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

Vive La Revolution and other stuff

My friends! Where’s the bloody year going, eh? Has time itself been spirited away to offshore accounts by David Cameron's auntie Agnes?! I have been so busy in 2016 I don’t even know where to begin; such adventures I’ve had and such wonderful, life-affirming, spirit-nourishing gigs. They all deserve an essay but I’ll try to be concise.

I MET CORBS AND DREAMS COME TRUE

I hope you’ve heard about the #JC4PM tour which I am thrilled to be a part of! It’s a series of gigs all over the country to try and rally the troops against this collection of terrible, terrible bastards in government. There are some brilliant people doing them, including Jeremy Hardy, Francesca Martinez, Clare Ferguson-Walker, and longtime comrades Josie Long, Robin Ince and loveliest of lovelies, Billy Bragg. And loads more. We kicked off in February in London, where –  NOBIGDEAL – but I actually got to MEET THE MAN HIMSELF! And FYI the JC in the hashtag refers neither to Jeremy Clarkson (“this is very leftwing” – one confused audience member in Newcastle) nor to Jesus Christ (although I think he’d approve more of our politics than of Cameron’s). Of course it’s all about socialist dreamboat, Jeremy Corbyn. And guys, I've shared a stage with some pretty famous folks, but I have never, ever lost my composure in quite such a ridiculous fan-girl fashion as I did when I was confronted with his mild-mannered sandwich-eating form in the green room of the London show. After very audibly gasping “Ohmygod!” I then creeped him out by staring at him from across the room until I finally lumbered over to him and shrieked “I’mareallyreallybigfancanIhaveaphotoI’mreallysorry”. He was very polite about it and above is said photo, you can see the fear in his eyes alongside the unbridled Corbynmania in mine. Here is a lovely video from the Bristol show, which contains me singin’ a bit and also ramblin’ on about why he’s ma guy.

The tour is off all over the place: in April it comes to BOURNEMOUTH, and as it’s being hosted by the lovely CWU, its completely FREE to attend. You do however need to register for tickets though, and you can do that by clicking HERE. In May we’re off to Manchester, Sheffield and Cambridge – more info on these shows is at the Gigs page over here.  Vive La Revolution!

I WROTE A SONG ABOUT THE GUARDIAN IGNORING ME AND EVERYONE IN THE WORLD EXCEPT THE GUARDIAN SHARED IT

I imagine the sort of folks frequenting this website are probably not strangers to albatross-around-the-Left’s-neck, the Guardian, and so will probably have been treated in recent years to one of their 300 opinion pieces about how Nobody Writes Political Music Anymore. Since I’ve been largely ignored by the Guardian for my entire career (the only notable exception being THIS PIECE by the wonderful Dorian Lynskey who dared to break the conspiracy of silence), I found this last article, actually for-real entitled “Not Talkin’ About A Revolution: Where Are All the Protest Songs?” was the straw that broke the proverbial protest-singing camel’s back. I got really cross about it and wrote a protest song, and to be honest, there are so many more important things I should be writing protest songs about, it’s like a real metaphor for the fractured nature of the left, y’know? Anyway. I put a video of it on Facebook and everyone from Billy Bragg to Karine Polwart to Susan Calman got in on the act, and at the last count it had been viewed over 80,000 times. The Guardian neither replied nor acknowledged it so maybe it didn’t achieve anything; or maybe next time they write an article lamenting how no one exists that’s doing what I and so many others clearly are doing – which will probably be in a week – we can all fire this video at them. And they can ignore it again. Anyway, it’s called I Wish the Guardian Believed That I Exist and you can see it HERE.

COVEN 2016

For international women’s day last year I was lucky enough to be invited on tour with the amazing Lady Maisery and O’Hooley & Tidow. We did 3 gigs that we all enjoyed so much that we couldn’t resist returning this year, but this time we did a full 10-date run. I honestly can’t remember finding any other shows so fulfilling in the whole time I’ve been doing this; to be on stage with such breathtaking musicians was such an inspiration to me, and getting to spend ten days with some of the warmest and most engaging people I’ve ever known was just a bonus. I came home full of passion and ideas and a desire to completely raise my game before the next time we all share a stage – and happily, it looks as if we definitely will do again before way too long. Here is a video of us all doing Lady Maisery’s amazing arrangement of Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work from my favourite venue in the world, Leicester’s very own Guildhall.

If you didn’t make it to a gig this time and have yet to encounter either of the other acts, I would URGE you to check out O’Hooley & Tidow, and find out all about their forthcoming album HERE and Lady Maisery, who are on tour in May, HERE.

HANDMADE FESTIVAL

We are approaching that time of year again, and I am so very pleased and proud that our own homegrown extravaganza Handmade Festival is back at the beginning of May to take over the Leicester O2 Academy with a line-up that is bigger and better than ever before. Lovely festival director John Helps gave me a sack of used fivers and told me to book some of my favourite acts, and bloody hell am I excited about who I’ve got to do it. I can now announce the full bill that I have curated for the Sunday evening, which features: Beans on Toast; Chris T-T; Colour Me Wednesday; Jasmine Kennedy; plus comedy from Grainne Maguire and Robin Ince. Me and the Benefits Culture will be doing a turn as well because it was too much fun not to and because I really am that narcissistic that if you ask me to book a festival I’ll book my own band so just deal with it okay? If some other festivals wanted to book me then maybe I wouldn’t have to go to these lengths.

SPEAKING OF FESTIVALS!

Look at that, I’ve only been announced to return to Towersey Festival this year. What great larks we had last year! This time as well as my usual set of miserable songs, I’ll also be doing a special show of heightened whimsy and increased japes joined by lovely old touring buddies Gavin Osborn and MJ Hibbett. It will be GREAT.

I have some more festival news! But I’m not allowed to tell you it yet. I will tell you SOON.

HEADLINE GIGS

…are coming up in:

London - April 10th (special fully unplugged bookshop show)

 Bristol – April 22nd

Cambridge – April 30th

Leicester (with band) – May 28th

Please do come along to them because I’m the show-ender, bill-finisher type thing so I cannot benefit from other people's audiences as I've spent my entire career til now doing!

I have rambled on enough but I hope you are all having the most wonderful of springtides and I hope to catch some of you at a gig soon! Thanks for sticking with me.

GP xxx

It's beginning to look a lot like GIGMAS

Christmas shows approach in London and Leicester to see out the best year of GP music yet

Hello my esteemed comrades, pals and well-wishers. That time of year is upon us once again! We're wrapping ourselves up in scarves, shuddering at the John Lewis advert, the ghost of Jacob Marley is preparing to visit himself upon David Cameron... it can only mean Christmas is around the corner. And what better way to get into the festive spirit than by getting tickets to one of our very special Christmas Festive End of Year Headliners?

Yes, it's back on the road for two last big hurrahs to wave off a spectacularly fun and successful year. 2015 saw our fourth album get released, gave us countless tremendously fun gigs and was even the year I made it 'cross the sea to play in North America. We laughed, we cried, lost an election; we left Labour, we came back to Labour, we worried enormously about the future of Labour since Labour seem hellbent on bringing about the downfall of Labour... but the point is we're still here, and we'll be back to fight the Tories even harder in 2016. Why not join us to celebrate solidarity, and socialism and swigging mulled wine in the time-honoured tradition of lefties the world over...?

LONDON -  Star of Kings, December 13th - TICKETS HERE

LEICESTER - Duffy's Irish Bar, December 20th - (ALL AGES) - TICKETS HERE

We are working hard on some festive songs to make these gigs really special so it would be wonderful to see some of you there. Ho ho ho!

T-SHIRTS to offend the faint of heart

 

It wouldn't be nearly Christmas without me making some sort of cheap shot about merch, so allow me to do so.

Periodically I get asked "do you have plans to get any more of those fucking t-shirts back in"? I'm choosing to believe not that people are just really mad at me, but rather that they're referring to my Inspector Morse (the song, not the character) themed t-shirts which are mos def NSFW but since you all seem to like them so much we've had some more done for Christmas. You can find this offensive fashion statement on THIS PAGE HERE and it will make a delightful stocking filler for the angry lesbian in your life.

If I don't see you at a Christmas show, may your December be filled with merriment and love and cheer. Thanks for sticking with me in 2015, I really couldn't do any of it without you. See you on the other side.

Love GP x