In an unwelcome development that may reflect the tough economic times for North American acts touring Europe nowadays, Dale Watson announced before his Bristol show on Friday that he would no longer tour outside of the United States. He was at pains to say that he was in no way retiring, and that while he might manage the occasional festival appearance, it was pretty much sayonara as far as dedicated tour dates in Europe are concerned.
In future, those of us who are Dale Watson fans will have to catch up with him on trips to Texas or Memphis, possibly taking in a sideshow of chicken shit bingo at the same time. For the uninitiated, chicken shit bingo is pretty much exactly as advertised: a chicken walks around a cage that has bingo numbers lining the bottom of it. If your ticket happens to correspond with the number where the chicken gets to fowl, then you win. Meanwhile, Dale Watson and his band entertain their guests by playing honky-tonk music throughout the game. The winner of each round can either take the $114 winnings or the contents of one of Watson’s pockets, which could hold either more or less than $114.
Dale Watson’s full announcement read as follows:
“Hi friends, I wanted to announce my decision to stop touring outside the US after this tour. I might come over for one-off festival shows but after over 20 years of doing this, I’m facing the reality that it’s not getting easier or any more profitable. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result, well, we all know the saying. All this said, I want to thank my European, UK, Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavian, and Australian fans for coming to the shows and supporting me all these years. Again, there may be a festival here and there that would fly us over for a one-off show, but barring that, I look forward to seeing y’all stateside in Texas or Memphis. I’m going to concentrate on the Ameripolitan Awards and get the much-needed exposure of the very talented upcoming artists so they can keep touring and make a living as I have in this crazy business. I still have tonight in Bristol, England then Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Madrid left on this tour, so these shows will be bittersweet, but I am in good spirits about this decision. I’m NOT RETIRING by any means. Have bus, will travel. Thank all of you for supporting my music and shows. See ya at the next one!”