Well I’m running about like a bluebottle with the runs just lately but all in the name of my ludicrous career choice. So dating back, the UFQ tour finished with cracking gigs in Maldon, Moreton and Chester. The first named has been a long time favourite of ours at the town hall thanks to the wonderful Barrie and Nicki of MAC Theatre who put on wonderful gigs. Moreton is a village just 20 minutes from my home and thanks to Tricia and Tony who do a wonderful job of bringing music to rural Staffordshire/Shropshire/Whichever-county-it-falls-in. Then it was to Chester to play Alexander’s and we had an absolute cracker in a venue that’s had a real lift since new manager Jamie came in. All in all, a bloody marvellous end to a bloody marvellous tour.
In between some of those gigs was an appearance at Todmorden festival with the legendary Alistair Anderson which was a lot of fun as always. Then sandwiched in between the UFQ tour and the beginning of my tour came a weekend trip to Austria for a one off gig with superb harmonica player Lee Sankey who after a decade of relentless touring decided to go down the business route but is occasionally persauded out of retirement as he was here. We had a great time and the scenery was lovely. I also managed to fit in an open top bus gig on Llandudno pier. I don’t know if any of you have ever been to Llandudno pier. It gets quite cold. It was quite cold. But I had fun.
Then my tour began up in Bridlington in Yorkshire. It was a cracking night and great to catch up with the lovely Edwina Hayes (check out her stuff if you haven’t already) although in the end my original tour plan of doing that gig and staying up in Yorkshire with some family/friends until my gig in Kirkby Fleetham a few days later was thrown out by a trip to the Royal Albert Hall for the Folk Awards thanks to my nomination. Still, if you’re looking for a reason to disrupt your tour that’s quite a good one! So to the Royal Albert Hall in my suit, not exactly my usual Wednesday night. It was a good night although I did stay in a quite abominable hotel which you could only get away with in London I think. Still, good fun was had and congratulations to Andy Cutting and the other winners. Congratulations too to Rufus Wainwright who I thought did a wonderful job of Who Knows Where The Time Goes.
Anyway next it was off to Kirkby Fleetham for a lovely gig at Stapleton House and great to catch up with old friends Paul and Wenday Arrowsmith. Then it was off to the land of my birth in Penrith. No it wasn’t. First I went to Barton on Humber for a trio gig at Ropery Hall with Christi Andropolis and Nic Zuppardi who are two of my favourite musicians and people. We had a lovely time with a lovely crowd and it was one of the best CD selling gigs ever which always helps to live and stuff. Then it was off to the land of my birth for an absolute belter of a gig at the Playhouse. It was a long set and a packed house of lively folk who gave me the most wonderful evening and it was great to see my parents!
Then the tour continued back in London last night at Cecil Sharp House. Thanks to all, it was a lovely night and nice to play totally acoustic! Unusually I decided to drive there and back and was absolutely stunned when the journey there was rather painless and I thought ah the hard bit’s over I can look forward to a nice quick night drive home….M1 closures decreed otherwise so it took me bloody forever to get out of London! A restorative whisky was definitely needed on my arrival home.
Well I do of course have to congratulate Leicester City on the most astounding triumph in English football I have ever known. To win the premiership in this era with so little money (comparitively!) and from absolutely nowhere is bloody marvellous and I think they’ve made every football fan decide that Leicester is their second team!
Now take a look at this…
This is a confirmation email from London Midland after booking a train. It’s always handy to get these emails, I normally use cross country trains but went straight to the London Midland site this time for cheap advance fares only available from them. It’s really handy isn’t it? I mean you get the date of your train and the coach number and seat number and of course where you are going from and to. Just one thing that might help…oh yes the time of my train. Yes that’s right a confirmation email that fails to mention the time of my train. I actually tweeted London Midland about this and they said ‘we are in the process of adding this on’. I ask this as a genuine question – at what board meeting was this not declared a neccessity for a confirmation email for a train booking?!