Hi everyone – it’s the end of Summer 2011 and I’m well overdue with an update!
In May we took a ferry to Valencia, then drove up through Spain to Santander on the Atlantic coast. Brittany Ferries’ ‘Pont Aven’ took us on the next leg – to UK.
.....and was the Bay of Biscay fun: doing ‘the handrail jive’ – hanging on like grim death
around the cabin, avoiding smashed crockery. On the ship’s tannoy, all day: ‘Will the owner
of motor cycle .......... please report to Passenger Services.’ Another one fallen over!
In Plymouth at last, we set off north, calling in on my old drummer pal BYRON DAVIS in Ascot.
Ascot: home of horse racing and few road signposts. Yep, we were lost for quite a while, with the Satnav buried in the back of our van somewhere. BYRON was our drummer, on tour in Australia in the 70’s and, over lunch, he presented me with precious original cine film of us all on the road in Oz. in the early 70's
A young Byron in drum corner at Pye studio No 1,
during a Jackie Trent LP session, with ALAN
HAWKSHAW on piano.
Hear ‘Everybody gets To Go To the Moon’ with Byron
as the drums: click the 'play' button below
Byron at his last pro session in R G JONES
studios, Wimbledon, London.
We took a rain check on visiting VINCE & ANNIE HILL who are busy with their own book launch. Visit Vince's website by clicking here.
We spent June in my home town area,
researching for my bio and putting down
some new tracks at Orchard studios in
Cheshire, chancing a daily head-on
with suicidal tractors on the local lanes.
Visit the Orchard studio website here.
John Newbould on guitar, Steve on Yamaha piano, Dan on Drums & Control room, Alma Newbould on endless coffee.
I took some time out for bio research........ St James’ Church, Audley
In 1947 – yep, that long ago – I spent many evenings sat amongst the headstones in our local church cemetery in Audley. You might think that more than a little morbid, but not for me: I saw the declarations of love, the grief of loss and the vision of something better to hope for etched into those grave headstones; emotions that would form my trademark lyrics and poetry for the future.
So, in June 2011 I returned: to stand once again under the Gothic arches of St James’ and to re-visit the past and those headstones.....
Did you know that ‘Gothic’ is a misnomer: often seen as a term of derision – 'Goth'?; more accurately describing the pointed window and door arch departure from round Roman arches of the time.
Mid-June we took a drive further north to Bradford, near Leeds, calling in on CARL ‘THE GRESH’ GRESHAM and the Team at Bradford Community Broadcasting. I spent a happy hour ‘on air’ with Carl, completely ignoring our prepared script, both of us talking like mad over the music! We finally emerged from the ‘live’ room to find everyone at BCB smiling at us: must have gone down well
Visit BCB Website
Then TERRY BOSSONS at 6 Towns Radio, Burslem, in Stoke-on-Trent gave me a call:
‘Come and spend a while with me, on air?’
I was scheduled for an hour, but time flew by and I stayed the full 2-hour session, both of us ‘Giving it large’ to the listeners.
Visit 6 Towns Website
The summer continued ...
I really enjoyed spending time living at Domville's farm in Audley. Not only did I have 'The Girls' from the dairy herd. I also found these two friends who made sure our leftovers never went to waste.........
We wound up this UK visit by inviting some friends along to supper at The Victoria public house, May Bank, Stoke. Linda Gray, the licensee, is a great fan of mine and laid on a fab spread; she tells me that I sang there once, in the 50’s.
So on 24 June 2011 I sang there again, (despite) Pete Conway singing ‘We’ll Be With You’ in the middle of ‘You Are The Sunshine Of My Life/Then Came You!’
Final leg of our journey, heading south.
‘Why don’t you stop over for a wine or two?’ ......our Tasmanian friends, David & Liisa Dart, were inviting us to stop over at their house-sit in the wilds of Dartmoor. Which we did, wishing maybe not have said ‘yes’ as the high narrow lanes ‘narrowed’ and the potholes grew. But we made it and met our internet friends in the flesh, at last.
And that’s about it, there's me aboad the Brittany ferry to Santander,
driving across the Spanish Peninsula, and finally back home; missing, by 3 days, the famous Red Arrows blazing the sky with colour above Mahon Harbour, Menorca. At least we could re-live the event on Youtube.