Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Netherlands / Sweden / Turkey - September 2013 (continued)

Sunday  Sept 8, Castricum, Netherlands – On the train down to Amsterdam the ticket inspector reliably informed me that most of the toilets on the train were out of order. Eventually I located one and on the way back to the dining carraige where I was having a liquid lunch I bumped into the same chatty King of Tickets. ‘Where you from?’ he asked. ‘Ireland’ I replied. ‘Dublin ! Big tits and great pussy, I go there next week.’
I nodded and off I went. A while later he walked past me again gesticulating frantically to check out his work comrade, a chesty brunette. He was getting into the swing of things for his trip to Dublin and the cesspit of Temple Bar I presume.

After arriving into Castricum via Amsterdam I ate disappointing Indonesian food, found the venue, a place called De BakKerij. Cool venue, nice staff and got the soundcheck over with little pain involved. Steve arrived down from Alkmaar, played the show and so on and so forth. One of the bar staff urged me to check out the music of Jackson C. Frank.

He stuck on a CD of Mr Frank and after slices of plastic were exchanged for bio survival tickets Steve and I took a late train to Alkmaar. 


Monday Sept 9, Amsterdam, Netherlands – The rain was coming down hard and fast . Sheltered in a corner bar near Central Station. My second time in this city in the past week. The unrelenting rain may have been in cahoots with the taxi drivers union. Hailed a cab - 7 Euro, not a bad deal, and the polite gentleman insisted on lifting my heavy bag and guitar as well. I was left with a bag containing a half empty box of CDs and an alarm clock with the alarm function broken. However the disabled plastic clock tells me when the gig is coming to a close. Its usually beside my effects pedals on the floor. For acoustic gigs it lies beside my stomp box usually.

An Australian lady rushed out in the rain to help me with the gear. Harry who runs Monumentje is a musician himself and knows the score. Refreshed with a beer or 4 and following a few pangs of impending puke (and I only throw up once every 10 years or so) I reckoned I should change to red wine. The room was full and the gig was a special affair in that I knew I was amongst kindred spirits and the vibe was very good indeed. Not only did people buy CDs, they wanted to know what songs were about and where they were recorded and it was clear that we were all in this madness together and people arrived in that I hadn’t seen in years and time drifted slowly and everything seemed to make sense. Hanging around in Schipol Airport for six hours waiting for a flight wasn’t much fun or interesting in any way. But you can’t have everything! Where would you put it?



Thursday Sept 12, Göteborg, Sweden - Jack Earls ‘Take Me To That Place’ was on the record player rocking at 45r.p.m.  What a minimialist and cool rockin’ guitar riff. Later I found an old Tony Tuff LP. Stuck it on and listened to ‘Mista Know It All’. Memories of Galway in the early 80’s came flooding back. My old bedsit on St Marys Road - like a furnace in the summer and like a fridge in the late autumn. Couldn’t stick it any longer and I moved out. Tony was for a long time the invisible man of reggae. My friend Arvid down in Malmo agrees, but in the last few years Ive been able to track down a few of Mr Tuffs records mail order.


A cloud blew the rain from its throat. Closed the windows. Checked out some songs from Omar Souletman from Syria on soundcloud. Then the wife came in and announced she’d decided to get out a life insurance policy on me. A doctor told me two years ago that Im in pretty good shape all concidered. Suddenly I felt a strange feeling of unease and ultimately  dark paranoia.

Wednesday Sept 18, Side, Turkey – Explored the Temple of Apollo and what may have been a second century hospital. I wondered where all the Persian Princesses were. But I started writing a song called ‘Persian Princess’ anyway. What else would you do? At the hotal bar the proprietor asked if I was looking for a wedding party. I wasn’t. Wearing a white shirt and dark pinstripe jacket with black trousers and red cowboy boots I must have stood out amongst the bikini clad girl-tourists and the shorts and T shirt brigade.  Apparently it was 38 degrees celsius and I hadn’t noticed. He was trying to be funny I suppose. I asked for another drink.


Later I ended up rambling through a few acres of desert and spotted a few camels and assorted tumbling down ancient ruins.
An oasis beckoned. The No Name Restaurant provided me with a beer and a view out over the Aegean Sea. I decided to try to get to Manavgat, but having started out with bad directions I took a bus to Komkoy. A detour was required and eventually an hour or two was spent roaming the gigantic markets of Manavgat and I realized this is where the regular folks live and work and hang out.

Started work on a country ballad and slept for a few hours and got up again and one day melted into another as they sometimes do.