On Tour!! (well.... three gigs)
Well-o-well, I have had a busy few days. On Sunday, I played at the Sage in Gateshead. What an honour! Geordie girl from Wylam leaves north-east, has failed career in two bands, burns out, has kids, starts again, and gets to play the Sage!
Martin Stephenson was asked to put on a show alongside the film The Haint of the Budded Rose, which was about Charlie Poole, or at least, the making of a play about Charlie Poole. So Gary O'Dea, Steph Macleod and myself each played short sets, and then Martin, Jim Morrison on fiddle and Brian (he's got the guitar shop in Newcastle) got up to do a much longer set. Oh, the venue is beautiful! The room was light and airy, very high, with a polished wooden floor and strange matchstick-patterned wooden walls which made it acoustically perfect; the audience was totally silent, but very smiley, and the whole thing went off smoothly and goodnaturedly, with Martin's sometimes percussionist Fin McCardle picking us up, Shane Fonteyne doing a bit of washboarding for a couple of songs, and a lovely sunny day outside.
Next up was the Red Dragon in Kirkby Lonsdale, which was sort of an OK gig but one where you had to yell to be heard over a crowd of boozers. On the left side of the room, people were listening; on the right side, they were shouting. I was lucky to get my bit over with but I felt really sorry for Martin who had to do the work of a whole band.
Lastly, yesterday's gig was another very nice one. A whole bunch of acoustic artists have contributed to an album of cover versions of Martin's songs, organised by Pete Shields who runs Candlelit nights all over the Midlands and the Northwest. At the gig at DeBees in Winsford, five of those artists played their versions, which was really great. When the CD is out (it has been delayed) I'll tell you who all the contributors were- there are some really good performers on it. Rob Metcalfe started the evening off with a lovely version of Home and Steph Macleod did a fantastic version of Orange is the Colour of Joy last night, so I am looking forward to hearing the rest of it. One poor guy's plectrum kept leaping out of his fingers, four times, in spite of being replaced by picks belonging to audience members, and he gave up in the end, which was a shame.
DeBees has a very good PA and I played a set after them, which I really really enjoyed, and then Martin got up and played some lovely stuff I have not heard before. The place was full of guitarists and freinds- Stephen Foster-Pilkington and Katie were there, and Mike and june and Laura, so there was a very good atmosphere.
Somewhere amongst all the playing, I had a Mark Toney's ice cream in Newcastle, photographed a gypsy fortune teller in the BIgg Market in the toon (very weird), noticed that the clock in the Central Station now has hands, saw big thick chaps with bap-hands holding bacon baps in them, got to dislike Novo-Castrian bus drivers who whistled past me and my guitar at the bus stop, and went to Worm Hill, which the Lambton Worm curled round in between eating the peasants of County Durham.
Oh yes- and had lots of conversations with waiters in Bangladeshi restaurants!
I'm putting Autumn Love on Myspace now, for Nick and Sue who are getting married on Saturday. It is their song, I wrote it specially for them, and they certainly deserve to be sung about.
For future- my set list at De Bees- A Bad Day, Temptation, Love on the Wind, I Feel It, Memento Mori, Heaven Avenue