terrifying that thought is.  And this is where all my extreme self-doubt, pessimism, and fear floods in and prevents me from taking any action.  I’m not a brave little girl any more.  Every time I put a finger on a piano key, even in the privacy of an empty house, I am overcome with such a profound feeling of self-hatred that it’s all I can do to stop myself bursting into tears.  I’m weak.  I’m not in a place right now where I have the emotional stability to perform solo gigs. People will heckle, or ignore me, or accuse me of being ignorant, or mock me for being a poor player… and I just won’t be able to deal with that yet.  At least if I was performing with a band of 3 friends behind me, they’d be able to back me up if I got into any difficulty, and they’d bring their own friends to the gig so at least I’d be performing to more than 5 people.  When I’m on my own, I’m completely exposed and vulnerable.  How many people who know me would make an effort to attend one of my gigs in Nottingham?


In Gorseinon College in 2007, where I first performed my solo compositions. What a brave woman I was.


It breaks my heart to say this, but the only thing I can do at the moment is to muddle my way through my degree, trying to get better emotionally, practice my piano, and write plenty of songs… so when my uni work finishes in early May, I’m ready to take it seriously and throw myself into it all.  Even then, things won’t necessarily move as quickly as I’d like, as Hank will still be busy over summer, and I’ll be away from my backing band in Wales… so it’s not exactly a great plan.  But it’s the only thing I’ve got at the moment.  🙁


p.s. Thanks everyone for voting on my poll before.  It seems that most people want me to write about feminism and pop culture more than anything else.  I’ll see what I can do. 🙂


  • Emma said on Nov 16, 2010 11:09 pm

    *hugs* it’ll all work out at some point. You’re clearly extremely passionate about your music, which means even if it’s frustrating that it’s not happening right this minute, it’ll happen some day. You just have to keep the faith, though it’s hard. Most importantly you have to have the faith in yourself, and I know from personal experience that’s really tough, especially when like me, depression/other issues makes it difficult. But that’s something that can be worked on, and your health should always come first no matter what you think is expected of you.
    I would totally come and see a solo gig of yours in Notts, btw! I’ve always thought that you’re incredibly talented and that your music kicks ass, and also you’re the only person aside from Laura that I met in Gwendraeth that I’ve wanted to keep in touch with because you rock! Sorry for the essay length of this comment, I just hate to see you having a hard time! >_< xxxx

    • Catherine said on Nov 17, 2010 3:45 pm

      Awww, thanks so much Emma, you’re too kind to me! *hugs* Don’t apologise for the comment length, I love long comments!

      (you’re one of the few people from Gwendraeth that I want to keep in touch with too!)


  • Vicky said on Nov 16, 2010 11:22 pm

    I’d come!!
    Of course, that assumes it will be one of those days when I can face the world. Your photo caption says, “What a brave woman I was” and I really, really get that. The places I’ve been on my own, and now I struggle to get dressed and go to the post office, yet alone get to lectures. Self doubt, fear, self hatred- they are horrible things to deal with on a daily basis. If you want to talk ever, please message me, I know how horrible it is struggling on your own. I hope the next few months give you chance to feel better about yourself 🙂

    • Catherine said on Nov 17, 2010 3:49 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Vicky. I swear, sometimes I’m so tempted to set up some sort of Shy Girls’ Club in uni, where people like us can meet other like-minded people away from the pressures of typical student life. We can’t be the only people struggling!


  • DJ Moonlight said on Nov 17, 2010 5:09 pm

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been struggling to get things off the ground, but honestly out of all the bands I get sent, you are one of the best musicians I’ve heard- I even get your songs stuck in my head- they are that good! If you can’t find anyone else to help you, then I believe it will be worth the wait in the end.
    I play you on my show fairly often and also quite often tell my friends about your music too!
    I’d totally come to a gig if I could afford to get to Nottingham or Wales!
    as I’ve said before, if you want to talk to me about anything feel free to email/write/text/phone etc and I’m really looking forward to meeting up with you in London if you can still make Reclaim the Night xxx

    • Catherine said on Nov 19, 2010 12:41 pm

      Aww, thanks so much Hayley 🙂 xxxxx

  • Donna said on Nov 22, 2010 12:29 pm

    I hope things get better for you soon. I remember that Gorseinon gig – you absolutely entranced me, and the rest of the audience! You can do it. =)

    • Catherine said on Nov 24, 2010 10:12 am

      Really? I thought I was really awkward and shy at that gig, heh. Thanks for the lovely comment though 🙂 *hugs*

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