India!…and PA muppetry…

Dear all,


Apologies for the delay in bloggage. There has been a very good reason but I won’t go into it other than to thank those who’ve been there. But anyway I’m here and have some exciting news to report. I am going to India! You know how well I get on with travelling here…oh my god…anyway I am excited. It’s a nine day project in February collaborating with fabulous musicians from over here and of course over there. So I’ll be in Kolkata before returning to begin a long tour so I may not survive, but let’s hope. It does unfortunately mean that the Railway in Norton Bridge and Live Theatre in Newcastle have been rescheduled (the latter to an unconfirmed date as yet) but clearly this was an opportunity I couldn’t really miss. Many thanks to the two people in question for their understanding.


On top of that, I’m also going to Germany in August to play at Sommersound festival. Get me getting all international with my banjo! That sounds wrong…anyway you knew what I meant and hopefully another new country is to follow but this is to be confirmed. I am going to Ireland in April too for a brief wee tour if that counts as another country too?


So what’s been happening then? First up was popping into Derby Hospital to play for some people which was really fun and enjoyed seeing old friend Sarah Steenson which was a pleasure of course. Then on December 1st I played the Bulls Head in Chelmarsh which was a cracking night with a lovely audience so many thanks to all those who came out. Then it was up to my second home, the Northeast to play a couple of gigs first in the Binchester Hotel in Spennymoor, a cracking old boozer and rocking out on electric guitar playing a covers gig with the legendary Simma along with Nick Gladdish on bass and Elliot Clarke on drums. I had a great weekend back in the Toon seeing old friends and everything.


This weekend I was in pub action with a rather chaotic but quite fun gig at O’Neill’s in Northampton which involved serious PA chaos which I shall go into later…then last night I unexpectedly played at the Cross in Kinver which I will be playing in March but I hopped in at the last minute for someone who cancelled. What a cracking pub and great to see my old chum James Baskett as well. All that remains this year is the annual pre-Christmas Joxers gig which will be a pleasure as always I’m sure. I’ll be posting my usual review of the year soon too.


So then, the PA. I now have one of my own. It’s awfully good and everything but I did make a little bit of a hash of something remarkably simple. Basically, the two speakers came with stands. Normally it is merely a case of parking the speaker on a stand by virtue of a hole in the bottom of the speaker allowing the pole to be inserted in it (again that sounds wrong, but I’m sure you knew what I meant). However, for some unknown reason what these speakers come with is a mounting thing that one attaches to the speaker and that has a hole in it for the pole to go into. This I forgot and unfortunately thanks to the ludicrous traffic on the M6 I was rather later than planned for my gig at O’Neill’s so decided to cut my losses and use tables for the speakers. Not a bad plan in itself, except that the tables were a tad slopey meaning both speakers fell onto the floor during the gig, once narrowly missing my banjo and once narrowly missing a girl dancing. So it turns out stands are quite important.


However, this does get worse. The next day I obviously thought right I’d better get this sorted. I remember it said on the website when I bought it ‘speaker stand mounting thingy (I paraphrase a tad) provided, screws not provided. Ah, I thought. Because I am a world class muppet I couldn’t figure out how one attached this mounty thing to the speaker at all. I couldn’t see where one would screw this thing into but popped out to get some screws assuming they would be useful. I then, finally, long after any normal person would have done, worked out that the screws were in fact provided and were…in the speaker. It was simply a matter of unscrewing the screws and screwing the mounty thing in with said screws. It really wasn’t that hard.