Songs of Praise, Sadie and the Hotheads, Hacker T. Dog, Goldfrapp and a three day round trip.

The guitar teacher of the Ten Week Worship Leader guitar courses has been hard at work racing about the UK. Seven hundred miles in three days. Friday, to Newcastle, picked up the bass player, the very fine Carl Stanbridge, en route. Somewhere up North the M1 was closed so we had to detour across country to the A1. Made it up to Newcastle for an evening rehearsal with a fine band comprising Craig McCleish (MD and keys), Nicky Brown (keys), Carl (bass), Phil Crabbe (drums). We were being the house band at a CBBC live event in Gateshead, under the shadow of The Sage, where I’d played recently with a band called Sadie and the Hotheads on the Mike and the Mechanics tour.

We spent the day on Saturday setting up, rehearsing and hanging around (as musicians do) waiting for our turn. We were the house band accompanying Jermain Jackman (winner of The Voice), David Grant, and the fabulous gospel choir of the year Birmingham Town Hall Gospel Choir.

Highlight of the weekend? For those that watch CBBC I got to meet the hilarious Hacker T. Dog!

Hacker T. Dog and me Hacker T. Dog and me

After filming I headed on down the road via Sheffield, Birmingham, and down the M5 to Cheltenham Spa, arriving well after midnight. Sunday morning rehearsed for a Sadie and the Hotheads afternoon gig at the Wychwood Festival. The line up was Elizabeth McGovern (aka Downton Abbey’s Lady Cora), vocals and acoustic guitar; Danica Chapman, vocals; Simon Nelson, electric guitar/vocals; Nick Lacey, keys/vocals and penny whistle, Ron Knights, bass, and Rowan Oliver, drums. The fine, eccentric and lovely Rowan – he who was known to wear a deer’s head when playing with the band Goldfrapp.

Festivals always pass in a bit of a blur – no real sound-check, foist onto a chilled out Sunday afternoon crowd. It went okay. And so back on the motorway, and off to London after a packed three day round trip.