October. Oh dear.
It hasn’t been a cut and dry case of all work/no fun over here for the last 2 months, but what has materialised is a bad case of the Blog Block! With two months of commercial and performance work sitting in the bag, I don’t even know where to begin in showcasing it. So in trusted fashion, I am going to begin at the end, and possibly show everything in reverse… maybe even etirw gnihtyreve sdrawkcab. We’ll have to wait and see.
But for now, I feel a little more at ease that winter has settled. What better way to spend a dark, uninspiring evening than cramming into a sweaty club and getting your ears blown off by some brilliant live music and clearing the head. And so it was last Monday, fresh from 2 months of work and play that I can’t think to talk about, Palma Violets and excellent support at Electric Circus on a dark Edinburgh night.
Why not live in the present for once.
Last week saw the annual musical mélange of Wide Days descend on Edinburgh at Teviot Row. It is a two day consortium of speakers, panels, workshops, showcases and of course, blaring music: a hot bed of music industry knowledge to serve the uninitiated.
I was invited to cover the main events of the day-time panels and discussions. As the proverbial fly on the wall, it is hard not to pick up more than just photos. There was a lot of very solid knowledge from very sharp and sympathetic minds. Gems even that I could take on board for my own approach to creativity. First that it is a business, given, but second that it is important to share the workload and get hard hitting feedback when you can. Creativity is not a path to be gone alone, and there was a great vibe about the event that lit some flames and got everyone’s minds on building up the community.
Here’s a little recap on some live music I have covered over the last month. First off is a solo set of esoteric loudness from electronica pioneers Silver Apples, live at Mono as part of the Glasgow Film Festival.
I shot the set of melodic drone masters Earth at the Caves a little while back. Clock their review for The Skinny here if you missed out, it does them supreme justice.
Put the brakes on and ask yourself this – What would you do if you were given one day? Not a workday or a holiday. Not a Monday, not a Thursday, not any day of the week. A day from the blue, all to yourself. A limited 24 hours. Would you go out and play?
Big problems with play the older you get. We get to where we want to, we live the dream, but we start to switch off the subsidiary senses that kept us from starving. We are no longer desperate for anything and we stop following our impulses. Real creatures of habit we become, and we start to expect everyone else to be the same. We get more and more excited at the prospect of doughier, sinkier sofas, a bottle of red, a moo-vie? Bed at 10 for an early start?
But imagine this one impossible day. With no plan, with no wild programme. Waking up in your own bed with only your world and your resources. Do nothing? Do everything?? In our mad rush to make the most of our time we end up leaving ourselves no space to play. There can be no doubt, good play is half spontaneity, half activity. But how can you be spontaneous in your own back yard??
Well, very if you let yourself rediscover it. I am no master, don’t get me wrong. I am blessed by where and how I live, but 6 out of 7 I am fully asleep to it. So, I had a visitor! For the first time in nearly 2 years, I had fresh eyes on my porch. Go through the motions all you like, see the spots and hit the views, but Edinburgh is unbelievable fun. I am no tour guide and Aidan is no tourist, but we basically stormed the city up and down and still only managed to scratch the surface.
In a single 24 hour swoop we beheld beauty, rewrote the rules of Guess Who, shopped a ludicrous hat, looked down from a mountain, blinded ourselves in World of Illusions, rewrote the lyrics to R.E.M, got chased by a street cleaner, swallowed Edinburgh’s finest coffee, doubled over laughing, watched a random 17piece jazz band, went for noodles, unleashed a Kraken, sang in a trad bar at the top of our lungs, and invented only a hundred puns on everything in-between.
Its the weekend again. Give yourself a day to play
Continuing our winter round-up, here is a selection of some live music i have been shooting between here and Glasgow for the Skinny the last few months.
|Gruff Rhys @ The Bongo Club|
|Muscles of Joy @ Orán Mór|
|Gillian Welsh @ Clyde Auditorium|
|The Dirty Dozen with Clean George IV and Riley from Aberfeldy|