Tour blog

Karlsruhe and Bern (free download)

Have most of the day free in Bern so I’m spending it catching up with booking shows for the next months, writing some verses for new songs and getting a little distracted by this new website I’ve found called the Youtube. Also listening to concerts recorded recently and pledging to speak less between songs, my word.

Last night I played at La Cappella so this is where I am now. A beautiful wooden church converted into a theatre and music venue 20 years ago and run by Christoph and his team. Honestly, the concert was pretty empty last night but I had a lovely evening and I think the people who came had a nice enough time too. We got it dark and lit the candles and played the songs without mics or electricity distracting and making things louder than they need to be. I hope to come back someday and urge you to visit this place as well.

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The night before was a concert at the NUN café in Karlsruhe. A perfect bunch of volunteers running the venue wonderfully and helping out to no end. Nice friendly audience and I played so-so ok and these are pictures from the lovely evening by Simon Beha.

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Perhaps I will upload the complete recording of the concert soon, as it was kind of solid and sounded grand. I just need to cut out some of the talking for I did go on and on and on and on. Here’s something in the meantime, download and share and what you will.

Tonight I’m heading across to St Gallen for a concert at Sandro’s house. I think it might be pretty full already but if you are in the area and would like to join by all means email me and I’ll stand up so you can have my seat.

Otherwise, it’s Luzern tomorrow, Wienacht-Tobel on Wednesday, Thun on Thursday, Freiburg, Landau and Baden after that. Full dates here.

Between Wiesbaden and Karlsruhe (free download)

I left town mid-morning rode west and up across towards Köln and a couple of small local trains to Grevenbroich. Nicole picked me and up and took her to her house - it was her birthday and I had been asked to play a little concert at her place for her, her friends and family. 

We walked down the lane, by fields and the river. Warm, spring evening.

Everyone sat around and I sat around too and played a bunch of things, actually quite a lot of things. Loads. Half an hour after I finally stopped Achim said he wanted to go home right away to get his saxophone and play some with me, so that happened as well. Maybe you’ll get to hear that but someone has to ask because it’s kind of a mess. The best kind.

The next morning he kindly drove me back to the station and I rode down to Stuttgart for a day off, completely not on the route but really exactly the right place to be for a brilliant evening of delicious Swabian food at Vetter, lovely company and the next day the Seilbahn and a graveyard and all the good things to be found down there.

Yesterday I took a train back up along the Rhine, around the Loreley corner and to Wiesbaden where I was back at the lovely little Wakker room. I’ve played here a few times before and it’s always been very cosy and fun. Last night was no exception and the room filled up and people squeezed in and sat down the front and I played some new songs, plenty old songs.

From the back of the tiny room here’s a free download the last song of the evening. It does go on a bit.

I’m in Karlsruhe tonight to play a long overdue concert at NUN. I was last here back in 2009 or so with Liz Green and her band and it was the first the first time I stood up to play a gig. We were all barefoot that week and super pretentious and sloppy. Was a grand time.

Free download - ‘The Woods Were Full Of Them’ from Leipzig two nights ago

From my concert at the Horns Erben here’s an old song played as a request.

Was a very quiet, lovely audience in the old room in Leipzig and I played a few things I don’t often touch. Will have more from this concert to come, just wanted to pop this up here.

Lichtensteig and Basel but now home.

Friday night I got to return to Lichtensteig, a small town about half an hour from St Gallen in the east of Switzerland. I’d previously played a house concert down the line at Watwil and also at Behind The Bush in Lichtensteig so I think that was the connection. FeinerFreitag is organised by Thomas and his friends - it’s a monthly evening of food and music at his wonderful house. A carpenter and a painter, his place was full of stocky furniture and figurative paintings on each wall. I rode seven hours down to the stop and he picked me up, drove the 5 minutes home and made me as welcome as could be.

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Much earlier on the first train I met Malena who was visiting her mother in Austria and was in possession of some of the most handsome Italian shoes I’ve seen. We chatted at the end of our shared journey, too briefly, and then she took me to a café in Munich for ridiculous donuts and cakes. She asked the name of my music thing but I changed the subject, I’m often ashamed or embarrassed or something I don’t know. It was daft not to at least exchange contact details as I’d enjoyed the conversation, her shoes and the donut, but so it is sometimes.

Anyhow, sat on some more trains, grew alarmed at the amount of thick snow the further south I got and realised an old suit and no jacket were probably insufficient for Switzerland in March. Trains and music venues are warm went the thinking.

So, the concert in Lichtensteig. Two big tables with local friends and strangers, delicious winter salad and lasagne and many cold bottles of wine and beer. I played three sets, I think - kind of in between the courses and after the food. Got to sing some songs I rarely do because it was a super sit down and be quiet kind of deal. Also a lovely bunch of people knew some of my things so they asked for a song and that set me to thinking of others. I played a new song ‘There Is Joy Yet Between The Pages’ that has been finished once but will change a little more and seems to be fairly liquid and malleable at the moment, which is a fun state to be in.

Anyhow, was nice and pleasant and perhaps I missed out a little on the wonderful meal everyone was enjoying but a lovely evening nonetheless.

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Next day, after a lazy morning and a delicious breakfast and twenty minutes playing with the cat I walked down the hill and across the bridge to the small train station and a ride across country to Basel. 

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We were taken to eat at Hirscheneck and had a brilliant meal there. Great atmosphere, very loose and friendly and delicious food.  Spitting sausage.  I suppose everyone in town knows the place but it was somehow new to me and I liked it there a whole lot.

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That evening’s concert was downstairs in the Irrsinn Bar, in the Loch - super smoky, tiny, dark and lots of fun. Lukas stood up and sang and had new things and then I sat down and played for what seemed like ages and ages. Some people in the audience knew a few of my songs which is always surprising so I tried to play those. I did ‘Brighton Gallows’ for Chrigel, ‘When I Was Away’ for someone and ‘We Could Have’ for someone else. 

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Later and away from the smoke the conversation turned to Ireland, Flat Earth Theory and the Sussex Panther. I dragged myself home late and then realised I had forgotten my scarf and hat so dragged myself right on back.

I’m home now, watching the wind blow the pigeons every which way. It’s Monday afternoon and I’ve more concerts this week. You alright?