Back in Manc

Alright people! Enough with the demand for updates on my life! Cheez…

With that piercing display of sarcasm – as no one has really asked – I’m going to tell you anyway;

So, after the gut wrenching, soul-destroying disappointment at the beginning of the year I finally dusted myself off and got back up again (it only took 3 months). And when I say back up, I mean back up to Manchester and returned to my old job courtesy of my very nice boss. (Incidentally, get all your photos printed here.) So my lovely coupled-up Friends James & Nicola, Josh & Victoria and James & Toby all put me up for the month of May while I got back on my feet, i.e. A Flat. My flat is now at least above ground which is an improvement on the last and it is cheaper. It is also in trendy West Didsbury where wannabe footballers and wannabe WAGs go to get drunk, fornicate and fight but luckily they do it quietly and my road is very leafy and green. So that’s a step up.

In addition to this, I got a letter from one of my musical Heroes, Ed Harcourt. And here it is;

Let me just reiterate that. A popular, touring musician who has been in the charts and been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in the past who was signed to EMI, sent little old me a personal letter. What. a. fucking. Legend! He’s done it before too. I sent him the one and only fan letter I have ever sent and the guy replied then too. So that cheered me up. Then it turned out he was playing the Deaf Institute in the city later that month as he is promoting his new album ‘Lustre’ (which I trust you all have bought already and, if not, are opening a new window to order it off as you read) so I got me some tickets and off I went. I stuck around after the show and sure enough he appeared to sign a few things and chat. I waited till last as I had nothing to sign and had a personal signature anyway and went up to thank him for his kind words and taking the trouble to write in what must be a busy schedule. “Leo!” He shouted. “How’s it all going now? Picking up?” We had a brief chat where I thanked him and told him what an impact his albums had made on me and hoped it didn’t sound stupid to thank him for that and hoped he would continue to make music. To which his response was to give me a big hug and a handshake. What a lovely fella. If nothing else buy his albums ’cause he is just that nice.

Then there was the DEBACLE of an election where I went to an election night party and played the constituency Drinking game but because I don’t drink it was the ‘strip’ constituency game. For anyone expecting a long rant on our current political landscape, it’s coming. I am storing that particular vat of bile for its own post. In short I, like pretty much the whole country, am not happy with the result and am merely waiting for Stormtroopers to come goose-stepping down the high street any day now. Vive le Resistance!

Beyond that I’ve done a few open mic nights and jam nights to get my face back in the frame, which backfired somewhat when the guys from Matt&Phreds took my number and gave me a call for a paid gig which I had to turn down because I don’t have my piano with me and (thanks to my own idiocy and hubris) no longer own a drum kit. Woe. I did a few ‘Jams’ with a friend in his garden on some balmy summer evenings with a Mandolin player, tuba player, saxophonist, Accordion player and me playing upside down acoustic guitar. It was Klezmer-tastic. I have also absorbed the high culture of Manchester (It does exist!) by attending various exhibits including Dorothy Bohm and Goya, as well as the MOSI which is AWESOME!

I also had a lovely afternoon out the other week with Josh and Vic to Tatton Hall which looks like a set from a period film and it has a petting zoo too which was the best thing in my life so far as it had a Chuck. Which is a Chicken/Duck cross, and looks so freakin’ cool I could have stared at it for an hour. There were also, Goats, Donkeys, Cows and most importantly PIGS! And as we all know Pigs shall inherit the earth one day because they are friggin’ sweet and George Orwell said so.

There was also the small matter of me taking photos for that band in the charts, Lucky Soul, while they did their BBC Radio 2 appearance on the Marconie and Radcliffe show. It was great to catch up with Rusky and take some photos of people I’m not related to for a change. The photos were also featured on the BBC website.

It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses. I have had a nightmarish time at work of late, getting a phone line and broadband was a truly hellish experience and, as before, coming back to the empty flat can be depressing and lonely. Living alone does have its advantages as well but I do miss the company.

Aside from all that I’ve been out clubbing (yes, clubbing), to parties, many more gigs and generally acting the Wanton Man of Leisure, so I’ve been far to busy to get depressed really and, in an effort to mollycoddle, I have received some truly wonderful support, understanding and tolerance of my whiny bullshit from my friends up here too. James & Nic were especially kind insisting I stay at theirs longer than planned and generally keeping me on and even keel. Because they are lovely. But Josh & Vic (who got me up here the first time round) have also cooked me many a meal and put me up, again. The lovely couple that are James and Toby have also kept me occupied by dragging me to various club nights and house parties. In short, while everything may have gone tits-up this year I have gained many more things like good friends and other poncey, wet things like that and I love you all a big, huggy bunch. Etc.

So that’s about all the news that’s fit to print. If I’ve missed anything out you already know what it is otherwise you wouldn’t know it was missing. Anyway, it is my birthday at the beginning of next month with which clangorous knell, signals a year since all the shit started and me turning 26. Obviously. I have a few things in the pipeline I will update you all on soon enough but in the meantime, keep it real y’all and send you MP a letter telling him you do not recognise his authority as he wasn’t technically elected then stop paying council tax. Dare you.

Laters yo.


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