Touring In October
This is the first year since 2015, that I haven’t gone away touring in October. Which is a pretty sad realisation for me, but one that I know is absolutely necessary.
The coronavirus pandemic has meant that live music is currently not a feasible option; especially for travelling acts.
To make up for it, I’ve decided to look back on some of my touring memories in the hope of reminding myself just how good the last few years have been to me.
Whether you’re in the UK or Europe, I really hope to see you all in the not too distant future.
Maybe I’ll do a world tour one day!
If you have somewhere you’d like me to come and perform, please suggest that here – contact page.
For now, here are some retrospectives…
2016 – Verve, Bar in Leeds
First up, a guitar-thrashing shot from four years ago. So old that it’s in black and white!… I was performing one of my first ever gigs in Leeds at Verve Bar.
I remember this year being such an exciting time for me and my music. Earlier that year I had booked a tour in March/April and was so eager to play, that I booked another one for October/November!
At that point, I wasn’t booking out whole venues – I was just playing anywhere that would have me. Pubs, bars, living rooms, radio stations, markets etc. It was the start of an addiction to performing…
2017 – The Slaughtered Lamb, London
This one is from my tour with Thom Morecroft and my first big, headline show in London’s Slaughtered Lamb. I’ve never looked happier while standing in front of a satanic symbol on stage! We sold out that show, thanks also to our brilliant support act Fabia Anderson.
I remember standing with Thom as we were about to open the doors. Neither one of us knew how the evening would go, or even how many people were going to be there! We had sold a few online tickets but were mostly praying for the good people of London to just show up on the day.
I couldn’t believe how many people came down and a wonderful time was had by us as performers. Touring with Thom was an absolute pleasure, I often listen to his music while working from home.
2018 – Subbotnik, Leipzig, Germany
This is a pre-show shot in Leipzig, Germany with Joel Gardner.
In 2018, Joel and I got into a Volkswagon Polo and set off to play 18 dates in the Netherlands, Germany and France. It was the best month I’ve ever had performing music. This tour had some of the most hectic, stressful and joyful times. It was absolutely nuts how much we packed in!
The Leipzig show was no exception. We arrived in Leipzig from Munich, a mere 4 or 5 hours before we were due to play. We stopped by our apartment, ordered food in a Chinese restaurant (with an embarrassingly low level of German) and then threw on our gig clothes to sound check.
The people there were a delight – we laughed and drank with them til the early hours…
If there’s anyone reading from central Europe, just know how much we really enjoyed your company at these gigs – I really hope to come back soon.
Photo credit: Brendan Clayton
2018 – Off The Road Bar, Hull
Here’s a photo in Hull from my time touring with Gavin Osborn.
The paparazzi caught us unaware, hence this candid shot!
It perfectly surmises the way that this tour was a laugh and a riot from start to finish.
Coming straight off the back of my month in Europe, I decided to book a follow-up UK tour. Who’s mad idea was that? (Mine…)
Since one of us was from the North and one from the South, we managed to network our way across 14 brilliant UK shows. I performed in Norwich, Cambridge, Bristol and Exeter for the very first time in front of packed crowds. I can only thank Gavin for this wonderful honour and brilliant camaraderie.
2019 – Galway, Ireland
Finally, here’s Joel Gardner and I enjoying some downtime in Galway, Ireland last year. I used to play banjo a long time ago, but not anymore.
Our tour of the Emerald Isle was a beautiful trip through both Ireland and Northern Ireland. We found the venues and audiences at every stop to be some of the most welcoming, generous and lively company we’ve ever had the joy to spend time with.
It was particularly great to share a Guinness or a Whiskey in some of the more rural pubs, for example, in Letterkenny where the Brexit jokes kept on coming long into the night!…
It’s been so therapeutic to share these memories in the absence of a real tour. I hope things get back to normal before too long.
If you’d like to show support during these hard times for musicians (particularly me), then my shop is always open. You could even get a live DVD to play in your living room, like you’re really at the gig!
Broader support for venues and musicians can be found on this page post.
Stay safe everyone and all the best