A baby walked…

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Dear all,

Well it has been a mightily busy time since my last blog and I have enjoyed it very much. So to catch up, first up came a gig in Church Stretton in Shropshire at Housmans which was very fun indeed and best of all my grandparents were among those present which was really lovely. Thanks to all those who turned out, especially those who travelled quite a distance which is always greatly appreciated. Earlier in the day I had been in London to continue work on a fabulous Live Music Now project at a school in Brent which involves different LMN acts working at different schools and eventually bringing them all together to perform a disco version of Beethoven at Wembley Arena. Kind of fun. More on this shortly…

Next up was the start of another LMN project…well sort of. Nic and I paid a visit to a care home in Oxford where we will be performing a series of concerts but this was more of a preliminary meeting. Again more on this one shortly…

A couple of nights performing out came next, first up a much welcomed return of a fine Stafford folky open mic type thing called Sit n Listen. I closed the evening after listening to some great stuff from many others and I think a good night was had by all. This used to be a staple of the Stafford folk calendar and it’s great to have it back as a more…well…sit and listen type affair than the pub sessions. In the past they also had fine guests including the wonderful Edwina Hayes, Simon Mayer and even I did it once too!

The next night saw a trip to London…in the car. Yes I did that thing I really hate doing and try and avoid generally at all costs but I kind of had to this time. Prior to my evening gig, I popped round to see my old chum Isobel and her fine husband Mike and best of all, their little baby Harvey. Very sweet. I’m a bit of a sap when it comes to babies, positive girly in fact. Ah well. Then came the evening gig and what a gig it was! I played London Folkfest at the Bedford in Balham and had an absolutely belting time. I caught up with many old folkie friends too which is always good. Thanks to all those who gave me such a great response and all those who showed your appreciation on twatter later on too.

The next week saw no let up whatsoever as it was back to London on Monday to play in a special needs school in London mentoring a new LMN act which made me feel quite old. It was lovely though, and the kids seemed to have a great time which is what matters. Then came the two projects I said I was going to go into more so I’ll do that…

Ooh another short paragraph there…anyway first was this care home in Oxford where we performed our first concert there. Readers of this blog will remember the incredible time I had at my previous residency of this type at a care home in Surbiton featuring the legendary Glen Mason, a former music star. We haven’t got that this time as far as I know, but once we again we have some lovely people who seem to enjoy us coming and playing for them. There were some great moments, here’s hoping for many more as the residency goes on.

The other one is this Brent thing I mentioned earlier which has posed considerable challenges as it is such a mad project and involves a lot of thought as to how it’s going to work. Thankfully, the last session we had things really seemed to come together and the kids seemed really pleased with their progress as of course were we. So here’s to another great LMN project and I’m looking forward to it all coming together.

Next up was a trip to Stourbridge. Now I think I’ve probably written before about the school project I do there pretty much every year or have done for the last eight years but in case I haven’t I’ll explain again. My old chum Matt Price once went to this school (by that I mean he was a pupil there obviously not that he just happened to travel there once) and his mum is still the music teacher there and a rather nice annual folk fortnight has developed which is when a bunch of us musicians come and teach kids the instruments of their choice (well provided we play them obviously, I mean if they ask to learn didgeridoo then we wouldn’t be much use) and do various workshop type things then finally do a gig at the school as well which is always really great. That was a very long sentence. But anyway it is always really great and this time was one of the very best. I had a great time seeing the fabulous musicians again and we had some good times in the pub when we weren’t working hard too!

Finally, I headed to the little village of Hartpury in Gloucestershire on Saturday for a cracking wee gig at the Royal Exchange where I met lots of lovely people and had a very fun gig which is always a rather good combination. I then stayed on to watch the England game and watched them perform highly creditably and unluckily lose to a good Italy side. I think we can get through the groups, Uruguay are beatable! We can then go out in the quarter finals on penalties…

So to finish off this surprisingly long blog, I would like to rant a little. I went on the BBC News website today as I do most days and found it mildly tragic that the 3rd most popular story was that little prince George has walked. Now, I’m sorry I know people are more into the royals than I am (which admittedly is about as difficult as putting on a hat, I assume we’ll find out when the little sod does that as well) but do people honestly really genuinely seriously find that story interesting or relevant to their life? Like really? I just…I despair!!!!

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