Anniversaries: India and an album release!


I realised this morning that it was exactly 5 years since I left the UK to travel around the world. My first stop was India and below, I have included some excerpts from my travel blog at the time! The first was written on a 31 1/2 hour train journey from Mumbai to Amritsar…

“My thoughts this evening have drifted towards why I first found an interest in India. The honest answer has to be through music! I first heard the single "Govinda" by Kula Shaker in about 1996 and was instantly hooked by the incredible sounds being created. I had probably heard sitars before through the music my parents listen to but this really made me sit up and take notice. There is so much about this country I will never understand but there will always be something special about the place and the unique drone of the sitar and drums will always be special to me. Anyway, I plan to celebrate this realisation by listening to the entire Kula Shaker back catalogue on my 4 hour journey to Agra. I will have to be very careful to avoid coming home with a large quantity of instruments…”

The Golden Temple, Amritsar 

I travelled around much of the North of the country and eventually found myself on the bank of the Ganges…

“Today, I have walked along the river for some time today and spent around 2 hours in a music shop learning how to play the sitar and tablas with an Indian bloke who has been playing for around 40 years and is utterly amazing! Following my previous post about what first attracted me to India, I find myself with the dilemma of what instrument I should take home! I have pretty much decided on the sitar but I have some reservations on postage and will depend on how much I can haggle off the price!”

The Ganges, Varanasi

Music shop in Varanasi


And a few days later…

“As predicted, I will be coming away from India with a Sitar! I suppose it is only fitting as music is what drew me towards India in the first place and that somehow justifies the cost (especially of posting it!). The owner of the shop took me personally to the post office to make sure everything went smoothly and even argued a discount on my behalf.”

Learning the Sitar in Varanasi!

The post office was fun…

“The Sitar was inspected thoroughly and eventually was passed to the post office seamstress who cut out precisely the correct amount of cloth required to wrap it and began to sew it shut with string at every conceivable opening!! The stitches were then sealed with hot wax in certain key areas before being sealed all the way around with two different types of post office tape and then finally secured with 4 plastic newspaper ties! My package thoroughly secured, I was then able to write my address on the side but as I had no "from" address, I was required to put my email address and two separate phone numbers! Next came the paperwork in which I had to fill out the same details again, explain what it was I was sending, its weight and approximate value! Finally, it was scanned on the computer and I could pay! Funniest part of the 45 minute plus experience was trying to work out exactly what each of the 7 people were actually doing there! There was a certain amount of paper shuffling but I suspect most of them were just having a chat and pretending to be doing something official!”

The postal masterpiece finally arrived in Manchester... 3 months later!


Until The End

2012 also marks the 5th anniversary of the release of my first album! It was the culmination of songs written across the previous 10 years and due to my inexperience at releasing records, a number of delays meant that I only had 2 weeks to sell the CD before I set off travelling! Therefore, much of my promotion involved pictures of the CD strategically placed in exotic locations:

"Until The End" in front of the Taj Mahal... Amidst a certain amount of smog!

You can listen to the full album on Spotify:


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