I can’t believe the TWFT tour is finished! It seems like a bit of a blur now, it went so fast! The final two gigs were Exeter and Dorchester. In Exeter I met up with a school friend for lunch and then had some time for a bit of retail therapy before sound check. It was all very relaxed, as was the gig and great to play such a well known/loved venue. Before the Dorchester gig we celebrated the success of the tour in truly glamorous fashion…with a trip to Wetherspoon’s! The Arts Centre was suitably packed out for our final gig and the audience were full of energy - we definitely ended on a high! I have thoroughly enjoyed this tour and I’d like to say a huge thank you to every single one of you who has come out to support us at a gig in the last few weeks. I have met so many lovely people, learnt so much, explored new parts of the country, improved as a performer and grown in confidence with every gig - it’s been an invaluable experience all round and I can’t wait to be able to do it again, hopefully with the band next time. Here’s a victory pic of S, K and I at the final gig in Dorchester.
Speaking of the band, what a long-weekend it has been! We had everyone down for rehearsals on Sunday, ate loads of good food, played football in the park, and then on Monday we headed into Cheltenham and played one of the best gigs of my career! The Jazz Arena was packed, thank you all so much for coming along, and the atmosphere in there was awesome. This was the second time that I have ever played as a 5 piece and it was amazing fun, especially as it was such a big change from playing solo on the tour. Afterwards I did a signing at Rise Records and met a whole load of enthusiastic people, before going to a mentoring session with the head of Radio 2, the director of the festival, Gregory Porter’s manager and the lovely John Oldham. A crazy day! We popped some champagne when we got home and ate crisps and cake, yum :-) I’ve got a couple of days off now before my next gig at Vonnie’s Blues Club on Thursday night in Charlton Kings. Here we are on stage at the Jazz Festival.
In other news, I’m organising a Living Room tour for this Autumn. If you’d like me to perform a private gig to you, your family, friends and neighbours while you chill on the sofa with the dog on your lap and a large glass of wine in your hand, then pop me an email via firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see if we can sort something out!
Yet more excitement - you can now preorder my album in vinyl, whoop! If you head over to the shop page you’ll see that a new option has been added. If you get your order in now, then you’ll have it in your hands by the end of May. Here’s a pic of the cover :-)
Finally, if you live near Stroud and haven’t yet managed to get your hands on a signed copy of the album on CD, you can now purchase said copy at the Stroud Subrooms for £10. Just ask at the TIC as you go in on the left.
Wow, exhale, I think that’s everything for now! My next update will be back on my regular blog page now that the tour is done. Look out for the rest of the pics from Cheltenham on my Facebook Page and/or website gallery page - there’ll be lots going up in the next few days.
Stay jazzy xxx
In Stourport we had a small but perfectly formed audience. Among them was another Briggs (no relation) who happened to have a daughter called Harriet :-) I wonder how many people in the world share the name Harriet Briggs, and if any of them are singer-songwriters…
Then on Sunday night we played a blinder at Cambridge’s Junction 2 - what an awesome place! I have a feeling I’m going to get to know Cambridge quite well in the next few years, what with the Folk Festival being there as well :-)
On the way back from Cambridge we stopped off in Luton for another visit to the Olney Headwear factory. I brought home some lovely new summer hats and can’t wait to wear them all!
Tonight we’re in Tewkesbury, which is quite near home for me. Here I am in my new Olney baker boy hat :-)
Happy Friday night everybody! I'm on a high this evening as the audience I have just played to in Didcot were amayyyzing! They started whooping before I'd even played a song! Don't know if they'd had a drink or two at the bar before the show started or if they're just happy it's the weekend tomorrow, but they are certainly full of the joys of Spring, and it made for one of my favourite gigs of the tour so far. High fives all round!
The gig at the Stables in Wavendon on Tuesday night was another absolute gem. So many legends have played there and it's such a well known and loved venue that I was actually a little nervous before I played. I had no reason to be as the audience were fab, really up for the gig and very welcoming to a newbie:) Lovely to meet so many of you during the interval as well.
Then we were in Hereford on Wednesday, the night of the BBC Folk Awards so I will have to watch it on iPlayer. I hope those of you who were in Cardiff thoroughly enjoyed yourselves. Our gig wasn't quite on the same scale, but we had fun nonetheless.
Yesterday I had the day off and spent a lot of time reading Game of Thrones in the sunshine.
Have a great weekend! xxx
The Hazlitt Arts Centre in Maidstone was very bubbly and it was fab to have Tilly and some of my family there. Met some fantastic people once again - it seems that folkies are a very good bunch. Everyone I’ve met on this tour has been really lovely! The low point of the evening was when I managed to drop noodles down the dress I was about to perform in while Tils was getting supper in Wagamama. Note to self - always ask for an extra plate when sharing/stealing other peoples food. I hope people didn’t notice or that they thought it was an interesting extra bit of pattern on the front of the dress.
Salisbury last night ended up being very much like a folk club gig. Very cosy and informal, and no lights blinding us so we could see the whole audience - made a nice change actually and was a bit like playing in someones living room. When I arrived before the gig for soundcheck I walked around the whole building and couldn’t find a way in as all the doors were locked! It was a little disconcerting and I did wonder whether I’d turned up on the wrong day. Luckily Sean came to the rescue just as I was starting to panic, phew!
Tonight we’re in Bromsgrove at the Artrix and the sound has been fantastic as has the audience - very smiley and up for a laugh. Below are some pics - me performing at the bottom of a lake, and Kathryn and Sean on fire!
Tomorrow night we’ll be at The Stables in Milton Keynes, which is owned by the rather legendary jazz family, the Dankworths. Their son Alec played double bass on my record and I’ve heard so many great things about the venue, I really can’t wait! xxx
Driving in London is never fun (I accidentally went through the congestion zone), but performing in London certainly is! I have driven past King’s Place so many times and wondered what it was, and now I know :-)
The sound in there was lush and it was really lovely to see some familiar faces among loads of new ones! One couple had come all the way from somewhere very exotic (I think it was in Africa (I know that’s not very specific)) to see us, and were flying back the next day (I assume they had been over on holiday rather than a day trip, but I didn’t actually ask so who knows!)
Today has been a fantastic day, with my first appearance in a broadsheet - I’m the “One to watch” in the Independent Radar. Also, been back in the top ten of the Amazon Folk Chart and in the top 100 of the iTunes singer songwriter chart - thank you so much for your downloads!
This evening we’re in Maidstone and look who’s here with me…hey Tilly :-) xxx
We’re halfway through the tour and it’s whizzing by! Tivoli Theatre in Wimborne was beautiful on Wednesday night and it was great to share out my remaining cupcakes :-) thanks very much for helping me stay slim!
Brighton Komedia last night was candlelit and and very atmospheric. Finding the venue was a bit confusing down in "the lanes” and with various roads closed but we got there in the end! Cool venue, but then Brighton is extremely cool and edgy so it wasn't unexpected.
Today I played tennis with my Dad and took Daisy for a walk in the park. Sun, sun, sun, yay! I hope you're not too sunburnt! Tonight we're in London and then off to Maidstone tomorrow :-)
As an aside - somebody asked me the other day how I protect my voice when I'm touring. Well, here's your answer. I make a potion out of the ingredients below mixed with warm/hot water and gargle it whenever my voice feels tired. It doesn't taste that great, but it does the trick! If you try this at home, make sure to go easy on the Tumeric :-) xxx
So yesterday I turned 22. It was the first time I have ever done a gig on my Birthday, and I have to say that I highly recommend it (apart from the bit where everyone sings Happy Birthday to you while you’re on stage, which is a bit embarrassing, but also very nice). One of the many highlights was receiving 22 beautifully decorated cupcakes (thank you again Andrew), which were not only my favourites (red velvet and lemon drizzle), but were also covered in red icing with gold lettering (i.e. Red & Gold), music notes and all sorts of exciting things. Here are a few to give you the idea and no, I hadn’t eaten the rest by this stage (I’d only had 3). Epic I’d say! Fingers crossed I'll be back in Farnham again for my next Birthday :-)
The gig itself was fantastic and the room was packed. Had such great chats with people during the interval and afterwards, we ended up staying way longer that we were supposed to. Thank you so much for all the smiles and Birthday good wishes - it's definitely one that I'll remember for a long time. Champagne was popped afterwards of course, and then a good night's sleep was had before heading home and then straight out again to Wimborne today! More on that tomorrow. Happy sunbathing! xxx
Last night’s gig in Barnsley concluded the Northern leg of the tour and corrrrrr what a blinder it was! Loads of people came out to see us, and it was a home crowd for Kathryn as she grew up in Barnsley - a really warm welcome and an all round fabulous gig! Gorgeous room and the sound was one of the best we’ve had so far. It was the perfect end to Part 1 of the TWFT/R&G tour. We got home today and I’m very much looking forward to a night in my own bed :-)
The next run of gigs starts on Tuesday in Farnham. I shall be turning 22 that very day so fingers crossed it’ll be the best one yet! Not yet sure how I feel about being 22…I’ll let you know if I have an epiphany about life on the day.
This week has been truly wonderful, and I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again - thank you so much for your generous support, kind words, downloads, shares, likes, emoticons, funny messages - all these things make my job feel like it’s not a job at all (which it isn’t really), and I just hope that I can keep doing what I’m doing for many years to come. Here’s to you - crazy cool cats that you are!
Until Wednesday xxx
Last night we had a fab time at Pocklington Arts Centre, and I couldn’t believe all the famous faces on the walls - Joan Armatrading is playing there in September! Really hope I can go back there for a headline gig at some point as it’s a lovely place and the people were really chatty!
During the day yesterday we went for an explore around York. We learned loads of history as we were looking around the minster, which is gigantic and has a huge underground bit as well that used to be part of a Roman fortress - who knew! Then we had a sunbathe in the park, followed by an ice cream (one scoop of chocolate and one of vanilla in my case) before heading to Pocklington.
Going back 2 days to Wednesday, we had a day off so went into Otley, then had a casual game of golf in the sunshine. During the evening we went to “Singer’s night” at Otley Folk Club (a suggestion of Sean’s), which was brilliant all round! Everyone who performed was fantastic in their own individual way and some were absolutely hilarious. I stood up and played a few tunes and will hopefully go back at some stage soon.
Here’s a lovely new review of the album from “Grace Notes” on twitter - http://heartonmysleevenotes.blogspot.co.uk :-)
Tonight is the last gig on the Northern leg of the tour and we’re in Barnsley. It’s been a great tour so far so hopefully we’ll go out with a bang tonight!
Off home tomorrow, it will be nice to be back in my own bed :-) The next gig is in Farnham on Tuesday 14th, which is my Birthday!! 22, yikes, that's quite grown-up really!
Last nights gig was just like playing a house concert, except to way more people than usual (around 100). The venue was a converted chapel joined onto a B & B - super cosy and we only had to walk 2 yards to get to our room afterwards - “ideal” doesn’t quite cover it! The hospitality was incredible and the crowd was as friendly as ever - another corker of a gig!
This morning we had kippers for breakfast, then went on an explore. We visited Bamburgh Castle and walked a small section of the incredibly beautiful and never ending beach that it overlooks. Once we’d built up a decent appetite we had a huge amount of delicious fish and chips with mushy peas and a suitably large selection of condiments before getting back in the car to go back down south towards Harrogate. There’s no gig tonight or tomorrow night, so lots more exploring to do, as well as dropping into Otley Folk Club tomorrow evening for a tune or two. On Thursday night we’ll be in Pocklington and then on to Barnsley, which is Kathryn’s home town!
Thank you for all your downloads over the last couple of days - you’ve put me in all sorts of charts, it’s been very exciting! Also, don’t forget that this week I’m Steve Kitchen’s “Album of the week” on BBC Radio Glos so if you tune in at Drivetime you’ll get a different track from “Red & Gold” for the next 4 days (tonight was the first of 5).
Here I am with Kathryn and Sean celebrating the album release after the gig last night. They very sweetly bought me a bottle of Champers :-)
Hope you’re having a fantabulous week!