Time: 06:30. Place: Peckham. Bus stand 436. Destination: Victoria Coach station, for a 4.5 hour journey to Manchester. Unfortunately the bus timetables never seem to account for traffic, so by the time I arrived in Manchester it was well past 1pm.
I had arrived to start a week of gigs based in the North West, continuing the promotion of my second album. I am particularly drawn to the North West because my sister lives there, so I have a spare floor to sleep on whenever required. Sadly, my sister will soon be moving to Cardiff... so South Wales, expect to see more of me!
The first gig of the week was at the Wilmslow Conservative Club. I was treated to a fantastic local rhythm section, and although the place wasn't full, the select audience was appreciative and interested. Unfortunately for me, I was coming to the end of a cold (which had started at the end of September), so singing wasn't very easy. Luckily, the band were happy to play plenty of tunes without me so I had the opportunity to rest. Not what I wanted at the start of a busy week of gigs!
|At the Royal British Legion in Llay - North Wales Jazz Society.|
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday featured a local band of my choice - some fantastic musicians I regularly work with when in this area. We travelled to Wrexham, Kendal and Bury, sampling some excellent local ale, and being blessed with some great audiences and well-organised venues.
|Underneath my poster at The Met, Bury.|
Friday 11th November
Towards the end of the week, I travelled down to Cambridge for a concert at the Mumford Theatre at Anglia Ruskin University. It was brilliant! (This venue has made it into my Top Ten this month). A fab little theatre, with a good following for their lunchtime concerts - probably helped by the varied program of professional groups they program each week.
|My picture was selected as the one to advertise the entire concert series!|
I was lucky enough to spend the Saturday relaxing at Center Parcs for a friend's 30th birthday, as I had the night off, but Sunday launched me straight back into work again, starting with a 3-hour drive to Hull (following a 30-minute walk to my car - I don't know if you've ever been to Center Parcs, but the car park is miles away!)
First Stop: Pave Bar, Hull. I had played here before during my last tour in 2010, and that time it was full of Tiger fans, waiting to go to their final game of the season before being relegated. Luckily this year, Hull City were in no such predicament so we had a relatively peaceful gig with a great ambience and interested audience.
|Pave Bar, Hull. Gavin warming up.|
Second Stop: Grove Inn Jazz Club, Leeds.
Again, this was another revisit. Not such a great audience, but a great gig nonetheless - fantastic to play with my Northern Band who I don't get to gig with much, and good to be back in Leeds. The only downside of this was that I had to drive back to Hitchin afterwards, which is 34 junctions on the M1. I slept well that night!