Well, that's me back from a trip to London then. My friend Ian, who, along with Dawn, put me up on Friday night, is really excited about the Storycafé and wants me to come and do some in London. Lets get the northern cafes up and running first aye, and then, if it feels right, look south. Still, love the enthusiasm. Had a great night sitting up till the very early hours chatting about life and the arts and everything. Nice to be in London again, nice to be home too. So, I arrive back in Newcastle and am immediately back into organising the cafes. This Friday, Jack Sprats with me and, hopefully, Pat Renton telling tales in celebration of St Valentines. First thing, as I get off the train, I am met by Neil Chambers, player of the Uilleann pipes. We head off for a cup of tea where we discuss the format for Friday night and plan some story making event for the future where I may tell an epic journey whilst accompanied by the haunting sound of the pipes. Of course, I may not. It all depends on how well we work together and we will find that out at the weekend. In the meantime, here is a little vid of him playing at in the Windows Arcade. Hope to see you there on Friday.
I love the way the world works sometimes. I just popped in to Tea Sutra to discuss when we might run another cafe there and we ended up booking a cafe every 3 months for the next year and a half. That is scarily organised. Then, as I was walking back to the office, I bumped into Neil the piper, people in Newcastle will see him busking his Uilleann pipes on Northumberland street. "Lets have a coffee" says he and so we did and as we did so, we decided to try and work on a story together, and now, he will be playing some tunes on his pipes at Jack Sprats next Friday where there will be stories of love and, that kind of thing, to help celebrate St Valentine's day. Cant wait.
It was a great night at the Hearth on Friday. I really enjoyed telling my stories to a warm and receptive audience. I was accompanied by three musicians for the evening. Jane, Sophie and Scott, (who had travelled down from Coldstream to do the gig, not sure when they get the chance to practice, living that far apart) who were absolutely fabulous. I have included a little video of them playing, (sorry for the poor quality of my filming but it was the best I could do at the time). I was stunned by their talent and confidence, I think they are 15 years old. I already know Jane and have spoken to her on many occasions but she took my breath away when she sang the ballad, 'The flower of Northumberland'. I had no idea she had such an a beautiful singing voice. I hope that they will come back and share another evening with me in the future. I have already asked if they will come and do a set or two at our summer fair.