Sore muscles

Dear all,


Well I don’t think I’ve ever written a blog with as much response, via comments, email or otherwise, as my last one! Thank you very much for a uniformly positive response from it. It was hard to write, and I had a very funny feeling after writing it, but I’m glad I did it and I hope it makes a difference to someone, somewhere.


Anyway, a while since a regular blog so here goes…where have I been? Well I haven’t reported on a belting gig in Knighton at the Haberdashers Arms, a place I hadn’t been since I was 18 when I played at the Middle of Nowhere festival which used to be held there. The gig was really great, a room put aside as the gig venue and a very attentive, responsive and amusing audience resulting in an epic Dan gig of nearly three hours! Playing to an audience member’s son in Canada via his iphone was a particular memory…Then I returned to a cracking music pub called the Bulls Head in Chelmarsh which was also a lovely night again so thanks to all for that.


Then a surprise party gig of all things last Friday which I enjoyed very much. I don’t play many functions but this was most definitely from the good end of them! Then Saturday…well what can I say about Saturday. Joxers was at its best and there was an air of poignancy about it following the gutting news that Sam and Chyrell are leaving in July. I hope to God it’s not the last time I play at Joxers but if it was, it was an amazing way to sign off a massive era of my life. More on that in a future blog, it deserves one all its own.


So coming up…a Midlands-tastic few days of gigging starting tonight at Stafford Music Festival. I’m playing the County Officers Club at 8pm so do pop along if you fancy it. Then tomorrow I’m near Stourbridge to play Woodman Folk Club for the first time before rounding off the weekend at Rock’n’Bowl festival near Market Drayton.


Needless to say, I share the nation’s abhorrence at yesterday’s revolting attack in London and the video, which I would argue should not have been released, was harrowing in the extreme. My heart goes out to the victim’s friends and relatives. I would also ask please let’s not let this be a reflection on Islam or anything else. It was a sickening act by evil men. Don’t tar all with the same brush.


I was also pleased to see the Gay Marriage bill get through despite the best efforts of antiquated baffoons putting amendments forward in the interests of delaying or preferably stopping it. I believe it’s a good thing for society and equality to recognise that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality or homosexuals and they deserve the same rights as the rest of us. I would go as far to say simply ‘get over it’ to those who oppose it.


I’d also like to salute the wonderful Jamie Carragher, a Liverpoo legend who retired at the end of the season. Even those not into football can appreciate a no more than averagely talented player evolving into, in his day, the most effective centre back in the league for the club he adores from his own city. Not only that, but his response to contract extension talks is simply ‘give me the pen’ and his charity work for the city is quite phenomenal. Best of all from a fan’s point of view, he gave everything for the cause throwing himself into numerous blocks and challenges showing never ending passion for Liverpool. Thank you Jamie for so many great memories.


Now, a development in my life is a return to playing football. I played an enormous amount in my youth and was not too bad a player on a local kind of level but once I went to university it was rather more difficult. Football and folk musicians don’t often go together and these were the people I saw most of course. Plus I couldn’t commit to any team because of my musical wanderings so I had to do without and it has been the case ever since really. That is until recently when a chum of mine added me to an email list for playing football here in Stafford and I had my first game in a long time since my last blog. The reason I tell you all this is to make you aware I did used to play a lot and continue to run when I can so I’m not exactly unfit. Yet my legs after that game of football…good God above. It’s amazing the muscles and movements you use when playing football that you don’t in normal life. I’m rather hopeful that future games will not have anything like the same effect what with getting used to it again. That’s right isn’t it (imagine my pleading face here)? Honestly I was walking around like a crab with the runs the next day I tell you. Dashed unpleasant.


Still, I do like playing football again!