Dear people of the wide world,
After months of laying low in the Pyrenées, days of driving over seemingly every speed-bump in France, hundreds of pounds-worth of PCR tests and umpteen novel official documents, I have finally made it back to the isle of my birth, and am for the moment, securely quarantined at an undisclosed location. We crossed the channel in the midst of last weekend’s furious storm, and have been wrapped up against the wild winds until today’s glorious sunshine has lured me out into the garden.
We are regularly checked-up on by the charming NHS Test & Trace service, and are blessed with deliveries of milk and bread over the wall, and after a few days of decompression from quite a monumental drive, I’m trying to take advantage of being near a solid internet connection to write this missive and put together a last minute Djukella UK tour, since various festivals have had to cancel again at the last minute. The great Towersey Festival, which I was deeply excited to be playing for the first time, sent the email cancelling the festival literally moments after I had just forked out for non-refundable PCR tests half way across Limousin, which left me swallowing hard and wondering how the summer would pan out, but after two days work, I somehow seem to have a reasonable run of gigs coming together (have a look at the Shows page here on the website), and we would love to see you at whichever is local to you.
We still have a few holes left to plug, so if you’d rather host one than drive halfway across the country, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
On our way from Ariège, I was blessed with a house-concert for a select few of the First Friday Folk crew in Lauzun, thanks to the lightning work and boundless enthusiasm of Deb and the gang. Deepest thanks to you all. The diesel money was indispensable and singing to actual humans was truly spiritual. I thoroughly look forward to another go on the way back down.
If I were not quarantined, I would certainly be heading down to London tomorrow for TEYR’s launch of their new album, Estren, at Hackney Round Chapel. If you are anywhere near London, have ears, and can get your hands on a ticket, I recommend you get yourself down there. Featuring such musical luminaries as Sid Goldsmith, Nina Harries and Abel Selaocoe, who is also a featured artist at The Proms the following week, it’s sure to be an unforgettable show.
As for an album which I know you will love, The Fruitful Fells continues to receive glowing reviews and a decent amount of radio play, but as always, a quick request to your favourite radio show would be immeasurably helpful.
If you don’t like CDs or no longer own the equipment to play them, it’s available to download, along with a digital version of the booklet if you fancy seeing some of Yasmine’s marvellous photographs, and soon, I will work out how to put some key parts of it on all the streaming services for your listening pleasure, though, as I’m sure you know, musicians would much prefer you got it directly from the source, so we get paid more than 17 pence a go.
After weeks of listening out daily for some kind of sense out of Boris Johnson, so I might be able to plan this summer’s touring schedule, and learning nothing other than the fact that no-one in his government seem to realise that L’Isle de Reunion is right next to southern Africa, not in fact France, it seems he’s now gone back to doing what he’s good at; going on holiday and impregnating people. Probably safer all round, I suppose, but it does make me wonder who is actually in charge now that he’s dispensed with Mr. Spaffings.
As soon as I’m allowed out in a few days time, I will collect the orchestra and head d’rectly to the very tip of Kent for Broadstairs Folk Week, where we’re playing on Thursday afternoon, then straight back to Surrey for an evening show at the legendary Fifty Four Cafe in Horley, from there we’re out west for Fanny’s Meadow, then back to the midlands and onwards to various choice spots including Wilderlands Wild Weekends in Ashdown Forest.. I won’t bore you with it all now, but if you have the energy, we’d surely love to sing to you along the way. All shows are covid-safe and in delightful places, so we’ve made it as easy for you as we can.
Looking forward to catching up with all of you UK based folks, and apologies to the rest of you for neglecting you entirely, but working out how to sing in other countries might take a little more work.
With much love from quarantine,