Secret Garden Party Festival

Hey guys,

Hope you’re well.

This weekend I am performing at The Secret Garden Party Festival in Cambridgeshire. My Dad is giving a speech and I’ve kindly been asked to get up and play a few tunes before he comes on.

It’s a difficult set up sometimes, as it isn’t a designated acoustic stage. Mind you, if I can win over an audience in the Outer Hebrides, I can win over an audience at a festival. In theory.

I’ve been rehearsing with the band in Manchester over the last couple of days. On the whole it’s sounding great. Obviously my touring has hampered rehearsals, but we’ll get there in the end.

On Tuesday I drove down south to hang out with my Dad, Steven Tyler, and friends. Had a really good time going around Avebury and Stonehenge. I was rather random, but lovely. Was nice to be in the company of like minded people for an afternoon!

Avebury

 

If you’re at the Secret Garden Party, come say hey. We’ll have a beer.

x

 

 

 

On Home Soil…And Back To Busy…

Hello folks,

What an incredible tour.

It had its ups and downs, but it was a once in a lifetime experience.

We played to some lovely lovely people, in some of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

I went there as an Englishman, and played original material to audiences only used to traditional Gaelic music. I confess, I was nervous about how I’d be received as I had had a couple of problems with racism while trying to book shows.

One venue stated “We have our own musicians thanks” before slamming the phone down on me.

But my fears where completely without foundation, and I can’t wait to get myself back to the Islands again.

Jono is putting together a feature length tour documentary over the next few weeks. I really think you’ll enjoy it.

Tomorrow I’m filming with Derby County FC as part of their DNA (Derby. Now. Always) campaign.

I have been a die hard fan since I was 8 years old, and it’s an honour to put my personal Derby experiences in part of their campaign.

On Thursday I am off to Manchester to rehearse for the first time, with my Manchester band. I’ve heard amazing things about the lads, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to it.

I now have some awesome musicians on the Isle of Wight, and in Manchester. Obviously Guy, Claydon, and Tippers, on the Island, have their own careers, and I can’t expect them to drop that to tour with me regularly.

I’m waiting on lots of tour confirmations that I’m really stoked about. Particularly some Festival dates in the Czech Republic, in September.

On Saturday, I’m off to London to meet with The Peoples Voice TV channel, to discuss my show, The Banned. Touch wood, I should have my team sorted by the end of the day.

The show is going to be amazing. It’ll be going out prime time in the UK, then repeated midweek, at a prime time for the USA.

The show will feature anything and everything. Music, Comedians, Jugglers, I don’t care. If you’re good at something, you’re on the show.

Boundaries are  for pussies.

Much love. x

 

 

 

It’s almost over…

OiOi…

Given the lack of sleep, 4am alarm clocks, 3 hour drives, and 4 hour boat journeys…I feel remarkably alert today.

I think it’s because my body can sense the finish line.

Tonight we’re playing the Isle of Raasay. It’s a small Island between the coast of the mainland, and Skye.

I think the population is around 150.

Some of these places are so remote, that there is literally nothing in terms of mod cons.

I guess I’m kind of pleased with myself, that I’m functioning normally. I haven’t fully been modernized just yet. There is still a wee bit of caveman in me. “Grunt”.

Last night we played in Applecross, and the night before in Eriskay. Both gigs were great and certainly redeemed the previous couple.

Life is all ups and downs and so is touring. Literally here. It’s a vast mass of mountains!

The downs make you stronger, and the ups refuel you for the next set of downs.

I’m feeling pretty charged now!

Today we have a 3 hour drive down to Skye, through the Kyle of Lochalsh. It’s one of the most stunning roads I’ve ever driven. Although looking over the sides, gave me a wee bit of vertigo yesterday.

I tried to find a picture, but found this video instead. It gets interesting a couple of minutes in.

 

We then take a boat to Raasay to perform at the Islands fun day. I’m excited. I hear there is archery. My eyes are playing up a fair bit though, so giving me a lethal weapon in a crowd of people, probably isn’t advisable.

 

The weather here has gone cloudy. I’m annoyed.

Enjoy the sun, England! x

Struggling.

Hey folks.

Managed to finally get a lay in. Well, if you call going to bed at 1, and getting up at 8, a lay in.

The last few days have been constantly travelling and gigging, with very little sleep.

Last night we were in Harris, and it was another tough crowd. It seems that the further north you get in the islands, the louder the audience gets.

The problem is, there are no venues up here. Infact, there are no bars either. The areas are so remote, that there are only a couple of hotels in the main town, so you have to perform there.

Don’t get me wrong, the folks are very friendly and polite, but obviously they’re out for a good time, and often that means talking over you.

It was the same in Skye the night before. There were a couple of times where the end of the tune didn’t even get a clap.

That’s pretty disheartening. But then when you come off, everyone comes up telling you how great it was. I guess that’s just the way it is up here, but it takes some getting used to.

Today is the one day that we have some time to explore the beaches and chill out. It’s foggy and cold. Grrrrr! It’s been blistering all week while I’ve been in cars and boats!

I think they call that the law of the sod.

In Eriskay tonight. Deep breath, and some fresh optimism.

x

Tiree.

Hey guys,

Just got a quick bit of internet access.

I’m laying on my bed listening to Jono shower. It’s weirdly therapeutic. Although I did just hear a “For fucks’ sake” so god knows whats going on in there.

Last night we were in Tobermory, Mull. It’s the place that Balamory is based on. I realised the locals don’t like the comparison though!

We really are remote, and suffered another powercut last night. Created a great atmosphere, playing acoustic by candle light though.

We were a bit annoyed when the lights came back on!

Today we have shit loads of travelling. A one hour boat back to Oban, then a four hour ferry to Tiree.

It’s worth it though. Plenty of dolphins to see on the way, then when we arrive. It looks like this.

Tiree

It’s a hard life. x

 

A ‘wee’ catch up…

Hello folks,

Just writing a quick hello from my hotel room in Islay.

I wanted to try and write a blog every couple of days but I’m finding it hard to find the time, and sustained internet access.

The tour is going great so far. We’ve played in Arran, Troon, and Port Charlotte, Islay.

I’m awake far too early to get the boat back to the mainland, drive to Oban, then ferry across again to Mull.

The people here are so accommodating, and lovely. Plus, the scenery here is absolutely incredible. Definitely one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Despite the tiredness, I’ve spent the last few days feeling really lucky that I’m able to see and do these things.

If you want to keep up with what we’re up to, keep checking my twitter page (www.twitter.com/garethicke).

I’m posting LOADS of photos and stuff.

We’re also filming a video diary so that will be quite interesting if you’ve never been this way.

Much love. I need a shower. x

Blogging.

Hello,

I’ll try my best to make up a wee tour blog while I’m up here.

Can you tell I’m picking up the lingo? Aye, good.

Jono and myself are going to film a tour diary of the trip, and pop it up on youtube in a few weeks. But I’ll try and get time to write one every few days to let you know how it’s going.

I’m told it could be interesting for me, as there is still a fair bit of anti English racism up on the furthest Isles.

I’ll do my best to win them over, but if I don’t, I hope I at least,  make a very tasty soup.

First show is tonight in Arran, followed by Troon, then two shows on Sunday, in Islay.

No rest for the wicked!

Here is a tour diary from a Liberty Tour me, Jono, and Alan Frew, did a few years ago.

Much love. x

 

Scottish Tour Starts Now…

Hey guys,

I’m currently in Glasgow, about to start a Scottish Island Tour, with my wee pal Jono.

All the shows are completely free, so if you’re in the area, pop down for a beer.

All the dates and venues are up here.

x

Sonic Bloom Festival.

Oi!

I’ve been confirmed for the Sunday 29th September) of the Sonic Bloom Festival near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

They are offering a short term offer, of £9.50 for a full weekend camping ticket.

To book your place, click onto sonicbloomuk.org.

x

Scottish Island Tour

Hey folks and folkettes.

I’m off on a family holiday next week (wine consumption basically) and then after that, my Scottish Island tour starts.

I’m back on the road with my wee bam pal Jono (www.meandmyguitar.com)

Here is the tour schedule.

Friday July 5th @ Drift Inn, Lamlash, Arran.

Saturday July 6th @ Fullertons, Troon, Ayrshire.

Sunday (Afternoon) July 7th @ Bridgend Hotel, Islay.

Sunday (Evening) July 7th @ Port Charlotte Hotel, Port Charlotte, Islay.

Monday July 8th @ MishNish, Tobermory, Mull.

Tuesday July 9th @ Scarinish Hotel, Scarinish, Tiree.

Wednesday July 10th @ Saucy Marys, Kyleakin, Isle of Skye.

Thursday July 11th @ Hotel Hebrides, Tarbert, Isle of Harris.

Friday July 12th @ Polochar Inn, Eriskay, South Uist.

Saturday July 13th @ Applecross Campsite, Applecross, Strathcarron ,Ross-Shire.

Sunday 14th July @ Raasay House, Isle of Raasay.

All the shows are totally free. So if you’re in the area, or fancy a serious road trip, come along.

x