Sunday, 3 July 2011

On tour.....

I'm very conscious that it's been quite some time since I did a photo blog.

For those of you who don't follow my travel blog over at - for the last 8 weeks or so I've not really been able to take any photos. I managed to hurt my back so even lifting my camera has been quite the effort. Hopefully I'll be back to it soon.

In the mean time, I've decided to write this blog about a time which changed my life somewhat, and ultimately led to my decision to leave the UK for a while.

It all happened at the end of 2010, and involves a band from Portland, Oregon, called Come Gather Round Us.

First let me tell you about Come Gather Round Us. They are Catherine Feeny, Sebastian Rogers, Jon Neufeld and Mike Danner - and they make great folk type pop songs.

All brilliant artists, they came together in Portland and have so far recorded two albums, 'Remember Where You Are' and 'Despair'.

In late 2010 Catherine and Sebastian came over to the UK to tour, joined by Mike for some of the shows. I suggested it might be an idea for me to join them for the first few dates on their tour, having never done this kind of thing before and always having quite wanted to. Luckily for me, they allowed me to, and so one merry day in October, we filled the boot of my Ford Focus estate with a mixture of cases, camera gear, musical instruments and merchandise, and left Norwich for exciting times on the road.

During the week I ended up learning a lot about myself, a lot about touring, a lot about merchandise selling, and some more about great friends. A good combination I think. 

Catherine and Sebastian learnt that I have mild OCD and occasional road rage....and that I have some rather dodgy songs on my Ipod. 

The tour took us to Birmingham Glee Club and Cheltenham D Club before we took a rest day in Bristol. Then a date at the Bristol Fleece beckoned. I was due to leave the tour at this point, but after some gentle persuasion I decided I needed to experience more of this life on the road stuff, and I rejoined them up in Edinburgh a couple of days later for the show at Sneaky Pete's. We were joined by Mike for the Edinburgh show and drove in convoy down to Manchester to do a show at the Night and Day. 

Then sadly I really did have to leave, although I was able to join them all for one last Halloween show at Norwich Arts Centre, which was spectacular. 

The experience was brilliant, and I loved hearing the set evolve over the course of the shows. I loved the different audiences, and meeting people with just as much of a passion for music as I have. I also loved being able to take photos of the whole thing.

 And at the end of it, I realised that I would actually quite like to be on tour more often. I like life on the road, and all the things that come with it. It's mostly great fun, very rewarding and pretty inspiring too. I challenged some of my own views and ways of doing things during the week, and I realised that for the first time in ages I felt really happy, and not so scared of following my own passions. Spending time with some amazing people who have followed their own passion for music gave me a whole new perspective.

Three weeks after coming back from tour, I made some changes to life. I resigned from my job, left my flat, and am currently living in Adelaide, Australia.

Come Gather Round Us are still making amazing music, and I can't wait to see them again soon.

Visit the Come Gather Round Us website at

'Remember Where You Are' and 'Despair' are available from CD Baby

Come Gather Round Us at CD Baby

(CD Baby are one of the best stores I have ever bought music from – I love their order update messages!.....)

A set of photos from the 2010 UK tour can be found here: