Saturday, 20 August 2016


We're in limbo.. We touched briefly on this in the last chapter, how we were in a state of flux, with our drummer all but departed and dear old Sammy Brookes becoming a father, we are light on numbers and the future is somewhat unknown. We're in Limbo.. Oblivion.. Left Field.. Out there.. Siberia.. these are some of words in my little thesaurus and I must say Siberia has tickled me the most. We are in Siberia! I should have opened the blog like that, that would have hooked you! 

You may have noticed the ever changing and diminishing lineup over the summer. Firstly the guitar player was replaced by Louis Gulliver King, (he slid in with many a fine performance and his use of accordion and more recently trombone have softened the blow of losing the finger picking dexterity of our lead player.) then the drummer was replaced by my feet, and then finally Louis Gulliver King was replaced by nobody. He played one final gig with us at Sea, Salts and Sail Festival, to a packed Mousehole harbour, before announcing that he's joining a theatre company for 10 months. So our quintet has quickly become a trio. Myself, the piano player and the bass player, were scratching our heads wondering how we were going to play the upcoming gigs with so much missing. "Does that mean I get loads more solos!?" chanced the piano player, wiping his dirty hands on his paint overalls. We groaned in unison, trying to explain that less is more. We need to fill the spaces with subtly not excess. Tentatively we took to the stage at Lafrowda Festival the next weekend and played our first gig as a trio. A huge audience had formed and all danced and whooped as much as always. "That sounded amazing!" said one fan. "Best I've heard you!" said another. "You guys, you're too kind!" I replied. 
fans at Lafrowda
Were they being nice or had it really been all that. For a start I was sitting still reverse kicking a box drum, the bass player, surely finds it harder without the kit. The piano player, trying his best to appease us, while secretly slipping in extra grace notes, well he's probably happy. I wasn't convinced. For a sit down Arts Centre gig maybe but 200 drunk Cornishman?

The next week the Siberian wilderness continued. Stick or twist? We had organised a big finale; A farewell to arms, at The Acorn on September 10th, welcoming back the drummer and guitar player and with an awesome support act in tow, it was going to be big leaving party, the start of hibernation, certainly for the winter, it's pretty cold in Siberia! Although, after we played a packed Coyote Moon stage at WOMAD festival and performed live on BBC Radio 3, once again as a timid trio, our head's were turning. And then again at The Knut in St. Just, an unplugged performance to an over capacity crowd, the biggest they'd ever had, and it was a Tuesday night! With fans crammed in like sardines, with pin-drop moments and raucous laughter, our ears were definately bending. Could we really walk away? Could we really hunker down all winter and further into a brave new year? The answer is YES... And NO. Which is nowhere really. Limbo. Oblivion. Siberia.

YES; we need a break, we can't continue driving around the country to London and Leek and Luton. We can't take all opportunities offered. We can't afford to keep bringing our music all over the country for the price of a tank of fuel and an amber ale; scant reward for a days work! Plus without the guitar player and drummer onboard I don't know if I want to. But also NO! The call is a strong one, we're musicians, we love performing and we love this band. Certain opportunities do arise; like a week's walking in The Lake District punctuated with live performances at snug alehouses, working holidays we call it. Where a tank of fuel and free lodgings and some pocket money is fair trade for wandering around Wainwright country. A gig in Southampton? No sorry. A return to the Isles of Scilly? Yes please! A gig in Plymouth. Really!? A return to Europe next spring? Now were talking! You see, we need to be realistic. As much as we'd love to bring our music all over the place and play for all the people, we can't physically do it. Time is money. And there isn't any money. And come to think of it, precious little time. If there is a chance to visit a special place, a unique opportunity, I think we'll take it. But driving to Luton in October, no disrespect to the people of Luton, but I'd rather do the weekly shop and get on top of the washing up!

So, it is A farewell to arms. Certainly in Cornwall. Certainly for the winter. Just to recharge the batteries. Just to reflect on a wild ride these last 6 years. Let the memories sink in. Before we meet again, sometime in the Easter months, when the weather's sprung. We'll have had a little think about where we want to take this band, and who can take it there. And we will be back. A Europe tour of 2017 is a definate. Other than that, we'll see what interesting openings arise.

Perhaps Siberia?