MAY 2011: Tour so far…

General News

Ok so I mentioned HomeGame, let us backtrack a little…

I come back to the UK to play some shows. This starts well, I get the train over to Manchester and Walk up to Chapel Street, Salford. Traipse to Islington Mill where the wristband exchange is…only to find that the promoters (Chris Horkan, Hey! Manchester) have already taken them for me to collect at the venue. It would, of course, be the furthest venue from anywhere. So traipse up to Peel Hall I do…the venue is a lecture theatre – a slope of seating down to a presentation area – my stage later this evening. At the Sacred Trinity Church I see a bit of Cath and Phil Tyler – plain folk songs with reasonable banjo playing – then Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – soundscape with a wailing lady-friend – like Juliana Barwick with a guitar and electronics more than she needs – then it turns out Richard Youngs is playing next – he holds an audience rapt with the most ridiculous show – failing to control a motion sensitive synthesiser and his own voice. He succumbs to it’s limitations and begins to auction records to a still rapt audience – absolutely amazing! This fills me with much confidence, and as i return to a modest audience a t Peel Hall I watch the end of The Wave Pictures. I have no fear of playing tonight. Thanks to Richard Youngs. Brief show rundown – dropped coins, kicked beer can into girls face, played one of my favourite shows of mine. All back to Nicks (I missed Float Riverer for Richard Youngs) for some sleep. Hooray!

Back over the Pennines to Leeds. The show is back at the good old Brudenell… Napolean IIIrd pefroms before me. Then “just like Marmite” I perform on the ‘huge canvas’ of the Brudenell. I can not really be sure what I did – but it involved a beer crate and signing a drumstick which wasn’t even mine. Was great to see all my old pals and family. Also to some of the LDS peeps like Neapolitan the Turd, the Bugles of Birth, Dragged About By Ponies and the Lonely Wolfman.

Next show, Puzzle Hall, down the rugged valley. An intimate show. Some mild audience participation. It just about worked. These guys went to the show, listen at about 20:35 for some Jeff Lewis and then Ambiguity then they give you their opinion of the show :Crow Versus Crow Radio Show #5 by CrowVersusCrow Openers for the night were ‘A Rookery’, some good lyrics in there, liked the mandolin/violin. And thanks have to go to Gav for recommending a friend go see me in Paris…

Now, in Sheffield I swiftly passed through. Part of Sensoria, It was a shame that I could only be brief at places which were big events – would have been nice to stick around. Anyway, thanks for having me Nigel and I am genuinely sorry to have missed In the Nursery.

Glasgow was my next stop – and a lovely train journey through Northumberland – Every British person should know this part of their country, it’s nice. This show was pretty nice, I would not too hastily say that RM Hubbert was my favourite person to share the bill with on this tour – his guitarisationing is SWEET! Thanks to the Arches for the balloon too. It’s nice to have some company on stage. Some words on the evening.

After a wee drink to calm down after the show I settle into a comfortable bed in the Jury’s Inn, safe in the knowledge that I have a complementary breakfast waiting downstairs when I wake. Amazing. Despite the breakfast I make slow progress up to Fife, helped by the fact that the sign for the bus station was pointing in the wrong direction when I got out at Waverley Station.

Arriving in Anstruther is like arriving in a miserable fishing village in the middle of nowhere. But. You can get off the bus and ask the first person you see where you are playing and how to get there, because they are all there for a festival of music organised by the Fence Collective. I arrive in beautiful sunshine and fresh sea air is served in welcome doses. The place is not miserable at all (wait until the rain comes again). My show uses the apples from the dressing room in Glasgow and as you see below, some otherness. My highlight was seeing Geese, and watching the Eider at the shore. Very kindly I was given a little mention in this write up.

Shame I couldn’t stick around for the Sunday – Francois and the Atlas Mountains and JTP. Oh well, must dash… DTB is off to Paris. I will play you a recording of the West Country Girl show one day. Watch this space.

So West Country Girl is the creperie where Josh T Pearson lived. They had me over to play in exchange for free crepe and beer. Their hospitality knowing no bounds whatsoever. I need to tell you this now. Lisen. When you are in Paris you must go here:

West Country Girl, Passage St. Ambrose, 11 Arr, Paris

The next day I have a day off and wander Paris alone. It is a bad place. There are bad people. And you should never be alone in Paris. That is all I can say. It will not be so bad if you are not alone.

I scoot off to Lille and play a beautifully long set on La Peniche. Kind regards to the banana for his contribution. This is not Paris and I recommend you go and visit. Before I play the big show I do an instore at Minor Place records. The first hiccup of the tour is me leaving a small bag of cassettes, Buddha machine, and microphone there.

I learn that Magpies are simply called Pi in French, derived from Pica Pica?

After Lille I play again in Paris, this time less people show up and I get embroiled in a documentary about Primavera Sound and how Toma from La Boutiques Sonores is going and how coll it all is. They let me stay in their tiny apartment which was sweet to see and very kind of them. So makes up for the poor show, not that I didn’t have a nice attentive audience and blow the hell out of their tiny little French minds. Shame on the rest of Paris for not being there. Props to Alexis Gideon – He persevered a little way with a lost voice and lost audience. His shizzoo is so funny.

From Parizzle I get Le Train to the Netherlands. Leiden is, as I think I mentioned, historic. Medieval. Dutch.

The small and respectful crowd are delighted that I play for them, in their sarcastic Dutch way, I think they liked it. Second hiccup is leaving my glasses there.

More on this flippin’ tour soon, my eyes are hurting…





General News

I have returned home from des Etats Unis, and this is the de-brief:

In New York I did this:

First a show at Pete’s Candy Store, where there is no escape if you die on stage. Some kids had cameras and put clips on the You Tube

A day off. Walk in the Park. Visit Friends.

Day Three: a show at Sycamore, where you can hide behind a curtain, but the venue was good and the show went better, again the clips are on the You Tube

One the following day I then did a little session for Time Out New York (or TONY as he is affectionately known): You Tube

Followed by a session for WNYC, the show Spinning on Air with David Garland. I enjoyed this one most.

I embed the audio here:

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Then a show at Rockwood Music Hall, yes the kids with their cameras were there too…: You Tube

The next day I would puncture the delightful camaraderie of the Doveman ‘Burgundy Stain Sessions’, Here is I and the other delights of the night (Sara from Tegan and Sara, Dawn Landes, Chocolate Genius, Elysian Fields, Martha Wainwright).

The next day I fly to Austin, Texas:

Jonathan and Thor pick me up from the Airport (as you know I can’t afford a Taxi) and take me to my friend Sam’s house where I’ll be based. The first showcase was playing the Austin Convention Center corridor. Outside the ‘Flatstock’ poster exhibition, inside which were exhibiting the UK Poster Association co-spearheaded by my friend Luke Drozd.

The show was attended by Luke, Eva, two of their friends, a Mexican Girl, one boy with a Guitar and his girl-friend and a Buddhist. I gained three incense sticks and nutty bar. Oh and the Mexican Girl did a radio interview so there was something on radio in Central America.

Oh, check out the local paper: Mojo recommends in the Austin Chronicle.

After lunch with Jonathan, later that day I want to see Samamamidon at the French Legation and all that, but had to leave early to give Alex Highton my guitar. Shame. So on the day went and I played the Local showcase, following JTP. It worked. I broke a glass. I spilled some red wine on a lady. I got the crowd to do a chorus. It worked….kind of.

The next day was the SXSW Yorkshire showcase, following on from and all-neck-breaking all-puking Pulled Apart by Horses, was no mean task. It worked, with apologies to the sound man for not explaining what might happen.

Me and Sam ate some savoury crepes which did the job. Then Made our way to the Charm School Vintage clothing store and wig place where Dana Falconberry had arrange that a load of people play. Despite Red Hunter accusing me of taking drugs I play a show with the help of Jordan Geiger and Kevin Schneider. All good, She Keeps Bees bring on the SuperMoon.

I have a day off before going to the city of Los Angels.

Lost Angles:

Big thanks have to go to Hunter and Ariela for letting me stay, Hektor Fontanez for providing the connection. So you should all check out Imaginary Weapons and Universe.

The show was on the second day: THIS is what was said. I sailed home on the clouds in a big metal bird shaped sky boat and am relaxing.

So long The Untidy Staleness of Americans,