You might have noticed that I don't get out on tour very much, and some days this saddens me. Not days when it's pissing down with rain outside; not days when it's snowing a blizzard; not days when there is something good on TV that I don't want to miss. But it's not long before I miss the road trips and adventures associated with playing new places and catching up with people in favourite ones.
Sure, if it wasn't that I have rent to pay and thus a job to hold down, I'd probably have a regularly-increasing list of shows to impress onlookers with, but I do have rent, so I don't live on people's floors and on their sofas and I do go to work.
A challenging scenario reared its head earlier this year: I went out on tour with Frank and Franz and, in doing so, exhausted pretty much all my holiday from work for the rest of my life, amen, and the only time I'm freed from my desk to gig between now and the end of the year have got to be the days when I'm not scheduled to be there.
Yes, the weekend.
Hanging up my touring shoes (which, er, I don't have) until 2012 when I'd have more time to spend on the road simply wasn't an option. So instead, me and some friends have devised a series of weekend shows to keep the people of England entertained. The criteria were simple ones:
1. On a Saturday, we can get as far away from base as we can
2. On Sundays, we play house shows or ones on the way home
3. If we can't fit a gig in on the weekend, we can do ones close to home in the week
The Saturdays filled up almost instantly, and so the past month or so has been spent filling in the gaps where we can. Apologies to Scotland, the East, the South West and Wales - we can only really get to you on a Saturday, and they went pretty fast. I'll be back out in 2012 and we'll get something sorted for then instead.
Also, we're looking to do some house shows (the ones below marked HOUSE SHOW TBC). Essentially, if you'd like to host a house show on a Sunday afternoon, drop me a line on email@example.com and we can get talking. I'm aware that we haven't hit many towns/cities on this fair isle for reasons I've already listed above, so if you're feeling hard done by, put in for a show. Nothing silly though, please. If we have a gig in Manchester and we need to get back to Bristol, we aren't going to play for you in Paris, or Essex, or Dublin. You don't need a PA, just a friendly smile and a cup of tea. Deal?
Anyway, the shows..
BEN MARWOOD: SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND
tour of england, autumn 2011
final list updated 11th September 2011
17 Glastonbury The King Arthur
1 Manchester The Garrett (OT) - free show
2 Kidderminster The Swan (OT) - matinee show, 3pm, free show
7 Bristol The Louisiana (OT)
8 Birmingham Bright House (OT) - free show
9 House Shows
29 London Borderline (DG)
4 London Wheelbarrow (KE)
6 Portsmouth Edge of the Wedge (KE)
9 Oxford Port Mahon
11 Bath Green Park Tavern (OT)
12 Leicester The Crumblin' Cookie (OT)
13 Cheltenham Slak (OT)
19 Reading Rising Sun Arts Centre (OT)
24 Swindon The Vic (OT)
2 House Show
3 York City Screen Basement Bar (OT)
4 House Shows
(OT) denotes with Oxygen Thief
(DG) as a guest of Dave J Giles
(KE) with Kyle D Evans and Mynameisian
Extra special thanks to Oxygen Thief and Kyle for booking a lot of the above shows. Apologies to those in Scotland and Cornwall where we had to turn down shows due to being unable to fit them in.
See you out there.