House concerts are mixed and varied, this one today in Kendal was outstanding, in the living room of a farmhouse with sandwiches cakes and meringues. On a cattle farm way up a hillside was where I found myself, it was so much fun to wonder through some songs on my own for the lovely people […]
House concerts are mixed and varied, this one today in Kendal was outstanding, in the living room of a farmhouse with sandwiches cakes and meringues. On a cattle farm way up a hillside was where I found myself, it was so much fun to wonder through some songs on my own for the lovely people in front of me. The sky kissed the rooftop of the barns as I made my way across the weaving roads of Cumbria just off the M6. From one extreme to another, and The Lowery Hotel in Manchester for a late meal and a sit. The tour had in many ways started here on route to Dublin when the snow fell some weeks before, and today its spring like but its still cold. No snow. A quite night. And then off to Cardiff the next morning for a wonderful show with Boo in the Acapela rooms, a chapel on a hillside, another hill side, two in two days. The evening flew by as we changed gears and cruised through the set, the story and the songs. A home cooked pizza filled my tum and came up several times between syllables within the verses and choruses. A fair price to pay and a fine way to earn a crust.
London is always a place where the nerves can cut you off at the legs and make you wobble, oddly I have not felt that for years, not even at the Albert Hall, but tonight at The Bush Hall I was all of a wobble. I thought I might flop to the floor. A sold out show with a standing ovation can’t be bad, my managers came to see the show as did many others. From the first strum I was all a quiver, the bite of the London eyes and ears had me in a stressed out fold. Somehow I made it through, and after on the way home felt like I had been in the ring for nine rounds. Boo supported me so well, as he always does, towling me off in the corner from time to time. The tour has been on a roll and here at the Bush it hit 180 on the dart board. All arrows together as one. I feel pleased, and now I can look back with pride and say all the hard work was worth it. It always is. From the high life of London to the village hall of Hunton in Kent. A hundred chairs and a small PA, some lovely people and Rob, the man who creates all of our art work promoted what was a splendid night in his Bubble club. Life has its curve balls, this was one of them, one that I loved. Small villages is where its at, people and nature all rapped up in the amber lights of a small lighting rig just a few feet from a very busy cemetery.
Shoreham is close to home, just along the coast, so one of the shorter journeys in the jam jar. Our builders came to see us play tonight, which was nice, they are such lovely people. A home is being built. In time time will reveal its love. Homes are like nests, you fly in and out own them for a bit and hope they don’t fall out of the tree. Its a first in many years for me. I live in my suitcase most of the year so owning a house is a bit scary. More in the future. Another sold out show tonight with such tenderness from the coastal audience. With an end of tour car wash under our belts we swanned onto the stage, proud and full of ourselves like peacocks on a country walk. http://www.whalecarwash.co.uk The end was in sight and a feeling of low gear came over me. It would be sad to say goodbye to Boo as he sets sail with Eddie Reader on her tour, the other woman in his life. Our last show of this tour was in Emsworth (Portsmouth), a small Baptist Church without a bar. Without a spire. Across the street a fabulous Italian for our final meal of the tour together. http://www.nicolinos.co.uk Our two favourite meals of the tour were both in family run Italian restaurants, nice. Our set was subdued only by the venue and a large pudding, and after we crawled home in the thunder and rain of spring. The last few days had been hotter than July. The tour was over, maybe the summer too.
I don’t think things changed much during the the last four weeks, we kept largely to the script and the song list, and in doing so I guess I found confidence and freedom. I have never played a tour like this before and wonder what the future holds. People don’t buy CD’s anymore, and just playing 23 songs in a set is simply not enough to fill the soul, I will always try and seek a story to tell where I can. Its lovely to feel the audience ride with me on the arc of all thats told, fact or in fiction, its all good stuff. A few days in the chair by the window will I’m sure breed new ideas for the next year. For now though its all about Edinburgh come August, and some stand alone shows on the horizon along the way. I feel happy about that. From Dublin to Portsmouth its been a long, 8,000 miles in the car, journey but one filled with hope. It makes me appreciate what I have in life both in and out of Squeeze, I feel very blessed to be able to straddle the two planks above the rough seas of reality, at least for now.
As mist rolls in from the sea, onto the downs above me I sense the onward march of life, birds singing and the green of Spring coming into full bloom. Fields filling with crops skies filled with change, hearts filled with change, I feel settled in the cross boarder chord exchange of my life and feel ready for change. I want to thank everyone who came to see this tour and I thank you for the support. I know some of you had heard the stories told before but your patients and love never go unnoticed. Only one heckle, only one rough night. And now home, my chair and the birds in the garden to sing to me. They sing loudly and I wish I knew what was going on with them all, but I fear its all about shagging. Its all about food on the table, that is indeed what life is all about, feeding ourselves and the ones we love. The menu and venue go hand in hand, I feel exhausted by it all for a moment but if I had a pipe I would be smoking it in reflection of the past four weeks with a raised brow. Turning my head to one side I see the weeks and summer ahead, and then a puff and then a squint, slightly titled into the future. Not that I want to be there just yet, here is just about manageable thank you.