One of the great things about being home is that you can get back to proper practice – lots of scales – which I wasn’t able to do when I was away.
So I’ve been back in the UK about ten days. I had two nights at home, and then went off down to Malvern and Gloucester, for a family gathering, and a gig arranged at short notice.
John had seen something about Highway Cello, and got in touch to see if I could stop off and do them a concert on the way. I couldn’t, because it was too far off route. So we put it on the back burner, neither of us really expecting the opportunity to come quite so soon.
The Theatre of Small Curiosities is a wonderful place. John designed and mostly built it himself, and hosts a wide range of performances, spanning the spectacular to the simply eccentric. It seats twenty in comfort. John is himself a poet, and a Morris dancer, and an engineer, a cyclist, motorcyclist, and trials driver. He looks a bit like the Green Man T-shirt he’s wearing. And he knows a lot about bicycles.
Now that I’m home I’m reading his book about the painstaking restoration of a penny-farthing bicycle which he undertook a few years ago, and which he used to ride around town occasionally. Normally he rides a Moulton, or a copy of an 1893 Pedersen. The Pedersen, as I’m sure you know, doesn’t have a saddle. It has a hammock.
His invitation to return, and do another gig, spurs me to get started on the Highway Cello follow-up. You heard it here first…
I want to do more house concerts, and performances in small venues like John’s theatre – anywhere 15-25 people can gather. But small events can’t economically be done in isolation. They need to be organised in groups of four or five, on consecutive days, not too far from each other. A Tour, in other words.
So this is a shout-out for venues. Would you like a house concert at home? Or is there a nearby venue you could promote me to? Let me know, and we can start planning, and fishing around for others nearby. I’m asking for ideas, not commitments, at this stage!
And I’m working on new programmes. Centred around Libre, of course, but including stories and extracts from the book which – of course – I’ve started writing. If we get the timing right, yours could perhaps be the book launch tour, couldn’t it? How about that then?