I've been away from my blog for a while, to do good things. Like drinking, getting drunk, having sex, listening to great bands, trying a new drug, talking with my ex-to-be, doing gigs, jam-sessions, therapy, rehearsing, producing Reaganesk. And not feeling too miserable in between. So I'm doing fine.
But where do I begin? I guess I'll just start shooting. To begin with the concert of Labasheeda in Winston Kingdom. Great show, mixing The Breeders with Bettie Serveert. Her voice reminds me a bit of Carol van Dijk, that's why. Their bassplayer is really irreplaceable, adding some explosive sound eruptions to their music. They were a bit nervous beforehand, because their drummer had to leave for Italy. So they frantically rehearsed for a whole week with a new drummer. It really paid off. I don't know the original drummer, because this is the first time I saw them. But I like this one... Here are the pics of their gig.
Then, Music77 staying at the Fishbowl R&R Hotel. That's where I live, of course. With Carmenkata, I live in a commune in the Amsterdam suburbs. No parking fees, and enough space for a whole band to stay. Fiel Garvie, Audiotransparent and Music77 had already stayed with us. This was their second time. The coming week, Danish band Green Concorde will visit us.
Music77 did a concert for VPRO's 'De Avonden' radio program. Their singer Johann was really wasted. The day before, he got lost in Groningen. Their friends of Audiotransparent finally retrieved him in a shabby bar where they had kept feeding him drinks. Friendly people, because he had no money on him :) Next time, we have to get him drunk again. His music never sounded this pure before. Although some people missed the cello player, I thought it was an excellent show of Swedish melancholy.
They also had some drummer problems, though. This is to be the week of the untrustworthy drummer, for shure. On the very day they left for Holland, their drummer got ill. So they asked their driver if he could drum a bit. He happens to be a singer/songwriter. But could he turn out be a drummer as well? Johann kept telling me "next time we'll come with a real drummer", but I already saw one. And he could sing... Look at some pics I shot of their show. Especially the ones with the drummer are funny...
That night, after I guided them back to my place, I had to work in the Heineken Music Hall again. So no sleep for me, until 6 in the morning. But they were moving out at 9, and after that I had to rehearse with Robin Block and Carmenkata. He the poet and you know it. The rehearsal was for the gig in the Pakhuis Afrika, a squatters center in Amsterdam. Hurling a new poem towards the audience, we felt on top of things. This was a good test for the concert at the Wintertuin Festival. We'll be playing coming Saturday.
Last week I also made some great progress with the production of Reaganesk's new album. It's his birthday today, but he doesn't want to celebrate. I insisted on celebrating next week, when he'll be 27 years and 7 days... also a very special moment in one's life I think. You can checkout some of his music on his website. Naturally, we ended up in the bar drinking Guinness. But before that, we really mixed some life into his tracks.
And then came the Carmenkata gig in café The End. I especially invited Marg (ex-Seedling), because she's looking for new musicians to play in her new band Gram. She showed up, of course. Which means something had to go terribly wrong. And of course it did. What happened? The manager had decided in all his wisdom that it would be smart to completely mute the drums, and then trigger them. So that you would always have the same safe volume. And the same crappy eighties sound. Unless you're into New Order with your band, you have a problem. When I explained this to Marg and her guitarist Maarten, they felt very very sorry for me. But shall I be really honest with you? I actually enjoyed myself a lot! I figured, when you can't beat 'em, join 'em. So I made sure New Order and all kinds of eighties rock cliches were never far away. Needless to say, I prided myself in finding out if I could actually beat through the skins. Which was of course an utterly vain attempt. But it made fun.
I assume Marg was not immediately appalled by my drumming, because she called me a few days later if I wanted to audition! She confessed that she had no idea at all about my style, because the triggered drumkit effectively prevented that. But something must have clicked somewhere. It's next Thursday, and I'm so much looking forward to it! Wish me luck...
To make my life even more action packed, I decided to drive to Enschede and back on Saturday. By Sunday, we had to go there again. Enschede - Amsterdam is about 200 km. I know, I'm not so good at logistics when I'm not thinking straight. And there hasn't been a whole lot of straight thinking the last few months, I'm afraid ;)
I did some brainstorming with Daniëlle of [drga-drga], and we went to see We vs Death play in Atak. Of course I made some pics of their show.
And then finally yesterday was the jam session in café Jansen & Janssen. Carmenkata was invited as special guest. We played two sets. A lot of fans and friends showed up. In fact, our fans are our friends. Or they become our friends, for that matter. Ron v/d Boom of VPRO's 3voor12OV did some sort of an interview and made some pics. I'm curious if he'll post a story, I'll keep an eye on it.