THURSDAY, 6TH DECEMBER 2007
Just a quick note to inform you that there are a few new songs on my myspace player (which I’d urge you to add to your profiles) AND you can now download a live version of “Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!” from my website ( http://www.tigercooke.com/ccount/click.php?id=29 ). The recording features Colm Quearney on guitar, Cora Venus Lunny on violin and Dave Redmond on double bass. (FYI – “Let it snow…” was written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, and it isn’t really a Christmas song, but I love it, so it’s here to stay).
I hope you enjoy the tunes.
THURSDAY, 1ST NOVEMBER 2007
I’m ashamed of myself. How can I have neglected ye for so long? (For the non-Irish out there “ye” is the plural for “you”). Those of you with the dubious pleasure of living in Ireland this year know how quickly this year has flown. I think it’s mainly down to the fact that we were robbed of summer. Totally robbed. A year’s rainfall in a month, smack bang in the middle of summer. Anyway, I feel I should account for my movements somewhat, so here they are in glorious monochrome :
I’ve been touring and whoring (well, promoting) with David Geraghty’s band of fine musicians up and down the country for the past few months. We racked up some serious mileage while visiting radio stations and tv stations across the land, and that was before we set about a proper tour with the full band. Dave’s album, “Kill Your Darlings”, flew into the charts at number 21 and we’ve been stoking those coals ever since. I provide backing vocals with Clare Finglass in the group, and I throw in a wee bit of guitar too on certain tunes. It’s strange taking more of a back seat (sorry!) in a line-up like this. I’ve learnt a lot… culminating in an actual guitar solo. I’ve had my debut guitar solo on “Delgadina”, a lovely smoky jazz tune, just a few days ago. I never thought it’d happen, but don’t worry. Satriani fever is not going to grab hold of me. I’ve a few more dark-folk records left in me yet.
The last time I spoke to you we were in the studio, trying out some new tunes. We did that, and then I took more time to work on the rest of the new material. Things were trundling along behind the scenes until recently, when I got a new bed. My old bed was a horrible junkie reject affair that came with the house, which I suspect may have been half of an NCAD sculpture project, cleverly recycled as an extremely useless mattress – I managed to put up with it for 7 months… but as soon as I replaced the evil bed with a comfy new one, my energy has returned, I’m remembering dreams, I’m sleeping well, I’m able to wake up in the morning, and best of all, I don’t have to prop up the bed on one side to stop me falling out! So yes, folks, never underestimate the power of a solid bed.
I supported at our last gig in the Spirit Store – trying out some new songs, and I got the chance again last week. It was unplanned, so I wasn’t prepared but somehow things worked out alright… I’m really happy with the way the new songs are going down, so I cannot wait to lay them down on record.
I should have more news on the “Live on the Orbital” film clips after the weekend. More than that, I cannot say. I’ll update you very soon.
So, thanks for sticking with me. More news on the way…
WEDNESDAY, 13TH JUNE 2007
I hope you’re all keeping well…
This Thursday, 14th June, David Geraghty is launching his debut solo single “Fear The Hitcher” at Crawdaddy on Harcourt Street. I’ll be lending some backing vocals and guitars to the show. It should be a great night so if you’ve any gumption (I love that word) you’ll make your way down to that. (Dave may be known to you as the producer of my “Sparks EP”, and as the multi-instrumentalist – guitars, banjos, keyboards, etc – with top Irish band BellX1). The single will be available as a free download from his new website www.davidgeraghty.com on Friday 15th. So, download it and spread it far and wide!
On the album front… Dave, Colm, Paul, Shane & I have been in studio for the last two days trying out some tunes for the new album. The stuff feels great. We’re playing live and really concentrating on getting good grooves going. Apart from (obviously!) the live album and the film from London, I haven’t worked this way before. It’s refreshing, and quite satisfying. There are lots of words being thrown about like “organic”, “feel” and “tea-break”. I like all of these words. We shall add more soon…
In other news, Dave Geraghty played a warm-up show in Dundalk’s Spirit Store last Thursday, at which I supported. I gave some of the new songs their first public airing – which was a great feeling. It’s like showing off your new baby… babies… I would imagine… Any thoughts?
Also, I’ll be doing a wee support slot with The Chapters at An Cruisc?n L?n, Cork on 21 Jun 2007 at 8pm. I’ll be playing some of the new tunes again so it should be exciting (Will he remember the next verse? Oooo the tension!).
Speak soon! Tabhair aire.
TUESDAY 3RD APRIL 2007
(I shall have to come up some term of endearment for all of you lovely people… suggestions welcome… I’ll go with this for the moment until I hear something better).
Thanks a million to every last one of you who came along to the Bewley’s gig on the 22nd for what was a wonderful evening. We had a few last minute cancellations which could not be helped, but thanks to Colm Q on guitar, Sean our soundman extraordinaire (who was mistaken for Glen Hansard. Forgot to tell you Seanie!) and the fabulous crowd, everything went swimmingly. The live albums sold out, so apologies to those looking for more copies. You can buy them online or from Road Records if you so wish.
I can’t believe it’s April already. I still haven’t got my snow-boots out of the attic, and sure it’s Spring now. I’ve been busy running errands, making lists and accustoming myself to city life. And, of course, writing. I have some new tunes that I’ll be airing about the place over the next month. So there is a new list of dates over the next few weeks on the “live” page where you can find me experimenting with new songs, sounds and facial hair.
Some of the gigs I’ll be playing are part of the “Rock The Vote” tour of Ireland (I didn’t choose the name!). It’s a nationwide campaign to get potential voters registered and ready to exercise their democratic right. I’m going to avoid politics as much as I can here, but I would urge you to register and exercise your vote for one reason : The government, the opposition, the councils, the civil service, do not want you to vote! So make their lives hell. Register and vote. Especially if it’s a protest vote. Keep them on their toes. For more information visit : www.rockthevote.ie
Finally, I wanted a small mention for the sweet little preview for our Bewley’s gig in The Metro newspaper. You can read the full article here :
or here :
Take care now. Sl?n!
WEDNESDAY 14TH MARCH 2007
Dear Joe Blog,
We’re very pleased to announce a reprise of our recent show (that took place in London), with a slight change of location. If you’d like to join myself and the crew from London then make your way down to …
Bewley’s Caf? Theatre (above Caf? Bar Deli), Grafton Street, Dublin 2
on Thursday 22nd March 2007
Entry is ?10
The show will feature the delights of Dave Redmond on double-bass, Colm Quearney on on electric guitar & Cora Venus Lunny on violin. We’ll be playing some new tunes and some old ones in wonderfully new ways.
With special guest Ross Breen.
Hope to see you there.
FRIDAY 23RD FEBRUARY 2007
I’ll be on Paddy Whacked Radio this Friday morning on WMFO 91.5FM in the Medford/Boston area in Mass, USA. I’ll be featured on the show alongside The Frames, BellX1, The Cake Sale and Phil Lynott. You can find out more about how to listen to the show live on the web, or download the podcast later on the PW Radio website.
THURSDAY 22ND FEBRUARY 2007
Wax & Seal is one of the Top Spins at Starbucks at the moment (… see www.hearmusic.com and click “music” and then “top spins in stores” – it’s nothing to do with cricket). A big hello and pat on the back to fellow islanders The Guggenheim Grotto and Van Morrison!
Here’s the full list :
- george benson & al jarreau – givin it up
- james morrison – undiscovered
- various artists – kcrw Sounds Eclectic; the covers project
- joss stone – introducing joss stone
- various artists – prestige jazz
- neil young – live at massey hall
- low stars – low stars
- aretha franklin – the complete works
- belle & sebastien – the life pursuit
- ozomatli – don’t mess with the dragon
- norah jones – not too late
- quincy coleman – come closer
- el perro del mar – el perro del mar
- goapele – change it all
- van morrison – the best of van morrison
- regina spektor – begin to hope
- alice smith – for lovers, dreamers & me
- tadhg cooke – wax & seal
- elliott smith – from a basement on the hill
- the guggenheim grotto – waltzing alone
MONDAY 12TH FEBRUARY 2007
Read on for details of our adventure in London, where we filmed a concert last weekend. Names have not been changed. These writings are based on real events. If you want fiction, please visit www.dublinbus.ie.
FRIDAY – Watling Street Exploding Blues
The A5 or Watling Street, that stretches from London to Wales, was paved by the Romans (although they didn’t name it the A5). Most towns on the old route have a main street named Watling Street. The continuity is nice. We followed approximately the same route on our trip from Holyhead to London after a very calm crossing on the Swift ferry. These days though our trip is made much easier by the new dual carriageway to Chester, and the M6 and M1 motorways down to London.
Cora, Dave, Colm, Owen (our tour manager for the trip) and I, are on our way to Watford, just outside London, on the near side of The Orbital. We’re filming a concert in a charming be-candled establishment called Bar Bodega. It’s probably the only bar in London that I actually like. There are no flashing slot machines, no dingy hotel lobby carpets, no godawful beers, no needlessly aggressive doormen, no bans on hats (I’m not kidding! They’ve banned hats in bars here! Yet, they still allow smoking…) and there are lovely bar-staff, fantastic drinks, lovely classy decor, candles galore and very tasty finger food. It’s a cut above the rest.
All’s well and we’re making good time, the weather is fine, and everyone is in good spirits. Although I am a little bit nervous about the size of the task ahead of us, I’m hoping that everything will come off okay. Dave, Cora and Colm are all tremendously busy musicians and we’ve had little time together before the concert… in fact, leaving Dublin on the ferry is the first time we’ve all been together. Time for bonding, bear hugs and stories of what we’ve seen on YouTube lately. It’s impressive how much YouTube has encroached upon (or enhanced) our lives.
Just after the M6 turns into the M1, as Dave is taking his turn in the passenger seat, a really loud bang and slamming noises reverberates around the van as it lurches across the motorway. It takes us a while to figure out that we’ve had a blow-out on the front passenger side. Unfortunately Dave’s life has already flashed before his eyes, because he was in the passenger seat and heard the bang right underneath him. We have now decided that YouTube has already had negative effects on our minds. Dave feared that the bus would slide sideways and start tumbling down the motorway like a well-choreographed stunt bus in a Hollywood blockbuster (we haven’t yet decided who’s playing Keanu or Sandra). I think the rest of us believed (hoped?) that the remaining 3 tyres would remain on the asphalt… After losing an hour changing a tyre on a Police ramp (yeah, I know, but it was the only place we could pull in), we’re safely back on the road, although now without the comfort of a spare wheel…
We check in finally and seek parking for our bus… which we find conveniently to the rear of the little hotel. So we have just enough time to go down to Bodega to have a peek at the venue and have a “sneaky pint”. There’s surprise at the presence of a mobile police station and about 10 uniformed policemen wandering around on the main drag, ensuring that no fights escalate beyond “handbag stuff”. No disrespect to handbag wearers.
SATURDAY – TC & The Hotel Shakers
Saturday was spent mainly rehearsing in a hotel room. I hope no-one was in any of the rooms above or below us… the double bass tends to send shockwaves through floors… A big shout-out goes to Tom who was extremely helpful during our stay! Howeyeh!
The itinerary stated that we had five minutes to see all the beautiful sights of Watford, but I think I overestimated there. There was also talk of visiting Bushey School, the alma mater of Andrew Ridgely, Pepsi, Shirley and George Michael (they went on to perform as a band called Wham, who are a colossal influence on all of us). Instead, we went for a walk. Colm & I bought plectrums. Much fun was had.
SUNDAY – TC & The Hotel Shakers
On Sunday morning, bright and early, Iain at the Bodega opens up the venue for us. The film crew (Ellie, Steve, Will, Matt and John) and the sound crew (Seanie) get in early to set up for the gig. Tensions are high. In what seems like no time at all, it’s time for a sound/film check. The band plays a few tunes, partly to rehearse and partly to sound-check, make sure everyone has their camera shots right and the sound is separated properly. We’re almost too nervous to eat… but we do.
The crowd arrives pretty much on time… I panic trying to find my toothbrush… I try to put it out of my mind… if I wasn’t panicking about the toothbrush I’d be panicking about something else… I can’t wait to have my own masseuse. I’m a stressed bunny.
The concert itself goes well. It’s kind of strange to be playing with so many microphones, and with no speakers anywhere… The band sit around in a semi-circle so that we can hear each other. The crowd are great though and really help us get our minds of the cameras, which are daunting. The little red lights on the cameras always catch your eye and you find yourself drawn into them like some Paul McKenna trick… and then you try to pull yourself away and pick a spot on the wall or start a member of the audience out of it… It’s all tremendous fun when you’re playing with musicians like these. All lovely people, all fantastic players. Heaven. I’m in heaven. We play a few new songs and then when our job is done and the sound and film crew are happy with what they’ve got, we let the hair down and jam out a few tunes… it’s messy, but great fun and much needed… All of the people involved have been so easy to deal with, so helpful, so good under pressure, not aggressive, just calm and cool, and it’s made all the difference.
So time is called. The clean up is rapid and efficient. Bodega’s doors open for business. The band collapse in a heap in the corner knowing that their job is well done. Most of the crowd hang out for a while with us for drinks and chat. We’ve been trying to forget that Ireland are playing Wales in Cardiff today. Seanie, Dave and Colm are flying home tonight… Seanie, being a sports fan, is planning to keep his ears blocked the whole way home so he doesn’t find out who won.
Thankfully Owen, being the designated driver, leaves for the airport with the lads. I say thankfully because I’m totally exhausted. I think we all are. When the adrenalin rush after a gig fades, you suddenly shutdown like a nightclub in Dublin – the ugly-lights come on and you’re out on the street, totally out of it, wondering what just happened. I’m playing a gig tonight in Bodega, as a little thank you to Bodega and the lovely folk who came to the gig. I don’t know where I’m going to find the energy for it though. I’m shattered. Cora, similarly shattered, goes back for a nap. I think about doing the same, then realise my “place of nap” is currently driving to the airport. Doh.
Just before Cora and I start to play, the lads arrive back from the airport. A nasty combination of M1 traffic jams and heavy fog meant that they missed their flights. It’s a real headache… but I’m thankful that the flights and the blow-out are the only things that have gone wrong for the trip so far. We’re on the home-straight and all our woes so far have been minor ones. Thanks to some great support from the crowd and fantastic playing from Cora, the little gig goes well … but I’m glad to be heading to my bed afterwards.
MONDAY – Monday, Monday, So good to me
The lads rise at 4 for breakfast and leave at 5 for Luton Luton Luton Luton Airport (I’m quoting a song there. Yes, they wrote a song about it. Song : Luton Airport). I make sure the lads are ready to go and then collapse into bed again for another few hours, which I desperately need.
So after a few more hours, the remaining trio rise, shower, have breakfast and hit the road early. The trip back is slow… we’re wary of the fact that we’re without a spare so have to take it easy. We took a camera with us but never had a moment to even think about taking photos on the trip… I hope someone had the foresight to take a few snaps. They’d be nice to have. There’s not much of interest to see on the journey, apart from the Birmingham spaghetti junction, until we reach the Welsh coastline. Colwyn Bay and especially the Menai Straits are a sight to behold.
So that’s about it really… we arrive into Holyhead port and have a nice clandestine cup of tea when no-one’s watching. Yum… The cruise home is uneventful and we’re all too wrecked to have meaningful discussions about the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Perhaps next time.
That’s all from me. I hear that the sound files are safe, the video is fine and a friend of ours took some snaps when we weren’t paying attention. So it all seems to have worked out. All we need now is a bit of luck in the cutting room. Fingers crossed.
Thanks to everyone for coming down for the gigs and joining us. ‘Twas fantastic fun. I wish I could have chatted for longer… next time!
THURSDAY 1ST FEBRUARY 2007
Following on from our HearMusic success, we have just inked a deal with PlayNetwork in America. PlayNetwork provide background music to retailers throughout the States. (Background music is the music you shop to, drink coffee to, walk through shopping centres to, etc). Our music will now be played in Starbucks (which has 7000+ outlets in the US alone), but will also be placed with PlayNetwork’s other customers who include : Hooters, KrispyKreme, TGI Fridays, Timberland, Abercrombie & Fitch, … the list goes on and on, but alas I don’t recognise the names. So we’ll be celebrating in London (after we play, of course).
We’re leaving on Friday’s ferry for our Watford filming extravaganza. If you want to join us for the concert on Sunday afternoon (14:30) in Watford at Bar Bodega, High Street, please do. Drop us a mail or a text to let us know you’re coming. It will be a bit of an Irish invasion, with the band and sound crew travelling over from Dublin, and the film crew leaving their posts around England at Sky, Al-Jazeera, Gem TV and Frank’s Fun Films. It’s gonna be massive.
Take care and I’ll see some of you in Watford,
Meanwhile, our talks with McDonalds to introduce the McTigerburger have stalled. They say there are too many syllables and that they’ll lose out in the “late-night drunken-fool” market. I say that “McTiger” means “son of Tiger” which is technically a “cub”… but CubBurger sounds rubbish, and rather cruel. That’s not even getting into the whole “endangered species” thing. Our lawyers have taken over. None of this PostScript is true by the way, but the PlayNetwork and Watford things are.
WEDNESDAY 24TH JANUARY 2007
HearMusic (www.hearmusic.com), Starbucks’ instore radio channel, has just added our music to their playlist. The HearMusic station can be found on the XM75 channel via satellite.
So if you like your Starbucks coffee or listen to satellite radio, do tune-in and request a tune from a well-millined musician (me, not Bob Dylan – although, I wouldn’t bear a grudge if you requested Bob Dylan. In fact, I’d probably be impressed).
SATURDAY 20TH JANUARY 2007
We’re playing a concert at Bodega Bar in Watford on Sunday, 4th February. The concert will be filmed for the Japanese market. If you’d like to attend, drop us a mail and we’ll put you on the list. Spaces will be limited, so drop us an email or myspace message if you’d like to attend. Joining me for the afternoon will be the wonderful Colm Quearney (guitar), Dave Redmond (double-bass) and Cora Lunny (violin, viola).
I hope this New Year is treating you well!
Take care now,