Air Cav in Paris

Well, what a weekend.
Little did we know that we would be headling the 'Haciendazed' night at La Fleche D'Or in Paris - in fact, I was terrified about the whole affair anyway, so when I found out we were headlining, I was in a mess! The club - which was a wonderful, kooky, odds-and-ends sort of place - was rammed, the set up delightfully professional, complete with a theatrical curtain which opened during the first few bars of A Call To Arms much to our delight. And everyone bopped away! We had a massive English contingent supporting us, consisting of Mancunian comrades and my Brummie family, but it was actually the Parisiens who started the mosh pit - the English just joined in!
I was more of a mess after the gig actually. Bearing in mind I was pissed and overcome, we then had people coming up to us, chanting our name; the boys were being molested, autographs were signed. It was mad.

Rock n Reel! Whoop!

Rock n Reel is an excellent magazine which reports and reviews on an eclectic mix of music genres, but with emphasis on - funnily enough - rock and folk music.
So I was delighted to find my Moseley Folk Festival review on their online issue:

I've also got an interview with Piney Gir lined up to feature in the December print version - which you can actually buy in WHSmith!

New writing

I've got a few more bits and pieces up on the Rant magazine website and this time round, I've really come to know my stumbling block - music you would vaguely, loosely and desperately place in the category 'electro.'
So you might understand this review
I think I made a cop out.

Granby Row recording and ITC

Last night I was pleased to be invited to add a bit of violin to a new recording by Manc band, Granby Row. The track is completely different to any of the stuff we do in Air Cav, so I was a little worried they wouldn't like what I came up with.
Luckily they did and they were all such nice blokes. And Tom the producer and Simon Phinn the manager! I was very lucky to be involved and I wish them the best of luck for their gig at In The City this weekend.

Which brings me nicely on to my next subject... In The City!
Tomorrow night, Air Cav are headlining the Elah Valley/Fugitive Motel fringe event at Centro in the Northern Quarter. It should be an ace night, with the likes of Gideon Conn, Julian Donkey Boy and My Side of the Mountain on the bill. I'm also going to be milling around many of the various events this weekend on the prowl for Rant Magazine and I'm really looking forward to it. Make sure you get out and about, supporting local unsigned acts as it's going to be great!

What a week!

Two Oxjams, one Aftershow and one All Dayer = four extremely late nights and lots of fun!

The Aftershow was particularly brilliant due to the stage invasion at 1.30am... and we're booked ts up and about on the web.


Oxjam Number Two - particularly memorable because of obscene heckling from a certain audience member. Al took to the mic to tell him exactly what he thought! Excellent!

So to next weekend... In The City. Air Cav will be headlining the Elah Valley/Fugitive Motel fringe taking place @ Centro on the Saturday night

See you there!

That Manchester All Dayer - tomorrow!

Check it (and us!) out:

Bellowhead Review

Well, I've long adored the talents (ahem!) of Mr. Boden and Mr. Spiers, be it as a duo, as a pair of Ratcatchers, or even solo.
But nothing prepared me for Bellowhead live.

Have a look at my review here:

Off to see Kate Rusby at the Lowry tomorrow so no doubt there'll be a review floating about somewhere in the near future.

Oh, and I'm interviewing Borders fiddler and academic, Lori Watson, on Saturday morning so keep your eyes (and indeed ears) peeled (or should that be pealed?!)

Then... it's gig week! Yes, Air Cav are about to embark on the world record for most amount of gigs crammed in to two weeks alongside juggling full time jobs!

see for the full bunch


Someone's picked up on my review!

It's funny to think people actually read my reviews. I've just discovered the forums on have acknowledged my review and posted it on their message board for all fans to see:
They don't seem to have made a comment on my particular one, though...

Anita Roddick

OK, so I refused to buy anything from the Body Shop after it was sold to L'Oreal... but still, I was really saddened to hear about the death of Anita Roddick. Her books were inspirational, much as that word is overused, and I wish I had such a hands-on approach to things. What a shame.

Some new writing up on the web...

Hello there

I thought you might be interested in some of my new writing that's up and about on the web.

Firstly, an interview with Tunng:

My miniature thoughts on Green Man festival:
A more extensive review is going to be posted up on the Rant website any time soon...

And How I Became the Bomb and Piney Gir single reviews at Rant magazine:

That's all for now!

Break the Siege


Just to let you all know I'll be playing with Boo, Badger the Hermit and Defunkles at the Green Room on Friday 7th September for the Break the Siege - Free Gaza event:

Break the Siege is a fundraiser event to support the transport and delivery of aid to Gaza, where the current political climate prohibits this.
A group of more than 80 individuals – human rights aid workers, journalists, aid workers, Palestinians, Israelis and internationals – have arranged to take a boat from Egypt to Gaza to deliver this aid, enabling the most in need to benefit from the provision of milk and medicine.

Single Cell Recordings, a new collective and record label based in Manchester celebrating the diversity and movement of sound, imagination and people across boundaries, will be hosting the evening with the following line up:

Badger The Hermit - Post-jazz, post-pop, post-a-letter
Boo - Acoustic ramblings inspired by soft fruit, the sea and good cake.
Defunkles - Epic spacefunk prodigies kidnapped from a warehouse party and smuggled to South America via India and Morocco.
Shimbalshells - Collaborations and works in progress from Single Cell collective members.

See for more info

7pm, £4 (£2.50 unwaged)

Ooh, before I forget...

Air Cav are playing the glorious Fiction Non Fiction at Tiger Lounge exactly a week today... that's Tuesday 4th September. And it's free in, so no excuses!

Shambala Festival... what a weekend!

I have just returned from my first festival as an 'artiste,' and man, was it a weekend.
Shambala is a lovely little festival, free from the big names and corporate branding that other festivals have become synonymous with in order to survive.
And to avoid major security issues, the festival organisers posted very limited directions. At first the website proclaimed that the festival was inbetween Towcester and Market Harborough. As my bandmates were all travelling down when I was at work, I decided to make my own way from Manchester via my parents' house in Banbury in the hope they would kindly take me the rest of the way. Sadly, as geography has never been my strong point, I didn't realise the festival was in fact 47.5 miles away, and much as my dear dad tried, there was no way he was going to take me the entire distance, especially when he had a Villa match to attend.
Anyway, I got there with very little hassle in the end, and set up camp with the Single Cell Recordings crew in the 'artist's camping'. After a practice gig the night before at the Bedouin Lounge, 'Boo' kicked off the Sunday night festivities in the Manchester run Rebel Soul Village, three tipis put together for performance space and an eaterie, with all proceeds going to direct action campaigns.
All the bands playing come under the banner of Damien Mahoney's Single Cell Recordings, so after Boo, Lunar Coup, a swingy-jazzy band, took to the stage to warm up the shivering masses. Badger the Hermit, playing original and arranged jazz chillout influenced pieces, were next. Will Lenton, the multi-instrumental whizz, kindly invited me on stage to join in with the gorgeous Bjork track 'Unravel'. Finally, Defunkles, a shambal-ic (see what I did there?!) arrangement of Damien Mahoney's beautiful electronic tracks made its debut with 12 of us on stage... after one rehearsal. It was manic to say the least, but we all danced away and enjoyed it. So much so we went on until 1 in the morning and the security closed us down, despite the fact we had two more acts to go!