Sunday, 24 April 2011


... you know, when you look for any distraction; anything that you might be able to call more important than the task at hand? and so i find myself sitting amongst a litter of guitar effects and clothes, trying to figure out why its more important that i write this than assemble my things for the tour...

that's right, after five months of running around like a headless chicken (peter and liz, our managers, are kind of like my heads!) - i'm excited to be hitting the road again...

i started packing on thursday, while i was doing some mixing work, but quickly abandoned the packing, cause its sooo boring! i cracked back into it on friday, again, mixing took presidence! on saturday, i was circling the mess of things i need to squeeze into a reasonabley sized suitcase, wondering how this time, for this tour its so difficult... i went outisde to the balcony to sit in the sun and ponder this - it turns, out, that i usually don't unpack between tours, as it's rare to have this much time off! back to it... i picked up a jumper and put it into the suitcase - the heaviest blackest jumper i own, i quickly removed it thinking "c'mon, it's summer!", then put it back thinking "yeah, but the tour starts in ireland", then removed it and found a lighter one - phew... i left the house, happy in the knowledge that the packing has begun!

this morning, i lay in bed watching the pile... it wasn't going anywhere - it seems to be growing, actually! standing proud and glorious under the sunbeams gushing through the open window... ok... plan of action... shower - breakfast - market - pack...

standing in the queue at the veg stand, i realised that i had nothing to buy... "suivant!"... as i'm leaving on tour this evening... have i mentioned that i'm off on tour this evening, no? well guess what, as of this evening i'm back on the road! ... "hello?" ... "ah, oui... eh... 6 oranges et une pamplamoose, s'il vous plait." i paniced - i never eat oranges!

home again - looking at the pile - how should i approach it... i suppose instruments and effects first, then clothes squeezed in around them for protection... i'm going to make myself an orange juice...

Friday, 8 April 2011

first words of spring

first words of spring
---three scenarios---

--she makes me smile--
- "so how was the gig?"
- "brilliant, trippy... and the singer was as beautiful as ever!
"after the gig, for the first time, i found myself standing opposite her, looking into her eyes... i couldn't remember if i was supposed to speak with the familiarity of the friendship that we have forged in my dreams, or if i should present myself as a stranger.
"i froze up... 'eh!', i said... then, 'uh!'...then, do you know what happened?"
- "tell me..."
- "i saw a friend, a familiar face and quickly took the opportunity to ask him if my feet were still on the ground!
"she thinks i'm wierd now, doesn't she?"
- "probably, but have you heard her music, it'll most likely work in your favour!"

that evening, even before arriving at the gig, i knew that i would be able to meet her... i had gone over the conversation in my head:

- "hello, great gig! i've been wanting to come and see your band play for ages now, but i spend so much time on tour..."
no, "... but i just keep missing your shows..."
that's not right either, "... but my dog ate my homework (that'll do!)"
- "ah..." (even in my dreams there are awkward silences!)
- "its great now that the evenings are longer and we can sit out late..."

... ok, so even in my head i couldn't get convincingly passed "hello", but when i finally found myself looking into her eyes, i hardly even got that far - i was lost! i was so afraid of coming off as a wierd fan, that i just came across as wierd!

- "they went off for dinner and i went to curl up and dissappear in a dark corner somewhere. i felt like a teenager! ... do you want another beer?"
- "ah, go on!"
- "la meme chose, merci... how do you manage to act normally and not feel self-consious when staring a dream straight in the face? when that dream is tangible, uncontrollable, interactive?"
- "you close the eye that knows it's a dream and listen!"
"i'll probably never be able to share words with her again."

"... but he's nearly two already and seems to understand most of what we say."
"some children just take a bit longer than others. when he finally opens his mouth, he'll probably recite shakespere! would you like some more potatoes?"
*the childs head shoots back and forth as though following the conversation*
"yes, please."
*man burns his hand on the pot*
"fuck - fuck - fuck - fuck" the child parrots!

--nice morning--
after adding the boiling water, she put the teapot on the cooker to brew up a strong pot, just the way he likes it. he crumpled out the newspaper, briefly interrupting her ritual. they had been married for fifty-seven years, she'll be seventy-eight next month and has made his tea almost every morning of their married life.
she rememberd how, on the first morning of spring, when they had barely been married a year, he took her on the breakfast table... much like this morning, the spring sun beamed in through the open window and lit her figure through the flimsy nightdress. much like this morning, the birds were singing in the garden as she waited for the kettle to whistle. that morning, however, almost fifty-six years ago to the day, he threw her, almost violently, up on the table, ripped her nightdress off and climbed on top of her. the cups shattering as they hit the floor around them but, caught in the throes of passion, they didn't realise... it was so unexpected and so animalistic...

after that morning and for the first years of their marraige, they often made love like that..."

"nice morning, dear"
"what was that?"
"nice morning", he repeated.
"oh... yes... it is!"

... she wished she could know now what made him feel that then and get it back... its true that they had aged into a beautiful serene comfort that she treasured greatly, but she missed that passion!

she turned to look at him and after a moment, whispered, "we're old now, aren't we, darling?"

Thursday, 7 April 2011

sans souci launch

i'm filled with pride and sadness.

pride for the work we have accomplished together and sadness for the fact that it is for only us, a small group of friends to enjoy, when i would like to share it with so many more.

it is for this reason that, today, we launch the live and sans souci album into the hands of those friends, with the hope that they will pass it on to their friends, and their friends to theirs, and so on... the construction and excecution of this project is filled with an ever growing love and laughter, and i hope to be able to share this with even more honest souls.

certain parts of it we can share for free: - for videos, songs to listen to and other information
- for tourdates and contact
- for my musings and ideas

other parts of the project cost us and, because we want to be able to afford to continue to play music, we appreciate your support in buying what you enjoy.
the album is currently available with cdbaby, and will shortly be available through bandcamp and other platforms, such as amazon and itunes.

i am proud of the music, the vibe, the work we are putting into it all and the body of work we are creating together. this weekend has been a particularly heart-warming expierence.

on thursday evening, ben and anna arrived in bruxelles and we went to the opening of the first of the tonton racleurs exhibitions for their summer residency in the recyclart. there, for the first time, we presented nico's handprinted album sleeves.

on saturday, ben, anna, wallis and sarah prepared dinner for 15, while the rest of us set up the venue for the gig, we all sat out in the garden until 21h30, in the first of this years summer evenings eating, drinking and being merry. we, the band were on the stage before the audience arrived, and we began playing, simon, fabrice and i at first, just jamming, like we so often do at rehearsals, the others joined in after. when everyone had settled we began the gig and it was lovely to share the launch of this album, recorded in this special room, with our friends who live here, and our friends who frequent!

after the gig had ended, the evening turned into a giant jam in the veranda as a deafening thunder and lightning storm circled around us and we passed the guitar back and forth - it was a magical moment and i am lucky to count so much talent amongst my friends :)

the sunday, i got up for the market and laid out breakfast in the sun on the terrace - we lazed away several hours before debarking for de musica in louvain-la-neuve, where we did a special performance, filmed by our friend, kevin... simon, fabrice, wallis, anna, augi, ben, remy, francois and i, sat in a circle in the middle of the shop, arranging, performing and filming each others songs! wallis arrived with a magnum of chimay blue, bruno and dido, with a spread of food fit for the roman gods,... it was another magical evening...

the monday, we wandered the city in the sun, and as the guys settled into their tourism, i skipped off to watch a play that i had helped my friend aline write for her class of 6 year olds - again, magical!!!

then when wallis and sarah left (in true indiana jones style), ben and anna prepared a dinner for simon, naima, antoine and i - a nice calm evening in the middle of the mad week.

this evening, we are preparing for the public and official launch of our album. we are celebrating with champagne (kind of) and dinner, prepared by the promoter, xavier's mum, in the backstage of the atelier 210, where we are about to go on stage and perform... please raise a glass with us to the birth of aidan & the italian weather ladies new album, 'live and sans souci' :D