I’m a hugger. There, I said it. When I meet up with friends, I hug them, when I leave friends, I hug them, when I meet new people, I hug them. I like hugging and I like the feeling of being hugged. However, as I’m sure even the least astute of you will be aware, hugging is essentially illegal in the UK at the moment. As is human contact in general. Quite rightly, people are beginning to feel lonely. I, however, am plagued with a more overwhelming feeling. I’m bored. 

Don’t get me wrong, I know that in some regards I am incredibly lucky. When I haven’t been out on my daily walks around Victoria Docks, I’ve been holed up in my humble studio in the attic, working away on various projects for other artists, as well as working on a plan for the coming year with my TGL chums. But without the social nourishment that is human contact and casual pubbage, it all feels a little empty. Had you told teenage me that I would be able to live solely on my music income, he wouldn’t have believed you and, knowing the little prick I was back then, he would probably have called you a cunt. Still, despite this, it’s become increasingly more apparent how much I crave human contact. I do have a housemate, and regular readers may well remember how we were making our way through all the Tom Hanks films, but her boyfriend has sneakily moved in without me really realising it and she now spends all her free time with him. So we haven’t finished our Tom Hanks-athon, and I am left with all the negatives of living alone, along with all the negatives of living with people (here’s looking at you, large pile of washing up). Thus, the pile of used coffee mugs on my desk is ever increasing as I inevitably spend more time alone in the studio. 

So, dear readers, you can imagine how excited I was when we had our first full band writing session yesterday, in a new studio space (more news on that soon), with some new equipment to record the whole session (more news on that soon). On a personal note, it felt incredible playing music again. With people. Who are in the same room as you. But for The Great Leslie fans out there, this is also good news for you. After a few hours of sweating our stress out in aural bliss, we made huge progress with writing and may well be on track to hit the studio in March. The band feels invigorated, lean, agile, and feisty. There’s an energy that I haven’t really felt here before; determined, fired up and ready to channel all this pent-up anger back into making ear worms for your listening holes. This is evident in the fact that, instead of writing the blog the night before release (as I normally would), I spent last night reworking old demos and working on the production of some new tracks, drunk on musical enthusiasm (and a few cans of Lidl’s cheaper lager). 

So, please forgive the short blog this week. As I’m sure you’ll agree, we’ve had some more important things to work on…

Looking forward to hugging you at a gig soon.