I’m sitting in a hotel at Stansted Airport waiting to fly home with a headful of experiences and memories from my first solo tour in the England after leaving Oysterband. I landed here just over two weeks ago, and nine regular shows, four house concerts, and two video shoots later, I don’t feel at all tired, just enthused about how it all went.
Touring England is of course, special to me, to see the old country and catch up with a lot of old friends. And then there are all the new friends I made too. One of the big differences nowadays is that I stay in people’s houses a lot and have breakfast with a different person every day, so many good conversations. Then I slung my bags back into the hire car each day and set off each day across the beautiful English (and Welsh, on my day off) countryside.
There are so many people to thank, but I think you know who you are. I have managed so far to exist and tour thanks to the help and goodwill of a lot of friends. I just hope I don’t use up all that goodwill, but believe me, I am grateful.
What were the high points? Well, every day really. The wonderful, intense atmosphere of the house concerts, being received so warmly for the first time in some of the traditional folk venues, coming back to places I have been before and meeting new people, having a good show in London (never an easy thing), playing in two rooms that were five centuries old, seeing the bluebell woods, the rolling green hills, the stone churches, and all the time feeling more and more at ease with what I am doing and the decision I made to do it.
There is a tinge of sadness now, or rather nostalgia. Since I moved to Sweden in 2000, I have visited England over 20 times every year, now I probably won’t be back until May 2014. It will be the longest I have ever been out of the country.
The Future, Recording, Touring.
I have plenty to do. First the boring job, a year of accounts to write up, then the nice job, getting my studio ready to record. I have just about all the songs for a new album written already, but it won’t be completed until the end of the year. This summer I am determined to enjoy the weather in Sweden and spend more time with my family. That is why you won’t see me at any festivals, just a couple in Sweden. In September I will tour Belgium, Holland and Western Germany, and November in Sweden. This leaves October to do the bulk of the album recording.
I also have a new guitar to break in, I splashed out on a nice Martin D-28, a real old school classic, but a new one. They have the big punchy sound I am looking for on the new album. In time honoured fashion I bought it mail order. This may seem crazy, but they have very good quality control and if I don’t like it I can send it back. My friend Brett Sparks of The Handsome Family told me once that Martins used to be the guitar in the Sears and Roebuck catalogue and were delivered all over the States by stagecoach, that’s why they developed the small models. Mine is a big one though, it does not look the least flash, just a plain old guitar.
I have a few of the new songs in the bag now and once they are tidied up I will put at least one out very soon. Hopefully this will go some way to making up for the long wait for the album.
Have a wonderful summer everybody….I’ll be back.