The summer of 2008

Posted Aug 30, 2008

What summer I hear you ask? Well, yes you're right it's been grey, wet and windy - only 90 hours of sunshine according to the Met Office where 200 hours is  more usual! For me it has been a hectic period for the sheer number of festivals alone I've had the pleasure of appearing at. I can't list them all, but they have stretched from Sidmouth to Edinburgh and many  places in between - 13 in total!  I've enjoyed everyone of them and hopefully, so have the audiences? 

Although I've played at the Edinburgh Festival many times over the last 50 years I haven't undertaken a show for 5 consecutive evenings. I did so this year in the company of David Ferrard. Our programme was entitled: 'Not in our Name - songs of Peace and Protest'.  I very much enjoyed doing these with him and according to the reviews in both the Glasgow Herald and the Scotsman so did the critics. The audiences were pretty encouraging as well!  To all the festivals and their respective audiences: thank you, everyone.
I must now seriouly get on with the recordings I want to complete before the end of the year - 2 CDs. One for our new grandchildren (Molly and Henry) and one for myself. As I've commented before, getting the musicians I want into the studio is proving the most difficult part of the task as they're all very busy themselves: Martin Simpson, John Kirkpatrick, Andy Cutting and Andy Seward to name but a few! As I express anxiety, they all assure me "It'll be OK. Stop worrying". Since I am an expert 'worrier' I have to try to calm down and take their word for it. It's worrying, nevertheless!  

I heard the Mike Harding show on BBC Radio 2 play a recording made of me some 35 years ago, of Ian Campbell's 'Old Man's Song'. I was genuinely surprised since I had completely forgotten the BBC recording it at The Bothy Folk Club in Southport. What a great song it is. I've decided to sing it anew and indeed, record it since a number of people have contacted me and asked if I ever have?

Things are slowing down for me in these final few months of the year. A few people have  invited me to appear at their club in the New Year. I hope there'll be many more to come? Tony Benn and I are still managing 'to do it' and have invitations well into 2009, indeed up to and including October. So I hope to be crossing your paths for a while yet. I look forward to it and hope you are healthy, wealthy and wise for many years to come. Perhaps we'll meet sooner rather than later, especially if you manage to come to the 'Rolling Home' concert at Sheffield City Hall Ballroom on Sunday October 19th? We're starting early in order to end the concert by 9.30/10 o'clock. Many people are coming from a distance and need to be able to return home the same night.... work the next day an' all! Not everyone will make it.... especially the friend who is flying in from Ottawa! The box office number is in the Front Page news of June '08.

I hope to see you somewhere, soon.


PS. It occurs to me that this is less a diary and more a newsletter! I hope that's OK with you?