When we were planning the “A Night Of Glass” tour, Stourbridge felt like the natural starting point. Fifteen miles down the road from where I grew up in Wolves, and the place where my creative relationship with glass really blossomed back in 2019 when the lovely folks at the Ruskin centre invited me to write the song cycle ‘Voices From The Cones’.

I was pleased when Eddy Morton accepted my request to play at his beautiful venue – Katie’s Secret Garden @katiefitzgeralds, and standing on the stage at soundcheck it felt just right.

Eddy has carved out a beautiful listening environment, and the attention to detail from the sound system to the seating and the decor was not lost on me nor the audience – thank you Eddy for sharing your love for live music with the community and building this place we can gather and celebrate it.

They’ve been making glass in Stourbridge for over 400 years and despite the last factory closing in 1999 production continues to this day – artisan glass makers like Vic Bamforth continue to maintain local traditions of etching and engraving whilst pushing the creative boundaries with their work. The sense of community at the Ruskin Mill Glass centre is tangible, and I felt a similar warmth at the show tonight.

It was a ‘Black Country Special’ night, and Emma joined me on stage for the first time signing the lyrics to “The Sun Always Shines on Brierley Hill” ?? whilst the entire Brierley Hill Song Book group stood up from their seats in the front row and sang the chorus together. Alex Jones did a great job on lead vocals and it was wonderful to play with Tim Sunter again on the song he penned for the project about Marsh and Baxters butchers ‘I Don’t Want To Be A Scratching’.

Katie Whitehouse delivered a moving rendition of her song about unconditional love – ‘Spaces’ – and I felt the energy shift in the room at this point. I’m sure everyone who heard her play will now be present at her forthcoming gig at the Kitchen Garden Cafe on June 24th – such was the pin-drop atmosphere she conjured up from the stunned audience.

For me, it felt great to be back, to remove the glass screen and share the air, share the space with my friends and followers of this thing that I do.

So the wheels are in motion now, I’ve had my guitar set up, my gear’s in the car and I’m on the road and singing again.

Can we meet? Have a look if there’s a date near you, there’s a few different options and a really special week of shows in June with Gustaf Ljunggren – marking the first time we will have played live together.

See you out there x