Sheringham folk singer’s remote tour will follow the birds

A folk singer/songwriter is about to pack his guitar and travel thousands of miles to follow the remote trail of the wild geese he sees from his north Norfolk home in winter.

Paul Thompson will be singing at festivals, coffee houses and out-of-the-way venues across Alaska and Canada during a three-month tour which begins at the end of May.

Mr Thompson, 40, from Sheringham, became particularly aware of the annual winter migrants while he was recording his latest album, A Leap of Faith, in Weybourne.

'I started thinking about where the geese originally came from and got interested in Alaska and Canada. I woke up one night and the idea of the tour came into my mind. When I woke up the next morning it still seemed like a good idea!' said Mr Thompson.

He has managed to arrange about 20 gigs so far and is confident that he will pick up others on his travels, especially as he is planning to keep a blog of his journey and use social networking tools Facebook and Twitter to keep followers regularly updated.

One highlight will be a trip to the remote Alaskan community of Seldovia where he will arrive by boat to take part in a festival over the summer solstice.

Other bookings include a bar called Bombay Peggy's - a former brothel named after its one-time Madam, in the former Canadian Yukon goldrush community of Dawson City - and an old log cabin used as a coffee house in the Rocky Mountain town of Silverton.

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Mr Thompson plans to travel light, carrying only a back-pack, his guitar and a battery-powered amp, and expects to do some hitch-hiking en route. He is also prepared to camp in a tent occasionally and is aware that he will need to keep an eye out for roving bears.

'I'm really excited and looking forward to new experiences, cross-cultural meetings, and having new things to write songs about,' said Mr Thompson, who described his music as modern folk-pop and said his influences included wandering musical troubadours such as Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and James Taylor.

He will be launching his new CD and tour at a free event in Sheringham's Oddfellows' Hall at 7.30pm on May 24.