We’ve finished our short UK tour now, so this is me taking stock and reflecting and all that sort of thing. Highlights for me were the response we got in Sheffield, meeting some Trio Riot fans in Newcastle and supporting Troyka in Manchester. There were some really special moments every night, and I particularly enjoyed how different some of the tunes were from night to night, in particular our version of Fiddle and The Drum by Joni Mitchell (the trick is Johnny’s never heard it, so it came out more like a demented Mogwai track than a folk song in Sheffield for example). I also really enjoyed getting stuck into a bluesy Elvis Costello cover on each gig too.
Here’s a recording of a brand new, as-yet-unnamed tune from our London gig at The Oxford (fantastic night worth your support by the way…).
Had the recorder not failed during ‘Tyven’ on both nights we recorded it, you’d have been able to hear what I think may well have been my favourite times we’ve ever played it. Ah well, the album version is a close third, you can certainly still hear that, over at the shop To make up for it, here’s a version of Kolme also recorded in London.
As a bit of an aside (maybe this should have been a separate blog post), I’m really happy with how this whole process has worked out. Throughout the recording/production/booking/touring process I’ve tried to do as much myself as possible, and keep things as affordable as possible, and I’m really pleased with the outcomes. Sure, it would have been nice to earn more on the tour, but we played for the first time with this band in four new cities, and more than covered our costs. Thanks in no small part to heroic local promoters Andy Champion, Tymoteusz Jóźwiak and George Crowley who all lent us enough gear to half our transport costs. And I’m sure there’s things I’d change about the album given the time and money, but I’m really happy with it, and (thanks largely to the generosity of talented individuals Angela Guyton, Sam Andreae and Ben Cottrell) we’re already halfway to having covered our costs there too. It would have been great to have secured some funding for any or all parts of this project, but I’m proud that missing out on that hasn’t stopped us. More and more, I believe that sustainability as an artist doesn’t mean chasing big money, I think it’s about building from the ground up and reducing out-goings rather than looking to maximise income.
Right, enough of that, here is a selection of photographs, mostly showing Johnny and James looking thoughtful/bored pre-gig in a variety of places (the budget didn’t stretch to include an official photographer…).