HARK! THE EP, ANGELS SING!

MERRY WINTERVAL TO YOU, MY DEAR EXHAUSTED AND EMBATTLED COMRADES!

When last I wrote to you it was high summer, six short months ago and what feels like a whole universe away. Never could I have imagined the political turmoil this extraordinary year would go on to wreak across the whole world. It's been the most horribillis of any annus (this is a take on a latin and not a blue joke FYI) that I have ever seen in my nearly thirty years of earth-dwelling. Britain made a really, really, really terrible democratic decision, even by Britain's terrible democratic decision-making standards, that resulted in Theresa May (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) becoming Prime Minister (someone really ought to write a catchy song about how she's a baddie,) and America decided that actually they wanted a racist man who likes to sexually assault women for their president (and those are basically his good bits!). Which has resulted in all sorts of zaniness, including but not limited to: some white supremacists have been given top jobs in the new US government; Donald Trump wants Muslim human beings to sign a big register, which was an idea utilized to great effect by Hitler! Not to be outdone Theresa May the Baddie also wants employers AND SCHOOLS! to give the government a list of the country of birth of all their employees AND PUPILS! I MEAN LITERAL CHILDREN! so we can better organise our racist policies.

If I sound glib about all this, it's only because I honestly don't know what to say. I don't want to stop fighting or trying and I don't want my negativity to make you guys feel like the fight is too hard either. The only thing I can do is of course keep on writing my daft songs to try and make sense of this strange and often sad old world, in the hopes that perhaps I might stumble on something that helps some of you make sense of it too.

I HAVE A NEW EP!

It is with that somewhat bittersweet segue then that I would like to tell you that I have an EP out TODAY! It's called THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A PROTEST SINGER, which is of course a line taken from my love song to the Guardian that you may remember from Spring of this year, and the artwork (below) is heavily inspired by that theme.

We reached out to the Guardian for a comment, and they said in a statement, "WHO'S THERE?? I CAN'T SEE YOU! I CAN'T HEAR YOU! LEAVE US ALONE!" (they didn't say that). The EP was recorded (live!) by wonderful pal John Helps and features the Guardian song plus 5 more new ones, and was designed and packaged beautifully by equally wonderful pal Tim Morris. Thanks wonderful pals! Me and the Benefits Culture did try to make an album this autumn but I just had too many bloody songs so you can expect a full band album in the Spring, cross my heart pinky swear and no backsies.

There will be 500 copies of this EP on CD; 250 will be on sale online from this website ONLY, 250 at gigs in the flesh. For the first time ever I am also on iTunes and iSpotify! (So that's exciting I suppose?) Get your physical copy HERE.

I'm looking forward to playing songs from the record on my December tour which starts TONIGHT at London's Nambucca for........LEFTY CHRISTMAS! MERRY LEFTY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL! I'm also coming to LIVERPOOL, OXFORD, BRIGHTON, NOTTINGHAM and LEICESTER in December and you can get your tickets for those shows on the Gigs page.

I HAVE A GIG WITH BILLY BRAGG!

I'm also very pleased to announce to you that I've been invited by none other than Mr Billy Bragg to be his special guest at an evening exploring protest song at Bridport Electric Palace. We'll be singing and talking about the relationship between music anc politics and, I suppose, what the bloody hell we're supposed to do with the landscape we find ourselves in now. I am completely honoured and thrilled to be asked to appear at this. Its on December 22nd and will be my last gig of the yea and a lovely way to end 2016.

I hope that those of you who want a copy of the EP get one and more importantly, I hope that you all have a lovely festive season filled with love and warmth and comfort. 2016 is not one, on the whole, that will be inducted into the Golden Hall of Fame of the Funnest Years Of Time, mostly because that's not a real thing at all but also because it was largely on the unrelentingly dark side. I am convinced that things are going to get better across Britain and the world but I think it will take a lot of energy and love from those of us who want things to change. I wish you all health and happiness this Christmas, and roll on 2017.

Much love,

GP xxx

MORE FESTIVAL NEWS...

Hello friends! It seems that I am allowed to give you a few more festival announcements for this summer, hooray!

BLISSFIELDS

I'm delighted to be doing BLISSFIELDS for the first time, at the invitation of lovely pal and top comrade Beans on Toast. If you're coming I'll be on Larch stage at 7m as per this lovely poster below!

BLISS POSTER.jpg

LIFE IS A CABARET OLD CHUM

A couple of weeks back when I announced I'll be at GLASTONBURY (below) I mentioned I might get one or two other gigs over the weekend besides Leftfield at 3pm on Sunday. I can now tell you I will playing for the first time at the CABARET stage! Both as part of our special Glasto JC4PM show on saturday at midday, and also - excitingly - for a whole half hour set on Sunday night at 9.35pm. It's a chuffing massive stage and I'm already having almost-nightly anxiety dreams so if you'll be at Glastonbury please drop in! I'll be the nervous one.

LATITUDE

I'm thrilled to be returning to lovely Latitude this year. I'll be in the Film and Music Arena on Sunday afternoon, and I'll be bringing lovable-vagabonds Jess and Caitlin (aka The Benefits Culture) with me too. Here I am on the lineup rocking some 2011 hair.

There's plenty more gigs coming up over at the Gigs page and more to be announced next week so keep your eyes peeled :)

AND FINALLY...

My band and I are playing a special misummer's concert at Leicester's beautiful Guildhall next Friday, 17th. This will be a very special show, because in place of a support act I'll be playing as part of a duo with BBC Folk Award nominee, Coven comrade, Lady Maisery star and incredible all round folk musician, Hannah James. It's a world premiere (and depending on its success it might be a one-night-only phenomenon...) so please do snap up tickets by calling the box office on 0116 2532569.

I think that's all for now. Merry summer to you all.

GP x

Here Comes The Sun

Hi pals!

Look at the time! It's nearly the end of May! The sun is out, BBQs are burning, our eyes are melting and souls slowly dissolving in the EU referendum propaganda. What a time to be alive. I have much to say and as usual, little time to say it so I will be concise:

FESTIVAL NEWS! This time next month will be GLASTONBURY! If you're heading to the big muddy paty down in Somerset where dreams are made, time is lost and we all come away feeling like we really changed the world, man, then please do drop in to see me play once more at my spiritual home, the LEFTFIELD STAGE on Sunday at 3pm. I might even have one or two more gigs around the place over the weekend that I can't say owt about right now so keep your eyes peeled.

IMPORTANT NEWS for Leicester fans...I would like to explain why we have cancelled our planned headline gig at the Musician which was to take place tomorrow, on May 28th. I'd like to say I have always enjoyed a very fond relationship with this legendary venue, which has given me a lot of support over the years. Recently, though, a complaint was made of a sexual assault taking place during a gig there. Whilst it is not immediately clear how much the venue were aware of the full facts at the time, a note was posted by them on social media denying anything had gone on which used some language and expressed some views that I feel don't really conincide with my politics or my identity. Women's and girls' safety at gigs is something that sadly is not an infrequent concern. All of us in the band care very deeply about it and after discussing it at length it was obvious to all of us that playing this show at this venue at this time would be a big compromise of what we believe, and of what we claim to stand for on stage. I would hate for any single person to feel that we were not taking things like this seriously, or worse, cared more about money than standing up, as women and as feminists, for an issue this important. The message has since been taken down, which I hope is a sign that the venue can begin to examine their response to this and learn important lessons from it. If you bought a ticket I believe you will have been contacted regarding refunds.  

THE GUILDHALL Leicester will therefore be hosting us instead on JUNE 17th. This is a much smaller venue so advance booking is recommended. You can get tickets by calling them on 0116 2532569 but not online. I will also be debuting a new project at that show, in the "support" slot section of the night before the Benefits Culture and I perform the headline set. Doors will open at 8pm and I would encourage you not to miss the opener! :)

In June I will also be coming to BIRMINGHAM, NEWCASTLE, CROYDON and more besides. You can find out more at the GIGS bit.

That's all for now! Peace and love, and wishing you ice creams a plenty

GP x