Bad News & Good Wishes

I hardly need mention the extraordinary times in which we find ourselves. All I can say is that I sincerely hope you are able to steer a path through it all and emerge in one piece once it's passed. This will be 'easier' for some than for others, and between us, we must ensure that none is left behind. As much as this is our responsibility to one another, it is also any government's responsibility to its people, and seemingly, only as things continue to unfold will we see how well our own rises to this challenge. I trust if you need particular help to get through this that you will be able to access it.

As some of you will either already be aware or will otherwise have guessed, as of now, virtually all my upcoming gigs, including this year's Scotland Tour, have been postponed indefinitely or cancelled. I'm so sorry that I won't get to see you at a gig any time in the foreseeable future! I can tell you that I am booked to play a covers gig at The Tubwell Tap on 18th April in Darlington. Because of the nature of this venue, it has been mutually agreed that there is no harm in leaving the booking in place until nearer the time and assessing the situation then. It is, of course, entirely possible that this event will also fall by the wayside but for the time being at least, it stands.

Beyond that, I have a house gig in South Shields on 9th July which will be also be appraised over the coming weeks. And then, that's it until the end of August. Possibly later.

A very strange feeling indeed. Many artists will be performing gigs online during this time and this is something I'm continuing to consider, although I have one or two misgivings about going that route myself. Those concerns will either be overcome and I'll announce something, or else I'll maybe share them with you in due course. Either way, they're my own issues and in no way should be interpreted as a comment on the concept in general or on any artists employment of it. PLEASE, if you can support anyone in this endeavour whose music you enjoy, do so. As for many others, these are going to be very tough times for grassroots artists and I'd be lying if I said that this wasn't the primary reason for why I've not yet dismissed the idea myself.

I do intend to be putting a lot more 'out there' though in terms of video content etc. over the coming weeks and months. Some of this will appear on YouTube and regular social media so do pleasae keep up to date with everything on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But a great way of accessing some EXCLUSIVE material and more will be via my new Patreon Page, of which some of you will be aware. 

Patreon offers a platform for artists to release exclusive content and much more for which, traditionally, there are 3 available tiers to which patrons may subscribe. Each tier allows increasing degrees of access to content and/or benefits. The tiers on my page are set at £3, £5 and £10 per month and the benefits of each are, of course, listed on the page. With no obligation at all, please head to My Page and take a look... I'd really appreciate it. And if you feel able to become a patron too then I'd be giddy with gratitude! Such support at times such as these is a very real help and the hope is that, in return for such kindness, the benefits of becoming a patron will be enjoyed by your good selves. As I said, it's very much in its infancy at the moment but once dealing with the immediate fallout of the last few days is taken care of, I'm looking to be getting increasingly involved over there. I hope some of you can join me and my thanks go out to those of you who have already.

I have also slashed the prices of CDs here on the website. If your collection is missing anything - perhaps 2019's live album 'Alone In The Dark' - then there has genuinely never been a better time to invest in a copy. Or maybe one for a friend who's self-isolating. Or someone you don't like but who you know hates this kind of stuff.... I don't know! The fact is, the reductions are considerable and you can find out more at my Shop.

I can't pretend that I'm not feeling deeply saddened by the necessary steps taken over the last week or so which have resulted in the loss of so much work. But at the same time, I know that I'm far from alone: whether other artists; promoters; agents; venues; suppliers; tech... the impact is huge and far reaching, and that's just in this line of work. I don't doubt that many of you in your own respective fields are feeling this, along with the inevitable impact which that has on the rest of life. What can I say? Not nearly as much as I wish I could. Look after yourself. Look after those around you, and those you're able to help in any small way to make it through. This feels like the hardest thing we've faced in my lifetime, and that's without reference to many other challenges we currently face. I don't know how this plays out. Who does?

One thing I'm hopeful of though: when we do come out the other end of this - as we surely shall - that we have a fresh perspective on our priorities and our way of life. Not that this is particularly our fault or a punishment that we had coming, but that it may force us to reappraise things we otherwise never have the opportunity to even consider might be done differently. I know that in my own life, big changes have come about as a result of circumstances forcing me to see things from a different perspective to which I would not ordinarily have access. Who knows if things will be better or worse following this collective experience, but my feeling is that they won't be quite the same. I for one think they shouldn't be. And we can, and should, have a say in the nature of those changes!

First of all though, let's get through it. 

Thanks for everything. Thanks for the support in all its forms. Now... go wash your hands!

Steve xx

Posted by Steve on March 18th 2020

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