I didn’t once hear a calm reaction to our Bath – Inverness drive. What?!? 500 miles?! But actually the trip flew by in a flash- thanks in no small amount to scenery like this:
And also to something that so easily gets forgotten by artists and musicians – other people’s music. We’ve got an extremely good collection of CDs in this van, and we’re not afraid to use them.
***GEEK OUT WARNING KLAXON. SKIP AHEAD IF NECESSARY***
I want to talk about Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. The man has had what I would call an enviable career. Sucessfully avoiding ‘success’, he has instead carved out a grand canyon in which to lay down in, fitting his shape precisely. He has fully earned his place next to the other kings of lyrical master-songwriting, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits.
Yesterday we put on a double album – Abattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus, and wrung every drop from it like we’d been lost in the desert. The pictures he paints with his words land straight into your imagination, bypassing thought altogether. His four pillars of the apocalypse – love, lust, god and death – are all exquisitely addressed.
Also on our stereo are Teen Dream by Beach House, Elbow’s Seldom Seen Kid live with the BBC Concert Orchestra (WOWWW!!!) and ‘This Time’ by Lack Of Afro (buy it from Monday – it features a collaboration with me).
*** GEEK OUT OVER ***
It’s interesting to come out of this dream state world of rugged mountains, rivers and distance (“a land that time forgot” Tom Mcq would say later on the phone”), to Inverness – a perfectly great place that can’t help suffering in comparison to its surroundings. Although let’s be clear – the highlands would be an unforgiving and inhospitable place to live and I’m grateful to be playing music in a lovely venue with lots of people, great sound, nice food and a good roof over our heads.
The gig was excellent, with a surprisingly international audience. We sold CDs to people from Spain, Germany, Canada and the US as well as Scotland. I loved it, and we’re feeling so good about this tour. Next stop Stornoway…
Today’s thanks to: Nick who the excellent sound engineer who made the gig happen, Ashley Mackay and Ben who were our support act and played much better than they thought. I’m sorry we couldn’t come out later! And finally the one and only… Westmoorlands service station.