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.

53 comments:

runningonhemptea said...

This sounds like a great idea. I've always fancied touring my juggling act by bike but dragging my 5ft unicycle around with me wouldn't be very practical.
I commute by bike 11 miles each way to my day job and its the best part of my day - for some reason it just makes me feel more a part of the area i'm cycling in.
enjoy the tour - hope you'll consider coming to Belfast again.

Dave Gorman said...

Of course I'd consider it. Just not on this tour for obvious reasons...

JoJo said...

I'm so excited about this. My first impression when I found out you were cycling was "oh I live so far up North there's no chance" but it seems that's no problem for Gorman. So glad you're coming to my town and if you wearn't I'd get on my bike and cycle to the nearest town you were at. That's what those complaining emailers should do. Best of luck. xx

Absolute Chaos said...

Are you cycling solo or inviting audience members to come along to the next gig for company? You could Pied Piper your way around the country with a band of cyclists in tow!!

Kathbad said...

Really fantastic idea - I will be there in Swindon...

Aunty Helpful Dictator said...

How utterly selfish of you not to create some sort of cycle-powered rowboat and bring the tour to Ireland.... and then the rest of the world!

I'm kidding - don't get any ideas!

Jack said...

I'll try to get to either the Swindon or Bristol one, I can't ride a bike though so I'll be going by train.

elfin said...

Foo - closest for me is Lancaster - but a week night might make it impractical to attend - sadly.

But will it be a documentary? will you have a film crew peddling along behind you... Though I think that might be one case where a documentary of the documentary would be more interesting.

Have fun with the tour!

Single Track said...

The Sonachan Hotel or the Glenfinnan dining car it is for me from here...though Fired Art in Fort William has better coffee...looking forward to it Dave. Crack open the lycra...

Adam said...

A very interesting idea but I must express my disappointment that you're missing out the North East.

Especially as I'm not able to attend your upcoming book reading in Newcastle either.

Gwyn said...

Brilliant!!! This tour will really have a small 'carbon footprint'. What a great idea to set out a logical route instead of zig-zagging all over the place. Even if you weren't cycling it would make a lot of sense to do it that way.

Dave Gorman said...

@Adam: You're disappointed by what exactly? That I'm cycling from the southernmost point of the mainland to the most easterly to the most westerly to the most northerly but not making a several-hundred-mile detour to your city? Be disappointed by geography but not by me.

Sarah said...

What a brilliant tour idea, but sounds exhausting! Maybe during October you will sleep (possibly in an iced bath?). Hope you'll take your camera along and photograph the venues for your loyal blog readers - the range of venues will definitely be interesting, wish I could come to one of the smaller ones. Are you going to be accompanied by anyone or will it be a lone voyage with helpful people meeting you at the venues?

Catherine Fenton said...

what a brilliant idea we will be in Salford in September. Do you mean Threlkeld village hall near Keswick? Can't find Thirkeld.Would love to see you at that venue, but tickets will be like gold I expect!

Catherine Fenton said...

what a brilliant idea we will be in Salford in September. Do you mean Threlkeld village hall near Keswick? Can't find Thirkeld.Would love to see you at that venue, but tickets will be like gold I expect!

Anonymous said...

How about a nice little map to show your journey...ok maybe not the exact route! but it make be a nice graphical representation

Anonymous said...

@anon, via a gorman retweet :http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Grampound,+Truro,+Cornwall,+UK&daddr=Liskeard+to:Exeter+to:Taunton+to:Bristol+to:Swindon+to:High+Wycombe+to:Cambridge+to:Ipswich+to:Lowestoft+to:Kings+Lynn+to:Peterborough+to:Leicester+to:Stoke+on+Trent+to:Salford+to:Preston+to:Lancaster+to:Kendal+to:Carlisle+to:Dumfries+to:Cumnock+to:Glasgow+to:Dumbarton+to:Ardlui+to:Lyth,+Wick,+UK&hl=en&geocode=&mra=dpe&dirflg=w&sll=57.527622,-4.290161&sspn=0.564783,1.235962&ie=UTF8&ll=54.559323,-2.087402&spn=10.26815,19.775391&z=6

Simon said...

What if you get a puncture and miss a gig...?! Could we all cycle to where you've "broken down" and you could do an intimate "road-side" gig :-)

fatboyfat said...

Excellent idea, Dave. We get it too easy here in Brum with gigs, so I'm happy to travel to see you. Seems to be the least I could do, all things considered.

And the word verification code for today - econbot. Well, we are in a recession, I suppose.

EmlynB said...

Good idea, Mr G, very commendable. I hope you're ready to cycle pretty blooming fast. You know, you may have inspired me to get out my puncture repair kit.

Just Nick said...

There goes Dave
Cycling along
Singing his cycerling along song

North and south
East and west
Cycling along in a day-glo vest

Stopping here
Stand-up there
Due to geography,
Not everywhere.

campdave said...

Really pleased you're coming to Lancaster - don't know if you're aware or not, but it's on of the "cycling towns" that have been set up:

http://www.celebratingcycling.org/more_info.asp?current_id=119

Dave Gorman said...

@Catherine Fenton: you're quite right... Threlkeld it is..

Single Track said...

I must confess to being slightly bamboozled by the number of 'oh, you're not coming to our town' comments, it seems as though some folks feel Mr.Gorman has a duty to 'do' everywhere...if he's making a transport effort, can't you?

Mary said...

I've just booked our tickets for Preston, thanks for letting us know in such good time Dave, much appreciated. Trouble is, I'm all excited now (in February) and I've got to wait until September to see you. Aggggh. Never mind, I'm sure I'll cope, somehow. Sob....

DavidH said...

What a fantastic idea - I'll be doing the c2c ride at that time so I'll try and catch you in Threlkeld. If you're looking for accommodation in that area I can recommend Cumbria House - cyclist friendly people who do a mean veggie breakfast, if you're that way inclined:

www.cumbriahouse.co.uk/dining.htm

ps Regarding Adam's comment, I can appreciate his disappointment but I think he needs to go with the Zeitgeist a bit more; I'll be cycling from Newcastle to St Bees on the 16th, then on to Threlkeld for the 17th should he wish to join me.

Adam said...

@DavidH: I would cycle but unfortunately my job means i'm not able to travel distances as far I would have to.

@Dave Gorman: I don't really understand your point. It was you who chose what route to take, nobody is making you go to the most easterly to the most westerly points, that is your choice.

I'm not saying you must come to the North East, again it's your choice, it's just disappointed me that your chosen route did not take in my local area as I was eager to see your show.

Sorry for any offence I've caused you, I'll wait for the DVD release.

Andy Ward said...

Just a note to say that your keen followers can now arrange their holidays in Cornwall at the end of August and book online now for the Sterts Open-Air Theatre gig. www.sterts.co.uk I'm sure that you'll feel fantastically fit after a few days gentle cycling . . . .

DavidH said...

To Adam - my apologies, been a self-involved, self employed person for too long - of course you have commitments that have to come first; it's a shame there isn't an emoticon for 'removes head from arse' as that's where it was firmly residing at the time of my previous comment.

On the upside DG seems very good at the 'great oaks from little acorns' thing so maybe you'll get a chance to see his standup in another context.

Emma said...

@Adam: Your retort made me laugh hard.

@GrumpyBumGorman: It might be time to make peace with the question "why aren't you playing my town?". I think people will continue to ask it, no matter how often you insist they don't. Perhaps see it as flattery.

Ed said...

I'll like to commend you on your journey and for not going for the typical Lands end - John O Groats route.
I can assure you Lizard Point is far nicer starting point than Lands End and hasn't been over commercialized, i hear the same thing has happened to John o groats so your doing well to miss those out.
Also you'll be glad to here The Lizard is relatively flat so should ease you into it gently. I'll give you a wave if I see you ride past!

Anonymous said...

@GrumpyBumGorman: It might be time to make peace with the question "why aren't you playing my town?". I think people will continue to ask it, no matter how often you insist they don't. Perhaps see it as flattery.

Agreed. I'm always quite shocked at his put downs of people trying to find out info, a fair few people have been upset.

Sarah

Swiss James said...

Great idea- I hope Dave manages to resist the urge to turn it into a TV show or book.

I would've thought there'd be enough effort involved in just getting to each venue on time.

Dave Gorman said...

@Emma & @Anonymous: I'm genuinely sorry if you think I'm rude to people who ask me the question about why I'm not coming to their town. It's not my intention. Here's the thing: there is an answer to the question. Like it or not, the tour has been set up - not as a way of me trying to play to as many people as possible as per a normal tour but as an adjunct to a journey I want to make.

If there is an answer to the question and the question is being asked it seems sensible to me to try to answer it. The problem for me is that it's being asked very frequently. There were over 500 people asking it within 4 hours of the dates going on my site. (This obviously means that the answer wasn't as easily found as I at first thought, which is a failure on my part to communicate.) My choices are to ignore the questions or to try and answer them. I choose to try and answer them. On day one I wrote back (or tweeted) 500 people. I can't do that every day. There isn't time. So I then have to try to make the answer more findable.

It's impossible to write long, friendly responses to 500 people in a day and hard to write 500 concise responses that don't sound impatient.

I'm sure at times it would be better if I just didn't reply. Then someone would vent their anger at me not playing in a given town, assume I was too busy to reply and then go and have a cup of tea. But as there is an answer I choose to give it. To my mind, even if I inadvertently upset someone, it is better that I took the time to reply than simply ignored the question.

Much love,

GrumpyBumGorman.

Marzipan said...

Oooh, if we're recommending local stuff then on behalf of Exeter may I suggest Herbie's vegetarian restaurant and/or Dinosaur Cafe (a sort of Turkish greasy spoon that has nice veggie options including amazing Turkish salad, and is run by the friendliest woman in the world)? Either (or both) are worth a look.

Sarah said...

You might need to get the audience to bring clean clothes along with them to the gigs, Dave.
My little bro cycled the Lands End to John O'Groats route a couple of years ago - but treated himself to a train ticket to get home. I think he managed to clear the first class carriage with his 'eau-de-cyclist', despite wearing his 'best' (or 'least-worn' clothes) for the journey. And yes, he did shower - and attempt to do some sort of laundry during the ride!

Good Luck, anyway. I'm sure it will be an exhilirating experience.

Helena said...

Did you fly to Helsinki with loads of big boxes this morning? Pretty sure I helped your very lovely friend to check-in. Sorry, not stalking, just thought I recognised you. If not, you have an uncanny doppelganger that you need to check out.

Catherine Fenton said...

Oh no! Salford sold out so I won't be there! Gutted! WOuld fancy Kendal but its too far for a school night.
Helena...Dave has a twin brother, it could have been him!

Emma said...

@GBG: I can imagine it is very frustrating to have to answer the same question loads of times to lots of different people.

But...

"It's impossible to write long, friendly responses to 500 people in a day and hard to write 500 concise responses that don't sound impatient."

... you could just write one long nice answer and pop it on the website. And here. And the facebook. And the Gourm. And then twit a shorter version.

Or be more anonymous. I think you've said that you don't want to close the communication with 'the people', but that does sort of mean that 'the people' will try and talk to you.

You can't choose your fans, eh? ;)

Love and Hugs,

Emma

Anonymous said...

Blimey. I read your- maybe slightly reticent- entries about doing a few shows and thought 'oooo, good, maybe he'll be doing some 20 mins here and there soon'.

But a whole tour?! I am dazzled about how you can get up to speed so quickly. I started stand up a year ago, and I'm still scrabbling round for a decent 10. I know you have been doing this man and boy etc etc.. but I am still breathless with wonder. And envy.

Gushing over.

On my edge sun said...

For those of us a bit further a field who probably won't be able to make it to the live shows, are there any plans in the pipeline for a new shiny dvd?

Simon said...

"GrumpyBumGorman"...lol :-)

Dave Gorman said...

@On my edge sun: there are no plans afoot for anything really. But it's all too far off for that. At the same time... this is just what I'm doing in 32 days this autumn. There's no law says that when this tour is over I can't take the same show elsewhere. There are no plans afoot for that either... but it's too far off for that as well.

ultramagnetic_commuter said...

@Emma - If only Dave had thought of that...
http://davegorman.com/livedates.html#faqlive

Emma said...

@ultramagnetic_commuter: ahh no see, I specified 'nice'. Dave told me off for asking a question that was answered on the website FAQ once a few years ago. I never made the mistake of not checking that ever again ;)

But hey, that's all bridge over troubled water now.

mwah.

Tom said...

great move Dave, I was secretly hoping that your london warm up's would encourage you to take it further.

all booked, see you in Wycombe..

I will save you a seat, I think you might need a sit down after all that cycling!


word verification - lectr; a seminar delivered by ICE T.

Lawrence said...

Hi Dave, this is going to be great, I wonder if the last few venues will be taken laying down!! I was wondering- would you like a shiny new touring bicycle to do your tour on? We make touring bikes and are a big fan of yours. Let me know and I'll see what I can do :o)

Dave Gorman said...

@Lawrence: Wow! Certainly interested. What's the best way of getting in touch?

Lawrence said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dave Gorman said...

@Lawrence: I've taken the number down and then deleted the message as I didn't think it wise to leave a phone number floating around in the ether for anyone to find. Someone will probably give you a call soon...

DavidH said...

Just for the irish posters up top I notice DG will be doing some stuff at kilkenny:

www.carlsbergcatlaughs.com

Gogzilla said...

sounds awesome!! As an edinburgh resident I'm lucky enough to have seen you twice (I still have my "dave whacked my google" badge). And although lots of people complaining about you not visiting there town, how often did the residents of wick or therkeld complain that you'd never come to there town on your other tours? Probably not very often. Us city folk just gotta get off our asses and travel just like they've always had to do.

Duncan Mackay said...

Dave, I think your ideas are brilliant and I wish you good weather and a puncture free trip on your cycle ride around Britain. I did a similarly mad gig a few years ago to follow the longest straight line in Britain (as measured by a ruler and pencil on a road atlas) from the Isle of Wight to Cape Wrath...but on a folding bicycle. I called it Long, Slow and Wiggly (it was) and if you enter those three words on a google search a trip description and other stuff will eventually pop up. I'm sure you will share the exhilaration.

Your Uncle Derek suffered my slide show at the Henley Sailing Club when I got back with true Gormanesque humour!

Enjoy!!

Duncan