MAY 2011: Tour so far…

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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…