Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sand Pits at the South Bank

Martin came to play guitar at the Premises Songwriter Course and we went for a walk along the South Bank: sand pits for young-uns, Thames beaches for teenagers perched on the steps down and running across the shingle; earnest elderly men in sandals and beards with small backpacks, walking along with effort, as though they were climbing mountains on the flat; a little red-headed boy chasing a pigeon that was too damn lazy to fly away so it just ran along in front of him; a school party with a very bossy teacher pointing things out in a LOUD VOICE; Mexican food and Mr Whippy's with a flake; graffiti and skateboarders; a charcoal-tinted cormorant skimming the edge of the river, at speed; The Globe and its gorgeous decorated gate; trees with scaly bark and glittering leaves; boats galore, all speeds and all ages; painters underneath Blackfriars Bridge; a bagpiper down on the beach (avoid); a sand-sculptor making an abstract sand sculpture ditto location, with a bucket in the middle of a target for your monetary contributions; a cool breeze; so much, so much, so wonderful!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Next: Brighton's Prince Albert on Sunday, supporting The Nightingales!

Songwriting Course Completed....

Through muggy temperatures, copious pencils, bushels of ideas and a lot of good feeling, we managed to record ten songs on the final day, yesterday at The Premises in Hackney. The masterclass was by Ed Harcourt, who was gently charming and who told us about the way he co-writes with other people as well as the way he writes for himself. He has a new album coming out soon on DrownedinSound and I am looking forward to hearing it. Paulette Long from Westbury Music talked to the participants about selling their songs, and we had a great band yesterday: Martin and John from The Daintees, Dave Ohm on drums (who also happens to be Grouty's son from Porridge) and Janette Mason on piano. They did a great job and so did Jason, who was engineering; and thanks of course to Julia for organising it all.
The songwriters were a nice and talented bunch, all ages from twelve to retirement and the chance to meet each other and listen to each other was an important part of it all. Well done everyone, and thank you for jumping on the song bus with such good spirits! I hope you like your song recordings as much as I do.
My metabolism has slowed down to a snails' pace today; time for a rest for a day or two.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The First Day of the Songwriting Course

Guitar primed; tuner in bag.
Chord book to solve mysteries.
CD of examples prepared.
Money for lunch.
Pencils and paper for people who forgot pencils and paper.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Performing Prejudice Symposium at Newcastle University

I attended an enlightening symposium yesterday at the University of Newcastle on subjects around the idea of performing prejudice. It was an emotional trip in some ways as McDad used to teach at the University of Newcastle and I walked past a lot of parts of the University that were familiar for that reason, including the bit with a restaurant that we used to go to for a treat.
O the joys of dried-up breaded haddock, pebbly peas and cold stringy chips, followed by a scoop of melting vanilla ice cream in one of those aluminium ice cream bowls that have not withstood the retro twists of time!
But back to the symposium: I can honestly say that there was not a bad paper among them. We heard about Celtic and Rangers and the Catholic and Protestant songs and chants (John Markey); the difference between the words 'diversity' and 'integration' (Rachel Lewis); Alan Turing and a play about his life, exposing the hypocrisy of the British Government of the time (Catrin Fflur Huws); Fascist music in the UK, focused on the band Skrewdriver (John E Richardson); the use of signing by Deaf people to create music (Ely Rosenblum and Jody Cripps); hidden messages in performance and performers at odds with their physical bodies (Simon McKerrell); the Drake Music Project in Ireland and its creative rather than therapeutic approach to music making with differently-abled people (Koichi Samuels); Northumbrian authenticity in songwriting and music and sometimes, inauthentic authenticity (Martyn Hudson).
All from a bunch of really engaging people; there were others who attended who asked interesting and challenging questions and I'm so glad I made the effort to attend and to present a paper. It gave me so much food for thought that is spite of being knackered on the journey home, my mind buzzed and I couldn't sleep a wink on the train.
Names of presenters later, when I have unpacked my suitcase (I was travelling heavy, having spent the weekend in Edinburgh with McMum who had some teeth out and needed a daughter there in case of problems, but luckily there were none).

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Not For Sale And Go Away

Charmed by a vintage red leather doctor's bag in a vintage and up-cycling  shop in Edinburgh that had my exact initials in it stamped in gold leaf, I asked the owner how much it was. It was on top of a pile of battered brown leather suitcases on top of a wardrobe.
'That's not for sale', he apologised.
Actually, I laughed. How silly to pack a shop with objects that are purely for display!
So I carried on walking. Made thirsty by the late afternoon heat, I turned to enter a cafe to slake my thirst. The way was barred by a huge metal door, aggressively padlocked.
I misread the sign that said Eat In or Take Away. Behind the large maroon-painted door, the paper sign in the window appeared to say 'Go Away'.
So I did.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Poem Inspired By Unattended Luggage Announcement At London Bridge Station

Please do not leave your luggage unattended
At this station.
Unattended luggage may be removed, destroyed or damaged
By the security services;

Unattended luggage may turn into an elephant
Or a rhinoceros.

Unattended luggage may eat a cake or a meringue.
It may run off with your girlfriend or boyfriend
Or melt into a puddle of sticky oil.

Unattended luggage may sing at the top of its voice
And offend commuters.

Unattended luggage may float, unpack itself or go on holiday all by itself without you,
Or other things that you might not expect or desire from unattended luggage.


Please do not leave your luggage unattended at this station.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Have At Thee, Printer

The printer almost got a bloody nose today. I'd been having a conversation with Offsprog Two about Road Rage and how silly it is. Then I experienced print rage...
Yesterday I interviewed another very inspiring woman producer, this time a woman who was brought up partly in Cameroon and whose brother and sister used to invent electrical sound and light devices using what most people would think of as trash.
This is a wonderful adventure, hearing and documenting the stories. I am also enjoying the theoretical part of it although I have to stop myself from getting carried away. I have spent most of this morning, when not wrestling with the printer, editing in slash'n'burn mode so that the paper is only 6000 words long.
When I'm not writing, little bits of song come bursting through. I have animated the password to one of my email accounts into a song which means I'll have to change the password. I suppose that's what happens when you translate a password into a rhythm.
Somewhere out there it's boiling hot, isn't it? Flying insects think there is a route through this house and I've ejected a wasp, a bee and a bumblebee so far today.
A trio of forlorn Mayflies is circling in the middle of the kitchen but they're not doing any harm so I'll leave them there until they get dizzy.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Time for a Vest

Thank you to those who joined me in the kitchen this afternoon! From Scotland, Newcastle, Weybridge, Stevenage, Lancashire.. and South Carolina! The internet can be a wonderful thing.
Potato salad (home made) and Dusty Springfield for the evening now.
I spent the morning writing, the afternoon singing.
Not a bad day, really.

Oh Dear

I'm pondering the wisdom of doing a summer Sunday evening Stageit show.
Will the audience desert me for their barbie-fragrant gardens?
Will the dog-next-door stop howling?
Will I be playing to only me- do-it-yourself webcasting, and listen-to-it-yourself?
I will be there in my kitchen.
Will you?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tired. Time For A ....

As a child, I spent a long time pondering a home-made embroidered pillow of the moon and stars that said 'Time for a vest'.


A week on Monday, I will be presenting another academic paper and today-of-all-hot-days is a writing day in preparation.
Most of the information is at my fingertips already but it needs to be edited and structured. It's very book-based and the trembling towers of books are raring to go as soon as the starter pistol bangs.
This research is twofold: part of it involves interviewing women producers and engineers, and the other part is a contextual, historical thread. Both are equally exciting; the interviews are fascinating, and so is the material I have mined from all sorts of sources, some of them considered obsolete (I have been salting away books jettisoned by various libraries for three years, as well as patrolling the free books shop in Barnet High Street).
Three hours a day will do it, starting today and ending on Wednesday; meanwhile I have the Stageit online show tomorrow which will involve a certain amount of tidying the kitchen, which spends more time as a home recording studio and office than a kitchen (although I haven't yet forgotten how to cook, I eat very odd meals because since the Offsprogs left home there is little reason to behave normally).
I am going to play mostly unrecorded songs tomorrow, some of which I have been playing live for a while and one of which I have never played I want to see how they feel all together: are they an album?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Studio Business for Sale in Aylesbury

I'm posting this because I went there this morning to interview the studio owner/producer; not only was it a fascinating interview but I was blown away by the location. (I will ask for some photos because Blogger won't accept TIFFS). We sat outside at a table that overlooked what seemed like miles of grassland, a veritable prairie, with skylarks and swallows whizzing about and extraordinary old derelict buildings in the distance. It's got a unique atmosphere of isolation, but it's not scary: there's a little cafe shop at the entrance to the park that serves the occasional hi-visibility jacketed chap with a pint of milk and a bar of chocolate, and then there's just sky and grass as far as you can see. The studio itself has a very large live room which I think must have fantastic acoustics and there are no neighbours to get annoyed by the sound. There is a kitchen and shower and a patio that is a perfect sun trap.
Who reads this blog? I never really know and I quite like it that way. Maybe one of you is looking for a studio?
But please... no timewasters!

This is a unique opportunity to make a living running a recording and rehearsal studio.

We have converted a remote, detached building on an ex RAF base into a recording and rehearsal complex. The base operates now as a huge business park in a beautiful part of Buckinghamshire, with our building being on a disused runway on the far side away from the hub of other activity on the park, providing discreet and private recording or rehearsal facilities.

The park has great main routes access to London; A41/M40 and a good nearby rail link into Marylebone.

This sale contents are dictated by you, where you create your own wish list from a long list of fixtures and fittings plus analogue and digital studio equipment allowing you to bid for its worth to you, and enabling you to walk in and go straight into business – or indeed continue with the 8 year strong existing brand.

The sale includes:
  • The opportunity to rent a uniquely located 2,224 square foot working studio complex space comprising of office, control room, live room, chillout area, kitchen, toilet and shower-room plus 2nd studio/storage building and outdoor/garden area and storage buildings
  • Established business brand
  • Full or partial recording studio equipment
  • Full or partial rehearsal studio equipment
  • Fixtures and fittings
  • Full or partial furnishings (studios and office)
  • Fully or partially equipped kitchen facility
  • Heating units
  • Storage options
  • Lots of peripheral items of studio/office accessories
  • Established studio website with track record of successful recordings

The building is rented and stands at a monthly rent of £416 + service charge of £249.70 including vat.  That’s under £8,000 per year. The new owner of Runway Studios would be responsible for the rental of the premises and agreeing the new lease with the letting agents. The current lease expires 31st October 2013.
The complex has been used for recording projects and rehearsal hire, generating average annual net turnovers of around £60,000, and this all without any form of promotion or marketing, so think what you could generate.

Contact me at: for a full brochure with photos, incentives and financials, to discuss further or arrange a meeting/viewing.

Looking for a prompt sale and all reasonable offers will be considered.


Martin and Jim

Martin and Jim have evolved their performance to a delicately-balanced perfection. Jim's theory is 'if you don't need to play, don't play' and his minimalist approach brings subtlety alongside his years of knowledge about music and how to fit instrumentation together seamlessly to create a whole. Martin surprises Jim, and Jim surprises Martin; Martin hears his songs in a new way as he performs them and Jim finds a new challenge in working for a musician who draws material from cupboards in his head that he hid them away in years ago, or who challenges both of them with a new key or a new arrangement every night.
In Leeds, the audience was stuffed with guitarists. I could tell because I was watching their feet and each person was tapping differently according to what they were hearing in the guitar parts, which wasn't necessarily the obvious thing. And even when I played a bit at the start, it was my fingers on the guitar neck the guys in the front row were watching, looking for licks. The two of them are playing at Darwen tonight and Solihull tomorrow before heading home for a well-earned rest. They will miss each other. Meanwhile, in my own head I have created a new story for Viz called simply, 'Jim'. In each frame, Jim looks left or right. He does not speak or move; his hands are resting lightly on the top of his guitar. On his face is 'that' expression: barely concealed disgust with a pinch of good-humoured ridicule. In the last frame, he shifts imperceptibly and says 'It'll aal end in tee-az!'.

Stageit show on Sunday Afternoon

Don't forget to sign up for my Kitchen Concert on Sunday afternoon at 5.45!
It's easy to do- just go to an follow the instructions.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Airship Song- Songs from the Shed

Interview with Paul Scott-Bates in Louder than War

Thanks Paul!
My own reviews of the Martin'n'Jim gigs later I hope when I have caught up with some work.

Stuck in a Lift in Sheffield

Oh dear yes, with a panicking and large autistic man who stopped the lift by pressing the buttons while we were heading down for breakfast. It was a small and very hot lift and he was a very large man and he flapped his arms and hands. 'I have been stuck in a lift between floors before and we all had to bellow. Are we stuck between floors?'  he asked us.
I pressed the alarm.
After five minutes we heard a voice through the doors :  'Be with you in minute!'
The man tried to press the buttons again and we asked him not to, and he tried to pull the doors open and we asked him not to do that too. 'I have to press the buttons for all the floors', he told us. We asked him not to.
It was getting hotter and hotter.
After ten minutes, he said 'I don't think there's anybody there. I have to press the buttons!'. At that moment, the lift began to move very slowly- we couldn't tell whether it was going up or down but we eventually arrived at the ground floor. As the doors opened we shot out into the fresh air. He wouldn't come out and headed off back in the lift to wherever he was going.
The hotel staff were apologetic. 'It often gets stuck at the second floor, and also if you press more than one button it stops', they explained helpfully.
Is it not illegal to run a huge hotel with a lift that jams?  What would have happened if a vulnerable person had been trapped? What if there had been a fire in the hotel? We would have baked!
It didn't help that I'm halfway through a Peter James crime novel on which a woman is trapped in a lift for 24 hours!
Ironically, after the gig last night, a Cockney audience member who was just heading home on his bicycle had a joke for Martin- the one about the kangaroo and the Geordie stuck in the lift (cannae geroot). Ho hum.

Monday, July 08, 2013

July Joke

What do donkeys take when they've got a headache?

Even Duller Post

The man next door is cutting his toenails in the garden. I can hear him.


I can't believe that I'm writing a post about something as dull as a purse. But I worked hard all weekend and I've been at work this morning seeing some students and my jaw is throbbing and the purse has become important for a nanosecond.
Being of Scottish extraction (not just for convenience to bask in the glory of Murray's win: good for him but the loser was more gracious) I am allowed to say that Scottish people are famed for being stingy. I am no exception and I have needed a new purse for approximately six months. The old one had a shredded lining that meant that I was constantly posting coins between the lining and the leather and wondering where the jingling was coming from when I couldn't see any money in there.
It was scuffed, and was turning from bright pink to grey with no in-between colour, although it was soft and sweet, but that's not exactly what you want from a purse.
Braving the smells of raw sewage wafting through the hot morning air, I swam through the East London haze into TK Maxx at Gallion's Reach and coughed up the princely sum of 12 quid for a natty blue leather item.
The only problem is, I spent the money on the purse and now I haven't got any to put in it.
See what I mean?

Sunday, July 07, 2013

More Tickets Added for Stageit Kitchen Show

I Have just added some more tickets for the Stageit kitchen show next Sunday 14th July. It's easy to register and you pay almost nothing unless you feel like  tipping.
Please join me at teatime, 5.45!

Detective Stories

I'm posting late at night because I've had my fill of gruesome detective paperbacks from the charity shops.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Polishing My Guitar

364 days a year, I really don't feel like polishing guitars. It is an activity similar to stuffing mushrooms, which many years ago Shirley Conran observed "Life's too short for...".
Yesterday, however, I was gripped by a need to nurture my old Hofner acoustic; not only that, but I was patient enough to replace its broken string!
Guitars are full of nooks and crannies as well as sweeping curves; I carefully cleaned behind its ears and under its tuning pegs and buffed it to a chestnut shine. It's on a stand now, looking rather pleased with itself. It wasn't keen on playing skiffle this evening, however. I don't know why it's being so snooty because I think it was made in that era, some time around the 1960s. Maybe it needs a rest after its thorough scrubbing; ill give it another go tomorrow.


Normally when it's sunny in summer nobody reads this blog. Either the tennis is unappealing this afternoon, or the sun is only shining over my back yard and not over yours...


I awoke this morning to the aroma of a posy of men's aftershaves; Offsprog Two has a couple of Young Chaps dormitorying here with her. They arrive late at night, drink pints of tea; they leave early in the morning, after spiriting towels upstairs like fakirs of old collecting magic carpets to take them to far-away lands.
I sat out with the bees for hours, stopping for the occasional ice cream sanctioned by oral surgery on Tuesday that has left me with a mouth full of prickly stitches. I have been reading a PHD and I have just finished it. I read for six hours, almost non-stop, and now I feel that I know it well enough to examine it on Tuesday. This is the second time I've read it, this time noting questions I will be asking the candidate.
Now I can't decide what to do. no point in doing housework until the young people head off to do something else for a few days; they are clean and polite and tidy too, but I'm not sure what of the subtle debris is rubbish and what is precious treasure until they leave.
Walkies... hmm, despite taking Arnica furiously since Tuesday I have a brightly-coloured bruise that I am conscious of; perhaps an evening stroll would be better.
Songies? Possibly, possibly; though mouth a bit sore for expressive roarings.
As always, the decision will be made with a cup of tea in my hand.

Friday, July 05, 2013


Under the eaves of next door's house, there lives a swarm of bees. Next door aren't around a lot, and it's not a swarm of wasps, so I have decided to leave them bee (ahem) as they are minding their own business at the moment.
About 15 of them are guarding the entrance to the nest; they rotate around each other, sometimes going inside and sometimes not. I'm slightly afraid of them and don't want to anger them. The unruly clematis is going untrimmed below them.
Early this morning before starting work, I went out to read a book in the sunshine. I sat still and didn't flap about, imagining the bees as tiny bulls that would become enraged by any sort of volatile activity.
Round and round they flew, covering all flight paths that might lead to their precious queen.
As I sat reading, I noticed that every so often, one of them would break away from the crew and fly over, measuring the interloper: up, down, from side to side and finally, underneath the bench.
It is not I who observes the bees; they are watching me and making sure that I do not become an enemy.
I am being careful.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

From Glastonbury

Never thought I'd have one of these! Thank you to The Daintees for inviting me up to sing The Airship Song

Rrrants at the Camden Head on Monday

Here are some photos from Monday. Lester Square provided some atmospheric guitarisms for Paul Eccentric's dark story, which was accompanied by the burlesque dancer Holly; there was a very funny contribution from a ukelele-playing woman from St Albans (will tell you her name later) who is clearly being driven mad by life. Amongst various poets and comedians, the ever-barmy Lobby Ludd stood out, as usual; he even managed to almost get through a whole song this time!
I played some new songs with Martin by my side and at the end The Antipoet accompanied a humdingin' Freight Train to send everyone home.
Rrrants nights are very special nights, always, and I love playing them. Thanks to the troops who came along to support the night- Lucie Sieger and friends, Dubulah, Champagne Friend, Wilky, and of course, MArtin, now back off on his songster travels.
I'm retiring for the day- got a face like Oor Wullie Sookin' a Sweetie, now beginning to be decorated by some attractive blue and purple bruising. I don't intend to poke my nose out of the door this weekend!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Stones at Glastonbury (on telly)

There will be typos today, I think; I'm  using an iPad and Blogger doesn't like 'em.
 I got offered tickets for The Stones this morning ( thanks Nova Castria) but I'm zonked from painkillers and taking it easy: writing this doesn't seem difficult but replying to texts does! I look like The Elephant Man this morning after yesterday's small op on my jaw and I'm barricaded in the hoose until I look normal again.
The Stones... on TV we could see men whose faces looked many years older than their ages and whose bodies looked many years younger. Mick Jagger moves like the dancer he is (the male precursor to Madonna perhaps: all sexy but not that great a voice). Ron and Keith- well, they were stiff and elderly and especially at the beginning of the Glastonbury set, they looked downright lazy.
Apart from their hits, I don't know their music very well and the first part of theircsetvwas a mystery to me- and very definitely a case of The Emperor's New Clothes (or old clothes, but we're all heading there, aren't we?). I think I am the only person in the world who never has liked the Stones. From the outset, Mick's conceited persona has been deeply unappealing. I was a bit too young to think him sexy and later, getting into James Brown, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, I preferred the black originals to the white copies. Then the NME gave away a flexidisc of some songs from Exile on Main Street and I loved the production, which was harsh and spontaneous sounding. But even though I played it to oblivion, it didn't make me a Stones fan. Like floral settees, Whiskey, Mills and Boon novels, Hunters wellies ( just autocorrected to 'willies' BTW, perish the thought), the whole point of them has passed me by.
Later in their Glastonbury set, there were hits which seemed to re-energise the semi-comatose guitarists and I could see their appeal. Mick dances really hard and I am full of admiration for his physical fitness and stamina. But would I want to go to see them play? Nope, not even for the dubious cachet of  'I've seen the Stones play'. And not even 'No, because so many of their songs are so misogynisyic'. That's rock 'n'roll'n'rap and it's inescapable (althought the irony of talking about 1970s feminists epiphanies while dancing to Under My Thumb, at the conference on Tuesday was quite, well, ironic).
Took years to persuade them to play and now they've done it? Ring-a-ding-ding, rich greedy white men who sing and play instruments! You of all people have profited from the hippies and the rockers alike when you were all young. Hats off to you for still doing it; I'm glad so many punters had their dream come true and watched their fave band. I'm off to watch little bands in pubs!

(Sorry for the rather grumpy rantiness above; more posting later in a more positive vein)

Monday, July 01, 2013

California Star: Lyric Sheet

This was supposed to be printed in the Glastonbury Free Press, a daily paper that should have been printed on a vintage Heidelberg press. The press said No, and the paper wasn't printed. A limited edition of this might appear in the near future...

Pix from Glastonbury Etc

Look at the size of that crowd!!!
That was the Acoustic Tent at Glastonbury on Friday afternoon. Naively perhaps (though I have been to very few festivals) I thought that the Acoustic Tent would be a small white marquee like they have in Miss Marple for the jam competitions at village fetes, with stoned people wandering in and out as the artists played. I was shocked at the size of all the venues, let alone this 'tent' which was about ten times the size of most London venues that people would say were large. the stage was half the length of a station platform! It was run like clockwork- artists unload at one end, up the ramp, ten minutes change over with a five minutes... four minutes... three minutes... thing going on; play set in allotted time, then off the other side, down the ramp, load up van and park. Thank you to Martin for inviting me along and for asking me on stage to sing Charlie Poole's Airship Song. What an honour that was! Later we went along to see Tom Tom Club and they put in a mighty fine set. Big up Tina Weymouth for being a super-cool bass player who puts all the notes in the right places and doesn't waste anything in the process: she has the groove, without a doubt.
Below is June's photo of the soundcheck at the Victoria Hall in settle- sitting eating cake (Victoria Sponge and Chocolate Cake) with Martin's daughter Phoebe and Willie Knox, the amazing Tour Manager who make sure everyone wakes up, gets up, gets out, and gets on with it. Three cheers for Willie and three cheers for The Daintees!

Camden Head Tonight

Bardaid Charity gig
100 Camden High Street- Camden Toob
Starts at 8
Will be playing new songs
Some with Martin
Think Lester Square playing too with Paul Eccentric
See you there!

Whirlwind Week

Settle: photo by Chalfont Don
What a week: it started with the Console-ing passions conference at Leicester De Montfort University (well, of course, it started with Monday but that was an admin/preparation day). The conference was fizzing with energy and I saw some really interesting presentations. At the end, 40 of us went for a curry, the repercussions of which lasted all week and are still with me now, but this is not a medical blog so nuff said about that!
It was a day's cross-country travel to Settle but John (guitar) and Kate (drums) from The Daintees were waiting on the platform at Leeds so we trained it through the hills with our mountain of black zip-up instrument cases and loaded them into the boot of a taxi whose slightly stunned driver had been recently deafened by a chain-saw accident (had we stumbled into Deliverance?).
Once we had collected ourselves and the rest of the entourage, we headed down to the Victoria Hall for the sound check. (I had narrowly avoided a red-face situation by mistaking the hotel's landscape gardening van for the tour bus and rushing out to do star-jumps on the gravel: noticed the gardener's puzzled expression just in time).
The host, Anne, had made cakes (what a welcome!) and the band set up and checked. The venue is lovely- an old Victorian music hall type venue with a balcony, a warren of back rooms, freshly painted and full of good vibes. The sound was crystal clear.
I played a set which I really enjoyed: the audience was  a listening and smiling audience and The Daintees had packed the venue. The band went on and played a great set, joined later on by Martin's daughter Phoebe for Crocodile Cryer and later still by Mike Harding who wasn't keen on performing The Rochdale Cowboy even though Jim Hornsby had played on the original track (and Jim was on stage for several numbers). Mike turned out to be a really good blues harp player and rocked through a blues song with good heart and a lot of soul.
So back to the hotel, sitting round the table with our band stories, then off the next day through the rain to Liverpool.
The venue in Liverpool was the exact opposite: even the stairs were sticky and everything was well-worn and rock-black. The sound was crystal clear again and this night the band were extremely tight and punchy. A couple of women in the audience sang every song at the tops of their voices- they were great singers and it really added to the atmosphere. Martin was timing the set for Glastonbury the next day (only 35 minutes) and the show was smooth and immaculately played.
More later- it's breakfast time!

Posting tomorrow... Settle, Liverpool, Glastonbury

See you then!