2013 UK Tour Blog

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The tour ended last night under a mirrorball in Edinburgh. 27 dates in 6 weeks around the UK and I can honestly say it’s been one of the best experiences of my life.

Sorry I’ve not blogged more – I’ve been totally solo this tour, and managing myself is a full time job!

But playing solo has really rejuvenated me, made me feel musically free in a very important way, and I feel grounded as I go into a new phase of recording and playing with the band again next year.

A good handful of the gigs officially sold out and a load more were full or proper choc-a-blok-man, but even the odd quiet gigs were ones to cherish and had a great atmosphere. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CAME TO A GIG.


Although the venues were generally small, it still amounts to a good couple of thousand people who … Read the rest

16/05/13 The Guitar Bar, Nottingham

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There are three main reasons I chose Nottingham for my university:

РIt was suitably far away from home to experience the thrill of moving out, but not so far when it came to that clich̩ about the washing.
– Me and my friend jack visited the campus on an open day. It was gloriously sunny so all the girls looked gorgeous. We sat on the grass next to the lake and the student union served us beer, even though it was an open day so we were quite obviously under 18. Jack found a fiver on the floor.
– It was meant to be good for law, which is what I’d applied for.

For the next three years we all played at being adults, doing things we thought adults did like stay out late in clubs drinking VKs and dancing to awful music. It was a playground of boys … Read the rest

13/05/13 Oporto, Leeds

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Writing a new song is a bit like getting to know someone new. You start with only little superficial details and gradually get to cut the crap and find out what they’re like deep down. What are their true motivations? Where have they come from? Are we going to get on?

For example I’ve got a new song called Falter. For months the music evoked something in me, a sort of sadness, but I ignored that and wrote the lyrics about other things like the joy of repetition or people who don’t stop to think before they act.

Eventually as I got to know the song more, I realised all this was like putting a suit on a surfer dude, or a hippy tie-dye t-shirt on a goth – it just didn’t fit the personality right. I stopped fighting it and let it be who it wanted to be, which … Read the rest

11/05/13 Bucks Student Union, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

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For you or me it might be unusual to stand on top of a woman lying on a bed of nails whilst you play the saxophone. Well, not if you’re part of Slamboree, the raucous DJ/live band/circus party band. At one point backstage a juggler was teaching me to throw a hat correctly to land on my head whilst a rip-to-remove velcro dress was being tested out 2 feet away. I needed all my concentration skills for that one.

That’s right, to quote a line on the new Paper Aeroplanes album (out this week – double underline), I might run away with the circus. Really I might. Ever wondered why running away with the circus is such a cliche? (God what is it with quoting paper aeroplanes songs today…) It’s because they know how to have a good time.

We’re at Bucks New Uni’s end of the year … Read the rest

09/05/13 The Angel, Woodbridge, Suffolk

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I ain’t gonna lie, there have been times over the winter where I’ve thought “Is this really worth it? These new songs are rubbish.” Ah hello self-doubt! It’s like the friend who just puts you down and you wonder why you’re still friends with, but sometimes pushes you on to work harder and be better.

This past winter, when wrestling with a particularly difficult song, I would sometimes imagine packed-out, storming, successful nights like this one in Woodbridge just to taunt myself about how far away from all that I was. “Ooh these new songs are your best” people would be saying at my imagination gig while I looked down at yet another page of rejected lyrics.

Oh, if only old me could have seen new me at this gig! It was such a banger! And the new songs were at the heart of it. What a relief.

Looking back, … Read the rest

Important Tour News

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With a very heavy heart it looks as though there are some gigs I’m not going to be able to play this month and I wanted to explain why.

A few of the dates we booked were in quite big venues, and in places I’ve not played in much before. We were aiming high and looking forward to growing into them this year.

And it has been an awesome year. There’s an album in the shops, new EPs released, songs on the radio and all sorts. But I’ve not managed to play as many smaller dates around the country as I’d have liked so far, and without that kind of promotion some venues start to look a little big for us.

After all it takes a lot of hard yards to get 350 people into a room in Leeds. You have to build up and earn it. I’ve got some … Read the rest

House Concert Tour

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House concerts are intimate, unplugged acoustic gigs in a place just like yours. Whether pin-drop quiet or a little more raucous they’re always a great excuse to bring a great bunch of people together and listen to music.

This summer, I’m looking to play 5 house concerts around the UK hosted by people who help support the May tour. You’ve been thinking about having a bit of a thing round your place right? Maybe this is it? It’s set up like a competition. Here are the ways to enter.

Buy a ticket to a gig using the links below. This gets you two entries into the competition and you’ll get a free download of a track called Ghostess which we recorded live in the studio recently. If you’ve already bought a ticket, just ask the venue when you get there and they’ll give you a redemption code which does the … Read the rest

#13 Independent, Sunderland

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Somewhere between too many free whiskies at 4am and me thrashing her repeatedly at pool, Lisa had lost her purse. We turned the hotel upside down but with no joy. Initial grief makes way for self-flagelation. I’m SUCH an idiot… it’s a feeling I know well after years of practice.

John and Lisa pointed the van in the direction of Sunderland. I bet they wonder how I ever managed without them tour managing. I seem to have developed a reputation as someone who couldn’t find his way out of a crisp packet without
P!… Read the rest