Jan 10th, 2024 – JKF Airport
( Posting this from the train/ apologies for typos etc)
Last night’s storm in Rockaway. The wind rattled our windows. Our building shakes in this kind of weather. Icould feel the bed gently rocking. Storm winds bent a street light around a pole. Flood warnings here. Train strikes and farmers protests in Germany. I actually slept fine. I got up with Clare and Saoirse. “See you in 11 days love”, “Bye dada”. I hate leaving. I love touring. I love the life music’s given me but I hate leaving. Everytime. And though many things get easier, and things seem to be improving in terms of people coming to gig, and gig offers coming in, the leaving home part gets harder.
Waiting for the airtrain. An older man in the thick Slavic accent asks me if I can show his friend how to get to Terminal 1. There’s construction at the airport and its somewhat confusing. “Of course”, I smile. I only misdirect her once before we both get there fine. Along the way she tells me she is from Ukraine. Runs a music school near the presidential palace. We speak of the power of music and i marvel at the fact that there are children taking piano lessons during the war. I ask her if her family are okay. She says her mother is fine, her son is fine “my husband died two hours ago”.
Of covid, in Moscow. I have many questions. It doesnt seem right to ask.
In Terminal 1 at JKF you can if you wish purchase a burger for $30. Another $5 will get you a fries too. A flat white is over $7. What the hell is happening?
Casey Black calls. Good timing Casey Black. It’s always a good time to talk to Casey Black.
Big jetlagged head outside big Dom, Cologne
Colours blend / reverb apology in a warm shadow
In the voice of a ghost you needed to hear from
It’s always too late, or maybe never
Would that i could
Plant a forest that might capture all the tears in the sky and
Sweet fruit for future that we let down
And the present that we are in the process
Of extinguishing beneath the rubble
“Restraint” we whisper, for fear we might shine
A light on our own previous hatreds too.
We are all complicit, I said.
He told me I was wrong
But I am not
Stage in Rees
Alpacas know what’s up
The Niu Hotel, Düsseldorf, Jan 14th, 2024
Time wobbles on. 100 days of war on Gaza. Shame. Shame. Shame.
Recapping Tour Till Now
Despite the storms in USA and the train strikes in Germany. I made it to Cologne train station where my friends Mel and Ulf picked me up. Not before Reuters TV cameras interviewed me about how the train strikes impacted my journey. I doubt/ hope they didn’t use my jetlagged mumbled response.
The first gig of the tour was badly hit by terrible weather. Black ice kept a large number of people at home. Frustrating of course, to travel over 3000 miles only to be impacted by the hyper local weather. Still, it is in fact January here too and I thoroughly enjoyed my Ankum debut. Friday I played at Kaetzchen Rees which is gorgeous room run by truly lovely people. It was good to catch up with my old friend John Collins.
Saturday morning I played another lovely gig in a French Cafe. I do this gig most tours of Germany and I love it. 24 people listened with rapt attention while one absolute dope sat right up the front and scrolled through his phone for the entire first set. If you’re going to do this, please sit anywhere except the front row.Not even a rousing rendition of ‘Come Back to the Table’ could interupt his screentime. The rest of the room was great, Why not sit somewhere else?
After my morning concert Mel and Ulf very kindly dropped me to the Acoustic Festival Düsseldorf. I played the festival in 2016 and 2018. I really enjoyed it again this year. I played third from last on the main stage and enjoyed all the bands. One Eye Open joined me for Q53 Bus Song and if anyone has any video or audio of that I’d love to have it. I really enjoyed all the bands on the newcomer stage too.
Stage in Langenberg
Thursday January 18th,2024
TRain from Hamm ( west). Hauptbahnhof to Munich
Sunday I played a house concert in Espelkamp. This was in the home of Micha the Chimneysweep. There were more people at this house concert than at my sold out gig in my hometown at Christmas. Goodman Micha! I played two sets. Met lots of old friends. Made some new ones. Stayed downstairs in a bunk bed in a beautiful apartment. One of the people who lived in the apartment, Alex, lives most of the year in Tenneriffe and showed me some pictures of their home their which includes a cave apartment. A cave apartment is exactly what it sounds like it is. There are so many ways to live on our troubled planet.
Monday I played a Landgasthof Borghees just outside Emmerich on the Dutch German border. This one was also impacted by the terrible weather but I enjoyed it nonetheless and especially enjoyed the chat with the owners and Mel, Ulf and John afterwards.
Tuesday was the house concert at Mel and Ulf’s house. Mel and Ulf have been a massive help in my German tours for over a decade now. This gig was loads of fun. I played a lot of unreleased songs in the the soundcheck, partly for their benefit and also to get my brain thinking about what might be next whenever I get back into the studio. A few new to me people from the festival came to this gig too including Jan from the band Giants and Dreamers who won the best act contest on the newcomers’ stage. I invited him to sing a song to begin the second set.
Mel and Ulf treated me to a delicious Indian meal beforehand and I slept like a stone in their home.
Shutters. America, why can’t we have shutters like the Europeans?
Who can hook a man up with some European quality shutters in NYC?
Last night I played KGB Langenberg. Many friends have played there over the years and I know why they speak so highly of it. IT was good to see fellow Glanmire man JOhn Blek on the calendar and to hear Mick Flannery on the stereo. Michael who runs the place also runs the Tonetoaster record label ( who put our Casey Black’s ‘See the Black Sea’ album in Germany.) The venue had a load of volunteers helping with everything from the bar to catering and it was really a lovely experience to be there. I was delighted with the turnout despite hte miserable, snow and sleety roads. Thanks to Bielefeld based songwriter Rondiva for the great opening set. I stayed in hotel in the next town over and had nice chat with Michael when he dropped me home. I said good bye to Mel, Ulf and John yesterday. I couldn’t help but laugh when the radio in the empty hotel breakfast room played ‘All by myself’.
Now I’m on the train on the way to Munich.
Eyelids heavy. Snowy covered fields fly by my window. In Germany the fast trains are called ICE. Today mine was delayed because of …ice/
Three gigs left on this leg of EuroTour
Tonight Munich, Friday in Vienna, Saturday / Budapest.
Then back to home to my family and some New York and Massachusetts gigs.
Come say hello.
I will post some tour bootlegs and videos on Patreon as soon as I’m on actual computer. Thanks for all the support.