You were all there! So many warm hearts, kind words, and hugs exchanged – what a blessing to have such a spirited welcome at the hometown show on the tour. Last night’s show at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Recital Hall was magnificent and it’s got me thinking about performing and performance anxiety this morning.


To perform well, do you have to be ‘careless’?

Bear with me, there maybe a better way of saying that.

Maybe you have ‘care less’.

That doesn’t feel quite right either!

I read a lot of Mark Morley-Fletcher stuff and he speaks of the need to ‘let go’ when we pick up our instrument to play, gather our energy and ‘shoot it out’ at the audience… and perhaps this is my interpretation of it.

In recent nights, on the second half of this Ten Steps tour i’ve enjoyed pulling out the throttle. Is it the benefit of experience too? having played the show a few times, we feel more confident with it? Could be that.

It’s not wreckless, but there needs to be a care free element – a lightness that lets you take flight 

I think we can lighten the load for ourselves by letting go of the little things, the baggage that might get in our way – whether that be reaching certain notes, ironing our clothes (!) or breathing ‘right’ – i’ve tried to allow for time for all those things to unravel without putting pressure on any one element – saying to myself – you don’t need them and you’re not relying on them for you to perform. You can do this, you have the belief.

Either way – last night was fantastic and if you were there – thank you for coming along and making it so.

Connor the sound man and his whole team were very patient with us during the check and knew how to illuminate our sound in the best possible way in the beautiful Recital Hall. The Steinway Grand was the kind that speaks back to you every time you press a key, and the stream of notes from the Hammer Dulcimer rushed through the room creating a sonic bath for us all to immerse in.

We are so lucky to have such a wonderful listening room in the Midlands. Purpose built, the acoustics in the Recital Hall are outstanding and it was such an honour to sing within that space.

When it came to the improvised piece in the second half, I wrote about the careless approach to performing I have adopted in recent days . Not sweating the small stuff, casting the irrelevant thoughts aside – observing them as they pass by like clouds in the sky before returning to the moment. I’ll write the lyrics I wrote on stage below for the curious amongst you (scroll down to read)

After the show Max I went for a Balti on the Pershore Road at the Akash Tandoori with my old bandmate, music producer and big mate Simon Bayliss – check out his band Jamie and The Numbers here

It was great to be reunited with the Brierley Hill Song Book gang and the Songwriting Circle team too and I really look forward to our next project together.

Right now Max and I are now getting ready to travel to Manchester Stoller Hall for the final night of our “Ten Steps” tour. Hard to believe we’ve reached this final stone in our pathway.

We are going to do some filming at Real World Studios in Bath on Monday, before he flies back to New York on Tuesday and then i’m taking a flight to Tokyo on the weekend. I’m quite excited about writing some new songs, and have some ideas that are small but very fine steel rods ready to construct something sturdy that I look forward to sharing with you.

Those of you in attendance on previous nights will appreciate that due to all the improvisation every show is unique, so don’t let that stop you coming again tonight!

Get in the car and let’s meet at M6 services on the way, and wave if you see me trudging along in the slow lane, tortoise’s have all the fun! ? 

Stoller Hall Hunts bank Manchester M3 1DA

Doors 7pm music from 7:30pm


Tell Me

tell me how this feels
tell me how this tastes
tell me where you are

Tell me
tell me how this feels
tell me how this tastes
tell me where you are

I can’t see you – tell me

lost in a maze of ourselves
we bury this with rage
step outside now
look it was here all along

its everything
tell me

as the night unfolds in front of us
as our hearts align
fear washes away it’s disguise
and we’re suddenly all in time

as the night unfolds in front of us
as our hearts align
fear removes her disguise
and we’re suddenly all in time