Absolutely brilliant two days down in St Ives for the festival of which I am a patron. The Patrons night was vidoed and I’ll be posting segments of it as soon as I can get to editing them. We did some stuff with our old pal poet Bob Devereux and ploughed through some of the early material. Great fun!! Nice to see so many familiar faces!
Well well, here we are in the hiatus period before the annual Germany trip and the major winter tour. Always a time to sit back for a few days and take stock. Its been a good year what with the critical acclaim for the current SOH album and probably the largest number of solo gigs I’ve ever undertaken in such a short period. Its always hard for me to decide whether my activities outside of the band will be of any interest to anyone. I’m glad to report that, with very few notable exceptions, the solo shows have been great and I look forward to many more next year as Show of Hands takes a long break from live work to concentrate on recording and major album projects.
In addition to all this studio work, I’ll be able to do the whole of the Feast of Fiddles tour next year which has not been possible for a few years. I will also be out doing the Bully Wee Band tour at the end of January (Always great fun!)
On the subject of the studio, its time to be on the move again. We had five good years at riverside and did a lot of work there. The subsequent two years at the studio complex at Cullompton were also productive but I’ve probably got more done working here at ‘Big Pink’ for the last 20 months than anywhere else. I’m now moving once again to a specific hidden away industrial unit and reconstructing the studio for the next 3/4 years. Its across the river in the ‘Delta’ (Alligator proof) and enables me to be more helpful to my aging father who lives fairly close.
By not doing any Show of Hands live shows until September 2014, this enables me to re-assemble the Phil Beer Band for a series of shows in march. We havn’t done this for a while and I’m really looking forward to it. Miranda will be frantically busy out playing with Rex Preston during that time and we’ll miss her but we are delighted to announce that we will be rejoined by our old friend Emily Slade who played with us a few years ago. She has taken a long break from music and is just getting back into the swing of things.
Probably the most exciting ventures for me, however, are the june/july/august ‘Folkboat‘ voyages. They are now open for business for June and August. Anyone who has any questions should email vicky at the office and we’ll get straight back to you. The two trips we did this year were tremendous fun and we were lucky to get some of the best sailing we’ve ever had with absolutely perfect weather conditions each time. Good to see all the folks who came down to Weymouth to see Pegasus.
Very sad to report the death of our old friend and compatriot Vladimir Vega. I attended the funeral on wednesday. He was a big part of our lives both with the Alianza project and subsequently touring with Show of Hands. He was also an accomplished actor appearing in movies directed by Ken Loach (Ladybird Ladybird) and Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) and was a member of many bands including ‘Grand Union’. He left us with the legacy of the cuatro which is still an integral part of what we do. R.I.P Vladi. We will be singing Santiago for you on Saturday at the Hampton show.
We are now at the planning stage of a series of weekly music workshop/sailing cruises during June/July /August 2014. Negotiations are taking place to secure the right vessel for the job and we hope to know where we stand by the end of June 2013.
Nine weeks, thirty shows. Thats 3.333333 shows a week. I’m approaching 60 and I’m knackered. It finished the night before last and I’m hibernating at home. If all goes well I’ll surface tomorrow and go and catch the Melrose Quartet at my local in Topsham. What better way to wind down.