Nic Evennett-Waiting For The Leaves
It's a slightly longer article this time for reasons that will become clear, as well as giving artists/bands a music platform in the form of an interview/ review, there's also a human element and in some cases subjects that deserve the time and space, so grab a cuppa or something stronger and I'll begin?
As "Birds" taken from the folky roots based "Waiting For Leaves" album scrolled by on my Twitter feed, I hit play and went from slouched to instant upright, mouth open and a little intake of breath, also known as a gasp, not even a coffee has me moving that quickly, I could've sworn I'd stumbled across the captivating angelic vocals of Lucinda Drayton, she of "A hundred thousand angels" toonage? Turns out I was wrong, which as you know, as a woman, doesn't happen very often?
This celestial sound was coming from an artist called Nic Evennett and from the moment the album starts it feels like you're entering spiritual realms, with her poetic performance enveloped in heavenly musicianship, my senses were pleasantly overwhelmed, I contacted Nic "Who's Lucinda Drayton?" she said in reply to my comparison, which somehow made interviewing her even more refreshing .
What makes the album even more remarkable is that Nic suffers with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E) and Fibromyalgia and Mental health problems. She caught a particularly nasty virus whilst teaching back in 2004 and never fully recovered again, but because she was also struggling with Bipolar that wasn't being controlled by medication and PMDD ( premenstrual dysphoric disorder which is a very severe version of premenstrual syndrome) GP's were reluctant to diagnose the M.E.
"This is often the case when someone is suffering with mental health, and this in my opinion is nonsense. I don't doubt for a moment that my mental health impacts and triggers flares, but the complex physical symptoms of M.E are still very much there alive and kicking hard, and when you're feeling fairly mentally steady, do a fairly mundane activity and end up being sick, forget your own name, and it even hurts to breathe, then no, I think there is more to it than just a symptom of poor mental health? However, I think the medical profession is slowly recognising the truth and if you can build a good relationship with your GP , and thankfully mine's a Superstar, this can really help. There's still along way to go with getting proper support but we are all continuing to fight for that
The symptoms were manageable for a number of years. I continued to teach. It was actually my mental health that got considerably worse and meant that I had to give up teaching. It took a few years for me to learn about the condition PMDD and realise that I had all the symptoms. No mental health professional I spoke to knew about it. No GP had heard of it. And that is still the case, sadly, for so many women/afabs/transitioning folk, who can experience the most debilitating and dangerous symptoms, that they cannot get the support they need. Fortunately I found information about an amazing doctor, Dr Panay, at Chelsea and Westminster who recognised that a) I had it and b) it was serious and likely to finish me off! Meanwhile, one thing I could manage a bit more successfully was the M.E and Fibro. but that all changed overnight