well – it’s been a month of good news, tragic news, and miles….lots of miles……i would apologise for not blogging sooner, as in sooner than 18 months ago – but like facebook and twitter and stuff kinda took over, and anyone who reads my blogs would already be numb to my excuses of tardy blogginess – and really i just got my head down writing, recording, living, planning and rehearsing……but i was reminded by a journo this week, and an old mate, that i should do one – i guess we’ve just finished the tech reheraslas for the live Perfect Darkness show – so now is as good a time as any to get blogging again, however anachronistic it feels….
i mean – my problem with blogging and twittering and facebooking is perhaps a bit old school – but it feels like showing off just to simply list everywhere you have been let alone what you were doing there….when i was a dj all those years ago, when turntablism had the same anointed fashionista resonance as being in The Horrors, i used to lie then – all the time – someone would say as i walked into the office at 10am looking worse for wear “mate – you must’ve had a good weekend” and the real answer is “yeah – paid to party in some glamourous sounding city break destination” – but after a while – i got tired of the envy in their eyes, or the silent but psychicly audible “bullshit” or “wanker”, and so i’d just say “yeah….had a large one” or something…..same at dinner parties – sometimes its just better to say “i work in the music industry” rather than say “i’m in a band” .when your career, whatever twisted form it takes, sounds too good to be true – i mean – it’s just better to lie sometimes….
….but that’s what this month has looked like Paris, London, Lisbon to film the Perfect Darkness Video, Los Angeles for a week, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Paris, Brighton…..seriously – every moment wasn’t a movie anyone would find particularly interested in watching….in fact when you list it like that you get a sense of the “up-in-the-air-ness” of the life sometimes ( something that will be counter balanced by the bus tour coming up – expect the next album to heavily feature songs about roads, truck stops and ways we can hermetically seal Robalicious our sound guy every night….i vote for mummification in cling film in a sound proof humidore but i dont think the tour support will stretch to it…..)….but yeah – i guess thats the good news – its getting hot out there and we can definitely feel it…..the media city tour we did a month ago was great – really great to scrape the rust off – paris, berlin, amsterdam – we totally LOVE playing these places, and the crazy but ridiculously welcoming Oerol festival in northen holland….and of course our annual pilgrimage to the prinzenbar in hamburg, followed by a hot meal at one of europes finest restaraunts to not have a michelin star – Erickas Eck – in fact – they probably flattened the michelin star into a huge schnitzel – if you want a work of art on your plate – unless its a pollock you’re after – dont go there – if you want the best schnitzel in Hamburg, possibly the world, and to feel like literally explosive schnitzel time bomb when you waddle out – go there – they should have michelin stars for that – literally – how much out of five for how intensely full you are….
but yeah….the bad news i found out in LA….and it was summed up for me by the illuminated sign on the infamous rock venue on Sunset “The Whiskey”. Instead of the usual slew of bands that sound like B-movie slipknot, it just said “Amy we miss you”, a sign of how much amy’s persona travelled far beyond the boundaries of her music….another icon, another tragedy…..i worked with Amy back in the day….before i was a songwriter…..she left school and had a demo, and a friend of mine at work knew her and her young manager, and i made beats, and so we got in my london studio together on and off for a few months….essentially the deal was….”we just need to hear some finished stuff for Island to hear”….and i was cool with that…..that voice…..the other day i was cleaning out my studio and i randomly found her demo….the voice man – it just stops you dead….even then she was rowdy……she absolutely adored Dinah Washington and we wrote a track about her obsession with Dinah called “Aces High”, like a kinda 4tet kinda smoky jazzy beat thing, and one about taking the time to think through big decisions called “Halftime”, a kinda Sade reggae thing….working with her definitely gave me the courage and impetus to sing myself – and i sang “So Long” a few months after our sessions ended…i was like – wow – she just sings the song in such an original way, then gets signed, and then shes off….that is amazing – singing a song is not rocket science – just try and sound original….we used to jack d’angelo loops from voodoo for her to write over, and i would make her mixtapes of like lauryn and erykah and jill scott and stuff, all this nu-soul stuff………she lived her life – she wrote from the heart…..and thats why she was so iconic….she was really real….real…..i saw her feather tattoo on her arm right after she had had it done…..it was all bleeding and gross…..she was 17 and loving the fact that she could just go and do something like that….i thought it was really cool….being your own person is cool…..and she was definitely that…..this is not how i thought it would end for her…..tinsel-town was a horrible place to find out about someone you know passing away in tragic circumstances…..every bar, hang out, gig, news channel, opinions, opinions, lies, rumours….i couldnt avoid it – it was horrible – the knives came out and the fingers starting pointing immediately…. – like another friend of mine who passed away a few years ago – i just can’t bring myself to delete her number from my phone….its the mundane details that really bring it home and kinda numb you out….it’s really weird that we’ll never speak again Amy, and my thoughts go out to those few who truly knew and loved you…..