Steve Harley

& Cockney Rebel

DIARY 31/05/10

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Dublin already seems history, the time passes so quickly out here. But it rocked and so did Belfast. Club venues, but the air was buzzing both nights with good fans who came out for a good night, and it gave me heart to see how the new set, littered with new songs, affected them. Seems they had the good time they went out for. We did. We were ready to play in public. Rehearsals in themselves are exciting for musicians. We gel, we blend and harmonise, personally as well as musically. These are fine people. A fish rots from the head down, so I choose carefully.

Edinburgh, York, Buxton sold right out. My tour manager even put unwanted Guest tickets on sale at Buxton – and they went! Very gratifying. Funny how some places won’t sell out, and others go early. Both Stables gone, plus standing room just put on sale.....Need 2.5 hours really, to fit in all the songs I want to play. But venues have curfews. They all do. The Lartey Sisters have their 30 minutes, then comes the interval and then we have to watch the clock (in my mind only!). I write this from a quite sumptuous room at the top of the Palace Hotel, Buxton. Day off. No interviews. Night off. No show, so the voice gets a rest after five consecutive long nights. This is a beautiful town, stone and iron all over it and I look down on slate rooftops, Georgian roof-lines and parapets and many ancient trees. It was good to talk to fans after the show, those staying here and drinking last night in the hotel bar. It doesn’t happen often, but I enjoyed it. I thank them all for their kind words and the occasional gift of a Murphy’s.

Will get some air now, in the park area at the front of this Victorian pile, all slightly faded glory and proud dignity. Will read the newspaper, start the crossword. We lunch at a country pub a few miles out of town. Over lunch, will make notes re edit of “For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn.” which we have agreed to release as a download single. Radio 2 airplay? Not much chance, to be honest. It’s tough to get on their playlist if you’re not represented by Universal or Sony, just about the only two major record companies in the world now. But Stranger Comes To Town is a major project, so we’ll suck it and see.