Tales from the Rails (Leeds) – Top Gun, Vinyl and Fred Durst

So what about those blog posts? Oh yeah, that was something I used to do to bide my time on coaches and trains! I’m on the former now, leaving town after a two-day Leeds extravaganza. Yesterday I got to play an in-store show at Jumbo Records. Also performing were Jinski from Newcastle and the very lovely Leeds Singer Songwriter Lisa Marie Glover. The shop itself is great – a huge space full of CDs and vinyls, music magazines, posters and gig flyers. I gravitated towards the blues section when I arrived and perused the many howling wolf and muddy waters records, but ended up buying The Who’s “Who’s next”, mainly because I love the song “too much of anything” – I’ve been singing it constantly over the last year and have only ever seen clips of Townshend performing it live during many a late night’s Youtube session.

Screen shot 2015-02-24 at 14.40.28My album, The Real Thing, is now on sale at Jumbo Records, so please do go and buy it if you’re local! It costs £8.99 (how cool is that, it’s got an actual shop price and everything!). There are only a limited amount of copies and you would make me very happy if we were to sell out! Go on, Leeds! It was hard to decide where to place them though.. the shop owner went for half of them in “indie” and the other half in “folk”. Where would you have put them?

I stayed in Leeds that morning to wake up to icy sunshine. The skies were deceivingly springlike, but the air was sharp and bitter cold. Still, it was a great morning and I got to stroll around the Leeds market for more music.. I love browsing through vinyl boxes in market stalls – although I was sorely tempted by many funny looking 80’s records, I went down a more predictable route and bought a Beatles compilation. “The early years”, featuring that well known track: “Take out some insurance on me, baby”. So yes, Leeds was music to my ears and purse all the way…

In the evening I performed at the Gaslight Club at Oporto. This has to be one of my favourite nights to play at – Oporto’s a small venue, but the east village vibe of the night is great – people come along regularly because they trust the host and know that the music’s going to be good, whoever’s playing. Said host, Gary Stewart (of Ellen and the Escapades), opened the show with some new songs of his, which were fantastic, so do check him out if you don’t know his music already. I opened my set with a new Ukulele song and had a great time performing.

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I’ve got so many new songs on the way that just aren’t quite ready for the stage yet, but I can’t wait to share them with you when they are. Ugh, sorry, but I’ve got to interrupt myself, I’m listening to “Who’s Next” as I’m typing and “Behind Blue Eyes” has just come on. I still have not forgiving Fred Durst for covering this song. Unfortunately I heard his terrible version first and just hated it at the time. Learning about the original, I’ve had to admit that it’s actually a really great song, but I still see Fred Durst and Halle Berry’s face when I hear it… boo! Why Fred, why? Anyway, where was I… So yes, the National Express Coach from Leeds to Liverpool is toodling along, passing housing estates, little suburban areas, bending around roundabouts, and I’m the only passenger on it. That’s right, It’s me and the driver, who introduced himself by saying: “Sorry for the delay, I was watching top gun”…fair enough. For all intents and purposes, I have my very own tour bus for tonight. Hurray! I knew I’d get there eventually.


Thank you to Antonia, Gary and Nick for having me in Leeds, thanks to Andy for putting me up and for providing coffee! I’ve got a couple fo days to hang out in Liverpool now before Friday’s show at the View Two Gallery, which I’m SO EXCITD ABOUT! It’s Liverpool Acoustic’s sixth Birthday, and I’m sharing the bill with Jez Wing of Echo and the Bunnymen and Jo Bywater. I can’t wait to to play my piano songs on that beautiful piano and I can’t wait to see all my Liverpool friends. For now, Thank you Leeds and see you again soon at Oporto, I’m sure.

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