09th: lecco, IT :: l'oficina della musica, solo with wallis bird
we missed breakfast but got cappuccino and a croissant at the hotel's café before going for a walk at turin's market. while we waited for wallis and agata to arrive, rosella and i chatted about pearl jam and ani difranco. she wrote a biography about her in italian!
turin is a really beautiful city... a higgledy piggledy mix of beautifully preserved buildings standing proud beside twins in a state of disrepair; covered balconies with clothes dancing in the breeze and plants or a bike hanging off it! we parked on a street with small second-hand and brol shops - we started there, distracted by all the shiny things. one shop had a great collection of old 4-track tape machines and typewriters - they played shiny-jacket italian techno on their sound-system passing through about 80 speakers!
once we had climbed through the sock- and phone-cover- stalls, the market made my mouth water - wonderful courgettes and pumpkins, fruit and fruit, cheese and bread, the odd whiff of fish, but we won't dwell on that! i bought a red onion that looked alot like one of my little egg shakers!
the market took us to some quieter streets where we walked among roman ruins and 80's appartement buildings to an amazing piazza where some sat reading, some stood looking at the magnificient buildings and statues, others stood looking at people playing the statue-busking game, and us four, we stood watching them all!
i stopped into a shop to pick up a lead i needed to play music in the car. when i got to the till, the lady insisted that my note was a forgery, which it wasn't - she just had an outdated machine that was probably built to test lira! i eventually convinced the manager to let me pay for the lead, and off we went for pizza :)
we found a nice little sandwich place where we had amazing smelly cheese foccacia (mmmmhh!) before hitting the road for lecco.
now that we have the mp3 lead, we can really start touring!!! we started with some pearl jam and ani difranco! we got stuck in traffic about halfway through versus and rolled down the windows and sang our heads off to a bunch of confused- and slightly akward-looking moterists!
we arrived at l'officina della musica just in time to avoid my bladder exploding! this evening's room is a big hall with mural graffiti on the walls and another nice allen & heath desk (must be an italian favorite!). the venue is in a space consisting of a music school and rehersal and performance rooms, including the one where we play. the system is good, but the room is not the best! i can hear a pair of rock bands battle it out in the airconditioning pipes above my head!
in the backstage room there is a piano. i tried to play it, but i could hardly hear it over the sound of the rock band in the next room - rock bands are kind of like wallpaper here! we got lovely spagetti for dinner, but i left most of it for after the show, as i am playing and first and then doing the sound for wallis :) the gig was nice... the crowd were great and i enjoyed the sound for my set - doing the sound was a bit of a battle of the bands, à la run dmc vs aerosmith!
after the gig, i took my time sorting out the gear and my accounting and then we were accompanied by the loveliest couple, a half-english lady and her boyfriend, who also happens to be the son of the owner of the hotel where we stay this evening. the drive was so lovely - narrow streets winding further and further upwards in the dark, until we were in a more secluded part of town that was more like countryside than town, but not quite that either - there were many houses around, and it seemed like a sort of village, but there was so much space between each of the houses!
our room was in a cabin up a garden step-path at the end of the garden. a lovely wood cabin that was beautifully decorated on the inside - warmly and comfortably, but pratically! i was ready for sleep almost instantly, so that's where i went!