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Stuff’s happening! First up, I’ll at the Stirling Waterstones on Saturday 15th November at 3pm to read and sign The Lavender Blue Dress, my children’s book with Emmeline Pidgen. (If you’d like to know more about the book, just scroll down). Bring the kids and say hello! More details HERE.

Then I’ll be headlining Rally & Broad’s second foray into the Dear Green Place (Glasgow) on Sunday 30th November at Stereo at 2:30pm. Yes, it’s an afternoon show (but definitely not for kids this time), and what better cure for a hangover could there be than a hair of the dog and some poems (and songs) from yours truly and many, many more? It’ll be just like a cuddle. You can find more details at the Rally & Broad site HERE. They’ve been running (great) literature events in Edinburgh for years, and now they’re coming to conquer the West.

In other news, myself and Adly Syairi Ramly will be judging a special Record Store Day competition to build a record shop in my favourite creative medium, Lego (hence the photo of a Lego Arab Strap I made a couple of years ago above). The prize is a very fancy RSD turntable, and you can find out more HERE. Remember, it’s not just about looking cool – I’ll be judging on durability, playability and imaginative brick use too. My children have learned this the hard way. You have until April – happy building!

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My first book for children, a picture book for ages 3 – 7 (beautifully) illustrated by Emmeline Pidgen, will be published on October 10th by Cargo. It’s called The Lavender Blue Dress – and there’s a sneak peak above – and if you’ve seen me do a solo show in the last few years, the chances are you’ve heard the story live. The first print will be in hardback and also comes with a free CD featuring an audio version read by me with music by Bill Wells (and Louise Stewart playing the female voices). The dust jacket is removable too, and features a cut-out-and-play paper doll on the reverse side! To launch the book, I’ll be doing a few (FREE!) events in the coming weeks:

Friday 10th October: Waterstones Argyle Street, Glasgow, 7pm – An evening event for grown-ups only, with a few songs and poems from me, and a Lavender Blue Dress reading (of course). I’ll be joined by Emmeline too!

Saturday 11th October: Waterstones Argyle Street, Glasgow, 2pm – A second, afternoon children’s event that’s safe for all the family! Will include a reading and dress design for the kids. With Emmeline too!

Saturday 15th November: Waterstones, Thistle Centre, Stirling, 3pm – A children’s event as above.

(There are no plans for any trips down to the rest of the UK as yet, but fingers crossed we should have some soon.)

If you’d like an idea of what to expect at the kids’ events, Emmeline has some photos of the Edinburgh International Book Festival event on her site HERE.

I also went on BBC Radio Scotland’s Culture Studio with Janice Forsyth to read and discuss the book – you can listen on the iPlayer HERE.

The book will be available in all good bookshops everywhere, but if you’d like to pre-order at a discounted price, you can do it right now at the Cargo webshop HERE.

Hope to see you somewhere!

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These are the vagrants, begging for change by the side of the superhighway, the abandoned hobos brushing off digital dust and leaping from the virtual shelf … otherwise known as the rarities compilation. Six are unleashed for the first time, while four of them have either popped up on vinyl somewhere or were floated online. There are three covers but the rest are all mine, and they’ve all been professionally remastered as a whole for your optimum aural delight, available exclusively in the form of a digital album. Yes, sadly there will be no physical release of this album, though it was carefully considered – mainly because I really like the cover – but I just don’t want to make too much of a fuss over it, plus I haven’t really got the time to post out LPs. So apologies to all of you who quite rightly love vinyl and also, of course, to the real record shops who would normally stock my wares – I can assure you that my next album proper will be as tangible as they come. The album is currently available on Bandcamp (link above) and will (might) be released on iTunes, Amazon, and all the rest later in the year.


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The Where You’re Meant To Be movie – a document of my recent tour of Scotland and exploration of our oral traditions – is nearing completion and should be ready for release early next year. It’ll look something like this:

Where You’re Meant To Be - Demo Trailer from Better Days on Vimeo.


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It was indeed an honour and a pleasure to be asked by Yann Tiersen to write and sing lyrics on one of the tracks from his new album, “∞” (Infinity) – and, unsurprisingly, the rest of the album’s amazing too. There’s now a video for the song – with French actress Clémence Poésy playing me! (kind of) – and it’s brilliant:

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