Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00

Paul has a lot of bottle

Written by  Simon Alcock
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Paul has a lot of bottle

Rules? Pah! Who needs them? Certainly not Baconsthorpe-based singer Paul Thompson. Paul wanted to do something memorable to mark the release of his forthcoming album ‘Lost in the Land of Midnight Sun’, a title derived from a three month tour of Alaska and Canada, so he decided to tour Britain by milk float. You may want to read this paragraph a second time to reassure yourself that your eyes don’t deceive you. A milk float.

The obvious opening gambit when speaking to someone thinking that far outside the box is to doubt their sanity, so I wondered aloud whether Paul had ever taken stock of what he was planning and thought “What the hell am I doing?” “Just about every single day for the last few months” he replied. “It took a while to get going after having the original idea. It’s getting a bit better now as I’m starting to see the rewards for all the hard work.  To help raise funds I’m selling advertising on the milk float and I’ve got sponsorship from Caledonian Macbrayne the ferry company, who are going to pay for all my ferry travel. It’s taken me a lot of work to get to that point.”     

As Paul indicated, his tour involves some travelling over water. The first gig is at the Green Britain Centre at Swaffham, before a stop in Kings Lynn, then Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Durham, Hadrian’s Wall, mainland Scotland, the Scottish islands and then back onto the mainland before 12 nights at the Edinburgh festival. In Edinburgh, Paul has secured a prestigious slot on George Street and will have large advertising hoardings publicising his gigs ahead of his arrival.

As well as the performances and song writing workshops, Paul is hoping the tour will reach out to an audience beyond those who see him in the flesh. “The Arts Council has given me funding to do some recording of the trip. I’m going to do a blog on my website and include some sounds from the journey and bits of video. During the recording I’ll be keeping a daily diary which I may turn into a radio travel documentary and that will hopefully form the basis of a book as well. I’ve found out that there’s a massive book fair at the end of George Street when I’m there, so during the day time I’ll be up there with some information about the journey, so I can approach some publishers with a view to getting a book out.”

Paul confirmed that he draws his ideas from his rural existence “I am inspired by nature a lot. I live out in the sticks, that’s what I like to write about. It’s an almost spiritual thing in a way. Music to me is about my  exploration of myself and my surroundings. “

Paul feels strongly that being creative alone isn’t enough; any budding artist must be prepared to work hard at promoting themselves and loosen the shackles of normality when thinking about how best to take their craft to the widest possible slice of the population. “You get a lot of musicians who think that they are owed something by people just because they’ve written a song. Really, they are not. They’ve got to get out there and create something yourself; a reason for someone to come to you. You’ve got to do your own thing to try and make something special happen”      

The singer himself admits that part of the interest in his tour has come from people who have questioned whether he will see his plans come to fruition. The director of a dairy who had attempted to generate some publicity by organising a milk float road trip said it would be “A bloody miracle” if Paul made it round.

Paul is both determined and a realist, as he admits there will probably be a few ‘down’ moments on the trip. “You’ve just got to keep going, you just never know what’s around the corner. Mind you, in the milk float I probably will, as I’ll be going so slowly I’ll see everything!”   

For more details about Paul please visit his website at http://paulsmusic.co.uk/

 

    

Last modified on Wednesday, 02 January 2019 19:16

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