December 2009 - 27.12.2009

Firstly, Happy Christmas/Holiday/Yuletide to you all! What an amazing year it has been. I think I have finally conquered my fear of flying simply by flying all the damn time. Plus a bit of hypnotherapy. I'm currently in Texas spending some time with my partner & his family. My plane landed just before the blizzard hit. My heart goes out to anyone in Oklahoma & North Texas who got stranded in the extreme weather.

So, the sun is coming out now to thaw the ice on the roads and I'm just reflecting on everything that has happened since I was here last Christmas. Obviously the majority of my year has been taken up with the Placebo World tour, which has been a whirlwind of incredible experiences all over the globe. 3 Singles, Number 1 in 9 countries, over 70 shows in 29 different countries and of course 1 Best Alternative MTV European Music Award. Not a bad year, and 2010 promises even greater things. This band really has the most amazingly loyal & dedicated fans. As always, a big thank you to everyone who has attended the gigs, especially those of you who travel long distances and come again and again to support us. The energy from the crowd really does affect the energy of the performers onstage, it is a two-way thing. We feed off of your enthusiasm, and we suffer from your indifference.

To be honest I am still recovering from the shock of the last gig of the year, the Alpine Rock Fest at Andalo, Italy. We flew in from different European cities because we had had a few days off, and we were all subjected to flight cancellations and diversions. Most of us ended up in Venice instead of Verona, and one poor crew member never left Heathrow. Miraculously we managed to put on the gig in probably the worst conditions I have experienced. An open-air stage on an Italian mountain in December???? Really? Thank you SO much to the audience for sticking it out, I can't believe the crowd were expected to wait knee-deep in snow and freezing cold rain. You are the true hardcore. We felt awful for you. It was actually raining onstage because the stage roof was leaking, pouring rain onto the equipment, and the crew spent the entire time mopping up puddles and making sure no one got electrocuted. We gave the best performance we could in the circumstances, but it was brutal up there. 

As well as touring I have continued writing string arrangements and recording for a few other artists. It was fantastic to finally hear the brass & strings onstage at the Birmingham/London 02 Placebo gigs because I spent ages writing the additional orchestrations. Also, I'm happy with the strings on the new "Wishful Thinking" album because we recorded on 2-inch tape, which doesn't happen much these days. I'm pleased that Gemma Ray's album "Lights Out Zoltar!" is doing well and am really delighted that I got to collaborate with 80s legend Howard Jones, contributing the string quartet arrangements on his new album, "Ordinary Heroes". I'm particularly excited that the new Midlake album, "The Courage of Others" gets released in February and I hope to be catching up with them regularly on tour, not least because my fiance is in the band :) and I hope to find time to record some of my own music too.

On a personal note, this year I was sad to lose my dear grandmother Frances Bland, who died at the grand old age of 95, the day before Placebo's London Shepherd's Bush gig. It was hard to get through that one! But she was a wonderful, loving grandmother who supported me always and I think of her often. Then in July, whilst I was onstage at London's Roundhouse, my second nephew was born, bringing new life and balancing things out somehow. 

The unstoppable tour machine continues next February with ever-more exotic locations. We start in Jakarta, then Australia, then back to Asia and I don't really know where I'm going after that yet! But if it's anything like this year it will be an amazing ride. 

Love to everyone & best wishes for 2010

Fiona x