strike

Don’t get me wrong , playing the Albert hall is fantastic and all , it’s a totally mad experience but it is quite intense and full of responsibility . It feels like a grown up job. So many people, such an amazing room. You really don’t want to fuck it up for everyone.

But when you turn up at a bowling alley that looks like no ones there for you let alone to dance, you know you’ve got a different set of rules going on. You going to have to do some pretty hefty sonic convincing.

The reality was by the time Adamski did his great set all in waltz time the crowd were picking up and it had started to feel more like a club. it was great to see him in action again.

When I got on stage and checked through all my bits and looked up to see what we had , there was a great happy crowd of people who had come from all over the building penning me into my corner of the room, no way out now.

So I got cracking and kept my head down at first, this was only my second gig with this set. After the first two tracks , when id got into the flow, I remembered to look up and caught someone’s eye in the front row, we both grinned and I looked around at everyone else, we were all in it together from there on in . It was a proper game of cat and mouse,total interaction between performer and crowd. Very intimate. So by the time I finished up with chime, it felt like we’d shared a real moment. And to top it off , no back stage so I just walked off the front chatting and laughing with the crowd and got handed a nice pint of beer. The people there were great.

So no, nothing wrong with the big gigs, I love playing Brixton academy, I love having the big production and video to mesmerise and astound the audience with, but when you do a little gig like that it does ground you to the fact that its all about the music and the moment really. Although we did have a tiny fake laser at the bowling alley that I became quite attached too by the end of the gig. My one solitary lighting friend.

Off to the isle of wight tomorrow, thats going to be fun. biggest one yet for this incarnation of Paul.

Just me , chris, my manager, Fable and her manager Andy.In Chris’s car . Both Chris and Andy will help out but no back line tech tomorrow, I’m doing it myself , first time since the early 90’s! How lucky have I been.

I’ll let you know how it goes, and I haven’t forgotten to tell you about ‘the gig where everything went so wrong, then went so right’ I still shudder when I think about that hour before the show.

and again

ok. I’ll start again.

I’ve started this so many times and scraped it for various reasons. Getting what your thinking out there isn’t as easy as it sounds. I just need to get this first post done with. I’ve thought about it too much.

So anyway,I thought I’d start blogging because so many unusual things have been happening this year. For example I should be sorting out some sort of backup for my gig at the isle of white festival this sunday but instead I’m on the train, off to De Beauvoir town in Hackney to watch Jonathan Price dance all day , in a community hall, to the first tango I’ve ever written, for a film by my mate Luke Losey. Brilliant!

By the way, just incase you don’t know, Jonathan Price plays Sam Lowery in the Terry Gilliam film ‘Brazil’ that inspired me to give up work and aim for a life in music.

I had a crap job in an office  where my Mum used to work , she saw the film and recommended it to me , so I watched it one night and cried throughout the second half . Gave up my job two weeks later and went to art college . That’s one of the things you did if you wanted to be in a band back then. If you do nothing else today , go and watch brazil.

But it has been a mad year and, over the next while, I’m going to tell you about it as well as what’s currently happen as we go along.

I think I want to talk about how I’ve started again. I’ve gone from wielding the massive machine that was orbital , from selling out the Albert hall and playing with Stephen Hawkins at the Paralympics opening ceremony to returning to the very beginning again and playing in a bowling alley while people still bowl. Playing in the street in Brighton under a small tent type covering, 40 minutes late at ‘the gig where everything went so wrong, then went so right’( I’ll tell you about that later).

Gone are the tour busses, trucks full of synths and lights and video walls, no more tour managers , lighting designers, front of house sound engineers , stage managers , caterers, merchandise sellers and last but not least, no more riders.Its now just me, an occasional back line tech and two and a half suitcases of gear. And do you know what? The bowling alley was far more fun than the Albert hall.

I think I’ll leave it there for now, my first entry, wasn’t so bad. So much I want to say but I just needed to get something going , get it started. Again.

There I’ve done it now, no going back…