Well that was an interesting week. I missed the Leicester date entirely: thanks to the snow, I spent the evening stranded in Boroughbridge. Thanks to George at Damnably and Sarah at Tin Angel, however, there was a bit of reshuffling and I made the Coventry show instead.

I played Slow Hands [the Silkworm song], Tethered Not Caged, Latch, Let’s Get Fired, Hard Work, and Magpie. I was cold, and nervous, and the whole thing was a useful reminder that its a bit too long since I did a few solo gigs on the trot. The one on the cuatro, Magpie, which I did last, worked best, and will definitely get an outing again.

The Tin Angel is very nice by the way – it looks like its a cafe/shop during the day – and the feel is very welcoming and relaxed. There was no running around panicking when I arrived with only 5 minutes to spare, which was a pleasant change. There’s a soothing aroma of coffee and chocolate complimenting the usual beery waft from the bar. The audience sit very close – it was unexpectedly intimate – and I guess that contributed to the sudden attack of nervousness. That, and the fact that I didn’t have Huw sitting behind me.

Chris and Geoff were, obviously, well into the swing of their tour – they were very relaxed and very good. They started and ended the set as a duo, and each played a solo slot in the middle. Chris played an absolutely mesmerising ‘Xs for eyes’ in his slot; I can still see and hear it now – and there were two of his songs from ‘The Boarder’s Door,’ and a rattlingly good take on the Dirtmusic one that goes ‘collide, collide, collide’. Geoff played some splendid new songs, including a disarmingly honest ballad about a road accident, and a very pretty piece introduced as ‘a cheesy love song’ about his wife. Chris surrendered to the aroma, and drank a hot chocolate while all this was going on. I was waiting for Mrs Clamp to ask me where her cheesy love song was; I think she must have been distracted by Geoff’s ‘lovely voice’ because the question never came. Their playing as a duo was as fluid and complementary as ever. ‘Little Maggie’ and The Gun Club’s ‘Mother of Earth’ really stood out for me amongst those, but frankly, the whole set was a masterclass.

On the way home, we traded the story of the magpies for the story of the jacknifed truck, and I drove round cheerily each frozen roundabout at least three times.

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