I'm actually at Newcastle Central Station now, deviously early for my train. I shall have to be quick before my laptop battery dies, though.
What a city! It's bigger than Derby, of course [by about 40,000]; but the plethora of interesting places, combined with the intelligent and tasteful re-use of old buildings and heritage made it a joy to stroll around this morning—something Derby could certainly take on board, if it's not too late.
Anyway, I'm here because I was playing with Dave and Josh in what could have been billed the Joshua Blackmore Mini–Festival [as Troyka were in attendance] but instead had the fantastic slogan:
B****r the football—bring on the jazz!
The Cluny is a converted mill that sits on the River Ouseburn. It looked like they had one of those chimneys they used to drop small globules of lead down to make shots for muskets. There were garages, stables, a farm[!] and other artists studios, and had a real cultural feel. Definitely a place worth checking out, even to just relax. Paul Bream from Schmazz had really looked after us, and was a great example of a promoter who believes in the music, those who make it and those who listen to it. We had a good time chatting—which I suspect we will next week, since I'm there again with Mr Hawkins.
Trokya had been on BBC Radio 3 the night before, so that drew in quite a few people; as well as it being Chris Montague's home-coming gig. We all had a good time hanging out before playing. Troyka were up first, and were sounding great—Chris doing some nice stuff with the pedals, and some lovely moments from Kit Downes and Josh—the crowd were really into it! The difference in our styles made the proposition of following them slightly daunting: but on we went, and we managed to take the really attentive audience with us. An extremely pleasant evening!
Note: just in case you hadn't been aware and it hasn't been relayed to you a billion times before, England lost a football match the other week. It's not surprising, but apparently it's important.