Right then. Spring is coming, sooner or later, and it is time to stop making excuses and start making plans for the summer. If you have never really engaged with live music but thought that you might, be it indoors or outside, now is the time to make some decisions. There has arguably never been such a choice as there is just now. I'll say it now, loud and plain, even vinyl isn't a patch on live performance.
The tired old excuses - about the kids, food, camping, toilets, whatever.... well they don't really hold water any longer. You can have anything you want - from a couple of hours at an intimate indoor gig to four days camping in a field - and it is up to you. What is more is that it doesn't need to cost the earth either. The one thing that you will have to find minders for, if it is more than a short escape, is your pets. Your cat may have other ideas of a good weekend whilst you are away but that's not my problem.
Here is a selection, biased to those that are reasonably local to me but not entirely so:
For more about the artists see here --- Blair Dunlop --- Emma Stevens. At the same venue the following Sunday Megan Henwood and on 10 May Canadian artist Annabelle Chvostek (formerly a member of The Wailin' Jennys). She has a brand new LP 'Be The Media' coming out on 1 June.
Then on 13 June comes the second edition of Behind The Castle Festival and, as it says, it is held just behind Sherborne Castle, Dorset in beautiful parkland. Bigger and better than last year, which was great this one-day family-friendly festival now has camping overnight on the Saturday (but you need to book that and soon) and will have enhanced catering and bar facilities as well as more stuff just for kids.
Here is the upper crust of the line-up. The rest won't disappoint.
In the way such things can happen, one of the artists not on the above list has been forced to cancel owing to illness. The replacement, who would otherwise have been on the list above, is to be announced tomorrow. It will be worth watching, trust me.
That is not to say that the others in the running list are any less worthy of your attention or indeed mine. I'm a firm believer in always arriving in time to see all of the support sets at any gig and, in so far as is possible, turning out to see the opening acts on festival stages even at 11am on Sunday morning.
You might just get the live music bug. If you do then the longer festivals beckon.
When summer is fading in to autumn it will be time for North Dorset Folk Festival. That is a long time off and we must not wish all those months away.
If I were to write such a piece then it would not come out much different to this very recent preview: