Part III: 2017 Tour review

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A day off in Otley, eating at Stew and Oyster and whatnot.

We’re off to Scotchland! Zooming up the Dales and across the Pennines into wintery Westmorland and the obligatory stop at Tebay Services. Every touring band knows the wonder and welcome.

tebay services

Cutting back across the countryside in who-knows-where of Scotland following the Sat Nav. This is the first tour I’ve used it and it is amazing how all your other navigational senses are snubbed for it. I became blind to the scenery I’d come to know, the familiar roads. Sat Nav was everything!

philip selway and laura moody

Arriving at Kirkcaldy as it darkens. Circling around and then in to the Adam Smith Theatre, where James Yorkston humbly shows me to the backstage, introduces me to Yorkston senior and the other acts assembled (Phil Selway is soundchecking with Laura Moody, and Kathryn Williams and family are lounging around the snack table). Already there are my backing band for tonight. Brilliant team DTB: Seth Bennett on double bass, Lucy Frankel on violin and Rachael Simpson on trumpet (who I now find out did the music for a past addiction of mine, Clay Jam).  Pre-show we all slip off to a local Italian restaurant, the fact that Tomo behaved so well and ate up his pasta was a real blessing, a lovely dinner to ease us into the evening. As for the show, what a nice time it was.  Kath and I sitting at the back marvelling at Laura’s brilliance. My only regret is not recording this set, the gang fitted in so naturally!

Chez Toad w/ Matthew and Neil

We’ve a lovely hotel sorted and a good nights rest is had in readiness for the breakfast included.   Setting us up for a gentle jaunt down to Leith. Stopping off to show the boy the beach and the ships lining up in the estuary. He’s a big stones fan, I mean he’s really into stones right now. Unfortunately, big pebble in hand, he slips in the shingle and bashes it right in his nose, leaving a big scrape. Poor little bear.

Meursault

RM Hubbert

Actually, we swing by Leith but move straight round into Edinburgh to find our hotel. Katrine got a late deal, in an unexpectedly fancy place. They have gifts for Tomo in a made-up cot and very friendly and helpful staff. The cleaners stop to ask whether we would like them to leave some sweets and snacks for Tomo in the room. So it turns out the place doesn’t usually have any rates less than twice what we paid. Lucky! Enough of that. That’s not DIY ethic is it… I want mice running up the wall beside me as I curl up on a mouldy sofa at the student promoter’s friend’s brother’s flat.

I go by myself back out to Leith to get set up at the Happiness Hotel chez Song, by Toad records HQ. The generally good egg and all round sweary gobshite at the helm, Matthew, was overseeing things despite a terrible cold. In this cosy in-house recording studio complete with wood-burning stove my ‘collective’ is Neil Pennycook (Meursault), Lucy Frankel again, as well as a second fiddle player Robyn Dawson (who I didn’t know before tonight and in the hullabaloo forgot her name!), Mario Cruzado, who has been making a lot of video stuff for SbT, and my old pal RM Hubbert. The sound system is very minimal, and creates an intimate atmosphere. The show was really brilliant. A lovely attentive audience and some surprising swells of beauty from the band. Before my set the collaborating band each took to the stage, Neil running off a couple of songs, Hubby playing a couple of pieces, including a rendition of one of my favourites. Emotional stuff. Mario showcases his own songs and Lucy gives us a fiddle tune with accompaniment from Mario, Neil and Robyn. It was also nice to see Johnny Pictish Trail, who was luckily in town that weekend for a show of his own.

Glasgow poster

the front of Hug and Pint

We’re able to have a leisurely breakfast including veggie cooked breakfast and plenty from the ample buffet. What a treat! #sorrynotsorry before heading over to Glasgow. Where we’re able to dump our stuff at the Travelodge and have a leisurely lunch and coffee in town before heading out to the Hug and Pint. Really well treated here! Given tea and vegan asian inspired dinner and generally checked on by lovely staff. Tonight is monday and monday is not a great gig day. Nevertheless I have a good time. Opening the show is a good friend of an old friend of mine,  Robert Sotelo (Andrew Robert Doig) doing his first full band show for his new, critically acclaimed, album, Cusp. A thoroughly nice bunch. I also have Hubby come down to add some flamenco percussive touches. The setting is quite different from the previous night. As I’ve also stolen the Robert Sotelo group for the show too. It actually turned out to work really nicely in a lot of places on this evenings journey. Thank you David, Niall and Gavin for being game. Thanks to Brian for agreeing to put the show on. And on second thoughts I should have taken up the offer to open for Faust the following night, what a missed opportunity! I was too focussed on sticking to my plan.

Notice at Regather

We’re based in Otley for the next bout of shows, giving Tomo some grandma, cousin, aunt, and uncle time. After a couple of days rest, Katrine and I scoot off to Sheffield. Tonight is Friday Night! It was a delight to get to see Regather, and meet Tim, what a great project and place. James Green agreed to come and join in, albeit briefly with a French harmoniflute (!), which did add a nice texture and melodious atmos to a couple of tracks before he sloped off to watch my antics from the audience. Sam Airey opened the show with some lovely electric picking and melancholic songs. The only downside to this whole evening (even drunken heckling added a certain something) was that I think I got Sam’s cold from sharing the microphone. What an error.

Lookin gup in MIMA

the Cumby

The following night we head up to Middlesbrough, and the Middlesbrough Institute for Modern Art. I’m pleased to catch up with Luke Harding, who now runs The Smeltery (plus a few events here), in addition to his award winning Vegetarian restaurant, The Waiting Room, in Eaglescliffe, a few minutes drive away. I know I’m not an easy sell in a town I’ve never played on a cold wintery night, but a small appreciative crowd gather in the cavernous foyer to watch and listen to me bellow into the acoustics and squeal some feedback around. Actually one of the most enjoyable solo shows! Also, the slow food is amazing. I had a delicious veg lasagne! A delightful evening attested to by this kind review.

Waskerley Way

Trundling back on a clear A19/A1 back to our sleeping baby. I’m heading back up this way on Monday to play Newcastle with Neil Turpin. It comes around quickly, we had a nice family sunday dinner round at my Bro’s house – he’s been working on his crackling (whatever that is). My first time to the Cumberland Arms, and the show was probably one of the tightest jams for some time – Neil was on the ball, and I think we did the fastest version of ‘Nature’ I’ve ever done.  The sound guy Ian took some feeds from the desk and we have a brill recording from this night. Will see what I can do with it all…  Opening the night was an aural onslaught from local oddball and nice guy Waskerley Way. The event was summed up in this positive appraisal by the lovely Ben Lowes-Smith.

The last few shows I will sum up in Part 4…

Crippling Lack

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DTB7

Finally, the 3 volume album I started making over four years ago, in collaboration with engineer Raphäelle Duquesnoy in France, and by email exchange from Pyongyang, and with contributions from a number of acquaintances worldwide, is being released!

I’ve performed versions of these songs live for a while and some I haven’t previewed, but all are new to record.

Volume 1, Released on Song, by Toad records this month. Has the tracks:  1. Crippling Lack part 1, 2. Beast, 3, Words of Art, 4, Silent Arrow, 5, Dots.

First airing of any material off the record is the duet I worte for me and Aidan Moffat, ex. Arab Strap, and Scottish lyrical hero. Surprisingly he agreed to it and we have a wonky love-rebutted song. GoldFlakePaint previewed it. 

Pre-order here

 

 

In Service : first song from DTB & Juice

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The first song for y’all to get a steel preview of the album…

Sliding The Same Way – David Thomas Broughton & Juice Vocal Ensemble, will be released on Song, by Toad on 22nd September.

The song, ‘In Service’ is a simple song, the bare bones fleshed only by the droning hums and buzzes of my co-conspirators. A bleak picture of a condemned man is painted. A picture of a man that dwells in us all somewhere, sometimes buried deep, sometimes not. There is a tipping point I’m sure, sometimes we may never reach it, sometimes we will.

And merrily we are led away in the happy resignation to whatever fate is held for us. Enjoy!

https://soundcloud.com/songbytoad/david-thomas-broughton-juice-9

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I tend to neglect this little corner of the Internet…

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I know I should pay more attention to all the little things that pepper a modern life. I’m suitably peppered as it is. I am seasoned with living in Seoul. and with having some records coming out this year, and with doing some busying of myself during the daytime as well, a-busying myself with non-musical shapes. I am learning about aviculture of the East.

Anyway, DeeTubbies is getting his groove on for another outing in Seoul. I also spoke to someone the other day, about how we all loved Salad and Suede, and it kind of reminded me, no it did remind me, how 1997 is pretty much the start of everything. HERE: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/culture/2014/01/201_150212.html

It has also reminded me that Matthew from Song, By Toad has been the most perplexing of supporters. He is very honest about what he doesn’t like about me, but always manages to make me feel like all I do has some worth, even if it is just to peck his lofty head. Here he reviews the cassette release, Unableto: http://songbytoad.com/2014/01/david-thomas-broughton-unableto/

Then he goes and confuses me further by wanting to put out records I make. He has gone and done a 2014 preview which features a track from the Forthcoming ‘David Thomas Broughton and Juice Vocal Ensemble’ project – we are calling it ‘Sliding The Same Way’ – and the song he chooses to tickle you all with is a brand spanking new idea I had to make a song. It is called ‘Yorkshire Fog’ and is on this teaser of a podcast (Warning Mum, Matthew is a very nice chap but does have a bit of a potty-mouth): http://songbytoad.com/2014/01/toadcast-288-song-by-toad-records-2014/

See you around.
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.