Tales from the Rails – Buffalo Bar and Guinea Pigs

I’m back on the road, or rather on the rails, with 12 shows across the UK and Germany ahead of me. My Spring 2012 tour kicked off yesterday with a show at the Buffalo Bar in Cardiff. It was my first visit to the Welsh capitol and although I’m quite good with languages, I’m still utterly useless at pronouncing Welsh… On arrival I hopped on a local train towards something like Merryl Toodaloo and disembarked after two stops to be greeted by Ellie and Jo, hosts of Cardiff University’s student radio ‘Xpress’. We recorded a session for next Wednesday’s show; tune in to hear me perform four songs, including a spontaneous and unrehearsed cover of Judee Sill. Radio gig was followed by Sunday Roast Lunch and then about two hours of sleepy hanging out in the corner of the Buffalo Bar with free wifi and coffee. Touring involves a lot of waiting and I wonder what bands did between sound check and show time before mobile Internet. In fact, perhaps the lonely ‘on the road blues song’ ala “my love’s so far away” is becoming an extinct form of prose now that we have Skype and Facebook. Or maybe the lyrics will simply change into “my gal is only on my screen”.

Although the audience was small (in numbers, not in height), I was completely taken by surprise at how attentive and appreciative they were. I played much longer than I had anticipated and enjoyed every second of it, especially playing new songs “the real thing”, “red and white blood cells”, “some kind of creature” and premiering “1964”. Thank you for being so lovely! I was really humbled and hope to be able to play for you again soon.

So, things I’ve learnt: Cardiff is small, the ticket officers are friendly and Guinea pigs are nocturnal (I shared the room with two and they were far more rock n roll than I – keeping me up all night, right until I drew the curtains in the morning and they mockingly curled up and fell asleep… thanks chaps). Next gig’s at Nambucca in London Town this Wednesday.

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