As I lie here on the couch nursing a grizzly chest cold it’s hard to believe that just 11 days ago I was with Lederhosen Lucil rocking out in Toulouse at Le Petit London club.
And that days before that I was at the lovely Cinema Le Melies in Pau, France performing to a warm crowd after a nice petit café et biscuit.
The 2011 European tour was bitter sweet adventure in many ways. I shared the stage with wonderful and talented people including Alex of “Led To Sea” (watching her live is mesmerizing and totally corporeal) and Jos aka G.W. Sok (founder and former singer of the legendary band “The Ex”) who now fronts the sonically raw Toulouse-based “Cannibales et Vahinés.” Lederhosen Lucil even sang a few DEVO covers with garage punk duo “Les Balladurians.” And so many belle rencontres here, there, everywhere! Timson at the Live Music Café sneaking me tea (no hot beverages after 9pm! what?), Murad en route from Brussels to Paris helping me with my gear, Katy cooking the most delicious fish stew and her grandmother’s special chocolate cake in Montesquiou, and Cyril of What A Mess! Records who housed and fed me for many a night! And in Chartres I stayed at the LAB art collective run by Misun Park et Frederic Daty.
But alongside the positive experiences of reconnecting with friends and fans, exploring beautiful places and drinking in amazing architecture, I felt the sadness, anger and frustration of the local people I encountered in Greece and Spain. There was a dark, heavy cloud hanging above – almost tangible. But I do believe that in these trying times art and music can snap us out of a trance, lift us up and connect us in profound ways. And I felt honored to have been able to perform my music for such a variety of audiences in both the bustling metropolis’ and truly rural places.
I had the chance to play with a Greek band on the island of Syros and on that same island penned the words to a song that will be released on my next album.
“And the arms outstretching to reach you, they are longer than you may know.
They extend beyond this illusion…
Divisions will melt with the snow.”
from the song “The Idea of Home”, written in Ermoupoli, Syros, October 2011