Green Man

I went to Green Man Festival this weekend. (Not to play this time, just for a holiday).

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If you haven’t been, it’s one of the prettiest festivals there is, in the Brecon Beacons in Wales. I’d forgotten how nice the last part of the drive there is:

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My highlights included Sun Kil Moon, Bill Callahan, Beirut and what I managed to see of Teleman, all of whom I’d been waiting to see for ages. I also enjoyed the Gentle Good, the Phantom Band, Neko Case, Slint and dancing under the stars to the Pixies and Bruce Springsteen and Pulp. Saw some good stuff in the comedy tent too, including Ed Aczel.

But then Neutral Milk Hotel played In The Aeroplane Over the Sea in its entirety and it was perfect.

 

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Happy birthday, Connie Converse

Today marks the 90th birthday of Connie Converse, though of course there’s no way of knowing whether she is alive to celebrate it. Here’s me playing Connie’s ‘How Sad, How Lovely’ for the occasion. I’ll be playing this one at October’s Roving Women event, when it will feature accompaniment from Stannington Brass Band, some backing vocals from Hannah and Katherine, banjo from Oliver, bass from Chris and percussion from Neil.

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Festivals, Fans and Dog Awards

Well that was a pretty good weekend.

Saturday: Indietracks

The Church (photo) at Indietracks is a beautiful 100 degree deathtrap of loveliness. Being the total professionals we are (shhh), we powered through despite the heat, but yes, black was a bad choice on what was possibly the hottest day of the year.

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We met some lovely people (and owls) as well as catching up with old friends, and spent some time hanging out with our fans, see?

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Dean Wareham’s set later on was really great (and I got to meet him too!), and we saw some of Gruff Rhys before we had to head off.

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There are a few more pics over here

Sunday: The Folk Forest at Tramlines

I was so glad we were playing on an outdoor stage this year, especially given my fondness for Endcliffe Park. It was BUSY. View from the stage:

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On stage photos by Simon Butler, more here:

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There were many dogs in the park. Here are the Folk Forest Dog Awards:

Best Dog – Winner

The Best Dog Award goes to my friend’s greyhound, Ace, who wears my hat extremely well:

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Best Dog – Runner Up

The barking dog who responded from afar when I dedicated ‘Dog’ to the dogs in the park.

Congratulations to all the contenders. There was a lot of competition and in my eyes, all the dogs in the park were winners.

Here’s our set list from the weekend:

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So that’s that, the weekend’s over. But wait a minute – there’s more! It’s Cardiff this Friday, and then we’ll be focusing on getting ready for Roving Women at Cutlers’ Hall, followed by another festival in Manchester in October. And of course, I’ll be busy getting the album ready for release…

In other news, T-shirts are selling pretty quickly (thanks!) and some of the men’s sizes are starting to run out already. Get yours here.

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T-shirts and prints!

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Be the coolest person you know in a brand new Nat Johnson t-shirt!red-tee-croptees-1

They come in a range of sizes and are available at this very moment:

Men (in forest green, cardinal red or navy)

Women (in red or navy)

Signed A4 Prints

The t-shirt design is based on my painting of a nuthatch in beech leaves, inspired by a little nuthatch I met in Endcliffe Park:

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Buy a Nuthatch print

And this little fella is one I painted for a friend’s 50th, but I liked him so much I thought I’d share him with you as well:

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Buy a Silver Fox print

Everything’s a tenner. We’ll be taking t-shirts and prints along to this weekend’s festivals and to Cardiff next week. (You can see all our upcoming gigs here.)

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For sale: Tanglewood, GSOH, answers to the name “Floss”

**** UPDATE – THE GUITAR HAS BEEN SOLD ****

I’m selling this lovely Tanglewood TW115 AS electric acoustic guitar:

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She’s in fine condition, despite being on many adventures with me over the last few years. I’m only selling Floss because I’ve just bought a different Tanglewood. They’re great guitars.

There’s a little bit of wear and tear, as you’d expect from a gigging guitar, but nothing at all significant or particularly noticeable:

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I’m asking for £160 (cash, cheque or paypal). The buyer will need to collect either from Sheffield or from one of my upcoming gigs, so Indietracks (Derbyshire) / Tramlines (Sheffield again) next weekend or Cardiff on 1st August.

Email me: nat@natjohnson.co.uk if you’re interested. First come, first served.

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Daft Craft Raft Race: Aftermath

Today, I raced my daft craft, the Craft Craft, in the Daft Craft Raft Race (say it again.)

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It raced in the first heat, battling against many perils, like walls and …water. It was TENSE. Spectators shot at the rafts with water pistols, with no regard for the safety of the crews on board.

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There was a clear winner in my heat. Alas, it was not the Craft Craft. I battled for second place with Stuart Faulkner‘s guitar ship. It was declared a draw (but I think I really came third). The winner of our heat went on to win the whole race.

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I left empty-handed. Awardless. The speech I had prepared was never to be uttered.

Katherine and Oliver tried to console me with a post-race beer, but it was useless.

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Through my tears, I would like to say well done to the organisers and my fellow rafters, and congratulations to the winners. And thanks again to Gertie’s for sponsoring me and to the anonymous donor on the Just Giving site! I hope lots of money was raised today for Recovery Enterprises.

I’ll be back.

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Daft Craft Raft Race: The Craft Craft

Presenting: THE CRAFT CRAFT.

This is my daft craft for Sunday’s Daft Craft Raft Race in aid of Recovery Enterprises. It is LIGHT AS A FEATHER, STIFF AS A BOARD, sailed by Captain Neve Campbell and her crew of teenage witch friends from 1996 hit ‘The Craft‘:

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As you can see, I have incorporated many spells into the Craft Craft. Each witch has their own spell, calling upon the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North/South/East/West. There are spells to both starboard and port, whilst the magical videotape has been removed from its casing and inserted within the hull.

As the next image shows, the casing has been repurposed to invoke the supreme deity, Manon:

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I have tested it in the bath. It floats.

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