All that’s missing from this lovely recent article on my book Human Cargo by RnR Magazine – thanks Ian Croft – is the headline STOCKING FILLER. Yes folks, this Christmas give them the gift of human suffering. Well, why not? Human Cargo makes an excellent present for the folkie/politico in your life. Plus, it’s a cunning device for infiltrating those of a Brexit/anti-immigration persuasion – for it’s about history, and everyone’s partial to an old story. It’s £9.99 and best to buy via Amazon (sorry, it’s hard for small publishers to supply bookshops) or message me direct if you’d like signed copies. And you can read lots more about it at humancargo.co.uk

Here’s a short video of me telling stories of Parallel Lives to the huge crowd who came to see The Transports at Shrewsbury Folk Festival. (And a glimpse of the great song Dark Water by The Young’uns).The Parallel Lives project gathers true stories, town by town across Britain, of people who’ve been forced to leave that place in past centuries and people who’ve come to live there in recent decades. People go, people come – migration is part of life. That’s the message. Parallel Lives always goes down well at performances of The Transports, for audiences love local tales – and it’s a fresh, human way to talk about the centrality of migration to human life. Plus, in each town we link with a local refugee or migrant support group. I’m now starting to gather stories for our next tour of The Transports in January, where we’ll be reaching places like Cheltenham, Yeovil, Manchester, Preston, Bromsgrove, Bury St Edmunds, Southampton, Guildford, Chesterfield, Leeds, Durham, Berwick and Norwich. Then I’ll share more stories when I tour Human Cargo next Spring with the great Jeff Warner We’ll soon be giving Parallel Lives a smart, new website. But, for now, you can read the tales I’ve gathered at http://www.thetransportsproduction.co.uk/ Do get in touch if you’ve got any stories or ideas. And thanks as ever to the wonderful Refugee Council for their help.

Thank you Shrewsbury Folk Festival. My first visit, and I can see why people rave about it. Must admit, I was rather scared, appearing in The Transports before such a massive crowd, and I’m new to the acoustics of huge tents. But it helps to share a stage with people so skilled as The Young’uns, Faustus, Nancy Kerr, Rachael McShane and Greg Russell. Plus the genius of Andy Bell on sound and Emma Thompson on lighting. And thanks to Keith Bache for the show pics. Now to learn some fresh Parallel Lives scripting for the BBC tomorrow…

First off, a remarkable video of the instant standing ovation from 4,000 people.

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