Monday, November 19, 2012

Tat Three Pending

When I had the first one done everyone said that I'd have more, that once you've got the bug there's no going back. Oh how correct they were!

For the third time I have that feeling of excitement brewing, the one of slight ball itchiness combined with a need for time to hurry up and the feeling that I want to smile at the most inopportune moments. You youngsters probably feel similar when you fall in love for the first time or discover the joys of masturbating. For some the two happen together, consider yourself lucky if you're one of those people.

Yes it's almost tat three time. Tomorrow afternoon you'll be able to find me sat in my new favourite tattoo parlour's chair having it done. I've pondered, deliberated and cogitated for a good couple of years on this one and had more conversations with my tat guru than he's got tattoos and finally, the day is nearly here.

I've gone for a picture of a Kandyan drummer. That was never really in question, but the task of coming up with something I actually like was the hard thing. I've found a picture, told my bloke that I want the feet to look "less cartoony" and for there to be no moustache and we're ready to roll.

I'm hoping that the guy will do a good job, he's a well known fellow and one of these "arty" chaps rather than a bloke who operates a needle thing and basically just stencils stuff on skin.

If you're a regular here you'll hopefully understand that a picture of a Sri Lankan drummer on my arm represents two of the things that are fundamental parts of my make up. It's the first one that I'm having that's really personal. The other two are just random designs; designs that I like a lot, but ones without any true meaning to me.

Another thing, I was googling Kandyan drummer tattoos and came across this. I wonder if anyone can shed any light on it. It looks as if someone has taken my post, bunged it into a translator, then back into English and used it as their own post. What do you think?

I might take a picture and put it up here once it's done, it all depends on how pleased I am with it.

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.