London Guitar Festival

Two days of London Guitar Festival involvement – yesterday, I went down to see John Scofield first do an interview, then a gig.

The interview was interesting, not least of all because it showed how little thought John has had to give to codifying what he does – admittedly, a lot of the questions were inane in the extreme (for example, ‘What kind of things would you play over, say, a Cm7?’ – as though he’s going to list a few notes that would make you play like him…), but even still, his explainations of what he does were much more from a visceral, intuitive place rather than a schooled detatched techie place.

The gig was breathtaking – the band were all pretty much perfect. Adam Dietch on drums was outstanding, Mark Kelly on bass a groove monster, Avi Bortnick on guitar and samples was like Nile Rodgers evil twin, and John – looking for all the world like Robert Duvall, as student nick pointed out – playing on top of his game. I’ve seen him twice before, and neither held a candle to this, in terms of freshness, invention, interplay. Genius at work.

Day two at the festival, and it was my turn to play. I did a 50 minute set on the foyer stage at the QEH, which was great fun. Always nice to see lots of familiar faces in the crowd, and always fun to get a chance to mess with things a little – this was my first solo gig since getting the second MPX-G2, and the new sound options were really really inspiring, so even the tunes that I’ve played before didn’t end up anywhere close to the record… Lots of fun!

After me was Jim Lampi, an incredible Chapman Stick player, and one I’d have probably gone to see anyway, even if I hadn’t been playing.

And in other news, today – oops, sorry, it’s yesterday now – was the anniversary of Dubya declaring ‘Mission Accomplished’ in Iraq. I really hope he’s feeling like a complete twat today, thinking back to the crass display that he put on under that banner on a warship. unless the ‘Mission’ in question was to destabalise, start a civil war, generate hatred and mistrust and generally fuck things up royally, I think we can safely say that far from being accomplished, things are as bad as they’ve ever been. Yes of course the Iraqi people wanted rid of Saddam, but I don’t think they wanted an abusive occupying force in his place.

And now, in a stoke of US military genius, the situation in Falluja has been handed over to one of Saddam’s former generals! Que? did I miss something?

Meanwhile, US (and possibly UK) soldiers are acting in a way more commonly associated with the third reich – torturing, mocking, debasing and abusing prisoners… ‘operation ultimate justice’ my arse – ‘operation ultimate balls-up’ more like.

Still, at least my gig went well…

Soundtrack – just been listening to some samples on Avi Bortnick’s site. Good stuff!

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