As noted previously, I am doing both a solo set and (with my wife, son and next-door neighbour) a band set in the first ever Mitcheldean Folk Festival next Saturday. Here is the final program (click through for a PDF of all four pages):
It would be great to see any of you there who can make it.
[This is the second in my series of Desert Island Albums -- eight albums that I would choose to take with me if I were to be stranded on a desert island.]
Aside from experiments in individual tracks — the Beatles’ Helter Skelter, the Kinks’ You Really Got Me — The genesis of the musical genre known as heavy metal is generally agreed to rest with three British bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple.
As I noted last time, the first ever Mitcheldean Folk Festival will be held on 18th-20th July this year. Not only did I get a solo slot in the evening, but — much more exciting to me — we have a band playing in the afternoon:
I’ve been going along to Mitcheldean Folk Club in the last few months. And it turns out I got involved just in time for the first ever Mitcheldean Folk Festival, which will be held on 18th-20th July 2014, but mostly on Saturday 19th.
This afternoon, I did my first solo gig. Up till now, I’ve done a few gigs as a part of combos (including as a jazz singer, bizarrely) and plenty of short solo spots at folk clubs, but this was the first time I’d done a complete set, with just my guitar and voice.
It takes a certain amount of courage.
In BBC Radio 4′s venerable programme Desert Island Discs, a guest is invited to imagine themselves cast away on a desert island, and allowed to choose eight pieces of music to take with them. (The quaint “discs” in the title of course refers to gramophone records; I for one welcome the BBC’s refusal to retitle the programme Desert Island Digital Audio Files.)
I think this is a fascinating exercise, and one that I’ve often toyed with doing myself. Continue reading
Because of a cancelled flight, I have a very rare evening of solitude (sitting around in an airport hotel) with no immediate demands on my time. Being an enormous fan of Stewart Lee, I took the opportunity to watch Jerry Springer: The Opera, which he co-wrote the words for (along with composer Richard Thomas).
Well, that was two hours wasted.
From the very first bars of the first song on Paul Simon’s second post-Garfunkel solo album, there’s a completely different feel from the previous year’s self-titled album. If I had to pick a single word to summarise how that album feels it would be “weary”; for this album, that word would be “sunny”. [Listen on Grooveshark.]
Right. Because someone who likes 1970s prog rock and 1990s-to-contemporary singer-songwriter neo-folk is probably the sort of person who will also like One Direction.
For anyone who retains some scepticism that I sing at folk clubs, here is a rather poor-quality video of our indifferent performance last night of the superb Crosby, Stills and Nash song Guinnevere, which you can hear on their first album. Or on YouTube. You should listen to that, not this: