A quick update from a sleeping bag on a sofa in Leeds. The last few shows have been great, with last night at the Fenton being a particular highlight, mainly because of the awesome midnight carpark show. More on that (with photos) another time. News though on Sheffield – the Casbah has been changing hands recently and they’ve fucked off all the gigs going on, so the show has been cancelled. Many apologies to anyone planning on coming down, and I’ll do my best to find a replacement show in Sheffield asap.

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Roaming roaming roaming

I’m in London at the moment, just dropped off some new recordings with XtraMile for the 7″ with Reuben (due in January innit), and now attempting to catch up with the world via the internet. Tonight I hit Guildford, which should be fun, not least as I’m playing with the wonderful Tanaou again.

Just a thought I had whilst perusing the forums… about folk music. One of the things that attracts me to it as a genre is the same thing that attracts me to punk rock – the honesty. It’s all about communication, between members of the same peer group. I like the fact that this implies less of a boundary between performer and audience (as in punk / HC). It’s more about dialogue, about shared experiences and community. Of course there’s a lot of shit, pretentious, aloof folk music out there, but the same can be said of punk in spades and that doesn’t change its central ethos. The music I’m making now is an attempt at an honest portrayal of where I am right now and the things that bother me, in the hope that other people can empathize and maybe get something out of my songs. Wow, that was a pretty high-falutin’ (pretentious) sentence. Anyways, that’s all I wanted to add on the subject. Lesson over.

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Home, away, demos, freedom

My parents’ house in Winchester currently serves as my HQ – it’s where most of my stuff is, where I do my washing, the place where I occasionally sleep in the same place for more than one night in a row. That’s where I am right now, but today is the last day I’m going to be here for quite some time. I’m off for a recording session in London this weekend (more on the results of that later) followed by a few weeks gigging around the UK. What this means from a practical point of view is that any orders that come through for demos will get dealt with, but it might take a little longer than usual, so please bear with me. Also, on the subject of demos, if you ordered one and it hasn’t arrived for (say) 10 days, or was faulty, please let me know so I can sort it out rather than just calling me a cunt straight away. That’d be nice.

As well as watching with dismay as myspace makes inroads into my time, I’ve been watching the news with interest recently. It was with great relief yesterday that I saw the Terrorism Bill defeated in the Commons. All the arguments put forward by the police for 90 days (90 fucking days! 3 months!!) imprisonment without charge were total non-sequiturs, and essentially revolved around the argument that it’d be nicer to start an investigation after you’ve locked someone up rather than before. The essential problem here is the role of the police. They are (in theory) meant to be servants to, rather than masters of, our liberty, something they seem to have totally forgotten. And anyways, whose brilliant idea was it to ask the police if the police would like more powers? Is it any surprise they said yes? It’s like asking the army if we should up defence spending; it’s hardly likely that they’re going to take the wider social view now, is it? So thankfully the bill was defeated, and the UK edged away a little from a state where government suspicion of your activities entitles the state to imprison you without charge for long periods of time. I’ll take comfort in that.

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Ugh. I have finally done it, finally dipped my toe into the rancid waters of myspace. It seems that you can’t avoid the blasted thing any more. It gives me the fear, makes me think of Dawson’s Creek, the OC, poorly written teenage suicide notes, internet goths and so on. I’m not over the moon about my newfound myspace presence, in short. Nevertheless, it’s there:

Don’t hate me for it. I intent to run the thing in a minimal effort kind of way. That means that I have no intention of inviting anyone to be my internet “friend”. I will, however, be accepting all requests for e-friendship from other people (as that only requires one mouse click). So come on, join up and stop me having a sneaking suspicion that despite the obvious idiocy of it all, I need more online mates

Fun shows recently, hi to everyone who made it down and shook their booty (in a suitably restrained kind of way). Special “hi and thanks” to Simon from Sevenoaks for saving my bacon. I’m recording this coming weekend, and then lots more gigs later in the month. See y’all there.

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Sincerest apologies to anyone who went down to see me play at the Met Lounge in Peterborough last night. Apparently the gig was pulled a week ago, but the first I heard of this was at 3pm yesterday, just as I was getting on the train (ticket in hand). It was a shit situation for you n me both, friends. I’m looking into booking another show in Peterborough to make up for it. In other news I just confirmed a show in Glasgow in january at 13th Note, see you Scots there…

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There’s now a forum on this website, as I’m sure you may have noticed by now. Not much more to say on this, except to reiterate that the friendly nature of the old MD forum (now sadly a little frayed) was a source of satisfaction for me. To put it another way, be nice or I’ll ban your face off, innit.

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Leave my jeans alone!

Two more shows under my belt, London and Plymouth, thanks to everyone who came down, and a big “oi, fuck off!” to the people saying my jeans were not to their taste…! Anyways. Plymouth was generally entertaining, taught “the kids” how to rock on Friday and sat on an Industry Panel feeling like an imposter on Saturday. Not something that happens every day.

Got lots more shows coming up, as I’m sure you will have spotted in the “live” section of the site. I’m covering more of the UK now, which is nice. I’m looking into shows in Scotland and Wales at the moment too, for everyone who’s emailed me about it, and doing my best to get up there either before xmas or in the new years. See you there.

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CD ordering

I’ve been sending out demo’s for SAE’s for a little while now, since this site started in fact. However, I’m sd to report that this outburst of generosity has to come to an end now. This is because it still does cost me to send out a CD even if I have an SAE, and given that my current income stream (when I’m not playing a gig) is a big old zero, and that I’m hugely in debt, I decided that it wouldn’t be taking the piss to ask people for ‘a33 for a 6-track CD. Call me a capitalist profiteering pig if you must, but a man’s gotta eat. Obviously people who’ve already emailed me about it and / or sent an SAE off will still get their copy, but the rules have changed as of now. Also, I’m a bit of a paypal beginner, so if there are any problems with ordering the CD please let me know so I can fix em.

Unconfirmed reports from a few people that Zane Lowe played “The Real Damage” on his show the other day… I didn’t know he even had a copy (downloaded maybe?) but I can’t be arsed to scroll through his tracklistings to find out, so if anyone knows any more about this, please let me know. It’d be ace if it was true.

In other news I reckon I’m about 75% back to strength after 10 days in the company of FWW (see post below). I’m also working on a few new choons at this end, one of which is (in my humble opinion) pretty much the best thing I’ve put together in my time as a musician. So get me. I’m also playing around with a verse that was kindly donated to me by Jamie Reuben – it’s a lovely little tune, which I’m definitely going to use. The only problem is that it came with the lyrics “Please God, whatever you do, don’t send me to Russia.” The thing is, I quite want to go to Russia, I’ve never been, and Latvia was cool as chips when we went there… hmm… who knows? “Prussia” maybe?

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Just got back home from the Reuben tour, and am starting the long, slow and painful process of recovery. In fairness it’s largely Fighting With Wire’s fault, but wherever you point the finger, a hangover is a hangover. Ugh. I didn’t end up playing the tour for various technical reasons, but I did have my 3 minutes of fame doing Karl’s part from ‘Alpha Signal 3’, so it was all good.

The Bradford Film Festival was also a fun day – we made a video for one of my tunes in the space of 5 hours, which was pretty hard going. The end result is rough and ready but pretty cool. I’m going to put it up on the site somewhere as soon as all the technical hooha has been sorted out. Watch this space.

I’ve been booking lots more shows, including quite a few with Get Cape Wear Cape Fly. If you haven’t already checked him out I’d recommend have a peek at his website ( and checking some of his tuneage. Also got some shows with Agile Thought and Meetjohndoe, so I should be covering a lot more of the UK in coming months than I have before. See you there.

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One small step

Well, played my first two post-MD shows on Thursday and Friday. Obviously not the first solo shows I’ve done, but it felt like something of a step into the unknown to be up there 100% alone. I really enjoed both sets (apart from the broken string in London) and I’m hankering for more now.Shifted loads of demo CDs as well, which was nice. Tomorrow I’m off on the Reuben tour, which I’m really looking forward to, not only because they’re ace and lovely and all the rest of it, but also because they have Fighting With Wire as support, who in turn have Graham (MD’s sound guy) in their touring party. I smell trouble ahead…

Also, for those interested in the Bradford show at the Love Apple Cafe on this Friday, it’s a really early show – whole thing wrapped up by 8pm apparently, so it might be wise to look at 6ish for an arrival time. it’s also free to get in.

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