A trip into town today, which actually means walking out of the front door, was an astounding confirmation of the popularity of Porto even in November – it was packed with people. The main street was a swarming mass, from the bottom of the street you couldn’t imagine how people could get past each other it was so busy. It was also a day without rain and traces of blue sky. I can’t imagine how busy it must have been by the river. We were venturing out to find some pieces for the acoustic pedal board, but it was too late, the shops were closed so we went to the record store which was also packed, but we did manage to pick up my copy of the new Gong album Unending Ascending (2023).
We went to the ‘so unhip it’s hip’ café in the supermarket for a coffee and a cake. We met Joel from the vintage store there and shared chatter about the universe before food shopping and heading back to Archive land. We listened to mysterious mixes for hours before listening to Brooklyn John P’s track again in its final preparation, a Nick B track that I’d played on years ago, and then New Orleans Mike and Paul’s tracks, ten organised demos. It was late by then, but the disco boom from the club was banging through the walls. I might have been able to bear it if it was I Will Survive (1978) or I Love to Love (But My Baby Just Loves to Dance) (1976) or maybe Rock Your Baby (1974), Dancing Queen (1976) or I Feel Love (1977) – but discos don’t play that kind of thing anymore, it’s more of a sonic attack – Hawkwind knew.
Despite having to get up early for an Arktik Lake Tony sesh, at 5.14 AM I’m still up waiting for the drilling bass reverberation to stop. I know if I put my head on the pillow it will be worse, it rises up from the floor and enters your ears quicker and more easily than if you are just sitting or standing. But you can’t really stand by your bed till it stops, haha, just waiting for the last beat.
My guitars are strung, the days before the Spanish shows approach and I’m trying to get my fingers into some kind of condition so they can deal with the bar chords on the 12-string as well as the cutting arpeggios and the A major slashes. By the time I’ve thought about the shows, they will be over and we will be onto the next stage of musical bliss – coming at me from somewhere as yet unknown.
Music today has been Gong – Unending Ascending (2023). Kavus Torabi, Fabio Golfetti, and the lads do it again, and they keep on doing it, thank you for keeping this music alive after Daevid Allen had ascended.