Return to the jazzlokal!


Dear all,

Well here I am in…the Wetherspoons in Leytonstone, London. Of course I am. Don’t worry I’m not doing the early morning drunk thing, just had a reasonably tasty cooked breakfast and catching up with some work. I’m here ahead of my first tour of the US. My flight’s on Friday…or is it? Long story. I’ll keep everyone posted but I am hoping it will all be fine…

Anyway on a happier note I had a cracking time in Germany with three lovely gigs and lovely as always German audiences. But first up was a very wet gig in Sunderland city centre with the great Alistair Anderson to open up the new square in the city. Always great to play with Alistair and despite the weather we had a good time! So then Germany…first up was a night off in Cologne which was basically purposefully arranged to enable me to visit the incomparable Papa Joe’s Jazzlokal. This place has been chronicled elsewhere in the archives but honestly if you’ve never been just do it. Plan your German holiday around it. Brilliant musicians of the whacky, bearded, old eccentric type (including one guy who played exquisite piano with his hands and a walking bass line WITH HIS FEET on some pedals), ludicrously over the top jazz memorabilia everywhere, a crazy seating arrangement…just trust me and go there. A little photo for you but don’t think it does it justice…

Anyway then came the gigs starting in Dorsten which was just a wonderful night in a lovely wee intimate venue hosted by the great Ralf who also introduced me to some German whisky and wine later on! Then it was back to the Cologne area to play Folk Club Bonn which was brilliant though slightly surreal in that it’s essentially an English style folk club but in Germany. A cracking night though and a very enthusiastic crowd! Then finally it was to Bad Honnef for a gig at Folk im Feuerschlossen (you have no idea how many times I’ve tried to say that word successfully) which was again well recieved and CD sales excellent at all three gigs.

In Germany I saw a toilet called McClean which I thought was hilarious.