A rather difficult journey home from Memphis saw me missing my international connection due to storms through Chicago where I was connecting to Toronto. This also affected a number of other musicians who were flying to various locations across N America. So as we gathered in Memphis at the gate of the delayed flight, I started up some chords on the Tenor guitar, which I carry on as hand luggage. Other very skilled musicians such as Ken Whiteley and Chris Mckhool joined in on Mandolin, Harmonica, Violin and voice and we came up with a song called the ‘United Blues’. Everyone gathered around including curious passengers and soon we had a mini festival going on..very cool.
Anyway got home eventually and a few days later went to see Elvis in Manchester! The large band of musicians that toured and played with him in Vegas in the seventies are on stage and they play live to his singing on a huge screen. I know it sounds tacky but it works and is in fact a very clever undertaking. That music was some of the first I ever listened to as a boy and it was something I had to go and see. In some ways I enjoyed it very much and it was a nostalgic evening for me, though a little spoiled by the fact that the crowd sang along with all the songs which, whilst being understandable, was not what I wanted. I had come to hear Elvis, not the guy behind me.
Then on Saturday night I played at Taffy Fest in Pontypridd, which was great and as a complete contrast spoke and sang at Christchurch College in Oxford on Sunday! Nothing but varied is this job. This Friday we hit the road for an eighteen-date tour around the UK so there is little respite at the moment. It’s all good though, and a chance to try out new material which I will start recording in April.