Featherstone’s Rich and Impressive History of Fighting Back
My response to the Brexit Party circus that rolled into Featherstone under false pretences.
Upon Yon Hill The Game Will Commence
When I wrote It’s The Beer Talking, I wanted to include a section about pubs and folklore. There was no contest in my mind about what particular folklore I should write about. ‘The Haxey Hood Game’ stands head and shoulders for me above anything I’ve ever seen to do with pubs.
It’s The Beer Talking
I had the most delightful book launch at The Junction pub in Castleford last Thursday night. It was a joy for me to see a lot of my friends enjoying themselves. Here’s a few photos from the night and info on where you can get the book.
What’s The Beer Book About?
I’m not always sure what to say when people ask me what my books are about. Here’s a few thoughts on the gang of stories in my new beer book It’s The Beer Talking. It’s illustrated with a picture of me singing with Martin Oxley, who blows through the book like a hurricane.
Terry Cryer Eulogy
Terry Cryer was one of the greatest photographers of the twentieth century. His pictures of jazz musicians from the 1950s are regarded as masterpieces. He died aged 82 on 15th January 2017 and was buried in the Yorkshire dales on Friday 27th January. I worked with Terry on his memoir One in the Eye and was honoured to be asked by his daughters to write the eulogy and act as a pall bearer.
Some further thoughts in thanks and appreciation for all the support I have received since my blog about my departure from the Express.
My Express Column
Anybody who has read my penultimate column in the Pontefract and Castleford Express, might be led to believe that I’m leaving the paper of my own accord. I’m not! I’ve been pushed out, because they don’t want to pay me anymore. Anybody who writes a piece for the paper in future, on a freelance basis, will be expected to do it free of charge. I refuse to do my piece for free. I make my living from writing, it’s my job, I don’t know anybody who is simple enough to do their job without a wage. Just to be clear, I would love to continue writing for the paper, but I can’t do it if they won’t pay me.
The Feast of St Cyril
An extract from Right Up Your Street. Ian will be raising a glass to St Cyril on 14th February. Cyril, a 9th century philosopher who shares a feast day with Valentine, was a great believer in vernacular language; he made it his mission to help people to learn in their own tongue and translated the bible into the Slavic language of Moravia. Right Up Your Street is released on St Cyril’s day in honour of this lesser known saint.
A Sloe Christmas: Right Up Your Street
An extract from Right Up Your Street: the great Boxing Day tradition of decanting homemade sloe gin and then supping it as a chaser with a pint of beer among friends.
Gallery – China, 2015
I was invited back to China to work at the university in Changchun this summer. I was there for two months. As well as the work, I also got a bit of time to travel around. Here are a few photos.
A feature in the Hungarian music magazine, Recorder, lists ‘Ten books to make you fall in love with music again’. Bringing It All Back Home is in good company, tenth on the list but described thus: ‘The last one is the best one.’ Why, köszönöm szépen.
Eddie playing at the 9th Concert For Billie, Friday 27 March. Thank you to one and all of our friends who helped to make the concert a special one. We raised the magnificent sum of £1021.76 to buy next year’s instruments. I have a feeling next year is going to be a spectacular, so we’ll see you all there.
As the nation commemorates Winston Churchill’s funeral 50 years on, here’s my memory of that day. An extract from Song For My Father.
Profile piece by Joanna Moorhead in the Guardian.The photograph of me and my dog John was taken in the worst downpour we’ve had round here for a long time. John wasn’t best pleased.
Playing a few songs and talking with Martin Kelner at BBC Radio Leeds on his One On One radio show, Leeds’ answer to Desert Island Discs (47:17)
Heather and me were up to Whitby at the weekend for Musicport festival, which is always full of sunshine in October. Bryan Ledgard kindly sent me these photos.
I had a good afternoon’s natter at my kitchen table with Chris Bond of the Yorkshire Post for this feature.