The last day of January, our fourth day in Germany and three days before we leave for Porto which means that it’s just 43 days from our UK tour start date (we should have one of those clocks like the Olympics). We will be doing thirteen shows, some of them in venues we have played before and others in new places. We will be playing songs from all different projects and bands, with 12-string guitars and violins. We are hoping to have some harder-to-find vinyl and CDs with us as well as a new T-shirt. We have just arrived back in Europe from the US where we played nine shows. We are hoping to continue to play shows wherever we can in between the projects this year, in the meantime, see you in the UK:
Wed, 15th March – The Acorn Theatre, Penzance
Thu, 16th March – Crofters Rights, Bristol
Fri, 17th March – The Slaughtered Lamb, London
Sat, 18th March – House Concert, Worcester
Sun, 19th March – Kitchen Garden Café, Birmingham
Mon, 20th March – The Musician, Leicester
Tue, 21st March – Gullivers, Manchester
Wed, 22nd March – Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek
Thu, 23rd March – Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
Fri, 24th March – Thornton Hough Village Club, Wirral
Sat, 25th March – St Bride’s Church, Liverpool
Sun, 26th March – The Flying Duck, Glasgow
Mon, 27th March – Bannerman’s, Edinburgh
Barrett Strong has died aged 81, and it pains me to think that every time I write something it could be that another musician’s obituary is the headline. So here we go again, as I continue to post Tom Verlaine’s solo albums in tribute to him, another kind of musical giant in Strong has passed away. Think Money, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, War, Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone, Wherever I Lay My Hat, Cloud 9, I Can’t Get Next To You, Ball Of Confusion, Just My Imagination, Psychedelic Shack. His collaborations with Norman Whitfield, Berry Gordy, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Edwin Starr, and one of my particular favourites, The Undisputed Truth (Smiling Faces Sometimes), are hard to measure in the power of their influence on soul music in general and classic R&B. RIP Barrett Strong. Note that Berry Gordy, the man who started Motown, is 93, might be time to dig out your Motown records so you can celebrate the man while he is still alive.
It was a miserable day here in the Rhineland today and the usual miserable woman in the post office miserably accepted the package we were posting and charged us a ridiculous 18€ for the pleasure. Olivia suggested that like Uber and Airbnb, there will one day be an alternative cheaper postal service. I brought the package from the US in a mailer because it would be cheaper to send to Europe from Europe, plus there would be no customs charges for the receiver. The post, like everything, has become so expensive, one wonders what the future holds as everything goes up in price, $20 chewing gum is next.
Music today has been Tom Verlaine’s fifth solo album Flash Light. Thanks to Ricky Maymi from BJM for the Dave Bascombe Flash Light Demos Sessions from Youtube.
I remember telling Tom I liked the title and he said, “Yeah, there’s not many titles like this left”. Little things you remember.