Back home after a very hectic and enjoyable week of UK concerts. It was the first time we’d tried a combined series of folk/rock concerts for ‘Carys’ and electronic music concerts for ‘David Wright & Carys’. Overall, despite the low turn-out for Sheffield and Newcastle, we still had a good time on the road and both learned a lot from the experience.

The first gig at the Red Lion in Birmingham saw Carys support ‘The Trials of Cato’. First thing to say is what a great venue, really nice organisers – many thanks Della for giving Carys the opportunity. Carys performed a solid 40 minute acoustic set that went down well with the audience.

Next up was the Shoulder of Mutton near Rugeley. An energetic audience who were enthusiastic throughout Carys’s 2 hour acoustic set. We used our own PA and lights for this and we’re really pleased with the overall result. Everything was recorded and it’s a nice to be asked to come back and play the venue again!

Next up was Sheffield and the first of the planned three David Wright & Carys concerts. This and the Thursday Newcastle events were intended to be the ‘rehearsals’ for the main Saturday concert in Kinross. Unfortunately though, that was postponed at the last minute leaving us with, effectively, the two rehearsal events.

On route we stopped in to see John Dyson and collect Stephan Whitlan, who was helping as roadie and sound main for the next two gigs.

It’s fair to say that Sheffield wasn’t one of our best. In our defence, I was feeling tired and unwell, although Carys, as always, stepped up and was great. But the Spoon Factory venue itself was cold to the point of stupid. At one point early in the performance a member of the audience even brought a heater onstage for Carys!

Lighting and sound was good though and we recorded the event and it was nice seeing a little bit of Sheffield for the first time.

To the small audience we have to say “Thanks” for your support and for travelling from as far away as Warrington. Amusingly, we can honestly say we knew everyone in the audience by name.

And finally, Newcastle on Thursday. This was great fun and we had a great time. The Black Swan Jazz Club venue was fantastic. The staff and everyone involved there were so helpful and enthusiastic – that made such a difference.

Great to see familiar faces plus local fans and even regulars to the jazz club clearly had a good time dancing away to some of our rhythmic tracks. Both Carys and I were on form and the two hours whizzed by.

The concert was recorded and again, we were pleased with our own sound and lighting set up. Once again a big “thank you” to the small but enthusiastic audience. A really nice thing was em fans buying Carys’s folk/rock album and Carys’s fans buying em albums, yay – success!

Thanks to Stephan for his help with sound and helping on the door.

Friday was a a nice chilled day exploring Newcastle centre in the morning and a visit to the Harry Potter store. On our way back home a visit to Ian Boddy and Wendy in Sunderland plus a quick stop off at the Saltholme Bird Sanctuary in Middlesborough.

All in all a great week. Shame about the small audiences for the Sheffield and Newcastle gigs and of course, a real shame we weren’t able to complete the mini-tour with the Kinross event, which was the whole reason for the lead-up smaller gigs. But that’s life and we still had a great time.

Here are some pics from Carys’s Rugeley Concert.

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