Today is the 23rd December and I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and the loveliest time over the holidays.
I hope you all have managed to survive this pandemic year 2020 with as little fallout economically, physically and emotionally as possible!
Beyond how our daily lives, loves and work have been affected and how we’ve all had to adapt to manage to cobble together some semblance of reality which isn’t too upsetting, keeping in mind all the tragedy this pandemic has wreaked and all the resolve and bravery it has engendered in parents, teachers, health care professionals, volunteers, friends, co-workers and extended family members, this holiday season is one for us all to take care of each other and thank goodness we have 2021 to move into!
May 1st, 2020 was and always shall be a treasured calendar date for me! It’s he day that my 20 Track Deluxe Album QUEEN HIGH STRAIGHT was released! It took me 3 and a half years to make this album, from the first chord of the demo of the track Queen High Straight through to my mastering engineer sending me over a zip file of hi definition masters to go off to the pressing plant.
In that journey I worked with some amazing engineers, some incredible musicians, a fantastic photographer and make up artist, graphic designers, some wonderful, hard working and dedicated people in the manufacturing, fulfillment and distribution of the album, brilliant PR people, some great DJ’s at radio and my marvelously obsessive team who help me run my website and store.
Also in the journey there was, of course, as always: YOU. You who’ve not left my side since 1986! When Transvision Vamp began and you all first started liking, digging, loving the music I make. Boy oh boy, I wouldn’t be here without you, it’s that simple… From your letters to fan clubs in the early days, through to messages on social media, we’ve always had a good exchange. I try to give as much time and consideration to every message that comes my way, and in turn, you give me love, excitement and resilience to finish what I start and to deliver without compromise. I am so proud of how far we’ve come, I’m so happy to be able to view Transvision Vamp with pride and I am so happily astonished by the albums I’ve made since: Now Aint’ The Time For Your Tears, Racine No.1, Racine 2, I Came Here To Blow Minds, The Price Of The Ticket, Queen High Straight and now I am so confident in the future for (working title) Album 10.
Queen High Straight received the best reviews I’ve ever had for any record I’ve made! And how lovely that was! It was manufactured at the height of the first wave of COVID19 and yet, thanks to everyone involved, it suffered no delays. The only subsequent delays were related to delivery by a hobbled international postal service, but you got your albums and you loved it! The excitement and rush throughout June and July as you discovered the album with a daily wave of amazing reaction is something I’m just so happy and grateful for.
There is much to be done! Primarily there are tours to go on, gigs to play (finally! How wonderful it will feel for us all to be at shows again!) I can’t wait to start rehearsals with my band and having had the time to listen back to my previous albums and been pleased with what I heard, I’ve made a commitment to play a varied set list every night of the UK 2021 club tour! My band and I have 3 hours of material to rehearse up so that a set list per night can serve up different favorites. For a musician, this is a lot of work and it’s challenge to know 44 songs (that’s the number) off by heart and then perform them as effortlessly as needs must! But it’s a challenge we relish and I know the songs, including some from Racine No.1 are going to get fleshed out and sound incredible. I am so fortunate to have the band I love… I am hopeful that the March / April dates will go ahead, thanks to the Scientists and NHS for upcoming vaccinations and the promoters who’ve been flexible, to say the least! They’ve been run ragged rescheduling so many bands dates amid being furloughed and with their venues in doubt. If March and April are not viable then fear not, I have a pencilled and confirmed delayed schedule for later in the year. Buy your tickets now because it helps me and importantly it helps the venues: all ticket links and vip: https://thewendyjames.com/live. I also hope The Wendy James Band get booked onto some festivals for 2021. There is an EU tour being booked for October ’21 and I can tell you, also afoot, are exciting tour plans for 2022!
When I’m not rehearsing and gigging I will be writing ‘Album 10’. I have my notes made, I have done the preliminary work I tend to do, to launch into the songwriting stage. I have my musical ideas I want to explore! and on January 1st I will sit down, on my bed, guitar in hand, like all the other albums I’ve made, this is how it starts, and Track 1 will begin! Album 10 will be an anniversary album and as much as I can’t quite figure out how to top Queen High Straight, I am determined I shall and to serve up some completely desirous and moreish songs! Songs that will freak me out, in retrospect, as to how on earth I ever did them! It’s always a retroactive mystery to me! I listen to Queen High Straight and I marvel at it, yet in the moment, my process is clear and intentioned and I know exactly what I’m doing! Hopefully some of you will come on studio visits! And I’m going to ask David Leigh Dodd to start filming the whole process for a documentary!
Thank you for every purchase you’ve made… You know it turns right back around and goes toward enabling more work. Alongside the love you show me and my music, your purchases help make my new albums and tours become reality.
The Wendy James Store ‘Happy December’ Sale is still on! Please take advantage of that discount and get your free patch and stickers too!
Add the codes: DecemberSale15 and FreeSet15 at the checkout.
So! Enough about me, what about you?
Well… I hope you have family and loved ones, in some shape or form on speed dial, on Zoom, on WhatsApp, on Skype, on FaceTime and in a limited manner, in person. I hope you eat and drink until you’re fit to bust! I hope you’re warm and loved and that for a few days you don’t worry about so much, you let loose, you relax. For all of us who are in a position of, if not wealth, at least relative comfort, let’s give a thought and even a good deed to help someone who might not be so fortunate. Times are hard at the best of times, and for some people who, in their own life stories, have fallen into difficulty, in a cold winter with social restrictions, when money and food and basic well being are an exhausting and daunting destination far off, mental and physical stability can seem beyond reach. Spare a moment for everyone around the world, without color, creed, gender, sexuality or religion factoring into judgment, just simply the fundamental humanity of us all.
There’s nothing more warming, elevating and nourishing than someones love and it’s the easiest and least expensive thing to give.
I think 2021 will be wonderful for many of us! I hope as many as possible… and for my part, I will not slack in any effort or commitment I make to you.
Have a wonderful Christmas, a lovely holiday season and thank you for everything.
Love Wendy xoxo