Well it's been really lovely how the new Split Electric LP is being received. We've had a number of favourable reviews online and in print (cheers John Mulvey at Uncut), and radio play from stalwart solo guitar supporters Sideways Through Sound in Oz, as well as BBC Radio's Late Junction, Stewart Maconie's Freak Zone, Gideon Coe, Tom Ravenscroft and Tom Robinson. Thanks one and all.
Have also had a great run of shows with Mr Joynes promoting the Split Electric LP. We started out in Nottingham, a show I was particularly worried about as I have been recovering from a broken right elbow, hadn't gigged in months and had only 2 weeks playing time to get ready. As it was, everything seemed to be working OK with the arm, and it was nice to have the company of friends and family for my return to the saddle. My kids even came down, they loved hearing Chris as ever, although they flaked out just before I played bless them.
Next up was the launch show in Manchester where we were joined by Richard Dawson who MCd, belted out a couple of songs, and span a huge range of tunes between and after sets by Chris and myself. Excellent to have him on board, he is such a special musician and his artwork for the LP is really a Thing. Thanks for coming Manchester crew - particularly awesome to catch up with Tekla and DBH. Dan is now obliged to produce Tekla's new album, following considerable drunken ranting from me on the subject. Sorry guys (it is a good idea though). Good to hook up with Nigel from North Country Primitive for a chat also.
An epic train and bus journey to Glasgow reminded me of the joys of travelling with Mr Joynes - good chats, a spot of birdwatching and an eye for a well-timed baguette. Glad Cafe in Glasgow were fantastic and welcomed us in for an intimate evening with those brave enough to trudge in through the cold and sleet (thanks you lot). Also thanks to local hero Robin Adams who opened with a set of his own songs, as well as one of his dad's who is a member of String Driven Thing.
Next set of shows began in Nottingham at my beloved JT Soar with the epic Howie Reeve, who is on fire with his shiny new bass. He held the place in the palm of his hand with his combination of self-determined music and hilarious stage presence. Jim Ghedi and Toby Hay showcased their glittering new duo set, which confirmed my impression that these guys are where it's all happening in guitar music right now. If you get a chance to see this thing, get on it! Opening up was Damp Magic, thoughtful, off-kilter songs from Nottingham's Mat Thomas. Hope he gets out more in coming months.
The following night was a reunion with Mr Joynes at Cafe Kino in Bristol. It turned out that the helpful guy on the train (googling the venue address when I realised it was in my phone which I left at JT Soar the previous night) was Professor David Nutt - one of the essential voices in the drug law debate and a leading psychedelics researcher. Very exciting to meet him! Psychedelia continued to be the order of the day with the opening set from Yama Warashi, an outstanding new Bristol band headed up by Yoshino Shigihara, formerly of Zun Zun Egui. Fantastic stuff, check it out. Kino staff and Matt the promoter were absolutely lovely, and Chris and I really enjoyed playing to an attentive capacity crowd.
Final night was in Shropshire, with our old friends Dave and Liz from Lancashire and Somerset lining up a show in the 6 Bells pub in Bishop's Castle. Lovely to see some familiar faces turn out for this cold but excellent evening. Mrs Davis and the kids popped up unexpectedly and we had a fantastic day out bone hunting in the Shropshire hills before heading back to Nottingham. All told, a life-affirming run of shows, a reminder of why I do this stuff.
Thanks again to everyone who helped out and came down to see us (not least Mr Lee Jones of Thread Recordings who is helping us every way he can think of, much appreciated).
Just getting ready for the Spain / Portugal leg in March, which is looking fantastic (and potentially grueling!). See some of you out there I hope!