Great to be out playing to real people again. Lovely gig at The Crown with Kites Collective last Thursday evening. It was live streamed and the video is still available, I gather, on the Stony Live facebook page or group page (I've not located it myself but Tim, the bassist, has!)
Just letting you good virtual folks out there that I've put a new song up on Soundcloud - please take a listen when you've got 4 minutes and 42 seconds to kill! Keep Well. https://soundcloud.com/phil-riley51/call-me-cain
I've never done anything with three tracks recorded in 2017. Four wonderful musicians helped - Roger Wilson on Violin, Dave Anderson on Congas, Kate Easton on Vocals and Neil Segrott on Bass. So I've finally 'released' them as an online EP. I hope you will take a listen - if only for their sakes!!
I've just posted a one-man-band number on Soundcloud - a little song for Autumn time. Please take a listen.
Neil Mercer and I first played together in the late 60's early 70s - the last line up we were in was called Kites. That was when I was signed up to Pete Townsend's publishing company and we even got a doomed single out on Polydor. It all lost impetus somehow but we met up again ten years or so ago and got back together.
We've recently re-adopted the 'Kites' name (as 'Phil Riley and Neil Mercer" , whilst accurate, lacks a little bit of punch as a band name!) - we also enjoy playing (and until Covid - gigging!) with three others fine performers on a semi regular basis in various combinations and so the idea is that when we play with them we call it 'Kites Collective' to differentiate it from the more folky and originals based duo.
Neil thought it would be an idea to get a 'Kites Collective' Youtube channel kicked off to feature any and all of us - and created it a week or so ago. 'Blues Run The Game' is one of the early postings Neil has put together. Ian Spratley has just posted a great story-photo-collage of his and Neil's version of 'You Don't Love Me Anymore' Please take a look/listen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BPtCsEgLRo
In these strange times I've been trying to learn how to record at home rather than do nothing at all. For better or worse I've got one or two recordings I shall be unleashing on the world shortly. Just warning you.
Neil and I had a great time yesterday at Annie and Al's Juke Joint. (https://www.annduggan.co.uk/shows) - Al couldn't be there, unfortunately, as he was nursing his new knee - mend soon Alan! We always have a warm welcome and the audience is wonderful (I think Annie has them well-trained!). Daryl Kirkland did a little spot too to showcase his stuff for his gig there (in April?) - he's a talented lad with a warm stage presence too. We'll be going ourselves to up and coming shows there just for a listen - it's a unique event. If you haven't already been then give it a try!
After a lovely summer festivalling and playing with Borderline Crossing (borderlinecrossing.net) in Germany, I played a return gig with Neil on Friday at The Song Loft in Stony Stratford (www.thesongloft.co.uk). In it's new venue at York House we had a smashing evening - entertaining support slots from the local minstrels and story tellers and a great singing audience.
We followed this up with a trip to The Millfest in Bromham on Saturday afternoon to play a teatime slot. Another nice event - sadly suffering a bit in attendance with the adverse weather forecast but I hope they persevere - really well organised and great sound crews. We particularly enjoyed listening to Tinkers Lane but all the acts were top quality. I hope we can play there again too.
I've had the luck and privilege to have played some lovely gigs this year (again). Here is a link to a video of a recent one when Neil and I were joined by Tim Smith on bass.
I think I've found the secret to selling out gigs - I think I'll call them micro-venues - when you can't get many people in you don't have to blackmail, cajole and bribe so many to come and listen! Looking forward to my (sold-out!) house concert in Wymeswold this coming Friday after a great (sold-out!) evening at White Horse Folk in Seagrave . In reality I don't actually play many 'big' gigs but, even if I did, small unplugged gigs would always be my favourites (I wouldn't turn down the O2 arena but I wouldn't enjoy it as much!)