Well it's been a while because I came back from my Northern Tour and went straight back into the day job which was absolutely exhausting! Apologies to anyone who came to the Gardens last week and had to deal with me - I'm sure I must've appeared in a daze - although something happened at work yesterday that jolted me back into my music-mind and reminded me to write this blog so I shall open with it :-)
There I was stood at my window, greeting a gentleman and two ladies and giving them the long schpeel about admission prices and gift aid when a lady interrupts, "do I know you?" Immediately puzzled I Hugh Grant, "err ... err... no?" "Are you a singer?" They blurt out. An easy question, I boom, "Yes! Yes I am," "that's it, I didn't recognise you at first, well you wouldn't remember us, we're the audience..." she trails off as I blush and get a star-struck equivalency of someone being slightly star-struck. I giggle like a twit as they walk away and I greet the following customer with an airy, glazed over expression on my face. What a dope! This has happened before but not for a long long time and that was at karaoke so this time it was out of context and kind of made my day, being all unexpected and all :) So thank you whoever you guys were! That made Monday a lot easier! I'd better get on now with telling you about the tour!
Now I did keep a diary the entire time I was away but obviously I'm going to bore you to death if I write all of it here so I'm going to try and paraphrase and cover the main points. First up, Ireby Festival. This was the first gig of the tour and it was in a quaint little church with a flat ceiling, I really enjoyed singing in there as I could just let my vocals soar - I was singing by the altar where the ceiling hadn't been lowered - I was later told, "it sounded lovely but I couldn't hear what you were singing." The first of many brilliant quotes from the juggler who we ended up staying with when we returned to Cumbria and who also taught us the basics of juggling. I might have a new party trick to open with...
We then headed on over to Mae's Tea Rooms and despite a lack of bus, and thus, audience the owner was very welcoming and gave us lunch on the house which didn't 'alf make the pennies go further. Thank you again! We had a random walk in the beautiful sunshine in the shadow of Skiddaw (highest peak in England I'm told) in Bassenthwaite and made our way down a stony path, past lambs and sheep to a chapel on the edge of Bassenthwaite Lake (the only 'lake' in the lake district I'm told). Stunning scenery and I drop to the floor in the graveyard to write a new song... as you do. Ben thought I'd lost it. I finished the song in the chapel and performed it about four times after, still can't quite pronounce Bassenthwaite though so the intro to the song remains quite embarrassing!
Edinburgh next, ah Scotland. You know there's something about Scotland, there really is. It's like coming home and we were so sad to leave! Such a modern, swish city with a dirty great terrifying structure in the centre called the Scott monument that honestly looked like it was screaming at me! No matter where we went in the centre you could see it, like some piercing structure summoning the devil, I was honestly very freaked out by it but eventually we decided it was black from pollution and maybe wasn't evil after all? ...Ben made me climb it... I had trouble just approaching it but he was right to do so 'cause the view from the top was spectacular, even if it was up 297 steps... I had a great time at the Wee Folk Club, and an even better time at Edinburgh Folk Club. Met a lovely Irishman who sang a song about mistaking a girl for a swan and shooting her dead - as Mr Purser says, it ain't folk unless someone's dead at the end.
Then we headed back to Carlisle for BBC Radio Cumbria first where I proudly played my Bassenthwaite ode, 'Laid down' and I must say it went down really well. After an uncomfortable trip to the castle (those dungeons were awful) and an education at Hadrian's Wall (turn's out it doesn't divide England and Scotland anymore, so embarrassed) I finished up at the Carlisle Folk & Blues club. Best gig so far. One thing that stood out the most on this tour was that it was the first time I've had audience participation and I can now understand why Dave Gahan goes nuts on stage when we all sing back the lyrics. The feeling is so warming and humbling, it's a cloaked connection to make as I can't see faces on stage, just glistening shadows. Magic.
Well I still managed to waffle on a bit but at least I condensed my eighteen-page saga into a couple paragraphs for you! There's still more to update you on but I reckon I'd better give you a break for a bit and update you after BAAM fest. Thanks for reading/loving/listening as always!