6 gigs in 4 days - that must be a personal record, and a mad few days they were! I started off this week’s gigs in beautiful Frome with an exploding egg (tip: never advise somebody ((especially somebody you’ve only just met)) to put their boiled egg in the microwave when they haven’t cooked it for long enough - it will explode all over their face and hair when they put a knife in the top), pizza and plenty of very musical guests (no pressure). What a wonderful audience they were - it was a joyous evening! Once again I forgot to take the selfie at the end of my set so most people had headed off into the night, but here are the hardcore who stayed for extra drink and chat.
Next on the menu was Chichester (where I grew up). That afternoon I played a little set at a local care home where a family friend is in residence, then I headed off to Fishbourne and the best cucumber pickle I have ever tasted (also the only cucumber pickle I’ve ever tasted, but I’m sure it would still be the best even if I’d had it every week for the last year). A crowd perfectly fitted to the size of the living room assembled and it was extremely cosy with everyone squeezed onto sofas and armchairs. Another truly lovely bunch of people and this time I remembered to take the selfie, yay!
On the Friday afternoon I headed over to Shoreham by Sea for a gig at West St Loft with my friends Laura and Adam of Hickory Signals. The converted loft space is one of my favourite venues around - cosy and intimate while still having room for 50 - 100 people. The chairs are old school cinema seats and the place always has a warm vibe. Like the last time I played there, Hickory Signals and I collaborated on the majority of my set, which was great fun and made for a slightly different sound - flute solos and excellent improvised drumming is a speciality of their’s along with some beautiful harmonies of course!
On Saturday morning I set off back to Gloucestershire to play at a wedding, but this was no ordinary wedding gig. To cut a long story short - I had been booked separately by both the bride and groom as a surprise for each other - great minds and all that. You can imagine the plotting and scheming that had to go on with the venue manager behind the scenes in order to make sure that the timings were the same and that neither of them found out that neither of them would be surprised. I ended up arriving with all my kit and setting up while they were in the ceremony so that nobody would see me. When the bride and groom came down the steps into the sunshine and I started to play "All About Love" as their first dance, there was a moment where they must have thought each other very ungrateful, but all was swiftly explained and there were smiles all round. Here I am with the happy couple.
You may think that my week was over there, but no no, the adventure continued and I found myself in the familiar surroundings of the Stroud Subscription Rooms to open the Stroud Festival Concert that evening. As always the sound there was fantastic, the welcome incredibly warm and the number of familiar faces a plenty. It was a fantastic way to end the third leg of my UK tour. Thanks to everybody who came along!
I have some very exciting gigs coming up in between my equally exciting living room shows during the next few weeks:
September 28th, 8:30pm - Oporto Bar, Leeds - FREE ENTRY!
October 2nd, 8pm - Tree House Book Shop, Kenilworth, Warwickshire - http://www.wegottickets.com/TreeHouseBookshop
October 3rd, 7:30pm - Spilsby Theatre Cafe,
support from Fern Teather - to reserve tickets 01790 752936
October 4th, 6:30pm - Strawhouse Studio, Rugby, Warwickshire -
This is a public living room gig so only 10 tickets available!
I recorded a new cover (above) earlier this week for your enjoyment :-)
Finally I must tell you that we had to say goodbye to our beloved bear at the weekend, almost a year to the day since the release of “Old Eyes”. Panda was a gentle soul, a loyal friend and cherished childhood companion. He will be missed by our family and many of our friends but never forgotten. Panda Briggs - 1999 - 2015, RIP.
I'm off up North tomorrow for my next set of gigs! More news when I get back :-)
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