Well I need to make a vegement attack and defence of my iphone but should tell you something else first: I am delighted to announce that Haystack Music are now my agent. Hopefully they shall fill up my calendar next year and you’ll be seeing more of me and the band and Alistair and whoever else!
So the iphone…the attack is based on the fact that despite as mentioned in my previous entry, I have discovered how to make the screen larger and thus type a little more easily, the blasted thing is still a nightmare to edit my website on. I cannot describe to you the trauma of trying to tell you all about Seth Lakeman etc via this hateful contraption that kept crying and giving up when I’d just about finished.
However, at the most crucial time it came up trumps. You are doubtless wondering where all this Seth Lakeman stuff came from. Well, allow me to explain. I recently got to know his brother Sean very well and he is the producer for the Levellers and I recently played on the recording of their soon to be released single. I’ve almost Seth a couple of times at festivals and things and I know his percussionist Cormac Byrne very well. So anyway, after Walsh and Pound’s performance at Derby on Sunday I was sitting in the green room with the Lakeman band and greatly to my surprise five minutes (if that) before they went on Seth said to me ‘Dan do you want to jam on a couple of songs tonight?’ I replied yes, although wondering quite how this was going to work. Anyway this is where the iphone comes in – I learned the songs from two youtube videos on my iphone while they were on stage! I then trotted down to the stage and appeared and played the two songs I’d hurriedly practiced as well as one I’d never heard in all my life. Rather fun though and it has I’m happy to say led to five guest appearances on Seth’s current tour (see my giglist). I am thrilled to be working with Seth and co and I pronounce that as one of the happiest accidents of my short career!
But it has been a while since my last blog so I must fill you in on other stuff. Firstly the album’s got some fantastic reviews in from Froots, Songlines, Acoustic and more so do keep a check on them. I’m absolutely delighted with them, it’s a curious thing waiting for album reviews. I mean they always say no publicity is bad publicity but it’s difficult to imagine feeling other way if all the magazines came out and said ‘this album’s about as enjoyable as being a policeman faced by Andrew Mitchell when he finally gets sacked as a cabinet minister’.
What was going to be a very quiet October before the Seth situation started busily anyway as Walsh and Pound played an unusually civilised gig in Harrogate at a chapel as part of the Harrogate Arts Festival. It was very enjoyable and the audience were delightful. It was also lovely to see my uncle and aunt with whom we stayed so many thanks to them. The train there was fun – once they heard which service I’d be on they made sure the Stafford to Manchester train ran just late enough for me to miss the planned connection to Leeds to provoke maximum irritation as I got into Leeds just in time to miss the planned train to Harrogate. Gits.
Anyway next up it was Walsh and Pound again as we played Derby which was two highly enjoyable sets despite the rather unnerving experience of introducing a song and noticing my hand bleeding and indeed my banjo covered in blood. That was nice. Then came Seth.
The next day Walsh and Pound played the Little Theatre in Bath, one of my favourite wee venues and run by the nicest chap you can ever do a gig for! It also gave me a chance to see the lovely Cooney family who are very old friends of my family and are marvellous people. The gig was excellent despite Will’s severe cold, but I must tell you about the ‘welcome’ we received in our hotel. We walked in at 1.45 and I was armed with the piece of paper that the venue gave to us confirming our booking details etc. I went up to reception and the blighter behind us said ‘check in is not til 2 and I have a lot to do very quickly so wait in the lounge’. I mean to say what?! It was actually almost comical and I had a field day with irritating responses…er…I mean I didn’t wind him up at all, not at all…
So that’s about it I guess. Apart from two golden pieces of dialogue on the train, the second one of the most memorable quotes I have ever come across. Firstly though, I was on the train from Harrogate back home and two very posh older ladies were having a conversation which I couldn’t help but listen to. It was fairly ordinary stuff; they got on to the subject of something one of them does every week (some sort of club or society I forget the details) and she uttered the words ‘there was some excitement last week, someone was carted off in an ambulance’. Well that’s nice.
But quote two is definitely the best. I was having a chat with the two girls sat opposite to me and then another girl nearby extremely politely interrupted and said ‘excuse me, really sorry to ask you this but…’ and I assumed she was going to ask me to watch her bags while she went to the toilet. This is what she asked but she asked me in a way I did not quite expect. Her words were: ‘could you watch my shit while I go to the toilet’. Firstly, there was the surprise of her using the s word which I did not expect but then of course the hilarity of using that particular word in conjunction with talking about going to the toilet. And to top it all, the girl was clearly blissfully unaware of this as well. That’s why I travel by train.