Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Let Us Sit Upon The Floor And Tell Sad Stories Of The Kings
Richard christened us The Catshit Kings. Misheard lyrics can be hilarious, not so much in your own song. It is, without doubt, a terrible name. You dream of a band name to rank alongside Crazy Horse, The Attractions, The Bad Seeds... you even make a note of a few in your little black book for possible future use, and then some bass playing comedian ridicules one of your songs and suddenly you're stuck with something truly awful. But it made us laugh, and makes performing that song doubly hard, knowing that behind my back they're all sniggering.
But that's what being in a band is all about. Finding a gang, a bunch of friends who support each other in every way, but also know how to cut each other down to size when necessary. A band is a hard thing for a singer-songwriter to find, let alone fund, and I’ve been lucky through the years, persuading some great people to play with me.
Some stay, some leave, some come back. Touring with me is a bit like a gap year, or voluntary service overseas – the riches may be little but the rewards are great. So here’s to you Laura, Clive, Tony, John, Ian, Ash, Gary, Richard, Dave, Brian, and of course, my brothers-in-alms, Olli and Oli. And Johnny, the best sound man in the known universe, and several parallel ones. I couldn’t have wanted for better friends.
Now the year draws to a close, the money is spent, and after many sell-out shows - often with bigger audiences than ever - it’s time to pack the band back into the box and bid farewell. We gave of our best, every night. We meant it, every night. As The Boss says "no one pays to hear how good you were last night". And that’s why he’s The Boss.
So these October dates will be our last hurrah, our last voyage, our valedictory. Everyone knows that life is different for musicians these days, but it’s changing for all of us. Times are hard for everyone and life is what it is – no violins, no wailing – adopt, adapt, survive. The world spins, things change. Noone's job or chosen career is safe. We are all in the same boat.
And what a boat it has been. Over the years it’s gone from tall ship to barge, from rowing boat to canoe. Now it's time to finally face facts and learn to swim. There will be more adventures, different guises, fewer extended boating metaphors - and fresh projects to get excited about, not least a solo tour ... and before too long the second half of the album... but for the time being it's don the speedos, pull down the goggles and without sight of land or horizon, just swim.
So a big thank you to all of you who came to the shows earlier this year, and to the festivals, and to all of you who have been coming to the gigs for a decade. And to those of you who helped out, who trimmed the sails, pumped the bilges and joined me in the search for land. I hope it was all worth it. I’ve loved every second.
Don't miss this last chance to see us as a band. We're going to send the old girl down to the depths in style.
In the days to come, keep an eye out for me in the rising waters. That dot in the distance, that’s me. I’m not drowning, I’m waving.
RIP The Catshit Kings.
Long live The Catshit Kings.
PS And for any of you choking back the tears, just picture me in Speedos.
PPS... extra-curricular ramblings here