Following the show in Vicenza Luca, Andrea and myself are travelling back to our accomodation when we are stopped by the Police. They carefully check all our documents and take about 20 mins to do so. During this time we pose for holiday snaps whilst in the car. These situations always make me nervous (despite having done nothing wrong). But again what with the experience being a shared one it became nothing but fun whilst we waited for the all clear :).
The following day we begun the long journey from Vicenza to Riva La Garda. A couple of hours drive through twisting roads over mountains.
The final show of the tour North Italy part of the tour was at a pub called the Lochness. Quite why this name I`ll never know but the place was run by nice staff and the locals were even nicer. This show only came about as a result of Alessio Scanavacca seeing me play during my New Zealand tour 2 years earlier and keeping in touch. When he heard I was returning to Italy he sorted out the whole event for me. My thanks to you Alessio :). Us musicians need this kind of support and look out on our behalf.
The show was a total joy to play. I opened with a very discordant improv section before settling into the song `Varit` from my new album.
I was buzzing like hell from the atmosphere and really felt a connection with the audience who expressed great support as the set went on. This was my 7th show in 7 days and so this kind of reception was exactly what was needed to keep momentum afloat.
The locals were clearly supportive of a touring musician coming through and sales of my new Vinyl LP were really good this night. It still surprises me when I sell any of these at all.
The set ended with an encore of the song `Pish`. A true dub tune dedicated to my friends from our meetings in New Zealand 2 years back.
Following the show Luca and Andrea got some sleep whilst I sat up alone for several hours overlooking an awesome skyline. Our accommodation was on a mountainside and watching the sunrise over the stunning lake and beautiful scenery was really something. A true moment of personal euphoria I will not forget.
A strange one this. We had little sleep the night before due to the unsympathetic hours of Hotels understanding the working hours of musicians (A problem I am currently facing in Japan as I type).
So with sleep in our eyes Luca, Andrea and myself set off for our next destination just an hour or so drive away.
We stop off in a very nice city of which the name escapes me where we walk fairly aimlessly for a couple of hours and then have a nice but rushed and bustled lunch.
Then we arrive at our venue in Bergamo.
The place had a community run vibe with art being a major factor. Throughout my time there all the music that was playing was Syd Barret Era Pink Floyd. I took this as a good sign that things could get Psychedelic.
I also took this as a chance to play a different style setlist. Dropping many of the mainstay songs and dipping into my back catalogue aswell as testing the water with new material.
It was a pleasure to open the set with `Designed To Stop`. A song rarely played since this performance in Japan late 2011.
What was also a true pleasure was to make the Live Debut of the song `This College Year` with Andrea on the Piano.
All in all a nice experimental set which was followed by a overwhelming Italian beer made by Monks.
11.3% alcohol was all I needed for a good nights sleep.
Again after a few hours of playing `the game of the chicken` on the Italian roads we arrive at our serene and secluded destination.
Rive Jazz Club is a place of great history as the venue first opened it`s doors shortly after the end of the second world war when the current venue owners grandmother, decided to play piano as a way to cheer up the locals amidst the hard times.
Generations have passed and now it is one of the cool and cosmopolitan locations in Northern Italy. Infact on this given day the venue opened specially for the owner of Diesel Jeans who wanted to unveil his new collection there.
So my show was slightly surreal but still all good.
Francesco Federici (Drummer with Daggers and Zero Call) joined me for a song and I even decided to play a couple of covers by Fleetwood Mac and Jimi Hendrix. Sometimes the mood just takes you there.
After an exhausting evening the night before it was an early rise to hit the road and venture from the central part of Italy to the North.
This trip marks the start of a unique road trip for myself and for Sanday Agancy staff Andrea and Luca. For us all we will be away from home. We are all in this together and I couldn`t be happier to be sharing the experience with two great guys.
The trip takes many hours as we exchange stories, jokes, observations, music and woes. Only stopping to sample the finest Italian coffee and to keep our minds and bodies refreshed we laugh and laugh some more whilst swerving through the lawless Italian traffic.
I truley am pleased to not be doing the driving as I watch with baited breath as cars seem to criss cross one another with no regard for road markings or proximity to other vehicles. I explain to the others how it seems like everyone is playing chicken with one another. This then nicknames our every drive from this point forward. When ever we start up the engine Luca would below in his thick Italian accent “Itsa time to playa the game of the chicken”. For me it never ceased to make me laugh.
We arrived at our venue and sounchecked quickly. The place had a warm welcoming vibe and the stage was confronted by a bar and ground floor but then also a balcomy above which was also filled when it came to show time.
My set was peaks and troughs spanning my solo career. The atmosphere was amazing and I felt no risk of losing the audience by mellowing things. `Paragraph 3 Subsection B` got a dusting down and `Watching Paint` was able to be performed to it`s full potential (The previous night saw a power cut mid song).