Being home after three weeks away on tour is a bit of a culture shock. I’ve got used to having constant stimulus and things being busy and hectic all the time: travelling, performing, doing free community events, while also writing, recording and publishing these Dollops; then socialising after the gigs. For the last three weeks I’ve more or less constantly been around people, with barely any time to myself.
My housemates Ben and Elsa are away, so since getting home yesterday afternoon, the only people I’ve spoken to are the delivery man who brought me my curry last night, and the girl from Sainsburies. I assume you read that properly, and realised by the way I’d punctuated that last sentence, that the delivery man only came to my house to deliver the curry; he didn’t deliver a girl from Sainsbury’s to my door as well. Other than a couple of texts and a few online conversations, that is all the contact I’ve had.
You might be hoping that the girl in Sainsbury’s was our friend from previous Dollops with the scant vegetable knowledge, but alas it wasn’t, although this particular girl didn’t know what Bulgur wheat was, but I don’t feel inspired to write a lengthy blog merely based on that single grain-based ignorance. To be honest, I think I’ve maybe milked all the comic potential from Sainsbury’s shop assistants. After all, I am not the kind of writer who gets stuck in a rut. I must move onto explore new comic pastures. Maybe the shop assistants at Tesco will provide me with some material.
Today I have been sifting through the hours of audio I’ve accumulated so far this year from last month’s tour and our time in Australia in March. There is just under 100 hours of audio on my hard drive to tackle. For the other two Young’uns, they can go home and unwind after a tour, whereas I have to experience the whole thing again, sifting through recordings for the Young’uns Podcast. For the last seven hours, the only voices I’ve heard are mine, Sean’s and Michael’s, with the occasional interjection from an audience member. If you come to any of our gigs this summer, please heckle, just to keep me sane, as it’ll mean I’ll have at least one other voice to listen to other than me Sean and Michael, even if it’s just a fleeting interjection. That one heckle could be what stops me from having a mental breakdown.
The other problem is, given that all I’ve done since getting back is listen to the sound of me and my other two bandmates’ voices, there is nothing really new to write about. I can’t write about the things that happened at the gigs, because I’ve either written about them, or I’m saving them for The Young’uns Podcast.
Despite the fact that I’ve spent the whole day sifting through hours of Young’uns gigs for the next Young’uns Podcast, I think that I might have to put back the release of the next Young’uns Podcast to the end of may, rather than releasing it this week, as planned. This is because I really need to spend the time that I’m at home working on another special project, which I can’t really do when I’m away on tour, whereas I can record and release The Young’uns Podcast from on tour.
The special project I am referring to is The Young’uns In The Mix. Young’uns Podcast listeners may remember The Young’uns In The Mix. In August, at the Folk East festival in Suffolk, I’ll be doing The Young’uns In The Mix live.
Here’s the blurb I wrote yesterday for the Folk east website and Programme.
Prepare to enter a world where folk music and pop music collide. Where Seth Lakeman is collaborating with the Spice Girls, Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar join forces with Daft Punk, The Watersons share the stage with Van-halen, and the Prodigy embrace sea shanties.
David Eagle from The Young’uns takes to the decks to DJ, exclusively for Folk East, as the two disparate worlds of folk and pop join together in unholy musical matrimony. Come and hear folk music like you’ve never heard it before. Come and dance the night away in the company of The Young’uns, armed with disco lights, samplers and DJ decks, and joined by the amazing MC Squared. What do you get when you cross The Unthanks with Queen? All shall be revealed!
I don’t want to worry Becky and John, the organisers of Folk East, who read these Dollops, but I haven’t made a start on this project yet. I’ve written the blurb, and I can hear everything in my head, but I need to use the very short amount of time that I have to get all this prepared. It’s not a case of just turning up with a few records and DJing. I am effectively going to be wrestling with music, trying to force two very different musical styles to work together. Sea shanties for instance don’t conform to a strict key or beat; the key can often drift during the song, and the beat is not strictly constant, as they’re not performed to a metronome and it’s more free-form. I am not a DJ. I’ve never really DJed live. So for all the bravado of the blurb, I have no idea what I’m doing or how the ideas in my head will actually translate into reality, if indeed they even will. So I need to get cracking, and I only have a few weeks, as I’m busy with The Young’uns at the end of May, during June and in Canada and doing festivals for most of July. And then we’re into August, the month of the Folk East festival. I have just a few weeks to learn how to DJ live and also to experiment with the ideas I have in my head.
It could all go horribly wrong. Of course, there is a possibility that it going horribly wrong might actually be really funny, in which case it will still be entertaining, and could therefore be seen as it all going right. If you fancy witnessing this first, and possibly last, Young’uns In The Mix experiment, then get yourself some Folk East festival tickets for the Saturday. I will also release it as a Young’uns Podcast.
Of course, if it’s really going horribly wrong, then I could always get the Yamaha keyboard out, as I’ve already proved myself to be an amazing DJ with the old Yamaha keyboard, ensuring that the party will well and truly be swinging. So, if Becky and John from Folk East are reading this, there is nothing to worry about.
I am not entirely new to mixing disparate styles of music. I’ve done two David Eagle’s Pick and Mix episodes, which mixed things like The Darkness and Basement Jaxx with the grandstand Television theme, and the Chemical Brothers with Flanders and swann. I am happy with the way those two mixes turned out (and I want to get around to doing another one at some point), although they weren’t DJed live in front of an audience. I will also be MCing under the nom de plume, MC Squared.
Get your tickets for Folk East festival, and come and watch the magic, or the tragic, unfold.