A Tour of Two Halves

In just a few days I’ll be setting off for my first ever solo headline tour.

Like everything I do, it looks sort of dissipated and desultory. Three or four of the gigs I was hoping to get organised ended up not happening. So there are only six gigs, in five cities, across nine days.

Like everything I do, it’s gonna be sparkly. I’m really excited about my first album The Glass Delusion and the chance to play it to people up and down (some of) England. There are many wonderful people involved and some frankly amazing line-ups. Also I’m doing the whole thing by train. And playing two gigs in different cities, in one day.

If you just want the dates and venues and line-ups, hit the gigs page. If you want some entirely subjective and self-indulgent ramblings about each gig, read on. I’m previewing the first half here and the second half next time. Hey, it’s a Tour of Two Halves!

A picture at night across a quayside in Bristol with a boat and pretty lights

Friday 27 September: Bristol

My affection for Bristol is well documented – by me, anyway. I always say if I had to leave Sheffield for some reason – like I was being hunted for my fine pelt by an earl with large dogs, or something like that – then Bristol would be top of my list. Like Sheffield, it’s got hills and pretty views, some lovely people and an interesting history. It’s also quite expensive and they have cider instead of beer, but back on the plus side there’s a beautiful estuary and boats and stuff.

I’ve never been to the Lazy Dog so I can’t tell you anything about that. Sorry. But I’m delighted that David Leach is playing too: he’s been amazing every time I’ve seen him, and writes songs so good they make me jealous.

I’m also delighted to see Lonely Tourist on the line-up. Paul Lonely Tourist emailed me to say hello a few months ago after I blogged about his song The Ballad of Paul Tierney. So when I asked David if he’d put the gig on, I asked if Paul could play too. Nice. All we need now is for David to write a ‘Ballad of’ about a footballer as well. Might be waiting a while on that, I guess.

What? I’ve got a lovely pelt.

Sunday 29 September: London

Well, now. This, comrades, is an almost embarrassingly majestic line-up. The Understudies! Their song ‘Jackie’ has been reverberating around my mental jukebox for months. Night Flowers! Proper lovely early-90s-style indie/pop. David Leach again! He’ll still be wonderful.

Like me, Sam Night Flower is a native of Grimsby and a fan of Grimsby Town Football Club. (We enjoyed an excellent pre-match piss-up together before the Mariners’ disappointing FA Trophy final at Wembley back in March.) This also places his band in the esteemed echelons of haddockpop, alongside such Grimbarian-employing indie faves as Pocketbooks (Emma Hall), The Groove Farm (Jez Butler), Jam on Bread (Steve Carlton) and Gene (Kevin Miles). London, can you wait? I bet you can’t!

Venue is the King & Queen, Foley Street, W1. I’ve played there once before, at one of the capital’s marvellous Totally Acoustic nights hosted by the equally marvellous MJ HIbbett. It’s a lovely little upstairs room and they do a nice pint of Tribute.

Thursday 3 October: Birmingham

I’ve never been to Cherry Reds in Kings Heath, which is where this gig is happening. And at the time of writing I don’t know who else is playing. But look: it’s being put together by Paul and Eve from Ace Bushy Striptease, so there’s basically no way it won’t be awesome.

I lived in Birmingham for 12 years before I came to Sheffield. I used to moan a lot about there not being any decent pubs. I’ve still got loads of friends there though (and some relations) so it could be quite a special night if one or two of those folks make it along.

When I lived there I was in a band called The Regulars. It was the UK Indiepop Dark Ages and I have no confidence, so nothing happened. Good tunes though. I’m gonna play one of them here, just for old times’ sake. Like I say, it could be quite a special night.

*pleading face*

Thanks for reading! Please come along! Or at the very least, read the next blog post, where I’ll be examining the logistics of playing two gigs in different cities on the same day without the aid of a helicopter!

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