Monday, November 12, 2012

Oh Hi, It's Me Again..

If I start this post with a lament on how it's been a long time since I wrote something, well, it's only going to sound like all my recent ones. So I won't. I'll just say sorry, for life has been busy, in a strange mental yet quiet sort of way.

What's going down?

Well the girls, A and K that is, are doing their thing, strutting their stuff like teenage girls do. A is now doing her gap year, working and trying to save money to pay for travels around the world, including Sri Lanka, in the early part of next year.

I'm not joking when I tell you that I honestly feel tremors in my stomach whenever I think of her travelling around the world, even with friends. If you love somebody set them free is all well and good, but I think it should have been "If you love somebody set them free and shit yourself a little bit". Still, what to do? She's going, she's eighteen and, in my humble one, one of the most important aspects of parenting is giving your advice, then watching kids go off and make mistakes and helping them when they do. Not that travelling is a mistake by any means.

And K is now at college, doing double maths and English. She's heavily into her music, which pleases me no end. Yesterday she sent me a text to ask about Audioslave and Soundgarden and Chris Cornell. I was pleased to reply and give her a brief rundown of their history. Of course, you already know it, so I won't patronise you by explaining it again. She's also a huge fan of the esteemed Mr Grohl. I like that.

C, that other woman in my life, is off working in Singapore. If you're one of those who sees her sporadically in Colombo and have been wondering where she is, well that's the answer. And it's also why I haven't hit the motherland for a few months. I'm at that pining stage now, missing the good things and putting the bad ones right to the back of my mind.

I've been doing a hell of a lot of drumming lately. Since we last spoke I've found that I'm playing for a Tina Turner tribute band. Well, I think I'm depping for the regular drummer but gigs have been quite frequent. It's a blast, playing good old fashioned R + B from the days when R + B was R + B not this bump 'n' grind  R +B that the kids know.

The punk band also continues, not without its frustrations. We'll see what happens to it, but I'm enjoying trying to play punk with authenticity. It's actually a challenge as all these punk bands from the late seventies and early eighties were just learning to play when they emerged. So, not that I'm any kind of expert player now, I have to consciously play as if I've still learning the ropes. I kid you not when I say it's a bit of a feat.

On top of that is the fact that many of these bands and musicians are currently out playing and on tour but are now some of the best musicians around. If you hear them playing a song now that was originally a hit in the heady days of punk it's usually with a level of finesse and musicianship that I can only dream of. I have to find a comfortable middle ground between the two extremes. Oh, and play really fast.

And The Breaks, the covers band, continues marching onwards and sideways. We plan to go into a studio sometime in January to bung down a demo of some sorts. We've decided on ten tracks, though I feel a little doubtful if we'll get that many down in two to three days. It will be total blast, of that I'm sure. I've been into studios with previous bands and each time we've ended up much closer as people and tighter as a band from the experience.

On the lesson side of things I've been studying Jazz. It's hard, as if the last fifteen years of playing have been spent learning one language and, all of a sudden, I'm told "now we're going to learn how to make cheese".

But I'm listening to it at every opportunity, trying to take it in by osmosis and feel the stuff, to think two and four instead of one and three, and to suddenly forget about the bass drum as the be all and end all of things. And you know how I like my right foot normally. My parents are huge Jazz fans and always have been so it feels as if I'm coming full circle to the music I grew up listening to. I only wish I'd paid a bit more attention to it as a kid.

Here in Londinium we've got proper Christmas weather, without the snow that is. I saw someone on Facebook say that she'd seen the Coca Cola ad on TV over the weekend, the true spirit of Christmas "Holidays are coming" one. I haven't witnessed it this year yet, but everyone knows it's the first sign of the season proper. It seems like a lifetime ago when we were all watching the Olympics and wearing T shirts, shorts and flip flops Hawaiinas.

My Mum is having kittens about the logistics and arrangements for Christmas, the shops are getting crowded and the autumnal colours and moving from the trees to the pavements.

It's all good.

Ah yes, I know what I was going to tell you; I tried making a chicken curry the other day, but used chorizo in the starting line up, frying little bits of it with the garlic, onions, rampe and curry leaves. Someone suggested it to me and it adds a interestingly reddish paprikaish twist to things. I'm sure it's not for everyone but I reckon I'll do it again.

Just saying.

I hope your week is a good one and happy birthday to my good friend David Blacker for yesterday.


TheYoungNarcissist said...

welcome back! :) firstly - Soundgarden is awesome! they did an amazing gig this year at hard rock calling. your daughter has good taste - especially when kids these days dig one direction and n-dubz!

and also - christmas trees are up at tesco's... tis officially the season.

David Blacker said...

Thanks, man.