The Paul Poulton Project has been back on the road - featuring Karine Graham on bass and backing vocals, and Denise J Thompson on drums and backing vocals. The band have had a little break but they picked things up where they left off - artful rhythms, inventive playing and an uplifting spiritual message. The Hull and Sheffield concerts went superbly. Good audiences too, that's always helpful to any performer.
Paul has been performed solo (accompanied by his acoustic guitar) in a series of smaller venues. Paul said, “All the gigs went well and I made some new friends along the way. In one particular town the local people from the area were exclaiming "You're playing in ......... ? That's a rough pub" But it turned out to be a very friendly pub, with people from the audience offering to buy me a beer as I sang quite a bunch of songs from my repertoire. I said "I don't drink beer," So they were lining up the diet cokes, Ha!
People seem worried about the new "gig economy" - instead of a regular wage, workers get paid for the "gigs" they do. In the UK it's estimated that five million people are employed in this capacity. But Paul doesn’t seem to worry: “I've been in the gig economy since 1980, it's worked out okay for me,” he said.
I had two rewarding outings the first week of September. I sang at the “Live Lounge” in Rugeley, the same day we were remembering Diana’s death 20 years on. I sang some sad songs which I’ve written, I thought people might get fed-up with them and want me to get off the stage but the reverse happened. One song I sang was “I Can’t Stand The Sadness” from the ‘Words’ album. The lyrics to the chorus are
“Couples, break up, there’s a family shake up
And nobody knows where the love goes
When madness rips apart some tender heart
And the players get sent back to the start”
I was also booked to sing and talk at Bloxwich Community Church last August. I always have a good time there, I can’t ever remember a bad one. Most gigs turn out good. I must have done thousands of bookings over the years and only three or four turned out poor. So if you’ve ever seen me live it was one of the poor ones you came to, okay?
Almost good gigs all round September. I did a couple of things at Velmore Centre in Chandlers Ford, including a sunny afternoon concert. The sun was pouring through the large bay-window area where I was performing and it seemed appropriate to start off with Ray Davies’s feel-good song “Sunny Afternoon”. Everyone seemed to have a good time - chilled out, fun and blessed.
I also sang, once again at the Live Lounge, Staffs, which is becoming a very popular venue, it was packed out and the people seem to like me playing and singing there. (That's nice of them!)
At the gig in Sudbury last night a very rare occurrence took place, I turned up to sing and was informed by the proprietor that he had got the date wrong, ha! We had a nice meal instead though.
I travelled to Sudbury, (long way) and I sang a bunch of sad songs there. (It's just the way I was feeling, so I inflicted my feelings on the audience, I kind of felt sorry for them, but not enough to change my choice of songs.) Anyway the proprietor seemed happy afterwards and the audience gave me their full support too.
I was interviewed by Cross Rhythms radio presenter Emily Parker about the book I wrote called "Genesis for Ordinary People".
Emily has kindly transcribed the interview and it can now be read on the Cross Rhythms web site. The interview raised some interesting points about the early days of civilisation. (Click on the picture to the right to open a new window and read it.)
I was at the West Brom Elim recently and had a quite amazing concert there - just me and my acoustic guitar. Dad came along with me too, and as I was selling my albums dad sold one of his. Ha!
I also sang at a church in Dudley the following Sunday. Do you know Raj? He's a rapper - a good one too, anyway he's the pastor of church now. Didn't MC Hammer do something like that?
I was asked to sing at an event in January called "Faith in the Workplace." The organiser wanted me to sing an appropriate song. So I looked through all the songs I had written and realised I didn't have a song that was about work. I was about to decline the offer when I thought I suppose I could write a song.
No sooner had the thought entered my mind than I was off and the song almost wrote itself - Nice chords in the turnaround too.
Inspiration is sometimes an illusive bird but when it flies close by grab it with both hands. Otherwise we could end up like the man who buried his talent in the ground. Not good!
When I sang the song at the event John Marshall, the compare said I had summed up what the event was about in four minutes.
Four Minutes, thirty six seconds actually, but...
The song is on spotify and all the other usual musical sites.
Do you remember when Paul McCartney got his new band (Wings) together after the breakup of the Beatles? Paul wanted to get out and do some gigs so the band piled into a vehicle and went from town to town without any pre-organised venues to go to but hastily arranged the gig when they got to the town or by a phone call the day before.
Well, a short whirlwind tour of venues occurred for me at the end of March and beginning of April. Mostly down the south of England.
After performing in a packed pub in Leighton Buzzard a guy come up to me and asked where I was from. Imagine our surprise when we realized that we lived on the same estate as boys, (a journey of over two hours away) and went to the same school (and swam in the same ice-cold [outdoor] swimming pool at the school) and were born in the same hospital. What are the chances? Strange but true. I wish I’d had have more time to talk to him but the next venues were in Cornwall.
At Bodmin the hastily arranged performance went well. I sang lead, Jeannie sang harmonies – then a Bodmin Blues band hit the stage. There was a dog in the audience; the dog's owner told me that his pet liked the blues and occasionally joined in with the music with some doggie singing. At St Austell we sang for well over an hour to some friendly Cornish people who made us feel very welcome.
I enjoy playing in situations that are spontaneous and where the people may never have heard my music before. Not everyone will be reached by the music but there always seems to be some that are.
Singing at the Garland Ox - nice backdrop of the Cornish Flag.