Trains are about to get better…

Dear all,


Well I’ve just returned from two fantastic festivals with Walsh and Pound. Solfest on Friday was wonderful because Solfest generally is. I love it, it was the best solo gig of last year arguably and so far my favourite Walsh and Pound one of this year. The audience were clearly remarkably p**sed or otherwise intoxicated but that made them so lovely and loud and enthusiastic and Will and I had an absolute ball. It also meant I was able to see my parents in Penrith which is always wonderful.


Next up, we played Towersey yesterday which was just brilliant as ever. I’m a big fan of this festival and it doesn’t disappoint. It was wonderful to finally see the great Donal Lunny in concert as well and amazing to meet him. It still amazes me when I meet all these heroes of mine at folk festivals, it’s not something I ever expected in life really!


So coming up is another duo gig with Christi Andropolis at Burnham on Sea this time headlining the Saturday night of their festival so we are very much looking forward to that. Let’s hope there isn’t a repeat of the previous journey…see photo in previous blog…After that it’s a local gig at the Lamb and Flag in Haywood which I’ve never played before so that should be nice and then down to the South to play in Rye with Will.


Right ho then so what’s been happening in the world. Well firstly I’d like to extend my sympathy to those hundreds of teenagers whose GCSE’s have been so completely ballsed up by the exam boards with obviously no pressure from my favourite politician Mr Gove. Oh sorry I meant with obvious pressure from prized twerp Mr Gove. Sorry must focus more when I’m typing. I think we all know GCSE’s and come to that A levels have been a sorry mess for a long time and I’m not attaching this to the Tories. My feelings about the education system that I went through have been expressed before and I even did a song about it! But changing the grade boundaries in the same year so one half are totally disadvantaged is ludicrous even for Britain isn’t it?!


On a more serious note, I’d like to say that I am glad Tony Nicklinson is finally at peace. I’m sure it’s not my place to say this, but I can only express a personal opinion that his case exemplifies why we must change the law on assisted death in this country. Why anyone had the right to force that man to live through misery and indignity is beyond me. We should all have the right to decide our own fate. I fully accept the potential difficulties of creating such law changes and the dangers of doing so, and I can’t pretend that I’m an expert with the law in that sense, but to me the present law is worse than the alternative.


Seriously, and I can’t emphasise how strongly I feel about this, who the hell gives a flying whatnot what Prince Harry does in Vegas?! I know I’m not a royal fan but leave the poor sod alone. He was in a hotel on holiday in Vegas with the curtains drawn. For once I agree with Boris, he was in Vegas, he’s youngish and a solider, what was he supposed to do!


Finally, my favourite topic. Yes British rail is about to screw itself yet more. I am not a defendant of Virgin Trains because they have been shite. It should never have been privatised in the first place as everyone knows, but Virgin have been shite. And when I read this on Yahoo: ‘Branson threatens to walk out on working in the rail industry’ I felt like driving to wherever he was and helping him to pack. I regarded it as about as much of a ‘threat’ as Gove or Theresa May ‘threatening’ to leave their posts in the cabinet. However, then I read why he was threatening and realised to my horror that First are going to be taking over the West Coast mainline. Have any of you ever travelled with First? They’re about as useful as a chocolate radiator. First Great Western are statistically the worst running train service in the UK (and that’s up against some pretty stiff competition). Consistently I have used them in the Southwest and they have arsed up every time. I mean every single time. I know what you’re thinking – ‘it’s Dan and trains of course they arsed up’ – but seriously the number of times I travelled between Bristol and Bath particularly is high and I would ask you to consider the following facts:


  1. Bristol and Bath are not exactly that far away from each other.

  2. A lot of people live or travel to/from these cities.


Then I would ask you to bear in mind the following:


  1. You always wait for 401 years for a train to actually arrive.

  2. When it does there’s only 2 carriages so you practically die of suffocation before you even get there if you’re (un)lucky enough to actually get on a train.


And these guys are going to be running the West Coast mainline.

I can’t wait.

Oh and the prices are going up yet again.