Monday, February 23, 2009
New Tour Dates
Crikey! Will the commercials never end?
So I started dipping my toe in the stand-up waters late last year. I liked it. Pretty soon I was up to my ankles. I'm heading for full immersion. I've committed to doing a proper tour. Well, I say "proper".
The thing is, it wasn't just the gigs I was enjoying. When I started, I'd take the tube, using the journey to give me time to look through my notebook and compose some thoughts. Then I started to get looser and stopped needing that much preparation so I started cycling to gigs instead because I prefer it to the tube.
I found cycling to gigs made me very happy. I'm not sure I can explain it properly, but cycling changed my attitude to the gigs. Suddenly it was all a bit lo-fi, hippie minstrel and - without changing what I was doing on stage particularly - that made things even more satisfying to me. It was like doing something but leaving no mark. That sounds a bit eco-warrior but that's not really what I mean.
Anyway, I was cycling home one night at around midnight, full of happiness, loving the feeling of being connected to the city I call home and everything about what I was doing made sense. It just seemed to be a perfect kind of existence. And I started thinking that a daily bike ride/gig combination would be enjoyable.
I made the mistake of saying it out loud the next day. And this is the result. A tour. Of the UK. By bike. Normally when you tour, the schedule is kind of random. You take in all the major venues you can. You end up doing gigs in odd, ridiculous sequences and travel from Portsmouth up to Edinburgh one day only to head down to Brighton the next. That's because touring is normally based on when the right sized venues are available. If you're going by push bike you can't really do that. So I'm not.
I decided we shouldn't pay too much heed to the size of venue. I didn't want it to become a tour that was all about business. I wanted to preserve the hippie-minstrel feel that was making me so happy as I cycled around London. So, I committed to a route - from the southernmost point of the British mainland to the northernmost, via the easternmost and westernmost (you can't say I'm not trying to cover the country) and then we started looking for venues at sensible staging posts. There are big venues - 2000 seats is the biggest - and there are small venues, too: 30 seats is the smallest. I've already received a dozen e-mails from people upset that I'm not playing their town. I'm not sure they've really understood the point of the exercise.
Anyway... it's scheduled for this autumn. 1500 miles. 32 nights. The details are on the live dates page of my site.