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!

Sleep perchance to… wake up again at 4 in the morning…


never had it this bad before – three days in a row I’ve woken up at 4.30am, and usually I can sleep wherever and whenever I want… not good. In fact, have spent loads of time asleep since I got back – combination of jetlag, exhaustion from touring, and some sort of cold/throat infection thing I seem to have picked up somewhere along the way. Not dying, but not exactly on tip top form either…

So what have I been up to? not much, to be honest. Still trying to catch up on emails etc. Working on some more gigs for later in the year – newcastle in may, and a london one quite soon, I Think… more on that ASAP…

Saturday, if I’m well enough, I’ll be going on the stop the war demo in London – could be huge, should be huge. The more of the news I see, the more insane it all seems to get. Colin Powell trying to suggest the french are just getting their UN-kicks by stalling? er, no, I think you’ll find they’ve thought you were mad since day one for suggesting this war… Anyway, I’ll be there, infecting everyone with my viral stuff, but hopefully helping to let Blair know we think he’s a dickhead.

Today will be a tidying day – my mum’s arriving later on (coming down for the demo), and the house is a tip.

Soundtrack – yesterday, I just listened to ‘Lessons Learned…’ about six times in a row – definitely my favourite of my albums at the moment, and possibly destined for a CDR release before too long, maybe with another CD of ambient noodlings… we’ll see… Other than that, been listening to ‘The Willies’ by Bill Frisell (excellent as always), ‘Kakusei’ by DJ Krush (down tempo IDM – very cool indeed), and ‘this sentence is true (the previous sentence is false)’ by Sheila Chandra, which, as with all her stuff, is stunning. what else. Oh yes, the new album from Theo Travis, an album of solo alto flute looping called ‘Slow Life’, it’s lovely, naturally, as is all of theo’s music. And lastly, the new album from Michael Franti – ‘Sounds From The Front Porch’, which is just what the doctor ordered as the world heads towards more rich people bombing poor people.

And one last site to check out – – great site, run by Tom Morello I think, from Audioslave – is the audioslave album any good? been meaning to check it out… very good site anyway. go there and get informed!

oh and by the way, I posted a link to Todd Johnson, the bassist’s, site the other day as which turns out to be a hocket player or something… anyway, Todd’s real web address is – go pay him a visit, and ask him sports related questions… :o)

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