hallo my very special peeps,
wipe that drool from your eyes, and lick your salty moustache - it’s the pictish trail, here. good moaning.
if you are in possession of any of the human senses, or even just an accurate calendar, you’ll have noticed that summer is in full swing, toplessly sunning itself into oblivion. have you burned yourself, yet? crisped up your skin all nice? have you?
I haven’t. I’ve stayed largely in-doors. I think i was at Glastonbury a few weeks ago, but it’s all a bit of a haze. I remember being in a car for hours upon hours, and then needing a lot of sleep when I arrived home ... so I must have been at Glastonbury. I’ve got a tattoo on my inner thigh that says “I met the Dalai Lama”. Not sure how that got there. Actually, it’s a bit smudged. Maybe it says “I met the Lilly Allen”. Good times.
This past weekend, I was up on the isle of Iona - playing at the Village Hall Music Festival, a two-day event curated by Roddy from Idlewild. I’d never been to Iona before. It was very pretty. Like a posh version of Eigg. A Gent’s Eigg, if you will. Mmmmn. Really cool place.
I was up there playing a Pictish Trail gig - which i’ve not done too many of, this year. I’ve been cutting back on playing shows, taking most of this year off from performing live ... my focus is getting the new songs ready for the next album. It’s definitely coming along - i’ve got 9 tracks in the works at the moment, and hoping to get a few more songs together this month. Recording sessions have been taking place in short blasts throughout the year - I record with the producer for 2 or 3 days, then go into an incubation tank for a few months, and torture myself with my own music until it’s acceptable for human consumption. It definitely won’t be out until 2016. At the earliest.
Anyway, aye, I was up on Iona at this festival ... and had a really good time playing. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed acting the arse on stage. It’s a great laugh - was a fun audience, too. So, yeah - I’m looking forward to doing lots more gigs when the new album is ready. Until then, though, i’ve only got FOUR things on the Pictish calendar for 2015: Deershed Festival in July, Lost Map’s Howlin’ Fringe in August, Green Man Festival, and the Moseley Folk Festival in September. That’s it. (Although there might be a Xmas thing ... but that is it).
I want to tell you more about Howlin’ Fringe, as it’s the only Scottish show i’ve got lined-up this year. It’s an all-day music party taking place in Penicuik Town Hall, from 3pm til midnight, on Saturday 8th August. It’s kind of a Lost Map showcase, i suppose. Those of you who have followed my career over the past decade or so (gasp!) will be aware that organising events like this has played a big part in who I am as a musician - getting to play with my pals, and celebrate each other’s music whilst imbibing a cold, delicious and reasonably priced lager flavoured beverage. More importantly, it’s a fun way of meeting and hanging out with the folk who have supported our releases - it’s what Home Game was built on, back in the Fence days ... and it’s carried on through to our Lost Map events like Kid Canaveral’s Xmas Baubles, the Randolph’s Leap event I Can’t Dance To This Music, and our Howlin’ Fling! festival on Eigg.
I’d love to be able to do Howlin’ Fling! every year on Eigg - but it’s a pretty exhausting project, albeit a really special one. So, like the Away Game before it, it’s something we’re only gonna do once every two years. At most. There’ll be news on the next one later in the year.
Howlin’ Fringe, however, is a more intimate satellite event - and it’s about showing off what great music we have on the label, as well as inviting some close pals. I always think of these events being like the parent’s night at school, where your folks would visit your teachers and get an update on what you were up to in class, and then you’d get fucking whalloped when they got back home. It’s one of those where we’re each presenting some of our new work, and our best work - and then we’re going to whallop each other.
I’m not sure how i’m going to do my set, yet, cos I’ve not really worked out how to play the new songs, properly. There’s a lot of vocals going on, so i’m experimenting a bit with layering vocals on top of one another, triggering samples and stuff. But maybe i should just try cloning myself? I’ve got a month to figure it out. If you’re listening to (or reading) this blog, and you look like me and have a great voice like me, and you love working for next to no money, and you would like to be a Pictish Trail clone singer, then please pop me an email. Usual address.
The venue is a really beautiful hall, in Penicuik - which has two spaces. Upstairs we’ll have some music and comedy, and downstairs we’ve got some really amaaaazing food being served - covering all dietary needs - courtesy of our pal Austin. There’ll be some weird stuff going on downstairs too ... but there’ll be more info about all that later. We’re running the bar, and we’re going to keep prices as cheap as possible. So it should be a fun day. Come
Tickets are £15 at the moment, but they're gonna go up to £18 in the next week or so. £18 is still pretty cheap, i think.
Right, i’ll get going. Thanks for listening. Check out the other bits and pieces on the Lost Map site to see other people who are going to be announced. We are going to do a special thing with each announcement to remind you of our faces.
Right. I'm off. Bye. I love you.