The Billy Shinbone Show

People & cars.

Time is much quicker than I have time for, so my little tour diary is becoming a feat of memory, a sort of autobiographical lucky dip through the sawdust of my mind. So anyway, I'll tell you a little about how come I'm touring in Germany. I'm playing as part of Nick Parker & the False Alarms, & with that comes the opportunity, usually, to open the show with my own solo set, make some friends, scout for suitable venues for my own tour later in the year, as well as playing Nick's fabulous songs. He writes songs that seem like happy-go-lucky folk pop ditties about ordinary, unglamorous life that are actually lyrically & musically complex enigmas that reward the careful listener. He is also a very funny man onstage & even moreso off stage, in a car, a hotel room, a service station.  He makes very filthy jokes sound very innocent & vice-versa. The rest of the False Alarms are my Flipron bandmate Tom Granville- a wizard of bass excellence & apparently impenetrable smiley sensibleness. But that's just a veil to disguise the cheery hellraiser that rages beneath. I have seen him smoke a cigarette. This man has no boundaries. Drumming with us is Kyle Cullen, an amazing musician, drum teacher, drumming writer whose percussive talents are only eclipsed by an ability to fall in love, often profoundly, but always with an incandescent optimism that cannot be crushed until finally it is. Kyle knows how to have fun with drinks. Then there is Brad Lister on guitar, bandleader of Glastonbury blues monsters Swampgrass. Brad is an amzing musician who has learnt all the folk fiddle reels from Nick's last album & belts them out on his Telecaster whilst grinning happily under a little hat making sure that every note he plays makes people feel good about their lives, even if only for a moment.

We are all five of us travelling in a Seat Alhambra with two guitar combos, a bass cab & head, a bass, three guitars, a drum kit, a mandolin, an accordion, a lap steel & a banjo, plus cables, other devices, mic stands, rucksacks, spare shoes (me) suits (me). We are squashed in like marshmallows into the mouth of a greedy child. But it's OK. We're happy.