Staying above a venue in Gerardmer, France I decided to record this little vid.
While on the road promoting my 3rd album ‘Good Times with Evil’ I was approached by The Web Show who happened to be filming in Thailand at the time. They interviewed me and made this short film about me being on tour.
The life on the road is full of coincidences. This one still blows my mind. 2007 and I am touring New Zealand for the 2nd time. I get booked to play the 121 Cafe in Auckland and spend the day hanging out with the awesome barman Shinya. We get on well drinking coffee and talking music and travel. Cut to 2010 and I am playing a club in Chiba, Japan. I’m chatting to this cool guy after the show who speaks great English and plays the Sitar. He mentions living in New Zealand and at the same time we realise the reality.
One year later and I am playing the same club and Shinya and I share the stage together for the 1st time. What a wonderful experience it was. We jam out an improvisation and then I segway into my (at the time) unreleased song ‘Modern Life’. Shinya skilfully follows along like a boss 🙂
Probably the oldest video of me performing solo on You Tube dating back over 15 years this is from a one my shows prior to the release of my 1st album.
Weirdly my route through this song led to me discovering the work of Nick Drake who covered the track. My take on this song is a lot closer to the version I first heard of it which was by ‘Placebo’. However one of the first recordings to come out was that of Nick Drake and eventually it came to light that the 1st recording was by his friend Robin Frederick.
Anyway cut to March 2006 and I am playing the sun out in a South London Club which is recorded and ends up on youtube. I was reminded of this song when a friend recently asked if I still played it.
Most of these from the vaults videos are ones that have been documented by me or by audience members and have not been online before or have been removed for whatever reason years ago and some of them are ones I’ve found through searching youtube. This video is the latter.
As a part of a 9 month tour across Asia and Australasia to promote my 3rd album ‘Good Times with Evil’ this video comes from a show in Bangkok in March of 2011.
Playing the song Pish from the same album I had the great fortune to be joined by the incredibly talented and awesomely enthusiastic Jean-David Caillouet (JD Mosaic).
I still remember this night well as we jammed and jammed for long time lost in the loops and sounds occasionally locking into a song.
I couldn’t sleep one night while touring the South Coast of England. so I switched on my Camera and played Piano for a couple of hours. This is a little snippet of a tune called The Watcher (that has not been released).
As all gigs have ground to a halt I found myself mid tour performing out in France. My concerts have been moved back and back again and so while I await them I’m staying and writing/recording with musicians I know in the area.
One of them is a wonderful 74 year old Saxophonist called Jean Marie Granier. We have collaborated over many of my record compositions and I have begun to learn more about the chords and changes used in Jazz. It has been a very pleasant exchange.
Recently I begun working on learning a composition by one of my favourite piano players ‘Toshiko Akiyoshi’ called ‘Phrygian Waterfall’. A piece I have loved for many years with an addictive repeating 5/4 (I think) bassline. Soon after starting work on it some words came and then I decided to bring it to Jean Marie who also brought some lyrics (but this time sung in French).
We have expanded this into a 5 mins song and here is a live video of us jamming our way through it.
We hope you enjoy 🙂
Following months of touring round the UK, France and Germany I will end my 2017 in the wonderful Country of the Netherlands.
I have been on the road since April and clocked up 60+ concerts and returning to the Netherlands for the 6th run of shows will be a great way to go out.
My thanks to Red Rocket Music for making it possible to return to the Country after such a turbulent year.
I had an awesome time travelling and playing in France this year.
Drove my way down to Nimes and back via many mountainous areas.
I even did some solo piano busking on random street corners aswell as the usual shows with the full looping rig.
I also got to be a tourist in between the concerts and managed to catch some of the amazing views and sites that France had to offer including the epic Pont Du Gard.
And although some of the journeys were a little hazardous:
Fortunately despite taking some pretty perilous roads at times my tour van has come out unscathed (more or less). the sign above was fair example of the chaos that lay ahead but there was one road that was not signed that turned into a dirt road I would never ask my worst enemy to drive down. Even remembering fills me with dread as it was also the middle of the night at the time.
But nine the less all concerts went ahead as planned and as I type this I am amid my german run of shows.
Also my final French show saw me reunite with beat boxer ‘Nonox’ for another improv session:
Please see our jam of my tune ‘Pish’ from the Ramène Ta Graine Festival in Xonrupt-Longemer.
Marylene Coutret has been a professional photographer for many years and I have had the fortune of her capturing shots of my shows in France and New Zealand. Last night she attended my final show in France before I head to Germany. Below are some of her images she captured during my performance.
You can find evidence of her great ability as well as documentation and blogs about her long reaching hikes round the world. She will shortly be embarking on her most ambitious trek yet as she will span the great heights of Nepal during it’s winter season. This 5 month hike will take great courage and I wish her all the best as well as thank her for the time taken to capture and send me the images below.
Please check out her work aside from the photos posted here.