Here’s a December missive, reaching you in, what must rank as, the most extraordinary Midwinter ever. The time is rattling by. I get some things done, I put some things off. There’s no sign of activities being abandoned but things can get parked. Amidst it all there’ve been busy spells though, that’s for sure.
When I wrote in September I said (and I quote) ‘I’ve largely kept off the internet in terms of performance. It’s not real performance without the audience transaction’.Well, the final sentence is true but I have invested in some useful equipment and have made a few appearances on a variety of platforms. Here are some links:-
The First one is a night of entertainment we performed at the end of the STUC’s Congress Week in November.
Vimeo link:- https://vimeo.com/482657069/1b5ca6fbef
The Second is a recording I made, at James Yorkston’s invitation, for his ‘Tae sup wi’ a Fifer’ initiative. I have two songs in part two plus one song in part three:- https://www.taesup.co.uk/tae-sup-wi-a-fifer-session-2/
For the Third one I utilised a guitar I acquired in September as a Lockdown treat. It’s a 1967 Gibson B-45 12-string I
bought on the internet, unseen. There were a few available, so I took my time picking what looked best for me. I made
a goodselection I think. It’s great. It’s seen some work, plus a few plectrums in its day and bears the scars to prove it.
There’s no evidence of any structural damage or major repairs though and it does play well and sound good. I’ve
strung it Medium/Heavy (0.56-0.13) and tuned it a tone low. That’s an old-school 12-string thing. Ive written a few tunes
on it already. Here’s one:- https://www.facebook.com/RabNoakesMusic/videos/209340250677405
As you know Brooks Williams and I engage in a two-hander collaboration. He asked me if I’d record my part on a song we often plat as a encore. This I did (eventually) and he added his part separately and Mark and Andy did the Audio/Visual production. So, for the Fourth one, it’s a geographical collaboration too with Brooks in Cambridge and me in Glasgow. https://youtu.be/t7aNLFq71OI
Celtic Connections 2021 will be an online event. Donald Shaw invited me to participate and on Thursday December 3rd I was privileged to appear and be filmed at Glasgow City Chambers alongside Eddi Reader, Findlay Napier, Karine Polwart, Siobhan Miller and others for a show which I think is to be called’The People’s songs’. https://www.celticconnections.com/news/celtic-connections-2021-announces-initial-line-up-and-early-bird-tickets/
Chris groom wrote a piece on me which makes a nice spread over four pages in the December edition of Shindig magazine. https://www.shindig-magazine.com/
This one appeared in the previous mailshot but here’s a reminder of my Scotman Session Here’s the link:
And the same with this one I contributed to for the National Theatre of Scotland / BBC online series ‘Scenes for Survival’. It’s called ‘First Things’, and is a single-hander with Elaine C Smith, written by Val McDermid. Val invited me to provide the closing song. It was broadcast on the BBC Scotland channel so is available on iPlayer;-
I also recorded an interview for a TV programme which will be on Channel 5. It’s a series called Hits of the ’70s and ’80s. I talk about Gerry’s ‘Baker Street’. I think it’ll be on early nexy year sometime.
There are no ‘Live in Person’ shows and there haven’t been any for nearly ten months. Activity has plummeted, along with all related income. In the absence of gigs the merch sales are slow. None at the venues of course but online slows down too. I guess most folks who read this, now irreguar, communication will have many of them.
Nevertheless, I’ll cut to the chase with the price-cuts at the shop:-
From now, until further notice, all CDs are £7.99 / download £5.99
EPs are £4.99 / download £3.99
Also, here's a wee reminder that, to tie in with the ‘Do you see the lights?’ at 50 celebrations, the relevant packages are available in the store for the remainder of the anniversary year, and most likely beyond.
- CDs of Do you see the lights? and Demos & Rarities Vol1. (£13.00 + p&p)
- CDs of Do you see the lights?, Demos & Rarities Vol1 and Unlimited Mileage. (£17.00 + p&p)
I’ve continued to do quite a bit with the Musicians’ Union and STUC, taking part in various conversations with ScotGov and others to highlight predicaments and hopefully raise awareness and encourage support.
My MU activity will alter from now as I didn’t stand for the EC (Executive Committee) this time around. I’ll miss it but there are a number of reasons, mainly domestic. I have done sixteen years so it’s time to clear the way for someone else. I will remain active on the Regional Committee and other initiatives and platforms.
I have been getting further into some more writing so, hopefully, that’ll see the light of day in time.
There are no ‘’Live in Person dates scheduled which have certainty of taking place
So, that’s it for 2020 folks. Do have a good festive time, albeit in the truncated form that’s now, mercifulluy, how we proceed. It’s a precarious time. Best wishes to you all for now and all the way through 2021.
Be Careful Out There.
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