Jun
08

Canadian parking meters...

Author // Dan Walsh

Dear all,


I am here in an irritatingly wet but otherwise wonderful Fredericton. It is a quite wonderful city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick packed with lovely cafes, quirky shops and a decent dollop of live music. I arrived in Canada yesterday and begin my gigging tonight over in St Andrews (not the one in Fife obviously...). I got to my accommodation in the pouring rain and was keen to head out and get a bite to eat and maybe a cheeky beer but operating as I do a no-drink policy with driving, I was a little dubious of the whole 'walking' thing. The rain eased off so I thought right let's go. And it did that thing, I'm sure you've had it too, where I got just far enough away that turning round and getting in the car instead was relatively pointless as it was far away enough that I would just get soaked anyway. So I thought screw it I'll keep on heading into Fredericton. Good god did I get soaked. I got to a little food pub and sat down and the whole table was drenched in seconds! Still I had clam and chips and some very nice oatmeal stout so all was not lost...


Anyway to bring you up to speed, my last outing was on the eve of the end of a big UK tour. Cambridge was first up and a small but perfectly formed audience gave me a nice
May
26

Am I just OCD?

Author // Dan Walsh

Dear all,


Incredibly my solo tour is coming towards the end after what seems like no time at all. It has been really rather splendid and I've really enjoyed playing new material alongside stuff from last year's Incidents and Accidents and a bit of other stuff from times gone by. It's all been a tad exhausting too of course with ludicrous amounts of miles but I have really enjoyed seeing faces both old and new. Touring is something I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with but performing is something I cannot live without so thank you for allowing me to do it!


So to bring you up to speed...after my last blog it was a crazy weekend of gigs beginning in the old hometown of Stafford at the Gatehouse Theatre for a typically wonderful gig at that venue. My hometown provides me with a beacon of wonderful support from wonderful people upon which to build my career and I really do appreciate it all the time. Traditionally the aftershow party
May
05

The time anyone?

Author // Dan Walsh

Dear all,


Well I'm running about like a bluebottle with the runs just lately but all in the name of my ludicrous career choice. So dating back, the UFQ tour finished with cracking gigs in Maldon, Moreton and Chester. The first named has been a long time favourite of ours at the town hall thanks to the wonderful Barrie and Nicki of MAC Theatre who put on wonderful gigs. Moreton is a village just 20 minutes from my home and thanks to Tricia and Tony who do a wonderful job of bringing music to rural Staffordshire/Shropshire/Whichever-county-it-falls-in. Then it was to Chester to play Alexander's and we had an absolute cracker in a venue that's had a real lift since new manager Jamie came in. All in all, a bloody marvellous end to a bloody marvellous tour.


In between some of those gigs was an appearance at Todmorden festival with the legendary Alistair Anderson which was a lot of fun as always. Then sandwiched in between the UFQ tour and the beginning of my tour came a weekend trip to Austria for a one off gig with superb harmonica player Lee Sankey who after a decade of relentless touring decided to go down the business route but is occasionally persauded out of retirement as he was here. We had a great time and the scenery was lovely. I also managed to fit in an open top bus gig on Llandudno pier. I don't know if any of you have ever been to Llandudno pier. It gets quite cold. It was quite cold. But I had fun.


Then my tour began up in Bridlington in Yorkshire. It was a cracking night and great to catch up with the lovely Edwina Hayes (check out her stuff if you haven't already) although in the end my original tour plan of doing that gig and staying up in Yorkshire with some family/friends until my gig in Kirkby Fleetham a few days later was thrown out by a trip to the Royal Albert Hall for the Folk Awards thanks to my nomination. Still, if you're looking
Apr
14

The peculiar phenomenon of self service checkouts

Author // Dan Walsh

Dear all,


Well it's another day in the office today as I try and practice, write and plan my life. But there's been a fair bit of giggery since my last outing and a fair bit of time on the road. Oswaldtwistle was a cracking little gig with UFQ and a first experiment into wearing a fingerpick. Yes I have had to consider succumbing to the dark side as my fingernails are beginning to show the wear and tear of such constant playing since I was 13. Don't worry I'll always be a clawhammerer...just it might be a fake nail that does the playing.


Anyway, then I went for a little three day holiday to my parents house in the Lakes (always lovely to have time with them although my dad was unfortunately in Dubai) and then to my old home of Newcastle where I saw the outstanding Pons Aelius who delivered an absolutely superb performance. I actually wrote this on my facebook the morning after about the folk degree I did:

I was fortunate enough to do a degree in folk music. From the age of three, Scottish and Irish folk music in particular has been a constant love of mine and to study it with such terrific players of my own age, playing sessions in all kinds of ridiculous places, going to gigs, trading tunes etc was a wonderful time. I was reminded of it last night as I was back in
Mar
28

I'd missed trains...

Author // Dan Walsh

Dear all,


I write to you at the beginning of a moderately restful week with no gigs til Saturday though I will of course be filling my time with rehearsals and writing. After my last blog, it was off to London for some Live Music Now work for St Patrick's Day with my mandolin playing chum Nic Zuppardi in a couple of cracking schools. It was a slight surprise to be introduced as an Irish music act as we're not and weren't expecting to be! But of course Irish music was my first love (apart from Graceland...) so we called upon my old repertoire and sang children songs about drinking and in a catholic school we sang a song by a band that is famous for deriding