February 4th, 2012
March 9th, 2012
Some of my favourite gigs are listed below...
Shrewsbury Folk Festival - August 26th to the 28th, 2011
I'd wanted to play Shrewsbury Folk Festival for years. It was my everest, and I got booked! There were four of us in the band. Myself, Rowena Gee on Guitar and Vocals, Ben Clayton on Cajon, and our new friend Pip Jopling on Fiddle.
6 Gigs, 3 Workshops! Here's how it went down...
Shrewsbury Day 1 - Friday August 26th
We rocked up in the morning and registered. I got my "Artist's" Wristband, which I totally wore for like a week after the whole thing was done. Little had I arrived and donned my artist's hat when a man strode towards me. "Shropshire Star", he said, "you look like an artist. Can I get your photo? Well, I gathered as much of the band as possible (especially Ben in his Waterfront T-Shirt) and we posed. He was done in seconds. Later I discovered that my flies had been undone. Rats.
Four hours later... behold...
We rehearsed a bit out in the grounds, and later found that we'd been filmed for BBC Midlands and had been on the news for like 10 seconds. I never saw it (alas, alas), but I just hope we were playing in tune. It was a *rehearsal* after all! The big gig of the day was a spot in the Bird in Hand pub. Initially we wondered if we'd be playing to anyone at all, but soon the place packed out and the show went really well.
Shrewsbury Day 2 - Saturday August 27th
First order of the day was a Songwriting and Arranging workshop. We got everyone to arrange a traditional song (recorded by my Great, Great, Great Grandfather Joseph Taylor in 1908) called "The Gypsy Girl". We had maybe 50 people there, and got them into small groups to arrange it. At the beginning I foolishly said "well, OBVIOUSLY it's a bit ambitious for you to get your INSTRUMENTS out and arrange it!"... which is exactly what they did. And really well. Here's one of them...
Next up, a gig on the outside Village Stage where we battled rain, wind, failing power generators, flaky sound boards, and the booming bass coming from Jim Moray the next field over. Unsuprisingly with the heavens opening and the sound cracking, we were somewhat sparsely attended at the beginning of the show...
(It filled up later!) After this, we did what was possibly our favourite gig of the whole tour. We played the "Picnic Table" stage. Roots records had asked us to play outside their tent to try and drum up sales, so after 5pm when the main tent emptied we stood on the table and rocked out. We had a huge crowd (maybe 70 at its peak), and we sold many CD's. So many, in fact, that we bloody well ran out!
And then when all was done, a final show in the Bird in Hand pub again. We were, as Pip said, "well up for it", and rocked hard. Lots of fun!
Shrewsbury Day 3 - Sunday August 28th
The day kicked off with a DADGAD Guitar Workshop. We must have had a good 70 people there. We got lots of good comments afterwards, which is good, since with such a large group the toughest thing was to make sure everyone got something out of it. The hardest part was politely telling people to "can the twang" when we were trying to talk. Still, it seemed to go well.
We had to go straight from there to our BIG marquee gig. The toughest part for me was not having had any lunch. We also had to balance our monitors on the fly, which was pretty tricky. Still, this was sort of what I came for. 450 people. One big tent. One epic sound system. When the moment came, I was so focused on getting it done, that I really didn't get a chance to reflect on where I was and what I was about to do. The time went so quickly!
After this we were pretty much free to do as we wanted for the day. We hung out a lot in the Artist's tent. It was a place with big comfy cushions, tea, curry after 6pm, and newspapers that we could chill out in. We were so "GO GO GO!" that this was a real godsend.
Shrewsbury Day 4 - Monday August 29th
Last day! It was all hands on deck for the "Folk Song Workshop", or as we called it "EMBRACE THE CHAOS!" A room full of musicians of all levels and types. Our goal - play "Your Father's Son" as a ~50 piece band! We split them up into percussion, guitarists, singers, and... well.. "other". We had 45 mins to work on our parts separately, and then we put it all together. Everyone totally rose to the challenge, and below is a video of the result....
Then we had just one final show on the Village stage to play. I think this was when we were the most relaxed, and had a great show. So. Yeah. Wow. I played Shrewsbury. I played it in rain, I played it in sun. I played on a picnic table. I played in a 500 seat Marquee. We probably played to close to a thousand people, all told.
Here's just a few of the lovely things people wrote about us on their feedback forms.
Washington Folk Festival - Saturday, June 7th, 2011
It's been an utterly crazy couple of weeks, and I'm currently mid-tour. I thought I should write something now because I am going on travel soon after! The biggest thing so far was our exciting gig at the Washington Folk Festival! We totally rocked it out! The marquee was packed, the crowd were clapping and singing along, and our energy levels were about as high as they ever get! We were really happy to perform as a 3-piece, myself, Rowena Gee, and my friend Andrew Marcus who ably joined us on Piano Accordian. We hung out for the rest of the festival, and I got to play with my Ceilidh Band "Frog Hammer".
Washington Folk Festival - June 6th, 2010
We had an utterly epic time playing the Washington Folk Festival. It was a balmy day, as in boiling 90+ temperatures and high humidity. The thing that made Washington Folk Festival so epic was that it is an entirly Voluntier run organisation. Yet, everything was so proffesional, from the artists, to the sound engineers, to the stage management, to the catering. We played three songs, sharing a stage with some other stunning local musicans. Rowena flew over from Britain so she could join us, and we were joined by Donna Smith on fiddle. We played three rocking tunes, a new song called "Stars in the Sky" and our old favourite, Shifting Sands. It was definitely the highlight of our mini "tour". See the photos below for more.
Indian Neck Folk Festival - Saturday, May 7th, 2010
I just returned from an epic weekend at the Indian Neck Folk Festival in Conneticut. The term "Festival" turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, since it is invitation only (due to very limited numbers), everyone pays, and everyone plays. In any other circle, it'd be called a Conference. The weekend is a big session from start to finish. I dropped my bags in my room, and headed straight out and into my first jam session. I was up playing until it was light on both Friday and Saturday nights with British Ex-Pat John Roberts with whom I also was bunking.
Saturday night was the evening of the big concert, with everyone getting to play exactly *one* song. I set myself a challenge that I would write a song in the 30 minutes that I had before my slot. As you can imagine, it was a bit of a push to get it finished, but god-willing I had it ready. In the end I chickened out and played Shifting Sands instead, mainly because I didn't have time to write out all the words! The rest of the evening was spent with about ten to twenty others boisterously singing Sacred Harp shape-note songs.
If you were there and have any photos and/or recordings from the weekend, please do drop me a line!
Sheffield Folk Festival - 1st November 2008
My friend Rowena Gee and I played up in Sheffield as part of the Sheffield Folk Festival. We did two gigs (afternoon and evening) and were up late into the night with an open session! It was an utterly cracking day, and we met some great musicians, notably Fidola and the Workshy Profits, both of which we ended up having impromtu sessions with!
Big Session Festival :: June 2008
Oysterband was kind enough to give me a slot on the HUGE Marquee stage at the Big Session Festival in DMH, Leicester. My mate Rowena Gee and I played a forty minute set of my folk-rock material, infront of an ever increasing crowd, that topped out at 350! Quite an incredible experience!See Photos Here
Hackers Conference, CA - 8th November 2008
My Godfather, Kirk McKusick and I lectured about folk songs at a technology conference. We hope to post videos at some point in the unspecified future. For now, here are a couple of recordings from our gig last year. Both are audio with appropriate slides.
1.) Waltzing Matilda - Explained :: The story of Australia's most famous Folk Song
2.) Old Halls Creek :: A song that Kirk and I wrote when we were travelling around Western Australia, whilst staying in a ghosttown called (unsuprisingly) Old Halls Creek.
BBC Sky at Night :: December 2007
I was on the Sky at Night for a second or two, firing rockets at MSSL's 40th Birthday Party. I also got to meet Patrick Moore, who was a very cool guy.
National Space Centre :: 27th October 2007
I went up to the National Space Centre in Leicester to be interviewed in their new "new space" gallery. I didn't find out until after I'd signed up to do it that they had decided to call it "An audience with Glyn Collinson", and put a huge picture of me up for about half an hour before the gig, both of which were very disconcerting. I was up on stage for about twenty minutes, after which a 10 year year old girl came up to me, and (clutching her mother's hand), said "when I grow up I want to be a scientist".
It was all worth it, just to hear that.
BBC London :: 11th October 2007
Watch the video
I got interviewed for BBC London News, which was a truly terrifying experience. I believe that I am officially now the only person ever to call Jupiter's moon of Europa "sexy" on prime time TV. My friends assure me that if I actually moved to Europa, I might actually live that one down someday. I was half expecting a BBC outside broadcast van, with camera man, sound man with a big hamster on a stick, makeup girl, lighting bloke, etc. In the end because of budget cuts to the BBC, it turned out that there was only one bloke, the news reporter, who had to do the job of all three. In the end, I don't think that I came off too badly. See for yourself and let me know what you think. Now that I am a famous TV star, of course, I am now fighting off armies of women with a stick.
"You might call Glyn the future". If I am the future, we are all in very, very big trouble.
Pond Life - One Night Only :: 13th March 2007
Listen to a live recording of this gig! (Thanks to Rob Eggington!)
My old Bristol Uni band were invited back by Livesoc to play one last time. We really pulled out all the stops, including four new songs, constume changes, and, of course, Free Brocolli. Our friend Ian Hallam stepped up with his violin to play with us for the last three songs. In our final song, the audience gaped when the entire front two rows stood up and sang the chorus in four part harmony (thanks to Ian's arrangement).
Some of my Favourite gigs from my Uni Years...
The Big Climax :: July 2005
A party that I threw in the University of Bristol Student's Union to celebrate the end of uni, the end of exams and my 24th birthday. I booked out a bar, got a late licence, and invited all my extroverted friends up to play.
On stage with "The Paperboys" :: 17th April 2004
went down to Southampton to see The Paperboys
live in concert, and was having a grand old time, so I decided to request a
song. Not only did they play it, but half way through I was invited onto the
stage to help them finish it! I'd had a few beers and had been singing
loudly over the P.A. all evening so I probably sounded terrible, but I can think
of nothing cooler in the entire world than getting to sing lead vocals for one
of your favorite bands!
Xmas 'Redneck' Session :: December 2003Whilst traveling around the East Coast of the USA, I stayed at a god brother's house in the middle of Pennsylvania. He and his wife (who aren't rednecks) threw a big party for their friends and neighbours (who are), and one of the party goers was local guitarist Joe Bogwist, who brought two guitars with him. The amazing thing is that he has been blind from birth, yet plays professionally! For the next two hours we strummed and sang (whilst everyone else at the party endured!)