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Jackie Oates On Violins & Vermin

Mike Harding | 14:20 UK time, Monday, 27 July 2009

A few weeks back on my blog, I was talking about a forthcoming album by singer and musician Jackie Oates.

Her previous CD 'The Violet Hour' helped her to win two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards back in February. Well, I loved that album and I have to say, I love her new one 'Hyperboreans' even more. You can hear a track from it on my programme this coming Wednesday and I'm delighted to say Jackie is my guest blogger this week.

Jackie Oates writes:

The school summer holidays have finally arrived and I'm revelling in the novelty of spare time. Term time for me consists of 37 weekly violin pupils, 3 choirs, 2 Kodaly based music classes, and the odd singaround and session, combined with album recording, gigs as a soloist, accompanist and Navvy's Wife.

The past few months have passed by in a frenzy of regular daily teaching, rapidly followed by driving up and down the country and surviving off beige food that I have purchased at service stations.

Looking back, now that I'm in my holidayish state, I can't believe that through it all has come the creation and birth of a new album, new band, several tour-ettes with James Dumbelton (my musical partner), Reg Meuross and Belinda O'Hooley and 9 successful violin exam results.

Frustratingly, my first day of holiday-ishness was spent discovering, avoiding and finally tackling the dead mouse-rat in my kitchen. I'd like to stress at this point, that he (the mouse-rat) arrived in my kitchen, as he was visiting several of the terraced houses in my road through a connecting water pipe, and not because I live in squalor.

I found the experience mildly traumatic, as I hadn't expected him to be able to crawl out of the cupboard and across the room. Niether had I accounted for how saddened and guilty I would feel, owing to how mousey and young he (the rat) looked.

I love being busy and slightly manic, and I've come to realise that I enjoy gigging so much because its my chance to feel calm and tranquil for the time that I'm on stage. And all the travelling, hours of internet admin, rehearsals and lack of free time are worth it.


  • Comment number 1.

    I've been listening to folk music for about 35 years but don't think I've heard a song as poignant, as sad or as 'gut-wrenching' as 'Past Caring' that can be heard on Jackie Oates' MySpace site (and on her new album). I hope it gets some Radio 2 airplay.


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