November Newsflash

Today’s post comes from the downstairs, slightly shabby (chic) dressing room of the otherwise palatial New Theatre, Wimbledon, on the Bellowhead That’s All Folks Tour Part One, Day Five. As well as bidding a fond farewell to our audiences, and each other, we’re using the gigs to promote our ‘best of’ album, Pandemonium, so that we can retire in luxury and splendour.

Interrupted by the gig! The post continues from backstage at Dr Montford Hall in Leicester. I’m reduced to sewing up the torn lining of my jacket pocket, both out of need and for entertainment. So much for a rock and roll lifestyle. Then it’s soundcheck time, and preparations for tonight’s filming of the show for a DVD. And plans are afoot for a live CD too, for release on the That’s All Folks Tour Part Two next April. Which really will be the end…

And now we’re in Bath, at the Forum, a beatiful art deco former cinema. Back to news. Faustus, returned from a successful October tour, have just been awarded a grant from Art Council England, which will aid an upcoming collaboration with Halsway Manor, a folk arts centre in Somerset. We’ve got a workshop weekend there coming up next April – and in other exciting news, we’re plotting for a new album. Belshazzar’s Feast are considering a new CD too, but at present we’re busy preparing for our mammoth 19-date Christmas tour. Which will culminate with a guest appearance on Clare Balding’s BBC Radio 2 show on Christmas morning!

In the New Year, Faber Music will be issuing my new book, a collection of 50 arrangements of traditional songs of the British Isles, for community choirs. It’s been great exploring the non-English language songs – various Celtic languages, Welsh, Dgèrnésiais, Romany – and I have had some great help from language experts and translators from Tipperary to Cornwall to the Isle of Man. Now to arrange a tour of all the places in the songs…

Other projects in the pipeline include some theatre music work, for the Old Vic amongst others; and restoring my greenhouse and decorating the loft. As for now, another gig beckons – we’ve been given our ten minute warning – time to do my hair, so toodle pip!