вторник, 3 май 2016 г.

Ræppen & Leaver Tour 2016 - Lincoln, Wallington, London

Honestly, I've been too lazy to even start this one, but here I am catching up on what's been happening during the Ræppen & Leaver Spring tour in England right after half of it has passed (daywise, most of the shows are yet to happen).

29/04/16 A flight and 5 hours of driving to get us to Lincoln
The morning starts fine as the plane taking us to London is a late one (at 11:40 am wohoo). Getting there with no issues, three hours of blasting KPD-0 on my earbuds and we're landing. We play the Snake aka proper English queueing and then we meet, Tim Holehouse, our tour buddy and the guy who booked this whole thing. It's been two years since the last time we toured England together so it's great to be back for another travel. We jump in the car and that's where we spend the next 5+ hours because of the insane traffic on London's ring road. Yeah, it's bank holiday on Monday so everybody's travelling.

Laugh Motel
We get to Lincoln around 7 pm to find we've missed the show of the awesome Peter K Rollings and his Experimental Sonic Machines. Thankfully recordings are already starting to pop up. However, the rest of the show is going with full force and we're just on time for Laugh Motel, which I think was a debut gig for Dominic, He's actually a very interesting visual artist, his stuff is all over the walls in the super cosy Decimal Place, the spot we're playing tonight. His set is very nice, based on tiny looping melodies and textures, played on three small synthesizers. Tiny imperfections make the music very intimate and sincere. After him Laser Pig are on for a weird mixture of dance music, theremin passages and high pitched opera-like singing by the lady in the duo. After them another duo is on - Agents of the Culture Industry. They blend live visuals (played on an old TV) with very textural and complex noisescapes, definitely something I'd be glad to see again on a huge sound and maybe not one, but a wall of TV screens. And then we go. Tim sets up, we do the same and he's on for a blues set that quickly warms the hearts of the attendees. We waste no time and play right after he's done. We do a quiet set, we mess a few things, but it certainly sounds better than what we did in Sofia so it does the job. People seem happy about it so we can call it a night. Not before we hit a pub nearby though. People drink pints I go for a lemonade, an hour later we hit the beds in Decimal place. It's been a long day.

30/04/16 A day off for travelling and lasagna
After a nice morning chat with coffee and croissants, which cool dude Dex, who's been running Decimal Place for over 10 years (and has a big heart for tapes, vintage music gear and all kinds of interesting art) we head back to London where we're spending the next three days. Tim's lady DiDi is our kind host and we hit the store before we nest in her new home. Tim cooks us a rad veggie lasagna. A meal that I've actually haven't had since my last times in London. And Tim doesn't disappoint once again, it's an ace treat and needless to say I find it pretty hard to stay awake after it. Even though I think me and Daniel even managed to go for a walk around the 'hood. Good boys.

01/05/16 Wallington times
Today is a gig day. Takes us about 45 minutes to get to Wallington. We easily find The Brook as Tim's played there pretty recently and knows the owner Andy for ages. We grab a coffee and are ready to soundcheck. It's so cool to see a venue of this size - let's say concert room fits 50 people - has such a good and dedicated crew. Something you barely see in big venues in a country I wouldn't be naming, but I guess you get the point. Anyhow, shortly we're good to go and wait for the show to start. Tonight we're playing what seems to be a singer-songwriter night, so Leaver is definitely the strange bird on the wire. Anyhow, people don't seem to mind our stuff, even when I start screaming. They do enjoy Tim's set a lot so having in mind the other acts on the bill are also pretty good I guess it's a cool, cool night. Huge ups for The Brook, awesome, awesome place. Another proof size doesn't matter and only how much you want to make things happening and moving forward.

Tim soundchecking in The Brook
We come back home and eat pizza. Still can't decide what's better - sleeping or pizza. I'm sure my tour mates will tell you the answer behind my back.

02/05/16 Weird times in London
It's no secret I don't really like London. Way too busy and complicated for my taste. I mean I like London only if I stay at home and chill... oh yes and for the veggie fry ups (we've scored one yesterday, tomorrow we have another one coming, yes).

Big cats of Catford
So when we head to the gig, I don't have my expectations high, cus you know how big cities are - either great show or a total disaster. Tonight is just weird. Amersham Arms is a nice place, definitely has some history and it looks as it has nice sound. However, the event we're playing is kinda different. There are 8 acts total, each of them about to play a 10 minutes long set, which blends into the next one. Me and Tim are in the second batch of performances (I go for a Mytrip set tonight, cus 10 minutes won't work for Leaver at all... it actually barely works for anything but maybe free jazz or harsh noise). The show starts with Super Football Champion Cup Boy and I think that's my highlight for the night. Guy plays and interesting piano piece on a Roland synthesizer, it's heavily effected, but very sparse and moving. Ani Glass also does some interesting vocal layering and looping, but when a disco beat enters I kinda lose the vibe.

No, I don't have an endorsement, I'm a sober boy
When it's my turn I play around a field recording snippet I did in Tesco the other day. Then I fuck around with my last pieces as Mytrip - Human Geometry and People are Broken and before I know the next act is on. Vera Bremerton does some vocal improvisations on two mics, one reverberated and the other one fed through iDensity. Not entirely my cup of hot beverage, but it blends so good with what Tim does. His set gets super intense and nicely built, however sound gets fucked up and clips terribly, we don't know who fucked up what, but surely it spoiled the vibe big time. That plus the fact it's been quite an empty night... Weird times in London, like I said. The night ends with an unexpected walk through the area, cus we miss our train. We catch another one and here we are at home again. Zzzzzzzzzz, oh no, watching one more Nashville episode first.

Recording stuff at 9 Unit Rehearsals, London
03/05/16 London sessions
Today is the last day off on this tour and we make sure we get the best of it. Tim and DiDi bring us to a cafe for our second fry up and it's real good again. Then we chill for a few hours and we head to 9 Unit Rehearsal Space becuase we're into doing some writing, recording, whatnot. And three hours later we manage to come up with two collab pieces, written, practiced and recorded. Only few bits and pieces need to be added, because our gear was pretty limited and we'll have the first Leaver / Tim Holehouse collab. Labels get in touch, that shite is pure gold!

That's how you spend a day off in London! The rest of it - me catching up on series and Daniel doing the tourist thing. As I'm finishing this it's once again time for Zzzzzzzz because tomorrow shit gets real and we head for Birmingham - the first of our 5 remaining shows, before we head home.

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