Having not posted a blog for SOME time (again) I realised I ought to send out a few updates in order to make my website appear a little more current… So I shall start with Summer.

Summer 2017 Round-Up

In mid-July I was lucky enough to catch up with “New Road” in Sligo and had an absolute blast! The week started with a little dance at the South Sligo Summer School Tutor’s concert in Tubbercurry which was recently aired on Radio na Gaeltachta (click HERE to listen) And culminated in a performance with New Road at Tricky McGarrigles as part of the Cairde Arts Festival which was an absolute stormer of a gig to both attend and take part in!

Towards the end of July I went to see my good friends The D’Urbervilles at BBC Radio Leeds to play a few songs and to celebrate the one year anniversary of my solo album release amongst other things.

The beginning of August took me on my annual trip to Sidmouth Folk Festival. This year I got the weekend off Stage Managing in order to pop my artiste hat on. I did several sets over the first weekend including a rather exciting opportunity to perform on the Ham Stage (the very stage I usually manage…)! Unfortunately due to entering into an ill-advised stagewear-based challenge and a supporting article in the Sidmouth Festival Newsletter I made a dubious outfit choice for my mainstage gig. Having soundchecked in entirely normal clothes (or nearly normal anyway) I didn’t think to road test my fully sequinned, velvet catsuit for performance suitability…!!!! Thankfully the wardrobe malfunction I had was not the one you might expect wearing such an outfit. However, sequinned catsuits are apparently MASSIVELY slippy and, whilst attempting to sing and play my harmonium, I began to slide off the back of the chair, further and further away from the microphone until I could no longer reach the bellows pedals. It required a bit of mid-song readjustment in order to be able to continue the song. Unfortunately it took at least FOUR mid-song readjustments in order to eventually complete the song. I laughed a lot and luckily so did the audience. I have of course learnt no lessons from this experience whatsoever….

Having downloaded the photos from Derek Schofield the photo editing app on my phone suggested I might want to put them into a collage which came out looking like this…

Photos by Derek Schofield

I spent the rest of the week back in my usual role at The Ham and saw some absolutely fantastic acts including the fabulous Yves Lambert Trio, Slow Moving Clouds and Sheesham, Lotus & ‘Son to name a few. I was also invited back onto The Ham Stage with Irish superstars Dervish for a wee clodhop! Here’s a video

Upon returning from Sidmouth (minus a few en-route recovery days in Cheltenham involving copious amounts of cheese purchased from The Cheeseboard in Sidmouth) I very enjoyed a lovely night in York performing at The Black Swan Folk Club. These photos were taken by Andy Argyle for York Calling Magazine

A string of artiste cancellations led to me getting a last minute booking at Whitby Folk Week which was a nice surprise. It was a busy few days including lots of concert spots and catching up with good friends. Over the course of the week I turned up in place of Martyn Windham Reed, Niamh Boadle, Mike Tickell and Pete Coe but thankfully the audiences mostly didn’t object too much to the change in programming!

My August ended with another favourite festival of mine: Shrewsbury Folk Festival with dance side Ryburn Longsword. We had an absolutely brilliant weekend including some actual sunshine, lots of dancing a few team birthdays to celebrate and the biggest surprise of all…

A whole gang of Poor Strange Girls!!!!!! Specially commissioned t-shirts printed for the occaision; I can’t tell you how weird it was to keep seeing pictures of your own face on people’s chests over the weekend!