I like going to gigs

Dear all,

The title may seem an obvious one for a musician, but I’ve found in recent times that other than at festivals I rarely get to actually go to a gig! Well I do this Thursday when I see my old friends Fish From Oblivion perform in Stafford and last Monday I saw none other than the phenomenal Afro Celt Sound System…ah that was a festival. Like I say other than festivals I don’t get to go to that many gigs…

Anyway, having messed that up…what have I been doing. Well it was a busy old time, starting on the 3rd May when I visited Harrow Community Choir with Will and we had a wail of a time so many thanks to them all. Next up we were at Nuts In May festival in Cumbria and our stage was run by the heroic Alan Whittaker, also the man responsible for the old Drystone Stage at Solfest. It was a great gig and a great time was had talking to people afterwards and during and it thoroughly cheered me up after Liverpool losing the cup final. I never thought I’d see the day when Andy Carroll was our man of the match (see football blog for more details…well when I’ve finished this and it so maybe wait about ten minutes after I’ve posted this if you happen to read this as soon as I’ve published it).

Next up, we were in Newcastle briefly for an appearance at the Ten By Ten festival at the Cumberland Arms, god bless it, as a celebration of ten years of the folk degree in Newcastle University. We had to leave, which we really didn’t want to, but ended up having a cracking gig at Baafest in Bellingham, a real belter.

Then we were in Bristol, which is quite a long way from Northumberland. We played at Bristol Folk Festival which was really great and we played a song with the lovely Lucy Ward as well which was a real joy. Despite the best efforts of one of the backstage staff to suck the life out of anyone’s day, a good time was had by all and then the Afro Celts in the evening were of course phenomenal.

We then stayed in the Southwest for a gig at Royal Unity Hospital in Bath as part of our work with the wonderful Live Music Now, a great scheme which I have blogged about elsewhere. They were also the reason we were in London the next day to play at a party for a mental health day centre which was again a lovely gig. To round off a mental week, I was in Shropshire on Friday for a house concert organised by Ian Matthews. Many thanks to him and all who attended it was a really nice gig and good to play a solo one again. Then this weekend is a Simma-tastic weekend in Newcastle playing covers gigs which is a lot of fun.

Oh and I forgot somehow about the gig I went to on Thursday. That’s what I was thinking when I typed a title called ‘I like going to gigs’, I knew there was another one. My God I must stop blogging when my brain is frazzled. I went to see Jez Lowe, an extraordinarily gifted songwriter from the Northeast and one of my all time heroes. He was on in Stafford and I was bloody glad too. Cheers Jez for reminding us all that we’ll never be as good at writing songs as you.

Right that’s brought you up to speed. Er…tum te tum…what can I talk about this week? Well I could talk about the cabinet who comprise of a home secretary who’s unable to distinguish between a leap year and a non-leap year, a man who thinks people should keep petrol in cans at their house during a strike that hasn’t happened, a prime minister who tells a woman who oversaw hacking a dead girl’s phone to ‘keep her head up’, a health secretary who believes if you don’t invite the major health bodies in the country to a meeting about the future of the health system they’ll forget their objections that are backed up by just about everyone else and an education secretary who’s just generally a twat…but that would just depress everyone wouldn’t it really…