At over the halfway mark on Any Path Will Do, the tour I’m on of England But Mostly The West Country with the very excellent Mr. Jamie “The Magic Lantern” Doe, we have a day off – and I have time to write a blog entry! We’re currently cosseted in Mr. Doe’s fashionable London maisonette, having played a show at the Dalston Servant’s Jazz Quarters, a walk away from here, last night. It was lovely – one of the best PAs I’ve ever played through, and by far the best London audience I’ve ever had. He’s tapping away at his laptop, planning new excellence with his other band The Ballina Whalers; I, meanwhile, have been settled with a range of the latest periodicals, from which I surface to write this.
We’ve been on trains like they’re going out of fashion, putting many miles of rail behind us in our quest to take our music to the furthest corners. Our furthest ranging has been to Falmouth, at the tip of Cornwall, where the students at the art college decorated our venue with their work and clustered into the hallway in order to listen to us play. A more sparsely-attended show in Exeter was part-redeemed by the appearance of several lovely FaceOmeter fans from the distant past. In Oxford, defeat turned into victory on a greater scale – despite the venue not knowing that the gig was on (!) we played an exciting show to a wonderful crowd. And wonderful crowds were also the theme in the Dartmoor village of Gidleigh – not just the audience, who packed out the village hall to hear us do our thing, but the family we stayed with, who also set the show up, and fed and hosted us with humbling proficiency.
Something great about the tour has been how individual each show has been. It’s easy to get bored of your own material on tour, because you have to play it so much, but the variety of the venues and types of show we’ve been playing have really saved us from that particular gremlin. There have, however, been two constants: we’ve been playing to truly exceptional audiences everywhere so far, attentive and giving crowds of various sizes who have really contributed to the atmosphere in each place; and we’ve shared the bill with fantastic other acts in each place – Rosie Caldecott, Freddie & Diggory, Mount Olive, Jess McAllister, Shine Like the Sun, Sam Taplin, and Matt Chanarin. We’re looking forward now to playing with Polly and the Billets Doux in Birmingham tomorrow and Rachael Dadd in Bristol on Thursday – the latter show, which will close the tour, I’m especially excited about! Hope you can join us at one of them, and if not, do tune in here for a full tour report after we finish!