Hope you’ve all had a deliriously sweat-soaked summer so far. I have.
This is a picture of me at Glastonbury, rocking the matador look. Aye carumba. Fear not, readers, I replaced this jacket with my gold lamé one when I took to the stage. Here’s a snippet of us rockin’ oot. (Keep yer ears peeled for a rogue Limmy impression from the audience right at the end)
Top fun. It was a blimmin’ incredible weekend, that. So good. The weather, the bands, the buzz. A whole troop of us came down from Eigg, stayed Thursday til Monday. Looking back, I’m amazed we were able to play our set on the Sunday, given the state we got into each night. Big love to The Park Stage, and the crew up at the Crow’s Nest.
The following week I spent in London, rehearsing and performing for the Beck SongReader gig at the Barbican. I did a wee blog about the surreal experience, here: http://fabersocial.co.uk/2013/07/the-pictish-trail-beck-song-reader-live/ If you want to hear a demo caravan-recorded version of the song i performed – ‘The Wolf Is On The Hill’ – have a wee sniffter here: http://soundcloud.com/pictishtrail/the-pictish-trail-the-wolf-is
Following the Beck shenanigans, I did a fun (read: drunken) solo show in Bexhill, and then allowed all the badness to sweat out of me in the car journey back up to Scotland. By the time i made it back up to Eigg, you could feasibly have wrung out an entire pint of yeasty ale from my kecks.
The rest of the month has been spent relaxing, rehydrating and ruffling (feathers). I was asked by the Observer to take part in a debate about Spotify, which you can read here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/21/spotify-bad-for-music-debate. The comments bit is quite amusing.
It’s a funny thing – any time a musician expresses distaste at the way their music is purchased by the public, there’s outcry. Of course, no one is particularly bothered by the fact you can’t get Pictish Trail music on Spotify, but it’s interesting to see the bile directed towards Thom Yorke for removing his tunes. Why shouldn’t he? It’s his music, after all. There’s this perception that the public at large predominantly want to consume music by streaming it for free. If that’s true, then fine – folk can do what they want. But surely musicians should have the right to opt out without facing resentment, especially from the media and the industry. I’ve managed to scrape a living from music without being on Spotify, and if I can do it, anyone can.
I should probably have said that in the article … but it was getting too serious/boring. Which it probably is now. YE NEED TO HAVE A BIT O’ SHITE IN THERE FROM TIME TO TIME.
Anyway, enough about that. Look at all this stuff i’ve got to do next month! …
AUGUST 2ND – CANADA: SAPPYFEST
I’ve been invited over to Sackville, in New Brunswick, to take part in Sappyfest – a wee music festival founded by a local indie label called Sappy Records. I’m doing a solo PT show, and taking part in a panel discussion about putting on small events on islands. Apparently i’m an expert – ha! I just hope i get to meet the Kids In The Hall. They’ll be there, right? Canada can’t be that big … *looks at map* http://sappyfest.com
AUGUST 7TH – LONDON: VIC GALLOWAY BOOK LAUNCH / PICTISH TRAIL SOLO GIG
I fly back into London early on the 7th August, and make my way to Rough Trade East, to witness the launch of Vic Galloway’s new book, Songs In The Key Of Fife. It’s a book about the East Neuk music scene, and features all the likely suspects. Vic does a radio show for BBC Radio Scotland, has always been dead supportive of my stuff, and is a lovely guy to boot – he asked if i could perform a couple songs at the launch, so of course I said yes. You can read more about the launch, here: http://www.roughtrade.com/events/2013/8/165
I’m doing another gig the same night, a full solo set at the Servants Jazz Quarters in London, as part of a Moshi Moshi night. Tickets are only £5, and i’ll be delirious with jet lag, so expect some top chat from me: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/230929
AUGUST 16TH – FENCE SHOWCASE AT GREEN MAN FESTIVAL, WALES
My favourite festival EVER. Delighted to be back again this year, putting on a Fence Collective showcase in the Cinema Tent on the Friday night, and doing a full band Pictish Trail set alongside my label mates Monoganon, Randolph’s Leap, Kid Canaveral and DJ Dream Caravan. Forest of Black are providing visuals, and the Somerset Cider bus will be doing hot cider, i think. That’s where i’ll be for most of the weekend, anyway … except when i’m watching sets by Rozi Plain, eagleowl, James Yorkston, Jon Hopkins and Steve Mason. It’s a Fife/Fence invasion. Can’t wait. For those that make it along to the showcase at the Cinema Tent, i’ve got a little surprise in store for you. Get yer tickets here, likes: http://www.greenman.net/tickets
AUGUST 24TH – LIQUID ROOMS, EDINBURGH
Holy moley, biggest headline show to date. Would love to see you all there. I’m bringing down the band, and vow to give you the performance of MY LIFETIME http://www.tickets-scotland.com/picti Doors are at 6.30pm, so we’ll be all done and dusted by 10. Then it is PUB TIME. I think there’s a Papi Falso disco-fun-party night at Henry’s, so we should all go to that, and have a dance, eh?
AUGUST 27TH – DEVON SPROULE + PICTISH TRAIL, ON EIGG
I’m gonna need to wind down a bit after the Edinburgh show … so i’m delighted to be playing host to my pal Devon Sproule for a wee show up on Eigg. It’s a bit of a trek for non-islanders, but if you fancy a chilled out end to the summer, you should come on up. I’ll put a ticket link up this week, for those that are interested. If you’ve never heard Devon Sproule before, you should listen to this: http://vimeo.com/62280259 Mesmerising.
Right, this is a gargantuan update, so i’ll sod off in a second. Before i go, y’all should have a peek at the GIGZ page for more information on my autumnal tour plans. If you’d like us to play your town, drop me a note through the contact form. The following shows are confirmed:
SEPTEMBER 28TH – COCONUT PARTY, SAINTES, FRANCE
OCTOBER 2ND – THE LOUISIANA, BRISTOL
OCTOBER 6TH – THE LEXINGTON, LONDON
OCTOBER 11TH – THE SPIEGELTENT, THE SPREE, PAISLEY
If you’re at any of the shows in August, come up and say hullo!
the pictish trail xx