Sep
10

US tour news

Author // Dan Walsh

It is with disbelief, misery and serious anger that I have to tell you my starting date in the US for my tour is delayed. I will arrive on the 17th instead of tomorrow and do the schedule as planned from then on and hopefully of the four other gigs one has already been rescheduled and two of the other three can also be rescheduled. I will post on this over the weekend.

So the rant...despite starting the visa process seven months ago, submitting everything needed well ahead of time and ticking all the boxes, the US immigration authorities were running massively behind and took forever to process it all and gave me my necessary approval notice on the 2nd September. I then did the next form the very next morning and then went on the portal to arrange the necessary (and I have to tell you staggeringly pointless) visa interview at the US embassy which is followed by a wait to get your documents (including passport) back.

First available appointment was the day before my flight. I requested an emergency appointment but was refused. I did manage to nab someone's cancelled appointment for yesterday but it still wasn't soon enough. To add insult to injury, the airline have been gits and insisted I select a particular alternative date rather than 'leaving it open' hence my departure on the 17th (oh and they charged me lots of course).

So there you have it. I'm not often a sympathy seeker but given through no fault of my own, I'm out hundreds of pounds, not in the US and forced to cancel/rearrange shows I am looking for it now! This is the price I pay for doing things properly and by the book. Sort it out America. May I thank the gig promoters in the US who have been fantastic in their understanding and help.

So if you see a very grumpy musician in Stafford this weekend buy him a pint, a burger or just give him a hug because he needs it.

Yours grumpily,
Danjo
Sep
10

Return to the jazzlokal!

Author // Dan Walsh

Dear all,


Well here I am in...the Wetherspoons in Leytonstone, London. Of course I am. Don't worry I'm not doing the early morning drunk thing, just had a reasonably tasty cooked breakfast and catching up with some work. I'm here ahead of my first tour of the US. My flight's on Friday...or is it? Long story. I'll keep everyone posted but I am hoping it will all be fine...


Anyway on a happier note I had a cracking time in Germany with three lovely gigs and lovely as always German audiences. But first up was a very wet gig in Sunderland city centre with the great Alistair Anderson to open up the new square in the city. Always great to play with Alistair and despite the weather we had a good time! So then Germany...first up was a
Aug
30

Service Station Traffic Jam?!

Author // Dan Walsh

Dear all,


Good lord it's been a little while since my last blog hasn't it?! It's been a typically crazy time full of lots of travel and gigs galore. The administrative hellhole of US visas is almost over - my visa has been approved! Cue some frantic planning for a US trip next month (you know...the month that begins in two days time. AAAAHHH!) but I am very excited. Before then I'm off to Germany for a few gigs which will be a blast I'm sure and better still means I get to visit Papa Joe's Jazzlokal in Cologne again (see the archives for more info).


So just where have I been? A little political rambling about Jeremy Corbyn aside I've been quiet on here since the end of July so let me bring you up to speed...The beginning of August brought a first appearance at Cambridge Folk Festival and a whole weekend's festival experience which is something I haven't done for a while. Of course back in the day when I was first gigging and was carless (note that isn't a typo, though careless was probably true as well...) I used to camp at festivals all weekend,
Aug
05

The Jeremy Corbyn question

Author // Dan Walsh

Moving in the folk circles as I do, it probably doesn't come as a great surprise that my facebook news feed has been dominated lately by enthusiastic support for Jeremy Corbyn's campaign to become leader of the Labour party. Many herald his position as a return to 'old labour' values and socialism and a proper left wing alternative to what they see as the current Tory-lite Labour ethos. It would appear though that it is not just the folk world that is backing Jeremy Corbyn. He has emerged as an unlikely favourite in the race with union and grassroots backing and many have been drawn to his straight talking, question answering (rare indeed) and honest approach to politics.


Predictably, this has rather torn the Labour party apart of late. Seemingly the outsider, Corbyn has become the frontrunner in the race and the other three candidates and many other MPs are horrified at the prospect of a genuine left-winger leading the party ostensibly because they are worried about the party's electoral prospects but rather more likely worried about the job falling to someone outside of the Blairite/Brownite circle. It has to be said as well that their surprise at his success does perhaps rather hint at the complete failure of a majority of politicians (on all sides) to realise just how bored the populace at large is of the robotic and script-heavy MP. Much of Corbyn's success is actually
Jul
28

The passport thing...

Author // Dan Walsh

Dear all,


Well it's been a while since my last blog since when I've moved house! It's great to be in anyway and things are beautifully organised...again (more to follow). Coming back from Norway I was straight back into gigging action with an appearance at Maverick Festival which was a whole lot of fun! It was particularly great to meet the great Billy Bragg who was an absolute gentleman and very entertaining with it. My gig was a lot of fun too with a standing crowd so a very energetic set!


Next up was a week of Live Music Now work with Mr Nic Zuppardi on the mandolin. First up was the Manchester area where we played at a youth centre in the morning then a home for former service men and women in the afternoon. Both were really rewarding and one girl who attempted to play eleven percussion instruments at once rather stood out! Then came four days in