Licensing Laws

Dear all,


Many thanks for all the lovely emails you’ve been sending about my gigs and indeed blogs (the Thatcher one particularly!). It’s been a while since I’ve updated what’s been happening so lots to tell you.


30th March – Joxers

Well I know you’re probably all bored of me singing the praises of this place…but there’s a reason. Even by Joxers standards this was an all time classic. Thank you one and all for a superb night!


31st March – Angel Wooler


Then it was a trip up North to do some mentoring for a student who’s interested in bluegrass. This I enjoyed very much but while up there Simma and I did a strangely crap covers gig at the Angel, Wooler which is normally our favourite gig. Ah well can’t have everything but we certainly had fun anyway!


5th April – Anchor Arts Centre, Kent


After a rare few days off this year it was down to Kent to play at the Anchor Arts Centre in Wingham, Kent which was absolutely belting. First up was the excellent Allen Family Band who played some stonking bluegrass and joined me for a ‘Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms’ for the encore. I’ve just read that back and realised how it sounds, to make my meaning clear ‘Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms’ is the name of a song and not any euphanism for erroneous activity. As if that wasn’t enough, the mighty Brendon Power, harmonica player extraordinaire made an unexpected guest appearance on a few songs which was a joy that’s for sure!


6th April – Gallery Cafe, London


This was a highly enjoyable gig in a packed out venue in Bethnal Green. Nice to see some old friends and a very fine German band who were on before me!


7th April – Orange Tree, Baldock


Interesting one this…a tad disorganised…but lots of fun nevertheless!


12th April – Jazz Club, Louth


Had to turn people away from this one (see rant below) but very pleased it was so packed and it was a mighty gig. I had two remarkable yet different experiences with hecklers. One was an old chap who started trying to get my attention while I was talking over the mic by saying ‘Dan’ over and over again. I did my usual cheeky thing and said ‘I’m just talking, I’m the one with a mic’ or words to that effect and he then said ‘thank you so much for coming to Louth’. I’ve never felt so bad! The second one asked for ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ in a jokey fashion after already having criticised the excellent support band during the interval. I took great pleasure in humiliating him.


13th April – The Grove, Leeds


A great one this, nice and packed and a lovely audience. I even got paid for a CD in euros! They’ll come in handy in Ireland…


14th April – The Greystones, Sheffield


Well…they managed to leave this gig off their listings, arrange a soundman I didn’t want and forget to put my posters up. Plus two people who bought tickets didn’t come. Despite these setbacks and the slightly thin attendance, this was an enjoyable gig with a great support set from Michael Tinker so I was happy enough!


16th April – Tuesday at the Tap (at a venue not called the Tap…), Hull


This was a lovely wee gig. Many thanks to Neil and the crowd.


So that’s about it. I’m in Leicester tonight at the Musician then Cambridge, Norwich and Derby complete the weekend although sadly my band gig on Sunday is off as the site is rained off! Sorry guys, catch us at the Gatehouse in July!


Now then, the aforementioned licensing laws. Oh sorry I forgot one thing WHY THE HELL ARE WE SPENDING £10MILLION ON A FUNERAL AND MAKING ‘ESSENTIAL’ CUTS TO ARTS SERVICES????


Sorry had to get that off my chest. Yes licensing laws. The capacity at the jazz club in Louth is apparently 50. They let in 70 then turned about 10 people away. Now that sounds generous of them for letting in more but seriously there were empty chairs and metres of floor space! I’m not blaming the venue, that’s the only license the licensing people were prepared to give them and I understand they don’t want to lose it, but whoever issues these licenses must be a ruddy idiot. I mean why on earth would you only issue a license for 50 to a venue that can clearly hold 100. That makes no sense!


I also have a rant about parking coming up (I can sense your excitement) but I must edit the photo to block out the number plate first…