jackie oates

Pre-tour preparations

27 September, 2011 | Posted in: journal

It’s now two days before my tour properly begins and I am in my house in Oxford having a break from further unpacking.  It’s three weeks since I moved from Devon and I’m amazed at how long the process of moving in takes.  But I think I’m only a lampshade and
bookshelf away from completing.

I’ve just come to the end of a stint of radio interviews which have taken me all over the country.  I began with a lovely interview with Judy Spiers in Exeter for Radio Devon just before the big move.  Then two days into moving house, I went up to Delph near Oldham to chat to Mike Harding and to drop in on my friends Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow who are in the midst of recording their second album.  Then last week I drove down to Bristol to talk to Keith Warmington after a visit to my favourite cafe ‘Lounge’ in Bedminster with my brother.  On Wednesday the band visited the BBC Maida Vale studios in London to play three tracks for Mary Ann Kennedy’s ‘World On 3′ show, broadcast on Sept 30th.  Then on Sunday I drove to Shrewsbury via my parent’s house near Cannock
Chase for a session at BBC Radio Shropshire for Genevieve Tudor for her long standing programme ‘Sunday Folk’.

Yesterday marked the final pinnacle interview when Mike Cosgrave and I went to Broadcasting House in London for a live session on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour with Jane Garvey.  What an experience it was.  Mike and I met at midnight in a Travelodge on the way into London, got up at the crack of dawn to sound check and then wait nervously in the Green Room with the other, hilarious interviewees.  My level of nervousness was akin to playing my violin for the first time when I was 8 in the Beginner Strings class at Stafford Music Service’s ‘Festival Day of Solos’.

In between all of this, the band and I have also been busy doing final rehearsals for the forthcoming tour.  We held a secret, practice gig in the village of Spreyton in Devon last Monday to try out the new material in its entirety; in particular, the ‘activity table’ holding the plastic hand bells and glockenspiel.  The gig began with a magical set from songwriter Dave Wood and hand bell ringing from the Henrywood Family, followed by our new album set and a comedy raffle.

It was a great evening, and really nice to see lots of old friends from the Devon folk community.  The tour starts on Thursday!


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