Well my first tour as a member of the Urban Folk Quartet is over and what a marvellous experience it was! We had some wonderful gigs and great times alongside a couple of disasters, the latter of which I shall go into in more detail shortly but I can tell you it was a mighty disaster. But seriously, I am so pleased to be a member of this band and just can’t wait for more tours with them. Thanks to all those who came out to see us, it was a great first tour. I want to give a particular shout out to Charlie Heys who deputised for the about-to-give-birth Paloma Trigas and gave a sterling performance throughout and great company to boot! Charlie will play at Folk On The Quay with us at the end of June too.
So to recap on the gigs since my last outing, a hectic five days saw gigs in Maldon, Fishguard, Chippenham, Market Drayton and Dartford. Well four of them happened, again more later…So Maldon turned out to be an utter belter with a fantastic audience and a wonderful gig. Massive thanks to all who came out and got up and boogied it was such a riot! Fishguard…again more later.
Next up came two solo gigs firstly my first appearance at Chippenham Folk Festival. I had a great time here and some lovely feedback from various emails and facebook messages so thank you so much to you folks. I particularly enjoyed the morning gig on the Monday in a beautiful church and a long set, always a sign I’m enjoying myself! I then headed to the train station to head to Market Drayton to play Rock n Bowl festival. The trains did their very best to screw things up for me but I did just about make it in time for my set and I really enjoyed myself.
Then the next day it was down to Dartford to play Dartford Folk Club with Urban Folk Quartet. I played here with Walsh and Pound some time ago and this if anything was an even better gig. An absolute ball we had and thanks to so many who came quite a long way to see us! And for once, the M25 didn’t ruin my life which is always nice. It’s still a revolting road though. And finally, after a welcome few days at home to relax we headed to Reading for the last gig of the tour and what a way to finish it was. South Street Arts Centre was the venue and we had a wonderful audience and the gig felt like a royal party! Many thanks to all.
I was back in solo action yesterday at the Acoustic Festival of Britain in Uttoxeter. A tad chaotic perhaps in terms of organisation, a little bit like saying the antarctic’s a bit nippy. But the set was very much enjoyed and thanks to all of you for giving me such a wonderful couple of hours on stage.
Immediate plans: the summer features a whole host of festivals and when I’m not I’ll be playing a few places across the UK too so do come along, some of them are even free! Gigs page is best place to find the listings. Indeed it might be the only one.
Now then, to the title of this blog. As many of you will know travel has often been a source of considerable disaster for me with previous escapades including the unexploded suitcase, the urinating man, the 10 hour M25 nightmare and many others. But the great Fishguard disaster of 2014 really does take some beating. First up, we awoke at our hotel in Borehamwood after our gig in Maldon and set off with the sat nav saying 4 and a half hours. Given we didn’t need to be there til 5, 7 hours we thought might be enough. Traffic that day on the M25 and especially M4 was just absolutely horrendous beyond belief. It quite literally took us nearly 5 hours to travel an ‘hour’s’ worth! I should add that Joe was travelling seperately owing to his other half’s impending pregnancy. No she’s already pregnant, I mean her impending birth giving. He did make it by 7 having left at 9.30! We three in Tom’s car however did not make it because the clutch went on the car just as we got into Wales on the M4. We pulled over to the side of the road and rang the AA who took THREE BLOODY HOURS to get to us so the gig, unfortunately was off. We were eventually found and then towed back to Birmingham after a thoroughly miserable day.
Massive apologies to Fishguardians, I was really looking forward to coming back after a cracking time there a few years ago and the band were so gutted at missing a gig. It had never happened to any of us before and we are all really sorry and will be making it up to you.
Thanks for reading folks, always great to keep in touch with you all.
See you soon!