Yay, two festivals coming up…in July there’s Howlin Fling alongside the likes of Beth Orton Sam Amidon, Jens Lekman, Alexis Taylor, Luke Abbot and my Lost Map chums. Its on the Isle Of Eigg – a strange and mystical place, shaped more like an inverted kidney, somewhere in the middle of the Hebrides, up yonder Scotland way.
And then on Sunday 4th August I’m playing at Cambridge Folk Festival on The Den Stage – thats the Festival’s Emerging Talent Stage….OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!
My album was officially re-released yesterday on Lost Map Records! As is the custom these days, this edition includes a bonus disc of remixes and the likes, which I really like (and you can buy separately here) . Follow the magic link (magic link) to find out a bit more about where it all came from and how it can enhance your life…every house should have one. So why did I not announce this yesterday? Well I was making my way back to London after a monumental session in Clonakilty to mark the last show of my tour with Lisa O’Neill and from there I had to make my way to a rehearsal studio to practice with the gang for next week’s shows. And then I went to bed. Huge thanks to Lisa O’Neill and all the crew for a wonderful tour, must say I’m really excited about London and Reading shows next week, so cool to hear what a few amazing musicians can bring to these songs of mine. Here’s some pics concerning all the above topics (and a video that I’m making, several weeks too late, about my album)
Quick announcement to say that I am heading around Ireland in less than two weeks to open for my good friend Lisa O’Neill on no less than 7 different occasions…I fly to Derry on the 12th of february, then its on to Dundalk & Dublin and then westwards to Limerick, Galway, Cork & Clonakilty. Then its back to London for to prepare for my own UK tour in March and some rehearsals with Geese
All the dates are listed below but you can find more info about the shows, tickets etc here. Regarding the UK tour, all these shows are going to be slightly different, some solo, some with the marvelous Geese as my backing band (London & Reading), a double header with Adam from Randolph’s Leap in Glasgow, a super intimate unplugged show inside a washing emporium in Durham, a show with my pals James Yorkston & The Pictish Trail in Edinburgh…go and buy some tickets or they’ll never have me back.
WED, FEB 12
@ Sandino’s, Derry, Ireland (w/ Lisa O’Neill)
FRI, FEB 14
@ Spirit Store, Dundalk, Ireland (w/ Lisa O’Neill)
SAT, FEB 15
@ Whelan’s, Dublin, Ireland (w/ Lisa O’Neill)
THU, FEB 20
@ Bourke’s, Limerick, Ireland (w/ Lisa O’Neill)
FRI, FEB 21
@ Roisin Dubh, Galway, Ireland (w/ Lisa O’Neill)
SAT, FEB 22
@ Cypress Avenue, Cork, Ireland (w/ Lisa O’Neill)
SUN, FEB 23
@ DeBarra’s, Clonakilty, Ireland (w/ Lisa O’Neill)
TUE, MAR 4
@ Servants Jazz Quarters, London, UK
THU, MAR 6
@ South Street Arts, Reading, UK
WED, MAR 12
@ The Pleasance, Edinburgh, UK (w/ James Yorkston + The Pictish Trail)
FRI, MAR 14
@ The Glad Cafe, Glasgow, UK (w/ Randolph’s Leap, Adam solo)
Hard to believe, but in less than two weeks I’ll be jumping on the Eurostar to Amsterdam for the first of 15 shows in Europe. What began as an accidental show in a house in Vienna has ballooned into an epic tour of Europe’s smallest venues and nicest living rooms. That the route traces out the exact shape of a mole’s head is entirely coincidental, but its welcome coincidence none the less. Its a solo tour although I will hopefully be joined by my brother for a few shows and I’m delighted to be opening for my old pal James Yorkston in Zurich. I’m going to list all the shows here but its probably best just to swing on over to the gigs section of this here website for more details…if any of the listings are looking a bit sketchy its because we’re just finalizing the details, and my 6 figure fee, but feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In other news, I’ve just finished eating a horrible blueberry muffin on board a London-bound train from Cardiff where I played last night in a sweaty little basement as part of the Made In Roath festival. If you find yourself in Cardiff, which isn’t such a bad thing, take a stroll around (follow this map) and marvel at how a few people can transform the drab urban landscape that forms the backdrop to the lives of the many. Oh yes, I am converted and loading up on spray cans as soon as I arrive in London and my tag name will be The Mad Mole of Medjugorje. Thursday was Edinburgh for a showcase with The Pictish Trail and everyone else residing on the mighty Lost Map label roster and Tuesday saw us opening for my friend Lisa O’Neill at the London launch of her brilliant new album…as I recall its been a good week and a pleasure to be in such fine musical company. And the muffin, well it had no actual blueberries in it, just a core made out of horrible blue sticky shite. But I ate it. And the train manager has just announced that the signalman has been hit by lightning (he’s fine) and we’ll be delayed for at least a week.
And I spent a good chunk of September compiling a quite bizarre selection of God Damn You Mountain remixes, alternative versions, out takes and general weirdness to be released soon under the provisional title The Outhouse Takes…more news on this soon
Its July now, the month of my birthday and the birthdays of Sylvester Stallone, Lindsay Lohan and Wesley Snipes. The picture above is taken from an old stage plan I found for a show that never happened…anyways. The first six months of the year have been almost consistently great, presenting me with the opportunity to play shows up and down (and up and down again) the length of the UK with people like James Yorkston, The Picitsh Trail and Malcolm Middleton. I was invited to play for a nudist community off the coast of Holland (only half true) and I played my first gig in Cork back in February so truly a year of fresh experiences and new horizons. There’s lots of incriminating pictures and stuff to see below but first I’ve a few shows coming up during the summer that i think everyone should go to.
Upcoming Shows This Summer
First up is a double-header with my friend Mute Swimmer in The Servant Jazz Quarters in London on the 17th July. This is a tiny little downstairs venue in Dalston but it sounds amazing, as good as anywhere in London in fact and its only £5 in – a steal. I’ll be joined by Emma and Vince on strings and an accordion player whose name is almost famous. You can check out Mute Swimmer here – an amazing live performer. The week after that we’re off to Gisburn Forest on July 27th to play at Cloudspotting Festival in Lancashire, serious bang for your buck at this one.
And then I’m going back to Ireland and really looking forward to it. First up is a show in Whelans on the 31st of July as part of Kinfolk Presents – will probably be bricking it a bit since its in the main room so all available moral support is essential/welcome and we haven’t played in Dublin since last year, and hopefully we have improved. Then its off to Tullamore, the Timbuktu of Ireland, for Castlepolooza the following weekend. My trip back to Ireland is set to conclude in the best possible way – a show with David Kitt as part of the 40th Anniversary Kilkenny Arts Festival in the beautiful Set Theatre in Kilkenny. I’ll be joined by some amazing musicians for these shows and I might try and squeeze some new sounds out of my magic box, yes. Oh and I’ll hopefully get back to Swinford at some stage for a tune and a pint in the majestic surrounds of O’Connors
All the shows are listed here on the website but you should put them in your calender now…put them in your calender…NOW
And just before we get to the juicy bits….
What the hell is this? Its a mailing list, yes, but so much more – I’m going to send out the odd newsletter but they’ll generally be accompanied by a free tune or the likes. I’ve put up the original demo of God Damn You Mountain, recorded in my kitchen in Kerry in 2007, for everyone who takes the bait.
And now the juicy bits….
This is a photo of James, Johnny and myself recording a session for a radio station in Inverness….JY has just cracked a joke
Johnny considers making a run for it after being caught smuggling counterfeit food from Greggs into the van, immortalized here in video
The tour with Malcolm took in some of the UK’s lesser known beauty spots….does anyone know where this is?
….while Newcastle Zoo provided the backdrop for our 2nd show of the tour in The Cluny
….but it was nice to receive the recognition that I have long deserved
These last few shows in Scotland with James Yorkston and the Pictish Trail have been a blast, have a look on the ‘shows’ page for more info about remaining dates. I’ve got a few recordings from some of the shows that I’ll post eventually and some pictures too (see below). Also, another bunch of UK shows just added, supporting the great Malcolm Middleton…really really looking forward to these
….and I’m just adding the finishing touches to an EP of new songs, and they sound nice…big, but nice. I’m aiming to have it ready for this upcoming tour with James Yorkston and The Pictish Trail. And some t-shirts with sheep on them. Also, a remix I did for James Yorkston is being released on Domino Records in April…read about that here
…and that’s it really. Slowly slowly starting to out some festivals together for the summer…get in touch festivals. See y’all soon
Alas, October is all but over and I’m a few hours away from my first London show in many months…here’s the poster I made for it. Thanks to Queenie for being a sport.
October began with shows in Ireland where we were also lucky enough to bluff our way onto the national airwaves. I had the pleasure of joining Dave Fanning in Studio for an hour or so on 2FM on the 26th September, and it really was a pleasure. The same day we recorded a song for the John Kelly chaired RTE 1 arts show, The Works, which was broadcast the following evening. That was also a pleasure, no doubt helped by the fact I was joined by my brother John on accordion and Graham Watson on Banjo…here’s us