Touring the UK and Ireland 2008. (part 1)

I snapped this shot of the audience just moments before taking the stage in Leeds.

This is part 1 of the many disorganized posts that I’ll be throwing together in the next few days. I’ll be chronicling my month long tour with everyone’s best friend, Billy Bragg.

The tour started out with United Airlines losing my luggage (it ended the same way). This is but one of many times that they’ve lost my luggage over the years. This made it impossible for me to change clothes for the first few days of the tour. I’m sure that I was pretty unpopular in the bus.

With my luggage lost, I asked the hotel clerk if they had a tooth brush and some paste. This is what they gave me. I think that this came straight from a Barbie Doll play set.

Drunk man chatting us up at 10 a.m.

Sound checking at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

This was in my hotel room in Leeds. I’m afraid to ask what it’s for.

I dig this little energy saver. The power in your hotel room only works when your key is inserted.

I fell in love with this theater in Treorchy, Wales.

The theater was built by money raised by local miners. They gave 1/100 of their wages to build this theater. Its beautiful without being pretentious and it has a wonderful vibe.

I fell in love with these old tea cups that were backstage in Treorchy. I decided that I needed to bring them home to Amy. Using my lame negotiating skills, I convinced the very kind promoter to throw in this set as part of my settlement. I’m drinking coffee out of one of them as I write this.

Thanks for giving a damn,

More to come……


  1. Hey Otis,
    You’re right the Parc and Dare in Treorchy is a fine venue, I came to see you and Billy Bragg there in December. Are you coming back to Wales after the Kilkenny Festival in May??


    Andy James

  2. Hi Otis,

    It was good to see you with Billy (in Nottingham, St Albans, Hastings, Southampton & Shepherds Bush!), thanks to the recommendations from Heather and Barbara.

    Nice pics (but I think you’ll find that’s Bridgewater Hall in Manchester).

    Hope you make it over here again,

    Mark, aka Twopints

  3. Hi Andy-
    I’ll be touring the UK after Kilkenny but I’m not yet sure if I’ll make it to Wales. We are doing every thing in our power to make it happen. The schedule for the May tour should be posted in a few weeks so keep checking back.
    Thanks for giving a damn,

  4. Hi Mark-
    It was good meeting you and thanks for the heads up on Bridgewater Hall. You’d think that I’d learn the names of the gigs/venues that I’ve played in. 🙂
    Thanks for giving a damn,

  5. Hi Otis,

    I came to see you will Billy in Treorci, it was a superb gig and the first time that my fiancee met my family, we had a wonderful, wonderful evening – thank you so much a night we’ll all remember for the rest of our lives.

    Looking forward to seeing you back in the UK in May and best wishes to you and your family for 2009.


  6. Otis

    Saw you with Billy in Dublin’s Vicar Street – not as nice as the theatres you photographed on the site! Really enjoyed your set, and you were very kind when I chatted to you whilst buying the CD before Billy came on. I live in Kilkenny, so am delighted to hear you’re coming my way in May – will definitely be there to see you (althuogh Bob Dylan is playing Dublin on May 5 and I got to go see him!). Everytime I hear Caroline and Small Town Saturday Night, am moved by your voice and ideas – keep it up!


  7. Hi Otis,
    I guess it must be good to be back home for a while, & an exciting time, with the arrival in office of Obama getting close – a turning point for America? We were also at the Parc & Dare in Treorchy, & it was a great night – you were new to us, but won us over straight away, and I had the pleasure of bumping into Billy before the show, and telling him a funny story (I laughed, Bill smiled!). We would be happy to supply you with further mugs, from the local market – this is Pontypridd Market & not an Asda or Tesco. Hope to catch up with you in May.

  8. Hi Otis

    saw you at Hastings with Billy. Thought you were worth the admission alone, really great set. I,m playing the Cd a lot and it doesn’t dissapoint!
    Looking forward to hearing about UK dates…


  10. Hi Otis,

    really enjoyed your time on stage at Exeter Lemon Grove, thank you very much.


  11. Hey Otis,

    Saw you in Kilkenny on the Sunday in Cleere’s. Best gig of the weekend for me!! Hope to see you over this side of the pond again soon.

    Take care,

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