I was noticing how green the grass was at the beginning of this autumn. It looks so healthy and fresh. It doesn’t seem to go brown and die like the leaves on the trees, why is that? I suppose it stops growing or at least stops growing so fast but it doesn’t die. It seems that it’s just water that it needs, constant watering, and it certainly gets that down here in the southwest of England. In countries where I have lived, countries that have lots of sun or lots of snow, mainly Australia and Sweden, the grass doesn’t stay so lush, but then we don’t have those two climate extremes of bitter cold and snow or constant sunshine. Our beaches can’t compete and those magical fairytale winters in Sweden are hard to beat – I wonder how it will be in Porto at Christmas.
Time is now running short and we have two days in the studio coming up to finish working on guitars with sessioneer Craig and looking at some more sessioneer Tony Arctic Lake, and then Dare is going away for a few days. When he gets back he will be in super mix mode including working on the new album from sessioneer Ahad. Then there’s the mastering and then we’re done with outstanding projects, apart from our own. We will be back to work on more projects next year but for now, Olivia and I will be fuelling our experience by living in another country with another language and another culture. Sessioneer Jed and I are already working on Space Summit 2 before Space Summit 1 has hit the world. What will 2021 bring? Certainly the new MOAT album Poison Stream and then there’s Record Store Day.
I think that to do something like moving to a new country, whether it be by choice or by circumstances is always going to be something good. Breaking out of the familiar has to be good for you. One wonders if we might move to Istanbul in 2023 or Paris 2026. We are trying to spruce up our language skills and Olivia will be a confirmed polyglot into the future as if she isn’t already. Break the mould but learn from it, see the world.
I’ve never been to Africa or India, I’ve never been to Russia, I’ve never been to Inverness or even Loch Ness. I would love to go to Morocco and buy all kinds of Moroccan lamps and decorated artifacts. To see the pyramids would be amazing or the Great Wall of China. Of course, these are tourist attractions but still, I’d love to see them – the Taj Mahal, the Leaning Tower of Pisa – I’ve never been to Florence. But it’s not just the tourist attractions, it’s the people, the atmosphere, the traditions, the languages, the way people express themselves. It’s a crazy world with so many tragedies and so many wonders, terrible and amazing – we are so privileged with our guitars and our songs and a real chance to experience incredible things.
The first time I ever got on a plane was from London to Sydney, via Kuala Lumpur (April 1980). I remember getting off the plane for the stopover and when I walked down the steps I thought I must be feeling the heat from the engine and then I realised that no, this was the climate. I’d never experienced anything like it. But the journey that was so long didn’t seem so long because it was simply exciting to be flying across the world (I was two weeks away from being 22). As time went by I began to fly regularly and in 1985 into 1986 I flew from Stockholm where I was now living to Sydney for one day to make the Tantalized video. I left January 1st and was back in Stockholm on January 3rd, luckily the video was pretty good and at the age of 28, it seems you can do anything, even something as crazy as this. And remember in Stockholm it was winter and in Sydney it was summer, it was like spending a day on Mars after being in your front room.
Music today comes from Free and their classic album Fire And Water (1970). I’m a fan of any record that has Paul Kossoff playing guitar, the most minimalist guitarist I ever heard, every note meant something, feel, tone, finesse, vibrato like no one else, control, brilliant. Then there’s Andy Fraser’s unique bass playing, original, characterful, different. Simon Kirke’s warm punchy drumming and of course Paul Rodgers’ soulful vocals. Warm, sad, wonderful. Rodgers and Kirke were 20, Kossoff was 19, Fraser was 17 and this was their third album.