I am relieved that the touring is almost done. Just under 6 months to go, then I will be an annoying obstruction in my house. The first few gigs of January were sold out, then came another rejection from the borderlands, with Berwick Upon Tweed expressing its disinterest. I take these rejections personally. The failure to muster an audience paints pictures in my head of each member of the community making a very specific decision to reject me, when most will have just turned the page or walked by the flyers on the bar without noticing. Having neither TV exposure or genius on my side, some dates are harder to sell than others. The Radio 4 listeners do not like the idea of hearing me without having their hands covered by marigolds and soapy water (a rather archaic image, but still one that people imagine is a true picture of the listener). I might experiment with a tour where I provide both rubber gloves and soapy water, or an auditorium filled with backed up traffic, to try and replicate the radio listening sensations and environment.
I have toured for too long. Few people would see my name in a brochure and think, “why, he may never come here again, we must grasp this opportunity hastily”. I am tenacious and resilient, I keep coming back to force more upon you. My last few months of touring are exciting, and much of it is new for me. A four city tour of the USA with Brian Cox, and then a city by city leapfrog across Australia with a science show jumbling up Feynman, Darwin and Neuroscience. Then, the last few towns I haven’t tainted for a while in the UK, then…STOP.
I am relieved to stop, because I think I may have run out of words. Going through my notebooks of inked ideas and half sentences, I am not sure I know what I want to say anymore. I have ideas, and then I think, “why do I want to say them aloud? Is there any reason to share”. It is not so much a comedic doubt, as a doubt about bothering with any opinions at all. As I continued my most recent tour, with digressions on reality tunnels, and how the mind makes our picture of the world, I enjoyed sharing my experiences. The next stage seems almost like repetition. When I have finished making my current notebook voluble, I might stop making notes for a while. There are so many opinions everywhere, so many statuses and updates and columns, that I reckon I’ll just be adding to crackle of background noise. Each month, I seem more uncertain than the last. I may have to doubt in silence.
I think I better get an allotment, grow cabbages and shut my face, on stage at least. Though until June, I’ll continue to shout until I am hoarse and then, in Kettering on 20th June, I might fade out, or, like Dinosaur Jr’s Just Like Heaven cover, stop abruptly mid sentence.
Where’s my trowel?
Until then though, these below…
If you are not in London, information on my forthcoming gigs in Didcot, Bedford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Salford, Swindon and on, is HERE
And info of USA gigs HERE
And Australian tour HERE