Our next show took us West towards Toulouse to the medieval town of Villefranche De Rouergue- it's a place few French people seem to have heard of from outside the area. It's a network of tall old buildings criss-crossed with alleyways and it feels ancient. It's hard to work in the area but cheap to live so the town has attracted a lot of creative souls. We met a lot of fascinating people in a short space of time here at Les Hauts Parelurs - a cafe/bar/gallery/performance space... I'm looking forward to listening to the minimalist reich-esque music our host Romain Scrap makes with metal bowls and metronomes...
Friday, 9 October 2015
Between our show in Venice and the next one in Villefranche De Rouergue we stopped one night with our friends Enrico and Francesca in the village San Rocco in Valpolicella and one night again with Mael in Lyon where he was playing guitar with the great singer Sahra Halgan from somaliland ( http://www.sahra-halgan.com )
Wednesday, 7 October 2015
Our first Italian show was in Milano, organised by Maurizio Abate - the venue a community bike workshop 'ciclofficina' run by 'Associazione UNZA!' - a bit like Bristol Bike Project but without the shop element.
For these three Italian shows me and Eiichi did our solo shows and also his other project Flyhoop which is semi-improvised music to super8 film projections...ICHI had forgotten the spool for his projector but serendipitously it turned out the guys at ciclofficina were super8 enthusiasts and gave him a spare spool.
Maurizio took us to an abandoned mental health institute the next morning before we left for San Martino Spino:
The 3rd we headed southeast to San Martino Spino where Tiziano Sgerbi ( http://www.fooltribe.com/bobcorn/ ) aka Bob Corn runs Barchessone Vecchio, a bar and performance space in the countryside with his brother Matteo.
It's a really special place I wish I could replicate near Bristol. The mosquitoes ate us alive but at least that lent extra resonance to ICHI's 'go gagambo'; next year Tizio is planning a walking tour along a river from the foothills of the mountains to the sea...
Sunday took us to Venezia where Diego Poletti had organised for us to play at gatarigole festival, a small festival for the Venetian locals (gatarigole means tickles in Venetian dialect)
We're a little in love with Venice - we were very happy to be back there. It's impossibly beautiful and the people are so friendly and kind.
ICHI had a big crowd in the evening and I was over the moon to get to play some songs on a row boat whilst the audience watched from other row boats around us.
Thursday, 1 October 2015
Sunday took us to Paris where ICHI played at Point Ephemere by canal St. Martin - it's a pocket of Paris we've got to know quite well over the years through our kind and super talented friends Kate and Jesse ( of This Is The Kit - http://thisisthekit.co.uk )
Monday we spent the day with Kate and Jesse, playing at Le Pop In in the evening supporting KIDSAREDEAD ( http://kidsaredead.bandcamp.com ) - I'd met Vincent before in Bristol but never seen his show - his song structures and his style are unique and his feeling I'd compare to Francois of Francois and the Atlas Mountains or Jeff Buckley or Fumino Suke from Tsuki No WA ( http://youtu.be/MbUNcEPxoM4 ) but perhaps with higher energy...
Great to play at Le Pop In again. I wish we could bring that venue back to Bristol with us.
Tuesday we played in beautiful Lyon, at Le Bal Des Fringants - a show organised for us by Maël of L'etrangleuse ( http://letrangleuse.bandcamp.com ) and Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp ( http://www.otpmd.ch/news.html ).
Wednesday to Lausanne where Liz ( also a member of OTPMD ) organised us a show for the children of the music school she works in and their parents - we played at the back of l'eglise evangelique de Lausanne...
Sunday, 27 September 2015
Lille at Centre Culturel Libertaire was a great start to the tour - a collective space with an anarchist bent; lots of friendly people. We met and heard the incredible Melodie playing music with plants: By using plants to complete oscillator circuits she produces a range of sounds... If the circuit is completed with both wires in the same leaf it's a high pitch; the further apart the leaves the deeper the sound. Eventually the plants stop producing noise (presumably because they think the sharp wires are insects) by sending acid to the area: The acid cuts the signal and she has to start again... Hibiscus is her favourite plant sound.
I asked her if she ever asks audience members to bring plants from home so they can hear what they sound like but she told me it doesn't really work - people don't bring them or they discuss the idea and - as in the case of someone willing to offer their orchid as band member - they decided against it because the orchid was in flower, a vulnerable stage in its life cycle so it was likely to lose its flowers... Another project of Melodie's which I've not listened to yet is Plants vs Animals: Her plant music, field recordings of animals, a talented vocalist and a trumpeter. A future project inspired by a deep hum she couldn't source whilst practicing is to be Plants vs Construction sounds...
Anyway, I urge you to have a listen and read more about it - her idea has me feeling excited and inspired. Us humans are total nutters.
Check her out!
"Musique experimentale avec des plantes"
Also playing were Paper Planes, a post-rock band from Frankfurt - all lovely guys and a great set from them too.
CCL Lille website: http://lille.cybertaria.org
Thursday, 24 September 2015
ICHI and me set off on tour this Saturday to France, Switzerland and Italy!
The details are below:
26/9 - Centre Culturel Libertaire (Lille, FR)
27/9 - Point Ephemere (ICHI only) (Paris, FR)
28/9 - Le Pop In (Paris, FR)
29/9 - Le Bal Des Fringants (Lyon, FR)
30/9 - Eglise Evangelique De Villard (Lausanne, CH)
02/10 - Associazione UNZA! (Milan, IT)
03/10 - Barchessone Vecchio (San Martino Spino, IT)
(Home to the wonderful Bob Corn (Fan Page))
04/10 - Gatarigole Festival (Venice, IT)
07/10 - Les Hauts Parleurs (Villefranche De Rouergue, FR)
08/10 - Les Lentilleres (Dijon, FR)