Being on tour with Jools is something I really enjoy, everyone on the team seem happy to see me. I’m replaceing Shane McGowen who chickened out at the last minute. A draw was opened and my name fell out. Jools is such a humble chap and makes me feel so welcome, we are doing four songs and the arrangements are big band in nature. 15 minutes of nightly fame. Gilson is wonderful, always welcoming and embracing, and playing the songs again reminds me of the great contribution both Gilson and Jools made to our songs. I simply drive to the show be escorted in by Nancy and led on stage by the amazing Mr Salmon and there I am. Four songs later I’m in the car and back on my way home. It’s a great way to spend the leaf falling months of the year. Tonight we are in Harrowgate, I’m in the hotel and next for I can hear the sound of two people fresh from a wedding party downstairs. Their voices murmur and laughter lifts up and down through the thin walls of this hotel room. It could be a naughty night next door. I turn up the tele and search for my ear plugs. Being on tour with Jools gives me a chance to watch tv in bed and eat sandwiches from room service. Wensleydale cheese and pickle. Life is good. But how on earth did I get home from Nottingham last night in two hours, silly boy, my driving licence is on a bare thread so maybe in a few months I will be on the train gang. I hope not. Back stage the evening ritual never seems to change, a warm up room with horns blowing, a dressing room for the ladies, the back stage deli tray of meat and bread. It’s a place I know well and I’m happy to be here. Back home in Dulwich the duchess is sleeping, next door I can hear the sound of two people preparing for bed. God knows I’m good, I will look the other way today, and bite the pillow that feeds me. Betty’s for me in the morning, the tea shop on the hill. Bradford and a curry, and another two hour drive back to London. Fog, November and the climb up to Christmas plus the wonderful winter solstice all to look forward to, and some more shows with the magical fingers of Mr Jools Holland and the incredible drum solo’s of Gilson Lavis. Looking back the tour gave me the space to be part of one half of the band that used to be, the other half awaits the new year and beyond. I have the best of all possible jobs in the world.