Photo by Antony Edwards

End Of The Line

20 days of motorways, 'A' roads, service stations and musical pit stops, and myself and Cate Ferris are finally nearing the end of our UK tour. It's been a gloriously exhausting journey with some fantastic gigs along the way, and now that we find ourselves with a few days of stillness before the final show in Surrey this weekend the time has come for me to scratch my beard and ruminate over the meaning behind all this madness. And also have a bath.

Some highlights of the tour for me were selling out places like Miss Peapod's in Cornwall and the Studio Lounge in Totnes; two of the most enjoyable, roof-raising gigs I've ever had the pleasure of making noise at. I also loved some of the more surreal moments, such as attempting a Bob Dylan song with a vegetable-synth player in Winchester (never jammed with a potato before), and improvising a looped piece with Cate based on animal sounds suggested by the audience in Milton Keynes. Needless to say going batshit crazy in the car on long journeys did often spill over into the performances.

These moments of gung-ho improvisation with Cate have been amongst the most spontaneous and exciting parts of the whole tour for me. As soon as we figured out how to synchronise our various looping gadgets we made time at almost every show to play a couple of totally improvised pieces together, including covers of Andrew Stroud's 'Be Your Husband' and Bob Dylan's 'Maggie's Farm' as well as some original tunes that we may well commit to tape one day soon. You can watch videos of some of these improvisations here if you like: Be Your Husband, Maggie's Farm, Hi-Lo Improvisation. It's also been amazing being able to watch Cate do her thing every night for the past 16 or however many shows it's been. She's an incredible musician and songwriter and if you haven't already I urge you to check out her music here. IT WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER.

Overall it's been great finally getting the songs from the new album out there, and despite the delay in getting the physical versions delivered it's so good to know people are finally getting to hear the record I've been chipping away at for the last six months. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to stop by on Facebook and Twitter to let me know their thoughts on the album so far. A short documentary on the making-of the album made by Jack Hextall will be on its way soon.

So what's next? We're officially launching the album on the 10th May at St Pancras Old Church in London, at which I'll be performing with the string section that played on the record. Before that I'll be continuing to promote the album release, which is coming up on 29th April. As you probably know, with independent releases like this one it's a lot harder to get the attention of the masses without the financial and promotional muscle of a big record label, so any help in spreading the word from you fine people who have listened and enjoyed it would be hugely appreciated. I'm immensely proud of the record and would love it to reach as many ears as possible, so whether you invite people round to your house and blast it at them mercilessly, or play it loudly from your car whilst hollering 'The Little Unsaid' out the window through a megaphone, I thank you in advance for spreading the word.

Enough of my verbal burbling for now, time to get back to London and remember what it's like to sit still. Massive thanks to everyone who came to see me and Cate along the way, it's been a ridiculously fun and inspiring musical journey. Here's to plenty more of that, yessir.

Yours blissfully knackered,

John