Back to the Cat

I got to play ‘To Coincidence’ on the Catweazle stage last Thursday, in addition to reading ‘Hippo Calypso’ again. This tune is impossible to play solo, but I’ve discovered that the lyrics make a decent spoken piece! I wanted to read it because I’d just learned, several months after writing it, that it’s based on fact: when I came up with the piece, I was just having some fun with all the double letters in ‘Hippo of the Mississippi’, but it turns out that there was a genuine plan to make it happen in the 1900s. As you might expect, the fantastic people at This American Life have a short documentary on the subject for those in doubt.

After the break, I did a surprise collaboration with Sam Taplin. Normally, that phrase means that it was the audience which was surprised, but Sam politely gave me absolutely zero warning before inviting me on stage to play a song I hadn’t rehearsed for at least six months. We staggered our way through it. Unmissable moments!

Image stolen gratuitously from Hannah Bond

Image stolen gratuitously from Hannah Bond

What a pleasure to be back at Catweazle again. I hosted a couple of times last month, but this time I was just there to soak up the ambiance and get myself a copy of the new issue of their handsome periodical, an altogether more relaxing prospect. Playing in front of them reminded me how much I’ve missed doing full-length shows, and one of the things I’m doing this weekend is bothering a few Birmingham/Oxford promoters about setting up some new gigs in the runup to my album launch (if you’re a venue, there’s my new bookings page to think of). I’ll be back in the studio soon, too!

Finally, some good news from two FaceOmeter allies: Matt Winkworth has won the Perfect Pitch prize, and will be developing a brand new musical – he’s a consummate musician and deserves it utterly. I also couldn’t be happier for MC Lars, who crowdfunded his fourth album in under a day. Still time to get involved with that!

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