May 17, 2010
Back we are from our almighty Golden Hour Highlands Tour 2010. It was great fun all around and here’s a little I wanted to share with those who couldn’t make it. ESPECIALLY as we are gearing up for our England Tour in less than a week, so if you like what you see/hear/read, check us out down south (in England, I mean).
A tour podcast is forthcoming from Anon magazine’s Colin Fraser, but until then, here’s me reading ‘Darkness on the Edge of Toast‘, from our massive Findhorn gig.
Also, while we were up in Ullapool, a reviewer from HIARTS came to see us. You can read what she said about us here. I particularly liked this line:
“A vibrant band of eight writers and musicians … provide the cultural equivalent of riding bareback on a wild horse.”
And last but not least, an excerpt from Jason Morton’s day-by-day review of the tour, via The Skinny:
The morning of our drive to the Granite City, I couldn’t sleep. Restless and fitful, I woke up and wrote. Recapturing the essence of this experience I found quite difficult, and I hope to have conveyed it effectively, though I would have no gauge to measure it. Either way, it was a bittersweet experience, realizing this night would represent our final performance of the journey, and that soon I would be referring to it, as well, in hindsight, where triumphs and tragedies would both be glaringly apparent. I left writing for a while, and instead talked to our host, Jamie, over a cup of coffee, as the rest of the crew woke in time.
The Aberdeen gig would, again, differentiate itself greatly from our other stops. We had performed at the Blue Lamp the previous year, also as a final show, so it felt familiar, even though we’d only been there once before. During the afternoon, our merry band splintered across the city, each pairing striking out on its own.
Jed and Ryan, always our keepers – the ones who put in 1000 per cent to make sure things come off without a hitch – stayed at the venue to set up sound and speak with staff. Toby and Hailey worked on each others’ songs, hoping for an eventual collaboration. Ericka and Jane disappeared for lunch at a high street pub, and Billy and I went shopping for sunglasses, though the grey overcast made them unnecessary.
We arrived at the venue, slightly late, greeted by a crowd already assembled, already attentive, waiting for what we had to offer.
A recurring theme throughout the night was the sense of liberty we felt regarding the content of our readings and performances, which I feel was shared at least between myself and Jane. After scoring out large passages of my texts for each preceding gig, as well as each and every curse word, I read, at long last, an unedited excerpt from by chapbook, “Old & New.” Miss Flett finally had an opportunity to delve into seedier territory as well, reading a powerful piece about a woman trapped in a bizarre, and seemingly inescapable sexual relationship.
Also benefiting from the change in format was Billy Liar, who made full use of the amped up sound system. Blazing through his set, I was impressed by his rendition of “It Starts Here”, a song I must have heard over a hundred times before. However, whether it was the tuned-up volume or the emotions over ending our short sojourn, there seemed to be an additional vigour there, though when I complimented him on it he responded in the vein of “What are you talking about?”
This provided, as well, the first collaboration between Toby – who also guested with Billy and Hailey – and Ryan, where he laid down some smoky, Southwestern rock-style whittling under a poem about finding a murder victim in the depths of a river.
As an emcee and solo reader, Ryan excelled in Aberdeen, as he must have had an extra boost of energy – or glass of wine – pulling down the wool curtains over his own creative process. “This one’s called Falling No. 71,” he said at one point. “Now, no, I didn’t write 70 other poems about falling – but if I did, imagine how rubbish those other ones would be.”
Jed closed down the show, and though we all knew it was coming, the end felt sudden: Tomorrow, we would all wake up in separate places, for many our own beds, and not feel the pressure or joy of the night’s upcoming gig. It’s a blessing and a curse, both touring and home, but – if you’ll excuse a bit of sappiness – friendships were made, sights were seen, good times were had… and, if there’s a little sadness on the drive home, there’s always next time.”
Definitely click over to the full article for more lovely nuggets from the journey, plus gorgeous pictures c/o Ericka Duffy.
Thanks for all your support, friends! See you again soon!