‘They just looked so alike’

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Dear all,

It’s been a much needed October of not flying anywhere! I’ve had a bit of time at home which has been great to get my breath back and get myself together. But of course it’s been plenty busy too…To begin with I returned to a very old favourite The Haberdashers in Knighton, a pub I first played when I was 16 at the Middle of Nowhere festival and was a very important gig in establishing myself on the Staffordshire scene. I’ve always had a fondness for the place and this was another nice little gig there and included in the audience my old science teacher!

The next weekend I was in action for a lunchtime gig at London’s Southbank Centre which I enjoyed very much before returning to Chelmarsh near Bridgnorth for a gig at the excellent Bulls Head, a fine example of a proper music pub. The next weekend it was off to Witney for a gig with UFQ at Fat Lil’s which was good fun then my trio were back in action at Manchester Folk Festival which also ties in with Folk Expo so there were lots of delegates in the audience with potential usefulness to me…it’s a frightfully strange experience doing a gig when you know the audience is full of such people. Then you have to try and talk to them like a normal person which as an Englishman is difficult enough as it is. Add in the factor of essentially trying to sell yourself and the scene is set for calamity. Perhaps the only more awkward scene featuring me in recent times was me trying to collect my own door money in Kamloops in Canada until an audience member who knew me mercifully stepped in…I never did see that money. That’s a joke just to clarify.

Anyway on we go…to bring you up to speed it was a solo gig in Stourbridge last Saturday which was absolutely lovely not least because a good deal of the audience were members of the superb singing group Stream of Sound many of whom are friends of mine and they contributed some excellent harmonies! Then it was off to Hitchin to play the legendary Hitchin Folk Club with UFQ. It was quite a night and Joe decided mid-gig it would be a great idea to hand me the guitar and for the three of them to wander off leaving me to play Call Me Al…it was quite fun.

Ooh I’ve forgotten one little thing…I guested for a couple of songs at the gig of the wonderful Emily Mae Winters in Leicester too! She’s an amazing singer so do check out her stuff – here’s a little video we recorded back in December last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4yNxYsu2Xs

I thought I’d just round off with overheard quote of the month, heard on the streets of Stafford: ‘The most guys I’ve ever kissed in one night was two and that’s only because I thought it was the same guy as the first one’. That is such a priceless quote in so many ways. It’s how to try to appear classy one second and then completely ruin it the next! I think the fact it was followed up with ‘they just look so alike’ got me intrigued. Brothers? Look out for them on Jeremy Kyle.

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