I've been busy bringing out an album and meanwhile the whole damn world got Corbyn fever
Friends! What a time to be alive! When last I wrote to you it was midwinter and everything seemed steeped in darkness and pessimism. AND LOOK AT US NOW! In case you took the very sensible decision to hide in a nuclear bunker after the election of President Misogyny, I am thrilled to be the one to tell you that UK politics has come out in the eleventh hour and played a total blinder. Specifically, this country's young people, who I always said would be the ones to save us, have played a total blinder, by coming out and voting in droves for anti-austerity politics, an end to tuition fees, a rejection of the Rupert Murdoch-newspaper-endorsed political class, and of course everyone's favourite jam-monger and Pyramid stage sensation, Jeremy Corbyn. I can scarcely believe the difference in my, and the nation's, political mood from one short year ago when we mourned over Brexit. It's not all good news though; Theresa May despite losing is still running around Downing Street as if it were a wheat field but in order to get her majority she gave a billion pounds to a tiny batshit party who are even more gross and homophobic than she is. On the bright side, it does mean I think I can get another couple of months out of Farewell to Welfare so. Swings and roundabouts.
What have you been doing while you've not been writing blogs, Grace?
Well, I'm glad you asked! I've taken up a habit of asking myself questions to make my prose more interesting but in truth I'm not sure it's effective. But since I asked: the first six months of 2017 were a blur of gigs, gigs and more gigs. I was fortunate enough to get to tour once again with my wonderful COVEN in March, the supergroup made up of me, O'Hooley and Tidow and Lady Maisery. This year was our third tour and most successful yet - we had so much fun in 2015 and 2016 that we decided to record together for the first time. Our EP Unholy Choir is available on bandcamp here and I am very excited to say that we are also doing some FESTIVALS this year: you can see us at Festival at the Edge; Shrewsbury Folk Festival; and last but not least, the actual bloody (I guess I'll just accept I'll never get on...) CAMBRIDGE FOLK! All of this and more at the GIGS page.
That's all very well, but didn't you promise to bring out an album this year?
Well, yes I did and I've actually done that so I don't actually know why you're being so passive-aggressive. It's true folks - if you choose not to follow the inane, pointless drivel with which I pollute social media, you may not know that I HAVE A NEW ALBUM OUT! It contains lots of songs I've been playing live for ages (Including the Vegan Song and the Golden Record) and also a lot of things I've not played much at all before, so if any or all of that interests you, please do check out my new album, Heart First Aid Kit, which is available by clicking here.
Is that all you've been doing? You've been silent for ages
Look, what's your problem? Amongst other stuff I have done this year, I was lucky enough in May to visit Palestine in the company of the wonderful Martyn Joseph. I can't possibly explain here the impact that seeing that incredible and beautiful and heartbreaking country had on me or the impression left on me by the people there, but I would recommend you check out Martyn's brilliant charity Let Yourself Trust which you can find out about at Martyn's website. Here I am playing a gig at the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem in the shadow the separation wall.
Are you doing any touring or festivals this summer?
I'm glad I asked. This summer you can see me at a whole bunch of festivals including Indietracks, Festival at the Edge, Cambridge Folk, Sidmouth Folk Week, Hartlepool Folk Festival, Shrewsbury Folk Festival, Otley Folk Festival and Hartlepool Folk Festival.
If you are in CANADA....
Then there's a good chance I like you already! And happily for me, I'm flying off this coming Monday to Toronto where Caitlin and I are beginning a cross-country adventure incorpoating gigs in: Toronto, Meaford, Regina, Vancouver and Duncan and where we will be returning to our favourite place on earth, Vancouver Folk Festival. If you are in any of those places and want to come and see us, check out the GIGS page for information on how.
I will write very soon again when I return from Canada at the end of July but in the mean time, a sincere and genuine thank you for all of your lovely responses and kind words about the new album. Getting it done nearly finished me off, so I'm realy glad some people like it.
I love you all dearly