I'm Leavin' On A Jet Plane

Well pals.

I've just stopped in to say cheerio. Tomorrow (technically today) I am crossing an actual legitimate ocean to play music on the other side of the world so that is big news indeed. The Vancouver Folk Festival is playing host to me and Caitlin (only the Culture is available for this one, so we're going to send the Benefits a postcard) over their lovely three day festival at a park on a beach in the sunshine. I know, I know - it's a bloody difficult job, this, but someone has to do it.

Two quick, but enormous thank you's belong in this month's blog post: first of all GLASTONBURY. You were bloody magnificent, and I loved every second of you. All the love and gratitude in my heard for Mr Bragg for inviting me back to the Leftfield to mix pop and politics again. I had some brilliant curry, saw Thee Faction, drank plenty, and saw Charlotte Church speak and that's only four highlights in a weekend full. Thanks to every one of you who came and watched, you made it awesome.

Secondly - the end has finally come to my long period of touring with lovely Robin Ince. He has decided that over twenty years solidly touring is enough to earn a bit of a break which I personally think is typical of this country's workshy attitude. As a hardworking family I think we all need to do a bit more aspiring. Lol, of course ladies and gentlemen, lol! I owe Mr Ince a huge amount, and it would far more words than I could reasonably or interestingly put here but suffice to say a lot of you reading this wouldn't know who I am without him giving me the incredible opportunities he has. I will also miss his company standing at the side of the M5 when my next car explodes.

IN OTHER NEWS.... a final festival addition to my summer line up in the form of Standon Calling on August 2nd. I will probably be very jet lagged and think it's morning and start crowing like a rooster so that's probably worth seeing.

MANCHESTER FOLK.... I am very excited to announce that I will be performing at UNPLUGGED FOR AUSTISM at Manchester Academy 2 on October 15th. It’s part of a series of gigs designed to be comfortable for autistic people. That means an all-acoustic lineup, space to move inside the venue, and no overbearing light shows. It also means being able to enjoy music in your own way – whether that’s dancing, sitting on the floor or standing in the corner. Basically, it’s what a gig should be! You’re all welcome, whether you’re autistic or not.

Apparently there are bands "bigger than me", so there will be one announced nearer to the show. BUT! As die-hard GP website frequenters, you qualify for an early-bird discount price by booking now before T̶h̶e̶ ̶B̶e̶a̶t̶l̶e̶s̶ the headliners are announced and it gets pricey. So get yours here (https://manchesteracademy.ticketline.co.uk/order/tickets/13307622/unplugged-for-autism-manchester-academy-2-2015-10-15-19-30-00) for £11 including booking fee, with all proceeds going straight to The National Autistic Society.

Off I go then into the night and 'cross the sea. What awaits me there, I do not know, friends. Will Canada like me? Will the dog forget me? Will Caitlin keep hold of her passport and wallet for an unprecedented three entire weeks, thereby avoiding a situation involving the British embassy? All these questions and more answered On The Other Side.

Peace and love

GP x

***NEW ALBUM: WHATEVER'S LEFT - OUT TODAY!***

Friends!

Well, some people might have called it hasty. Some might have called it disorganised. Some might have hollered "there isn't physically enough time to do this in the time you've announced". I was all of those people, usually shouting those things into the mirror - and YET! Lo and behold! We acually have recorded, produced and now released an actual album, a mere four weeks after I took to this website to threaten the Tory-voting world with a record of pure unbridled revenge. I am therefore thrilled to announce that...

WHATEVER'S LEFT, my fourth studio album is RELEASED TODAY! Go get it HERE!

If you pre-ordered - THANK YOU! - you should have got an email with the download of the album to you this morning. CDs arrived a touch later than we anticipated so will be shipped today and Monday. We're trying to do as much as possible today before the launch party tonight so please bear with me, but do get in touch if you haven't received a CD by Wednesday latest. But only if you've bought one. I'm not just giving them away.

For you cool cats coming to see us perform it in London tonight at the Good Ship, Kilburn, you can pick up your pre-ordered copies (plus some other super cool merch) when you come along then.

For you cool midlands cats, we still have a few tickets for our Leicester launch on Saturday 13th June, which you can find on the gigs page.

FESTIVAL NEWS

Those of you who don't follow my useless rantings on Twitter might be unaware still that I am playing GLASTONBURY again this year! Hooray! Catch me at 3pm on the Round up in the Leftfield with everyone's favourite Billy Bragg.

After Glastonbury and a few of Robin Ince's final stand up shows before he takes a couple of years off, I am actually setting sail 'cross the Atlantic bound for CANADA to play the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. So that's the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me bar the creation of the TV gameshow Tipping Point. Then it's back for Sidmouth, Towersey and Greenbelt. All in all, a healthy summer schedule lies ahead. Hope to catch some of you at a show. 

Thank you to every single person who pre-ordered the new album. It's not an exaggeration to say it would not have been made without you. I'm almost ten years into this game and still as unsigned and independent as ever, and to have people like you lot following and supporting what I do quite literally keeps me in a job. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

GP x

WE LOST THE ELECTION, SO I'M RELEASING AN ALBUM.

Friends, listeners, supporters. Long-suffering, embattled comrades.

Well, we lost. The optimistic idealism of my last blog post still hovers on this page. It serves as a painful reminder of our defeat, like all of our Timehop apps, this week chirping so incongruously cheerfully that “5 years ago!” we mourned David Cameron taking undemocratic control of the country, with Nick Clegg riding shotgun. We thought the worst had happened. Five years on, we realise we were wrong. I feared more Tory-LibDem coalition. Never in my most outrageous nightmares did I think the electorate would return David Cameron to Downing Street with a majority, unbridled by any coalition partner, free to reign mercilessly and unchecked. No comfort was achieved by the utter decimation of the LibDems, even though I, along with every member of the 2010 student movement, had anticipated it for five years. It was a defeat without mitigation, the very last fuck-you from the Tories coming in Sheffield Hallam where Conservatives had organised tactical LibDem support to keep Nick Clegg from losing his seat, as he so richly deserved to do. Despite all the warnings and warrings, we Greens didn’t even manage to “split the vote” as we were threatened we would. There wasn’t enough of it to split. This is not a tactical error, strategy gone wrong. We lost. And – this is important – I say “we” because I mean “we”. No Green member or voter is pleased at this result. The left is a broad church with a common goal, and, in England at least, it is the left that lost. We lost because the right won.

If you’ve seen me at a gig in the last two years, there’s a good chance you will have heard me spout this old chestnut: “despite what they want you to believe, there are more good guys out there than bad guys.” It is no exaggeration to say it is a philosophy I have built my career upon. On Friday morning, I doubted both philosophy and career more than ever before.

This might seem like a strange time for me to announce the launch of my new, and more political than ever, record. Click here to PRE-ORDER FROM TODAY.

In 2013 you all supported me by buying Love Is My Rebellion, an album that was in large part a departure from political music that I called “the journey beyond protest singer”. It was mid-parliament, and I was exhausted. I felt like we’d been fighting cuts without success for so long and it seemed insurmountable. We couldn’t win. Now, in the wake of the most devastating Tory victory of my young life, I have come out of the shock and grief with more determination than ever that we absolutely MUST win in five years. To quote an unfortunate muse – there is no alternative. It is time for us to unite the left and win the argument for a fair society. To make sure there IS more good than bad in this country. To convince them the way to a fairer world is not by fighting each other for the crumbs the rich toss our way, but by coming together to demand a common good for all of us.

Perhaps protest songs help, perhaps they don’t, but if I have any skill that I can lend to the leftwing effort to both resist this evil government and to help elect a different one when the time comes, then writing and playing songs that can, in some small way, soundtrack the struggle is it.

My fourth studio album is called Whatever’s Left. It will be released on June 6th at a launch party at The Good Ship, Kilburn, with a Leicester launch party at The Guildhall on June 13th. Tickets for these are available from the Gigs page now.

You can pre-order it from this website as of today. As with all previous releases, the pre-orders allow me to actually get it made, so please please please support me in my unsigned tomfoolery and hopefully enough of you will want it that we can actually afford to press it. (I think if Alan Sugar witnessed this business model, I would be fired. The hell with him, it’s worked before.)

The first 100 copies will be signed and dated by me, AND if you are coming along to our launch party at the Good Ship on June 6th, you can choose to receive your copy on the night by just putting a note saying so in the little message to me box when you buy. If you pre-order from anywhere else you should receive the CD on or by the morning of June 6th.

This is the most dispiriting, most dangerous time for us. The temptation to give it all up and accept defeat will snap at your heels. The most vulnerable people in society who cannot fight for themselves will need you to keep going on their behalf. On the days that I talk about giving it all up and accepting defeat, please remind me of that too.

Yours always in solidarity,

GP x