Book announcement

I’m really pleased to announce that I’ve agreed a deal to publish the book part of #BuskEngland with Leeds publisher ‘Scratching Shed’, who specialise in travel writing with a Northern voice, and rugby league. A match made in heaven! We met for a pint at the Leeds brewery tap a few weeks ago and immediately got on. I signed and returned the contract this morning with the same mixture of excitement and nervousness I remember from when Gren Bartley and I got our first record contract from Fellside in 2006. It’s the first time in this project I have a genuine deadline to meet, and it’s amazing just how much gardening one can get done when there’s writing that suddenly needs to be finished.

It’s a long way from here to a finished book, but I’m already starting the process of turning over 40 lengthy blogs into something more substantial and over-arching, as well as still intending to visit a few more places round the country. When it comes to taking time out to complete the manuscript and the album in the Autumn, I’ll open up a pre-sales option so that I have some sort of income while I do the work. I remain enormously grateful for and humbled by the support I’ve received doing this. It’s not just kept me going, but has really made the whole thing tremendously enjoyable and rewarding. Thank you all, again.

The book and album will be released in the spring, with a tour to promote them taking place from mid May. I’ve already booked a dozen gigs in, so if you’d like to see this performed anywhere, please contact me. All venue types are suitable from arts centres to living rooms. It’s an infinitely flexible show.

One thing I am struggling with is a title for the book. If you can think of anything witty and suitable, but preferably not pun-based, let me know. A free copy to you if I choose it!

There will be another announcement about the album in a week or so when a couple of things are finalised.

I’ll be performing selections from this work in progress at these two gigs this summer;

Near Ashby, Leicestershire. Friday August 2nd.

And; Pebbles, Watchet, Monday August 19th.

Plus, my big podcast recording show in Manchester on Friday September 27th is a quarter of the way to selling out, so please do come along and support me if you can. I really could do with a good showing for this one!

Event details;

More on Scratching Shed;

“We are an independent publishing company founded over a pint in Blackburn in May 2008, now based in Leeds. Our primary aim is to produce high-quality books inspired by aspects of northern English culture, though in recent years that brief has widened considerably to include several national and international titles and the monthly rugby league magazine Forty20. The company was founded by its current co-directors Phil Caplan and Tony Hannan, a couple of Yorkshire-based authors, journalists and occasional broadcasters. Among our titles is Dave Hadfield’s acclaimed folk book All the Wrong Notes – Adventures in Unpopular Music, with an introduction by Bernard Wrigley.”


Thanks for taking the time to read this. My ‘Busk England’ project is entirely funded by what I make as I travel round. If you’ve enjoyed it, and would like to support me as I do this, please consider making a paypal tip to or through the button in the archive – link here.

Blog archive

Treat it as you would a busker — a few coins in the hat all add up. Everything I get from this will be put back into the project. Ta!

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