I will inform you of some of the things I get up to when I think I'm not looking and I shall also spread rumours here - some of which may be true . My duties also include the supply of links and recommendations to items of interest in outer Harperspace. This page will be updated conscientiously, nay religiously on a random and very irregular basis ...
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1 Nov 2013
Another Great review for Riven
1 Oct 2013
Riven is now available for download on the great download portal BandCamp. There are descriptions of the songs and lyrics too. You can download just a song or two if you like or the whole damn thing for a bargain price here.
11 Sep 2013
The artwork for the new CD is..wiiiiiiiide. If you need constant access to the brilliant artwork by Fal and the lyrics that I pored over for at least an hour and 15 minutes, you might find the fold out panorama drama leads to rippage and tearage in the long run. So we're offering a chance to download a replacement cover that you can print out your beautiful selves and save the booklet from the ravages of repeated insertion/removal from the jewel case.
If there is enough interest we will do a poster with the art and lyrics in a larger format, posh paper etc., but for now the download is here.
6 Aug 2013
Devil's Den Targets Hit!
Well for those of you there it was a really special day. The weather was perfect and the venue is one of my favourites of all time! Gaz and George were brilliant and very generous with their time. Fans, friends, family all in one big heap of Devilish goodness. Our targets for the fundraising have been surpassed with donations still coming in. Thanks everyone!
Now the only question is do we go back to Avebury next year or get low down and dirty in the Den again???
You can still donate if you like...
16 Jul 2013
See you in the Den!
Join the team for Devil's Den Rocks on August 4th and make a difference. DDR is a small gathering of Harper friends and family to raise a bit of cash for LHS and Prospect Hospice. Those of you who have donated or taken part in Rocks events inspired or run by Love Hope Strength will know that beautiful feeling that comes with the knowledge that you are part of something bigger and better..similarly people who know the Prospect Hospice know what a valuable part places like the Prospect have to play across the land in the nation's well-being as a whole.
As ever the people in Harperspace are working hard to make the alleviation of cash from you amazing Harpernauts as painless and indeed as entertaining as possible. The added bonus with the Rocks events is that they will be supporting fantastic causes like those above rather than the somewhat Harpercentric focus of our normal offerings.
DDR will be a cracker - A Sunday afternoon in the guaranteed Wiltshire sunshine with a short walk from either Avebury or Marlborough to the Devil's Den. It's a bring your own picnic and listen to the music affair. Absolutely free with the proviso that if you don't donate online we will be passing a bucket to chuck in any spare cash you have on the day. We have the fantastic Gaz Brookfield and Avebury Rocks veteran George Wilding on the bill as well as some Harper bloke.
So please..it's easy..join the team or just donate and feel better about everything. Even more info here.
24 Jul 2012
Live Online Midnight Saturday August 11th
I've set up another one of those online gigs. The last one was such a laugh - I was wearing a bra, apparently. I'll be focussing on 'Seed'. This is for mailing list members only who have been sent the password to sign up - it's really easy to do and you can pay what you want. There is interaction of a sort as you can type abuse/encouragement at me as we go along so it really is live and feels it too. You can't see what it's all about without the password so join the mailing list to get it.
23 Jul 2012
Avebury Rocked Again
So many highlights from another magical day on the Marlborough downs. It rained almost all day apart from the last hour, but that didn't matter a bit. Everyone really enjoyed the day whether they joined in on one of the fantastic walks or just turned up for the concert - those that did both - above and beyond... Thanks to all my family, friends and fans (all the same thing sort of) who supported - some travelling the length of the country to get involved in raising cash for our local hospice - truly humbling. Your deeds will not be forgotten as will the legendary musicians who gave up their time so willingly. Special mention to the Levellers for travelling overnight from Belgium to play a storming set of songs - anthems from down the years indispersed with anthems from their new album 'Static on the Airwaves'. The whole thing was..well...awesome. Also to Mike Peters who flew in to Manchester on the morning from New York and drove down to get on stage at Avebury in the nick of time - heroic! Cy Curnin who left his family in France to do the 20 mile walk along with the Levellers representative Mr. Jon Sevink who raised loads of cash too....Who was it who said 'No More Heroes'? - think again Mr. Cornwell! Actually he lives nearby maybe I can talk him into Avebury Rocks 3....
Whatever comes next we've raised a stack of cash again for the two great causes - still counting, but I'll let you know when the sponsorship is in.
Thank you. x
8 Sep 2010
Harperspace panorama for your viewing pleasure
If you would like to have a look around the inner sanctum you can view the panorama shot and use your mousy to look up, down and all around Harperspace here..
7 Sep 2010
It's true I've been yanking the buttons and faders in the studio and cranking up the old 'Instrumental' masters and having a bit of fun in the process. It's funny to hear a snapshot of who you were 10 years previous...at times highlighting the follies of youth and at others engendering nice little surprises. For instance after putting the levels up a little to try and match Titchy Striker (Jermaine Defoe??) or whatever his name is I could hear the points in 'Swansong' where I'm reaching for the plectrum on my knee between the picky bits - probably a very good reason I've never played that one live (since Glenn Tilbrook said I should stand up and be a man..well I did the first bit..). The most moving part of the remixing though was when I turned up 'The Whack 'n' Riddle Tree' and right at the end you can just hear my daughter Lily saying "Dada" just outside the studio door...I nearly cried.. She was 3 I think. That song is based on a game made up by the most fantastic teacher any child could wish to have - Lewis Richardson, whose idiosyncratic curriculum was based on trying to get us to think and whose view of the world still translates well nearly 40 years on...blimey. He went on to write a lovely little book called 'The Eye of the White Horse' which was a child's eye view of life in Wiltshire a few generations back, which I would swear was part of the inspiration for the poem on 'Treasure Island' called 'A Wiltshire Tale' even though I read his book after I wrote the verse.. Where was I? Oh yeah 'Whack 'n' Riddle': The bowler bowls and the batsman whacks the ball up in to the tree and tries to make it 'home' before it riddles through the branches and is caught..or not..by the hordes of eager catchers..immense laughter had by all if I remember rightly..
Keep going people! Love Harp xx
29 Jun 2010
A message to all of you who made it to the Avalon stage at Glastobury last weekend. It was a very special feeling playing there 40 years after the old man played the very first Glasto. The consensus was that there was "..a lot of love in the room.." - I could feel it - thankyou.
The whole festival was incredible - so vast - a sun-baked city of half-baked fun. 'Flaming Lips' were a highlight amongst many....
Andrew Allcock took a pic of yours truly in full....flow here.
Can't wait for the next one.
17 Jan 2010
Newsletter sent out.
The irregular, contentious and highly charged newsletter has just been sent out. With news of the UK tour, plans for the rest of the year and exclusive discounts in the shop. Subscribers will be informed of changes and additions to the tour dates and kept up to date with progress on new releases via the newsletter, so you'd be daft not to stick your email in here no?
16 Jan 2010
Confirmed sightings of Nick in the Studio!
It's true Nick is pregnant and will be giving birth to a new CD this spring. There is no exact due date - as some of you know the gestation period has been a little unusual, but we are assured it is not a phantom pregnancy and definitely not twins or a box set. We are also assured he will have copies with him on tour and then it will be available in the shops and on the web later in the year.
27 Dec 2009
UK dates announced
Check out the UK dates on this site. There will be a few additions to the ones on the tour page in the near future so keep checking the tour page if your local gig isn't covered yet, but the main body of the tour is in place. The tour is in support of the new CD which will be released in February. There are some great new venues and some new towns and cities across the land so there is new ground, new music and..well.. fresh blood to be anticipated! Exciting!
11 Nov 2009
Letter From America
DENVER - 5th Nov. This was a great venue - the Soiled Dove. No, not a reference to an incontinent pigeon but rather a lady of the night. It's well specced and the sound was great, populated by many an odd trekker from the three treks for LHS - this being LHS HQ. Shannon the foundation's director led us a merry dance from radio to radio and then a TV slot which meant I got on stage 3 minutes after arriving at venue without thinking about what I was going to play and what do you know, but it seems the less time I have to think the better things are - ring any bells?
LAS VEGAS - 6th Nov. Outdoor gig in the hot Nevada evening gave way to the inevitable descent into the beautifully human splurge of vice tha Las Vegas has to offer. Luckily I learnt a system on the roulette - don't stay long on the table. You get a taste of being a high roller whilst still wearing some clothes back to the hotel..
PEORIA - 7th Nov. This was a great venue in a suburb of Phoenix. Great drive to it through joshua tree and cactus plant wilderness and then we arrive at the venue and the first thing I hear is a Mancunian accent lightly sprinkled with a US twang that belongs to Terry, the genial host of the gig. The show wends along with a bipolar swing between arts centre chin stroking to working men's club routine and Cy and I have felt our way to a good set over the three nights and we're settled that the rest of the tour will really work. Some more lovely trekkers appeared and goat meat and altitude were the talk of the town..
LA - 9th Nov. Really pleased with the way this one turned out. My set went down well and was a good set up for the two of us. The way it is developing there is lots of space to explore and our voices work well together too. Most of all we're having good fun doing it - that was plan 'A'! Earlier in the day we went to do some filming at our friend and fellow trekker Stash's studio. We recorded a song each and he used some very cool techniques that looked great... coming to a Youtube feed near you soon. More snippets when I can log on again.
On a seperate note I would like to relate the unforgettable time my Great Grandfather came to stay at our house when I was about 8 years old. He had fought in World War 1 and whilst walking in a trench a shell killed his brother who was nearby. My Great Grandfather searched in the mud, but never found anything. All those years later I awoke in the middle of the night to hear this 84 year old man screaming, "Archie, Archie!!". I'm sure my sensibilities were well set already, but that moment still has a profound effect on me. Peace and love to all. Nx
18 SEP 2009
USA dates announced
The first draft of dates for november in the US have been announced. These are subject to change. Also different venues will have a different format, so at some my solo set will be longer and at others my set with Cy will be longer. The billing is definitely me opening for Cy and then playing guitar with him. Whatever happens we trust they will be enjoyable nights, but get in touch with the venues or research online as to the exact format of the shows and keep track of changes/additions here. Hope to see some of you there - don't forget to come and say hello..
18 SEP 2009
From across the pond.
The first visit stateside for a while and what a great time we had. It seems anything hosted by the LoveHopeStrength foundation is invested with extra goodness that, to coin a phrase seeps out all over the place. I had such a great time in Philadelphia that I can't tell you because you would be sick. It was that good. The LHS band (Peters,Tilbrook,Curnin,Stevenson,Wilson and Harper) delivered some rousing versions of old favourites and some old versions of favourite rousers, but the cause cemented the vibe long into the night. This was after the historic reenactment of 'Rocky's run' to the top of the Art Museum steps where we shadow boxed with 'The Eye of the Tiger' Hahahahahah. We carried 6000 prayer flags with us that will be flown at the summit of Kilimanjaro in honour of people lost and people still in the fight. I was also cheerfully surprised to see not only a plaque in honour of the architect of this impressive building dedicated to the arts, but, only in America, a 10 foot bronze statue of Rocky himself. Well, Sylvester Stallone as the fictional character in that landmark film.
Pittsburgh was the first toe in the water with my good friend Cy Curnin in the USA. Cy's view is at once personal, but at the same time epic and far - reaching, but always with huge dollops of genuine passion, a bit like my old man in that respect. We've got a good thing going that will hopefully mean I'll go back to this incredible country more often in the future.. In fact we have a tour planned for November - news at 11.
The second LHS day was in Jersey at the Union County Music Fest which is hosted by 'One of the 38' George Devanney. It was a bit of a murky day , but I played two sets, one with Cy and one on me tod - jolly good fun they were too. That night I travelled into one of my favourite places on earth - New York City. I was genuinely excited as I 'hit town' and we used it up and wore it out in fine style.
This was all excellent preparation for the last gig in a great bar called 'Ulysses' near wall Street right at the Southern tip of Manhattan. Glenn made it as well as Cy so the three amigos were in full effect until the fat lady finally sang.
Yes i did have reservations beforehand, but despite it being a long way from home and too big and seperated from us by a common language etc. I'm looking forward to going back in November. I was also really pleased to see some old friends that made me think there's life in the old dog yet!
27 JUNE 2009
2009 Second Half Report
Things are shaping up for the rest of the year. It's an intercontinental affair with Killimanjaro Rocks looking like another incredible journey. Back to the USA for the first time in a while and up to Scotland for the Dramweaver tour. Not much else in the UK apart from the Rhythm Fest, the International Guitar Festival and Westival - all previously scouted and approved. Rochefort is calling again and a couple of TBC Italian dates complete the year's pilgrimages.
27 JUNE 2009
In the land of the midnight sun the new day dawns before yesterday is quite finished. It must be a wierd life with all this sun in the summer and just a few hours a day in the winter. It's all very..timestretch. Not only is it light all day and all night it's blinking hot too and I came off stage last night drenched and ready to sleep for a thousand nights. Only thing is there isn't one, so needless to say I ended up on the drums at the all nighter... It's been a cool tour in a wierd and wonderful country, not sure that brown cheese for breakfast is going to catch on in our house though.
10 MAY 2009
A Bridge Just Right
Hebden Bridge is bestowed the potential honour of hosting the end of tour last hurrah. To a failing flatulent fanfare the bedraggled no hit wonder limps into Hebden Bridge in the Guano covered, gas-fired poop mobile. The route is lined every step of the way with pavement. Crowds of people congregate at bus stops and the train station to leave town. The busy hubbub of expectancy is felt.. somewhere else. After a 3 minute power shave my gander is up up up and in a flash the gig is under way. Another sell out! It was a great night for me - a few old friends there and a rocking end to the tour. What a blast it's been, but I'm ready to get into the studio now and dream away for a month or two. Thanks for turning up you lot I hope I see you again sometime soon.. mwah.
9 MAY 2009
Well that's what it said on the posters. Another run of the mill fantastic night in the old courthouse, otherwise known as Babs' Place. This is another one of those Dandelion Trust places that I play from time to time. The trust is run by a coven of white witches who renovate tumbledown buildings and convert them into havens for the arts (amongst other good deeds). A noble cause methinks. With a bed upstairs I took advantage of the Bateman's on offer and spiralled less than majestically through some new tunes at one point, but mostly kept to the script. Cabin fever, extreme fatigue and the long and winding road are taking their toll but the tour is going to finish the last lap of the marathon in the stadium to a rousing hand from this generous crowd with only them for aid across the finish line.
8 MAY 2009
The Horn St. Albans
Sorry, but like trying to rhyme with 'orange' it's a well known fact that there is no obvious wordplay or innuendo surrounding the words, 'The Horn'.. My first time here and despite forgetting my special bag of essential ritualistic effects and accoutrements it was a good night and I'll definitely be going back. Lots of faces I recognised and some of the songs too. Rollin' up to Spilsby..
4 MAY 2009
Half Moon 2nd Half!
The whistle went and after a tantalising first half that left the tie in the balance, Harper swiftly moved forward and caught the Putney crowd by surprise. Second song in and it was a brand new move, possibly worked on in training, but never attempted in the live arena before. Goal! From then on an unstoppable tide of moves from the golden age of this nearly famous old side battered the Putney defence. Well known names that had played so well this season were left on the bench as a set-list of once forgotten veterans and inexperienced newcomers rammed home the advantage. It was a nerveless display and the Putney crowd showed great generosity in applauding the team from the field after over 2 hours of swashbuckling play. Confidence is high in the Harper camp and with the crucial last fixtures of the season coming up in St Albans, Splisby and Hebden Bridge maximum points are what the manager requires, but he now has a welcome dilemma in the selection of his squad...
3 MAY 2009
Half the Half Moon!
First night of two here and it was a good un - sold out!! it really does feel like home in that room - I've been playing there since I was in nappies and though it's unusual for a man in his twenties to wear nappies I can look back down my timeline to then and it's punctuated with lots of happy nights at the Halfmoon.I hope tonight will be no exception, but whatever it'll be interesting as I'm planning some different songs for tonight just in case anyone is crazy enough to spend the whole weekend in Harperspace. One more weekend for the tour after this and although I'm a bit knackered it's been one of the best. If you are reading this and you turned up at one of the shows..Thanks. x
1 MAY 2009
Cool new Poole roof!
After some serious roof ache (it fell down) Mr. Kyps is up and running again and I have to say for me this was one of the best of the tour. Voices (mostly in my head) were saying that by this point in the tour I'd be flagging badly, incoherent and gibbering. OK there was plenty of the last two, but NO flagging. Some great folks at this venue including Los Punteros who helped me along nicely. I just felt totally relaxed all night and let it all hang out. This is much, much better than working...
26 APR 2009
Tide in Notts!
The Maze in Nottingham turned out to be a beautiful way to end another cracking weekend awaybreak. After the Hogarth/Breugel/Bosch epic of the night before, the weekend ebbed and flowed out to sea on a raft of zen planks lashed to barrels of fun with chords that broke twice but didn't stop the serene progress of the makeshift craft all the way to 'Out of It' and beyond..
25 APR 2009
It looked like a Hieronymus Bosch painting from the stage. The field of the cloth of madness and medievel mayhem. Really it was only West Yorkshire types with no work in the morning. Bar 1:22 is a great gig run by live music nut Stevo and his merry band of japesters. We raged on for a few after the gig to great effect. Jaegermeister and a game of chess was the very rock n roll order of the day. Hopefully this one will be on the list for years to come..
24 APR 2009
Compliments to the Sheff!
Barwalk in Sheffield last night - sorry Boardwalk. Or was it Bardwork?? Hats off to the steelers who set up a great atmos and kept pace with the show and even forced me off the road at the end for an unscheduled Love is Music episode. There was the obligatory head through ceiling posing and Jaegermeister coup de grace to top it all off in fine style. I feel like Hudd tonight!
21 APR 2009
East Angle Triangle!
Norwich on Friday 17th - The Brickmakers is a new venue for me and desperate to make a good impression I accept the kind hospitality on offer and partake of a drink of beer. Some months later the night is over - ideal preparation for the Colchester gig..
Colchester is the Headgate Theatre on Saturday night. A totally different atmosphere from the night before and all the space and time to investigate the songs again..one or two of them ain't that bad.
Cambridge is always one to look forward to - some good mates there at the Junction and beyond. Great sound too and the Sunday night crowd take it easy with me. Spent the next morning walking round King's College trying to spot the future Director General of the BBC and placing bets on the first Japanese tourist to fall in the Cam from the lurching punts.
16 APR 2009
Easter Funday Monday!
Easter Monday is in the Duchess in York. This is my first time here as it's a new venue, but the people who have set it up are the beautiful folks who used to run Fibbers next door. They've planned it all very well with comfy sofas for some of the old bones in attendance and a few pews to keep some air of respect for the artistes. Obviously I lose that within seconds of walking on stage.. but somehow pull it out of the fire later that night. Cy and I repair to our hostelry totally knackered after an action packed weekend with memory banks full of good stuff. I shall miss my fellow 38er and the never-ending epic poem that is his life and anticipate the full horror of talking to just myself on the jaunt around East Anglia to come..
16 APR 2009
Easter Sunday is in the ABC in Glasgow. I muse on the pagan festival of rebirth and renewal which by an incredible coincedence is when JC is reborn or 'resurrected'. My opening gambit, "Jesus died for our sins, but changed his mind two days later" eventually leads to flashes of light and a deep 'n' heavy voice announcing the arrival of 'the Devil' (God's drill sargeant) after a 2 hour set. Not the vast hordes of Glasgow revellers as usual ( too much deep fried easter egg at lunch?!) but some great moments to remember. I thought the sound in that room (ABC2) was fantastico..
12 APR 2009
More Geordie japery at the Cluny, no sign of George, but a nicely full room of familiar faces and new recruits. A vociferous bunch who had me wandering around labyrinthine tangential alleys.. GigNav discarded in favour of scenic waypoints like 'Flying Dog' and the whole thing reminds me of cloudbase in Captain Scarlet - everything on a solid foundation planted firmly in the air..
11 APR 2009
Kowabunga it's sold out! Great venue - possibly the longest in the world at a quarter of a mile long. Thankfully the bar is not at the back of the building. The Ropewalk in Barton is an old ropery (they didn't make rope around corners in 1803 - that explains the shape) It was throbbing with humanity and hot and sticky at the one end - like an architectural sparkler that burned for a few hours.. Someone had an ambulance called after fainting.. Cy was great and set the night off in fine style.. Fox's nobs in abundance.. laughs aplenty..
7 APR 2009
Ex port City residue!
We export ourselves from the port city madness and the residue of the night before is shedded as we drift south to Chester. Altogether more civilised and we unwarp ourselves with a lunchtime pint of Thwaites. Chester is an ex port city that silted itself up and the flow is halted there for us too. The gig is an often pin-drop silent affair full of respect for the songs, which gives us all the room we need to explore the night. Poignancy and dynamic is acheived during the evening as opposed to the revs resting at the red line just a few hours before.. Thank gawd all the gigs and places and people are different.. it keeps you on your toes, keeps you guessing, keeps it vital, volatile. Vive la difference!
6 APR 2009
You can feel it driving in. Port city human melange. New York, London, Glasgow, Dublin, Marseille, Liverpool.... Possibilities, destination anywhere. Little electric shocks at the docks, automatic static, energised.
200 Van de Graaf generators shooting sparks in the Zanzibar as the set is abandoned in an almost terrifying inevitability. Karmageddon, Temple, Out of It, Love Is Music, Titties and Beer were the last few. David Gest and Freda Payne in attendance! Ian Mcnabb MC! It was all on a different level.
5 APR 2009
Rocking! Chair. Broken strings and offshoot thinking things lead to stories and guesswork from another new persona - Val Doomican. More laughter in the room than any tour I remember. Scousers and Mancs join in communal cackling and mock battling and I just got warmed up as the 2 hours plus was up.
Sparkling debut on the 1st team (remember there's no 'I' in team, but there is a 'me') from Cy Curnin my campaign manager. He started proceedings with a truck load of passion and the next few gigs are going to be a blast. If you're coming to any of the gigs, get there early and check him out.. Liverpool tonight.. Now then.......
1 APR 2009 ( The Lost Weekend 2- Exeter/Southampton/Brighton)
Oh My Gourd!
The Phoenix Arts in Exeter was nicely full thanks to lots of leg work by legendary local promoter Dim and his band of merry poets and phantom poster flingers, so the atmos was cooking. Much verbal and musical rambling ensued and the tangential heckling and essential cackling kept the whole thing careering about the place in a mariokart kind of way more than a drink driver going up the A30 against the traffic kind of way. We followed the gourd and the shoe all the way to after the afters and a curry. What a pleasant way to spend an evening.
Not many heads though. Numbers crunched and the low turnout meant for a, shall we say 'intimate' evening in Southampton. I like the room though and the sound and the staff. Yes it looks like the 'downturn' affected this one - well I'm not taking the blame am I?! Anyway I've been having such a good time on this tour and the crest of the wave I was riding on in Exeter came along the jurassic coast with me. Did it carry on to Brighton?
5 hours of acting the goat on stage in Brighton took it's toll and I was feeling fairly Jurassic myself by the end of festivities. The first 3 hours were great as I recall, but the last couple have vanished from the head bank. This normally means my dignity has made a withdrawal because I've commited some act of gross stupidity which filters back to me over time. I was honoured by the presence of 2 of the 38 in the audience but after the music it was a quick pasta supper with some old mates and an early night for me.
This week sees the arrival of another of the 38, a certain Mr Cy Curnin who will be accompanying me on the next 7 gigs. We've been working on a set of Peters & Lee songs that we found out we both were heavily inspired by and I'm really looking forward to trying to do their songs justice as part of my set.
London Date Added!
Due to unprecedented demands from me to the owners, another date has been added at the Half Moon Putney on Sunday May 3rd. Good news if you can't make the Saturday. If you're thinking of both nights I will change the set and my shirt (at least). Details...
31 MAR 2009 ( The Lost Weekend 1- Glasto/Porto/Bristo)
Roll me over Ley me down and do it again!
Vernal Equinox in Glastonbury was cosmic. For the next six months the days are longer than the nights - hurrah! A wander up the Tor in Spring sunshine and Winter wind on a hot tip in search of the grail or something. The only sacred vessel we found was a pint or 3 of the holy water after the descent. The Assembly Rooms is great for acoustical solo ambience and much fun was had by the small but beautiful crowd attending. The highlight for me has to be the 4 trainee goddesses who tag-teamed in pairs to dance in a strangely seductive Earth mother cum Tales of the Unexpected way. I spouted dream catchers and Alan Whicker-man observations. Rite on.
Lay me down in the Cellars!
March 21st was Mouth of Port. Playing at The Cellars I feel I haven't reached full maturity yet (do we ever?). I'm drinking well, but would probably repay keeping for a while yet so best to lay down. For some reason I can't remember much about the gig. Ah yes my old mate Tank was TM so I was, well, not sober. Sorry this paragraph is for completists only.
Layer Cake and eat it!
Been playing the Fleece in Bristol for a while now and it's good to know what your going to get when you turn up for 'work'. Happily numbers were up too this time and the atmosphere was mighty fine. So much so it led to playing stood on the bar and walking amongst the great washed. What they didn't know however was I had snuck some oysters and the first beer of the day away at a sushi bar over the road and was nicely primed. Some gigs the travel/sound check/costume changes take longer than you think and the only eats is a chippy and you find your diaphragm wrestling with a haddock for the first half hour of the gig. Not so here, I warbled with all the freedom of a pre-breaking of fast shower borne melody and the third layer of the first lost weekend cake was iced and cherried.
16 MAR 2009
Dreaming spires and Glee!
The Oxford gig is the O2 Academy. A proper big rig in a newly appointed room, where once stood the Zodiac in a previous life. The banter went back and forth and much jollity was had. The newly inaugurated Dry T-shirt competition was a great success with one lucky lucky winner waltzing away with a 'Plan 9' garment. Afterwards I met a delightful young Harperspace virgin of 90 who claimed to have had a fantastic night and that I have a wonderful, big heart. I told her it had a lot of room what with my liver having shrunk so much..
The Glee Club on Brumday night was a funny (haha) one. There were some Moldy Welshmen, a female Bez and the Brummie Horde. Obviously communication between these dispirate factions was hit and miss so I did the the entire gig in alternate Esperanto, nonsense verse and plain verbal junk.. with hilarious consequences. The staff there are fab, look after you really well and do a great job. They really spoilt me by bringing in a special woofer to look after my bottom end. (First bottom joke of the gig blog/swig grog/big blob)
Next up.. the vernal equinox in Glastonbury..
14 MAR 2009
Happy memories of the Musician in Leicester added to last night..and this morning. Reintroducing old habits like the wireless guitar which sounds great but also adds to the theatre a bit. Also 'Magic' with live looping went down really well as the final encore. The gig stretched out a bit, but i got a sense that the assembled were trying to get to the heart of the songs with me (probably deluded but we had a few drinks and quite a few laughs).. really enjoying this tour! I also did a Radio BBC Leicester show with Chris Baxter which was actually a successful waffle session. A straw poll in the crowd later proved the power of radio as over 1 person claimed to have come because of the show!
Just time this morning to watch the Leicester pubs turn red with Man Utd and Liverpool fans. I rumble down the M1 towards Oxford as Man Utd probably rumble towards another title, but all the glory for LFC today..
9 MAR 2009
Yes indeed a night at Marr's Bar aka 'the Big M' or The Emster's Place. I've always enjoyed playing here - there was beer, there was very loud music on stage right where I was stood and I rafted down the white water of the Mind River looking for the source. Earlier upstairs I'd met a young cat with the most dilated pupils I've ever seen (on that sort of cat), I'm not sure what was going on in her bowl man, but she tried to take a bite out of me while I was there. I think she may be the star of the new Cat Smash 'Being Feline'. Anyway the gig was a Sunday night whimsy with the moon waxing gibbous and I drifted towards vague lunacy at points.. Call me old fashioned, but I do like a bit of source.
8 MAR 2009
Wait there! There's a March Hare in my Soap!
There's this bloke who runs a sporadic nomadic gig in Hereford called the Wild Hare Club. He used to work with this woman at Greenpeace. She lives with this bloke who plays guitar.The bloke who plays guitar did a gig at the Wild Hare Club in Hereford. The bloke who plays guitar's dad used to live in Hereford and a woman who came to the gig owns the lawnmower that used to belong to the dad of the bloke who plays guitar. The bloke who plays guitar's dad also plays the guitar. He lives in Ireland now, but he bought his house in Ireland from a friend of the bloke who runs the gig called the Wild Hare Club in Hereford. The previous owner of the house in Ireland also came to the gig that the bloke did in Hereford who is the son of the bloke who also plays guitar who sold his lawnmower and moved to Ireland. Confused? You will be in the next edition of.. Dope. (apart from all that it was a great gig.. [for the bloke who plays guitar]).
7 MAR 2009
The Ironworks in Oswestry is a moody room with a great atmosphere. A small but perfectly formed mob assembled for the night - ages 9 to 99 as usual, but mental age much closer to the former (as usual). Particularly the geezer on stage who was possibly the youngest of all.. It turned into a game of 3D hopscotch played in my head with stones appearing at random and requiring sudden jumps and shifts of focus. Quite demanding for the listener, but loads of fun I think. Well I hope they were laughing with me.. I suppose this is how it is when your brain can't quite produce the amount of brain cells it uses and happens on half-forgotten information as it reroutes. A bit like passing a skip on the mental roadside.. "Hmmm I'm sure I can get this Baby Belling working.." By the end of the tour I may have to rely on auto pilot and telepathy alone! The songs were fine by the way and I'm enjoying the guitar at the moment.
2 MAR 2009
Base camp established!
After exploratory operations in North Wiltshire the night before, base camp is established and the tour is stoked up in Basingstoke. It is from here we will make our attempts at the summit of the tour and looking back will view the humble beginnings in the lowlands of Hampshire fondly and perhaps even a watery eye will be cast down at the raw, unmapped lands of a new found set list given life by the denizens of Lychpit,Winklebury and Dummer. Boringstoke it wasn't.
Sunday night was Totton, Very Hampshire. A great sound in a good room/barny thing. New songs added but nothing taken away - all the goodness of previous gigs - the same calorific content and yet bigger helpings without being too stodgy. Heston Blumenthal would have been proud (there was no food poisoning though). Everyone apart from Mr. Berty Clever Trousers on stage was in total darkness which was sort of liberating (I couldn't see the usual hand gestures and mouthed expletives). So I played with the set a bit and sparked off the dark with a bit of help from the Marston's Pedigree...
28 FEB 2009
Tour kicks off in Swindon!
Probably not the only thing to kick off in Swine town last night but tucked away in old town was the first gig of the 38 tour proper and it was a good un. The Vic hosted some wierd and wonderful Wiltshire types and a few friendly faces from further afield.. I was a bit 'out there' which helped with the banter and set list - a few surprises for all of us! It's a good atmosphere in that room and It's great to be able to relax totally and make it up as we go - no slick pre-planned show just a night out and a laugh or two. Roll on the rest of the gigs if this is a pointer..
12 FEB 2009
Newsletter sent out!
After a long while a newsletter has been sent
out. It contains a personal message from Nick and exclusive
news and shop discounts to subscribers. If you did not receive
the newsletter it may be because you have changed your email
address or have a spam filter that has blocked delivery. You
may want to update your email on the list
here.. or check your junk folder or webmail
We will check back before the Spring Tour starts
and email the newsletter to any new subscribers from now.
10 FEB 2009
Nick spotted in studio!
Confirmed reports of Nick Harper seen working
in a Wiltshire studio this week are resonating through Harperspace.
As yet it is unsure whether he is recording for a CD release
later in the year, or breaking with tradition and rehearsing
for his upcoming UK tour.
19 NOV 2008
Buy London tickets now!
Two great reasons to buy tickets for the London
gig in advance at the Half Moon in Putney. First of all this
date is very likely to sell out well in advance so if you
want to make sure you're there.. make sure you're there. Also
the sooner it does sell out the more chance there will be
of putting another London date in for the spring dates that
are being booked right now..Tickets
5 SEP 2008
Everest Rocks DVD available
The incredible story of the trek to the highest
concert on earth is being screened for the first time this
weekend in the US - SUNDAY, SEPT 7, 10:00PM EST
PALLADIA (MTV's High Def Channel formerly known as MHD).
Also the DVD is available from Love Hope Strength.
If the podcasts on the official site are anything to go by
this should be a great story with colourful characters, spectacular
scenery and of course the very best in acoustic music - all
in aid of helping people in their our of need - what are you
waiting for?? Get it
25 APRIL 2008
New Dates Announced!
Lots of lovely festivals and other juicy dates on the
tour page including a return to the Royal
Albert Hall in September supporting the Levellers.
I first 'performed' there singing 'Our House' by Crosby,Stills,Nash
and Young' sat on my dad's knee in 1973. 35 years (!) later
and I'll be singing my own songs there just as I vowed I would
one day to anyone who would listen at Pewsey Vale School in
This is all possible of course due to the Levs,
who despite trying to polish me off slowly with various poisoning
incidents, are great champions of my music. Having friends
in high places can be great, but it's friends in low places
that really count.
There are a few other gems to look forward to,
but the highlight has to be the trek in Peru to the legendary
spiritual home of the Incas for a gig in Machu Picchu. This
is in aid of the Love
Hope Strength foundation - the cancer charity
I did the world record highest gig on earth with above Mt.
Everest base camp last year.
The dates will be added to as we go along - I'm
hoping to do something in the USA this year - but all the
confirmed dates are
Incredibly I've waffled on enough for the past
to be chronicled here:
of the lost ARCHIVE 2007>>
of the lost ARCHIVE 2006>>
the lost ARCHIVE 2005>>
of the lost ARCHIVE 2004 >>
the lost ARCHIVE 2003 >>