Happy days back in Geordie-land

Dear all,

It’s been a busy time since my last blog from Portugal. As soon as we got back it was mass lesson catch up time as well as a couple of lovely ‘outreach’ gigs. A brilliant care home down the road from me hosted me for a lovely afternoon gig where I made someone’s day by singing a song from The Sound Of Music that I’d spent a bit of time figuring out after learning last time I was there that this was, to put it mildly, her favourite song. It was a nice moment! On the same day I played an online gig for World Arthritis Day which was an absolute blast as well. I hadn’t done any online gigs since the old lockdown era so it was quite a surreal experience doing it again. I’d forgotten how weird it is to finish a song and be greeted by utter silence! Delighted faces…but no sound! It was lovely though.

Then followed gigs galore with UFQ playing National Forest Folk Club in Leicestershire which was a delight as that gig always is and then it was back up north to that wonderful city of Newcastle for a gig at Beyond The Moor festival and then an evening gig in Whitby playing lead guitar for my old chum Simma.

Where to start with Simma…he’s an extremely fine singer/songwriter from Newcastle who plays covers gigs in pubs as his primary living. I first met him four days into my university experience when I attended an open mic he was running and we became firm friends. Later on I became one of his pool of lead guitarists for covers gigs around the region. We had such fun I can’t tell you and it was one of the main things I was very sad to leave behind when I left Newcastle. It was so so much fun to do it again! There are two things I get to do very rarely – play lead guitar and play a whole load of covers in a pub. I wish to do neither of those things all the time, but every now and then it is such good craic!

On a similar note the following weekend saw me head back up to the Northeast again as I was depping on banjo and guitar for a country covers band at a big party in County Durham. Again, so so much fun and a great chance to knock out some harmonies too! I also taught at Newcastle University again for the first time in a long time as the folk degree has a new banjo student! Huzzah! He’s mighty talented too so I’m looking forward to working with him over the next few years.

So there it is, it’s been a fun few weeks! Lots of UFQ and a spattering of solo gigs coming up over the next month or two so I do hope I’ll see you somewhere.