June 18 2017 (Sunday) Kosovo, Pristina @ Hamam Bar

Damo Suzuki with Tetris : Burim Gora (Guitar), Edmond Krasniqi (Guitar), Dritëro Nikqi (Drums) and Vigan Nimani (Keyboards)
Additional Sound Carriers on stage : Adem Hasani (Keyboards), Agron Mjekiqi (Drums), Arif Muharremi (Guitar), Gent Nimani (Guitar) and Bujar Sylejmani (Bass)

A young English student pair talked to me after the show, they chose visit this area as they don’t know much about Kosovo, now they’re so happy to be here even saying, like to come back again in near future. They’re positive surprised about kindness of people and infrastructure, so I did. I heard for some former US soldier is, Kosovo is the best place. Indeed, it’s really interesting, it may secret tip to visit here, it has SOMETHING. Young creative energy is there!

Next late morning, promoter Alush invited me for breakfast at his wife’s café at busy café-restaurant area of the city. Enough space, bright by natural light. Sun is continuing….heating us. Albania is “North Korea of Europe” or “last empty spot in Europe” Western countries won’t talk good thing about this country. When I stayed with and performed together with local people, every negative curtain this country had went off from my brain. People here knows meaning of hospitality. Even small hotel I stayed, they asked me if I like to have breakfast at noon.

I don’t know why people in Europe has negative thought about Albania. It’s brainwash. Not much people visiting here then why they build up already opinion about this country? In fact is Albania is an Islamic country. But, different, for example, Christian and Muslim can marry, also females are not forced to wear scarf. There’s no barrier between religions. Monday concert is very seldom, probably not good weekly day. It’s different here, many young Albanians, also some foreigner joined Network Albanian performance. Visitors stay long after the performance, you can’t imagine…. It’s different here.

June 17 2017 (Saturday) Macedonia, Koumanovo @ Main Theatre Koumanovo

1) Damo Suzuki with Obohtal : Tonio Mitevski (Piano), Davor Serkinikj (Percussions) and Guest: Nebojsa Mitic (Drums)

2) Damo Suzuki with Rib : Ivica Dimitrievikj (Guitar), Dzano Kuch (Drums), Jane Trajkovski (Guitar Trumpet) and Guest: Sasho Spasovski (Guitar)

3) Damo Suzuki with King of Pseudo :(Keyboard, Bass), Srdjan Janakievikj (Electronics , iPad and Iphone), Igor Vasilev (Keyboard, Bass), and Guest: Goran Trajkovski ( Electronic, Back Vocals)

The venue is a theatre with 700 seats. 1st floor opened for a photo exhibition. I brought not much merchandising, all sold out yesterday. It is not good for young to middle aged music lover tonight, they want have “something” after the show. I felt sorry about this. If you once visited my performance, this old grey hair creature is standing at merchandising table…I’m a one man company…I do everything for Suzuki san. Before show, talk with visitor, after the show connect with visitor is one of my habit during my tour.

Connecting with locals is fine thing, so today I feel bit strange without merchandising. Since long time, I never performed with three different formations on 3 sets. It was really something in Macedonia. At break I went to entrance hall, a young girl was crying and hug me, her teardrops never ends, saying something but very soft. Words she produce is not catchable, but she is saying she is crying for happiness. When all sets are over, she came to me again and begin to cry……It was happy moment, she caught our music so deeply and emotionally, it touched her hearts, cannot stop crying. She hugged me again…… Made appointment next day at a grill restaurant near the accommodation at noon. I wanted to take late breakfast at this place, but I ordered Kebab from sheep. That I could finish only half, it may to early for my stomach, the other hand my stomach is smaller than before surgery. I cannot eat that much, anyway meat is not my favourite, mainly people eat meat here. Food here is influenced by Far East and Mediterranean kitchen. Also you may find Shopska again. By the way name of the grill restaurant is DOMA, sound like someone’s name? Alush, the Pristina gig promoter picked me up exactly in time. We sat together for a while, drink cup of coffee. He says it’s not so far from here to Pristina. This is first time I perform in Albanian countries. Kosovo and Albania is well connected.

These both shows are arranged by Genti, an Albanian guitarist lives in London, he is also running label. Later I meet him. He performs tonight as well. He brought some friend sound carriers from London. I’d been in every part of former Yugoslavian countries except Kosovo. Now it get complete. It’s always curious to visit first time, also both countries, are quite unknown, Albania still is an empty space in Europe. I had image of Yugoslavia war and expected many ruins and depressed people or if they have dark image. It’s all turned to positive image. Young people here and Tirana has young fresh creative energy and very curious about what is going on at the other part of world as for them to get out of country is very difficult both financial basis, and political reasons (isolation).

It’s really a fantastic story, the venue I perform tonight with Albanian, Kosovo and UK sound carriers tonight : Hamam Bar is chosen as one of top 5 best designed bar 2013 in the world by the World Architecture News Competition, the world’s largest architecture and interior awards program. Hamam has been selected from hundreds of top-quality and highly-regarded entries from design capitals across the globe such as Paris, Barcelona, London, Dubai, NYC, Singapore, Sydney, Shanghai, Berlin, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo etc. David against Goliath! It’s really nice to hear story like this. I love it! Venue owner Dardan was a nice guy, treat me if I’m his old friend. (He was many times saying „how you make it?“ he was wondering about our instant music.) Seems to be we performed for 2 and half hour, I just can’t imagine! I felt it was short time. (Absolutely longest show after my illness!)

This happens often when you perform with Network, time tick different, you don’t realize real length of performance, you feel always too short, but it isn’t.

June 15 2017 (Thursday) Bulgaria, Sofia @ Mixtape 5

Damo Suzuki with Angel Draganov (Keyboards), Kaloyan Ivanov (Guitar), Delyan Karaivanov (Bass) and Georgi Malchev (Drums)

Before sound check, one guy introduced me himself that he performed with me already twice. But, I’d never performed in Bulgaria before. He is living here since few years, originally from Belgrade and member of that band with so long name, it’s difficult to remember, therefore for me just “the band with longest name”. Neočekivana Sila Koja Se Iznenada Pojavljuje i Rešava Stvar“ (hope you don’t bite your tongue!) was name of the band. This is meaning like „ The unexpected Power That Comes Suddenly and the Solving Thing“. So he joined us…..as a Sofia sound carrier.

Staff of concert organisation team were so kindly to take care my merchandising and care hospitality. Not only in Bulgaria, Balkan area generally, people is natural and have good hospitality, It’s just normal standard, I guess. Non-makeup beauty. Next morning, remember of a carpet in elevator?, …Next day it turned to “Friday”, why not? today is Friday. Next stop is Koumanovo, as we promised, Vasko and his daughter picked me up from Sofia. Daughter is 16 years old, keen in English. She was few times in London. I feel this part of Europe many young people speak English. Her father doesn’t speak English, I would say an another generation. Vako is a former bass player, even we have no communication, he is really nice guy, understand what I need. Koumanovo is this tours idea started and seems to be interesting spot as (I hear ) rock’n roll in Balkan started from here and its basic place. This is not first time I perform in Macedonia, many years ago in capitol city Skopje.

That concert I can remember, not clearly, but I can remember, next day we (organiser team and sound carriers) went on hill with historical building (could be a church), there we took lunch…local food. That was odd many years ago. The car went through mountain, a beautiful country view driving. Before the border we stopped at a bar, Vasko brought me a bottle of local beer. Before surgery I was a beer drinker, but things has been changed, occasionally I drink a beer, but now my usual alcohol consume is white wine with 1/3 mineral water, even this is just occasionally. I may be too careful no…I just don’t taste good with any kind of alcohol since release from hospital. It may effect by medicine I take everyday. Whisky is just for a collection. I’ve a day break in interesting nostalgic city of Kumanouvo, a second largest city of Macedonia, is north near to Kosovo and Serbia border, agriculture powerpoint. It’s all bio agriculture here, supported by government. It’s very good thing. Vasko and daughter brought me to the accommodation for today and tomorrow, baton touch to next attend person Anton. It’s on main street, quite busy national road. A communism building pure. Take a rest a bit. An hour later Anton appeared again, asked me for Lunch if I have some wish. “Fish” was my answer. Few steps to city centre, a fish restaurant, a part of four restaurants at backyard, some trees make shade, protect from midday sun. Very relax, start with Raki (anis spirit = Ouzo) , then ice cold beer, I normally take white wine and bottle of mineral water, an alcohol drink is depend on matter, The day like this, hot, no wind, almost no air flow makes me thirsty and after drive for few hours, best drink is just ice cold beer!…feeling of the moment, a local beer! Main dish, a grilled fresh caught rainbow trout was huge,(with large amount of salad),delicious! For side dish I couldn’t find rice on menu, I asked a shy young service girl and she asked chief and it’s OK, he’ll make risotto for me. It’s nice to be place like here, chief is flexible, if it’s necessary he cook just even for a customer. People here generally owner of natural human feeling pure. Mushroom risotto appeared. Oh, yeah, I almost forget to tell….before lunch dish, Anton ordered grilled chilli I have to try this. It was really hot, tongue is burning, all my hair standing. (Few hours later I had problem with my stomach, Anton was very sorry, but it wasn’t chilli made me uncomfortable stomach, it was my medicine and something, bad chemistry matter.) Anyway here you feel eat fresh, therefore healthy. No microwave shit! Anton is an actor, works in Sofia. Indeed, his mimic is already that of actor. If I’m a film director, I arrange him, he smiled and pity that I’m not director, he took my compliment. He’ll play bass tonight by one of three Network bands of the night. Yes, I’ve 3 sets with 3 different formations.

Last time I performed in Skopje was quite a same…. Few times different staffs showed up one after another (my nature is not having much capacity of memory, sorry I forgot their names!) and taking care after me at the accommodation, even one of staff brought me dry herb tea (seems to be very common at this area), mixed by his wife with many different herbs to get my stomach better. He was an architect, he said he doesn’t like to talk about architect as it’s his work. Late in the night the architect brought me to the club where all stuff and some sound carriers were. He introduced me many people, but it was not possible to hear people speaking, music was TOO LOUD! I don’t stay place like here for long, I quit very soon, this wasn’t good manner from me, but I cannot stand in loudness, even mainly I don’t like to hear music. It was quite long day, many information already capturing my brain.

June 14 2017 (Wednesday) Greece, Thessaloniki @ Eight Ball Club

Damo Suzuki with Naxatras :John Delias (Guitar), Kostas Harizanis (Drums) and John Vagenas (Bass & Synthesizer)

There is always the first time, this first time is that I had an accommodation in construction hotel building. (What??) Whole hotel rooms will be finished in 2 weeks. My room was completely finished version, so no worries! It’s middle of busy part of the city, walk to venue just few blocks. Nightlife is also interesting at this area, pubs, and clubs…. I drink just a small, so I don’t miss to be in pub. In the night nobody was in this provisionally hotel, so it was ghost silence.

This Balkan tour I visit three places I’d never been. It’s always curious to visit for very first time. If my brain-washed information is correct or fake, it will show. Young people from Sofia picked me up from the provisionally hotel. Took quite a while as they parked far away from the hotel, also traffic jams situation was as usually in South Europe. Transfer to Bulgarian capital city took around 4 hours, quicker than I thought of. Many people has been in Bulgaria for low budget beach holiday package and know at least one taste of Schopska (Salat with sheep cheese). Fortunately, this part of Europe serve many fresh vegetables. Hot summer like now, fresh vegetable support our substance. Few hours rest at a communism-period-style hotel, directly beside park at quite middle of the city. Whatever you drink or eat, everything is so cheap compare with our part of Europe even this is quite a noble place, probably 4 stars hotel in the city. When you step into an elevator you don’t miss that carpet on floor spelled “Thursday”, because today is Thursday, why not? Is this carpet have “Friday” on it, tomorrow? I’ll see. Picked up by minibus to national radio station, on the way I saw the busy city and people. First time in Bulgaria’s capital city!

June 13 2017 (Tuesday) Greece, Athens @ Kyttaro

Damo Suzuki with Chickn : Angelos (Vocals, Electric Guitar, Bagpipe, Synthesizers, String Machine, Semi-Modular Synthesis, Electroacoustic/Acousmatic Synthesis), Axios (Bass), Chris (String Machine, Electric Guitar), Haris (Percussion, Electric Guitar), Kostas (Percussion), Mark (Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar), Pantelis (Drums, Percussion) and Stephanos (Drums/ Avant Garde, Free Form)


I must be one of very few people, never saw/visited Akropolis or Parthenon, the attraction, not only Athens, it’s world attraction once-in-life-have-to-see kind of thing for many people. These historical objects ,I’d never see even I’d been here for 5 or 6 times. Now a days I don’t like to visit places that is something to do with authority/power or religion in history. I think everybody can imagine those ancient buildings even you’d never been in Athens, it’s clear like a photo in your brain. Anyway I don’t like this world heritage or Michelin restaurant guide kind of things, I hate to be guided, informed to go to these places (touristy), also I don’t trust in any kind of UN (authority/power) organisations and this private arrogant I’d say, better-eat-your-tyres-instead- from- you-offered-steak restaurant guide book from just a tyre company. I like to experience my own, good restaurants also I can find by accident during walk (this is amazing moment, but good target is quite seldom), mainly I’m patient enough, have enough time as I don’t do much touristy thing. For travel, I like to be in nature, eat good local food (Germans say : older peoples sex is food.) visit art museum, go to market (it’s one of best place, you may smell living standard, meet local people and local fresh products), visit football games if there’s any and just walk around without particularly destination to enjoy atmosphere of the place.

My last performance was in Stavanger far north, after Stavanger I visit my friend Tim & Sally in San Sebastian, contrast to Athens is radical, San Sebastian had no advertising, therefore relax and no stress. Strangely, I went to a Turkey restaurant at lunchtime, I couldn’t find a reasonable Greek restaurant near by and I have too much time to sound check. But, I should say, it was good choice. Worse I lost the way back to Hotel. I performed in this venue already years ago, I don’t know if they changed owner, atmosphere is totally difference. That time I felt of much of an art space, now seems to be a heavy metal kind of venue as I can see from posters hanging there. Indeed there was something I didn’t like front of stage, an adverting of some thing to do with dark symbol or so. Luckily I’m not able to read Greek. So, we hide this anyhow. This is one of thing I get agreement from local promoter : advertising must be nothing to do with dark and Satanism sort of thing.. Not only atmosphere had been changed, size of the venue is (I feel) much smaller. As I mentioned above last show was in Stavanger. I performed with nice people of “Kitchen Orchestra” and I perform tonight with nice people of “Chicken”. A sound a bit strange coincidence, I guess.

After the show I spoke to a photograph, during show very tight beside stage, he reported me, he was sometimes forgetting to shoot as he was much more listening and not miss this moment. A good start of good tour! Next day, flow to Thessaloniki. Chris : Promoter of both Greece shows. I performed more Thessaloniki than Athens, also when my kids are small, this city was a transit to Chalkidiki where we had summer holiday. So I have feeling familiar to this city a bit. That time middle of 80’s I joined few days local fishermen (father and son team, by accident we became friend) boat, lobster fishing in Aegean Sea while my kids are playing with other kids in summer holiday hotel. If fisherman found an octopus in net, they catch it. Octopus is very quick, foot to first head following from back, a fish man son take quickly his knife from his waist, stick into octopus head. Dry octopus on roof of cabin for few days, later enjoy with Ouzo (local anis spirits). This is the smells of my summer, a taste of summer stay in my brain. It must be large amount of heavy metal fans here in Greece, often see young guys wear in satanic, dark imaged tees. Many venues main customers group is heavy metal fans, they have undoubtedly something in the venue or outfit. At first I was supposed to perform in another venue, but changed to this venue. I told to sound carriers my opinion about this dark image, they understood what I meant, late at the performance, we made peaceful music so the venue turn a bit something lighting. While world/system is dark enough, better to bring lightness in this world, right?

June 12 2017

This tour, Balkan connection begun from an offer from Koumanovo, Macedonia, the promoter knew I performed many years ago in capital city Skopje. He contacted me with additional two concerts in Greece and one in Bulgaria.

Then I’ve got offer from an Albanian musician named Genti based in London, he likes to arrange shows in Pristina and Tirana. Afterwhile, I contacted promoter friend sound carrier Kornel in Zagreb, as I remember he was saying he’d like to arrange a show in his city next time I come near. (Anyway if Zagreb is near to all those place, I doubt about it.) During my illness period, resting at home Kornel visited me in Cologne that pushed me to arrange show there.

So, since an offer came from Koumanovo, its get looks like A tour. Remembering, one of my last concert before I get illness (September 2014) was in Slovenia. A very beautiful place called Tolminin Slovenina…Balkan area. Balkan area of Europe is very complicated in its history. On this Balkan tour, I found, it’s very interesting, countries like Kosovo and Albania, we don’t have much information, if there’s one…then not positive one, rather negative. Anyway I don’t trust in media, so this is great opportunity to experience by myself, see with my own eyes, experience with my body and soul!

I arranged to all those local promoters to pick me up and attend through this tour due to my random health condition as I didn’t find anybody to attend me on that point. This is a relative long tour for a person just three months before released from hospital. So, this will be my proof stone, how I can survive. (Sound like 3rd person is saying this) First thing I’ve done for this sense, is fly to Athens a day before the performance as I avoid stress…anyway there wasn’t flight that fits arrive on the first performing day. Sine few years, a kind of my ritual is enjoy food at Sushi bar before departure from Düsseldorf airport (some times at arrival) relax and comfortable before get into gate. I know this Sushi bar in Düsseldorf city centre since almost 30 decades, fortunately few years ago they opened this filial. Since then this is good start for travel. Superstition? Let’s say start with positive stomach! Therefore I prefer, departure from Düsseldorf more than from Cologne, even much near from my home. (to Cologne/Bonn airport 23km, to Düsseldorf airport 63 km)

I arrived in the (heat) night, as we made agreement, a guy picked me up from airport brought me to the hotel few minutes walk to the venue. (this is important now, the accommodation have to be near to the venue, before/after performance anyhow I can relax.) I was getting hungry middle in the night, it’s really difficult to find place to eat, especially if you don’t know where you’re exactly and that late. Heat night like now, not bad idea to walk a bit, I didn’t like take taxi to get nightlife scene, I just need a small thing to eat. Took long, but finally I found a food cart, I’ve got a hotdog. Now I can sleep better. If I’m hungry, impossible to sleep, I might dream looking for food, reach food, food disappear, then look again for food whole night long…a nightmare….this pattern continues and result is bad sleep. Off course, I know, it’s not healthy to get food short before sleep. You know, my life is not well-balanced, you know already.

June 3 2017 (Saturday) Norway, Stavanger @ Folken

Damo Suzuki with Kitchen Orchestra

It’s not understandable how it’s possible to arrange show tonight, there’re music fest going on all over the city, 150 free concerts (!!!) It may cause not much Norwegian, but it’s Champions League final day. So before the show I feel absolutely minus record …and reality was amount of sound carriers on the stage is more than audience. Probably just 10 people. I was almost cancel this show, discuss with owner of the venue and curator.

First communication with John, arranger of this show begun very long time before…..2 years? I was in hospital, at that time, I’m not possible to perform….he was waiting until I call him back, give OK sign. I’m not fond of this situation, not good amount of audience, I’m OK and I can live with this situation. But, I don’t like anyone lose his money. Kitchen Orchestra is a project of Jazz Musician lives in Stavanger, occasionally perform as random musicians.

Sound check was already interesting, direction free jazz. Stavanger us a richest city in richest country, a metropolis of oil industry, all major oil company has office here. After this how some people wanted to by my LPs/Cads, but it wasn’t possible to sell them, as they don’t have cash, just credit card that I don’t have machine to work on it. Scandinavian countries are getting like this, and followed by other countries. It smells of conspiracy.

I remember of passage in John’s Revelation : „And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name“ (King James, Revelation Cap. 13-17) …this is written around 2,000 years ago.

June 1 2017 (Thursday) Norway, Oslo @ Revolver

Damo Suzuki with Anthony Barratt (Keys, Electronics), Rasmus Hungnes (Drums),Ted Parsons (Drums), Andreas Hoem Røysum (Guitar), Leon Muraglia (Bass) and Mark Steiner (Electric Guitar, Electric Baritone Guitar)

There stood man with friendly smiles on his face, pick me up from airport. Leon is owner of this sympathy creature occasionally arranges Kosmisch Night in London. I didn’t know Leon has driving license, first time I see him with his car, explain me how expensive to have penalty for wrong parking and he might buy street parking space. So, he is owner of car. He’ll first time father and both Guro and Leon looks extremely happy that I can feel their warm wave flow.

Leon is regular sound carrier in Oslo. He has many good connections, owner of the venue Ben knows him well, Ben arrange Leon as Network curator at this venue. Tonight we have two drummers. One of them is Ted, I knew from last time, is powerful stature, an American, lives here for many years. An another drummer is Rasmus, a friend of Simon Torssell Lerin, has project with his wife Bettina Hvidevold Hystad. Leon and Rasmus supposed to perform with Simon, Bettina and I in Stockholm. Due to wrong flight booking at Festival in Copenhagen, it didn’t happen.

Good amount of people show up for Thursday show. I liked supporting band Mokri with female drummer. Good psychedelic flow, fits good to Network performance. Next day, a break day. Leon & Gure invited me for dinner. Also Rasmus and Karl, friend of Leon join. Leon become first time father and both Guro and Leon look extremely happy that we could feel their warm wave flow. This day I stayed due to Sabbath on Solar/Moon calendar. Honestly I say, I’m not normal condition yet, I need rest and sometimes I need much sleep, my body need it. Also weather outside don’t play a good game. It’s always the best to have accommodation really closer to the venue I perform….even it take only a minutes. Scandinavian ambient hotel. Employee is friendly and young, customer also mainly young people from other part of Europe.

May 27 2017 (Saturday) Ireland, Dublin @ the Grand Social

Damo Suzuki with Math + Math = Maths

Have you ever experienced, you meet person you find similarity with someone you know? Sometimes from looks (face, dress, taste), and mimic? Sometimes I don’t think there’s more than thousands specifies as I have this experience many times. John is so similar to one I know from Helsinki, his face, height, how he speaks and mimic. Anyway both are very nice friendly men. I feel I know John for since long time. He was a guitarist of Sack, made some hits, you may know them. I asked him if he like to join us, he said he is old. (But, actually he is not) He may come to idea next time perform as one of sound carrier, who knows?

The venue is good for smoker, they have enough smoker’s area almost same size like their concert hall. It’s middle in Dublin. My hotel was quite near, quite far by taxi. Weather was typical Irish, rainfall. Next day John brought me to Airport.