WELCOME to RAIDERS of the lost ARCHIVE 2004
13 NOV 2004
Cardiff was nice and sleazy if a little rushed - mainly due to the chaos on the M4 rather than the bedlam in the audience... Night off tonight - off out in search of Amarone.
............... time passes .............
12 NOV 2004
Fleece & Firkin was good as ever, but it's too close to home to resist the tea and slippers so it was back to Mr. Boring last night which means I ended up more sober than when I started and probably played and sang much better for it. Then home again home again jiggety-jig.
10 NOV 2004
Down by the seaside again..mmmm breathe in that air - smoke, sweat, alcohol and funk - we must be at Mr Kyp's in Poole. Fantastic atmosphere in here me dears - LOUD PA - Love in the air... dunk me in the funk.
9 NOV 2004
Yesterday the neverending story la-la-la la-la-la la-la-la of the drive down to Penzance .......... and then the gig at the end of the world. Nice gig the Acorn Theatre and though it was Monday a suitably insouciant crowd made the trip well worthwhile.. Ended up jamming with Martha and Martha's mates until the large small hours - in fact I think I can still hear one riff that we settled on for about 20 minutes still playing away... fun fun fun!
6 NOV 2004
Fireworks at the Rockingham in Wentworth last night - inside and out. They were turning them away don't you know - could have done 2 nights they said. Well that was for the firework display. Turned in a decent impression of a professional (Bodie or Doyle?) 2nd night running. Then got hideous in the bar later. Martha Tilston is playing all of this tour and she's fun,cool and very talented - not bad eh?
5 NOV 2004
Last night was start of tour proper - Operation Quench. Great place to start the Academy in Manchester Uni. This is one of the best gigs I do - mainly because not only are the people there indecent fun-loving music fans, but they've got the gear to back it up. Tony works wonders with the sound there and Dave does the best light show. Sean and John treat me like the proverbial Lord and it all makes a big difference. The bastards still conned me into having 300 B-52s in the bar down the road after though - Operation Quench off to a flyer.
4 NOV 2004
Last night was eventful. Broke the same string twice whilst playing with Danny and had to leave the stage to get 2nd spare. Bass solo anyone? ooops! Well of course Danny carried on majestically whilst I fumbled, but sure we pulled it out of the fire (that Danny had lit under my guitar)..in fact it looks like we might do some gigs in Europe together next year - I'll keep you posted. Good bunch of folks there, up to and including - Barbara Dickson - a lovely lass. Donovan turned up to complain about the neighbours (he lives near my old man). Troy Donockley - wizard,piper,Laurel and Hardy nut and all round hard-boiled egg and the beautiful (Hendrix style) saw virtuoso Martin Brunsden
3 NOV 2004
Well well well it's the work-shy Wiltshire boy scuffing in the gutter of popular culture on the fringe of the unhinged..but what's this?! Invited to play with Danny Thompson at the Purcell Room on the South Bank? Incredible Bass Legend offers Harpicles the Brave a brief slot in respected arts milieu? Yes folks it's that old old story of rags to TK Maxx, but first ...
It's bin a while ...
In the olden days I played the Fleadh. In fact it's so fleadh away in the grim and distant all I can remember is that I was just getting warmed up when a large hook prized me off stage, but at least I was off in time to see the footy (Euro champs Spain vs Portugal if I remember rightly). Also caught a bit of Sir Bob Lord God King Dylan or whatever his name is - yeah not bad. Ronnie Twig or someone was on the old plank an' all.
This is all years before history, but inbetweenwhiles I also played at that Cropredy ( ..........space for foot joke..........) Festival run by those friendly Fairporters. This was the biggest audience I've ever played to. Some of them were over 9 foot. My old mate Fluff held my hand whilst playing the fiddle (not easy) on Temple and G7 amongst others. Then there was the Edinburgh fringe festival in August which was a blast as ever..then I did my first gig in Paris which was fantastic fun and I'm desperate to go back ASAP ... That brings us bang up to September/October and time for a nose job (made it a bit bigger), little lift, botox, tuck and facial in time for the autumn tour.
17 MAY 2004
Well that's it for another few weeks - the gargantuan monster that is the Harpic touring machine has ground to a halt to recharge, restock and rethink.
Northampton was cool - now we look forward to Festival Season. The Fleadh in Finsbury Park has got to be good - Bob Dylan headlining. I've heard of him. Cropredy should be good too as there will be 25,000 people and only one stage so there's no escape for the poor blighters. Edinburgh festival is go and is always a toptastic week or so for me. However my highlight of the summer has to be the two gigs in the Chapel in Lochranza on the Isle of Arran - 50 people, no PA and mucho magica guarantita..
See you in a bit, love to you and yours, NH.
15 MAY 2004
Funny Brummies. They made I laugh. It's a good venue the Theatre MAC - nice and cosy comfy but not too posh to prevent sparky malarky although we simply had to have an interval so we could all get to the bar which could have lowered the angle of the evening's trajectory. I normally prefer to go straight through but we did have a good time. Hmmm one hump or two? Don't care really, love it all, bring it on, 'ave it.
13 MAY 2004
Colchester last night in an old church where they now have live music and drink heavily. I was told once that during the civil war the city was held by the cavaliers for quite a long time due in no small part to the positioning of a massive howitzer on a wall of this church, overlooking the city. Eventually the roundheads brought up their guns and blasted the church until the gun fell and smashed to pieces. The city then fell to Cromwell's forces because all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again. And if you believe that you probably think 'Ring-A-Ring o' Roses' is about the Black Death.
12 MAY 2004
London last night in Islington - no sign of those well known local acoustic music fans the Blairs which was a disappointment - maybe they're more into countries & westernisation these days. Anyway a good time was had by all before during and after. Caught up with my bruvvah Felix who's the coolest dude in town and shot some crap purple pool - the baize was ablaze.
3 MAY 2004
Back from Bergen - what a blast! Played three times - the first in the middle of the main square of the city. I followed a southern psycho-billy shack shakin' spittle spitting beat combo which was a bit odd and when i realised my voice was still somewhere over the North Sea I was off to a none too auspicious start. Despite witnessing this the producer of a radio show asked me to play live to the nation later on. This I did and it was a rather better showing - most of the voice finally arriving. Later on the 'proper' gig was great. Harper fans from Edinburgh, Helsinki and Liverpool as well as local types were seen loitering with intent to have a laugh, as did I.
Top part of the trip was hanging with Stolle (man of steel). Me and Tour Manager Bov (1st Class) had met him earlier at the marina, whilst picking out our yacht for the gin palace tour of the fjords. He'd just got out of the nick (all a big misunderstanding) and was up for a large night. So we ended up sharing an Irish coffee between the three of us (2 million pounds each) and swapping niceties with the whole population of Bergen introduced to us by Stolle. Hilarious.
On top of all that the sun blazed away throughout which apparently is unusual weather for Bergen - always take it with you eh? A wockin whirlind twip - hope they ask me back.
30 APRIL 2004
Get yer coats you've Pooled. Oh I do like to be beside a couple of beautiful females snogging through the set. As far as I can see they put on a much better show in the front row than anything I could ever come up with on the stage. This is the gig where I stand and shout encore as the audience leave. When I did manage to take my eyes off the wanton freak-wenches I noticed that the gig was packed and going quite well without me thinkering with it and spoiling things by tinking about them too much.
Must go I've got a plane to catch
29 APRIL 2004
Really enjoyed last night. Aldershot is an army town, but a full house of contra culturistas snook past the establishment types and made it past Crimea Road and over Ordnance roundabout (really) to the venue - a cracking little arts gaff called the West End Centre. 'Smash hit west end show' is stretching it a bit, but it was a good 'un. At one point I stumbled through some unrehearsed tunes which lent the evening some semblance of humanity before veering into more well-trodden set-list type areas. Hey this is Harpic - keeping it real.
25 APRIL 2004
Got to the gig in Canterbury late and in a bit of a daze, later did the gig in a bit of a daze, dazed the gig in a later bit of Canterbury. Dazed and Canterburied... Anyway a couple of days with no enormo-drives to come and rooms in a pub meant the pressure was off and me and Jonesy ended a happy night singing from the top of a maple tree in the centre of the city.
24 APRIL 2004
Beautiful drive up through the black mountains yesterday to Tregaron. Cracking gig and good turnout make it well worth the trip up from Exeter. Hold on a minute Nottingham to Exeter to Aberystwyth to CANTERBURY. Thank the stars I went to bed early and didn't get hopelessly drunk amidst an arm wrestling competition with the local rugby team - that had to have been a dream. Funny thing is it was so realistic I'm a little worse for wear this morning.
23 APRIL 2004
Exeter last night - bit formal in the phoenix but a few nutters managed to gain entry before displaying their true colours. Also my old mate Ben Jones is along for the next three gigs which is always a laugh and a half. I enjoyed his opening set almost as much as the session we had after the gig in a couple of Exeter's late night trough houses.
22 APRIL 2004
The Maze in Nottingham is a great little gig. Stage in the corner and the crowd up close and personal - you can smell the lion's breath. Happily the beast had eaten and was displaying a slight euphoria probably due to the excellent selection of beers and ales of said establishment and I wasn't even mauled.
20 APRIL 2004
Really enjoyed Leeds. Just had a right old laugh. Good bantering to and fro, relaxed, cantering, spontaneous renditions of made up songs and a packed house on it all the way. Galloped home after the gig though, fuelled by a double visit to a West Indian shop for the hottest patties known to man and the strongest coffee a honky can handle.
19 APRIL 2004
The Boardwalk is a fantastic venue - love it. Chris the owner is a great guy and gave me much more respect than I deserved. So did the revelers who came in great numbers - top night. Raided the fridge at the Boardwalk and stayed at an old mates gaff. Talked about the music business and other fantasies.
18 APRIL 2004
Manchester is one of my fave rave gigs that I do. The team that run the place are brilliant and the crowd are generally rude and funny. No exception last night. This is the last night having cameras stuffed up my nose which I'm really going to miss.. Oh I forgot they're going to come to Arran 'n' all. Made a midnight dash back to Wiltshire (home)(softie) so erm zzzzzzzzzz
16 APRIL 2004
Last night a night off in Edinburgh. Superb evening had by all including the film crew (who are stalking me until Manchester) and a few friends. 2 missing in action and one in hospital with suspected assassination attempt by curry - tour spicing up.
15 APRIL 2004
It was King Tut's last night. The legendary gig in Glasgow. Cliches become cliches for a reason and when the crowd started a sing-along-a-harpic session during 'Headless' I was quite moved.. They were so up for having a good time it was a joy being the one seeing them and I got outside myself for a while - if you were there thanks. Some bastard nicked the set list though.
14 APRIL 2004
Now then. Mr 'I'm not vain' Harper is filmed in Carlisle for a potential DVD release and guess what? He gets all silly. Totally forgot I was on the radio to promote the gig and got a call from a very understanding producer who promised he wouldn't have me shot if I did the interview half an hour later. Despite the pressure I managed to rise to the occasion spectacularly and bore the listeners of Cumbria into submission by talking about myself and my dad (he's a musician as well you know) and force them all to come to the gig.
Good venue the Brickyard - looking forward to going back. I had half a shandy and loosened up nicely, the audience even stamped their feet before I stamped mine, which was nice.
13 APRIL 2004
Hahaha. Stoke is the first gig of the tour and due to lack of any preparation whatsoever I find the venue by spying the address on a poster driving in to the city and asking directions from a host of aliens, blow-ins and foreigners before meeting a potty potter with a vague idea that live music does exist in the modern world. I'm comforted by the fact that in the 3000 years I've been touring, Stoke has the same feel. It's a place that must hold some incredible endeavour one day to be revealed to the world- scaffolding and 'temporary' wooden screens mask the endless construction of what will be perhaps be the 8th wonder of the world. For now we must wait, but come the day Stoke will be up there with the Hanging Baskets of Basildon and the Pyramid Selling of Geezers.
Anyway it was a decent gig. Everything sort of worked which was a bit weird.
12 APRIL 2004
Soup and-a rice, soup and-a rice...surprise! I'm back online. After several sad but true complaints the tour diary has moving parts. Much has happened since I waded in the waters of the web with my world wide wellingtons waffling with(out) words of wisdom and wuminating on what wasn't what. The critically acclaimed (in our house) album 'Blood Songs' is out there weaving away. I'm very proud of this cd. I feel I have done the people I love the most some justice in some way. Obviously in reality I extract the Michael as much as possible and have no obvious use to the un-nuclear unit I've helped construct ...
This sentence cannot be red, otherwise it would just be a small hole in your browsers. Unless they were chords of Roy's. Sorry lost the thread there.