As Marley says: ‘It would all ideally have been last year. I put the album out last summer, then things started to take a turn for the worse, so I wasn't able to book anything in properly.
‘It's not so much a launch party now as a one-off where I'll be doing the whole album from start to finish with the band.
‘The night's changed focus a bit – it’s something to commemorate the album coming out because I never got to do that with my first album.’
Although often seen performing solo, for this gig the Portsmouth singer-songwriter will be back with the band which played with him at Victorious Festival last month. Performing at the Acoustic Stage, his songs were given the backing they deserved.
‘It was fantastic’, recalls Marley, ‘we went through some new songs, playing them publicly for the first time with the guys in the band, and it was so, so fun.
‘It seemed to get a good reaction too – I had quite a few people come up to me afterwards saying: “I liked this one or that one”, and it was the new songs. It's nice to hear those newer ones went down well.
‘It's a lovely stage to play, but because I was playing earlier in the day, you often don't get quite as many people at that stage, but it was much busier than I as expecting – it was a really nice turnout.
‘And it was lovely weather, which was perfect, because quite a lot of the new tunes are quite summery in spirit.’
The bulk of the album was recorded during the early lockdown at home: ‘I’d say I did it in my “home studio”, but it's literally a MacBook and (music studio software) GarageBand! It was very much a solo effort through lockdown.’
Marley very consciously pushed himself and his songwriting for this album, and a year down the line he’s still happy with the results.
‘I can look back at it and feel good about how it came out. I don't usually sit at home and listen to myself, but when I've had to it’s felt less painful than in comparison to previous times,’ he laughs.
‘I'm quite happy with what I achieved lyrically, in comparison to previous efforts, where I've looked back and thought, I could have worded this better, or done that differently.’
It had been six years since Marley’s debut Shine On and four since his A Shooting Star... EP was released, so Marley is hoping to produce a follow-up a little quicker this time.
‘That's the aim – it's not been started yet, but there's a lot of ideas floating around and I do want to put something out a lot sooner – if not next year, then the year after.’
‘It's not like there was any pressure on me to put anything out, but I feel like I've got complete control over everything in anything I do now, and because I can work at my own pace, write what I want and release what I want, I do want to do more and put things out.’
And if you buy the physical version of his albums, and happen to live in Portsmouth, you may even get a visit from the chap himself.
‘When Ephemeral Adventures came out, the pre-orders were all hand-delivered in the same day, all across Portsmouth, on my bike.
‘It was nice to be able to see people again, and in some cases meet them for the first time, and to be able to hand them the CD and say thank you for supporting me.
‘It is nice because it's a compliment to your music that people decide to say I'd like a physical copy of your album.’
Marley Blandford is at The Gaiety, South Parade Pier on Sunday, September 26, doors 7pm. Support comes from Lauren Barker and Oli Sanderson. Tickets £10. Go to book.events.
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, for 27p a day.