Bruce Cockburn Gig Pt 2

Part two of the Cockburn gig experience – this time at The Forum in Kentish Town, London, which is an OK venue, but not ideal. Still, Bruce and Julie were on top form, played enough material that was different from last night to make it all well worthwhile, including a couple of real surprises, including ‘Planet Of The Clowns’ from his early 80s album, Trouble With Normal – a great song.

Julie Wolf was on sterling form once again – more fine piano playing and atmospheric organ stuff.

Interesting to see SOOO many people I knew at the gig (probably 30-40 I knew by sight, and 25-30 by name), and we also had the now obligatory Bruce gig recognition thingie – ‘are you that bass player bloke? I saw you at Greenbelt, and recognised your beard’… :o)

Following the gig was a low key meet ‘n’ greet backstage – very nice to get a chance to compliment Julie Wolf on her marvellous playing, and say hi to Bruce, though whether he remembered me as the guy who interviewed him for guitarist mag 4 years ago is anybody’s guess.

Anyway, one of the other songs that Bruce did tonight that was left out of last night’s set was Call It Democracy – a marvellous insightful raging rant about the onward march of western economic and militaristic hegemonic practice – so good, that I’ve copied the lyrics here (there are a couple of naughty words in them, so if such things upset you for some reason, page down past the song)…

Padded with power here they come
International loan sharks backed by the guns
Of market hungry military profiteers
Whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared
With the blood of the poor

Who rob life of its quality
Who render rage a necessity
By turning countries into labour camps
Modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom

Sinister cynical instrument
Who makes the gun into a sacrament —
The only response to the deification
Of tyranny by so-called “developed” nations’
Idolatry of ideology

North South East West
Kill the best and buy the rest
It’s just spend a buck to make a buck
You don’t really give a flying fuck
About the people in misery

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

See the paid-off local bottom feeders
Passing themselves off as leaders
Kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows
Open for business like a cheap bordello

And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy

See the loaded eyes of the children too
Trying to make the best of it the way kids do
One day you’re going to rise from your habitual feast
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast
They call the revolution

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

There you go – what a great song. It’s from the album ‘World Of Wonders’, which is great, and there’s also a magic version on Bruce Cockburn Live.

Soundtrack John Coltrane, ‘Coltrane’; Paul Motian Trio, ‘Live At The Village Vanguard’; The Amazing Bud Powell Vol 1.

Can't think of an interesting title

So what’s new? Gig at the Klinker on Thursday was a lot of fun, though it was also a bit of a (self-inflicted) hassle, in that I forgot two leads that I needed and had to come back for them, which meant Rick and I had no soundcheck as such, and that I missed a fair bit of his solo set 🙁 Still, the gig went well – I was just using one Echoplex and the Kaoss Pad, and the combination of that with Rick’s arsenal of percussive and ambient sounds was really cool – some very fine moments.

Friday morning, I had to take Andrew to the airport at 6.30, so couldn’t stay late at the Klinker on Thursday, sadly. Hopefully will get to spend more time with Rick and Chris this week, if they make it back to London…

The rest of the weekend has been lovely and relaxing – went to church this morning, and to ikea this afternoon to get a new CD storage thingie, which is v. nice, and also home to my new Bonsai! after the last one died, I wanted a new one, and finally got round to getting one midweek, as mentioned in last blog entry.

Just google-ised my name – not done it for a while, so was checking for new entries and links etc. Found one v. interesting link on wikipedia – not sure who posted it there, but apparently I’m one of the eleven influential bassists… hmmm, v. flattering, not sure it’s true, but I’ll leave it there. I did just add an entry on my own name (or rather, The Captain entered a daft entry, which I replaced with something a little more sensible…)

Soundtrack – right now, Blackstreet, ‘Another Level’; in the last few days – Bruce Cockburn, ‘You’ve Never Seen Everything’; Spearhead, ‘Everyone Deserves Music’; Athlete, ‘Vehicles And Animals; Cocteau Twins, ‘Victorialand’; John Coltrane, ‘Lush Life’; The Sundays, ‘Reading, Writing and Arithmetic’ and in the car (ehem) Cinderella, ‘Long Cold Winter’ (80s metal, sung in the style of miss piggie, for some bizarre reason).

You've Never Seen Everything

a new Bruce Cockburn album is always a pretty big event in Stevie-ville. The new one, You’ve Never Seen Everything, arrived yesterday. I’d been forwarned by a couple of MP3s on the Cooking Vinyl website, but hearing the whole thing was still a delicious experience. Continuing Bruce’s flirtation with jazzier harmonies and more improv stuff than his late 80s/early 90s stuff, it’s also a surprisingly immediate album, with the usual inspiring and challenging lyrical stuffs. Some stellar basswork from Larry Taylor, John Dymond and Steve Lucas, and even a little loopage courtesy of violinist Hugh Marsh. All in all, destined to be a Brucie classic. Can’t wait for the UK dates later in the year.

Soundtrack – apart from the obvious, also been spinning Seal’s first album, Don Henley, ‘End Of The Innocence’ and more Coltrane. Oh, and MP3s of all the tunes I need to learn for the Lovesjones gig on Friday night

Let's go round again…

busy weekend. Have spent a fair amount of time in the last few days recording with Matthias Grob – Matthias is the inventor of the Echoplex, and a stunning guitarist (he built his own guitar as well, natch) and we’ve been coming up with all manner of delicious improv, ranging from ambient soundscape stuff to more funky things through to some scary out noises. All rather marvellous and invigorating. As with all this recent duet activity, I’m hoping to have some up online before too long – now that Sarda is back from the states, maybe he’ll get this server of his happening, and I’ll be able to move my site away from zetnet for eva…

Anyway, I digress – Matthias and I have been looping and chatting for a couple of days – talking lots of what we do, why we do it and how to get it across to people… All very stimulating stuff.

What else? ah yes, saturday there was a party for the 30th anniversary of the Greenbelt festival – a fun event, held at Lambeth Palace (the official residence of the AB of C – a nice gaff, which makes up for the rather crappy salary that goes with the job, as interestingly enough, all Church Of England Clergy are on the same wage, whether parish priest or Archbishop…) Anyway, was a fun time to catch up with lots of GB related chums that I’d not seen for a while.

This week is going to be BUSY – first up, I’ve got a recording sesh on Thursday )(more on that later, no doubt), then Friday night I’ve got a rather fun gig, filling in for the keyboard player in Lovesjones. ‘What, you don’t play keys!” – indeed I don’t, but I do make odd noises with a bass, so will be covering the keyboardish role on bass… then doing a solo set.. at Jazz After Dark in Soho… on Friday night.

Also got to relearn some of the improvs that Theo and I have done over the last couple of months for our gig next Tuesday at the National Theatre. So busy week of learning stuff. Still editing the tracks with theo. And the news stuff with Matthias. And hopefully hooking up again with BJ Cole. And listening through the tracks with Patrick Wood. Blimey, how much recording have I been doing lately???? loads, I tell yer!

What else is new? Oh, The CD shop at Bass Guitar Magazine’s website has started stocking my CDs, which is nice of them.

And a track from Not Dancing (Amo Amatis Amare) is on the cover disc that comes with Bassics Magazine – oh, have I mentioned that already? well, here’s the confirmation that it is indeed Amo Amatis…

Soundtrack – been listening to loads of the duo stuff with Matthias, obviously, and the tracks with Theo, and Matthias’s CD, which is great (out on Pillow Mountain Records v. soon) other than that, Kenny Wheeler’s album ‘Angel Song’ has been going round a lot in the kitchen, and today I’ve been listening to Coltrane’s ‘Complete Africa Brass Sessions’ which is incredible – I put it on to play during Mark’s lesson this morning, and it’s been in the player ever since…