As a lot of you guys will already know, earlier this year I put together my first ever UK tour entitled the Tea Total tour. So called because it was mostly made up of tea houses, arts centres and other generally chilled out places. I did all the booking, advertising and promotional stuff myself, which for a pretty dis-organised soul like myself was rather a mammoth achievement!
All this hard work seemed to have paid off, as a few weeks ago I found out that I had been nominated for Best Acoustic Act at the South West Music Awards (horrah!). This was especially cool as the initial nominations were made by venues and it was lovely to think that they thought enough of my playing to put my name down.
Last Thursday I went along to the award ceremony, and guess what? I bloomin’ well won!
So that was a lovely start to the weekend.
Next I had to focus all my energy on a slightly scary gig that I had been booked to play that Saturday evening… slightly scary because a) It was outside in a marquee… in November… and b) They had requested a large selection of covers, most of which I didn’t know – 95% of my sets these days are made up of my own songs. I did nine years of playing in various covers bands, so although I’ve done this sort of thing many, many times before it’s been a while, and it did feel a bit weird to be learning cover songs again. But as always, I love a challenge.
I was away recording in Germany when they initially emailed and asked me to come along and play, so in between the studio sessions I had to try and construct a set list that I could realistically play/learn/blag by Saturday.
When Saturday came round we headed on up to Gloucestershire where the event was taking place. We eventually came across a field in the middle of nowhere which was filled with lots of ma-hoosive marquees. Any worries about being cold very quickly melted away, as we popped our heads into the marquee I was playing in and found that not only was it heated but it was kitted out like a luxury hotel and looked absolutely stunning. It came complete with a food tent and bar, which along with free drinks also had free cigarettes, lighters, poppies, jelly sweets, Galaxy chocolates, toffee apples and more!
The peeps running the tent were really friendly and the people who booked me were super duper nice. It was such a chilled out evening and a really lovely setting to play some tunes. Thankfully, I managed to remember or blag my way through most of the cover songs.
It was also a good opportunity to try out Tara Takamine’s new preamp (CT4-DX) as I’ve only been able to use it in mostly studio situations. I’m hopefully going to be making a video about it next week so you’ll be able to check it out and see what you think.
Talking of gear, very soon I’ll also be showing you a rather nifty bit of kit that Roland have asked me to test out (I’m ever so slightly excited about this). It’s going to help me so much with streaming gigs online and also making videos for YouTube.
But you’ll just have to wait and see.