August 13 2017 (Sunday) @The Exchange, Bristol, UK

Damo Suzuki with The Dave Perry Trio and Very Special guest: Angelo Bruschini (guitar)

Arrived early as expected, we had a bit time for expedition. 

That’s good as mainly I travel between venue and hotel, no touristy program at all now a day. I’m not a fan of tourism, I just like to experience local THING. We ‘re looking for place to eat for late lunch.

We found St.Nicholas Market as not so far from our hotel, (where for wrong parking we had to pay unnecessary money next day.) The Market is just place I like to be. Many foods and drinks in and beside street of the church. There’s a shop serving fresh pressed juice. In travelling we were taking less vitamin, so we bought fresh pressed pineapple parsley mix as I remember when I was in Mexico I had this often. Fresh fruit juice gives me fresh and a wake, also clean, and positive energy is filling up my body everywhere. We found many interesting place for eat. Colourful variation of foods. Offer is too many, so very difficult to decide to select where we go for late lunch. Most places were busy at this time, also too many people. We want have a comfortable and relax place. Keep walk down to riverside.

Then we found a chain fish restaurant near by. We and few couples were there, we ordered and taste wine and seafood dish and off course oyster……the world stop to keeping around, very silence, soft BG music, we stayed longer that we expected. So we had to be in the venue for sound check….but, it was really good start

August 12 2017 (Saturday) Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate, UK

Damo Suzuki with George Clift, Members of Cosmic Thoughts and Brassica

Drive to seaside, I feel better than to drive to inland. This part of UK I come very seldom… Just short drive east from London. Easy drive. A touristy port town, once ferry route to/from Belgium, France, Netherland also with Hovercraft. Due to traffic connection through Channel tunnel, not much sea traffic like heyday. They lost work, financial source from transfer business.

This is very beautiful summer day, blue sky, here and there clouds, water surface is shining, just imagine a postcard of any port in the world. It’s just perfect day. The Hotel didn’t have elevator, just narrow pass ways, receptionist carried our suitcase to 3rd floor which was a bit complicated to find like mouse nest. Sure, we went at lunchtime, to try seafood, what else? Therefore we choice to come here early, just found parking place in front of the venue.

At front of harbour we found fish restaurant with reasonable price, but unfortunately fried fish platter, that was quite oily but, enough amounts on dish, couldn’t finish all served. Anyway since I released from hospital, my stomach is clearly smaller, also through medication, my tongue sometimes don’t feel taste or sweet thing sometimes bitter taste. Therefore cooking by myself is a bit adventure at now and I don’t do crazy like before. May be I get more motivation near future, I hope.

Remarkable : Many of audience came to this concert not for the first time. I spoke after the show, I met you there and so and so, they saw me already every part of UK. Some told me of 1973 performance. It’s so strange to come this small town and many people already have seen me?…’s funny.

The venue arranged for us to have Indian food (I heard, to be one of the best in UK) unfortunately, we’re too late for appointment, we got form of bento box after the show. There are huge amount of Indian Restaurant all over UK, I should say, this belongs to one of high category even it was cold. Yammy! 

August 11 2017 (Friday) @ Moth Club, London, UK

Damo Suzuki with Nervous Conditions : Connor Browne (Guitar), Lewis Evans (Saxophone), Tyler Hyde (Bass), May Kershaw (Synth), Jonny Pyke (Drums), Charlie Wayne (Drums) and Isaac Wood (Guitar)

Around 6 hours driving from St.Austell to London. We started early in the day to avoid traffic Jam on the way. Now, Elke is proud to be the (foreigner) driver who across middle of metropolis London…Oxford Street.

Found parking place for a car just front of the venue, priority of an office. Friday afternoon, so small parking place was empty. Good luck in London parking situation. Moth Club and The Shacklewell Arms booking same guy named Keith, he knows how my project goes well, he arranged my performance many times, he arranged young hopeful band Nervous Conditions from Cambridge.

All members are around 21, young and smart guys and girls. Good mood already before Network performance starts. 1st set Nervous Conditions performed, they’re asking me if I come on stage while they’re playing. I preferred to make 2 different stages. They’re talented band and this is opportunity of my job (?), experience young talented band live performance. At home I don’t listen to any music, occasionally classical music randomly while I’m writing, thinking or whatever. I like to hear live, this atmosphere, you cannot record with any machine

…until now.

August 10 2017 (Thursday) @The Poly, Falmouth, UK

Damo Suzuki with Mildred Maude : Matt Ashdown (Guitar), Louie Newlands (Drums) and Lee Wade (Bass) and the Orchestra of Public Noise :(part of the co:noise participatory project to join Mildred Maude half way through the concert ).

It will include ‘noise stations’ for the audience to use with help from 2 musicians: Martin Pease (guitar sounds and general use of ‘noise stations’, guidance for the public), Seamus Constance (general use of ‘noise stations’, guidance for the public) and Audience members (general use of ‘noise stations’) The noise stations are likely to be: a) Typewriter + reverb b) Springs attached to a wooden box to create vibrations when hit + reverb/delay c) Guitar drones all tuned to two notes + reverb/delay and a swell pedal d) Handmade single string low bass drone + violin bow and effects e) Glockenspiel limited to 2 or 3 notes + freeze pedal for gentle sustaining of notes

Local guitarist Matt contacted me for this concert at Southwest of England. From my taste one of nicest region in England. There Are many fish restaurants for tourists, price is off course tourist price as usual at this kind of place and quality of food wasn’t witnessed from the costs. Maybe chef is in Love. I’m quite same to Japanese opinion about Fish cooking. It’s mainly from my DNA. Fish is best to eat raw or grill, if caught same day, fresh fish. If it’s not raw enough (2nd day) then for example, cook with soya sauce, mirin, rice wine, a bit sugar with slices of ginger, add water…make broth, fish swim in it. When this fish is not fresh enough for raw/grill or cooking (3rd day), then fry in oil.

What I had on dish is a fried one as there wasn’t any other choice at this fish restaurant (they serves also meat) I’m not fond of fried thing if they taste too much of flours not from material and so oily. I only accept if this is good tempura value. I have to tell, good Tempura is another category at specialist, and they fry with different oil temperature and change oil often to fresh ones. So, it wasn’t amazed, but I was expecting like this at touristy spot anywhere in the world.

Some sound carrier told me, this area is quite far from everywhere, and so concert is not so often happen here. Bands/artists from other part of UK don’t come this part for performing, 1) distance 2) less population here, to get reasonable amount of audience and 3) more importantly financial matter. So, people were happy to visit this show, 2nd stage : musicians from audience spring on the stage and performed together. Some asked me after the show if I make always like this? …….Noop.

August 5 2017 (Saturday) @Trade Club, Hebden Bridge, UK

Damo Suzuki with Hookworms : Tom Basri (Guitar, Bass), Matthew Benn (Bass, Synthesizers), Chris Duffin (Organ, Synthesizers, Saxophone), Jonathan Nash (Drums, Percussion) and Jonathan Wilkinson (Guitar)

Hebden Bridge is one of our favourite spaces in England for long time. First time our old friend Ned moved here arrange me some concerts after near by he lived in Huddersfield. Since Huddersfield is in premier league, I’ve kind of interest what the team is doing, and off course what David Wagner, the German manager is doing as I’m a supporter of Dortmund. Wagner was a manager of Dortmund’s 2nd team for a while. Hebden Bridge has no chain stores, no big advertising, but small local shops (Germans say Tante Emma’s Laden).

Today they have old timer car meeting or something, the small town is getting attractive for tourists, almost impossible to find place for parking. Our B&B at the middle of the town is quite complicated for older people like us (This sentence come quite often…is my complex now?) as I forget to print out key code for entrance, day time no one is available at this B&B (At breakfast two cute girls are serving breakfast, next morning, we met no one else working there.)

While we’re confusing outside, a guy came from next door pub, helped us to call owner and invited us for pints of local beer. He is coming to my concert tonight he said. We saw another hotel guest open the entrance to B&B so, we could enter and behind 2nd door we found our key hanging on wall. The room is large enough, quite designed, something not really functional, a typical modern hotel with nostalgia furniture. Not good moment at the merchandising table is sometimes drinking people leave glass of beer and table get messing, merchandising is getting wet, this evening also happened, Elke told me, even Japanese female visitors coats were showered by beer. Even he didn’t excuse himself, she said.

This time I have seven shows in 13 days. Between first 3 shows and 4th show, we’ve 4 days free. At the planning of this UK schedule, we planed 4 days stay in Cornwall including performance day in Falmouth. This plan get fasten as Colin, a photograph invite us to stay at his cottage. Hebden Bridge to St.Austell is quite far, I don’t like Elke to drive more than 6 hours a day. I decide today’s destination may Taunton. Sound quite nostalgic city for me as I performed 40 odds years ago here, and I drunk famous cider here. Cider falls everywhere connecting with Celtic Culture, Northern France, Northern Spain, and Wales…Cider is very popular. Now days I like cider much more than beer. Some of cider is stronger than beer. I thought of send a postcard to my friend Tim in Melbourne as his family originated from Taunton. Unfortunately this never happened as due to big cricket match all hotels were booked. We didn’t expect this on Sunday at this time no accommodation free? So, shorthand we had to go another destination.

Plan B. To Exeter! We’re also hungry, but didn’t find anywhere fits same thought like our stomach. I’m not able to sleep when I’m hungry. So, we just get down to Hotel restaurant, ordered Thai dish and gourmet Hamburger and Guinness to safe from thirst. Decoration of food wasn’t bad, quite designed, quality is relative OK, but it’s not fits to this hotel, which has good name. Travelling with car is really practical, we can go anywhere and we’re getting much relaxed even stress to drive the other side. After checkout, shopping walk in the city, we drove through Dartmoor National Park. Narrow Street, spaghetti carves, driving through tunnel of trees, lazy countryside, it’s enjoyable feeling……timeless. No advertising. Look for restaurant, but the time doesn’t match for lunch, too late. Decide keep drive to St.Austell, also rain begun, we’re getting wet. Colin, our host for next 4 days, is living in middle of South West English jungle, As Cornwall is warmest place in UK, vegetation is fantastic, many southern spheres plants you may find. Even here you can find one and only tea farm in England. We made an appointment with Colin to meet up at parking place of big hamburger drive-in beging with alphabet M.

Surprisingly, he appeared with his motorbike and guided us to entrance to his cottage. We have to change car to Colin’s car that was parking there. He mentioned, it’s quite tough to drive down this path for not domestic people as way to cottage is narrower and bad conditioned, just enough for a car to pass. We (two of us, Colin and his wife and Sam, his wife’s son) had amazing days. One day we went to fisher village (quite touristy, but summer holiday period you cannot escape from tourist. Mevagissey was the name of the town. Still there was a nice pub that locals goes (This kind of place locals go is most interesting. You cannot really research from tourist book or any same sort of sources in internet.) Colin met two of his friends there, they’re fishermen. We had really great relaxing days in Cornwall. Including Penzance, I visited first time since 45 years or so, when I performed there with my old band.

To back to nostalgic city is almost you can see yourself walking there on the street in year 19so and so. The city itself didn’t developed much, stay like my picture in my brain. Off course don’t forget to visit fish shop, once I’m here. All fresh sea delicatessen fished just in front of this town. We bought good amount of fishes, enough for two days for 5 people. If I’m here once, I wanted to go to visit a world famous open-air theatre, Minack, touristic isn’t it? Minack perched on the cliffs high above the direct to Celtic Sea, It’ amazing sea view, also structure of theatre is fantastic. Theatre has 750 seats, showing Wilhelm Shakespeare’s stuff in summer time. Even in rainy day they play theatre, visitors must dress raincoats, keep something to worm. Even this places at the land end, (you can say very far from big cities), enough tourists, and many pupils due to summer holiday also international.

It’s fascinating to read at the museum at entrance of Theatre, telling story, how they made it, owner of land and friends gave hands and time, worked to build up this theatre. At real Land’s end, stands an interesting pub restaurant in yellow coloured house, you don’t miss, we just had few domestic beer. This place I like to come back again, they had an interesting menu. Holiday is holiday, purpose I arranged to come her is perform in Falmouth.

August 4 2017 (Friday) @Cluny2, Newcastle, UK

Damo Suzuki with Behold A Pale Horse and friends

Drive to Newcastle took way too long, get out from Leicester city centre took unnecessary time, we went wrong direction, and we’re too slow to react navigation system.

Anyhow we arrived in Newcastle, first to the hotel then to the venue again and again driving mistake fluted. The hotel was full of young Chinese people just arrived with group tour bus. Receptionist was from Pakistan. I don’t feel it’s in middle of England. It was for our sight so complicated to reach the venue, it took 10 minutes. As usually we went wrong direction, you know this is with navigation system. I told you above: we’re two older people lost in ocean of technological flute. The venue placed at interesting spot beside river. Didn’t perform in this city for quite a long time.

August 3 2017 (Thursday) @ The Sound House, Leicester, UK

Damo Suzuki with Cult of Dom Keller + more to be confirmed

As flight departure time is too early in the morning we booked hotel at Düsseldorf Airport. Actually it would be better as we are able for early check-in without stress, drive from Cologne in early morning with not enough sleep with half open eyes, possible meet unexpected situation. And at the hotel we can use wellness, fitness room, swimming pool whatever if we need…very relaxed start, isn’t it?

Woke up at 4:00am. Few guests seems to be same situation like us take early morning flight, sleeping faces meeting at cafe and croissant the hotel serves for early wake up traveller in very silence. Everyone is not quite himself or herself at yet, not much conversation. Unfortunately boarding pass machine is out of order, so we have to stand in long queue. We’re lucky as we came early enough, still after security check we had to hurry up, announcing last call for Birmingham flight. Many empty sheets. I was wondering if I could get all these empty place as huge bed.

Attention! : Skill on this trip : Elke’s THE first experience: left-side drive. It’s an adventure. If you have this experience drive „wrong“ side you know this restless feeling. Hope we don’t meet any bad situation driving this side. We received golden coloured Renault with 4 doors. We’re two older people lost in ocean of technological flood, it took a while to drive from car park. I as a co-pilot I have to keep my head, keep saying you’re on left traffic, it’s miles not kilometre. Elke use to drive gear circuit, just seldom use automatic. We have enough handy caps.

We start drive slowly, but carefully on to public road. Birmingham airport to Leicester is just one-hour drive, we took a double, even more, drive to wrong direction, especially difficult is at roundabout. It must be seen like slap slip movie with comical soundtrack. Put all our luggage at hotel near the venue just 3 minutes to walk. We like to be free from permanent concentration and rest from adventure drive on wrong side. When I came back from the hotel, Elke was not at merchandising table, She is outside escaping from loudness of supporting band.

June 30 2017 (Friday) @ Attic, Ahaus, Germany

Damo Suzuki with Analogue Birds : David Bruhn (Drums), Tom Fronza (Didgeridoos, Keys, Percussion, Live-Loops) and Alexander Lipan (Gitarre, Oud, Effekte) also Berthold Elsing (Guitar)

The night before, Berthold, the owner of the venue contacted me to be sure the performance happen tomorrow. „Sure man“, I stay on my words. This show was planned already before my illness, so he had to wait for 4 years…. one Olympic Game long. It’s quite long time if you think 4 years old kid become 8 years old. Thanks for being patient and wait until this day tomorrow. He gave me some information, about the venue, audience and sound carriers. He dropped his sentence unconsciously saying he once was a guitarist in a band, (then my reaction was quickly, middle of his speech) „Do you join us tomorrow?, it’s anyway your venue.“

As I told you sometimes promoter of the show has interest to join the instant band he/she curate. „Why not?“ I said. He wasn’t sure at this moment, we’ll see. Anyway, I had this famous stomach feeling that he plays tomorrow. Before we start for today’s destination, we drove to post office, this was quite important.

Can you remember in last Newsletter I reported that at hotel in Tirana, by accident I packed remote controller of air-condition system? It’s a stupid mistake, once they contacted me on the road when I was already in Zagreb, I was sure and so sure I didn’t have it as I couldn’t find it after check my suits case. Few days I came back from Balkan tour, Elke sorted out my suits case as usually she dose, and she found the controller, blind passage all the way from Albania, So this is why I’m here at post office send it back to origin. Usually Friday afternoon is not the best time to go to post office, short before open the door to weekend. …it must be very busy, I thought. Surprisingly it was empty, my turn came very fast.

I never heard of Ahaus before I got this offer. Checked out the distance and get idea how long it takes by great help from intelligent search engine. It says 1 hour and 40 minutes, my calculation is 2 hours. Somewhere between there are always traffic jam on this Autobahn. Traffic party begun already from inner city of Cologne, it brought us just 30km forward in one hour. Traffic parties are not at only this spot, on the way, we had also in Düsseldorf, then in Oberhausen and later some other spots. We took 3 and half hours!!! Why I had to be exciting with this small thing? You may ask. If you’re being illness and stayed in hospitals for many months, first learn to get information (measurement) of daily solution. Not my tongue taste has been a bit changed. Information I had before I have to experience then I understand of normality. You know what I mean? No, you don’t It’s OK, let’s go further….. I learned : On Friday better go to post office, but not use motorway.

Ahaus is the border to Netherland, a comfortable, peaceful small sleeping city. The venue is fantastic for this area, Berthold and his wife runs music school downstairs too. Young Cologne band joined by a young percussionist and Berthold performed around 90 minutes. I was quite KO….there’re applause I had no condition, but young people want play more and they did and occasionally I joined.

June 22 2017 (Thursday) Croatia, Zagreb @ Klub Mochvara

Damo Suzuki with Members of Šumski, Franz Kafka Ensemble and Šumovi Protiv Valova

Outside of the venue, TV-team was shooting something when we arrived the venue. If you know the venue, it’s always felt like back home and feel already comfortable. After sound check photo session with Anto Magzan (I used his photo for this newsletter.)

Audience was young (anyway now a days everybody is young from my sight), they’re 18 to mid– twenty, and this was also this Balkan tour along, young audience. Sound carriers are bit older.

This Balkan tour, I enjoyed a lot, spiritually very successful. Travelling is learning process, indeed…I caught many new thing, met nice creative, hungry generation, future and hopeful generation of all these countries. That’s why I like my job (I don’t say what I’m doing is a job, but I use this word), generally I live in such moment bring my feeling shaky and many emotional moment.

I really love to travel, I’m really thankful that I’ve such opportunity to live this way…… energy!

June 19 2017 (Monday) Albania, Tirana @ Destil

Damo Suzuki with Bledi Boraku Ape (Guitar),Duncan Gray (Bass), INAKTIV( Synth, Guitar) and Dritero Nikqii (Drums)

From my curiosity I planed to stay one extra day in this city. And it was like a win in lottery, I found a fresh young wind (energy) that may bring something, this mean Hope & FUTURE. Genti, a first contact person for this Kosovo/Tirana shows, a London based guitarist and some friends spend time with me take breakfast, at afternoon, hanging around at Sheshi Skënderbej, a square, the symbol of the city, drink a cup of espresso. It’s nice to comeback here again one day. It’s no more unknown country, it’s no more „last empty spot in Europe”. Huh..

Flight was so early (quite stress!) departure Tirana at 4:30, arrival Zagreb at 8:50 via Belgrade (changed flight) Pick upped by Kornel, I know him for decades, since my first tour in former Yugoslavian countries. I came here a day before the performance, stay at Kornel’s flat that is not so far from the airport. Zagreb is same like Athens, I see none of the city attractions just I spend time around venue or accommodation. Especially this time stay like as it was.

I wasn’t in best health condition, early flight put me out of concept. Anyway first day, I stayed so long in bed. Kornel arranged veggie food, he’s a vegetarian. I eat just everything, even veggie food is well come. Genti contacted me by mail, is saying I packed wrongly a remote control box for cooling system at the hotel in Tirana. Huh..this kind of thing happen when I’m not concentrated or very sleepy. What a poor action from me and what a strange gift. (By the way I sent this tool back to Hotel few days later from Cologne. Strangely it came back again few weeks later.)

Next day at sound check, I met ol’ friend sound carrier Niksic, a keyboarder, after long years again. I know him from my first former Yugoslavia tour, also I toured together with Tena Novak, he was involved, 11 years ago in 2006. Niksic know some of my sound carrier friend, Jonathan LaMaster and Makoto Kawabata for example (Anyway Network sound carriers, somehow walking on same path.) He was same as him I knew, just shortly he sold his old keyboard to Peter Braatz, another my friend, lives in Ljubljana. It’s a small world. Coincidence?