Wednesday, 27 August 2014

our daily bread update

Sometimes  a community  has  to  act  in  a  unified way  to  achieve  essential  solutions which  will  not  be  achieved  by other means.  

Our Daily Bread is as much about facilitating a community coming together to help others as it is about a concert.

Finally all of the preliminary stuff is set for the gig in Upholland on Friday 3rd October 2014. More info at > 

I hope the web site will continue as a tool for similar adventures and community initiatives.

Tickets will be available from WE GOT TICKETS from Monday 1st September 


I could be your older brother
would you like to stroke my dog
I'm hiding here inside a door way
trying to believe in God
can I lie here
rest my aching head
give me protection
give us our daily bread

can I stay here
just for a little while
please give me shelter
give me a lovely smile
show me respect please
or I might as well be dead
lead me to salvation
give us our daily bread


we'll turn the lights on
we know right from wrong
no one is stronger than we
we'll turn the lights on
we know right from wrong
no one is stronger than we

see me standing on a corner
it's lonely after dark
I have tried I really have
but I am sleeping in the park
I don't complain it hurts too much
never dry or warm or fed
give me resurrection
give us our daily bread


Friday, 22 August 2014


Paraschiv Tony, myself and Trude giving it max after the show

What can I say about the trip that took me the furthest north I have ever been?  It is difficult to sum up the good times I had there with some of the loveliest folk I have met since I embarked on touring my solo show.
It is a two hour flight to Oslo with a two hour flight from there to Alta which nestles between the mountains and fjords.  The problem is the four hour wait between flights. The scenery during flight from Oslo to Alta is stunning. You would be hard pushed to find wilderness like it anywhere in Europe.
I was met at the airport by Tjere Ramstad who runs the club Galleri. I liked him immediately and soon I discovered why. This is a man committed to providing quality entertainment in Alta and he has a vast knowledge and understanding of the music of our times. He has a large command of the English language and so the discussions and debates began.

This is the  Lappish zone. The Sami live a short distance away. The light is wonderful with little darkness but it was much cooler than I thought it would be. The population of Alta is around 20.000 and it is a big town by local standards.  By coincidence the Arctic Tour bike race, which I usually watch on TV, came through town but I opted to hang out and rehearse bits of songs I planned to play for the first time in a long time.
I have to thank so many people for their kindness but it was Trude and Per Rane who welcomed me in their home first and where I stayed, except for one night after the Saturday show when I stayed very late at the club.  Per Rane plays a mean blues harmonica and Trude has a very sweet fragile singing voice. Per Rane's Halibut soup was northern gourmet food of the highest order. I like to eat any kind of sea food and though this kind of fresh fish meal is probably usual fare for the locals in Alta, to me  this was very special. Reindeer was also on offer and that was also a special treat.

On the Friday I went down to the club Galleri for a sound check and saw the town for the first time.  The whole place built mostly with wood was burned to the ground by the occupying German troops in World War two. People were forced from their homes and ordered to travel south. Consequently the town is modern and not to the taste of many locals I spoke with. Personally I like it. It has a functional quality and is laid out much like I imagine a colony on the moon might be. 
This is the place where the German battle ship Tirpitz was sunk in a nearby fjiord.  If you are interested in modern history check out 

The club Galleri is in the central part of town where my shows were part of a large festival taking place right in the town centre. Several stages with large PA systems were pumping out all kinds of music all day long and into the night.
As I walked into the club for the first time I was met by Daniel the club doorman with the warmest greeting and handshake. Daniel is a wise man from Nigeria and the kind of guy you would definitely make room for in your lifeboat. ( regular readers will know what I mean). later I watched Daniel deal with difficult customers. He had a kind and considerate approach but it was clear he would be very able to deal with anyone who was unable to get his clear message.

Two really nice guys, singer / guitarist Kurt Ivar Strom and Bjorn Hagerupsen on bass, were my support act. Kurt Ivar is legendary in these parts for, among other things, being the man most responsible for evangelising on the EBB back in the day. He played EBB material and turned a lot of people on to our songs. Evening over rooftops is like a national anthem in this area of Norway. I can't tell you how many people said it was their favourite all time song. It gives me a warm feeling to know that we were so much a part of people's lives and for such a long time.

The club was packed when the guys hit the stage at around mid night. The crowd were very drunk for the most part and very noisy. The guys ran through their set of well chosen covers. It went quite well considering no one was really listening. To make matters worse the pa system was not working well and I struggled at times. There was no point in my usual story telling. Eventually I got to what I later called " THE SONG" and played Evening over rooftops. Job done after a fashion. Some of us stayed late after the Friday show and Tony who works in the club decided to sing some karaoke followed by Trude.  I joined in with some backing vocals and then Trude and I performed some yoik together. I loved that duet as much as anything during my time in Alta and we did a repeat performance for friends back at Per Rane's and Trude's house, very late in the night. Outside the sun shone dimly through the gloom in the mountains that signalled a change in the weather and the coming of a long winter.

I prayed the following evenings concert would not be a repeat performance of Friday. I had come a long way to show off my stuff so I hoped for better on Saturday. Terje got a couple of PA guys to look at things next day and soon everything sounded fine. Marcela, lovely wife of Terje, buzzed around looking after every one and soon it was time to roll.
We played earlier than on Friday. Kurt Ivar and Bjorn played a cracking set. Kurt Ivar manages to choose songs to cover that really suit his voice and so he makes the songs his own, almost as if he had written them. They rocked. Great!

I was soon having a great time on stage. People listened to my songs and stories and it all went well.  They were a lovely audience and they made the gig special. I finished with " THE SONG " (EORT) played my little outro, a variation on my intro, and that was that. I left the stage with the sound of the crowd ringing in my ears. What a great night!  I hung around for a long time after chatting and drinking copious amounts of cognac, filled with good energy and high as a kite. It was very late and time to go. I was offered a bed for the night with Roar and Mary Ann Olsen. They live in a beautiful wooden house by the fjord.  Mary Ann is a very talented painter from the Philippines and has her work exhibited in the club Galleri where she works behind the bar with Tony from Romania  and Anastasia from Russia. This is an international family. I was so surprised when Roar offered to buy one of his wife's paintings for me. I was very touched by this and I look forward to it arriving here. thank you so much for that guys.
Mary Ann's work was evident in the room I slept in where her organic decorating work on the walls was still a work in progress. I woke to a a very welcome breakfast of noodles and eggs and a view of the fjord to die for. It was a beautiful sunny day. 

Later that day Terje, Marcela and Toni took me to friends where "Grill Master" Paraschiv Tony  made splendid barbecue. It was another very nice evening with lots of happy chatter and warm hospitality.
Next day it was departure day. It is always good to come home to the UK but I really felt a little sadness when leaving Terje at the airport to check in. The good thing is that we have plans for the future and so I am sure we shall all get together again one day soon.

Thank you to everyone who made this trip so very special for me - Terje and Marcela Ramstad, Per Rane Moland and Trude, Brita ,Ole Anton, Roar and Mary Ann Olsen, HÃ¥kon Johansen Tom Tangen, Hallgeir and Bente, Rita Heitmann  and Rolf Erik,  Paraschiv Tony, Daniel and Anastasia.


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

our daily bread latest

Any one who has hosted a FDPFAFDW event can apply directly to 
for tickets for the show below. 
Tickets are £15-00.
First come, first served, first supper :)

T I C K E T     O U T L E T S     T O    B E    A N N O U N C E D   S O O N 


See the report on Friday from Galleri , Alta in the land of the midnight sun.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

for Heinz

I had met up with Walter some months ago at the house of my friends Val and John, who is also my road manager. Walter Kohl is a writer from Austria and a fan. We talked about collaborating on a book based on my songs, writing and his teenage memories back in the day and other things. We also talked about an idea I have for a project I call The Definative Interview.We hit it off together straight away and I felt very positive about things. We began to work out how these projects could be developed and we agreed to meet at a later date when we would have given the ideas some more thought. Later Walter invited me to go to Austria to play a FDPFAFDW party for his brothers birthday and to undertake some interviews with him towards work on the book. 

Walter and Christiane mein hosts

I arrived at Vienna airport where I was met by Walter and his daughter Isolde. We drove for a couple of hours to Linz where we dropped Isolde off at her home in the city. Linz has a heavy industrial area on the edge of town. It is not a pretty sight but then the huge of footprint of steel works and chemical industries never is, where ever it is. The centre of Linz is very beautiful and the city has had  a significant role in ancient and modern history. Thirty or so kilometres from Linz is where Walter and Christiane live high up in in the wooded hills. The road up to their place and the descent down to the main road is both a cyclist dream and nightmare, depending on the weather. By the time we had passed up and down this road a couple of times I knew it well. 
The Kohl's house a timber and glass construction on the side of a hill. Christiane designed most of it and it is a very spacious, inviting place with lovely vibes. The art that decorates the place and the many interesting objects make it a very unusual and special environment. At night it is quiet with out any sound. In the sun butterflies and insects of many varieties fill the air with their buzzing and in the evening the cicadas fill the air with their distinctive sound. One afternoon a young deer came by to have a look around. I thought of the deer that came to visit me while I was fishing in Larvik on my last trip to Norway. Perhaps this my deer spirit and has followed me always. I like the idea, reminiscent of Native American beliefs around animals.
I slept well after my journey to Austria and collected a few insect bites during my unconscious hours. I rose quite late, as I generally do on the day of a gig and still there was time to relax and prepare my head for things to come. This wasn't difficult. The atmosphere in the house is calm and very relaxing and the conversation invigorating around the widest ranging topics. Some how it always came back to some kind of alternative way of looking at and perceiving this world of ours or tales of our lives, shared as comrades and friends. I felt so at home here already.

a very surprised Heinz when we all turned up to party

The birthday party for Walter's brother was a complete surprise. When we all tuned up with old friends of Walter's he was visibly surprised and delighted. A barbecue was in progress and a large tent erected for guests. The second Kohl house was as beautiful as Walter and Christiane's house in a different way. I signed some albums for Heinz. He had every thing the EBB recorded. After this he took me on a guided tour of his lovely garden with it's standing stones and swimming pond, not a pool but a natural looking pond with lilies and other flora you would see around a pond in the wild. It was all very impressive and the view across the valley was lovely as the sun slowly began to dip over the hills beyond.
The barbecue was superb. Not having a garden this is always a welcome meal for me. I was careful not to eat too much before my set. It does have a slightly detrimental effect some how.

a chat with Heinz about evening over roof tops

time to sing

I had selected a paved area for my performance and I had borrowed a little amplifier from Heinz's daughter. She and her boy friend had smuggled it to Walter's house the day before so I could try it out with out Heinz knowing what was planned. It was a beauty and reproduced my Tanglewood's tone much better than the average electric guitar amp. I didn't need a microphone. So, I ran through my set telling stories about the songs. I took a break in the middle and then played the remainder of my songs. The guest were a very nice audience. I really enjoyed it all. They listened and they understood most of every thing as far as I could tell and many of them were very complimentary afterwards. We all headed for the tent for a selection of delicous cakes and coffee.

cake and coffee and potato soup to warm us up as darkness fell

We stayed chatting late into the night and I had some very interesting conversations with Isolde, Walter and Christiane's daughter. One of my favourite outcomes of these FDPFAFDW shows is that some times I meet some one special with a compelling and fascinating life story. We discovered we had some things in common and some similar demons. We talked about Dr Steve Peters, the guy who wrote The Chimp Paradox and I promised to buy her a copy. Isolde it is on my list of action to be taken.

the Danube from the old castle restaurant in Linz

Walter and I worked on the book in the evenings and on Sunday evening Walter and Christiane took me to the restaurant in the old castle in Linz. The view of the Danube below was spectacular and the juxtaposition of medieval and modern architecture is cleverly executed. Heinz joined us for dinner and we had a very nice meal and a few beers. It was another opportunity to share and tell stories.

Heinz Walter and me in the main square Linz
the Kohl family

I'd had a great time. We shared a lot and it is just a beginning. I think this story will run for some time yet and will have some very interesting and satisfying outcomes. Thank you to all of the Kohl family and their friends for the kindness they showed to me. It was a pleasure and a privilege to meet you all. I was a little sad to say goodbye but I had a very good feeling inside that will last a long time.
The flight from Vienna was a nightmare after the flood s at Gatwick Airport earlier in the day. I left for Vienna with Walter and Isolde at 4pm. I arrived back home in London at 2.30am. Still it was worth it.

This weekend I am going to Wigan for the auditions for local artists who want to join the bill for the Our Daily bread gig in Upholland church and to tie up a few more loose ends towards getting the show together. 
This will be a very special evening. Our Daily bread will be ticket only benefit for THE BRICK homeless shelter in Wigan on the Friday the 3rd of October.
Any one who has hosted a FDPFAFDW gigs will be offered tickets. You know who you are. Email me if you want to reserve tickets.
Arthur and Steve will be joining me for a few songs performed in a style you will have never heard before. 

The weekend after I will be off to the north of Norway where I will be playing two dates in Alta.