The Internationale

Back in Groningen again. This is a great town – beautiful European streets, made better by some especially clement weather, chilled out Dutch atmosphere, a cool venue that I’ve visited before… Tour is sweet. Germany was, as ever, a total blast. Brussels, Eindhoven and Utrecht were all too kind. This run is coming to a close pretty soon, but the road rolls ever onwards (towards the sunshine of the West Coast of the USA, so no complaints!). Incidentally, the San Francisco and Vancouver shows are selling tickets like crazy, so if you want to come along I’d advise getting them sooner rather than later.

Speaking of the USA, I am very pleased to confirm that I will be appearing (solo) at this year’s Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, TN, on Thursday June 10th 2010. I’m new to US festivals, so this is exciting for me.

Finally, to round off an update replete with internationalism, I’m very excited to announce that I will be playing a show at Rock School in Hong Kong on May 7th. After that I have a string of shows in Mainland China. This is really virgin territory for me, and I’m simultaneously expectant, intrigued and a little nervous. I’ll be keeping a full tour diary for the trip.

Click here to comment

3 Shots Of Awesomeness

Hello all, I’m in Hamburg, the weather is terrible but I’m in a good mood. I’ll be brief, and keep this down to three bullet-points of greatness!

1. I can confirm I’ll be playing the NME / Radio 1 Stage at this year’s Reading & Leeds Festivals!

2. I can confirm I’ll be playing at this year’s Hurricane & Southside Festivals, in Germany!

3. In It For The Tank, my side project with roadie Barbs, have finally got their shit together for a new song. Here, at last, it is!

Click here to comment

Neutral Ground

I write from a dressing room in Zurich, Switzerland, which means, logically speaking, that the UK tour is done (or at least if it isn’t, I need to get to the airport, and fast… uh, what?). It was the biggest run of headline shows I’ve ever done, and it was an amazing experience. We took our own light-show with us, which Nigel had been working on for ages, and it was spectacular. The shows were awesome, in particular the Roundhouse, a night I won’t forget. So, a big thanks to everyone – the band, the crew (especially Jamie, Sad, Shaun and Johnny for working their arses off), Chuck Ragan and Crazy Arm, and of course, all of you lot. We’re putting the finishing touches to another UK run in December, and should be getting the whole thing announced as soon as possible.

Now we’re in Europe, which I’m looking forward to, if the tour here last December is anything to go by. More crazy nights in Germany? Count me in. After that we hit the West Coast of the USA for shows in San Francisco, Vancouver, and Coachella Festival, before I fly out to Australia for the Revival Tour. Thence I head to New Zealand for the first time, and onwards to Hong Kong and China for some really far-out shows. Finally, a short run in Ireland, and then it’s festival season. Can you tell I’m a workaholic?

Speaking of festivals, I’m very, very pleased to say I can publicly confirm that I’ll be playing at Latitude Festival on July 17th. I played the first year there, back in 2006, but this time I’m returning for a slot on the main stage, with my full band. See you there.

That show will, of course, be the day after my headline slot at 2000 Trees Festival. Many people know that it’s a show I have a lot of good history with, so naturally I’m looking forward to it. I’m also very pleased with the line-up this year (the guys at the fest let me have some input into it, which was nice). We’ve got Crazy Arm, Jim Lockey, The Dawn Chorus, Chris T-T, The Tailors and many more – so basically I’m going to be wandering around with a huge grin on my face all day. See you there!

Click here to comment

Home Sweet Home

Well, I’m back in the UK, Manchester to be precise. The end of the Flogging Molly tour was fucking great, and I’d like to take this opportunity to send another big hug and a kiss to everyone in Molly and their crew, and The Architects. Friends for life, good times were had by all.

The morning after the Chicago show I went to the airport and flew overnight to Manchester, whence I got a train up to Newcastle. I arrived in the toon feeling like a bit of a weirdo, what with the time difference and the crap white-wine-and-valium sleeping on the plane. We have full production for this tour (lights and PA) so I arrived to a maelstrom of activity, new crew members, lights and speakers everywhere. It was all a bit hectic, and the first night was a lot of fun but by the end I was completely and utterly knackered. I slept long and hard on the bus, and the Edinburgh show was just plain awesome, from where I was standing. We’re trying out a slightly different setlist for this tour, and we have our light-show that Nigel designed, so it’s a different experience for me. It’s also great having Chuck, Digger and Johnny along, and the Crazy Arm boys.

Tonight’s show is going to be the biggest headliner of my career to date, and I’m really excited about it. It’s almost a shame that this tour is so short, it’s a real pleasure to be back on home turf again. As I spend more and more of my life on the move, I have less and less of a real home. To balance that, I’m starting to feel like England as a whole is my home, and when I’m here I feel relaxed. So, hey everyone, see you at a show sometime in the next week or so.

Click here to comment

Isabel Video / T In The Park

I have, you’ll be ecstatic to hear, just about recovered from my lurgy. Still a little creaky on the voice, but I can feel that I’m pretty much over the worst of it. Apologies again to the Motor City, I will be back when I can.

Today I am pleased to announce that, on Sunday 11th July, I will be playing at T In The Park festival in Scotland. This is one I haven’t done yet, and that I had to pull last year because of the whole Offspring debacle, so it’s great to have it in the diary again. See you there!

Also, we finally have the video for “Isabel” finished and ready to go. The single is released in the UK on April 12th.


Click here to comment

Detroit Apology

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fucking fuck, fuck (have I broken your spam filter yet?) fuck. If there’s one thing in this universe I fucking hate, that drives me to utter fucking despair, it’s canceling shows. Alas, after a few days of feeling under the weather, last night’s show in Cleveland was a really painful strain on me and my voice. I woke up this morning not feeling much better, and it’s been decided that we’re going to pull tonight’s show at The Filmore in Detroit.

I want to apologize to everyone who had tickets to see me play, and to Flogging Molly and The Architects. I fucking suck. I think I have some kind of viral infection. Hopefully this way I can keep all the other shows in the diary on the books. I’ll do my best to book a make-up show in Detroit over the summer. Sorry.

Click here to comment

Blog Fever

The psychosis of being ill is starting to do my head in, to the extent that I’m blogging again today, ye gods. Actually, I’m not really feverish any more, it just feels like I have a fucking Nazi in my throat. No fun, when you’re on tour. To compensate, tonight is the big night: “Hello Cleveland!” It’s a big moment in any young boy’s life.

News about singles! The video for “Isabel” is done and dusted, and will be premiering on Monday over at Paste Magazine. I’ll post the direct link when I have it. The song has also been chosen to be XFM‘s Single Of The Week next week. This is great in and of itself, but if you guys felt minded to email or text the station and let them know how appreciative you are, that always goes down a storm. Many thanks.

More international shows! I’m pleased as punch to say that I’ll be appearing at the Calgary Folk Festival this year, which runs July 22nd-25th. More details soon. And on my way home from Australia, it only seemed fair to put in some shows in New Zealand – 4th May in Auckland, 5th May in Wellington. Another country to add to my list, I’m excited about coming over. There are also a bunch more festival dates for the summer to be announced soon, all over the world, so watch this space.

Finally, for the shoppers among you, we’ve been streamlining my online store. You can check it here: Happy shopping. Oh, and my friends Paul and Sophia just had their second kid, Dmitri, today. Congratulations guys!

Click here to comment

Pittsburgh Sickbay

Ah, being ill on tour, my favourite fucking thing in the world. I’m in Pittsburgh right now, played an awesome house show last night, but it seems like I’ve got a fever of some kind. I guess the upside is that crazy dreams and feverish imaginings have helped me break through some logjams on lyrics for new songs, haha. Ah well. Today we hit Ohio. Tomorrow I get to say “Hello Cleveland” with a straight face to a couple of thousand people. Sweet.

A great bit of news for you. I can confirm that I will be headlining Wood Festival this year, on Sunday 23rd May. It’s a great little folk festival, run by the people behind Truck. You can get tickets here. It;ll be a solo show. This is my first ever festival headline appearance, and I’m pleased as punch. See you there.

Click here to comment

I Am Tarrant, Hear Me Roar

Good evening from the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, USA. Frank is out front selling merch and has made the mistake of leaving his laptop open in our backstage room. Naturally I have taken the opportunity to seize control of his online world. Think of the possibilities… And yet I can’t quite bring myself to indulge the orgy of comedic defamation that such an occasion seems to require. I must be getting old.

We’re 18 shows into our US tour with Flogging Molly and The Architects, and having had only one day off and average drives of 6 hours between shows, we’re starting to feel the burn. The last week has seen some great gigs though. We’ve played to over 10,000 people, did a crazy gig in a bowling alley (thank you Asbury Lanes), driven through 2 snow storms, played next to an alligator farm in South Carolina, visited Baltimore (we’re all big fans of The Wire), and got ill and then well again.

The big news this week is that we’ve announced a UK headline show at the Brixton Academy in London on 12th December, 2010 (you can get tickets here). It will be Frank’s biggest headline show to date and feels like it will mark real milestone – kind of nuts huh!

The London and Bristol shows on the UK tour starting next month have now sold out. Most of the other shows aren’t too far behind, so if you want to come along and witness my excellent bass playing and you haven’t got a ticket yet then go here. Frank and the rest of the band are OK too. I only have to carry them on a handful of the songs these days…

Tarrant (Frank’s bass player, naturally…)

Click here to comment

Singing Drunken Lullabies

Good morning from North Carolina. I’m the first to wake (as usual) in our shared motel room, so I’m getting some work done early. The Flogging Molly tour is going swimmingly, we’re making lots of new friends, the FM guys are great (and one hell of a live band), and we love the Architects boys as well. We’re heading north up the coast right now, but thankfully the apocalyptic snow storms seem to be receding before us. Tonight we hit Myrtle Beach, and tomorrow we have another headliner in Richmond, VA. Good times.

I’ve just confirmed and announced a free instore show in New York City on March 2nd at 5pm sharp in Generation Records, before the show at the Hammerstein with Molly. Be there or be square.

A non-news-related musing, while I’m here (hey, this is a blog after all). Being on the Flogging Molly tour, we’re in the midst of an Irish, or maybe Irish American, or even more broadly Celtic American, carnival of sorts. It’s a lot of fun – the melodies, themes, and commitment to drinking that come with Irish culture and traditions are a hell of a blast, and I’ve been raising my Jameson at the merch stand every night shouting “And we’ll never see the likes of you again!”. But here’s a thought for you. I’m English, and a small but vocal minority of people I speak to at the shows say things like: “I liked your set, even though you’re English.” Or: “Are you sure you’re not Irish? Your music sounds Irish.”

It’s not a massive deal, but I’m not Irish, and, actually, my music sounds pretty English, I think. Case in point: the song “Sons Of Liberty” is based around a traditional English melody. Now, because of the culture of rebelliousness that brings Irish music and punk together so well, people are less inclined to know about English traditional music at these shows; which is fine, there’s no reason they should know about it. But if you’re unversed in the complexities of something, don’t hold forth on it. And to address the first point, personally, I think that any kind of collectivist blanket labeling of individuals, by race, gender, class or whatever, is bullshit. Or to put it another way, I’m bored of lazy soft-liberal tolerance of some kinds of racism (anti-English), while the self-same people shout loud to condemn other kinds (anti-Irish). Even putting aside the fact that the war finished almost 90 years ago, and the fact that it has nothing to do with me personally, it’s still a (mild) form of racism.

End rant. Like I say, I’m having a blast at these shows, Flogging Molly and their crowds are the best, and tonight I shall be an Englishman drinking Guinness.

Click here to comment