Corona Blues, Sweden 2020

Felt so good to be back on the road in Europe after lockdown in the UK. Two fantastic shows to banish the corona blues in Sweden, following local guidelines for live music of course – 50 people max, social distancing, etc. Can’t beat live music 😊

A warm welcome at Strandkompaniet near Ystad in southern Sweden – beers and burgers and chat with owner Sebbe. He told me every ticket was sold, cool! I set up later on in the extended covered area outside and played 3 sets to a typically lovely Swedish crowd.  

The second event was a private event – Corona Blues! – a party thrown by our friend’s Andy and Ucci for their neighbours and friends and family. I played perched on ‘the rock’, a very scenic stage among the heather. Again, a lovely crowd and very kind – I sold almost every CD I’d brought. Neighbour Alfred joined me for a few tunes, great guitar player and nice lad.

We enjoyed a fantastic week in Sweden, before starting to head home. Many adventures, swimming and fishing, hiking, eating and drinking well, visiting friends and family. Good times!

Travel Notes

We travelled through Belgium, Germany and Denmark – quite different to the UK in the COVID-19 rules and attitudes. First stop in Belgium – we had to wear masks in the main square, but not in the side streets, and not in the bars, where they took our names, numbers and travel details. In Germany, we didn’t go into town but there was very little distancing going on at the campsite, compared to where we’d stayed in the UK! In Denmark, we passed through border controls and saw the COVID-19 testing stations, but once we got to Copenhagen, it was very relaxed – no one had masks, we went for a meal with no reservations, no details taken, stopped at a bar afterwards, etc. Felt strange to feel normal.

There had been no lockdown in Sweden. They implemented a set of measures quite early on and stuck to them. They’ve been criticised for this in some quarters, but there was no panic buying, no businesses bankrupted in lockdown, etc. We heard that they are sticking to the approach agreed across Europe after a pandemic planning exercise a few years ago.

Virtual Camp Quirky 2020

Here’s my 2nd live streaming gig, beamed live from our van, Stargazer!

Some original songs and a few covers to close the first virtual Camp Quirky festival…

Camp Quirky is organised by Quirky Campers as a celebration of handmade campervans. This year’s festival was supposed to take place in Northamptonshire but has been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, they organised a virtual festival – with cocktails, music, interviews, van tours and conversion workshops throughout the afternoon on Facebook and Instagram. Hopefully, the festival will take place as planned on 2nd-4th October.

Out Now!

Brass Neck! limited edition CDs in stock

So, at last, very pleased to say the album is out now and live on bandcamp – 10 tracks, ‘ten bob’ a track or a fiver for the lot 😉 Physical CDs should arrive early in the New Year.

Huge ‘thank you’ to all involved – especially Bev, the band Phil Muriel and Richy Clarke, my guests Lyndon Anderson, Phil Moore, Gary Grainger and Gav Warrender, and to Dee at Ginger Music Company in Gateshead.

Special Cheers to Jimmy Carlyle and Aston Bowles, who were the first to pre-order, much appreciated!

I’ve got some work to do in spreading the news, but delighted I’ve already had some airplay…

Jimmy played the opening track ‘Certain Something’ on his Shades of Blue show on BBC Radio Shetland.

Gary Grainger gave the first airplay to ‘New Ramblin’ Blues’, ‘9 Miles to Rosedale’ and ‘Journeyman’ on his award-winning Blues Show on Bishop FM. He’s played tracks 3 weeks in a row, top man!

Wondering if the remaining 6 tracks will get a play, and who might be first to share them…