Back to the Troubadour

Last night was the gig at the Troubadour, with Modeste Hughes. Which was great fun! As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the Troubadour has changed a fair bit since I recorded my first album there three ‘n’ a bit years ago, all for the better – the venue is really cool, the food’s good, the stage is nice. Was suffering a bit from an earth hum on my amp – couldn’t work out if it was the amp, the lighting, the system or what… a little bit annoying, but not gig-destroying… Was really nice to see lots of familiar faces there (though it’s a mixed blessing to play to an audience where lots of them have already got all your albums, as they don’t buy stuff! LOL) Still, the gig went well, and seemed to be rather well received.

Modeste Hugues was also very good – quartet of him on guitar and voice, with bass, percussion and his son on shaker. Great party music, smiling music, and some fabulous musicianship. Well worth checking out if you get the chance.

Lots of very nice feedback from the venue – the soundman and the venue manager both said they want me to go and play there again, so hopefully there’ll be some more me@thetroubadour stuff before too long… hopefully some interesting duets, and one of those increasingly rare me/jez gigs… finger’s crossed…

On a different note, church was very interesting on Sunday morning – the prayers bit of the service was arranged around a map of iraq on the floor in the middle of the church, and people were offered the opportunity to pray for peace, and light a candle, which could then be put on the map – a lovely symbolic gesture, handled without any political discussion, in deference to the messiness of the current situation and what we should do now it seems like the ‘coalition’ is, as Bono once sang, ‘Stuck in a moment, and you can’t get out of it’… Anyway, the symbolism of lighting candles is always such a simple yet effective focus for thoughts and prayers, and placing it directly onto a map of iraq, considering the lives of the iraqi civilians and soldiers, the UK/US military personel, the brave/foolhardy journalists, and those affected elsewhere, was a thought-provoking and moving moment.

Soundtrack – been repeatedly listening to Matt Garrison’s self titled solo debut album, which is marvellous. Also been listening to Best of EW&F, Naked City (the first album), The Pixies – Doolittle, and in the car an early Jonas Hellborg album (that someone taped for me when I was at college), and ‘Hipocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury’ by the Disposable Heros Of Hiphoprisy – there’s a track on the CD called ‘Winter Of The Long Hot Summer’, all about the first Gulf War, and it’s really really frightening how much of it could apply to what’s happening now… Also took a couple of CDs along to the gig last night to top ‘n’ tail my set – David Sylvian’s ‘Secrets Of The Beehive’ before I went on, and ‘Angel Song’ by Kenny Wheeler, Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell and Dave Holland to finish – ideal!

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