May 4 2008 (Sunday) UK Belfast Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival @

Damo Suzuki with Chris Allen (Bass), Chris McCorry (Mandolin), Gavin Mullan (Guitar), Kasey Peters (Drums), Simon Porter (Drums), Steven Rainey (Guitar, Bass), Phillip Quinn (Guitar) and Conor Scullion (Bass)

Rich and Sarah brought me to Birmingham airport. Fly to Belfast….first time in Northern Ireland. I had been in Ireland. but, only in Republic of Ireland. My friend sound carrier from LA Tommy come from here and told me about this city. Now a days cheap flight company ask you to pay for your baggage. so sometimes cheap flight company is not that cheap. Addition comes on flight costs…service charge, off course tax….

More than one hour waited at Belfast airport as promoter promised me someone will pick me up..Is there one more airport in Belfast? Or he didn’t see me? Nobody appear. Anyway I have to go to city center even I don’t have hotel address, neither from the venue, I perform tomorrow. . Now you can find me not professional enough. Next time I will check all information I need before I start tour. I went to internet café, check address of the venue. Its OK, with this kind of move-to-where-wind-goes action.…If everything goes smooth, it’s kind of boring, isn’t it?.

I asked Taxi driver how far is it? He said anything like 20 minutes by walk 6 or 7 blocks from here. So, I decided to take good old British box taxi…short after I found it was right thing I did, as it was really long distance on that day with my suitcase.

Arrived at Black Box, people were preparing for show tonight with three bands. Then I found one of organizer of festival and claimed that no one appeared at airport carry me to Belfast…bra, bra, bra…..He was kindly enough to buy me Guinness …Oh, I was so thrust …it disappeared so quick..then he brought second one. I found bunch of musician, members of Airiels from Chicago they are touring with London living German electro music artist Ulrich Schnauss. They invited me to come tonight for their show. I promised I come after fish dinner.

Went to Hotel stayed for a while and left for dinner..I asked lady at reception where I can eat fish in this city. Belfast is so close to sea there must be some fish restaurants I thought, She introduced me two restaurants, so I went to one of them which was more interesting than another one.. Unfortunately it was all reserved. I wanted to go to venue to listen music of young sympathetic musicians even I was hungry. My stomach is not really flexible, if I think „fish I have to eat fish, already as imagination I am eating fish in my brain. I walk around to get something alternative. But, nothing was really interesting also its bank holiday in UK, many shops are closed. So, I decided not to eat and ….instead full up my stomach with music and drink.

When I arrived there music was not started yet and I had time to communicate with young Americans of the band. They are second to go. Third set is Ulrich Schnauss. After Airiels performance, they asked me if I have interest to go on stage with them and Ulrich. Its Saturday night a lots of party people and beautiful girls. Even I´d been drinking Jameson, I said yes. Result, see this YouTube stuff

They brought me back to hotel which had a lots of thing going on that street…I was so hungry…I get Fish and Chips, what else at late at this time…anyway there are only few answers. If I don’t eat I cannot sleep or I dream badly like big fish going to bite me, eat me.

Next morning, Took Lunch at Hotel instead breakfast…was too late it’s already noon…outside is constant rain, looks ugly…I was short out of Hotel , just opposite I found fake Japanese restaurant. Its bank holiday. The restaurants are also closed. Yes, I wanted to tell you about the city. Belfast has population of anything like two hundred seventy thousands. But, I feel lot more bigger city. Also, there is many old good looking buildings exists…and I didn’t find anything like conflict between catholic and protestant…May be I was not right area. Irish camera team from Dublin had contact before I come to Belfast, they showed up before sound check. Sound carriers showed up slowly one by one….they are all from different bands. mainly they perform/see for first time each other. They are all so young..twens. Three drummers. and other sound carriers share quite tight stage. Photos of the performance: by Stephen

Once upon a time in 1969 one August day, there stands a boy with long hair traveling with guitar and small bag, it was hippy time..he was hitchhiking somewhere near Le Havre, Normandy France. He was waiting for long time car to bring him somewhere on hot dusty road under dull sun which seems to melt sky. He had no particularly place to go, he was meaning just anywhere. Two Irish sisters begin to hitchhike at same road. They were Elizabeth and Ann Murphy. This boy asked them where are they going to.. They answered „Ireland. „Ireland?”; Elizabeth asked Have you ever been in Ireland?”; No…Id never been there….”; Do you have any interest to come to Ireland?, my parents have farm. He didn’t think twice, answer came directly after the question „Yes, yes… This is beginning of relationship to Murphys then I stayed there for around half year. Helping farmers, working at Chinese restaurant in Wexford… Their mother Mary treated me like if I am their real son even she had, Jack, Michael, Eugene, Barry 4 boys and Elizabeth, Ann, Clair, Aideen 4 girls.

Since then I lost contact with them for 39 years…… Until 2008, few months before Belfast show, a 18 years old young man named Peter mailed me, saying I know you stayed at my grandmother Marys in end 60s…. I’ve got performance in Belfast, then after I have break for two days, so this time finally visits them in New Ross, Co. Wexford. I mailed him back. Peter arranged very-necessary meeting nearly 40 Years (!!!) Took train Belfast-Dublin. was journey to yesterday…was exciting to see Tom and Mary Murphy and their children. I arrived Dublin. Peter find me waiting for him, I didn’t see him before, so I had no idea how he looks like. Exactly he looks like his mother Aideen he have same curly hair. We had enough time to take bus so went to drink wine at Hotel nearby. Arrived Enithcorthy after around two hours. A middle aged man was waiting for with his car ….he is Barry….Marys youngest kid…..last time I saw him he was just beginning of his life..3 or 4 years old and having short pants curly hair in hand his puppet. He is now running Marys and Toms farm.

The car drive on nostalgia road, memories are replaced in my head. Arrived at the farm I spend my last teenage year Do you remember me?”; Old lady with grey hair, asked me, She’s Mary. She never lost her friendly face. I said No…”; as stupid joke. Sure I can remember …It was emotional moment. for all those years, which went so quickly. Then Tom appears. Peter showed me farm place…some places I can remember, it was huge place and still it is. Walking through fields, like time trip, suddenly I was in end of 60s. Many memories come through my brain like shadow theater in Asia.

In the night all Marys and Toms boys Jack, Michael, Eugene, Barry joined with their wives, their daughters Clair, Eugenes daughter and boyfriend and off course Peter, the young man who arranged everything that we all had opportunity to meet for first time since almost 40 years. It was emotional moment. We were teenagers living in other situation like now. Everybody’s life is very interesting how they processed and experienced all those days. Mary and Tom seemed to be very happy. I feel very thankful that I met them in my teenage period. They’re all really amazing persons. We had drunk together Irish Whiskey and others. Talking about old days…This and that… Next day, I waked up in good mood, sit under the beautiful sun at Mary and Toms backyard. Maurice, Peters father came, Peter wanted to show us the guy from Netherlands who lives in old power station with his organic garden a bit miles from here. He was fantastic guy, living here for 15 years and he have to move out of here. Because council want to make Hotel for tourism. Even he bought his ground he have to move. He was really angry about this for years, told us. Still, he was nice enough to show us his fantastic gardens and house of alternative, many with his ideas. He told us he still can get around 80KW power a day from this old power house. In the garden, I had to take care of his donkey might kick my ass. The Dutch guy invited us for home made Beer, Champagne…. A fantastic do-it-yourself guy. When we came back from short visit by Dutch man, Lunch was ready on dish. Mary and Tom cooked together for us…. When I was here end of 60s, Mary was cooking for 5, 6 farm workers everyday, used every materials from their farm. Then I left Mary and Toms……Even for a day I was really happy to see them and great emotional 24 hours. Hope they stay so healthy as they are for long long years. I’m sure I will come back and see them again in near future…I should, yes, I should do this. Maurice drove me to his house. He is a French man come from Normandy, since middle of 70s living here, married with one of Murphy…, Aideen. He was chef in Monte Carlo, one day he come here for vacation, met Murphys and continued to stay since. He says they are really nice people, I agree. Maurice was wondering why I came so early to Ireland. Situation in Ireland is totally changed since then. yes, absolutely. When I was here, Ireland was one of most poor western European country, many Irish went out of the country to get job. Now, 21 century Ireland is one of high living standard country in Europe as good as all those rich Scandinavian countries. He is like most French people, speak English with French accent which I find very cute. We spoke many things and we both found were quite same in our philosophy. He says this part of Ireland everybody has huge house lived by only two person in house and told me there is a hotel which costs 800 euro for a night….incredible…because I know their poor period and now.

In the evening Aideen come back from Liverpool, this year European cultural city share together with Stavanger, Norway. She was really surprised find me in their house. Now she is a teacher in school, she says. I know her only when she was 13 or 14 years old. Now she is herself mother of three children. Except Peter two other children are living in Dublin and they’re much older than Peter. Peter is visiting school for photography. His wish is to be a photograph. For his 18 years he is much adult…is trustable and respectable man. We had dinner that night, which made me feeling at home, eats black bread, cheese, sausages and salami from Germany…. Maurice bought this house middle of 70s….. plenty rooms. This building is from 16th century or so. When he bought this house it had been empty for four years and nobody wants to buy. Now this house (with additional house, he use for chicken and his work tools and huge beautiful garden) costs 10 times more. Yes, this is also how Ireland expanded. Next day, Peter and Aideen went to school, Maurice took me to beach, I had been there end 60s. He said here in Ireland people eat not that much fish even its surrounded by sea, I agree…England also…they mainly eat only Fish and Chips. Maurice has cabins for Bees, his friend visited him with this special protect dress. Finally Maurice cooked for me fish which he caught, he is passionate hobby fisher. He was professional chef, so he can cook really in good timing and his movement is smooth…even I didn’t have not that much time, short before shuttle bus leave to Dublin. He made food in time.

Arrived at Dublin airport, there are many constructions around airport even here you can find success story of Ireland. I have enough time to relax and for Laptop work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *