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.

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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!

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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.

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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…)

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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.

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Snow in Texas

Hello from the little town of Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Casey (my tour manager) and I survived the mammoth 25-hour drive from Santa Barbara to Austin TX in one piece, complete with rain in the desert, 3D leopard pictures (don’t ask) and a brief sojourn at Jim Ward’s house, to meet a tired band at the airport. An evening of settling in and fighting their jetlag was followed by an awesome headline show at Emos. The next day we met up with Flogging Molly and Architects in Dallas, and had great shows there and in Houston, making a lot of new friends along the way. Today we drove here from Houston, which took twice as long as it should have done because we hit a torrential blizzard. I’d been looking forward to sending smarmy emails back to my freezing countrymen about the balmy Texan weather. That’ll show me. Tomorrow, Memphis, and we’re hoping the snow isn’t going to stop us from visiting Graceland en route.

Lots of big announcements about this, that and the other brewing at the moment, but for now, try this one on for size. On Friday 16th July I’ll be headlining at 2000 Trees Festival. I’m really happy about this, partly because the people running the show are good friends, partly because of the fiasco last year (no repeat I promise), but mainly because it’s my favourite smaller festival and just a great time all round. The line-up for my day is also going to be awesome, though I don’t think I’m allowed to issue details just yet. Tickets are onsale now. It’s going to be a good summer.

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Selling Out For Fun And Profit

Ah California. Some deep-rooted post-colonial grudge makes me loathe to admit it, but this really is an idyllic part of the world. To have breakfast on the edge of the beach in the sunshine in February (in the northern hemisphere to boot) is a luxury. So it’s nice to spend a few days here, not least considering I was in Dalston the other day, in the post-snow sludge. Contrasts, contrasts.

I’ve been running around doing press, sorting out tour logistics, shooting a new video (for Isabel, since you ask, which will be the next single, in March), that kind of thing. The video shoot ended up with me ankle-deep in the sea in pitch darkness singing into a flashlight. Which was interesting. The show last night at Hotel Cafe was a blast as well. Tonight is Riverside. Looking forward to it.

News on the DVD. The good folks at Xtra Mile Recordings are currently running a pre-order offer on it that will get the DVD to your door 2 weeks before the official release date. More information can be found here. There are also a very limited number of the print posters from Union Chapel for sale as well. Check it out.

Lastly, for today, the news that the London Roundhouse show (March 24th) has now officially sold out. Most of the rest of the UK tour looks set to follow suite in the next few weeks. I’m kind of running out of hyperbole when it comes to playing bigger shows than I ever expected to play, but at the same time I don’t want to come across as complacent about the madness of it all. So let’s just say “gosh”. See you there.

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DVD News

The wonders of modern technology, eh? I’m sat in a (very uncomfortable, actually) seat on train snaking its way along the shores of Lake Ontario in the snow, which is pretty cool. The lake is almost unimaginably huge. I’m on my way to Montreal for one night, and thence to Los Angeles for fun, games and decadence (I’d imagine). Toronto was a blast, four very cool shows in total, lots of new friends made, too much Jagermeister drunk. To paraphrase Radiohead, I do it to myself, I do, and it really hurts when I do too much. Ah well.

I’m also going to take this moment for a quick shout-out to my friend Michael, with whom I’ve been staying. Michael is a friend of a tenuous friend, but he’s consistently put me up and looked after me in Toronto and is an all round diamond geezer. So, thanks and kudos to him. But more to the point, the man is representative right now of all the people who put me up around the world. They are many, they are good people, and they know who they are, but they enable me to do what I do with my sanity in tact. They puncture my fashionable haze of misanthropy with their warmth and generosity. So, thanks guys.

To business! First of all, my very good friends Look Mexico have a new album coming, and it features yours truly guesting on a song, which was an honour – they fucking rule. It’s also out as a 7 inch, and you can find out more / preorder the thing right here. Comes highly recommended.

Finally, DVD news! It’s been a few years since we did the first DVD, and it feels like the time is ripe for another. So, we’ve been collecting material in the last few months, and I’m pleased to say that Take To The Road will be released in March. Full details of the release can be found in next month’s Rock Sound magazine. Just to whet your appetites a little more, here’s a taster…

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Extra Shows

I’m at home in Winchester right now, but I’m surrounded by the weird aftermath of packing – everything was chaos an hour ago or so, but now it’s all been condensed into two bags and a guitar. I’m leaving here for 4 months today, and I’m pretty sure I have everything. I mean, I have some practice at this now, right? Anyways. I’m sure I’ll forget something crucial, but such is life.

I’ve got some big news coming for Monday, but for today, here’s a heads up about a few extra shows I’ve been adding to tours here and there.

  • 24th February @ Asbury Lanes, Asbury, NJ, USA. This is a full band headline show, with The Architects and Dave Hause (from the Loved Ones). Should be awesome. Tickets here.
  • 7th March @ Mac’s Bar, Lansing, MI, USA. Another full band headliner. Tickets here.
  • 8th April @ La Peniche Du Pianiste, Lille, France. Headline full band show, an addition to the European tour. Ticket link coming soon.

Speaking of the European Tour, I’m pleased to say that the good folks in Crazy Arm will be coming with us, which is good news for you, Europe.

Right, to the airport.

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Long Roads

Just a quick stop-off update about shows selling out or getting close to, which is my favourite kind of quick stop-off update, if someone were to force me to choose. Firstly, the show in Los Angeles on 2nd February at Hotel Cafe has sold out of advance tickets. Apparently there will be a handful available on the door if you get down early, but there’s no further way of reserving them. While this is a shame for some, it makes me want to say “Hell Yeah!” and punch my fist in the air like the guy at the end of the Breakfast Club.

In similar news, I remain slightly gob-smacked to report that the London Roundhouse show on 24th March essentially sold out on Friday. As it goes the powers that be have decided to release a further 350 ish tickets, but you can now only purchase them direct from the venue, by following this link. Once they’re gone, that’s it. It’s already the biggest show I’ve booked. Scary times. Incidentally, while London is leading the way, the rest of the shows for the UK tour are all doing swift business as well, so you might want to get your tickets sooner rather than later, if you’re, y’know, currently playing the waiting game or whatever.

Finally, just a quick aside about postcards from the last UK tour. A number of people have got in touch with me to say they never received the cards. Basically, we definitely posted all the cards people bought the next day. The problem, I suspect, was that we did this in the middle of the postal strike last year. Some people have gone on to say they’ve received them recently (in what can only be described as a damning verdict on our postal service), so I guess there is hope, but if there are people who don’t ever see them, well, I want to apologize. Sorry people.

Is this the best thing on the net right now? Probably. I’m going to keep practicing for Kingston and packing for the other side of the Atlantic.

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