18th november 2011 :: köln, DE :: lichtung solo
i arranged to get the car at 10am... i'm not sure why, i didn't need it until much later and i knew that parking it in bruxelles would be difficult and that i'd be forced to get out of bed early - but maybe that's what i did anyway!
i was a little hungover from last night's concert - it was a nice evening, and its memories and the bit that's still in my head provoke a wierd sense of lonliness... i'm not used to touring on my own, it's going to be wierd to not have anyone to share this with, so i'm writing it all down so that i know it really happened!
at the car rental desk, i was greeted by steve who upgraded me to a bigger car (welcomed as i may end up sleeping in it after a couple of the shows! while we were sitting i got talking to steve and one of the mechanics working in the garage attached. i'm not quite sure how it happened, but i ended up phoning one of their clients. a man passing through from prague whoose ball bearings are busted to tell him that it would cost 595 euros instead of 415 euros because the housing is broken too!!!
i love choosing a period of time from time-to-time and just writing everything down - i love wandering through life with a notebook, a camera and a guitar. this next month will be difficult, though - i'll probably miss alot of the random pop-in-pop-out-of-the-head thoughts that i so enjoy while i'm driving :(
- anoar braham - astrakan café -
i have decided that the best way to remember some of the stuff i want to write down is by stopping for five minutes at the end of every album to write a few words... as my first album comes to a close, i notice the sounds of the different road surfaces in the relative silence!
the train line clings to the road along a stretch of journey that i have taken time and again, but usually on the train. it's flat farming land around here, climbing gently into the ardennes mountains. the sun falls on my right hand and warms it up, it shoots into cold every time i pass a truck and plunge into shade. the citroen picasso is a pleasure to drive. its comfortable, doesn't use too much petrol and the sound system is really clear :)
a little fly got into the car and keeps me company for a few kilometers
"hello!" ... "ok, fine... ignore me!"
"i don't talk, i'm a fly!"
- deus - worst case scenario -
on this trip, everything is at my own pace. if i want to stop, i stop... if i want to eat, i eat, if i want to put on a record, i put on the record... if i want to drive slowly...
never stop asking questions... i accidently drive through the german-belgian customs looking for a place to picnic. the border at eupen/aachen is pretty - not the shack, but the area! i made some food last night at 2am after the concert and it is really good - this may be the last good meal for ten days, in germany, not everyone understands vegitarian!
- led zeppelin - I -
i love the light at this time of year, autumn is my favorite season for the mental-energy storms and the sunsets, but only when it comes after summer, and this year summer was also very autumn - the light is amazing, but i'm finding the wind less refreshing than usual! the clouds look amazing in the rear-view mirror - driving, i'm also missing a bunch of beautiful photos that i'd like to be able to share here! it's strange looking over such beautiful landscape in such a beautiful sunset and the sound of traffic louder than my thoughts!
- darwin deez -
on arriving in lichtung, i am first struck by their choice of furnature and artwork hanging on the walls - beautiful old wooden sideboards overflowing with flyers and potted plants, landscape paintings mixed up among nude photos that all work rather well together - wallis would have something to say about this - and the pet shop boys on the radio!
the stage is lovely, slightly raised in a veranda - all surrounded with glass (glad there are no cymbals this evening!) - with a piano against the wall, a painting of a garden surrounding a small garden on the wall outside and behind me. i'll be looking over people sitting in comfy couches listening to the show.
michael greets me, offers me a coffee and shows me around. an hour or so later, fabien arrives just as i have my stuff set up - perfect timing :) the sound check is quick and i'm happy to have my amp, effects and all my toys...
dinner is the indian buffet next door - what was i thinking taking so muuch food - i wasn't that hungry but everything looked so good that i filled my plate to spilling level. i have to eat it now or i'll look really greedy!!! the music in the venue was a very eclectic mix, so asked him who was choosing it - creamy radio, the world's largest shuffle ipod - hmmm - not very creative and half of the songs that pop up are a bit shit, not sure about this idea!
just before i started, a few fans of wallis' music showed up - this makes me happy - i appreciate their coming out :)
i get talking to a gent named essa, when he comes to the bar to order tea. he is in the rock band playing in the venue downstairs after my gig... he tells me of their music, it sounds interesting, i'll pop down and have a listen... the show was nice. about 50 or so people, some sitting in the armchairs listening, some standing around listening, others waiting for the later gig - some of these found me after the show to tell me that they enjoyed it - that was nice :)
it's wierd playing on my own again. i can't find much to say about the songs, so i just played them. i felt fairly self-concious and a bit uncomfortable, especially during the louder songs, thinking like i might be going to far - i kind of just close my eyes and let myself be taken away on the air... i haven't really gigged like this in nearly 10 years!
at the end of the show, daniela passed a hat around, while looking after the bar alone - some superwoman! i hung around for a while after the show for chats and tea! one guy, michael, took a shot of me with insane eyes - i should just keep them closed!
i went downstairs for a bit of a listen before heading off. there were 2 rock bands and both sounded really good, but i only caught the last song of the first band and the first couple of the second band - the sound in the room was great! i hit the road to drive the first 100 or so kilometers towards frankfurt and pull over for the night.
- blah - a compilation i made (see "mixtape" blog from oct 2011 http://aidanfloatinghome.blogspot.com/2011/10/mixtape.html) -
i stopped in a layby off the A66. it was cold, but i was well equipped with bankets and cushions and with a quick blast of hot air to begin the evening in heat, i slipped into sleep with no problem. i kept waking up to pee and then putting the heat back on for a couple of minutes - i slept intermittantly!