08th: turino, IT :: el barrio, solo with wallis bird
of course getting up at this time is annoying. it's too late to justify getting a taxi, 'cause the trains have started running... i get my stuff together, and get walking to the gare de luxembourg. i bought a new suitcase for this tour as the old one's wheels had been worn down to the ball-bearings and sounded like the end of the world coming at you! it's a short 10 minute walk and the morning was mild. the sun was beginning to rise and kitchen lights clicked on as i passed. i love this time of day, but i rarely include myself in it!
i slept for most of the journey to italy, waking up only to catch a glimpse of the alps and to change modes of transport - i don't fly often and often the desire to see the earth from this rare point of view would overcome my auto-motion-provoked-sleep switch, but this morning, it doesn't!
i arrive in milan airport a little ahead of rosella's flight from dublin and find a nice conspicuous corner to lean against.
i have not yet met rosella, besides a few email exchanges regarding today's meeting. she and agata, who will arrive later today, run a little touring company called little maps. they put their heads together and choose bands to bring to italy for a few dates about twice a year. for the next five dates, wallis and i are those bands!!!
when she arrives, she spots me instantly - 2 cases and a guitar will make you stand out! we had four more hours to wait, so we changed corners for one with chairs and coffee! rosella is italian. she moved to ireland a few years ago where she lives and works with google. she tells me about little maps, the company that she set up with agata in ireland to bring bands to audiences in italy, we talk about some of the bands that they have worked with and about some of the places we will visit on these dates... i can't wait!
at 15h30, wallis arrives from london and agata arrives from denmark. agata and rosella met in italy. they moved to dublin together, where little maps was born and a year later, agata moved to denmark, where she worked with lego until recently.
the car rental company gave our car away! the booking had been for this morning, and while we were waiting for wallis to arrive with the credit card, they gave the car away and had nothing large enough to offer!!! we went to look at a few smaller cars to see would the guitar fit in... it didn't! eventually, after negociations and suggestions, they agreed to let me take an uncleaned car - i don't care if it's clean - we're not clean!!!
it took ages to get through milan's traffic - it was pretty, though :) apparently milan is known as the grey city in italy. it was rainy and foggy and mysterious looking! the rest of the journey was slow and uneventful - traffic was shit everywhere, but it gave us plenty of time to get to know each other and listen to some great albums.
the venue in turin, el barrio, was lovely. its funny, nobody here has much english, and i really like the adventure of communication! i was being a bit stressy about timing as communication was taking longer than usual - it didn't take me too long to slip into the italian rythem and stop watching the clock, as long as everything gets done well, everything is alright!
i had been afraid before leaving, thinking that the PA systems would be basic - it was a nice surprise to be greeted with an analogue allen & heath desk - this will be fun! on this part of the tour, ie. the four italian dates, i am playing a set and then doing the sound for wallis' set. i love doing her sound, as she wants a ballsy sound, and that's the kind of sound i like making!
soundcheck was quick, dinner was simple and lovely pasta from the restaurant attached to the hotel where we stay tonight. i ate a few forkfuls, but it was already stage time - first gig of the tour - a good crowd, great vibes, and i really enjoyed playing - it's been ages since i played on my own, and it was nice to have all my effects and stuff!
wallis' sound was brilliant - 2 broken strings, and loads of stomp! i managed to get through about half of my dinner! after the set, i was taking down the gear when someone (a friend of rosella's, i think), showed up with a creamy lemoncello thing - aparently it was lovely, but i had to drive after, so i abstained - we had a drink with the team in the bar, after everything had been cleared away - they were all really nice and run a brilliant project there. the hotel was basic, but giddy, wallis and i wrestled with the airconditioning in vain, drank beers and laughed our asses off for hours - not much sleep was had!