My solo set at the Mitcheldean Festival

I’ll write separately about our band’s prog-tinged gig at the Mitcheldean Festival. Here I just want to report back briefly on my solo set in the evening. last Saturday.


I had a half-hour, which was enough time to get through eight songs. They were:

  • Yesterday (Beatles)
  • You’ve Got a Friend (James Taylor)
  • We Learned the Sea (Dar Williams)
  • America (Simon and Garfunkel)
  • The Next Best Western (Richard Shindell)
  • Broken Things (Julie Miller)
  • Little Green (Joni Mitchell)
  • A Day In The Life (Beatles)

(I’d hoped to sing Christy Moore’s Ride On and Carole King’s Will You Love Me Tomorrow? as well, just before the end. But I could see my time was running out so I skipped straight to the finale.)

On the whole, it went pretty well. Starting with two songs that everyone can sing along with is a good approach. By that point I felt like I had the audience in my hand, and I could hit them something as difficult (but rewarding) as We Learned The Sea, which went down well. If I could make one change, it would be not to have put The Next Best Western and Broken Things together — doing two consecutive songs that no-one knows can induce restlessness.

Still, very satisfactory over all, and A Day In The Life remains a great choice to finish on. Honestly, even among fairly earnest folkies, you just can’t beat starting and finishing with Beatles songs.

The hero of the day was Brett Norris — a reader of this blog who I’ve never met before, and who in fact hadn’t even commented here, but who came up from Bristol to see our band, missed the show because it was moved due to bad weather and the new venue wasn’t properly advertised, but who still stayed around to hear the folk set in the evening. Brett Norris, we salute you!


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