April 29 2007 (Sunday) UK Aberdeen Triptych Festival @ the Tunnels

Damo Suzuki with Hen Beverly (Bass Epex), Mike Napier (Guitar), Andy Smith (Electronics), Jim Wilkie (Guitar) plus special guests: Mathew Black (Drums), Ray Dower (Bass), Dan Hadden (Saxophone) and Shingai Shoniwa (Bass)

This was longest stretch on this short 5 days trip to UK. From Leicester to Aberdeen took altogether 8 hours, two times change train..at York and Edinburgh. Train ride in Scotland is really nice. I have been this stretch between Edinburgh and Aberdeen for a couple of times. It’s beautiful part of travel and never bored feeling like back home.

You can see sea direct right hand, left hand you can see green hills or rocks and sheep…. also there was some golf places…this is typical landscape in this part of Scotland. Andy, one of sound carrier tonight, picked me up from railway station which is just a few block from the venue, Tunnel. It’s nice venue in small-but-very-amazing -city Aberdeen. Aberdeen has some charm. 2 years before I was here I saw thousands of seagulls on street at early in the morning…nobody was on the street. And this granit houses and wet street and dump.. in twilight ……It still keeps in my brain photo.

Hen is my friend and organized already three shows in Aberdeen and he performed also that much. He was really happy to see me and he push me (as friendly gesture) my body whole of the evening as he is not still believe I am here instead my ghost are here. WE didn’t see each other for 2 years–My gray hair made me a bit stranger? This was part of Tryptich Festival like last Wednesday in Glasgow. Performed together with some old faces from Aberdeen and spacial four guests. Three basses!!!…No, it’s OK…there are nothing I really surprise more..I performed with 8 guitarists, with 4 laptops, with DJ, etc…etc….Shingai is very cute female bassist, she normally is front singer/base of hard working Noisettes. (Around 2 weeks later on May 13, they performed here in Cologne. we went there to see them performing. we liked it.) She have so beautiful smile on her face anytime…it’s nice.

I arrived there near to 7PM, so I had no opportunity to check sound. Every sound carriers of the night were quite confused from sound check…some of them told me. But, performance seems be far better than they expected from sound check. Anyway I have to wake early around 5AM to get train to Edinburgh then to airport. Even there was hotel room reserved I didn’t go to hotel, instead I, Mathew and Sihngai went to Hens apartment and listen my music from Purcell room on April 2nd. They liked it.. Now time to go, Taxi waiting outside door…..

April 28 2007 (Saturday) UK Leicester Quad Studios

1st Set: Damo Suzuki with Plexus: Murray Ward (Guitar & Laptop) and Rod Warner (Guitar) 2nd Set: Damo Suzuki with David Teledu (Guitar, Analogue Synthesizer) and Black Carrot: Oliver Betts (Tenor Sax, Bass Recorder, Electric Piano, Percussion), Tom Betts (Drums), Stewart Brackley (Electric Bass, Contrabass, Voice) and Euan Rodger (Percussion, Tapes, Voice)

I guess I performed in this university city around 35 years ago. Hotel was near from railway station even I can reach by foot in 5 minutes. Yesterday was brake day I spend the time quite relaxed and also move to Glynn’s place..there were Glenn’s twin kids and after joined by Glynn’s brother. Meet up with Black Carrot percussionist Euan a bit of for sight seeing.There is the market which is largest covered-market in Europe.

Afterwhile He set me in an Restaurant….After dinner my stomach become uncomfortable and was not really good condition that for whole performance along. Pitty is that not that much audience. It’s new club in city also even very difficult to find it.

Two interesting performances with different formation. First one was trio without percussion, second one was with Black Carrot plus concert arranger David. 

April 26 2007 (Thursday) UK Sheffield Nether Edge Club

1st Set: Damo Suzuki with The Gated Community:Mick Beck (Tenor Sax, Bassoon), Geoff Bright (Tenor Sax, Voice), Neil Carver (Electronic Effects), Charlie Collins (Vibes,Percussion), Anders Cox (Electric Bass), Karl D’Silva (Clarinet, Alto Sax), John Jasnoch (Plucked Strings), Tywi Roberts (Electric Guitar), Angie Rosenfeld (Cello), Derek Saw (Tuba,Brass), Paul Schatzberger(Accordian), Beatrix Ward Fernandez (Violin, Castanets) and Ben Woodrow (Electric Guitar) 2nd Set: Damo Suzuki with The Tajalli Vortex : Jonny Drury (Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Clarinet, Vocals), Matt Harling (Tenor, Soprano Saxes, Tajallifone), Glynn Heppenstall (Keyboards, Synths, Violin) and Dan Sumption (Bass Guitar, Noises)

Just I performed here in Sheffield 5 months ago and come back again. There are many experimental sound carriers in the city. Organiser Jonny arranged last my performance here also. Train ride from Glasgow took a quite a lot around 7 hours change train at Dancaster. So, naturally I had to wake up early. But, I can relax in train.

Train is most comfortable way to travel and I like most. You can move and much space, no security check, no seat belt…people changes.The venue is small without stage without PA. And many sound carriers share to 2 sets….oh, yes then 2 pieces hot meals. Now a days I perform 1 set 1 piece..which is normally 1 hour to two and half. You know I’m not that interesting to make music. I like to create energy to share. This is an experience for every body in that room.

So, small place like here to perform we have much contact to audience.It was full of sound carriers and friends. So, we are kind of unit all together in same time in same room and this experience. Matt who performed 2nd set developed Tajalifone, made by himself. it’s monster instrument as the owner/player he is over 2 meter high.

Many smiles in the room. I will come back to Sheffield again November..a couple of days later I’ve got offer from Jonny again. Improviser scene is getting bigger here ….we will see what will be happen.

April 25 2007 UK Glasgow Triptych Festival @ Tramway

Damo Suzuki with Hamish Black (Guitar) and Future Pilot AKA: Sushil K Dade (Bass, Electronics), Raymond MacDonald (Saxophones), Bill Wells (Keyboards), Douglas MacIntyre (Electronic Guitar) and Sace (Drums)

80 minutes flight from Cologne to Edinburgh. Picked up by man named Dave, a Celtic Fan (In Glasgow there are two soccer teams Celtic and Rangers sharing champion since more than 100 years in Scottish soccer league…I heard of since end of 19th century (!!!!)..I asked him if he is a guitarist and born in January…I smell some times from people…and I was right…Dave was quite surprised. He took position as driver at this Triptych Festival which is find in three different Scottish cities Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen every year. I am invited for Glasgow and Aberdeen parts. Tonight I perform on same stage with Einsturzende Neubauten, a well known 80’s successful German band.

I performed with selected sound carriers from Glasgow curated by Sishil, who has been in contact with me since long , willing to perform with Network..also Future Pilot, the band of his own released CD with one song with my voice. But, this time is first time to meet him in person as I did recording through telephone. Network tonight is rather big band. Drums, Bass, 2 guitars, 2 Saxophone, sound effects/melodica and I. Pity was just we had only 45 minutes. One of them was youngest Network sound carrier ever!!!…a 16 years old Hamish, who contacted me a couple of months before saying he like to perform with Network if I come next time to Glasgow. At that stage I had this performance fixed and I just invited him to Join….It’s nice start for him in front of 700 people as premier.

As usual at every performance I was quite often hanging around merchandising table. Merchandising personal (British guy and Australian lady) of Einsturzende Neubauten helped me to sell when I was not there (for own performance or whatever…). I saw there quite a few people I know. One of them was some times guitarist of Network John, and told me that sound carriers met last my performance here in Glasgow found good in chemistry and after that they formed the band. ……It’s really nice to hear such a story. Good luck to them. Also nice to see the lady from Edinburgh, she missed our show, but she was still cute and in nice mood. Send many greetings to Edinburgh!!!

Hamish father was there and he seems to be very proud of his son. Next day my son Marco has his first concert, but I’m on the road and I can not see him…. Every beginning of tour I sleep not really good. But, I had to wake up to catch the train to Sheffield…I am writing this in train to Lancaster. Sometimes I am too lazy to write down diary…but, Diary is so…write down when memories are still fresh….There are many thing I have to change.

April 21 2007 (Saturday) Germany Offenbach @ KJK Sandgasse

Damo Suzuki with The Whole: Member (Bass, Electronics), Stolle (Guitar, Electronics) and Christian Wolf (Drums, Electronics)

Offenbach is near to Frankfurt I and Elke drived by car to the venue, around 2 hours drive from Cologne, nice friendly venue. Responsible person at this venue Michel is very worm person. Also the drummer of the band Christian is working here. I performed here two years ago with same band..The Whole. I know bassist of the band Member since beginning of 90’s. He performed with on same stage that time. My band was called Damo Suzuki and friends. They are musically one of few German band who stayed and trust in their music. It’s just pity at the moment in Germany…I can say it’s quite tragic…the band like this who is keen on making good music is not accepted. It was really nice to perform with them again.

Last time we performed together Michael made compilation CD for the venue and our piece called NUMBER ONE. Light show was fantastic Cosmic Klaus who came from Pforzheim, south Germany. I met him two years ago when I performed in Wuerzburg with Mani, Axel from Guru Guru, Mandog Keiichi Miyashita and two other guys.

After show some young people come to our dressing and drink beer and talk together. Very comfortable evening. Stayed as usual Jurgen’s apartment. 

April 16 2007 (Monday) Russia St.Petersburg @ Orlandina Club

(1st Set) Damo Suzuki with Aleksei Degusarov (Guitar), Aleksandr Leonov (Singing Saw, Folk Winds), Roman Nevele (Bass), Mikhail Ogorodov (Keyboards), Nikolay Rubanov (Sax) and Katerina Sidrova (Drums) (2nd Set) Above members, Andrew Lavrenenko (Djembe), Sergei (Djembe), and Aleksandr Vahivskiy (Djembe)

Normally, when I have a day off I will make a bit tourism. Yesterday I slept so long and when I wake up it was already around one o’clock afternoon. So, time was too late to visit Hermitage..a one of best known museum in the world. I had been there for one time and it’s really huge. In case you see all things they own (even including things they don’t show temporary) and in case if you take a minute to see each of them…..it’s take twenty years (!!!) ..I don’t know this is true…

I remember one of my Russian friend told me. So I was planned to visit there again….But, I was not able. Since I’m in Russia I drink quite a lots of this good vodka everyday. All part of my body seems to be salendered by vodka. Anyway Sasha invited Katja and some of his friends whom I know from several visits here in Peters for dinner. Sasha, his friend and I went to Market to buy fish and vegetables. Sasha said he can smoke fish at home and he is good with this business, So, there is no another answer ..I like to try homemade smoked fish and I will make soup and salad.

In market was funny, a woman was shouting when she saw me. “Orange from Columbia with bit of cocaine!”or some stand still and just watch at me very curious if they see one from an another planet. I like markets, to be there is just interesting,,one in Barcelona is great..my winter headquarter Melbourne has great market too Queen Victoria Market where I visit almost every day. It’s something really living. I was happy to have company that evening and cook for them. They are really enjoyed my foods as well. Sassha’s smoked fish was great too. Sure, there was again this vodka!!

Today I met Richard, an sound carrier friends from Austria, unfortunately he has gig at different venue in Peters with his project. He is really friendly guy, he moved to here a couple of years ago because of his sweet Russian lady. We went same Restaurant like the day before yesterday, Katja and Sasha took me. I found that place like Russia you can eat good is even Chinese Restaurant, taste much better than one in most western countries. They make chinese food with Russian flavor..and it’s really taste good even normal restaurant like here…always there is pretty girl serving. Was really pleased to meet Richard again and we promised in near future we make performance together again, he went for sound check.

Orlandina club is first time to perform. It’s on Monday. Some people were so friendly buy me vodka. Like the day before yesterday Sergey, manager of Aykton, a well known Russian band was there with his wife. Katja played drums. Nikolay the Sax player of Aykton has been performed with me many times….(even there is interesting live video with him from my very first Peters show) he is still old fox on his instrument.

Second set we sent three Djembes on the stage, Sasha brought his friend and young guy from the day before yesterday. Then other sound carriers went on stage. The stage was really full. With rhythm of percussion audience get into trans. There was one unit of energy in the room.

After this I took train back to Moscow. this time I was traveling alone. This is first time ever I travel alone with sleeping wagon in Russia. (Wait…I did it already in year 1968) Every cabin on sleeping wagon had four beds like youth hostel both side one lower and higher. This time no vodka…I’m not interesting to drink alone anyway. Alcohol is social drink. In Cabin there were 2 males, 1 female and me. Nobody spork anything and dark. I bought Russian Sushi at station…which was not really bad..rather good than many fake Sushi in another countries. Satisfied stomach and also this is absolutely first time since I’m in Russia being alone. so tiredness ruled my body. I went quite soon to sleep deeply..when I woke up train stay in silence….I couldn’t believe it’s already Moscow. Even most of people left train already. I heard someone say “Morning, Damo”…it was voice of Dan. We went to Boris’s place..he will back tonight. We’re off course watching soccer in TV. There was an another Manchester United fan.

We went out to get meal….It’s really better than fast food in west they have potato with many different souse. I wished to have potato with caviar…this time I didn’t eat caviar. In black market where you can get better one for cheaer were no caviar at all…. Boris and Katya came back from Kiev, then after we went to Japanese Restaurant.Boris means I have to try Russian Japanese food and I have to tell him if this would be Japanese food. Off course they didn’t have Uronhai also no Japanese rice snaps. But, taste there were not so bad. Better than I thought anyway. I ordered different things..but, one Sushi.Nigiri Sushi with “Black Gold”…Caviar.

Next day I had to wake up early in the morning to catch air plane, Katya and two other friends brought me to airport. Goodbye Russia for a while, this time also I enjoyed being here and perform with Russian sound carriers. My flight was not direct flight, via Munich to Cologne. Nowadays, you cannot buy liquid even after security check if you’re not fly directly to your destination since February 13th (I guess) in Europe. So, I could not keep Russian life at home in Germany. No, tasty good Vodka for home.

In Munich at security control even they wanted to keep Caviar, I bought at airport Moscow but, it’s not black gold,,it’s red one. “What is this” security woman asked me “It’s caviar” She didn’t know if she can keep or not. One security guy shouted We should try it!!” I said, OK, Ok you can do it …but where is champagne?” “OK you can go.…”

April 14 2007 (Saturday) Russia St.Petersburg @ Maina

Damo Suzuki and Nikolay Oorzhak (Throat Sing) with Safety Magic : Michael Avsharov (Bass), Igor Rozanov (Percussion), Sergey Nebilsin (Drums), Dan Lerman (Tres-Guitar), Oleg Marjakhin (Saxophones), Peter Nikulin (Digeridoo), Oleg Pankratov (Guitar), Pavel Novikov (Tabula, Dorbuk, Bansuri)

Arrived around 8 O’clock in the morning. I cannot remember but it was light, just cold and I’am tired. St.Petersburg is one of my favorite cities in Europa beside Barcelona. Has own atmosphere, yes second big city in land has kind of feeling I like..has much culture (I don’t say Moscow has less) I mean..Barcelona, Melbourne, Osaka, Hamburg, Edinburgh…they are much more interesting than largest city of their land.

I heard once around 80 percent of land’s budget flew to Moscow and rest 20 percent share with all other part of Russia. You may see everything from west if you go to shopping in Moscow. But, very very expensive. For example men’s suits from So and so famous Europe brand costs enormus high, many Russian’s comes to Europe for shopping trip (even very expensive here) and go back with flight.

All inclusive Flight, Hotel, Shopping still it’s much cheaper to be in Europe. I don’t know this is true..but, I heard from some people. One say Moscow is most expensive city in the world nowadays. Well. let’s back to beautiful city St.Petersburg. We took bus to the venue we play tonight..first we picked up (An another) Katja, who sometimes organise my shows in Russia like last time. I know her since my first tour in Russia.

The venue is kind of night club atmosphere, quite large space. Katja took me to Sasha who will be my host for next two days. He is editor of news paper. he has collection of percussion instruments (He is percussionist and even he traveled to other places in the world with his music as well) also I saw some skins for Djembe which is preparing in his bathroom also he has hundreds of Whisky collection here and there..some in his treasure wooden box. He asked me if I like to taste some of them. I explained that before I drunk whisky and I loved it but, now I’m not that fun of Whisky ..even fine ones like he has.

Afterwhile I asked him if he can join our show the day after tomorrow as Djembe drummer. He was a bit surprised but, soon he found his answer…he will come with his instruments. The night was so long..this was same festival like in Moscow’s first performance. I had only 40 minutes performance but, there were many “voices” on run before my turn. Was alone in dressing room for quite long time. Tuva throat singer/shaman Nikolay asked me if he would make duet with me. Sure it’s welcomed good idea…perform together with one of my favorite etheno music Tuva throat singer.

He asked me after concert if it was OK…I said it’s always OK. I am awaken to travel to Tuva in near future. After concert one young guy asked me if he can join with his Djembe on Monday. I say why not then see you on monday.

April 13 2007 (Friday) Russia Moscow @ Dom

Damo Suzuki with Safety Magic : Mickael Avsharov (Bass), Sergey Nebolsin (Drums), Dan Lerman (Tres-Guitar), Arcadiy Marto (Electronics, Sampling, Calimba), Oleg Marjakhin (Saxophones), Peter Nikulin (Digeridoo), Oleg Pankratov (Guitar), Pavel Novikov (Tabula, Dorbuk, Bansuri)

Boris and Katja went to Ukraine for business, so Dan picked me up and I stayed for a while at Pashha’s office. First he brought me to his own cafeteria to take breakfast, he said he was waiting for me. I said since in Russia I drink too much and I feel dizzy..then, he served me vodka with a lots of pepper a small spoon full of it and wait until all pepper stay bottom of glass…this is good for that feeling I do always he said…I didn’t believe but, I tried for his kind service…I said it’s horrible!!!…..then after he showed me slide show and music he recorded in Goa.

The venue is an art space, I perform here for second time, venue with chair…nice and friendly people working here. It’s special atmosphere Today’s performance is just with Safety Magic..but, a bit change in member compare to last night. Nazar, the smiling violinist is not and Sergey plays drum instead 2 meter and more length giant drummer Andrey. (He was there for watching the show, second set he was banging table.)

Sergey is small one like me. He was a cook even win award, cooked for political party functioners..unfortunately I had no chance to try his cooking art. We had enough time to create time and space of the moment and audience get in trance. Before performance I had nice speak with Russian music paper man for interviews at the venue upstairs. As everytime move to St.Petersburg took this time night train.

They say it’s quite boring to travel this stretch at day time. Pashha and his assistant joined without any information without suitcase to travelling band (Do they have ticket?). I understand why they like to travel in the night for an another reason. There was vodka is going around and we had quite long but, quite a short sleeping night…Everybody drink a lots here. I might lay down for minutes..everybody in good mood. As I look back since I’m in Russia I drunk quite a lots.

In restaurant with Boris after every dish Vodka after Vodka. But, they have really good quality vodka which is impossible to buy in west. Good quality stuff they keep it for themself. French does too their great sortment of great wine….

April 12 2007 (Thursday) Russia Moscow @ 16 Tons

Damo Suzuki with Safety Magic : Nazar Amanov (Violin), Mickael Avsharov (Bass), Andrey Romanika (Drums), Sergey Nebolsin (Percussion), Dan Lerman (Tres-Guitar), Arcadiy Marto (Electronics, Sampling, Calimba), Oleg Marjakhin (Saxophones), Peter Nikulin (Digeridoo), Oleg Pankratov (Guitar)

Before first performance day, I had two free days in Moscow. I spend a lots of time with my friend Boris and Katja. They don’t speak any language which I understand. So, they speak always with me Russian. I know them since four years, every time I come to Moscow I stay at their place which is in the city. Boris loves soccer (Manchester United Fan) so as I do (SC Freiburg Fan). We watch together world soccer in TV almost whole day drink vodka with some friends and also some members of Saftey Magic who invited me to perform 2 concerts in Moscow and one in St.Petersburg.

My last show with them here they recorded live and now they release CD “Voices” with four different singers..one is with me and it’s called “Highway Retrospection”  Boris showed me paintings, he bought from an Belarus artist. Even he asked me if I would like to perform in Belarus…there is nothing really happen. Anyway he likes all four paintings so much and he likes to keep it for himself than to sale anybody else. It’s very original styled painting and original…not so bad.

Moscow is the city of charm (dream like buildings and many beautiful girls), many cars and loud. The day before yesterday I arrived, almost from airport to the city traffic Jam, took around one hour or more. An another singer on “Voices” Inna picked me up from airport..pass control took quite a long around one hour. Since two years I had never been here..so, everything is kind of nostalgia. Anyway Russia is very special, rich in culture, history and many different folks. Foods here are amazing, Boris and Katja took me to Baku, Azerbaijan Restaurant, this place we were last time too. Funny thing on that day was beside our table there were around twenty people from mode business and they were showing season’s ladys hut collection. And some attraction, opera singer, pop singer and folk singer on Karaoke…some times tape doesn’t work..it was amazing to see them like film of Fellini. Boris said this is not everyday like this.

Next day Boris and Katja invited me to (Boris informed me) the best restaurant in Moscow “Pushikin”..really a fantastic restaurant foods are great, service by communicative pretty lady was great and also this old furnitures and tables, chairs, mirrors..it’s has all their worth makes together this nice atmosphere.

After a couple of appetizer and Soup I had great fish dish. I have small digital camera with me on tour. Mostly I shoot foods specially in country with gourmet. I don’t take much photos of people, one reason is that I will have problem and other reason is I will see them again if they’re my friend …..there is always next time. But, food? In case I come here again I would like to try other good things too. Dan, the guitarist of the band took me to Red Square by Metro….might be most beautiful Metro stations in the world. So, super de lux like palats…there are many figures.

Also went to Passha house out side Moscow, entrance to this luxury area has own security guard, he runs trans music label and own studio in Goa, India as well…he just came back from Goa a couple of days before. He’s friend of the band. Two days of relax and being tourist, first performance at 16 Tons…I performed here once at very my very Russia tour. This was “Voices” festival and very long night. Musicians who involved in Safety Magic’s release “Voices” performed. Only 40 minutes of performance with Safety Magic, they are changing members often. Some old faces I know, they were fine and nice evening………

There was one old man in Backstage..Old man? I’m old too..but, As far as I cannot see myself always I don’t think I’m old anyway. It was pity we couldn’t take any conversation as there was no language which connect us together. He is throat singer from Tuva. Nikolay Oorzhak. I’m long time since like this music and some times also in Buenos Aires I performed with throat singing (and elsewhere). But, they were Argentina. He was a very silence person……was invited for “Voices” festival. Sure without Tuva throat singing it’s meaningless in Russia what “Voices” means. His performance was great and this first time I hear original.

End of the performance I see Boris smiling and his is really happy.

April 8 2007 (Sunday) UK London @ Luminaire

Damo Suzuki with Booger Red, Maya Sapone, Voice Of The Seven Woods,Wolf People

Andy, who organised first Network performance in Manchester few years ago, a DJ of tonight and friend of Malcolm picked me up from railway station St.Pancras. Manchester Gig perform on stage with Malcolm was his arrangement.

Today is it’s second act in London. As I had show fixed in London on April 2nd avoid to put my name on flyer/poster just as a special guest but, there was my photo from early 70’s beside Malcolm. After drink a couple of Guinness (I like black beer but, I prefer wine) with Malcolm, his wife, Andy and some friends we went to venue. There Maya, who will duo with me for first time and her boyfriend, Gerlad and Sylke were waiting for me and already a lots of sound carriers, sure there was a lots of sound carriers perform tonight…a kind of small festival atmosphere.

Maya was good way motivated and sound check with her was already good. I feel she is my daughter (if I could have…I have 3 sons, so I wished at least one daughter)….She is classical studied opera singer and improviser (She runs improvisation course in London)

Everybody enjoyed the performance as after performance some females hug me miss me…But, it’s nice… people act emotional from instant composing.