New Album Very Soon…
“I can’t believe you played The Burning Gates of Hell in a church!” will be one of the moments that lives on with me from our north west England tour last week. The truth is that the song is much more about politics than religion, but it was a nice observation anyway, and it summed up the spirit of a week that was full of ‘firsts’.
If I cast my mind back to the weeks and months after last year’s visit of The Lewinskies, I can remember being determined to populate this year’s visit with more gigs, and better gigs, and to spread our wings a little more geographically. The number of gigs was significantly up on last year, the performance quality was better all round. We also took our merry band of performers into the Cheshire countryside for the first time, and into Lancashire where we played in some amazing venues. I also recall a sadness at Kristen and Matthew from The Lewinskies returning home to Nova Scotia last May, and writing the song Ocean for them.
This year the aftermath is different. The collaborative spirit is much stronger. We finished the tour with more confident performances, a stronger cohesiveness and friendship, and a determination to do even better in 2019. Me, Emma, and Kate played on some of Duncan’s songs. They also sang with The Lewinskies, with Matt playing a supporting role for just about everybody, and The Lewinskies played on a few of my songs. Emma and Kate did a couple of short notice gigs of their own at Penwortham Live, and Matt and I played my songs as a duo for the first time. Sam played on a couple of songs with me at Levenshulme Library, and was joined by Matt on a couple of his own songs. I’ve probably missed some collaborations because so much happened in a short space of time, but I haven’t forgotten Kieran’s fabulous guitar effects for The Folded Arms or Gary’s multi-tasking as a roadie, merchandiser, camera man and standby driver.
I went to drop off some tomato and courgette (zucchini) plants with Matt en route to London yesterday – I part reward people in seasonal allotment vegetables! We agreed that one of the things that makes our group of musicians so special is that there are no egos. Sure, I have taken on the organising, but that’s something I’ve always done so it’s second nature and something I’m happy doing. Everything else is on a level, even though we have different music skills and levels of experience, and everyone is looking forward to being part of the next adventures, whenever and wherever they may be.
The Breeding Ground Of Vile double album will be released in mid-June. I am being interviewed on Music For Grown Ups (Meridian 107FM) on Thursday 5th July from 8pm, so tune in that evening for stories and live music. The next gigs for The Folded Arms are on consecutive weekends in July: 8th& 9that the Summer of Lev open air festival at Levenshulme’s Klondyke Club (Manchester); 13th& 14thJuly at Longton Live near Preston. The personnel may change in the band over those two weekends because of holidays, but that means we can play different songs to suit both the venues and the lineups. Changing personnel keeps our music fresh, and means we can introduce new songs and one or two different musicians. “Come Along & Join Us…”