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DL13

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 #1 
August 30th   Huntingdon Hall, Worcester
 
 
I've played this place so many times but only once with a band before tonight and that was 10 years ago.
Sounded pretty good in the room and the band was tight already, especially for a first night.
The stage was very small with all of us up there.
I felt a bit restricted in how far or quickly I could move, but I probably should get used to it because there are a few clubs and smaller venues in the schedule this time out.
Nice crowd tonight, both in the audience and at the autograph table later on.
Lovely to see how well the new material has integrated itself into my repertoire.
Guess a little stubborness doesn't hurt sometimes.
 
Up early in the morning to go back home for a few days.
Nice to have this one show behind us.
Maybe I won't wake up every 15 minutes in a panic the night before the next one.
No matter how long I do this it will never change.
I'm totally restless the night before.
It's hardly worth going to bed.
And trying to sleep really wears me out!
Annoyingly, my semi-conscious brain can't seem to distinguish between a rehearsal, a tour or a recording session.
Or between one show and a wholetour.
I go thru the same anxiety.
And it doesn't matter even if it's a local gig.
I still wake up in a start, as if I'm going to Australia for two months and I haven't packed yet.

I'm a freakazoid!
 
OK, so there's that one down.
Thanks to all who attended.
Pete, Amy, Rich, Mike, Paul and I will see some of you in Wimborne on Friday! ~


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 #2 
August 31st  


In my exuberant stupor I forgot to mention last night's opener, Gary Fletcher.
Gary is a nice man and was a very cool addition to the night's festivities.
Apologies for asking him to do a particularly brief set because there was a curfew on the evening.
Something about us having to be finished at a certain time so they could set off the fireworks that marked the end of the area festival.
Richard Kennedy is the support for the next show in Wimborne.
Gary will be back for the Glenrothes show.
 
Did I mention how great Tomorrow Road sounded last night?
Yes...oh my, yes! ~

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 #3 
Still August 31st
 
And, damn it if I didn't mean to mention what great job our sound engineer, Simon Tucker, did at our first show!
Simon, as many of you know, has done the front of house sound at my solo shows for the past few years and was the stage soundman for the tour earlier this year, providing the band members with a mix they were happy with.
Not an easy task, but handled with grace and ease by Mr Tucker.
This time out Simon is mixing the band as you'll hear it out in the seats, as well as the onstage mix.
If the wonderful comments I heard after the show about the sound in the hall is any indication, Simon is rocking again!
He arrived feeling poorly and seemed a little shaky during the soundcheck, but, by showtime and afterwards, he was as pumped up as the band.
He said the adrenalin more than got him thru. 
I fear that having me up on the stage alone next year is going to be a bit boring for him (yaaaaawwwnnnnnn!) after getting to mix the great players and singers I have up there with me now.
I'll have to learn some new tricks.
And, of course, a big sigh of relief to have my tour manager, Adrian, with me again.
It's been over 5 years now that Adrian's been making my life on the road a great deal easier than it might be otherwise.
May he continue to be able to stand the hours and hours of my incessant yammering about, well, anything...and...everything.
And, then, there's my manager, John Taylor, who has to deal with all of it upfront so we have something to deal with later.
He's the man with the overview.
The aerial photographer.

I'm a lucky guy to have all these folks on my side. 
I'll be back in a few days. ~
 
 



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 #4 

September 3rd    The Tivoli, Wimborne
 
This was another venue I've played several times before and, again, mostly solo.
Stage was roomier than the other night, thank goodness.
I'm never really aware of how much I move around...until I can't.
Makes me think way too much about my spatial parameters and limitations.
Tonight's stage was big enough for me to leap about some, albeit in a controlled fashion.
Very enthusiastic but attentive (the best of both worlds) audience.
Cool as hell to hear applause at the start of the Post Cool songs.
I do believe that more folks have plugged into this album than any other one I've done, but, the set we're playing is also directing them to One Of The Lucky Ones and Out Of The Dark.
If All It Takes Is Time really seems to be an audience favorite.
That song almost got away.
Nice that it's found it's place.
Tonight's opener was Richard Kennedy.
Another nice fella and from what I could hear coming thru the wall, a damned good guitarist and songwriter.
We'll see him next week, up in Scotland.
I had a really good time tonight.
Thanks to the band for kicking high levels of ass and to Simon for making us sound wonderful again.

Every day on the road is fraught with variables.
Despite them, the performances must remain solid and top notch.
It's a joy and a great relief to be working with a group of talented and consistently reliable people.
Off now until Wednesday - just enough time for me to get stupid again - when we head up to Scotland.
That's where the consecutive one-nighters kick in.
See you at one of them, perhaps? ~


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 #5 
September 8th
 
It's after 3AM.
Leaving for Scotland later today.
Just a travel day.
We'll get where we're going sometime in the early evening I would imagine.
Thursday begins 4 shows in as many nights, including 2 at The Ferry in Glasgow.
Last time I was there I was alone.
The crowd was friendly, but loud and rowdy, making it impossible to play anything subtle at all.
Songs like Shine Son were begrudgingly disposed of in favor of the 'oldies'.
The show turned into an extended singalong.
Everyone seemed to have a great time.
I left disappointed at having been a karaoke machine.
I'm looking forward to going back to The Ferry, with the band this time, and proverbial and literally rockin' the  boat.
Last time I wondered out loud what would happen if the ropes accidentally came away from the dock and we all wound up 3 miles out to sea.
This time we might just cut the f8ckers.
But, first, there's Glenrothes Hall.
 
More from Scotland. ~

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 #6 
Still September 8th    
 
Long day.
Not so much for me, but for Adrian.
A 470 mile journey from my pickup to where we are tonight.
But, Adrian had to drive for few hours from his to mine before that.
We stopped about a third of the way thru the trip to collect John Taylor and Paul Beavis.
John and Paul - The Fab Two.
The saving grace was that it was an absolutely gorgeous day, weather-wise.
The whole journey was consistently mild and sunny.
The bluest skies I've seen in a while (or is that just me?).
Managed to make it here with only one stop, just before we two became we four.
We're staying in the same hotel for the next 5 nights.
All the Scottish dates will be out and back from here.
Makes it easier if I don't have to pack and bring everything with me everyday.
And, in some twisted, nomadic way, it almost, again, ALMOST feels like you're coming 'home' at night after the show.
Scene: I put my electronic key in the door and open it.
My laptop runs to greet me cheerily wagging his Vodaphone dongle.
'Down, boy. I'm happy to see you too. Yes I am. Give me a few minutes to make a cup of tea and we'll do the tour blog. Would you like that, boy? Huh? Suuure you would. Goooood boy!'
Some of the band might be down in the lounge and I've entertained the thought of going down and saying 'howdy'.
Buuuuut, I'm sure they'll forgive me if I don't.
They'll see me almost every day for the rest of this month.
I'm tired tonight.
Sitting in one place for a long time works that way on me.
Wears me out.
I didn't get much sleep last night either.
Up late, awake early.
After the two false starts last week I had to be packed and ready for the rest of the tour when we set sail today.
 
OK, friends and neighbors (the latter being somewhat inaccurate unless you're in a room down the hall from me), that's all I know right now.
'Night. ~




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 #7 
September 9th
 
 
Proper Records have re-launched (for lack of a better word) Post Cool and, this time, I hear it's in HMV shops, here and there.
Been spotted in Worcester, London and Glasgow so far.
Let us know if you see it anywhere else.
 
D.L.~
 

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 #8 
September 9th      Glenrothes Hall, Glenrothes 
 
This band, and by that I mean the people, their personalities and their many talents.
I've had bands in the past where certain members made everything feel like pulling teeth with a clawhammer.
Pete, Mike, Paul, Rich and Amy are far and away the best group of musicians and singers I've ever toured with and, more importantly, the most consistent bunch of personalities as well.
Whatever private crazies they may have, no matter what is going on in their personal lives or how they may be feeling on any given day or night, it never prevents them from being solid people - courteous to one another, spirited, good natured, team players without losing any of their individuality.
Interesting that the best are also the easiest to deal with, isn't it?
The last time I played this hall was with Mr Wyman's bunch.
The last time I did it solo could have been as many as 5 years ago.
Correct me if I'm wrong there, but I have it on good account that I'm pretty accurate.
I keep saying the same things over and over, night after night - friendly, enthusiastic crowd, ready to have a good time.
Very appreciative of the new material.
It sounded good onstage too.
Always important, not always true.
Sometimes you can only get it as good as you can get it.
As long as the front of house sound is KILLER, as it always is thanks to Simon, the band can get it good enough to avoid a struggle.
No struggle from where I was tonight.
 
We play the first of two nights at The Ferry in Glasgow tomorrow.
Small stage from what I recall...and I was up there alone.
We had some room to breath, and I to run around, on the Glenrothes stage.
It's back to elbow to elbow on the boat.
Hmmmmm...
We'll see what happpens, won't we?
TWICE!
 
OK, folks.
I'm done for now.
But, you know I'll be back, dontcha? ~

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 #9 
September 10th
 
I think I'm gonna wait til we've done both nights on the boat before I make my observations and comments.
I will say, however, that alot of tonight's crowd was pretty pissed by the time we went on and waiting to sing the Hook stuff.
Sensitive ballads at the top of their lungs.
I have no reason whatsoever to believe tomorrow night's audience will be much different.
Dynamic and nuance are rendered almost pointless.
Almost.
Stay tuned for my in depth review tomorrow night.
Or have I sort of already given it? ~

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September 11th
 
No one could have written tonight's show off faster than I could have, after the weird first half of our stay, which, as it turned out, spilled over into today.
We went to the venue this afternoon to have a little bash around on our gear and make sure everything was working properly.
It's hard to get a balance that will matter hours later when the noisy nightclub crowd is in, but at least we find a reference point.
When we got there we noticed that Rich's keyboard stool and a few other random stage items had been stolen.
Lovely.
I went back to the hotel feeling like, 'Well, screw this!'
But, let me tell you, tonight's audience was really cool.
I got the feeling there were more people that came to see me rather than ones that just went to The Ferry on Friday night to get pissed, try and get laid and, maybe, hear a little 'oldies' show in the background.
Yeah, it was a club and they sang their hearts out where you'd expect them to.
And there's always gonna be some talking and drink ordering and arguments and general din, but, all in all, it was a marked and much needed improvement over last night.
The band were incredible tonight.
They played like it mattered, when they very easily could have lost heart and coasted, waiting to move on to the next gig.
There were the usual folks who got me after the show and gave me the  list of songs I didn't play.
One woman told me she was too young to remember Dr Hook but her mum used to play the records and I didn't play any of the songs she came to hear.
I asked which ones they were - I mean, even Hook didn't do every song, every night!
Everybody's Making It Big But Me...You Make My Pants Wanna Get Up And Dance...and...and...
I said 'But, I'm not Dr Hook. I only do the Hook songs that I think belong in my show.'
And she said 'Well, it was advertised as Dr Hook'.
I said 'No, it wasn't.'
She: 'It said so on the poster.'
Me (leaning in close to her face): 'No, you're absolutely wrong. Try and find the words Dr Hook on my poster!'
She: 'Well, that what they said on the radio...'
Never.
Pure nonsense.
Lying to make her point.
I should tell you that before she got in my face she'd gone over to John Taylor at the merchandise table and said 'Dennis, how come you didn't play blahblahblah...?', to which JT replied 'Maybe because I'm not Dennis. He's over there.'
Thanks John.
Anyway, that's the truth.
I'm not Dr Hook.
I never have been and have never tried to be.
Not for a second.
No matter what songs I was singing.
I love the old Hook fans, but the ones who went away and came back 30 years later, expecting that my life hadn't rolled forward in all that time and I do not see eye to eye.
I know.
I'll lose certain people.
Maybe it's time for that. 
Better I'm lesser known for who I am than world famous for who I'm not.
Call me an idiot.
It won't be the first time someone has.
But it was hardly ever someone who's opinion I respected anyway.
 
Kilmarnock tomorrow night.
See you then, if you're there. ~

P.S. Had a few disgruntled email about the late start time.
We went on at 9:45pm (altho one fella insisted it was an hour later than that - it wasn't).
We thought we were going on much earlier but the venue asked us to delay the time both nights.
Not our idea and we weren't all that pleased to know that folks would get some extra drinking time before our downbeat.
A quick 'thanks' to the great job our opener, Richard Kennedy, did with these two particularly lively crowds. ~ 
 
 


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 #11 
September 12th       The Palace, Kilmarnock
 
This was the first time I ever played this venue with a band.
lt was lovely to be able hear ourselves and each other and know that someone else was listening as well.
The f8cking band is blowing me away.
As much as I love my solo shows, I do not want this bunch of people to get too far from me or each other for too long.
Nice audience.
Great feedback on the new songs.
Lots of positive aftershow comments about the lyrics and the band.
The crowd seemed to enjoy the opening set by Gary Fletcher too.
All in all a fitting farewell (for awhile) to sunny - yes, you heard me - Scotland.
Day off tomorrow.
I think the band is going to an Indian restaurant tomorrow night.
I always look thru the whole menu and, at the last minute, blurt out to the waiter 'I'll have chicken vindaloo, please!'
My way of breaking a sweat without doing a show, I guess.

Back at it in Runcorn on Tuesday. ~

 

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 #12 
September 14th
 
On the road to Runcorn in about an hour.
Pissing down here.
Can't believe the mild weather we had in Scotland.
Bet it sucks there too now.
Nice Indian meal in Warrington last night.
Everyone in the band was there, except for Amy, who took advantage of the location and went home for the evening.
Can't blame her.
Sometimes that can be more of a pain than staying out here for the one night.
Anyway, time to close my cases and get out of here.
 
See you tonight? ~
 
 


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 #13 
September 14th     Bored and at The Brindley
 
We're not gonna see a hotel until after the show tonight, as it is down the road, a bit closer to home, than this venue is.
Consequently, we exhausted our late checkout priveleges of 1:30pm at the last hotel and headed here.
It took about 30 minutes.
So, needless to say, I've been into Runcorn, found a cafe called Mrs D's, where I had a lovely, fluffy mushroom and onion omelette (that contained not a single bit of onion in it), read The Independent, had a walk around and came back to my dressing room.
It's was 3:20pm.
Lots of metal chairs in here, so, not really a place to relax.
I went out on the hillside behind the gig and sat on the grass and read until my jeans were soaked thru with this mornings rain.
Now, I'm back in the room with my name temporarily on the door, feeling quite restless.
In about 10 minutes we'll do our soundcheck.
That will take about 30-40 minutes.
And, then, I'll have another almost 3 hours before we go on.
Showbiz.
It's this part that's the most difficult.
And, the older you get, the more you feel like time is racing by, and you start to worry about spending 22 hours of your day in the middle of nowhere, doing nothing, relatively speaking.
At that point, I'm just killing time while time is killing me.

Scary.
I swear, the day I pack it in will because because of all the dead hours spent on the road and not the work of doing the shows.
I'll be home tomorrow and not back out until The Bloomsbury on Saturday.
That show begins 5 in a row, with a day home and a morning flight to Belfast to pick up our lost Spring show coming next.
Thank goodness the shows and the band are still enough to keep me going. ~

P.S.  Today is Amy Winehouse's 27th birthday.
I wish her well, but, man, I hope I don't look that rough when I get to be her age.  


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 #14 
September 14th        The Brindley, Runcorn
 
Now, see, tonight's gig was a perfect example of how sometimes sitting around all day, bored shitless, can eventually pay off.
Lovely audience.
Attentive.
Appreciative.
Ready to laugh - even if it was at me, when I couldn't tune my friggin' guitar before Daddy's Feet.
It's OK.
I don't mind.
That song, Dance On Daddy's Feet, sounds better to me everytime we play it.
The people on the stage with me are a real band now.
Everyone seems comfortable (even tho poor Rich has had to sit on a speaker cabinet since his keyboard stool was stolen) with each other and that only makes it more so for me.
Very cool.
I won't belabor the point here.
Great show.
Going home. ~

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September 18th    The Bloomsbury, London
 

Tonight's show began a run of 6 in the next 7 nights, with a flight to Belfast before the last one.
It was nice to introduce this audience to my friends.
I've alllllllllways played this venue alone, including the time I did the Teenage Cancer Fund show a few years back.
Graham Gouldman and Randy Bachman both played with their bands, leaving me the end of show slot to play solo.
And I did.
There were lots of folks tonight who had never seen me before.
How cool is that?
If they enjoyed themselves - and they all said they did - that was with no preconceived idea of what I would do.
What they got, first time out, is what they loved.
I can't do better than that.
I really can't.

There was quite a long queue after the show.
The demographic of my audience is widening all the time.
People in their teens, twenties, thirties, you name it.
I like that.
My sweet little friend, Lola, from Wales, was there tonight with her family.
She's 5 years old and has been coming to see me for a few years now.
I wasn't going to Wales, so they came down to London to see me.
There are a few pics of me and dear Lola on our DL Sweats and Hangs All Over His Fans page, I think.
There will be another one soon.
 
Adrian and I traveled about 80 or so miles to Northamton to a hotel on the way to where we're going tomorrow.
I haven't eaten anything at all today but a muesli type bar thing.
Wasn't much on the night menu but I did manage to find some soup and I sandwich.
No wonderful surprise there.
But, at least, they didn't say 'Sorry, sir. There is NOTHING TO EAT!!!'.
 
Ok.
With any luck, room service should be tapping on the door shortly, so I'll just say 'Later, folks'. ~
 
 
3:05AM

The food arrived just as I signed out.
When I opened the door the young guy, and, I mean he looked to be about 17, who delivered the order said 'Oh, it's you. Cool'.

His comment had nothing at all to do with fame or celebrity.
He followed with 'I saw you checking in downstairs and I thought great beard!'
How strange...

The sandwich (sliced brie with caramelized onion) was a little less 'gourmet' than it was made to sound and the soup (cream of vegetable) was pretty nonspecific, just as it promised to be, but I'm glad I had something.
I'm gonna trim my beard and pack it in. ~


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 #16 
September 19th     Library Theatre, Darwen
 
 
We've played quite a few places on this run that I usually do alone.
This venue was one of those.
Always a great audience and tonight was no exception.
Early in the evening there was a woman who kept calling out, but  couldn't tell what she wanted.
When I realized she wasn't going to give it up I pushed for a resolve.
I said 'Look, I'm an amiable guy but you're in danger of pissing everyone else off.'
Everyone else agreed.
She finally came down to the front of the stage to state her case.
It couldn't have been an easy trip because she was about as drunk as a person can be and still be moving.
She slurred 'These people have come to hear you sing!'.
I wondered (audibly) what she thought I'd been doing all along.
When she tried to get up onto the stage, security gently and mercifully ushered her out before she could hurt herself.
And the rest of us got on with our evening.
I heard she went to the bar and made a bit of a fuss because she'd left a couple of her friends in the theatre.
I'm sure they missed her.
All in all, a nice night, with a very responsive crowd, both during and after the show. ~

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 #17 

September 20th      King Georges Hall, Blackburn


A little late with this blog because of hotel internet problems, but they fixed it now...just before we have to leave.
Sigh...

Anyway -

This particular show seemed to have it’s questions from the beginning.
King George’s Hall is a big venue, holding 1700 or so people.
With the economy the way it is, it was a bit daunting to think how many seats we could fill.
A few weeks ago we heard that they were moving our show to what is called The Windsor Suite, downstairs from the 1700 seater.
Wasn't sure how many they could fit into this room but it was a whole lot less and, thereby, more suitable than upstairs.
As it turns out, even in the new room, tonight’s audience was pretty small.
And, by that, I don’t mean of diminutive stature.
There just weren’t very many folks out there tonight.
We were told, and I asked them from the stage and they confirmed, that most of the people were not local, but had travelled from elsewhere.
I’m sure the good citizens of Blackburn have their own concerns these days.
So, now, the good news.
The room itself sounded really good.
There was a clean, distinct sound on the stage, making it fun to play.
The rest of the good news?
The audience  was great.
Enthusiastic, appreciative.
The very worse part of having a small turnout (besides thinking ‘Oh my goodness, my career is over!’) is knowing that they are even more uncomfortable in this situation than you are.
For a few different reasons.
They might be embarrassed , for themselves and me, that there aren’t more of them.
They feel more personally exposed because they can’t really hide in what should have been a crowd.
They may wonder if I’m going to be put off by the slight attendance and, perhaps, not give it my best.
If you play it right tho you can bring everyone round to what we have in common.
We’re all here to have a good time and we can’t worry about whoever DIDN’T show up.
It all seemed to go that way tonight.
Lovely compliments and comments after the show.
Lots of people ask about Pete Brown and say what a wonderful musician he is.
They got that right!
I’ve been meaning to tell him that.
Maybe, now that I’ve typed it out, I’ll remember.
And, not to sound too mercenary here, but we sold alot of merchandise tonight, especially copies of the new album.
Go figure, huh?
Long day tomorrow (today).
Once we leave the hotel we have nowhere to be but the venue until after the show.
We don’t see a hotel until after the show, when we drive about a couple of hours to one that is about halfway  to Durham, the scene of the next show.
It’s a f
8cking circus, folks.
I’m telling you the straight scoop here.

Ok, that’s it from me.
Later... ~

 

P.S. As you may have experienced first hand, the server for these forums seem a bit dodgy at the moment too, but we're looking into it.
Did I say 'sigh'? ~


 




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 #18 
September 21st    The Robin2, Bilston
 
Well, the forums pages have been a drag for the past few days.
I haven't been able to sign in at all.
Also couldn't make the type on my last entry any bolder.
We've emailed the server and have had no reply yet.
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...
Anyway, I'm in and typing this morning.
We'll see if I can make it stick.
The show at The Robin last night was fun.
Great audience and a hell of a long queue to say Hello afterwards.
More compliments for the band and deservedly so.
Of course there's always one who has to tell me they prefer me when I play alone.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Sort of like the woman in Blackburn who wanted me to hang around a little longer, after all the signing and greeting was done, because she had 'some things to tell' me.
Turned out to be a list of songs I didn't do.
I had to respectfully tell her ,'No, uh uh, sorry, not gonna stand here and listen to that. Hope you enjoyed what we did play.' and went on my way.
Do they think I'm not aware that I didn't play all the hundreds of other songs I've recorded in my life?
It's just rude and I won't subject myself to that anymore.
Especially not after an almost 2 hour show and another 45 minutes at the meet and greet afterwards.
Anyway, that's a very, very, verrrrry small percentage of the folks I speak to.
Most of them are so incredibly encouraging about what I'm doing these days.
Gonna make this brief because we're leaving for Durham in a couple in a short while.
Hope this posts and I can get back in tonight to tell you about the show.
Later, my friends. ~

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September 22nd     The Gala, Durham
 
Another venue I've played alone.
Last August was the last time, Adrian reckons.
What a nice sounding place.
After 5 consecutive nights it was a pleasure to be able hear everything so well and not have to fight the acoustics.
The audience was terrific.
Really responsive and appreciative of the songs they weren't familiar with.
Standing ovation at the end.
Great comments at the meet and greet after the show with more compliments on the band.
Oner guy said 'But why are they so young? I saw you years ago with Dr Hook.'
I said, 'Yeah, and I was the youngest guy in that band. Now I'm the oldest. That's what happens when you keep breathing in and out'.
And it is.
Lots of folks asked when I was coming back.
It's hard to answer that question when you haven't even left yet, but I'm pretty sure it will happen.
I'll get home late afternoon tomorrow and leave for the airport and the flight to Belfast early the next morning.
Playing that night and home early the next day.
Can't believe we will only have 3 more shows to do, beginning at The Brook on the 29th, the Stables the next night and Fernham Hall, Fareham after that,
And that's it for this year.
This band has given me a great musical adventure, beginning with the recording of the Post Cool last year and renewed confidence that I still have something to offer besides recycled memories.
I'll see them all at Gatwick on Thursday morning.
Right now, I'm gonna go read.
'Night. ~
 
 
 
 

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 #20 
September 24th   The Waterfront, Belfast
 
It's Saturday.
Just got back from Belfast about an hour or so ago.

I didn't take my laptop with me.
I can't be bothered dragging it thru airports and going thru security, having to take it out of the case and pack everything up again.
I took my glasses, sunglasses, notepad, pen and a book.
That was it.
It left me wondering what the problem could be.
I'd forgotten that I had put a bottle of water in my shoulder bag.
I took it from the hotel when I left with the intention of drinking it in the cab.
My bag was pulled off the conveyor belt for closer inspection.
There were other bags to rummage thru before mine so I waited.
Watching them confiscate shampoo, toothpaste and other deadly sundries I suddenly remembered the dreaded water.
You know what I don't get?
If someone comes thru with toothpaste they take it, chuck it in the bin and let that person go on their way.
Do they do test every one of those items later in an effort to determine just how many of those things are actually dangerous?
And, if they find a deadly tube of Crest, uuuh, they let the person who attempted to get it thru security just walk away and get on their flight.
They may have averted a serious situation but they've also let some extremely volatile person free to plot again.
It doesn't make sense to me.
But, so little does these days, my friends.
Too little.
Anyway, I made it home and I'll take a second here to tell you about last night's show.
The Belfast audience has always been a favorite, as far back as the Hook days.
I will admit I was a bit apprehensive that the folks would expect to hear more of the old material, but I carried on as scheduled and did the show we're currently taking around.
I was so pleased to find out after the show that the new songs went down a storm.
I wish there was a way to get Post Cool a bit more exposure but, well, I'll tell you something I read.
Macy Gray, who has had considerable success in the past several years, recorded a new album and turned it into her label.
The 'guy at the top' listened to it and sent it back, saying 'How the hell can I get a 40 year old woman on the radio?'
I think you might be able to see my particular dilemma.
Macy put the album out herself but it hasn't gotten the attention it would have with major label money behind it.
Sucks.
Tomorrow Road was great last night, the crowd were loving it and I was so happy to let Belfast see them.
Three more shows this coming week and that's it for the band for awhile but everyone of them knows I consider our relationship an ongoing concern and I will be looking for opportunities to reconvene.
Be it festivals next summer or TV appearances, even radio, if a session should come up.
Between the album and the shows, this group of talented people have afforded  me
one hell of a confidence building year.
Just about the time I might be feeling that maybe I should pack it in because all anyone wants from me is to be a museum piece, this album and band have kicked my ass in gear.
I'm not looking for much.
I just want to be here now.
It's nice to have a few down days before the last 3 shows.
I'll be back. ~

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 #21 
September 29th
 
Testing! One, two...testing! 
Just making sure this thing is working before I jump in and start typing.
I'm at tonight's hotel right now.
Going to the gig in a bit to do our soundcheck, but wull probably come back here for a while before the show.
Everyone has a bite to eat afdter the check.
I don't.
I usually won't eat anything after 3PM on a show day.
Some say they need the fuel.
It just slows me down.
We're not on until 9:20 tonight.
Can't see sitting in the dressing room for 3 hours if we're close enough to come back here for at least two of them.
It's a tough call tho.
In Belfast, the hotel is right next door to the venue.
A 2 minute walk.
So, I went back to the room after soundcheck.
I found myself in one of the terrycloth hotel dressing gowns, lying on the bed, flipping thru TV channels.
I looked over at the clock and realized I was ON, full tilt, high throttle, in about 90 minutes and suddenly thought 'This isn't right. I feel like I should be winding down, not up.'  
So, I got up, dressed and walked back to the venue, sat in the dressing room and suffered for my art.
I've been doing it this way for so many years that any deviation - no matter how comfortable - seems foreign and not like the right thing to be doing before a show.
Three more shows with the band and we're done until next time.
Another readjustment period over the hoilidays and I'll be back on the stage alone in the Spring.
I sure hope it doesn't feel empty up there.
And I don't only mean to me.
The good folks that came to this year's shows have been given alot of music and harmony to roll around in their heads.
It's the first time I can recall the 'only child' shows feeling a bit daunting.
Oh well, I'll have two nights in Norway to regain my balance.
OK.
Later. ~

   

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 #22 
September 29th    The Brook, Southampton
 
It was a damp and pissy night - sounds like the opening of a cheesy mystery novel - in the middle of the working week, but the crowd was there to have a good time, despite many of them having to get up for work in the morning.
I know.

I asked.
Of course, there were a couple of almost expected loudmouths at the front of the stage who found the ballads easier to talk over, but the audience and I made short work of them.

Didn't we, friends?
This band plays great in each and every situation.
It was hard to hear any definition on any vocals or instruments up on the stage tonight.
Everything was just part of a big swirl of sound.
But, like I said, the band played and sang like the BIG DOGS they are.
 
On to The Stables tomorrow.
Two more shows.
Hmmmmm... ~


Postscript: Don't know how I forgot (just lucky, I guess) the size of the stage at this venue.
I've only played there solo, so never really had a space problem.
But, last night I was surrounded by gear and guitars and monitors.
There was, literally, no room for me to do much more than f8cking swaaaayyyy, back and forth.
Now, swaying has it's place, but, eventually, you (and, by that, I mean I) may want or absolutely have to do something much more energetic than that, utilzing your whole body.
It's hard not to.
It's far more tiring trying to constrain yourself than it is to just let it all go. 

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 #23 
September 30th   The Stables, Wavendon 
 
I really like this venue.
The seating arrangement reminds me of the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center in NYC - where I did Shel's play a million years ago - except, there, I could walk right up and almost stand toe to toe with the first row.
Nice crowd.
Loose, ready to laugh or cry, rock or reminisce.
The band, as always, was wonderful.
What a relief the sound was as compared to last night.
I got used to doing this gig as a solo so the stage felt pretty tight with all of us up there.
Very nice and much appreciated standing ovation at the end.
Long meet and greet queue afterwards.
Lots of lovely comments about the band and new material.
And, as has beeen the case every night, almost everyone was holding a copy of Post Cool.
Nice to see my friends from Shakedown Records there (They're my 'live' CD and Lost Tapes label)
So, it's on to Fareham tomorrow.
Last show of 2010.
Sad, but true.
See you there?
If not, see you next year. ~

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 #24 
October 1st   Fernham Hall, Fareham
 
What started out as a rather reserved audience turned out to be a fitting bunch for our last night on the road.
Them all standing up at the end must mean something, no?
I'm not going to go on and on about my wonderful band and the great tour. 
If you're reading this then, chances are, you've been following the tour blog all along and you know how I feel about them and what a inspiring year it's been because of them.
Thanks to Pete, Amy, Paul, Rich and Mike for the music.
To Simon for making us sound terrific no matter where or what we encountered.
To Richard Kennedy and Gary Fletcher for being very entertaining support acts and a nice additions to our touring party.
To Adrian for being the best tour manager I could want - and that entails so many things - and the coolest traveling companion I could ever have.
Then, there's John Taylor.
I've always said he's my big 'without whom'.
Still is.
Love and hugs to Sam and Claire for all they do whether I'm on tour or not.
I'm done for awhile.
And, guess what?
I feel a little headcold coming on.
So, thanks also to the germs for waiting til we were thru.
Sigh...
 
Later, friends.
It's been a blast again. ~


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