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Video a week on patreon.com

Hi and happy new year beloved folkies!

A new feature for 2017 is the Martin Dale patreon page at:

https://www.patreon.com/martindale

Here you can see live performances of songs, background info about the songs, thoughts about new songs and much more.  Better still, it’s an interactive experience – you can tell me what you think, ask me questions, make requests or say whatever you feel like to me!  I’ll reply to every post.

It’s launched today (1st January 2017) and there will be a new video (plus background info video) every Sunday come rain or shine, as well as bonus recordings, musings, song sketches etc.

Click the buttons and become part of it.  You know you want to!

Neil Brophy UK tour roundup

Had a wonderful week eating great British food and drinking great British ales, whilst playing great British venues in Great Britain.  Neil Brophy Band made its first steps into the great British music market and at the same time had lots of fun and giggles.

First port of call after driver and on-road entertainment Jim picked us up from Luton airport, was Dublin Castle in Camden, London, where sound crew Martin and Jens from Powerstage were waiting.  Not a big crowd, but a good way to warm up for the tour, with reunions with old friends, quality curry beforehand, quality beer after and an unexpected headline slot, when the headliners didn’t show up.

After a sardine night at the hostel, we headed up to Northampton, and, having sampled pie, mash and mushy peas and admired Jim’s hotrod, played a much longer set at The Black Prince.

Next day we went to The Adelphi in Hull (after eating the best fish and chips in the world).  This place is like traveling directly back in time to the 80’s.  Great atmosphere, retro-sound, characature characters and terrific beer.  This was the first of 3 gigs supporting the wonderful Blackbeard’s Tea Party – lovely people, and great musicians.  A really fun night, and a great response from the crowd.

Long trip the next day to the beautiful city of Chester, where we stayed with the wonderful Brian and Ann.  The venue – Telford’s Warehouse – was as beautiful as the city, the sound fantastic and the audience appreciative.

The last day was more relaxed due to shorter driving distance…just up t’road to Manchester.  Fac 251 is the old Factory Records building, and there’s a sense of rock n roll history in the place.  Another great night and both NBB and Blackbeard’s were on fire.

Lovely to be back in Denmark now, but what a great week in the UK!

England!

Will soon be off to the UK in one of my rare excursions outside of Europe 😛

Originally I was just going to go on a road trip with a mate to see Christy Moore play in Swansea.  This is still the case, but since booking that, it seems I have to stay a little longer in Britain.

Neil Brophy Band (of which, for those who don’t know, I am the bassist) have teamed up with Blackbeard’s Tea Party (one of my favourite bands) and will be warming up for them in Hull, Chester and Manchester in October.  Plus a couple of other dates without the Tea Party, one in London at the Dublin Castle and one in Northampton at The Black Prince…look on the “Live” page for the dates and venues!  This will be fun in more ways than I can express.  And even more fun if I get to see some of you Brits I so rarely catch up with!

I will also be doing a solo tour (just a couple of weeks) in April next year…watch this space

Skagen festival with Neil Brophy Band

I seem to be consistently one festival behind at the moment…here’s last week’s as I recover from this weekend at Vig.

It was my first time at Skagen Festival.  I’d heard so much about it, and was looking forward to it, partly because of its reputation, partly to see friends and colleagues I don’t see that often and partly because I was looking forward to playing the new Neil Brophy Band set.

When I arrived The Revellers were playing at the Havnescene.  I love when bands mix folk and rock music, and when musicians have fun on stage.  The Revellers did both, and with an infectious energy.  Top musicians and top blokes.  We spent quite a lot of the next few days in the company of one or more reveller (and they all lived up to the name!).  I saw them again on the Torvescene on the Friday night and they were even better – it suited them being a little closer to the audience.  And they had a guest appearance from the fabulous Perry Stenbäck on Nyckelharpa which was fantastic.  He let me have a go on it the day after – and, goddammit, now I want one!

Other top highlights were Australian Toby Beard who rocked the Havnescene with her great Dutch band, charisma and showmanship.   Bullmilk Leftovers I enjoyed, Hawkeye and Hoe were better than ever (with Torvescenen eating out of their hands – or should I say drinking?), and The McLaughlins with Pia Nygaard did a great late night job at the sports club for those of us still conscious.  Outside the festival Scoops did a blinder at The Old Irish Pub.

I enjoyed both of the gigs with Neil Brophy Band. The lads played grand and the new material went down really well.  Fear of fear is becoming a live hit.

It was “good to see you” as they sing in Skagen…hopefully see you again next year!

Jam sessions

Had the pleasure of jamming with a lovely bunch of people in Copenhagen on Friday before the Strong Ale gig.  After a delicious chilli con carne we sang and played a bunch of folk songs and tunes on guitars, fiddle, bouzouki, mandola and mandolin.  A great time was had and a few new songs discovered.  Back when I was young I used to be jamming with people all the time, but never seem to get the chance now – it’s always rehearsing or performing, except on the rare occasions I find a session in a pub when I’m on the road.  Anyone on Fyn (or anyone passing through) who fancies doing something similar every now and then, let me know.

mashed mandolin

So – if you have a mandolin, and suddenly notice it has a crack developing, here’s what not to do:

1.  Ignore it and wait to see if it gets bigger

2.  When it does get bigger, keep ignoring it

3.  Make a note that some time you must get it sorted

4.  Use a different one while you wait to send it to the repair guy.

Yes, I’m talking from experience:  my Paris mandolin is now officially firewood.  The worst case of mashed mandolin since we smashed an Ovation mandolin up on stage in the Rumpus days.

What I’ve been listening to

Acts I didn’t know last week that I’m glad I know of now:

Jim Causley: Ok I knew of him, but hadn’t knowingly heard any of his solo stuff before.  Hugely talented bloke and from the West Country!

And the absolute highlight of the week: Jamie Smith’s Mabon.  This is the band I most want to be in in the world.  Folky dance stuff performed brilliantly on accordian, fiddle and bouzouki with a mega hot rhythm section.  Love it.

I play vinyl every now and then, and occasionally CD’s but most of what I hear these days I hear on Spotify.  Even when I have the album in my collection.  This is because I listen to a lot of new music and Spotify is a great way of finding new stuff, and accessing almost everything else – without me even having to get my arse up off the sofa.  I usually buy the CD’s of artists I really like that I find on Spotify – I recommend that others do to…artists get very little from streaming plays and need album sales to survive and make new music.  But follow me on Spotify if you want to find out what I’m listening to.  You can find my music there too of course!

The Great Malarkey in Odense

Last gig I went to (that wasn’t my own) was The Great Malarkey at Dexters in Odense.  If you know the Great Malarkey, you’ll know that they put on an energetic, fun show.  They started the show by getting everyone to stand up and move forward.  Great for those at the front – unfortunately, Dexters being a sit down jazz venue, half the audience were left out of the experience from the start.  The sound at the back was awful, and visibility zero.  However, those of us young enough (haha) and keen enough, sneaked up to the front where the sound was great and a full-blooded gypsy punk party was in full flow.  The singer is a terrific front figure, the drummer looks mad (in a good way), the band look like they enjoy themselves, the trumpet player is (a very young) virtuoso, and they have a french horn.  What more could you want?  Great band – go see them if they play near you.  Just hope it isn’t a jazz venue.

The kids of today!

Fascinating how many young people in Denmark – I’m talking 18-25 year olds – know surprising amounts of Irish folk and derivatives (particularly Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys but also the Pogues).  I get requests for Seven drunken nights, Paddy works the railroad, Rocky road to Dublin, Finegan’s Wake, Carrickfergus and all sorts while playing pub gigs here.  I have no idea why they know this stuff, but who cares…if it means I play folk music instead of Wonderwall, then I’m all smiles.  Next we need to teach them some English folk songs!