The big hometown gig of the year begins today…

Howdy folks!

Here we are on the eve of my beloved Leicester’s big festival and I am already very nervous about my Sunday set. Hope to catch some of you there!

I know I have been neglecting y’all something awful but its only because I have been so incredibly busy gigging all over the place. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who watched, tweeted about, emailed me about or shared the music video of mine that was on Channel 4 a few weeks back. Biggest thanks of all have to go to co-directors Chris Shepherd and Rod Main whose brilliance made the ‘Rise’ video so striking. In case you missed it on TV, the video will be up on Youtube and hosted at this website very soon!

I was still on a high from the incredible response that the Rise video got by the time I rocked up to Latitude festival in July. Above is a photo of me and Caitlin having a whale of a time before our gig.

In addition to getting to see some amazing acts (and crying like a baby at the incredible Bon Iver) I have to say the Latitude audience were possibly the best, most receptive one I have ever had the priviledge to play to…. a very heartfelt thank you to each and every person there, you made it unforgettable.

It was off stage and into the car though, as I was due on the main stage of Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival less than twelve hours later. A six-hour road trip with Josie Long is never dull though, and even though the heavens opened during my set the Tolpuddle crowd were well worth the journey.

Special mention has to go to all the SAD lot (that’s a term of affection, honest!) for making me feel so welcome at a very special campsite gig after the official one.

Never a dull moment though, and I’m straight onto ploughing through the rest of the summer’s gigs. This weekend I’m playing to the home crowd at Summer Sundae, and then I’m returning fondly to to Greenbelt Festival in Cheltenham on the 24th/25th August. Not far around the corner is the gig of the year, me and Mr Billy Bragg at the Queen Elizabeth Hall commemorating Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday. Tickets for that and any other gigs I’m doing should be findable over on thegigspage.

Interview in this month’s Diva

Once again ramping up the lesbian street cred, I am interviewed in the September issue of Diva, on sale now. In a Q&A about everything from Bob Dylan to the role of queer musicians in the protest scene I prattle on angrily like the disillusioned malcontent I am. Many thanks to Charlotte Richardson Andrews for the piece and to Amy Bramall for the photograph.

Singing for A Future That Works

Its not all fun and games though - as David Cameron and George Osborne seem hellbent on destroying jobs, prospects and the economy for my generation and those coming up after us, it is time once again to take to the streets to demand A Future That Works. This large-scale demo organised by the TUC looks set to rival that of the March 26th ‘March for the Alternative’ - except this time, with the economy in ruins, the Tory press discredited and the City on its knees, maybe the unelected and incompetent rulers of this shambolic Coalition might actually be forced to listen to us.

Along with anti-establishment reggae-makers Captain Ska I will be playing the official After-Party of the demonstration in London. For more information on the rally and the party click here.

As I write this I am forcibly reminded that the right to sing a song telling the world about what’s wrong in your country and what’s wrong with your government is not a universal one. I am deeply saddened and disturbed at the ruling that the brave women of Pussy Riot have been found guilty of hooliganism in Russia. The judge also commented that their actions constituted “homosexual propaganda”. Needless to say, I feel very grateful today for the rights that I have which were hard-won by protesters the lived and died before me but the battle is always so far from over. I look forward to the day that international solidarity and organisation enables us to help free these women.

Do you want the good news or the bad…?

Regrettably I am having to pull out of Off the Tracks festival in a couple of weeks because of a scheduling clash. I am however very excited to annouce that I will be returning to End of the Road festival at the Larmer Tree Gardens, the guest of one Mr. Robin Ince. If you’re there please come and join us at Robin’s late night Book Club where I’ll be playing a few tunes.

And finally…

…Those among you who follow me on Twitter will probably already have clocked this… but for everyone else, I am so unbelievably over the moon to announce I am supporting the incredible Josie Long on her UK tour! Tour dates up on this website very soon… but for now let me assure you we will be travelling far and wide and rocking up in a town near you. A massive, massive thank you to Josie for asking me to accompany her, it is a great honour.

If there’s anything I’ve missed you can keep up to date with my Facebook and Twitter accounts (although they may be full of rants about toothache and trains) and many, many thanks for the lots of lovely birthday messages I received from listeners. Bring on the mid-twenties.

Peace out.

GP x