An eventful week since my last outing. First up, I went to see the fantastic Stream of Sound in Stourbridge. Those of you who don’t know them, check them out. They’re a youth choir but if you think that’s a codeword for a young and trying hard but not professional choir think again, they’re amazing. Then my wonderful girlfriend got herself a new job in Bromley which is absolutely wonderful and made her banjo playing boyfriend very proud. Aw.
Anyway, work wise my next outing was an exhausting day at Burnham on Sea folk festival with Christi Andropolis doing a talk on the banjo, a solo gig, a brief guest appearance on Christi’s solo gig and finally a headlining hour and a half together in the evening! Anyway, a good time was had by all it seems and it was a cracking day and great to play with Christi again.
Then came one of the rather more odd engagements of my career – a private function performing for Heston Blumenthal and his staff as part of their annual cricket match and barbeque…as one does. Anyway good to meet the man himself and sorry not to sample any of his food, but his cricket playing’s not bad actually…ok I have a confession I have no real idea what makes a good cricketer but to a novice he didn’t look bad.
What am I burbling on about dear God? Anyway, then came a trip to London to play at Guy’s Hospital with Will as part of a series of gigs they’re putting on in the Atrium. It was very enjoyable and a nice crowd to play to. Best of all, while in London I caught up with my old chum Tom Swain from school who moved to New Zealand back in 2005. It was fantastic to see him again and the same goes for my recent housemate of three years in Newcastle, Luke Martin who is now living in London. Sterling fellows, really brightens up a chap’s day.
I then returned to Stafford on the train and had an absolute nightmare. It was a morning train of a couple of hours length and I decided I might well be hungry so decided to purchase a pasta salad from Marks and Spencer at Euston station. Clearly, God did not want me to have a pasta salad on this day. I was trying to carry it to the till along with my instruments so my grip on it was somewhat flimsy. As a result, down it went hitting the floor with a thud and landing upside down pouring through the split that had materialised in the packaging as a result of my cretinousy. This was irritating enough, but after apologsing to the member of staff and feeling a massive breast I went to get another one and picked up the wrong one. Just to clarify, I don’t mean I actually randomly felt up a massive breast I mean I felt like a breast. If I just used the usual terminology of tit that might have helped. Anyway, continuing the story having got all the way to a till I decided to get the one I wanted so went back and got it and paid for it. Then I’m on the train ready to eat my lovely pasta salad…and discovered I hadn’t bought the necessary plastic fork. What a plank.
Anyway tonight I’m doing a local gig – the Lamb and Flag in Haywood just outside Stafford which should be much fun and tomorrow it’s down to Sussex to play the Creative Centre with Will. The album is now out, indeed it’s just been played on a radio station in Sheffield I’m pleased to say and reviews will be stacking up and out in the next month or two. Depending on what they’re like I’ll keep you all posted…
So what else has been happening in the world? Well firstly, my paper of choice the Independent has royally got on my proverbials lately for two primary reasons. The first was a couple of days ago when they descended into Daily Mail style scaremongering tripe with a four page spread on a parasite in cats which is going to kill us all. Which it’s not. Shame on you normally newsy paper. But is this the main thing irritating me about the paper at present? No, you will scarcely credit it but the number of times lately that I have been reading a stimulating article and got to the end of the page engrossed and ready to read the rest when lo and behold…there is no rest! Literally, in the middle of a sentence the dratted thing will just finish and the rest is nowhere to be found! I know what you’re thinking – ‘oh it’ll say continued on page x and the dozy twit hasn’t seen it’ – but I swear to you I’m not lying! Must do better!
As for main news, well much the same really. Finally, finally, finally, finally and did I mention finally (?) there is going to be an enquiry into the ludicrous pricing of petrol which bears no correlation whatsoever to the price of crude oil and they just charge what the hell they like. So I’m sure things will change a lot as a result. Actually no I’m not.
On the subject of lack of change, Cameron has completed his cabinet reshuffle and we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief that Andrew Lansley is no longer health secretary. Thank God for that eh? He’s been replaced by…oh you are not serious? Seriously? He’ll probably sell the NHS to Murdoch. I do find it amazing. Imagine a scenario where I wanted a top session guitarist to come in and play on my album or something. Would I go ‘ah well he’s a good friend of mine, he knows nothing about playing guitar but I’m sure he can learn’?! I mean would it not be possible instead of these clueless cretins being passed around different posts that they have no expertise in to actually appoint people who do. Why was a man who said ‘the arts in education seems unnecessary to me’ culture secretary and then health secretary despite being part of the book that described the NHS as ‘a 60 year mistake’ and believes in homeopathy.