This tour in December is the beginning of a tour that will stretch well into next year. I will be playing Europe from June onwards with more UK dates added in the Autumn. My German agent is working on dates in the next months and will take offers that make sense for us to play.
Some people keep on asking about Ireland. The last time I played in Dublin on the Fishheads Club tour I pulled less than 150 people, the last time I played Belfast on the same tour I had about the same attendance. These numbers do not support a full electric tour and as I have as yet had no offers from Irish promoters it is highly unlikely at this point that I will get over the water. I’m sorry, this isn’t through choice.
There is talk at the moment about a South American tour next September but it all comes down to numbers and if they support all the logistics, wages, travel etc etc that a tour there requires.
It’s the same in North America where the bureaucracy and legal requirements are so overwhelming, the distances so huge and the costs so high it’s extremely difficult if not impossible to make sense of that commitment.It’s all very well a couple of people writing from a city asking for a gig but the promoters/ the venues and I need a lot more people to make sense of the numbers to make a show happen and on the last North American tour the numbers weren’t that great and promoters when asked a couple of years ago about a return tour declined or reduced offers.
I remember on the ‘Moveable Feast’ tour there was “uproar” among Spanish fans here when I wasn’t going to replace the Madrid and Barcelona shows that had been postponed. I made the effort and the Circus drove hundreds of miles over 4 days to make them happen. I played to less than 750 people across the 2 cities and barely broke even even with merch.
I can’t afford to take chances, the promoters can’t afford to lose money, the venues want safe bets in the main and I have to be realistic no matter how much either I or a few dedicated fans want a show to happen in a particular city.
If I won Euro millions and could afford a ‘busman’s holiday’ where it didn’t really matter if I lost money on a gig then I’m sure I could play in places I’ve always wanted to visit and spend time in without the extreme stress of keeping a circus financially operational and nearly losing my house as I have come close to in the past.
Until then I am in the hands of an agent who gathers deals that make sense, pay the wages and the bills and puts me in decent venues in front of hopefully full houses on a tour routing that doesn’t require me to be sitting on a bus for days between shows.
Please try and understand what it takes to operate a tour and everything that’s involved. ‘Feast of Consequences’ sold around 25 000 copies worldwide. For an independent label in this day and age that’s pretty good going and I was happy with the result.
But put that in perspective. If I sold that many in North America alone a tour there may have had a chance. I didn’t. Most of those sales were in Europe and even in some countries there I struggle to get gigs.
I’m not complaining as I am pretty happy with my lot and accept where my career is now. I understand some of you are frustrated at not being able to see live shows anywhere near you but I’m sorry there has to be a reality check in there.
I am totally aware of places where I should be playing and places where I want to play but if there are no offers, no promoters and limited demand outside a dedicated but small fan base it will not happen no matter how much people post here and complain.
It’s where it’s at and I accept it and try and do my best to make people happy where I can.I’m 59 now, not that old but old enough to feel the strain of touring and in the last year it’s been a ‘sair fecht’. Be thankful I’m still planning gigs somewhere if not in your immediate neighbourhood.
thanks for all your support now and in the future, it’s sincerely appreciated