30mph? Really?

Dear all,

It’s been all go since my return from New Zealand. I’m just about starting to get over having to leave New Zealand but I have to tell you it’s been difficult! I bloody love the place! But I do love my homeland too and it’s been good to be back on the road over here. Rest was pretty minimal as UFQ began our tour on the 5th and thanks to my travelling difficulties I didn’t get home til very late on the 1st and I was back in rehearsals on the 3rd! Our tour began in Bisley near Stroud and we had a lovely gig there and hats off to my bandmate Paloma who was really suffering after having her appendix out following appendicitus and gallantly got through the gig albeit sat down! Indeed I returned home to find all three of my bandmates had been having many health problems so my stories of the time of my life in New Zealand weren’t entirely appreciated but tolerated. I also returned home to find Joe and Paloma’s one year old Sabela had been talking about me a lot (by talking I mean she was going ‘Dan does la la la’ indicating I’m the singer in the band. Bless her!

After a few days for my bandmates to recover and for me to go and see my dear old friend Rachel Newton do her new solo set at the Kitchen Garden Cafe in Birmingham (sterling stuff) it was back on the road with four gigs in five days in Chesterfield, Maxstoke, Hilton and Cookley. All the gigs were really nice and thanks to all those who made it so. Those more rural gigs can sometimes be the very best as there’s a special atmosphere at most of them and we always seem to get a very warm welcome. I have to give a special shout out to Hilton who really did give us an amazing night and danced long before the last number and somewhat wildly at that!

The tour continues on the 24th in Worcester although before then we’re running a workshop day in Birmingham on the 20th. I’m also in London this week for Live Music Now work in London and this month also sees a couple of local gigs. Keep checking the giglist for details 🙂

So some have commented that my blogs have featured rather fewer rants lately. Well that’s true but I can assure you it’s not for not being irritated by things and I have to say that train travel provides me with a great deal more amusing stories as well. However, let me make up for it with a rant – variable speed limit signs on motorways. Now I know what you’re thinking – speedy musician driver who thinks you should always drive fast as possible. Well no…I completely understand the principle of putting up a 50mph limit if there’s a lane closed or a stranded vehicle ahead or if there is a lot of congestion. Personally I would rather we all relied on commonsense but a) that’s not always a good idea and b) a bit of warning doesn’t go amiss.

Yes this is a two paragraph rant. But here’s the nub. Do we really all need to drive at 40mph at 10.30 at night because there’s been an accident on an adjoining motorway that most of us won’t even be joining? Does one car being on the hard shoulder at 11 at night mean we need to drive at 40mph? Do we all need to drive at THIRTY mph at ONE O’CLOCK in the morning for…absolutely no reason at all. Literally 4 miles we were given a 30mph limit and there was nothing wrong. I mean what next, there’s been a minor collision off the coast of the Faroe Islands so we’re closing the M5? As you may be able to tell I’ve been doing quite a lot of night time driving lately and this is what I’m driving at. I’ve been tootling along and the traffic (what there was of it which was precious little) has been flowing beautifully until these infernal things. I’d love to meet the twerp who specifies them frankly.