Monday, June 12, 2017

Photos: Friday and Saturday

I was so worried about the drive after last week's tyre blowout. I spent the week trying not to think about what might go wrong. In actual fact the drive up the A1 was perfect. I love driving and I've got fave Services to stop off at, in this case Peterborough. I checked in to the hotel and went to the venue, where the promoter Andy Richardson was waiting with a highly competent sound crew (used to work for Kanye West, no less) and Barney the DJ- and Graham Beck, who was also playing.
Mick, June and Laura came and so did Rich Cundill with an enthusiastic posse who stood at the back and gave off good vibes the whole way through.
Graham was great- a sort of lateral thinking showbiz madman who sang about a clog tree (that was my favourite song), dressed as a fig roll (with a matching fig roll headpiece for his toy monkey), and also as a urinal for a song about, well, urinals.
There was a very happy atmosphere- Furley and Co. is a funky wine bar with an upstairs where the gig was; a breeze from the open windows took the edge off the muggy night and cool light filtered in through the blinds. Barney played all sorts of music in the interval and complemented the eclectic night. Andy had done a great job of promotion because the room was full, and everyone was up for everything; there was a great audience chorus of 'The Sea' during the song, and afterwards I sold not only plenty of my own CDs and lyrics books but also six copies of Femme Fatale, the most ever at a gig so far (I've almost sold out). I think there was a lot of post-election joy there, and I was really moved by the fact that so many people are thinking beyond the weird politics going on in the UK at the moment, and caring about the plight of displaced people. I met a woman who worked with refugees on a dance project in Calais, and had some other great conversations afterwards.
The one odd thing that happened was my guitar stopping working when I tried to play Freight Train for an encore. But Sound Guy 2 held a microphone to the guitar, and I sang the song unplugged, accompanied enthusiastically by Rich's friend at the back who knew all the words! It was such a laugh! Big thank you to Rich for suggesting the contact, and supporting the gig in invisible ways, as well visible ones. Free entry to Helen and the Horns if you come down in October.
On Saturday I got to Newcastle early and went to Brian's shop to see if he could fix my guitar. Brian was away on holiday, so I was sent to Guitar Guitar where Neil took a look and said that the problem was that the metal part of the jack lead was a non-standard size and it simply wasn't long enough to sustain the connection inside the socket. So I bought a new lead, and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing.
Jason's Argyle Rooms in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea was an entirely different gig; he has set up a quirky stage in his living room, gently patrolled by his cats and featuring a selection of groovy guitars, a piano and a small jazz drum kit. I really enjoyed Jack Common's songs: he has a unique voice, flexible and moving through many different timbres and pitches. Lots of Northern Soul chords in there too. In an intimate setting, I sang a slightly different set to a group of friends and neighbours, and again had some great conversations afterwards. It was a lovely evening, and thank you Jason for putting me on; you were one the first people to give me a gig on this tour and I really appreciate your confidence and support.
Graham Beck dressed as a fig roll; texting ghoul, Grainger Street, Newcastle; Millennium Bridge; gull eggshell at The Baltic; puffins at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea; Jason Thompson at the Argyll Rooms, filming Jack Common.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"When i was little we lived in a pub" You 'squatted in a boozer' (your words not mine)