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Newcastle Show, Saturday Night

I was due to play at Ignition Festival in Newcastle on Saturday. As most people have now heard, the festival has been cancelled. I have neither the knowledge nor the desire to get involved in arguments as to why; the guys at the festival were cool with me all through and are bitterly disappointed that it’s not happening, that’s all I know for sure. Whatever the case, that show isn’t going ahead.

Naturally, me being me, I’ve been trying to sort out a replacement show for tomorrow in Newcastle. We now, finally, have a plan.

We (the Sleeping Souls and I) will be playing at the Newcastle O2 Academy tomorrow night. Doors will be at 7pm, and the show will run until 10.30. If you have an Ignition Festival ticket, entry will be free. Otherwise entry will be £10, tickets on the door. The venue is smaller than the festival, so it’ll be first come, first served. The age limit is 14+.

We’ve spent the last 24 hours going through a million permutations, trying to cover every aspect (age restrictions, time, location, venue size, ticket holders etc.) and this is, as far as anyone can tell, the best option. I’d like to say a special thanks to Paul and his staff at the Academy, Joanna (my booking agent) and Graham (my tour manager) for working their arses off to pull this together. I know it doesn’t replace an outdoor festival, but I think it’s a great effort for the last minute!

Incidentally, according to the Ignition Festival website, they will be refunding tickets, so keep hold of yours whether you can make it to the show or not, hopefully you’ll get your money back. See you all tomorrow night.

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If Ever I Stray

The new video is here! Enjoy, spread the word…

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Indian Summer

My mid-summer break is over, and I couldn’t be more stoked about it. Today I’m heading to Oxford to meet up with the Sleeping Souls to rehearse some special goodies for the Cambridge Folk Festival. I can’t wait to see their lovely faces again, and start rocking.

Some single news for you! August 29th this year will see the release of If Ever I Stray as the next single from England Keep My Bones. It’ll be out digitally with a brand new, exclusive song, Sailor’s Boots, as the b-side (for the purists out there, yes, that is the song that used to be called Rod Stewart). The video will be premiering online on Friday, and you should be hearing it on a radio station or at a festival near you pretty soon.

Next up, a new show for you. As a warm-up for the mighty Reading & Leeds festivals, the band and I will be playing a headline show at The Roadmender in Northampton on August 25th. Tickets are onsale now.

Speaking of shows, people of Europe, fear not. There are a whole load more European shows in many countries in December which I will be announcing sometime next week. Hold tight, I haven’t forgotten about you!

Next up, if you’re feeling kindly, you can vote for me (in pretty much every category except for “best female”, which should, of course, go to Laura Marling) in this year’s Q Awards. Thanks in advance.

Finally, here’s the latest in my series of YouTube language car-crashes. This week, to celebrate my forthcoming show at Mannifest on the Isle Of Man, I’m speaking Manx!

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Down on the Time

After the glorious chaos of Latvia’s Fonofest, I am in the midst of my mid-summer lull. Last weekend was my only free weekend this year, pretty much, so as tempting as it was to go hang out with friends at the wonderful 2000 Trees Festival, I decided to lie low. It feels a little strange having more than a week off shows, but I have been busy with various bits and bobs – writing songs, artwork for singles and tours, planning assaults on new parts of the world, and shooting a video (for “If Ever I Stray”) that involved two days of sitting on a chair in the North Sea, which was about as much fun as it sounds.

So today is just a few odds and sods that have been collecting in my inbox that I wanted to share with the world. First of all, a couple of interviews I did recently – there’s a good one here, and one here that includes some songs (even one in French!). Also, director James Henry recently posted up the (slightly) longer version of his short film about me, “The Road“. You can watch it right here.

Next up… Jenny Hardcore, the photographer who took the ace Victoriana band photos in the sleeve to the new album (and in fact the live shot in the sleeve for Love Ire & Song), is generally great, and wanted me to let you know more about her work. You can check out her site, her blog, and indeed her shop, at those links.

Finally… My old pal Jay, a.k.a. Beans On Toast, has made a little road film about his recent tour of the UK. Aside from amply demonstrating why I love the man and his music, it also made me wistfully nostalgic for, well, 2006 basically, when I was doing tours of a similar kind. Watch and enjoy.

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Au Revoir Social D

We have successfully negotiated the living hell that is driving a van in Paris and arrived at Le Trianon, which is a lovely venue. Tonight is to be our last night with Social Distortion in Europe, on top of the American dates that we did together last year. This, then, seems as good a time as every to say that it’s been an absolute blast, the guys in Social D and their crew have been as friendly as any band I’ve ever toured with, and we’re eternally grateful for the opportunity to play to their crowds and make new friends.

With this in mind, here’s a link to something awesome I did while we were in Berlin. I had the opportunity to interview Mike Ness for a German TV show, and the results are here (part 1, part 2). It doesn’t really come across in the footage but I was pretty nervous, but as ever, Mike was a gentleman. Enjoy.

Speaking of interacting with my peers, I finally found a clip of my time with the Weakerthans, which you can see here.

Finally, today is the start (in the UK) of National Transplant Week, which is a drive to increase the number of people registering for organ donation. It’s something that I think is a great cause and well worth supporting, so go check it out.

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Coping With The Hagen

We had a day off yesterday. The initial plan was to leave Hamburg after the final night with Social D there and drive to Lubeck, a small German city en route to our next tour stop, Copenhagen. However, on the last day in Hamburg I found out that the Weakerthans were playing in town the following night, so I hastily hatched a plot to hang around. In the event I spent the afternoon making friends with the guys in the band, and they even asked me to come play “Pamphleteer” onstage with them, which I duly did (and will post footage of if anyone has any?).

The guys were great and I had a fun night. In all honesty I was kind of holding it together; they are one of my all-time favourite bands and it was an enormous honour and privilege for me to be able to meet and play with them. It’s also spurred me to re-listen to their entire back catalogue (again). I’d advise you to check them out if you’re unfamiliar with their work. Quite an evening.

Now we’re in Copenhagen, which is great, but it’s our second last night with Social D, which is less great, and I have a tour cold coming on, which is fucking annoying. But I have some good tour-related news to impart as well, so I’ll soldier on.

The show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York on September 21st has now sold out. This is excellent news, and as it’s the first show to go, we’ve added another show at the Bowery on November 3rd (tickets here). We’ve also managed to add a show in Gainesville FL at the Double Down on September 28th (tickets here). Those are the last additions for the tour, and a number of the other shows are selling fast as well, so get your tickets while you can.

On a similar note, the UK tour is continuing to sell in a fashion I can only describe as bonkers (the Manchester show is nearly sold out now, and all the others are at least half gone). We were hoping they’d go by the time of the tour itself, not four months up front! You guys are crazy, haha. We have some more plans in the pipeline for the UK as a result.

Finally, two little bits of press news. Firstly, I’ll be playing a song live on BBC2’s The Review Show on July 8th at 11.45pm, so tune in for that one. And this month’s Spin Magazine have been saying nice things about me, so check that out.

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UK Tour Supports

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From The Shores Of The Bodensee

Spending more time driving around the slightly more distant parts of central Europe is a joy. It always puts me in a reflective mood. I’m reading (yet another) history book about the 1930’s right now, and wandering along the edge of the Bodensee in Lindau, Germany, looking out at the mountains on the far shore in Austria (or maybe Switzerland?) gets my mind racing thinking about history, politics and geography. I am so very rock’n’roll.

The shows in Austria were great, as was hanging out with my friend Mark McCabe – a songwriter everyone should investigate, if you haven’t already. Lindau tonight, thence to Amsterdam to meet up with the Social Distortion boys. I’m also pleased to announce that I’ve been confirmed for the Friday 19th August at this year’s Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium.

Talking of shows, the tours later this year in North America and the UK are selling at a rate that I can best describe as “alarming”. We’re going to be posting some Sold Out notices pretty soon, so if you want to come to a show now might be the time to get some tickets. We are also on the verge of announcing a lot more headline shows for mainland Europe and Ireland for the second half of the year, so hold out for those too.

Now a couple of goodies. First up, I did a session for Wolfgang’s Vault in San Francisco recently, which you can see right here. And finally, here’s the videos of the songs I did for Mike Davies’ BBC Radio 1 session at Download recently. Enjoy.

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UK Tour Tickets

The road rolls ever onwards, keeping me, as Townes Van Zandt noted, “free and clean” (well, not often all that clean, but I have just had a bath). Anyways. The UK tour dates for the end of the year are basically out in the open now, here they are again. The tickets go on pre-sale tomorrow morning (Thursday) at 9.30am sharp!

  • 23rd November – Newport Centre, Wales (tickets)
  • 24th November – Birmingham O2 Academy (tickets)
  • 25th November – Glasgow Barrowlands (tickets)
  • 26th November – Manchester O2 Apollo (tickets)
  • 27th November – London Hammersmith HMV Apollo (tickets)

These are all full band shows, and we have one hell of a support bill lined up – we’re still dotting i’s and crossing t’s on that one, so more info will be coming later. Also, I know it’s not every single town in the whole of the UK, sorry if this doesn’t come as close as some people would like, but I think I’ve toured the UK more than pretty much anyone else lately and will continue to do so, so don’t despair! Also, we have a bunch of headline dates for Ireland (both north and south) and for mainland Europe coming soon too.

OK, set your alarm clocks for the morning, and get ready to get you some tickets!

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The Skin Of My Teeth

Some odds and sods to round off the end of a totally crazy week. As well as gigging in Berlin, and now driving 14 hours to Interlaken for a festival, and the small matter of having the album released (now in Australia and New Zealand too!). Sleep has not been a top priority, but things have been pretty awesome nonetheless.

As many people will know, the album entered the UK album charts at number 6. As is the way with these things, it has slipped down over the next few days and is currently at number 10. At the same time, we’ve been having a technical glitch over at iTunes (really guys, this week of all fucking weeks?) which has stopped some people getting their copy there. We’re working as hard as we can to fix this today. In general, as with my previous post on the subject, it’d be amazing to finish up in the top 10, so if you’re planning on getting it in general and haven’t yet, today or tomorrow would be a good time!

Also, just for the record, apologies to some people who had delayed delivery through third-party retailer’s preorders (Amazon etc.) – I understand that it’s frustrating, but Xtra Mile and I did everything at our end to get things together in good time, and I can’t really take responsibility for their fuck-ups (or for Royal Mail for that matter). Hope you understand.

Some show news. The gig in Vienna next week is now sold out, which is exciting. We’re confirmed to appear at this year’s Lowlands Festival in Holland on August 21st. And this coming Monday June 13th I’ll be signing instore at Truck Records in Cowley, Oxford, at 6pm.

Finally, my good buddy Greg Nolan was recently on the road with me in the UK taking some photos. His awesome backstage catalogue can be viewed right here – check it out. Also, for those of you with an iPad, I recently contributed to a documentary about T S Eliot’s The Wasteland (made by Faber & Faber), which has just been released. I don’t have a link right now, alas, but a quick search might find it.

Right, time to go play a set and then have a hardcore overload watching Sick Of It All, Converge, Comeback Kid and Boysetsfire!

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