The Come Down

So the mini-tour of Devon and Cornwall is over and I am rattling up through the English countryside back towards London. The train journey provides time to reflect on the success of the gigs, the moments of spontaneous comedy in the radio sessions and the wonderful people encountered along the way. However this is not easy because I have been surrounded in the packed carriage by five gentlemen who joined us at the start of the journey to neck cans of beer, heckle female passengers and have loud, apparently hilarious conversations on the subjects of football, booze, women and someone called Steve who is ‘brilliant.’ I’ve been blasting Four Tet through my headphones but the voices cut through and I have learned from the intelligible fragments of chat that they are going all the way to London to indulge in further recreation. Lovely peaceful journey then.

Despite this come-down I’ve had a beautiful time in Devon and Cornwall. Myself and Tobias of Lampliter, who got me involved in these gigs, had a great session on Source FM in Dartington on Thursday morning. Despite a few amphibians in the throat in the early morning I played a couple tracks and me and Tobias did an impromptu version of Kate Bush’s Cloudbusting which we ended up playing at all the following gigs that week.

That night we played in Exeter at the Barnfield Theatre. It was one of those slightly unnerving concert atmosphere type gigs but the crowd was warm and being able to use a lovely old piano for a couple songs was an unexpected bonus. A kind man called Cecil kindly filmed and took lots of photos which I’ll hopefully be able to share up here soon.

The next day was our gig at the Barrelhouse in Totnes, which was probably one of the most enjoyable solo shows I’ve done. The place was packed as the gig sold out, thanks to the amazing work of Christian and Lawrence of the Blackbird Collective. Highlights were an amazing audience that welcomed songs about ‘the hopelessness of all things’ and playing Bird on the Wire with Lampliter.

An early start to Saturday morning and we were off to BBC Radio Devon to play some tunes and do chit-chatting on John Govier’s show. You can listen back to the show here for the next few days.

That night we drove to Redruth in Cornwall, with a short stop off in St Agnes for biscuits and beach walking in the rain. Special thanks go to Marianne and Colin for letting us nap in their house, providing much needed tea and showing us the best pub in the world. The gig at the Melting Pot that night was fun thanks to inspiring décor (if murals made of stripped Barbie dolls and cutlery are your thing you should check it out), a beefy sound system and enthusiastic audience members that weren’t afraid to percussively express themselves.

Now it’s back to London to rehearse some more new material and iron any creases out of the old ones, ready for the gig in Norwich this Thursday. Getting further afield and to new places to play is becoming pretty addictive….

John