It is the year 2020, we are all so severely brought down by the weight of absolutely everything. Unbelievably, we seem have carried on regardless.
In November last year I pootled off around the UK in a car. Yes. I know! I was presenting a performative look back at my debut record ‘The Complete Guide to Insufficiency’.
This is roughly how it went:
The first show was a very intimate affair up in Eaglescliffe at The Waiting Room. Getting into my stride as far as facing an audience again goes. Being so familiar and friendly it’s a good place to start. I took the uncertain step of actually talking to the audience and didn’t feel uncomfortable about it. I think it might be something to do with my age and my new status as a a father. The next day in Cardiff – The Moon – this is a proper music venue with sticky floors an matt blackness. A bigger audience. I still went off with the chit chat. I subsequently went right in with the improv stand-up routines jammed betwixt my maudlin songs. Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, etc etc… Joined by some of it by the inimitable Bell Lungs, who joined me for parts of my set. A couple of shows with Merz, who had come over from his new base in the USA to promote the 20th anniversary of his first album. I didn’t mention how I had excitedly awaited it’s release all those years ago, in the same month as I excitedly awaited the release of Peloton by The Delgados. Anyhow – two big shows were the Leeds one at the Hyde Park Picture House, where I didn’t have the foresight to stop the looped projection at any point during my performance, and the London shebang down in Bush Hall. What a wally I was. A film of that show is available to stream somewhere.
So, those were the beforetimes.
EDIT: I have since relocated to Tokyo. I will endeavour to provide an update when pandemic fatigue allows. Mange tout!
15 years since the birth of ‘The Complete Guide To Insufficiency’ I’m celebrating the fact with both a tour and a vinyl issue of the album.
17th November – Stockton, Waiting Room (Tickets)
18th November – Cardiff, The Moon (Tickets)
19th November – Manchester, Gullivers (Tickets)
20th November – Glasgow, The Blue Arrow (Tickets)
21st November – Edinburgh, Summerhall (Tickets)
22nd November – Lancaster, Hall Cafe (Tickets)
26th November – London, Bush Hall (Tickets)
27th November – Oxford, Florence Park Community Centre (Tickets)
29th November – Leeds, Hyde Park Picture House (Tickets)
And the album – although I have some advance copies available to purchase from me on the tour – is available to pre-order here:
These limited edition cassette compilations of live snippets recorded during my Autumn/Winter 2017 tour are now made. Real things.
I’ve put them up on the Bandcamp here:
LIVE CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD
That roll-call of collaborative players that ended up on this collection is:
Robin Allender: Guitar. (alumnus of Yann Tiersen band, Gravenhurst, The Allender Band and currently Landslide Purist)
Stu Bannister: Percussion / samples. (ex-Quack Quack and all round sound experimenter)
Gareth Bonello: Cello. (Welsh Music Prize winner ‘The Gentle Good’)
Jonny Bridgwood: Double bass. (played bass for Lisa Knapp, Siouxsie Sioux, M**rissey amongst many many others!)
David Ewan Campbell: Guitar / keyboards. (ex-I’m Being Good)
Thom Corah: Trombone. (Her Name is Calla)
Mario Cruzado: Electric guitar.
Rachael Dadd: Percussion.
Robyn Dawson: Violin.
Lucy Frankel: Violin.
Angus Fairbairn: Saxophone. (a.k.a. Alabaster dePlume)
Daniel Green: Guitar. (songwriter/singer/gitarist as the band Laish)
RM Hubbert: Nylon string guitar.
Dean McPhee: Guitar.
Howard Monk: Drums.
Niall Morris: Bass.
Gavin Murdoch: Drums.
Neil Pennycook: Banjo. (Mersault)
Howie Reeve: Acoustic bass.
Andy Regan: Modular synth. (some might remember Pagan Wander Lu)
Rosie Smith: Percussion. (oft seen perfoming at the head of Oh! Peas)
Neil Turpin: Drums. (Bilge Pump / Quack Quack / Yann Tiersen etc.)
Adam Weikert: Keyboard / guitar / samples. (Her Name is Calla)
Sam Wisternoff: Percussion. (A.k.a. SJ Esau, and words/percussion for Landslide Purist)
Peter Wyeth: Guitar / samples / loops.
I’m doing at least one festival this year. In July in sunny Sheffield!
Coming somewhere near you in a few weeks.
If, indeed, any of the below are near you.
Come and have a peek. Some additions pending to the below poster!
** Saturday March 16 Saltburn-by-the-sea, Saltburn House, with Bilge Pump / GGAllin Partridge
Saturday March 23 Sheffield, Merlin Theatre, with Neil McSweeny
Friday March 29 Glasgow, The Old Hairdressers, with Sealionwoman
Saturday March 30 Edinburgh, The Waverley, with Bell Lungs
Tuesday April 2 Aberdeen, Upstairs at the Blue Lamp, probably with Adam Ross (Randolph’s Leap)
Thursday April 4 Newcastle, Cobalt Studios – TBC
Friday April 5 Dublin, venue TBC
Monday April 8 Huddersfield, Kwas Wine shop
Tuesday April 9 York, venue TBC
Friday April 12 Otley, Bloomfield Square, with Andrew DR Abbott
Saturday April 13 Todmorden, The Golden Lion, with Alex Rex / Andrew DR Abbott
Sunday April 14 Eaglescliffe, Waiting Room, with Andrew DR Abbott
Monday April 15 Cambridge, The Blue Moon, with Neil Palmer
Tuesday April 16 Norwich, The playhouse Bar
Wednesday April 17 London ,Mirth, Marvel and Maud, with Alison Cotton
Thursday April 18 London, venue and support TBC
Friday April 19 Brighton, The Rose Hill
Sunday April 21 Bentwaters, Suffolk, Asylum Studios (matinee)
Wednesday April 24 Reading, South Street Arts
Thursday April 25 Oxford, Port Mahon, with Alexander Carson (Wooden Arms)
Friday April 26 Bristol, Cube
Recorded for, and not selected for inclusion on, Song, By Toad 12″ split series (erroneously name-checked on the sleeve where another track, Heavy Past and Violent History, was in it’s stead).
I will donate all proceeds received for this by 1st January to International Rescue Committee
Lead us, Oh! Into fields of danger.
Lead us, Oh! To the farmer’s gun.
Bid us hide ‘neath wall of dry stone.
Progress slowed by the drifting snow.
Cold feet wet in boots of rubber.
Red-cheeked child grips sled and shivers.
Steep side hill born of gouging glacier.
Progress slowed by the drifting snow.
Next concert is a performance at West Dean College for Conservation and the Arts. A series of events curated by my friend Mary Hampton. The event is a ‘pay what you decide’ affair allowing you to express how much you valued your experience in monetary terms.
I’m sharing the bill with the brilliant Hamilton Yarns, from Brighton.
It should be a beautiful evening.
Thursday 13th December.
See you there, lest you be square!
Tickets are still available for this show.
It’s been confirmed that opener, Laura Cannell, will be performing with André Bosman.
Check out their album Reckonings :
“Better than any mindfulness app for cleansing the brainwaves and stilling the souls of the godless” – THE WIRE
Currently battling jetlag at Concrete and Grass Festival in Shanghai.
It seems like the heat will never end in Asia, scary that there is not more mention of climate change in relation to the record temperatures. My skin colour is becoming default tomato in this blistering sun. Skin cancer rates will rise for sure.
Thanks for those to toddled over to the Tipi stage on sunday afternoon. I had a lovely time at End of the Road Festival, good to see some familiar faces.
Come one and all to Glasgow and Newhaven next week.
Stereo in Glasgow on Friday 21st Sept – featuring also a set from the brilliant Richard Dawson, lively noise from Sweaty Palms and Dead Houses.
Fort Process sound art day festival at Newhaven Fort on Saturday 22nd.