Euroblog #6

Euroblog 6,

OK all you travel-monkeys, I think I’ve found the world’s shittiest hotel. certainly it’s the world’s shittiest 3 star hotel (where the hell did it earn these stars? working in McDonalds?????) Hotel San Marco, just opposite Milan Central Station. Wow. The room is tiny (like the box room in your house, or if you’ve got a big house, the walk-in wardrobe), the view is of… a fire escape. Oh yes. the lighting insufficienct, the decor nasty. It’s not that dissimilar to a visit to Linda’s in Ambleside (B+B for about £16 a night, mangey dog thrown in for free, veggie breakfast is the meat breakfast with the sausage and bacon taken off the plate…) Talking of which, breakfast here is pretty hilarious too, served by Mrs Overall. One poor overworked old lady who speaks nothing but fast Italian trying to deal with requests from picky English bassists with crap Italian for decaf coffee.

Anyway, Thursday, travelled back from Venice, after a fun day with Daniel and Enrico (my Venice hosts, and the hardest working PA-by-boat team I’ve ever come across), back to LucaLand (one day, that’ll be an experimental guitar theme park). Dinner at Cascina Capuzza (without doubt my favourite restaurant in the world – every time I’m there, the veggie option is some new concoction I’d never have even thought of, and it’s always incredible. And then back to mixing/editing the last track. The potential CD is sounding pretty exciting, but it is all being played over Luca’s Genelec 1032 monitors, and recordings of old blokes with bronchial problems wheezing and spluttering would sound great through those, so the rough mixes are transferred to CD and DVD, and I then convert the CD to MP3 and copy it across to my phone for extensive listening on the train.

Friday starts with programming the new Looperlative – after the problems with my prototype, Bob sent me a production model from the States, so I need to copy all the settings into it for the foot controllers and groups etc. doesn’t take long. Lunch back at Cascina Capuzza, a vain attempt to dry the clothes I washed the night before by ironing them, and it’s back to the train station to Milan.

Now, I was supposed to be finishing up an interview for InSound magazine in Milan, but thanks to a family crisis, the journo can’t make it, which means I’m free to meet up for a drink with one of the Italian bassists I didn’t get to see in Verona, Antonella Mazza. She’s a fantastic double bassist, session player, jazzer – and we meet for a drink and a bite to eat in a bar next to the Blue Note (jazz-by-proxy). A most enjoyable chat ensues, and her hubby gives me a lift back to hotel-di-shite.

So now, I’m staring down the wrong end of 12.5 hours on a train to Amsterdam. 4 changes, with all my bags, but an evening with John Lester at the end of it to spur me on. All this getting to hang out with lovely groovy music people all over the continent is pretty fantastic, it must be said.

[update] – on the train now, having just written the press release for the Recycle Collective first anniversary (I’ll post the details ASAP, but it’s on Nov 15th, so put it in your diary now!), half an hour gone, 12 hours to go… anyone know any good jokes?

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