i now have everything i need to get the artwork done for the album, i've confirmed a gig in Devizes and there's another one on the way in Derby if luck will have it, and i have a couple of radio sessions lined up in the coming weeks to keep my chin up.
the first indeed, is alone now, in session for Tom Crook's  radio podcast. is it cheating to do a session for a station that i also DJ for? probably, but who cares!
click here for the podcast in mp3 form, it's about halfway in. there's a neat little interview conducted in the confines of my own front room, and then down to business with a version of 'Five Little Secrets' and forthcoming album track 'Tell Avril Lavigne I Never Wanted To Be Her Stupid Boyfriend Anyway'
oh, that Devizes gig by the way, is for Oxjam and is at The Lamb on August 21st. see you there.
seriously. barely a finger lifted all day. today, you see, is comedown day from 2000 Trees, which i was honoured to play yesterday. one of the only festivals worth its salt on this isle, entirely devoid of irritating chavs and one of the few run from a love of music instead of a love of money.
sure, my hearing's irritatingly shot, and i have no voice left to speak of, but what a day and what a turnout. a touching combination of friends, people still following me from this time last year and a whole bunch of new fans that i didn't even know i had. i hear even Mr Frank Turner himself jumped from a moving van and vaulted the fence to take in some of the set, and when i say 'i hear' i mean 'he told me so'.
i guess the day belonged to that man though. his first major UK festival headline set was incredible, and even managed to beat the Bath Komedia show from a few days before. the Komedia is a beautiful venue, a former playhouse of some description and the kind of old building that is slowly being shut down, demolished, abandoned. but Komedia have given it a home, and it was good to catch up with everyone on Wednesday. my set was okay, plenty of people into 'Oh My Days' and i even managed to scrabble through a new song barely getting any of it right. at 2000 Trees a few days later i get it 5% more right.
but what a day Trees was. for a start, it was the first time i'd ever played on a stage powered by a solar-powered ex-book bus, and it just got better from then on. the 4th annual occurrence of the Cheltenham festival had its wet moments - it has, after all, rained each of the three previous years - but the site held up well. barely a mudslide greeted the likes of Pulled Apart By Horses (rowdy), Future of the Left (sarcastic, sour-faced but brilliant), Chris T-T (overwhelming), Jim Lockey & the Solemn Sun (masterful) and anyone else i saw on the day. i pose for photos, sell a few records and wonder not for the first time this year how the fuck i'm going to sit at my desk on Monday morning.
tonight though, is all about the comedown. i've just got in from a 'run' (i only managed 20 minutes, having decided to run immediately after a cup of tea, and that's a Hazard), i have three films to watch this evening (Walk The Line, the absurdly disappointing Funny Games and Memento) and a pizza to negate the goodness of the exercise (or because of. i'm not sure). to top it off, i even found my copy of The Hold Steady's Stay Positive, which is superb. also on the list of new CDs, alongside the 2000 Trees' compilation Cider Smiles, is Thrill Collins' demo, Death Cab's Something About Airplanes (finally. i'm prepared to be disappointed) and the first Tokyo Police Club EP. considering i went out to buy the Sam Amidon album and a sieve, i'm not entirely sure where it all went wrong. well, not wrong. different.
thanks to Jacqui, who drove me to Bath on Wednesday, and to Richard Sanderson, who obliged for Trees. thanks also to everyone i met in both places, especially the girl who gave me the comic/fanzine/art that is in my bag, just out of reach, the lovely folk i met last year who came with me to Chris T-T this year, and also the crew from Norwich who let me drink their San Miguel and play 'I Know What I Did Last Summer' at them until i ran off into the evening, an evening which ended at the hand of the aforementioned and excellent Thrill Collins, Jim Lockey and Joe Summers near the I Started The Fire stall.
enough reflection on the week though. it's Sunday afternoon now and i forgot to post the above yesterday. i was distracted by Walk The Line, which was great. and the pizza, which was less great. Funny Games, on reflection, is less gutting on the second watch, and is almost an entirely different movie, where allegiances lie elsewhere from the first time. Memento was okay. perhaps an odd way to end, finishing as it did at 3.30am-ish. it made IMDB's Top 250 list if i'm not mistaken, so perhaps i'm just missing something.