Paul Goodwin

Blowing this candle out

Published on Mon 24 May 2010

I'm sitting watching the football and writing this when I should really be preparing to go to Barcelona in the morning. Or painting my living room. Or watering the plants. Or at least getting an early night ready for an early train. Logically I know that planes must leave Britain after 10am, but I can't remember when I was last on one of them. I suspect there's a deal between National Express and the budget airlines where they subsidise the cheap flights with some of the extra profit they get from nobody being able to use off peak trains to Stansted. It seems like everyone from work is either actually at this game or watching it with a big pile of complimentary food and booze at the O2 arena, and the Mexican national anthem reminded me of Police Academy, so I've been sucked in. ITV really shouldn't be allowed to do sport though - what a bellend Peter Drury is. God, the England kit is ghastly isn't it - they look like Asda 3 for 5 polo shirts.

Not that I have a great deal to report anyway - I've mostly been either having normal pub nights or enjoying having my TV back working. Or both. Played a fair bit of squash too, but now my knees hurt when I walk. Oh and a spot of golf. All good fun, but nothing constructive.

On Saturday night I played over the road at The Cornerhouse supporting Jane Taylor, who I've played with a couple of times before. The last one was much better than I'd dared hope, so, as is the way of these things, this one wasn't as good. Not that it was bad - I thought I played pretty well once I got going and I feel like I'm singing better than I ever have. Jane is a bit more, er, refined than me, and the people that go to see her (particularly this time) mostly seem like people who find aspects of music important that I don't really care about (and vice versa), so I tried to keep things that might make you feel something to a minimum, and in return they were at least polite. Setlist: The Ghost of Paddy's Night Past, This Place is Dead Anyway, Watertight, Muscle Memory (I'm really starting to like this one now), Edinburgh, You Won't Break My Heart.

I enjoyed Jane's set a lot - she has a very impressive voice and some nice songs. I remember seeing her at one of the acoustic nights I used to play at at the Boat Race in about 2001 when she was just starting out (well, I guess she'd made it all the way over here from Bristol). I get the impression she's doing pretty well now (there's quite a list of people who used to play at them who've done quite well). As good as the set was, my favourite moment of the night was afterwards when she asked Bryan from behind the bar to help her carry her piano out and he went over and dutifully took one end of the heavy looking flight case sat on the stage in front of her piano, and out they walked with it. When they came back in and I pointed out what had happened they both just said they thought the other was unusually strong. Jane's story was more convincing.

That's 3 gigs in 3 weeks that have looked promising, but I still have exactly the same number of CDs as I had before. Bit disappointing. At least I've felt like I played well at all of them. Maybe I've saturated Cambridge. Shame I still haven't managed to convince anyone to let me play anywhere else for ages.

The next few installments of this should be a bit more interesting than the last few. I've got 2 1/2 weeks of gallavanting now. If anyone has any non-obvious recommendations of how to entertain myself alone in New York for 4 days, let me know. I have a short list already, but it is 100% food based.