Behind the scenes with Becky...
"Exquisitely arranged and sung from the soul; every track is a joy..."
Crazy Man Arthur...
Sept 1st 2018
To the Isle of Wight for a trio gig commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the very first IoW Festival. It was quite touching to see how many original festival goers showed up! Topping the bill in 1968 was Arthur Brown who put on an incredible show 50 years later. I can only hope I am half as sprightly in 50 years time. Arthur told me he's ditched his famous "flaming hat". He explained that he now favours "electrocution methods" with the audience. He was dry & witty & utterly hilarious. Weirdest of all, it turns out he's from Whitby and lives a few miles over the moors from me in North Yorkshire. Amazing to think that I've never bumped into him, but then I suppose he just blends in with the locals eh :-)
Ashley's double masterpiece...
Aug 8th 2018
I got such a treat in the post today from Ashley Hutchings - a pre-release CD of his new double album "Paradise and Thorns" (released Nov 2nd). It's brilliant. I was part of the recording sessions for this last December and loved every second. Ash has revisited and updated his classic "Gloucester Docks" album across 32 tracks, and also asked me to compose a new song called "The Swift" which I'm honoured to say is included on disc 2. I'm so proud of it, and loved collaborating with J.J. Stoney on piano. I wrote the song in honour of swifts, the only bird known to mate and spend all their lives on the wing.
"When our eyes stung with sleep we rose up higher
In dreamlessness we stoked and fired
And slept in motion".
"The Swift" (Becky Mills)
New album photoshoot...
July 25th 2018
The photographer Andy Bulmer popped round to take some shots for the new album. What a beautiful evening we had (but then again this summer's been full of them eh). In keeping with the family heritage theme of the new songs, we chose my Grandad's old gun-shed as the picturesque backdrop for what *might* end up as the album cover. Now my Dad is also a woodworking maniac who whittles the cutest walking sticks. He's amassed quite a collection. They really are the spookiest most magical things ever. He says the designs just kind of suggest themselves to him (even the one of Ronald Reagan). I have a hunch the top right one might even be me. Thanks Dad x
Guitar, violin and . . . wine glasses?
June 28th 2018
Have you ever played a wine glass? No me neither. It's a great sound though isn't it! Anyway half way through recording today someone had the bright idea that a nice wine glass effect was all a certain track was missing. Having quickly scrounged a couple of glasses from the Ibis Hotel next door, it fell to my other half Gav to volunteer himself to do it. Gav's more of a beer glass man to be honest but he did a passable job. In fact after 27 overdubs it sounds lush as owt. Although his index finger is smarting bless him. Anyway here is pictorial evidence. Turns out you need two glasses - one to play, and a second "reservoir glass" for maestro to dip one's finger in, so one can keep the other one nice 'n' moist, otherwise - no more sound. QED. Slurp!
Cello, is it me you're looking for?
June 22nd 2018
Jonny Short is one of my very favourite musicians. We've been working together since the Waking the Witch days and if you ever need a bassist, call him immediately. Well I was looking for a cellist for the new album sessions and Jonny popped up shouting "me, me, me" - turns out he studied cello, which was always his first love, and so after a quickly arranged "200,000 mile cello services & oil change" he came in the studio today and did the most beautiful things with it. All in a day's work for one of Sheffield's finest, who then confessed he even played cello on Pulp's debut album. What a guy!
Radical Bakers festival fun
June 16th 2018
Who and indeed what are the "radical bakers"? Well now I know, having played a set at their fab weekend festival in sunny Shropshire. 3 important facts are : (1) not just their baking but ALL their scrummy vegan food was to die for; (2) their advanced eco-loo was a miracle of nature. Well impressed. Oh yes and (3) I performed, for the first time, an entire set of the "Tall Tales" songs which are forming the next album. Thankfully all were really well received which has given me a massive confidence boost. And whatsmore my set was accompanied by "steamed green veg (foraged)". An artiste needs foraged veg, always or they get very upset. Rad man!
Album recording has started. It's started!!
June 12th 2018
At last the successor to Dandelion is underway. I've waited and waited until I was totally happy with all the songs and now it's time to get to work! This week we began the first sessions at Foundry Studios in Chesterfield. As well as laying my own tracks down Blair Dunlop stopped by to strum, sing and noodle on his heavenly Gretsch electric guitar. I'm so thrilled to have brilliant young players like Blair onboard. It's all sounding fairly awesome so far. Hopefully come the autumn everything will be in the can. Watch this space!
Winter Song commission
May 16th 2018
This week I met up with the Suffolk artist Paul Evans to discuss a wonderful new project where Paul has commissioned me to write and record a song based on the theme of "winter". Once a year Paul creates a luxury hard-bound catalogue of his work which he sends out to his patrons and clients. This year he's decided to include a mini-CD of songs by yours truly, including the new "Winter Song" which I'm busy writing now. If you haven't seen Paul's work, please go and check it out. He paints the most amazing landscapes I have ever seen. You can find him at his beautiful gallery in Lavenham, Suffolk. That's where we first bumped into each other a couple of years ago and since became firm friends. I'm a massive fan of his work and so flattered that he likes mine too!
Frozen photo shoot...
Dec 4th 2017
This weekend Dave Creffield (who produced Dandelion) came to film Ruth and me. We decided since we have no shots of us together and very little footage of us live that we needed something to promote ourselves with. I think it’s going to be just brill. We did it in Newton Church in North Yorkshire, and it was freezing. Hilariously, the photo shoot outside in the snow was warmer.
So, we filmed two songs from my new album and one of Ruth’s songs. They will definitely be in our show when we come to a venue near you. Now I need to get my head down and finish writing this album. I had 9 songs but one of them just wasn’t good enough. I’m going to either rewrite it or do away with the bugger but what ever happens I’m feeling very simulated by this bonkers weekend we’ve just had. I can feel a few songs coming on !!! X
Stu-stu-stu Studio time...
Nov 21st 2017
Anyway so last Thursday and Friday I was in Chesterfield recording some bits and bobs for Ashley Hutchings MBE. It was a proper old school studio and smelt like studios should. Cigarettes and electrical things and fan heaters. I loved it!
I must say I felt very out of my league with the other musicians there. Blair Dunlop and the rest of his trio Fred (drums) and JJ (keys). Outstanding in their field they left me standing in my patio 😂.
Anyway soon it’ll be time to get recording my album. I’ve got 9 songs but would like at least 3 more so I have the choice of booting some out. Feel free to email with song ideas. I work well under threat or competition. Recording a music vid the weekend after next with Ruth Angell. We must not have a gin tasting again!! - until afterwards anyway...
Becky and Ruth duo taking bookings...
Nov 1st 2017
Ruth and I enjoyed the Scarborough gig so much that we’ve decided the time is right for a Becky and Ruth duo. I’m beavering away at my album (beaver! huh huh) and hope to whip it out in the spring so I’m going to work on organizing a tour. You can come and see us at Mrs Yarrington's Music Club (Battle) on 23.10.18 if you'd like a wee taster...-
Who wants us? Eh? come on if you’re hard enough!
We opened Scarborough Market Hall...!
Oct 7th 2017
Scarborough Market Hall grand opening (it’s been open for a while after it’s regeneration but we opened it last night, oh yes!!)
What a fabulous night playing beautiful songs with Ashley Hutchings, Blair Dunlop and Ruth Angell. I have to say after a lot of rehearsing we were pretty flipping good.
Blair played and sang my song “Barry Sheene” and my life is now complete thankyou, please. The venue even projected a 40ft high picture of Bazza onto the wall behind us. Amazing!!
Ashley Hutchings recording session...
Sept 8th 2017
I’ve been invited to work on an amazing new project with Ashley Hutchings MBE. Ash has commissioned me to write a new song. I’m not allowed to say anything more about it all but I’m so thrilled to be on board! Expect to hear the outcome sometime next Spring... :-)
Meantime back to school for Lou and time to start perving over winter boots on ebay for me. Ahh the Autumn...
Camouflaged in Cropredy
Aug 13th 2017
Cropredy is fantastic isn't it. The sun always shines and I get to put up my mighty camo tent! We were here showcasing a new show called "Beginnings of Fairport". This turns the clock back to the very early days of Fairport and reprises some of the earliest tunes the boys (and girls) played. The show was a sell out and I was quite taken aback to see how many Fairport fans had travelled specially from abroad to see it. No pressure! The band also includes the wonderful violinist Guy Fletcher (R) who popped round to my tent for a last minute rehearse. It's all too gorgeous and even the roads home weren't too chocker afterwards. And I got to see Richard Thompson live on stage.