What have we here?

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Wishing a good new year to all, hopefully we can get things moving here…so, during 2013 we found out that there’s no hope for the climate, unless by some miraculous stroke we are whisked away by the spirit of Malthus and invent some effects reversing technology, and artificial food generator and distribution system, and eradicate all waste.

In much more superficial news you will have heard of the outputs I had last year.  The demo recording ‘Unableto‘ was given a proper release, on cassette. I toured in the UK with Rachael Dadd and Ichi and had a coupe of collaborative shows at Lexington. A couple of shows I have played here in Seoul too! more to come I’m sure.

Preparations were also made for this coming year.  The first being an album with Juice Vocal Ensemble, recorded in Otley by Phil at Limbo. This will give you some sparse guitar and plenty of singing. Im pretty pleased with what we’ve made. Were hoping to make a few live outings in the second half of the year.

More soon.

Regards, David

More recently…

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Trundling down the road to Insider, a lovely relaxed greeting, collect our wristbands, and off up over to offload our things. I have agreed to provide some music to Song by Toad, he has released some beautiful split 12″, four artists, nice photos. I am silly aren’t I? The idea was a couple of five minute songs and I end up making up a couple of 13 minute tracks. We await the mix and decide on the edits. I hope I ain’t ballsed it up.

In the time betwixt arrival and session I flexed off up the hill to find seclusion in which to prepare. I sat atop a tussock. The dull thuds of sound checking drums below me. As I strum and hum a pipit did perch not but a metre hence. A beautiful streaked thing, the brightness of spring shining in it’s plumage. And then it rained. A spit and spat. I had to pack up and toddle back to the veranda of the ‘big house’. After the recording I made it for a little of Will Newsome‘s gentle kora. It is a shame and a treat that there were not more people here on this first day of the festival. Later on I was to play. I followed Rachael. I was tied up for Ichi’s set, sadly on too early. A gentle caution from Rachael “watch out for the sound man, when I was describing where I wanted my mic positioning, he said “I think I’ll decide that based on my 25 years experience””. Luckily he was more relaxed for me. Ah, now for the chickpea count. Vegetarian tagine! Just as high on the counter as a tub or two of hummus rider.

We must leave. We have festival number two of the weekend to get to. Sin Eater. And in Shropshire to boot. To cause least discomfort to our party, we intend to break the journey up. So tonight we return to Glasgow. Speeding through the dark I narrowly avoid stately red deer gathered aside the A6, scattering as we glide by, all others snoozing in the car. Our initial visit the day before the day before, we were lucky enough to have met the kindly Howard Reeve. A comfortable bed was provided. Howie had already left for Sin Eater, and has a wonderful neighbour. Very grateful were we.

The following morn, Rachael buys some groceries, I help her cook up a treat. Boiled egg, potato scone, grilled tomato, fried mushroom, spinach, and baked beans. Hearty. Drive we will now. To Manchester, and journey break number two. A short note on the Westmorland services, M6: really great, reminds of the services in Japan, where it’s more like a scenic tourist spot.

I guide us to our rest stop for Manchester. I used to live in this city. But that was like, time.

We have to set off early to get to Shropshire destination, near Ratlinghope, The Bridges, where this pagan gathering is taking place. The line-up is awesome, and it is disappointing we couldn’t have seen the last two days of it. We wanted to get there in time for Howie’s set at 11am, and to thank him for our Glasgow stay. On arrival, a little after we had expected owing to poor navigation on my part and a lack of any map. We were a little relieved to find Howie had jumped into a slot the previous day and as such was not playing anyway.

Notching another few points on the chickpea quota was today’s artist food, chickpea curry! Hooray! Paarp!

In chatting with Jon Marshall and Fiona I was sent to Sheffield mid noughties and with Seth and McWatt further back to our house in the Harolds round the corner from the Brudenell. Seeing Jon Collin come in and hunch over a guitar to perform Vampire Blues with the other Jon sent me back to my time in Manchester, and like, Anson’s Corner

Martins and swallows and swifts dart about the sky. As I stand and wait friendly festival goers are going, kind words are passed over to me. Many thanks for all of that.

I drive us back to Manchester, stopping to scoff some of Ichi’s lovely curry from the night before, thoughtfully Tuppaware’d for our journey. Our whole next day is able to be spent in Manc-Mc-Mad-chester. I walk around. Have some chips. Go to the bank. Do some more walking. Our show tonight is at the Kings Arms. Lovingly promoted by Chris from Hey! Manchester, whose beard has become dazzlingly long. More hummus. A little guacamole. Celery. Furthermore it was most pleasant to catch up with Nick’Golden Lab’Mitchell. A good natter over a pint. Oh how time flies, but some things change little. All around us our pals are pregnating and birthing. The joys of summer are keeping our outlooks merry. Great.

It was a much more sedate show I feel, and with that it seems the most comfortable. I can not remember much but this and this sparks some memory. We are ever so grateful to our brilliant hosts for these last three nights. It was a real pleasure to meet Ros and Ochi, I hope it’s not the last time.

Recently…

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So we have somehow reached summer in Britain. Unpredictable as it is.
We have been back in the UK for a month and a half now. And it is all seemingly good.
I had a few things lined up to try and achieve. I will not go into the details but I can let you know it is not doing badly.

One thing was to do a recording session with Juice, as mentioned before. A brief mix, but pretty much left as is (as is the way one works). I’m pleased and so expect this to make it to your earholes in the not so far away.

The next thing was to play a few shows for you. This I have did and are doing.

A couple of one off shows to ease in gently… Firstly Norwich.

I had been residing a few days where I grew up, I will be here for some more time, but here from is whence I set aboard the rail cabin to the middle of the eastern bulge. Pleasant weather greets me. As does the ever jovial Alex Carson, formerly tawny owl but now of wooden arms. I recall my sage advice of years past regarding the cultural phenomena of ‘survival of the fitties’ the obsessive image culture progressing people’s careers based on looks, only to dwell now, while I type, on the depth of this depressing circumstance in my soon to be home, Seoul.
Ah, but to return to Norwich, I stride that afternoon, out of the city to a small studio in an old meat fridge. This resulted. A kindly young fellow provided carriage back to the town, and my residence for the night. whereupon, servicing myself with clean dress, I took a stroll to the venue for the night. The birdcage. A fairly insensitive decoded back room, albeit with plenty of light and great old windows. The fish shop across the road is not to be missed, if only for the mackerel sandwich. A pleasant set of support form BrothertheWolfe.co.uk and a really great folk guitarist playing under the moniker Takeda. Please look out for his Davy Graham.
I will not go into depth on my show as it was pretty much all recorded here. I have never been so British.
I do have to mention this though…the next morning I trudged with my trundle case and guitar to the station. I sit to rest on the seating which circles the pillar. As I do so a splash is heard. The sound of a bucket being tipped from a high window. We are not near any high windows. I feel wetness on my head. I smell foulness, a fermented gunk is splashed around me, and down my cases and on my shoulder and over my head. I look up to see a single pigeon bum. This is one sickly pigeon. Such a volume of white-specked greenish splurge. I felt like a losing parent on ‘get your own back’. I rush back and forth to the loos grabbing tissue to wipe my belongings down, and roughly washing my head. I am lucky I have a change of clothes. But I’m not changing trousers in the loo while I have to catch a train. Strange ignorance to the event spread around the station. I changed my trousers in Peterborough. The scent recalls silage, the fermenting hay and straw I used to shovel on the dairy farm.

The following week I took a coach to Milton Keynes:

On arrival, Coachway, that ominous portal to an unknown world of roundabouts, concrete monstrosity, bleeding to rural idyll, oddness, nothing is given away by this out of town bus terminus. I am collected by the cornerstone of other music in this area, the selfless supporter of the little honest artist, Allan Harrison. A five year hiatus from performing for Allan has not really changed anything. It is the start of a month of flashbacks and reminders of old times.
Our first stop is the strange little studio of Milton Keynes Cable Radio, the online broadcast show every Friday night, the Garden of Earthly delights. A simply dreamlike experience, a tousled goof, an obsessive music collector, also selfless in his support and compassion of small music and service to a small audience. He has been delivering this Friday mix, of live sessions and well thought out bundles of sound around a theme, since the early nineties, every Friday. His disarming unpreparedness and relaxed approach to hosting even coaxed out some talking and a jingle from me. Here.
Oh, yes, I played a show. A blinder. I was blown away by how well I felt it went. What a strange occurrence. It simply reads like this: all artists were terrified. Stanzilla was shaking and sweating, his blues rugged and funny, a conflicting figure but respectfully received. Mrs Pilgrimm shaking and timid, albeit in keeping with the delicate cello loops and ultra sensitive drumming, it was a pleasure to have seen. Me. Well. My uncle turned up, this whole reminiscence and pleasant conversation kind of wobbled me. The nerves of the previous performers passed on shakes to me. A heavy stomach soon lightened as the whole crowd was entirely with me. High hat stand antics. Water trick. Ceiling light chasing. Can crushing. Shoe shenanigans. Good. A weekend in London with family…

Four days later and I am on my way back north… I train up to Newcastle. I discover that rail stations have dispensed with left luggage and am at a loss as to what to do. I remember a friend who is moving up here, she must know someone who lives centrally where I can deposit bags while I have most of the day to waste in sun drenched toon. What luck! Tessa has a friend next to the station, they oblige and I wander. Phew! I eat and have a pint. Then wander. I find Leazes park and contemplate. A hidden corner has a spread of wild orchids, as I photograph I disturb a pair of weed-smoking teens. I’m surprised by the proximity of cows to the city of Newcastle.

I had great pleasure to share stage with Rachael Dadd and Ichi. A short tour, diary as follows:

Newcastle is the first show. The star and shadow is a cooperative, entirely volunteer run. It was a pretty inspiring venture. In the office we dispersed massive pillows across the floor. This is where we meet Shuki. The nine month old son of Rachael and Eeichi. Shaun provides a delightful falafel sandwich and salad tub (broccoli, spinach and chickpea… This is the start of the chickpea counter). This is also the show where I am introduced to the wild and beautiful and intimate tales of Richard Dawson. It is also the reunion for me and a good friend who now resides in Maine. His brief trip to the uk coincides delightfully. We meet the following morning for breakfast bab in a greasy spoon in Grainger Market.
I struggle through a set compensating for my kicking off the loop by working with silence and a lonesome voice. Perhaps I found toughness following Richard’s set and how well received Ichi is. Ichi surprised me at every turn. I had forgotten some of the developments through the show, where some object turns into an instrument and then into another one. I was going to thoroughly enjoy this short tour. Rachael endears with lilting ukelele strums, I feel her songs reflecting both her movement into marriage and parenthood, while tapping into universal sentiment as all best songs do. The endearment stems further from the presence of Shuki on her back. We sleep in comfort at Shaun’s house, and in the morning we crammed my things in with their things in a vauxhall corsa. We are driving together from now on. My guitar and Ichi’s case are strapped to the roof.

The tour bus speeds off across the Pennines towards the M6 we stop regularly to give Shuki a crawl. We discuss Japanese food, enthusiasm we all share. I take us into Glasgow to try and find Mono.

Glasgow. The Mono, as you probably know, is a record shop. It is also a bar and restaurant, it also has a zine section, it is pretty much cool on a stick. Oh, they have decent gigs on too. I had to compete with Springsteen being the night before and various goings on in Glasgow. And the Scottish Album of the Year awards the next day. Outside hopeful for said award, RM Hubbert, did make it to see me, and always a pleasure to catch up with. A reserved table stacked with wine and falafel wraps, beetroot dip and hummous, makes for a pleasant evening (albeit another step on chickpea road).  Don’t forget to mention Howie Reeve. Such a personable chap…our paths cross later in the journey, as with Richard Dawson also.

Ah, that kid is so cute, don’t let him overshadow the talent of his parents. Rachael unceremoniously resigned to ‘the mother’ by the Scotsman. Our hotel is the Rennie Macintosh Hotel. I missed breakfast. We see little of Glasgow, deciding instead to hurry to Edinburgh, where the mother and father were able to see a doctor to attend to the high temperature of the child. All was well and soon went down.

At the home of Song By Toad, we are really treated. The master of the house nips out for fresh fish, two beautiful cats stride, climb and sleep around the house. Eating our roast fish, buttered asparagus, samphire, and fennel salad out in the garden under glorious sunshine. I’m sure I’d be forgiven for not thinking myself by the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, we are only in dreary old Edinburgh, with its magnificent one-way systems and abundant parking options. I have visited a few times and am genuinely delighted by the old place. I tint my passage this time with sarcasm. Forgive me old hills and cobbles, in your gentle slight accent.
Back to the show. Henry’s boots the baby out. Arrangements have to be made. Rachael does a set while the father walks with the child, then they swap. The mother takes the child to our lodgings. Me and Ichi make noise. I stumble upon the joys of siren on bullhorn. I didn’t mean any ill will against the Boss. I was grateful for all the Isle of Jura. I was also grateful for quite good wine and chat. Toad will treat you well.

In the morn we set off early. We wanted to see some countryside and to ensure plenty of baby orientated stops. We are heading for the Highlands, we near Aviemore, in fact I was distracted so we overshot. Turn back and through uninteresting Aviemore itself to then creep up winding roads to the site of Insider Festival….

….wait there, next instalment on it’s way.

Leg 2: The Continent (House, Boat, Rain, and Shine)

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So to continue, I finished with England. Sorry to not make it to the rest of UK this time, but the modern life takes it’s toll on such  follies…

After a few days of rushing around London pretending to look like I have a purpose, taking in a little Rachael Dadd and Ichi at this little exhibition in Depford, I take a Eurostar Eurochunnel Fast Train to Bruxelles.  I am on my way to Ghent (or Gent depending on Godknowswhat).

Gent

This little odd town in Belgium is home to Kris Bauwens. You may recall I played for him a year ago. He invites a limited audience to fill his front room and provides an intimate show experience. A humble host. Here I meet up with Tiny Ruins, Hollie and Cass are having a convoluted experience of the west of Europe, but more on that later. They arrive in rented car with rented contrabass, in time for us to see a small example of Wickerman-esque oddity pass through the street immediately outside. Men dressed as disturbing pink faries with false noses clatter by as a sinister organ is turned to accompany. Tiny Ruins provide the first act, a delicate rendering of Hollies beautiful songs, clever semi-historical narratives. Also, they have been travelling around the UK in a van hired for one pound. It was pained all over in the colours of the Jamaican flag. It was emblazoned with a massive painting of Bob Marley’s face. It carried some slogan promoting ‘Marley’s Mellow Mood’ a new relaxation drink. It was to be returned to Amsterdam – their destination after the UK.  It recieved negative reaction from all who laid eyes upon it. Poor girls. Thanks Kris. Goodbye Gent. Pissing it down as I left.

Lille

I have a free day here – I travel direct from Gent in the morning to Lille. Raphaelle (Le NoiZe Maker) picks me up and we go to her studio to do some recording.  I try out a set of new songs and capture a load of one takes and some attempts at playing some other bits and bobs.  Some good stuff to work on here so watch this space. After plenty of playing, listening back, eating cheese, drinking coffee and red wine, it is the following day and time to go to La Peniche. The boat again. It is a great opportunity for really nice home cooked quiche. a big bowl of pasta and some homw made humous (it is good). Nicolas at ‘Ad Hoc’ is worth working with for these delights alone. Despite Hollie and Cass making some European geography errors they finally made it for the show in Lille (from Bruxelles via Amsterdam and Paris).  The show was extraordiary from my point of view as when I ran out of musical steam my hand got stuck to the low ceiling, for what seemed like 15 minutes the room was silent as I tried to get myself unstuck. After a great cameo from Tiny Ruins on my new song and a little mid show nap, it was over.  Some firends from our little community in East Asia turned up – they drove down from a reunion in Bruxelles to give me some ‘on the spot guidance’ over a quick drink at Le Drugstore, where I played my first show in Lille in the way-back-when-a-few-years-ago. Pissing it down as I left.

Paris

In the morning be enjoy a breakfast spread from gracious host, Nic. It is nearing afternoon when the ‘Ruins surface. We all speedinly gather our wares for an imminent train. We failed to catch said imminent train. we relocate from Station The Europe to Station The North. And are able to have a coffee before the train to Paris. I have one night before I fly to Spain. You may or may not recall that Espace B is a rearely frequented venue. I have played to an audience of about 5 there. Luckily this time there are perhaps 30 or so.  A small place they keep very dark perhaps to desguise a thin crowd. Anyhow, Collie and Hass are on top form. Consider that audience wowwed. I stride around making noises for a while, spilling my wine and ruining my colonial linens. Oliver ‘Peel’ bears witness, as does The Sound of Violence. Staying at Jesse and Kate’s was oddified by my stresses at Jesse not hearing me becuse he was watching the Hendrix doc on his laptop with headphones. I was almost sleeping on a stairwell. He did however exceedingly redeem himself with a well dressed salad for lunch before I left.  Much appreciated.  It was pissing it down as I left.

Valencia

Too hot. I arrive on aeroplane. They step you out on the tarmac so you can be insulted by the heat. Nacho is waiting. I am hosted by this avid collector, we have sushi from his restaurant on his balcony. He is who you thank for Outbreeding making it to the world. You can hear the Formula 1 cars screaming in the distance. He has scraped togethr a show for me in a club downtown Valencia. With his pursuasion a reasonable crowd assembles. The sound is awkward but the combination of that and a video screen at the back (with a cycle of music video/advert where a girl in underwear and trainers bounces about, some footage of a guy with his own head for his willy and balls, and Fresh Prince of Bel Air) prompts a never before attempted in public, downbeat, rendition of the theme tune to said Fresh Prince of Bel Air (my private rendition is 100% accurate “iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnn West Philadelphia…”). No two the same. There is no time in the morning before the 9:10 train to Madrid. Fast.

Madrid

Not as hot but still too hot. Jose-Luis greets me at the station, he has just come in too. BMW are sponsoring the Dia de la Musica festival. We travel to the hotel in luxury. It transpires that the hotel has been chosen as so far away across town from the venue so the festival have to drive BMW’s through town as part of the advertising sponsorship deal. Convenient. Highlight of the day was the DJ set from Starslinger. And the degradable plates in the catering tent facility place (I hang out for a bit with this guy from A Greener Festival, getting the inside scoop on how green you festival goers really are). I meet and catch a little of Fanfarlo. I watch Julia Holter who was oversold to me I think. But I wasn’t expecting the band. We managed to have a chat before bedtime, she’s alright. The venue was a converted slaughter house complex – a number of ornate buildings rammed with temporary stages, and one set of these hollow edifices filled with a semi-permanent studio/creative space sponsored by Red Bull. The France Spain match – and luckily as I was in an enclosed space with a whole load of Spanish, the result resulted in a pleasant mood. I was watching Sergio watching it, across the desk in the production office, his handle bar moustache lit by the glow of his laptop screen. A bemused look on his face as the crowd outside cheered. The two minute delay online. Live broadcast on a big screen for the festival goers. I don’t follow football. The mini-bar was free. I had the orange juice and an early night. Oh, my set.

I fly back to London – No Luton. Luton is not London. I fly to Luton and get a train to London. I fly back out East the following day. Good times resting with the one I love. We meet in Beijing before heading Seoul and Tokyo for downtime. DO NOT ask about my carbon footprint. I have never owned a car and do not eat meat.

UK Leg Over, RM Hubbert, No Direction Home

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The UK leg of this brief summer visit back to Europe done. I will provide for your goggle peepers and brain matter a brief run down of what happened. Starting with my arrival on a wet day when the Queen hath been on the throne for 60 years. Jon Stewart on the Daily Show did use the joke I was going to use. I had packed in accordance with the weather I was experiencing in East Asia with Katrine, and considering that it is lovely summer time. As sure as runny eggs and raw sausage I was stood in the rain for forty minutes in only a shirt, shivering with my suitcase and guitar.

London

After warming up and waiting for the rain to pass over night. It was time for the London show. I had some errands to run in the daytime and whilst running around town through the preparations for the big Jubilee concert I called up some friends to meet at 4pm at Cecil Sharp House. Passing through the Mall there were massive screens and a big posh lady saying “this is a test to sync the audio and visual, one, two …”. As it transpires I rushed around, dropping a split plastic bag of music equipment, and arrived an hour later than I had said I would. A bemused group had gathered at the venue. I had not provided any prior instruction on what we would do for the show, but they all gave it whatever they felt appropriate and it was absolutely amazing. Nevertheless, before all that I had the pleasure of listening to the amazing guitarings of Glasgow’s RM Hubbert, (not Ron L Hubbard). The pleasure was furthered by travelling with such a pleasant and interesting companion for these UK shows. At Cecil Sharp House, the home of English Folk Dance and Song, I play centre stage as per the convention, on my right two nylon string guitars are being plucked, strummed and tapped. To the left a piano is tinkled. Voices pipe up from the crowd and two vocalists eventually move to microphones to my left. A fiddle jumps in to the back and side of the audience, to the other side an electric guitar drones from an amp.  Great supergroup: RM Hubbert, Napoleon IIIrd, Oh Ruin, Sam Amidon, two members of Juice Vocal, and Sebastian Reynolds on the keys. Such a great start to the tour.

Winchester

Ah, Winchester. Have you heard of music? Free Sat Nav lady starts as she means to go on – playing little tricks with us as crucial moments. Nevertheless the awkward one-way system negotiated, the Railway at Winchester is a reasonably quaint venue – albeit we play in the black box of the back room. Under irritating UV light. A mammoth show with four, yes, four local support before Hubby plays his set. What we are to find, starting with Winchester, is that no matter how odd it feels getting up on stage, the show goes well and the audience are appreciative. But they really do use an excessive amount of those urinal freshening balls in the loos. As was to happen at all these shows I had some great contributions from Hubby on guitar for some of my set. As is the nature of my limited conscience of the entirety of the show I cannot specify the details of said contributions. I have failed to adequately prepare for this tour and have no accommodation sorted. Luckily the delights of the pull-out mattress in the Travelodge family room awaits.

Sheffield

Using the information I gleaned from a conversation I overheard when sharing a taxi to Barcelona Airport with the Buzzcocks, I advise the best way to negotiate going around Oxford and getting up to the M1. Sat Nav Lady seems to agree with me. Castle Greyskull is located in Eccleshall, which has an unreasonable number of older men in skimpy shorts striding about. I would have to say that the facilities here were the best on tour. You will never have need for additional chopping boards. Some familiar old faces turned up which helped me feel OK about the show. Hubby joined in again with some choice plucks and taps and strums. And this time some people actually bought some of my wares. We sped up to Leeds to catch some kip at the old Broughton residence in Grotters.

Manchester

In the morning I had a family breakfast and my big brother came round for coffee.  My driver, erm, my travelling companion and excellent opening act took advantage of a well earned lie in. We took a leisurely drive across the pennines, suffering the great british summertime rainfall and chilliness. As it should be, Manchester is wet. Kraak Space, Gallery and Venue is cryptically hidden away in the Northern Quarter. Familiar faces from the old Islington Mill days are around. Magic Arm mans the bar. Jayne Compton takes to her throne. This show is the convergence of two tours. Two Wings and Eric Chenaux. Me and Hubby. Unfortunately for the former they join the show as the bottom half of the bill. As it transpires the audience doesn’t expand a massive amount from when Eric plays to when I play. I really took notice of Two Wings this time, having been too bog bound when we did the show in London together. Great sets all round. Here is where Ron L Hubbard goes back to Glasgow for a couple of days while I go to play at No Direction Home Festival… I must add again, that it is a consistant pleasure to be touring with Hubby.

No Direction Home

I get a lift from Wakefield with my big sister and my niece. We are all going to the festival, as is my little sister. Shame Katrine isn’t here, we went to the first couple of End of The Roads together and it has the same feel as the small first EOTR. Briefly I watched Diagrams which have infectious enthusiasm for music and well put together songs. Dirty Three. Tiny Runis, Serafina Steer, Ichi, And others…  bored of typing but must go on to engage with the internet based audience… There were pretty agitated larks trying to get on with their thing, where we had plonked all our cars and tents. Great close up views though. I played two sets. The first I hastily arranged a couple of willing volunteers (Rob St John and Mark Andrew Hamilton) to step in as my band. Or as Rob St John kindly advised, my ‘drone rangers’ (Rob used to do a drone thing under the name ‘Droney Mitchell’ – and as Mark Hamilton/Woodpigeon opened his set with a Baez song he will be ‘Drone Baez’). As uncomfortable as ever I trudged through. In my mind it was a terrible mess. Positive reviews. Second set was later that day on the little boathouse stage. And with drums this time. The guys who hadn’t heard that Houquets had had to pull out scarpered fairly soonish. I was missing seeing Moon Duo.  A bit of sleeping to the sound of Pyramids. Who’d have thought that dragging a suitcase across a muddy field could be a logistical nightmare. Hubby collected me and additional passenger (Not a ‘hidden passenger’, Shearwater). This was Bob from Tod (R L Wilson) with a camera – capturing me on tour. More on that in the future.  Highlights as an observer: Diagrams, Dirty Three, Austra, Ichi, Serafina Steer and some more I can’t remember at this juncture.

Oxford

We scurry along the M roads and A roads down to Oxford, stopping for some grub and a piss. We overshoot the SatNav a couple of times, due to my pedantic eye and perhaps by me not zooming in too closely, but eventually gilde into Oxford, weaving thorugh caped cyclists and bespectacled boffins (not really) and arrive at the Jericho Tavern. Of course, Seb has been waiting an hour or so. Patiently sitting at his keyboard.  With a failed pick-up and/or jack socket we quickly assemble a work-around. I loop my guitar via microphone. It brings the overall sound level down but works amazingly well under the circumstances. Bottled water multi-pack solo anyone?. Yet another snuggly night in a Travelodge family room, this time with alarming night frets from Bob from Tod.

Bristol

Bristol, Bristol, cobblestone Streets. People missing teeth. Guitar failure from last night prompts a mending. I get advice from a Bristol based friend, Robin Allender, who I have also invited to play with us tonight.  He advised me of Stevie. In a workshop buried in a little cellar in the centre of Bristol. He carefully inserted a new jack socket. but there is still a problem – but a greater one that even he cannot attempt to address at this late juncture. The socket is a vast improvement so I go on happy and £20 lighter. We meet Robin in Cafe Kino, I eat som lovely falafel. Robin has just returned from his latest jaunt on the Yann Tierson world tour, and as it happens taking over the guitars for the lovely Felix. Show run-down: Local support. Hubby did a great set as always. Two guitars accompaniment. Touched a bare scalp. Magic!

Brighton

We nearly died on the way to Brighton. Both I and Hubby nearly dozed off going round the M25. Down at Crawley Hubby nearly overdosed on Red Bull and I had a Lucozade (don’t tell Katrine). We were aiming to get to Brighton for 2pm so I cold go to record a session for SImple Folk Radio. Please can everyone ignore the fact that it was filmed in the ‘naughty room’ at the Pelirocco Hotel (*shivers*). Wow, the backstage grub selection proves good enough to make my total evening meal intake (a number of salad sandwiches).  Thanks to Woodpecker Wooliams who proved to be the best support on this brief tour. Good to see some old familiar faces. Despite being tired and grumpy it all turned out well for mine and Hubby’s last show together on this jaunt. After driving back up to London late in the night it would be a few days off in London before heading to the continent…