Cloudstreet in Europe

February 2006 - There and Back Again

It's been a while since our last update and so we have lots to catch up on. This is what we've been up to since September last year, when we were still in the UK, enjoying the touring and another Summer full of sunshine.

1. October

After a run of folk clubs throughout September, we really settled into the rhythm of travel in October (One four day jaunt saw us in York, Southampton, Birmingham and South Shields on consecutive nights!). Along the way, we encountered even more of Nicole's seemingly endless supply of relatives, caught up with a lot of old friends, and played at some beautiful clubs (One of our favourites being The Sutton Folk Club in Bedfordshire). This tour saw us travelling to a lot of clubs where we had not previously played, as well as a fair few return visits to places we'd been in 2004. It was a real treat having Jacey Bedford looking after the organisational side of the tour, making it possible for us to concentrate our energies on our performances.

We did manage to find time to be tourists as well as playing, even making it to Stonehenge between two gigs. John was happy that there was no repeat of his first visit, when he emerged from the tunnel to see the ancient stones among the mist, only to hear a loud, harsh voice from behind him (you guess the accent), "IT'S NOT AS BIG AS I THOUGHT IT'D BE". To balance things up, on the right you'll find a photo of John appearing to be much larger than you thought he'd be.

Towards the end of the tour, we managed a few days of down-time at Birdsedge and for Nicole's birthday, celebrated with Canadian band Tanglefoot who were staying with Jacey and playing at the beautifully restored local village hall. A great night.

We finished the month off with the Sheffield Folk Festival. Once again, we had the pleasure of teaming up with Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer to play our final performance as a four-piece. (Plans are afoot to get these guys to Australia, so we can repeat the experience on our home turf - we have a dream to meet up with them at Woodford, but we're not sure that small-pipes like the heat - more on that later).

2. Off to the Channel

As well as Jacey, our friends at Music In Hospitals were looking after us well on this trip, and so after we'd finished off the folk clubs and festivals, we were off to Jersey for a leisurely 29 performances in 11 days. Fortunately, Jersey isn't all that big a place (about 8 miles by 5 miles), but they have managed to cram 400 miles of road onto the island. Astonishing how many times you can become lost in so small a place. We had a great time on Jersey, finding it a land rich in aged-care facilities, amazing sunsets and ever-flowing Harvey's Bristol Cream.

The hospital performances are necessarily different to our normal folk-club repertoire, with lots of opportunities for singing along, and trips down memory lane. We are also always open to requests, occasionally being thrown completely (We even managed to rise to the occasion when someone wanted an Elvis cover).

We were well looked after on Jersey, and after three gigs a day, we left exhausted but happy (and we've said "yes" to Guernsey for 2006).

3. A Jaunt on the Continent

After a hectic tour in the UK and a madly busy time on Jersey, we were ready for a break. Our friend Wilna (of Christmas generosity and Wilna's Dance fame) found herself in the beautiful French town of Lalinde, with an all-but-empty chateau, and so we leapt to her assistance. We were very tired and didn't know what to expect (we are desperately short in the chateau department in Australia). WOW!

A short drive from the Bergerac airport, the chateau seemed like a magic place to us. Turrets! The Dordogne flowing outside the windows! It was almost impossible to believe, but there it was. Once again, Wilna made us welcome and we had time, space and the perfect surroundings in which to relax. Four days later, we flew back to Stansted, our hearts full of our wonderful time in France.

You can find the Cloudstreet CDs here: CLOUDSTREET

Dance Up The Sun

The fabulous new release, available for delivery from 12 April, 2006. Featuring the Wine Song, The Van Song, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and the morris-friendly title-track, we reckon it's our best yet!

1. Dance Up The Sun
2. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
3. Lament for Brendan Behan/ The Auld Triangle
4. Wooden Spoon
5. The Wine Song
6. Scots of the Riverina
7. Horn Dance
8. Sweetest Complexity
9. Killing Floor
10. Rue
11. Miner's Washing
12. John Barleycorn
13. The Van Song
14. Time is a Tempest
15. Bonus Track -
The Wine Song Quartet

*Extra Bonus - Rosslyn's Boiled Fruitcake Recipe
A$30 incl p&p (Australian Buyers)
A$35 incl p&p (Rest of the world)

The Fiddleship

The Fiddleship was recorded while on tour in the UK in 2004. It includes some wonderful collaborations with Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer (check out their website), including a bigband version of "King Willy". You can read a review here. The Fiddleship is also available at cdBaby where you will find sound samples of all the tracks.

1. The Fiddleship
2. Lady Maisry
3. Winds of Fortune
4. The Lock Flight
5. Plains of Emu
6. King Willy (with band)
7. Diggins-Oh
8. The Blacktown Jig
9. Ballad
10. The Mill
11. Ave
12. Moreton Bay
13. Wilna's Dance
A$30 incl p&p (Australian Buyers)
A$35 incl p&p (Rest of the world)

Violet Sarah and Muckle John

Our second CD was given the launch of a thousand lemons at the National Folk Festival at Easter, 2002 (it all started in fun, just a bit of juggling, how do you spell melee?) Here's a review. Violet Sarah and Muckle John is also available at cdBaby where you will find sound samples of all the tracks.

1. Violet Sarah
2. Famous Flower of Serving Men
3. Jenny Greenteeth
4. Lay Me Low
5. The Diamonds
6. The Jovial Beggar
7. The Shape of Things
8. Little Black Fox
9. Muckle John
10. King Henry
11. The Briar and the Rose
A$30 incl p&p (Australian Buyers)
A$35 incl p&p (Rest of the world)

Swallow the Concertina

Our popular first release is still available. It created a stir and received great reviews - read the review from the December 2000 Folk Rag. Swallow the Concertina is also available at cdBaby where you will find sound samples of all the tracks.

1. King Willy
2. Garinish Island/ The Magic Hat
3. Annan Waters
4. Streets of Forbes
5. Gypsy
6. Swallow the Concertina
7. Parramatta Gaol
8. Honest Work
9. Ten Long Years
10. Two Sisters
11. The Green Man
12. Wasn't that a Party
A$30 incl p&p (Australian Buyers)
A$35 incl p&p (Rest of the world)

In the UK, Cloudstreet CD's are distributed through Roots Records.
Graham Bradshaw can be contacted on +44 (0)247 6711935.

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