Italia, Dublin and British Plastic
This long awaited blog comes to you from a flight to Dublin. I’m Djing in a new club tonight called the Asylum sessions, a new club night set up by one of my old mates Rob (TLP).
I’ve been a busy bee as usual and have just returned from a month tour of Italy where my guitar playing – partner in crime King Ed, and myself took British Plastic to the masses (sometimes).
I would have loved to have taken the band but budget and expenses didn’t allow it so off we set with a sampler and two guitars. It’s quite tricky to remember some of the dates as they all kind of merged into each other.
The most stand out show was in Catania, Sicily where we played an old hollowed out cave venue called ‘The Lomax’. The stage was immense and we were given two of the best guitar amps in the world to use. (60’s valve stuff)
When you tour like this with a minimum equiptment spec, (two guitars and a sampler) you never know what to expect but the venue and gear were superb. The show turned out to be one of the best, although it did turn into a Donovan cover show mid set due to string breakages!
The other top show was in Rome, we had spent the day being shown the sites from our stand-in driver and then turned up to find we had been booked for an acoustic gig!
I don’t mind doing acoustic gigs but I hadn’t rehearsed any of the old songs that were more ‘acousticable’ so we decided to play our normal set but without the sampler backing. I was a little worried but it turned out to be a real warm little huddle of a show. The thing about playing with a sampler is that you can’t open up or experiment with the form of a song but the positive side is that it brings a much bigger sound source to the occasion.
I must give a big shout to our drivers in Italy mainly Jacopo (The Aranchino) and Lorenzo. Jacopo had the horrid job of driving thousands of miles with the pair of us constantly badgering him about journey times, Italian history, Smurfs and toilet stops. Jacopo is an amazing musician in his own right and had the most fantastic knowledge on ‘Murga’ an Argentinian street music, check him doing it here. I love it when I discover something new in this musical world.
As I slow up the promo of British plastic I already have the sonic idea for my fourth album. My next release won’t be as electronic, it’ll be a cross between all that has gone before. I’m still trying to find my ‘sound’ as it were.
So, yes only a few more shows for this year then I’m taking a break to go and study and work in a grown up job to pay the bills (mainly legal..ahem) My academia will be based around getting better at recording, guitar playing and singing.
I’ve always been driven by development and an artistic need to get better at what I do. I remember my first tentative steps on stage and in the studio as a solo artist back in 2008!
Hopefully I’ve progressed.
I’ve always found it quite odd how in the ‘Indie/rocknroll’ it’s frowned upon to mention developing your skills and academia, ‘I’m self taught’ blah blah blah…good well done.
I actually was self taught until a later stage upon which I realised I was missing out and found the best teachers I could afford. There’s nothing better than being opened up to other ideas and bringing your playing and ego in to perspective. The musicianship needed in Indie world isn’t that high to be honest!
So here’s to academia!
I’m hoping that I can make another album as part of my Masters studies so it’ll kill two birds with one stone.
Other than learning stuff there’s a few more exciting things in the pipeline. Gary Powell and myself have been locked down with a producer developing our radio show. Radio is an odd world these days as everyone seems to be on the radio or want to be. We’re setting our sights high and will be digging into new music, our heritage, knowledge and passion for music. We should find out soon if a major radio player has agreed to schedule us.
We’re working with a great media team so I feel it’s going to work splendidly. Watch this space.
By the way, if there’s any bands that want to send me their music please do so. Send me a link to listen, youtube, soundcloud (not myspace please it takes ages) See twitter, Fb links below.
Obviously I can’t guarantee exposure but if it works for me, Gary and the show we’ll fit it in. Also please note, the show isn’t being aired anywhere as yet but if all goes to plan…it could be you…and us!
And….Just remembered…Scotland last week, wow, how could I forget this!
We had a great weekend up in the Highlands. I managed to get the whole band out to the gigs so RKC were firing on all cylinders.
I’m surprised we made it to be honest, I knew my clutch was about to go and my poor old hatchback has just about had it. Obviously I didn’t let on to the band!
It was a long old slog to Falkirk for the first date but it really was a smashing gig, great support bands and a great atmosphere at 20 rocks. We finished the night with a lock in our hotel ‘The Orchard’ listening to Wayne….’War of the worlds.’ Stewart the manager is an inspiration.
The next stop was Glasgow, always a killer gig, was great to see so many old faces coming and supporting the band, and once again great supports.
I got the usual requests for Babyshambles songs of which I address with a smile and a ‘No’
I might do a little acoustic one day where I play RKC and my Babyshambles songs, but not yet. I’ve still got too much new stuff to work up.
So Scotland was short and sweet but still a challenge. It makes me respect even more the bands that do the ‘up and down the country in the back of a van’ thing
The real grass roots bands with no funding, just passion!
It’s far too easy to be ‘Indie’ unsigned yet have a driver, crew and promo available in this days and age. We live in an age where ‘Indie’ unsigned has more kudos than being signed to a major so all the big players are pretending. The thing is….. they are easy to spot and we all know them.
So to all the unsigned kids doing it for the love, I salute you.
Keep supporting, and spreading the word.
See you next time.