As we enter 2022 with a high level of uncertainty surrounding the music business, especially within the tiers of the industry that bands like ours occupy, it's also personally my tenth year after deciding that being a songwriter was what I wanted to do.
Above, there's me, J and Andy in the green room (more like the storage room for the venue's spare gear) at the Dublin Castle, Camden moments before we walked on stage in November 2019. I can't help but reflect on the past decade which is why I've decided to start this blog. Now, reflection isn't something I do often, I'm normally thinking full steam ahead for what we've got planned and what we can do going forward but on the rare occasion like now, I'll look back and honestly laugh out loud to myself at the immense highs, lows and everything in between that the last ten years has brought.
From left to right: My first ever solo gig at the Library Bar on Upper Street, Islington (circa 2013). One of J's first gigs as our drummer supporting Twisted Wheel at The Half Moon, Bishops Stortford (May 2018). With the current line up at Stone Valley south, 2022. About a year before the left hand picture was taken I was sat in a cafe in Enfield with my dad, and sister, I was spilling out (as you do to close family) all my anger and frustration at where my life was at that time. I was 23 and had spent the prior 6 years partying like my life depended on it without a care in the world about anything else. I'd suddenly came to the realisation that I needed some direction, something positive to channel my obsessive nature in to, I was fucked if I knew what it was when I sat down at that table but after one of those lengthy, brutally honest conversations only a father and son can have, I ordered a book that had been recommended to me by a geezer called Jamie Hunter. That book was called The Secret and I still attribute that book to the over night turnaround that took place in my life, nice one J! I blitzed through the whole book in two sittings and declared to my family that I was going to learn an instrument, learn to sing, then write and record my own album. I subbed £250 off my old girl as I was broke as a joke at the time and in perfect alignment with the way my brain had always worked, I was absolutely obsessed with this new guitar (the one in the left hand picture) I had just bought. After being involved in the London and ibiza party scene for 6 years I had became notoriously shit at waking up in the morning but out of nowhere, I was waking up 20 minutes before my work alarm at 5:20 just to get a little more practice in. That process went on for about a year, by then I marched off every morning with a spring in my step to catch the 6:36 to Liverpool Street from Enfield Lock where on that train the vast majority of the lyrics for what would become Block 33's first album were written. By the way, Block 33 was still 2 years away from its first incarnation. Anyway, fast forward 8 years or so (I'll save the in-between years for the autobiography), we recently played a gig where the entire audience sang every last word of our songs back to us, that's literally every songwriters wet dream, the band is just about to release our second album 'The Day the World Stood Still', we're more than likely going to end up selling out the famous 100 Club, I've personally received messages from fans scattered around the globe saying that our music helped them out of depression, have THE best management company looking after us and through music have a network of muckers around me that get just how my crazy fucking mind works, none more so than my manager and one of my best pal's Olly! Oh and on top of that, through my musical endeavours, have met the love of my life, Laura! If this has been a good or bad read for you then either one is brilliant (I love getting up the nose of our haters), but if you find yourself in a bit of a dark spot as you're reading this then I hope you get something positive that you can apply to your life through reading this blog. Anyway, until next time! Over and out... Dan x