My Canadian trip is nearly at an end, I depart for Heathrow tomorrow evening. It has been an absolute blast as it was last time and the first big thank you I have to say is to the marvellous Meaghan Blanchard who once again has been fantastic and talented company as we’ve driven around the Maritimes and played our shows. First up after the excellent opening show outlined in my previous blog, we headed to Four Corners house concerts in Sackville which was a nice cosy little gig. Next up it was off to Halifax to play an afternoon show at the Carleton and an evening show at GPS house concerts in Dartmouth. Both were an absolute delight and it was particularly great to hear stunning fiddler Wendy McIsaac at the Carleton who performed after Meaghan and I. A couple of days rest followed before heading back to Halifax to play the Company House then to New Brunswick for Grimross Brewery in Fredericton and a really cracking show at the Magnolia Cafe in St John. The latter was particularly good I thought and the food divine – crabcake eggs benedict is a thing and I like it.
Then it was back to lovely Prince Edward Island to play the festival of small halls and my last gig tonight is again part of that festival. Both gigs so far, and a workshop, have been an absolute delight and my experience has been greatly enriched by the people I’ve shared the bill with. My first gig was opened by two outrageously talented teenagers Brett and Zac who I think will go far. Then came brilliant young banjoist Kaia Kater and fiddler Scotty Leach who did a sterling set which unexpectedly involved me briefly! Then last night was a songwriters circle, a very neat idea for a gig which doesn’t seem to happen so much in the UK. Basically four songwriters share the stage and each do a song in turn. It was great and Mike Dixon, Irish Mythen and Meaghan were outstanding, varied and delightful people. It’s pretty much impossible not to fall in love with this island. Here I was in a country I had been too only once before and the audience had many people in it I was really pleased to see again and already consider to be friends. There’s not many places you can say that. Plus at the gig there was a ballot for a potato recipe book. That is, as folks would say here, awesome (which of course sounds much better in a Canadian accent – ahsome).
Exciting news is upon my return to the UK, Urban Folk Quartet will be live on radio 2 on the Mark Radcliffe show on Wednesday night. I grew up listening to what was then the Mike Harding show so to be live on it will be a great thrill!
Finally, a classic Dan story for you. I just went to Subway next door to my hotel and ordered a sandwich. I thought I’d ordered a 6 inch sandwich. The lady working behind the counter seemed to be making an awful lot of sandwiches in one go and they all looked pretty massive. Turns out she thought I said 6 foot. She was making SIX foot long sandwiches. This isn’t a bad joke, this actually happened.