All of these thoughts are in my heart, but I could not say it any better than Nelson did…so I am reprinting his eloquent letter and adding a hearty “Amen, brother!” Keep in touch for news about upcoming stateside shows, recording, and plans for next year’s tour! - xxx A.
Hello UK Friends,
I wanted to send a quick note thanking everyone who came and saw Celsi, Bragg & Maitland on our recent UK Tour. We had great shows and saw good friends and certainly made many new ones. I had a wonderful time playing again for people who have supported me personally for many years with my bands. The love I felt was at times overwhelming. I am a lucky man drawn to dear and beautiful people through the power of music.
I want to thank our extra players we had this year, Dan Beaulaurier, Neil Sturgeon and Robyn Gibson. As soloists/singers they are great. All have solo or band albums that are spectacular, of course I own them all...and they are great travel mates! To Tony Poole I have undying gratitude for your years of experience and teenage energy that made our shows so much more when you graced the stage. Thanks for the Bennett Wilson Poole Record. (Everyone MUST buy this...) Let's make our record soon! To young Ivan Pyzow for joining us at Woodstock Live on trumpet and vocals. He's great and he's Anny's son. Talent runs deep...
Super support bands The Wellgreen (Glasglow) Jawdropping live harmonies, Dropkick (Edinburgh) Bought all 3 CD's, Plastic Youth (Edinburgh/Glasgow) Best new young band!, Kontiki Suite (Carlisle) My Heros, Bob of the Pops (Leicester) Covered Goose Step Mama!!, Joss Cope (London) Great Debut Album...must buy – Matt McClure - we are fans of them all, buy their records and go and see them live if you have the chance!
I have a very special thanks to our amazing and generous hosts that took such good care of us when we desperately needed to eat, sleep and bathe!! The Gilchrists of Bonnyrigg, (Tour of Rosylyn Chapel!) Terry Rawlings of Bermondsey, London, (Enjoy the 10p dots!) Sally and David Pears in Twickenham, London, (Amazing home, Scout has her dish!) Paul & Ashley Adsett from Sunny Brighton, (Meal of the Tour!!) Tony Gaughan of Glasgow for the multiple flats, no words can be enough you lovely man, Shaun McGee of Southport, UK, (allnight search for Tea Cakes? Yes!) Richard and Heather Hattersley in Nottingham, (record party w/beans and toast!) Alli & Malcolm in High Wycombe, (music fans forever! You saved us!) Tony & Lonnee in London, (hooray for your new home!), Peter, Laska, Neil and Hazel on the beautiful Isle of Luing, (Paradise Found!) To Paul Kemp in High Wycombe, (The biggest music fan I've EVER met!) the Corries in Hastings and the Fees in Campbeltown – extra thankyous for throwing house concerts and inviting your music-loving friends to hear us play!
I also want to thank the venues who took care of us. We really hope to return next year: Steve at What's Cookin' London,(always brill natch...) Andy and Chris at Woodstock Acoustic, (2 gigs in a beautiful village!) Paul Adsett at The Greys Brighton, (thanks for saving The Greys!) Raz at The Betsy Trotwood, London (Danny Wilson says Hi!!), Kevin at the Square and Compass in Swanage, (You can see France from here!) Andi & Cath at The Lime Bar in Folkestone, (a match made in heaven!), Rob at the Running Horse in Nottingham, (great cook!), Duffy's in Leicester, (fun joint!) Henry's in Edinburgh (great set by Dropkick!), everyone at the Atlantic Islands Centre on Isle of Luing, (Center of the Universe!) Steve at the Old Fire Station in Carlisle, (and Eden - Best Soundman!) Neil at 81 Renshaw in Liverpool, (Bar, cafe, venue AND Record Store!) the folks at The Griffin in Glasgow and Bernie, Renzo & Gillian at Santini’s, (The UK's Best Northern Italian food)!
I want to thank Anny Celsi (our fearless leader) and Duncan "12 Fingers" Maitland for being the best bandmates and traveling companions. Your musical artistry, sense of humour and record store prowess make you the best tour musicians anyone could hope for.
Lastly I hold a glass up with all of you please... to our departed friend Chris Battes who left us recently. I think our living room concert for You and Valerie was the most emotional music experience of my life. I tried so hard to sing and play my best for you both. I will always miss your smile, your clapping to songs, your passion for music and sense of humor and your true love of friends. Surf the Heavens Chris!! You'll always be in our hearts. XO NB^)