Sunday, October 09, 2016

quite a weekend

Friday 30th September: After spending a bit of time in The Lady Luck (subculture pub whose wireless password is "rocknroll" and whose playlist effortless jumps between The Band, The Ramones, The Everly Brothers and some millenial nu-metal), I went to check out a choral performance billed as "Sacred Songs" at St. Peters Methodist Church across the road.

The flyer artwork and names of the choirs misled me into thinking I'd be hearing some 16th-century-and-earlier stuff, but it mostly turned out to be rather contemporary (including a composition by the choirmaster). Still, celestial singing in a beautiful acoustic space, nothing to complain about. Unlocking my bike on the High Street immediately afterwards I was suddenly confronted by local MC Laszlo (aka Humble Pious) and a few members of the UKC Psychedelics Society, past and present. I ended up back at Lasz's place on Spring Lane listening to (and having explained to me) trap music. A pleasantly weird evening in good company. At one point I just had to intervene and put on Terry Riley's "A Rainbow In Curved Air" — everyone was very understanding!

Saturday 1st October
Luca Afrobeat at The Lighthouse, Deal. I got a lift with Phil from Lapis who's part of their current lineup. Apart from the general reticence of the Deal crowd to get up and move (that didn't stop me and Loyda), this was a great gig. We're really spoiled around here at the moment!

Sunday 2nd October
secret woodland location near Canterbury
Phil Holmes and Aidan Shepherd plus Cloudshoes
Stewart couldn't make it, so the Papylonians we were expecting for a support set surfaced in the form of Phil and Aidan playing sax/accordion duets. The first half of their set was improvised. Magic music, illuminated by firelight, enjoyed by an enthusiastic and attentive audience. Cloudshoes is Conrad Singh (sometimes solo, as this time, sometimes with a band) from Bristol's Bloom collective. He's currently playing with The Evil Usses, Yama Warashe, Dubi Dolcek, Tezeta and possibly others. He turned up with his old blue Strat and a suitcase of musical clutter which he put to great effect in what turned out to be a totally unclassifiable, thoroughly engaging performance. Towards the end, he invited me, Phil and Aidan up for an open ended jam. The first improvisation morphed into Cornrad singing a spirited "Gallows Pole". Despite the presence of some seriously accomplished musicians in the audience (e.g. Liam and Josh from Syd Arthur, just back from touring the USA again), and me being rather rusty due to not playing enough lately, I felt completely at ease playing my saz in this setting. For the second piece I suggested "Whisky in the Jar", the first thing I'd heard Conrad sing at a Spirit of Music camp on Dartmoor maybe seven years ago. I recorded all of this, but have yet to listen back (such a magic night, sometimes I like to let the memory settle in before reliving the audio-only version).


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