Good afternoon. Are you sitting, constable? Then i’ll begin. Welcome to the third Pictish Trail blog.
So what’s been going on since my last entry? Well, I’ve been around the world and I, I, I, aye, I, eye, I can’t find my baby. (Lisa Stansfield, what terrible parenting). By which I mean, i went on a short tour around France (with a stop off in Holland at the end). I was accompanied by Kate Canaveral (my driver), Brendooon (my drummer), and Tuff Love (my fitness instructors). And it was great. The shows were all really nice, people bought records, there was some dancing, i loved it.
They do eat a lot of bread. Lots of bready products. Brendon renamed breakfast ‘Breadfast’ on account of all the baguettes and croissants we digested.
I was on French telly the other week. A few filmmakers came up to Eigg earlier in the year, and filmed all the islanders. They decided to do an interview with me on the morning after the biggest party on the island. Needless to say I don’t look my best, and I’ve not received a ton of offers for me to return to France any time soon. Oh dear. Pardon! You can see a video of the tv show embedded in this blog.
Since getting back to the UK i’ve been working on a few things. Went down to the London the other week and did some new bits of recording, for the Pictish record. Feels like we’re almost a 1/3 of the way through it - i told you it would take a long time. But i’m really happy with how it’s going. Hoping to do some more recording this month.
As most of you know, I run a wee record label called Lost Map. We’ve just had our first Lost Map Hallowe’en party, which was great fun. I went as a dead BeeGee, but most folk reckoned I looked like a sweaty darts player. I’ve just recently finished reading Martin Amis’s London Fields, so that comparison made me feel a bit sick. I looked at myself in the mirror, sweating booze, and caught a whiff of Keith Talent.
I’ve been working on a new section of the Lost Map website, which is called … wait for it … CLUMPS. I insist that you go and check my CLUMPS, immediately. It’s kind of a web-magazine for all things to do with the label and the collective. In this first issue there is a free 9-track sampler to download, featuring music from all the artists on the label - most of it rare and exclusive. There’s also a short film about our Howlin’ Fling festival, and a Hallowe’en scented podcast from eagleowl. There’s more stuff coming in the next week or so, so don’t be afraid to return.
Now i’m getting myself ready for some more touring. I’m travelling to Germany, next week - doing some Pictish Trail shows in Berlin, Hamburg and Freiburg. Then there’s a small solo Pictish show in Edinburgh on November 19th, before I head out on tour with Sweet Baboo from November 27th onwards. Starting in Margate. Beautiful Margate. Please come and see us! We’re playing Margate, Birmingham, Brighton, Southampton, Bristol, Sheffield, Hebden Bridge, London, Reading, Cardiff, Exeter, Leicester, York, Manchester, Wakefield, then up to Kid Canaveral’s Xmas Baubles in Edinburgh, and then finishing the tour in Aberdeen on the 14th December.
These shows are gonna be fun. I love Sweet Baboo - if you don’t know him, he’s an incredible singer songwriter from Wales, with the wit of an old wise man, and the soft supple skin of a young boy. We’ve been pals for awhile - in fact, he produced my last album. For this tour, we’re gonna be on stage with each other, playing along on each others songs, tickling each other ivories, and having a laugh. I’m in the process of making a Lost Cat cassette tape for this tour, with a bunch of old and lost pictish recordings - so it’s worth coming along for that alone. Mmmmnn.
Ticket sales are fine at the moment, y’know … neither of us are Jon Bon Jobby Jovi … but we’ve sold some tickets. If you’d like to see us play, and you haven’t bought tickets yet, you should buy some advance tickets. I say this cos I know what it’s like promoting gigs, it’s always a bit frightening not knowing how many folk are gonna come along. I’ve noticed that, for a lot of my shows over the past year, a large proportion of tickets are purchased on the door - and lot of my friends have said the same about their shows. I guess folk are being a bit careful as to how they are spending their money, waiting til the last minute to see if they can afford it. Which is totally fair enough. All i wanna say is that a lot of the shows on this tour are in small venues run by independent, DIY promoters, and it’s a nice feeling for them knowing that folk are going to come along, makes things less stressful. We’re playing a lot of different places on this tour - something like 17 shows!? - and so if you were planning on coming to any of them, a good way to support your local music scene is to buy tickets in advance. It’d be lovely ta see ya.
Riiiight. That’s my admin work done. I’d best get back to working on some new songs. I’ll probably be back in touch post-tour, for a pre-Xmas massage.
see ya babez,