A year ago today if you’d have told me what was going to happen in the next 12 months, I totally wouldn’t have believed a single word. From taking all of my GCSE’s and my sister leaving home to go to university to producing my fanzine, Woodnote, and selling it at a Charlatans gig, it has been one heck of a year.
It was the 27th of July 2011 that I first saw Tim Burgess live and got to meet him and Mark Collins. It was a fantastic night, with the support act being Joseph Coward … who would later become an amazing friend; I didn’t think that it could get any better. That summer my sister packed up and headed on out to Leeds uni. It was so sad seeing her go and every time she comes home it’s always tainted with the sadness that she’s got to go back! The day she left, not only did everything change, I felt a change in myself, as if I’d have to be more independent and go my own way- instead of relying on her to guide me through my life. Childhood suddenly froze. The end of an era.
I’d taken art for GCSE and was told to draw and collage in the style of Sandhi Schimmel. I chose to draw one of my huge inspirations, Nik Void. Once I’d completed the piece I sent her a picture of it. The response was amazing! She asked me to draw Gabe and Dom from the band FF too and said that she’d use them altogether. I was delighted with the fact that she’d even taken time to look at my art, let alone ask me to draw some more. To show her gratitude she sent me her CD, a FF T-shirt, badge and a small note signed Factory Floor. It’s such a great feeling to have one of your idols admire your art!
Then, one evening, I don’t really know how it came about, but Joseph Coward suggested that I should start a fanzine. He said he’d help me out for the first issue and provide me with an interview; kind of me helping him out too. And then I guess the next day was the birth of Woodnote. That has been such a crazy ride. Getting interviews from such amazing people, Tim Burgess… Tom Caulfield … Joseph Coward … Nik Colk and Gabe Gurnsey. It’s also helped me meet awesome people too. Asking for reviews and talking to people with the same interest has been so great!
The zine helped me get to meet Tim Burgess backstage again too, and I even got to sell the second issue at his gig. I’m so grateful of all the support everyone’s shown for it, it’s been a hell of a journey, and I’ve only just released issue 3!!
I guess on top of all of this, I’ve completed my GCSE’s! It’s a huge relief to have nothing to do and everything to be over – though I’m quite nervous to get my grades back. I so hope I’ve done well with the amount of work I’ve put into it all.
And to make an ace year even better, I have met some amazing people that will be friends for life. Holding a great x-mas party that is still talked about today, and just having a good set of friends to rely on has been a change to my lonesome school life.
So that’s kind of my year summed up. It’s been crazy, emotional and amazing. Seriously … I don’t think I would change anything right now, things are looking fine!