Yes, I'm an ambassador for Record Store Day (that's even official). Yes, I have a single out on Record Store Day. Yes, my label is releasing a long lost track of Dub Sex (recorded by the legendary Martin Hannett, available in participating outlets). Yes, I have a list of records that are out that day that I'd like for my own collection. But does this make me biased? Yes, of course it does but it doesn't mean I can't have my say. I've heard the grumbles about there being too many releases, even conspiracy theories about major labels clogging up the schedules of pressing plants so that small labels can't get their stock in time. But, for me, these are good problems to have.
This weekend for me sees the start of the British festival season - three months of mayhem is round the corner as I spend every possible weekend coming up in a field, soaked through to the bone, praying for sun. I'll be lucky.
Heading off to play a series of gigs is a little like coming out of hibernation - it's a different way of life. The van is the mothership and the gigs are like the bits in Star Trek when they beam down to a new planet for a bit - without us losing the bloke who you've never seen before. There's the fun of looking up some record shops and old friends who've moved to the places we're visiting - I used to spend time with Anton Newcombe from The Brian Jonestown Massacre when I was living in LA, he's lived in Berlin for a few years and has offered to be out tour guide while we're there.
The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess performed an intimate gig in a small coffee shop in London on Monday night, especially
Tim Burgess is a busy man. As well as putting the finishing touches to his new single, 'Doors of Then', Burgess has been
DJ Yoda, Maximo Park, James and the Inspiral Carpets stopped by for a cuppa. We said we'd close at 10pm each night but things were still swinging at 3am the next morning. Nick Heyward was a revelation - we only knew him from Twitter - and he brought about an amazing singalong that 250 people crammed into a log cabin will never forget.
Days were made and dreams were shattered as the Q Awards 2012 announced its winners in Central London. A host of the music
Tours are about two things really - music and people. Music on stage, in the van, at services. Everywhere. And the people - in the band, working at the venues and coming to the gigs.
In the last couple of years my home town of Portsmouth has undergone something of a curious transformation. This normally risk-averse island has been putting two fingers up at the cainophobic by opening up a number of jaunts that would not look out of place in my former residence, London.
This weekend I'll be returning to the Isle of Wight to watch bands, drink some pints of Carling and regularly pray that it doesn't rain.
Hi. Come in, you came just at the right time. It's four days until the publication of the book I just spent the last year writing.
A British man was evacuated from a yacht competing in a round-the-world race today after sustaining a head injury in rough