Thanks For The Memories (originally posted in 2015)

I would like to thank the 140 or so folk club, concert and festival organizers who graciously booked an unknown Anglo/ Kiwi folk musician from 2007-2012 and continue to enquire whether I will be touring again. 
Also my sincere thanks to the hundreds of folk who came to hear me perform and perhaps bought my CDs - some of whom still write to ask me if I will be back performing in the UK. To all those lovely people the simple answer is no,  I did my dash and what a wonderful experience it was. 
I thoroughly enjoyed  performing again in England, my birthplace and homeland. 
For those six years, I was once again the English folk-heritage musician that I always wanted to be. I met dozens of English folk musicians and hundreds of English people keen to hear my version of grass-roots English folk music. I re-met folkie musicians whom I had known 40 years before and somehow we just picked up where we left off, and I spent time with talented people I had never seen perform (having left England for New Zealand in 1988) such as Nic Jones, John Wright, Dave Goulder and Vin Garbutt. 
Keeping English culture alive and well, and passing my own Mancunian, Lancastrian, English folk heritage on to as many indigenous and immigrant Ethnic English folk and Anglophiles as possible was what I chose to devote my time to in retirement. Particularly since the advent of multiculturalism and mass immigration it seems to me that English folk are losing out culturally in England and rapidly being disconnected from their ethnic identity. 

So, having experienced the joy of performing the length and breadth of England it was a thrill later on to be invited to take my Lancashire/ English folk heritage on a 12-gig tour of Scotland. 
Amazing reception and superb hospitality. Believe me, a Scottish ‘supper’ at 3am, table laden with food and a few drams of single malt is the perfect way to resolve post-gig adrenaline. 
Being culturally connected themselves not one Scottish person asked me the self-explanatory, inane question that I frequently met in England “Why do you only sing English stuff?”. 
Not a question that anyone would have addressed to Dougie MacLean or Christie Moore methinks, but an English bloke? Yeah well, that's typical of the way English ethnicity is disrespected these days. 

I still write, record and perform occasionally in New Zealand, and I collaborate more with other musicians now, especially younger folk who have no idea that English/ British and New Zealand folk-heritage exists. Sadly, like English kids young Kiwis of British descent have little knowledge of their ancestors’ lives, history and folk-culture. 
Perhaps when I’m back visiting family in the British Isles you’ll see me in your local folk or acoustic club on a singers night – still my favourite way of encountering REAL music. 

Thanks to all for the memories, 
Phil Drane, 
English Folk-Heritage musician