Wax & Seal Studio Diaries I

Tadhg - By Britt Schilling

By Britt Schilling

Somehow, this month, my debut album, Wax & Seal, has turned twelve years old.  It’s on the cusp of secondary (high) school.  It’s slamming doors.  It has an attitude, hormones, and doesn’t take any advice from its long suffering parents.

I’ve been digging through the archives here at The Cooke Report and I’ve found some of my studio diary entries from the recording sessions in Freiburg!  I figured I would compile some of the entries here and share them. They’re erratic, and they’re numbered from the very first day I went into the studio so while the numbers make it look like I was there for an absolute age, that’s not the case. Frustratingly we spent more time out of the studio than in it, for various reasons, but it was all worth it in the end, and if you’re here, you’d probably agree!

I’ve really enjoyed putting these together. I hope you enjoy reading them!


NOTE :  The night before flying to Germany to begin recording Wax & Seal at Ivy Court in Freiburg’s Altstadt.

Wax & Seal – Day 1 – 14 January 2004 – Home

Schwabentor, Freiburg.

Schwabentor, Freiburg im Breisgau

So it’s the night before recording and none of the children can sleep. Just like Christmas. I’m listening to Buzzin Fly and trying to imagine what my album is going to sound like when It’s finished while trying to relax my mind in order to get back to sleep and I’m simultaneously making mental notes to remember socks, strings and this thingummy and that whatummy.

It’s clear to me now, before I do my first gig in Germany, that there is something perverse or at least ironic about spending your college life and a year abroad learning french and then going to record an album in Germany, a place where understandably they don’t speak too much french.

The stories of the Happy Monday’s producer who dismantled an entire drumkit because he was unhappy with the sound in the room, only to reassemble it again on the roof, keeps popping into my head.

mr t


Wax & Seal – Day 8 – 21 January 2004 – Freiburg

Note : After some heavy days and nights in the studio, we finally finished George’s Street Arcade, a song inspired by the doorstopper sandwiches and cosiness of Simon’s Café. Here’s the morning after we wrapped on the recording.

We finished up at midnight last night after some inspired mandola playing from Niels. He

Niels playing melody harp on George's St Arcade.

Niels playing melody harp on George’s St Arcade.

picked it up and played it the whole way through after one trial run. He’d never played mandola before. It’d make you puke and feel inadequate in the way that the good musicians always do.
The guitars sound great. Really chugging along yet sitting nicely in the groove. The drums are fantastisch – those half beats have transformed everything. It’s a straight-forward song really, so I think we’ve succeeded in pulling it away from the standard approach, although it is quite traditional at the same time. So we have the basics down and I’m doing vocals tomorrow.
And now for something completely different. I had this really dramatic new tune that I wasn’t really sure if we’d do but it seems to have struck a chord (puntastic) with everyone. As we speak, or rather as I type and you read, Mitch is sitting in control room with a Korg machine on his lap about the size of a Milk Tray but much more offensive with loads of flashing lights and dials and buttons all over the shop. It looks like he’s playing a game. But It’s no game I assure you. Not sure where this will take us but I have this vision of an electronica backing an acoustic guitar track with haunting vocals and samples of people chatting on their way between stalls and coffee shops somewhere in the city. I’m half expecting Thom Yorke to come in for guest vocals.

Alex, Tadhg and Mitch in the hallway of Ivy Court Records

Alex Paeffgen (keys), Tadhg, and Michael “Mitch” Schillinger (drums) in the hallway of Ivy Court Records.

I got some jumpers to keep me warm earlier today. Plain and functional. Very peaceful here right now. It’s amazing how many times a day you can use the phrase “Ich habe keine Deutsch”. My other most useful phrase is one I borrowed from a BBC language website. It’s for car owners. “Volltanken Bitte” means “fill ‘er up” basically. However I can use it at the pub, having tea with the musicians… so useful. I get strange looks but sure what the hell. I feel really bad about not knowing German.
Oh yeah, the song title is George’s St Arcade.
T


Wax & Seal – Day 14 – 27 January 2004 – Freiburg

It’s 02:02 local time in Freiburg. Late night again tonight. So I suppose technically this is the 28th but sure we won’t get all technical this late in the day.

Flo Galow (Kontrabass)

Flo Galow (Kontrabass)

Shane Brady, producer and captain of the ship, in the live room.

Shane Brady, producer and captain of the ship, in the live room.

I’ve been talking about the snow for days now… but the snow stuck today in the town. We stumbled around town a few hours ago when we went for a little break. Quite amusing. I expect much mirth and merriment will follow tomorrow. I have scheduled an afternoon snowball fight tomorrow with schnapps for everyone afterwards.
We finished the basic Ivory Heart stuff today. The guys seemed impressed by the level of madness in the basic tracks. I must say they are very patient fellas. My timekeeping is a little erratic at times. History is always kind to the writer. Bear this in mind when reading these diaries.
Florian, as usual, has been bouncing off the walls dying to play more stuff. So while the iron was hot we laid down a basic track for Like A Stone. It’s a lonely sort of song, yet not depressed… I don’t know… almost glad to be sad…. or something.. melancholic… but not in the bad way that many songs described as melancholic can be. Mitch got some beautiful deep snare sounds due to some nice miking and yet another of his fine crazy ideas that he is becoming known for. To protect his genius I cannot reveal his secrets. Niels has some beautiful playing on this too. Really sweet.
Anyways, It’s time to go home now, and I’ve got an aching head. So eh… yeah. Later kids.
Herr Cooke


Wax & Seal – Day 22 – 4 February 2004 – Freiburg

Today started with a few guitar bits. It was all running well as usual. Niels on top form.
The evening session was dedicated to Wax N Seal. We took a much more gentle

Mitch, Niels & Shane discussing the finer points.

Mitch, Niels & Shane discussing the finer points.

approach than last time. Due to some early jamming we decided to use twin acoustic guitars, live and with vocals. Bit mad. Took us a while but we got it. Bottled it. Mitch’s egg playing is fantastic. We played sans-click too so god only knows how he kept up with speedy gonzales (that’s me by the way). Bless the whole team’s patience! It’s cool. It’s all Ballerina and Independence Day Van Morrison… Who’s cooler than cool?
Ice Cold T


Wax & Seal – Day 127 – 19 May 2004 – Freiburg

Dear Diary,
I get the feeling we’re being watched. Call me paranoid, but…
My new thing is hats. I buy hats. I look like a cross between Franz Ferdinand (the band

Argh, mein Augen!

Argh, mein Augen! – by Jenni Henke

not the dead guy from the 1910s), Robin Hood and one of Bertie Wooster’s more stylish friends.
I have my own personal translator and tour guide here in Freiburg who has also become my official make-up artist and language tutor. Although you should probably ignore the language bit because I severly doubt that she would like to be associated in any way with my piss-poor German.  I got some shots of Freiburg from the top of the Schlossberg (the big hill that is basically an ant’s foot away from the centre of the town). The sun is out and everything looks great. I’m experimenting with photography. If anything at all comes out properly I’ll be extremely surprised and very happy with myself. I’ve decided to develop my inner-Luddite in order to balance my increasing nerdiness – what with all the writing, diaries, reading, learning languages, etc. So I’m using a completely manual camera. Completely manual. It has a slot for batteries that you can use for a light meter… but I’ve thrown them away. Who needs em? Well, we’ll see on thursday when I get the first batch of photos back. So now that I’ve got pictures of the outside of Freiburg I’m gonna take shots of the city and the city-zens.
Mitch bought a new car. He’s very happy with himself. As he should be. Niels is in the

The Feierling Brauerei. Cause of, and solution to, all of my problems.

The Feierling Brauerei. Cause of, and solution to, all of my problems.

wars. He had a little accident with his eye. So I’m hoping all will be okay in a week or two. Alexander came around with all his keyboard bits again. So we have every piece of the puzzle now. Florian is still terrorising the Med. I got an email from him recently. Didn’t understand one word. Shane translated it for me. I still didn’t understand a word.
Last night I learnt a new phrase for “goodbye and good luck”. It comes from just south of Hamburg, or at least that’s where Mitch heard it. It goes like this: “Hau die hühner” which means “Hit The Chicken”. I’m busily incorporating it into my daily speech.

Der Teigelheimer


Wax & Seal – Day 128 – 20 May 2004 – Freiburg

Note : There were a few tracks we recorded which didn’t make the final cut for Wax &

Ivy Court Records

Ivy Court Records

Seal. One of the tracks was an early incarnation of Elvis in us All, which eventually found its way on to Fingertips of the Silversmith. My reference to the Bell X1 diaries, I think, referred to their tour diaries from an Eastern European jaunt they were on with Turn. There was a hilarious video they made of the event on their website. Would love to see it now.

Tadhg and kontrabass

There was a considerable age gap between us…

After our very slow start this time around We’re now flying through the material making great progress. The songs are sounding better every time I hear them. Maybe It’s because of the sun. I don’t know. Elvis & Foolish Part sound funking fantastic.
Mitch is due to arrive in about half an hour. We’ve had this old Korg beat on “George’s St Arcade” that sounds almost but not quite entirely unlike coconuts (to borrow a phrase from DA). It’s been niggling away at us ever since we used it. Breaking point arrived yesterday when we decided that it was time to get the biggest filthiest thonking thumping mother and father of all drums to replace the little Korg. So with Mitch being *just a little bit* more experienced than us at playing drums, we decided that it was only fair that he should play it!
I have since been informed that my hat is Dean Martin all over. So there.
Big up to DP and Phil keeping diaries alive and well over on the bellies site. Check out Phil’s science tip of the day. I think there’s a book in that somewhere. If in doubt, plug it out. Suddenly all those electricity black-outs in my area while I was growing up in the bad old eighties make sense to me now.

Der Teigelheimer


Tram in Freiburg - By Jenni Henke

Tram in Freiburg – By Jenni Henke

Thanks for reading this far!

We’ll post one more selection of the diary entries soon, with some photos. If you find yourself wanting to read the diary in full, and in order, you’ll find it here ( It’s as it was typed back in 2004 on the hand-coded php-driven website). I haven’t gotten around to making those pages prettier, replacing all the question marks with apostrophes (damn german keyboards), or slotting the entries into proper individual blog posts, but some day soon I will.

If you’re liking this trip down memory lane, I also thought it might be a nice to make a playlist of some of the songs we were listening to around that! It’s really all over the map, but I’ve tried to arrange the playlist so the transitions don’t jar too much. You can listen to it on spotify here.

In the meantime, Wax & Seal is available to buy here and you can stream it on spotify here.

 

Official FacebookInstagramYoutubeSpotify

Sold out of Fingertips of the Silversmith

So I’m happy/sad to say that we’ve run out of (undamaged copies of) “Fingertips of the Silversmith”. Thankfully, the album is still available as a download from Bandcamp (https://tigercooke.bandcamp.com/album/fingertips-of-the-silversmith) and the usual online stores.

I’ll have download cards (via Bandcamp) ready to sell at shows until I decide whether to get more CDs pressed up, or whether to go full-retro and have 45s, 78s, and 8-track cassettes laid out casually across the merch table! ?
#?
IrishMusic?
?#?FingertipsOfTheSilversmith?

25 Things

I found this hidden on my facebook page, and decided to dust off the cobwebs and repost it here.  This was written in January 2009, back in the days when you didn’t have to pay The Facebook Corporation when you wanted to share thoughts online with your friends.  It was the result of the only illuminating chain post ever – 25 things.
Enjoy!
T

“I want everyone to know that I’m not in the least bit fooled by all of this superstition business. I’m only doing this out of courtesy… I feel guilty knowing all of this crazy shit about people and keeping quiet about my 25 random things. I’m not tagging anyone but the people who were nice (or bored) enough to send me theirs! 
I just hope this isn’t mind-numbingly boring for you all…”

  1. Of my grandparents, I’ve only known my maternal grandmother.  My maternal grandfather met me briefly though.  He sang and acted in the theatre, so it would’ve been nice to have known him better.
  2. I was once in the middle of a weird stand-off moment between Reg Presley from The Troggs and Paul Jones from Manfred Mann. Paul’s an evangelical Christian and Reg believes in crop circles and aliens. They’re not entirely compatible.
  3. I once watched a World Cup match with Daniel O’Donnell. Yes, there WAS a sweater around his shoulders. There were other people there too.
  4. Every time I play football (or “soccer” for the Americans!), the big toe on my right foot bleeds. It doesn’t hurt, but it stains my sock.  [2012 update : This stopped happening eventually.  New boots stopped removing my toenail mid-game.]
  5. One of the weirdest drives I’ve ever made was from Dublin to Kenmare on a beautiful clear night while I was in college. I had to stop on the road between Killarney to Kenmare, which winds on for miles and miles through amazing scenery, in order to wake-up and physically push the sheep off the road. They wouldn’t budge. Big woolly boulders in the middle of a tiny boreen. Thugs!
  6. I have never broken a bone in my body, which is miraculous considering the stupid things I’ve done.
  7. I learned how to walk at about 3 years of age. Until then, I realised that rolling was by far the quickest way to get around, and used it to devastating effect. I could also climb out the window before I was 1. I don’t know how that works either.
  8. My parents, in an effort to get more than 1 hour of sleep, eventually nailed the sides closed, and nailed a lid down onto my cot. Not to be outdone, and inspired by the WWII prisoners at Colditz, I decided to tunnel out, by pulling back the mattress and mesh wire bottom, wedging myself into the gap and wriggling until I hit the ground head-first.
  9. The prison theme continued into the garden, where in an effort to avoid the early death of their first-born, my parents surrounded my play-area with very tall chicken wire fencing.
  10. At three years old, incensed at being sent to bed at 10pm, while the sun was still shining outside and there was clearly valuable playtime left, I jumped out my bedroom window to avoid the sentry near my door. I missed the corner of the steel oil tank by centimetres, and didn’t quite expect the force of the fall. My heels dug into my backside, leaving me quite sore, but grand. The “tuck and roll” technique has its flaws. I was aided by my superman t-shirt, which had a nice blue cape. If it weren’t for that cape…
  11. I haven’t chosen an epitaph yet, but I think it’ll be hard to beat Spike Milligan’s, “Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite!”, which is Irish for, “I told you I was ill.”
  12. Hairiest moment while driving – when the gearstick came off in my hand, mid-corner, leaving me in fourth gear – which is not the nicest gear to be stuck in. It’s very disconcerting when it happens, by the by.
  13. Most accomplished moment while driving…  Coasting from the Swiss Alps towards Turin with the fuel reserve light on, in the middle of the night, because the Swiss petrol stations in the ski resorts were not open 24hrs and didn’t take our French debit cards. The Mont Blanc tunnel was still closed due to the fire a year earlier, so we tried to cross the mountains… but the mountain roads had snowed over, so we had no option but to turn back to Italy.
  14. I’m a mine of entirely useless information, like Michael Caine, but with a more realistic Cockney accent.
  15. I have an addictive personality… tinged with a bit of OCD. Hence my fear of computer games and gambling.
  16. I’ve played shows in French and broken, nay, shattered German. Not the songs themselves, just the banter… (It’s really hard to sing “Elphinbine Herz”).
  17. Strangely, I’ve had more problems with my name in Ireland than anywhere else. Bloody Paddys!
  18. I’m a Virgo. I don’t believe in horoscopes, but I’m apparently typical of Virgos. I’m obsessive about details, and I over-think everything… including this sentence.
  19. My first concert was The Big Day Out in Galway (the Wescht of Ireland) in 1996. The line-up included The Divine Comedy, The Cardigans, Nenah Cherry (I can’t remember if Youssou N’dour was there with her), The Bluetones, Ron Sexsmith and Radiohead. Donal Dineen DJ’ed in between acts (I distinctly remember a euphoric “I want to hold your hand”.) If there was ever a doubt before, I was totally lost to music from this point on. I took the three hour bus journey alone too, which I’m proud of. I later discovered that one of my future best friends was at the same gig. I’ve a sneaking suspicion Ash played too, but I’ve no evidence of that whatsoever.
  20. Anyone who tries to tell me that my University years were the best of my life, automatically gets filed into the “blithering idiot” sector of my brain. I spent hours every week learning how to prove conclusively that 1 is equal to 1, without the aid of narcotics. It was not fun.
  21. I feel really guilty going to areas where I don’t know how to say at least a few poorly pronounced words in the local language.
  22. I’m an idiot, but I think the fact that I know I’m an idiot makes it less of an issue. Although maybe that’s just me being really idiotic.
  23. Mick and Kev from The Guggenheim Grotto dubbed me “The Singing Duvet”, and I think it’s the best description I’ve heard thus far. Thanks lads! (Most common names include : Tiger, Tigger, Der Teig, Todger, Taj, The Long Fella, and Ya Lanky Streak of Piss… no, that last one’s not one I use myself.)
  24. Good music sessions, after gigs or at friend’s houses, is one of the most amazing experiences you can have. It’s a shame that more people don’t get to witness them.
  25. I believe that there’s more than one true love out there. I know I’ve missed one already, so if I ceased to believe in that, I’d be forced to combust right here in front of your eyes.

Tadhg to Tiger over on Friendface

Greetings dear readers…

This is just a short note to notify of a slight change to our internet presence. Facebook, despite appeals from all quarters, refuses to allow page names to be changed. This means that our Tadhg Cooke page cannot become “Tiger Cooke”. Slightly annoying, and not very consistent – in an age when consistency is really required (although admittedly not often shown).
So we’ve set up a brand new page called, yes, you’ve guessed it : Tiger Cooke. There’s a little link box on the right hand side of this page. Yes, that’s over there! –>
Please do join us, and help spread the word, so we don’t feel so lonely. It’s tough starting from scratch.

Dear FriendFace. Please move to Tiger Cooke. Thank you.

In other news, there are things afoot behind the scenes here. All will be revealed soon – but keep your eyes peeled in Dublin in the next two months. Also, I must post some tales from our New York/Philadelphia shows in March. Myself and Tony Maceli enjoyed three fantastic shows at three great venues. We have some photos, and more have been promised to us. (If you have any yourself – please do send them on!)

More soon – I promise!
T

 

 

Tour of Eastern Yurp – April 2011 – Part III

Note: To aid your reading, you may wish to check out the whole set of photos on Facebook.

Dave Redmond on the train to Olomouc

OLOMOUC

In the morning we wake, and drive to Wien. Bratislava and Wien are surprisingly close together, so we’ve decided to drop our rental car back to Vienna before hopping on the train to Olomouc, to the east of the Czech Republic.

Olomouc’s astronomical clock, the second oldest in Czech, before it was destroyed in WWII and before this 1950s Communist addition to the Town Hall.

Dropping the car is a simple enough task, and finding the correct train station on the U-Bahn (Vienna’s underground railway) where we can change to a regional train to take us north and across the border. Trying to find the correct train was a nightmare. Thanks to Party-Fifi, we eventually confirm that I did find the correct platform, and was waiting for the correct train. Not ONE sign or notice on the platform could confirm it though. Bloody irritating. Anyway, we grab some coffee and pastries to see us through the trip.

Sitting in some old border train stations at places like Breclav, you can’t help thinking of all the old Cold War films and spy swaps under yellow street lights. If it weren’t for all the bizarre espionage goings on between Russia and the US lately – with spies getting expelled and whole cells being uncovered – I’d say that those days are gone. But you never really know, do you?

Our little espionage meeting is with Vlad on the front steps of Olomouc train station. It seems pretty, but when Vlad whisks us to the venue in a taxi through the leafy streets, we quickly realise that the train station is in the ugliest part of town. Olomouc is amazingly beautiful. A gorgeous old university town, with a really lively feel. The venue is massive, and seems to be close to sold out, which is great news, and a great way to end the tour. We kicked out the jams. We’re only disappointed that it’s the final night of the tour… we were really enjoying it.

WIEN

After a slap-up breakfast in Olomouc, we head back to Wien where we hang out with my old friend Party-Fifi (not actual name), and get to see a little bit of the city, and move a washing machine. I’m a big believer in avoiding tourist traps wherever possible. Partially because I hate crowds, but also because if we all have exactly the same experience of a place, then it will inevitably lead to dull conversations. So, there’s a challenge for you all. Go forth and move washing machines.

Party Fifi at Cafe Sperl

At a bar that night, someone asks us what we’re doing in Austria, and I tell him we’ve just finished a small Eastern European tour. He’s surprised that we include Vienna in Eastern Europe. I don’t think he’s pleased. So, the final night brings a diplomatic incident. Oh well! Thanks to everyone for looked after and fed us so well, translated for us, and especially to those who came to the shows. It really means a lot. Hopefully myself and Dave will be back again soon.

Tour of Eastern Yurp – April 2011 – Part II

Note: To aid your reading, you may wish to check out the whole set of photos on Facebook.

BRNO

At Stara Pekarna, Brno

Our driving seems to be perpetually punctuating by traffic jams in Praha/Prague. Just before we arrive we get done by the motorway patrol people – I don’t think they’re police, but I’m not sure. (I didn’t test their trigger-happiness.) Nobody informed the idiot musical tourists (us) that you need a vignette (sticker) for the window while driving on the motorways of the Czech Republic. We would’ve got away with it too if it wasn’t for a toilet break we took on the outskirts of Brno with just 800 metres of that motorway to go. Shit. So close, and yet so… broke. Dave returns to find the car empty, and no sign of me. I’m sitting in the back of a van handing over hard-earned cash as a fine for our offence. So the moral of the story is : never stop.

We make it to Brno after my experience , rolling in beside the main train station, where we meet up with Ivi and Iva, the finest ambassadors for Slovakia and the Czech Republic you could ever meet (and the first ones I ever did – years ago back in Dublin). Dave & I stuff ourselves with food, which is often what one ends up doing on tour to compensate for the tiredness and fatigue, when one doesn’t have the cocaine budget of, say, Fleetwood Mac at their peak.

The language barrier is in evidence again. Soundcheck at Stara Pekarna is navigated ably via a series of hand gestures. (Not the ones you’re thinking of. Honestly.) This is the first plugged show we play, which is quite a change. We have a great crowd. I’m not sure where they’ve all come from. Yes, some have come all the way from internetland, and I recognise them. But the others seem to have followed posters and flyers! Old school.

After the show we trek to a pub up the road called The Immigrant, where we get involved in Irish Immigrant activity like drinkin’, fightin’ and playing more music. The smoking ban is not in place in the Czech Republic yet – so I carelessly shred my voice singing in it.

BRATISLAVA

Scherz Kafe, Bratislava – Taken by Ivi

Tonight we play the Scherz Kafe in downtown Bratislava. We’re staying with the lovely Ivi and
Anton tonight, in their magnificent apartment. My voice is tired, so we spend the day running around buying herbal remedies and honey.

Scherz Kafe was in a lovely part of the town. Unusually, across the street from the cafe was a Tesco Express. Globalisation is a real blight! (Tesco are a massive supermarket chain… apparently, the world’s third largest after Walmart and Carrefour.)

The sound is fantastic in the café tonight, and great craic to play. My voice holds up thanks to the diet of honey and some incredible fresh mint and honey tea made by the lovely cailíní at the Kafé.

I’m always amazed and really impressed by the energy and enthusiasm people have for concerts outside of Ireland. Some music fans regularly travel to multiple shows on the same tour separated by hundreds of miles. We’ve seen it all over the States and all over Europe. It’s a great honour to have people making that effort, and I can only hope that our gratitude translates and we send them home happy.

Tour of Eastern Yurp – April 2011 – Part I

 

215541_10150225212109257_99979_nNote: To aid your reading, you may wish to check out the whole set of photos on Facebook.

WIEN

We had a welcoming party at Wien Flughafen (Vienna Airport to you and me) and were whisked immediately into the city, swallowed whole by history and architecture. Dave Redmond (double-bass player extraordinaire) and myself were to play that night, so apart from eating, we did nothing but try to catch up on sleep from the previous night. Last minute packing is no fun. Nor is the lack of clarity and sleep that normally accompanies it.

The venue which was the Laden at Verein 08 was tiny. A living room. But it made for a cosy gig and one which we enjoyed immensely. Usually we’d like to play shows like this a capella and unplugged but we couldn’t afford the huge costs that comes with transporting a double bass – so we brought an electric instead. We plugged into a crappy guitar amp and set up. It actually worked very well. The a cappella thing really focuses your mind on projection. It was interesting. I’d love to compare recordings from plugged and unplugged shows to see which I prefer.

LITOMERICE

Undaunted by the bed-sharing that inevitably follows these budget tours and heartened by the fantastic welcomes received wherever we go, we managed to keep sane… or maintain the same level of insanity we arrived with. Touring the States has been good training for this, where you’re masters of your own destiny completely. Our second show is in Litomerice, which is in northern Czech Republic near Dresden, East Germany. It’s a long drive from Wien, so we rent a car. It turns out that the rental costs a great deal more than expected… so our delicate budget is feeling the strain. Still, onwards to Litomerice.

Now I know practically nothing of Slavic languages, and the fact that it’s not New Year’s Eve means that the number of phrases I can

 

301761_320841924656103_2015549049_nrealistically use have just been halved. Our hosts for this evening are Lukas & Marta. Marta has made us some vegetarian wraps with soya that we could’ve sworn were chicken. (They say everything tastes like chicken. Not true. Humans taste like pork. The cannibals used to call humans “long pig”. What I never found out was whether we taste like wild game, or domesticated animals. I’d like to know – preferably without having anyone killed, or indeed eaten.)

We have a little lie down before heading out to the venue, which is in a park beside the summer cinema. It’s another unplugged show, but with a split level floor, so a ready made little stage. It’s another small venue, but it’s full and the people, as we become quite accustomed to, are lovely. (And all quite beautiful too. Slightly intimidating!)

We didn’t get much time in the town, but it’s got a beautiful old square – cobbled and well-preserved. We also are quite lucky. That night, after a little after-show chat, food, and drink, we spent the night in an old Communist apartment block. Nothing strange, but it was a first.

The Hay Festival

Here’s a quick bit of news for you, hot off the press…

We’ve just added a date to our London A-Go-Go Tour… so technically, it’s not a London tour any more.  (Hell, it’s not even in the same country!)  Anyhow, we shall now be visiting the town of Hay-on-Wye, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons in Wales.  You can find out more details on this festival of literature and the arts on their website : www.hayfestival.com/winter-weekend.aspx

Aside from hopefully having a cup of tea with Jimmy Carter, John Bolton & some of the great literary talents of our time, I’m hoping to find out all about the Beacons… and see if there’s any truth behind Supergrass’ song about witchcraft (“Brecon Beacons” from Life on Other Planets).

More details soon…