Two years ago tonight Olivia and I were playing a show in a small village in Eschwege, Germany. It was like an old-fashioned community centre with lots of sofas and comfy chairs, tables and straight back chairs, a mix and match like a second-hand furniture warehouse except it had a small stage and drinks and was a real venue off the beaten track. We were well looked after, we were given a room upstairs to stay the night after the show and we had dinner with the owner’s daughter Babette. She was disabled with lots of different issues, we sat with her in the kitchen and chatted before the show. We did two sets and we saw her watching us. She left before the second set started and that was that.
The show was a big success, it’s always good to get a good reaction from an audience that’s never heard of you. After the show, the people that lived there were around and about. We stayed in the main room and answered some emails before going to bed. At this point, and if you have been reading since I started this blog you might remember what happened next, we heard a scream from upstairs and heard people running around. We wondered what it was and soon found out that Babette had died in her sleep. It was a terrible moment and the family, her mother who ran the place and all the friends that were there, people that worked there and were part of the community, were in shock. At some point, we had to go to bed and in the morning there was a sad reality that this had actually happened. Rest in peace Babette, thinking of you tonight.
On a lighter note (sorry), my bulbs arrived today for the lava lamps, 20 of them. I went by the lighting shop just casually, dropping in as an excuse to go out for a walk and there they were 39€. But I wondered if these 20 bulbs would last me into a future where they are impossible to find, so I ordered more. It can’t be a bad thing to have a cupboard full of lava lamp bulbs, they could be the last lava lamp bulbs on the planet, especially as they are large in size and harder to find. I love the lava lamps (as you can tell), I wish I’d had one as a kid, part of the reason is that I’m Mood Lighting Man! I’m one of those people that is always adjusting the lights, switching the main light off, putting the lamps on. I hate a room with a big bright light. I can’t stand shops with bright light or offices (and shops) with fluorescent tubes.
I went to the bakery today to be tempted by my latest and greatest find in Portugal – carrot cake covered in chocolate! In all my years of eating carrot cake, I’ve never had it covered in chocolate and what a revelation it is. The Portuguese know something about making a cake or a tart with queijadas and especially pastel de nata, the latter famous all over the world. It doesn’t help your figure and I can tell you that but those glory days of eating a large piece of Black Forest gâteau and it immediately disappearing into your body, never to be seen again, not as a lump or a handle – are over.
Tonight I had another mega Logic Pro session with Andreas from Gävle in Sweden. Hours go by, but it’s not just learning the programme, it’s stories, and joking and serious discussion and business and music and easy chat and tons of information, Andreas is a real expert, a fountain of knowledge. It’s so much to take in but it’s slowly entering my brain and I’ve started to write some little pieces, chord progressions and riffs that I’m building on as I learn how to operate the programme. It’s amazing what you can do these days but I’m not really doing this to be an expert engineer, I’ll leave that to the real professionals but as a songwriting tool, it’s incredible. Whether you want to create electronic music, or just record with an acoustic guitar, it’s simple once you learn the basics. Just don’t let it tell you what to do.
Music today has been the amazing June Tabor. She was Radio 2 folk singer of the year 2004 and 2012. Beautiful singing, with instrumentation, but also more a cappellas, meaningful traditional songs. I could recommend ten albums by her but here’s one, her first solo album Airs And Graces (1976).