Cannock should not take an hour from Stafford

Dear all,


Apologies for the delayed bloggage in terms of a regular catch up blog although I hoped you enjoyed my musical snobbery article. Thanks for the comments and emails, I occasionally unleash a bit of a journalistic blog I should do it more often as there’s few things more satisfying than expressing one’s opinions particularly against irritating people.


Anyway, what the ruddy hell am I on about? The rest of my Northeast visit was absolutely fantastic. I enjoyed returning to the Newcastle tune session scene on the Tuesday night at the Hotspur and had two wonderful gigs in Durham. The first at Crook Hall was a really nice, intimate gig to a packed room and enthusiastic crowd so many thanks indeed to you all. Thanks also to the Gala Theatre on the Thursday night for a wonderful gig which I thoroughly enjoyed. A shout out to Ben Holland who organises the Polite Room which is the event that this was. That was a crap sentence, but anyway Ben’s great and frankly the music world needs people like him.


Then it was back to Stafford to play Stafford Beer Festival on the 3rd which was an unusual but enjoyable gig. The focus was very much on beer, which I was all for don’t get me wrong, but it meant a little more of a backgroundy gig than normal but it was still all good fun. A non-stop week concluded the next day with a rare wedding gig on the Saturday afternoon for a drunken man from Sunderland who’d seen me at a hilarious gig at the Railway, Norton Bridge a few weeks before and booked me for his wedding for which I was very grateful. I had a lot of fun so many thanks Martin!


Then it was time for a gig above Stafford Ale House on the 8th. What can I say about this gig? I think it’s probably the gig of the year so far. The turnout was astronomically more than expected which was a lovely surprise and resulted in a bit of musical chairs as they had to move all rows forward to fit more in. The loyalty and following of the people of this town never fails to amaze me and I thank you people of Stafford wholeheartedly. The gig was wonderful as I rattled through much of the new album as well as a few old favourites from ‘Tomorrow’s Still To Come’ and ‘Walsh and Pound’ as well as a few other surprises.


An unusually quiet August still sees a fair bit of action as Christi Andropolis and I team up for a duo gig in Burnham on Sea tomorrow night and Walsh and Pound hit Solfest and Towersey festivals before the month’s out and I’m also appearing in Manchester on the 21st. Details to follow. I also had a most pleasant visit to my favourite city of them all, Liverpool. On Sunday, my housemate (also a Liverpool fan) and I went to see Liverpool play a pre-season friendly against Sami Hyypia’s Bayern Leverkusen. It was a cracking gig and Sami got a well deserved hero’s welcome (he used to play for Liverpool for those not in the know).


Now, quite a few of you have said that you’re sorry to see fewer travel rants of late. Well allow me to put that right. Firstly, I had the misfortune of travelling on the M25 the other day. I mean to be fair, rants about the M25 are obviously going to pale in comparison to my previous outing there when it took 10 hours, oh sorry TEN F**KING HOURS, to get from Stafford to Maidstone but given that was some time ago…Anyway have any of you travelled this god forsaken awful bloody thing? I mean is it just me or is it always full? Always? I mean I can never go on it without that bloody awful stop start driving where you sort of coast along at 65mph for a while and everything’s moving then you have to practically emergency stop and almost hit the car in front because everything randomly stops all the time? For the record, no I don’t drive too close to the car in front. But this paled in comparison to my journey from Stafford to Cannock on Monday night. Cannock is not far from Stafford – it should be a twenty minute car journey. It took myself and my lovely girlfriend a whole HOUR! I know what you’re all thinking I should just go back to trains? Yeah I mean after all why not? I mean I know the fares are going up 6.2% in January but hey at least that’ll mean the service will dramatically improve. Oh wait no, they’re still s**t.