3 Bangkok

Wat Arun – the Temple of the Dawn

Soft warm wind on the worm brown water, a coiling slither from the deep green heartland, the Temple of Dawn sparkling in the darkness, water around and in everything. A hall painted with shifting light, a hundred instruments new and strange – pulsing the life-beat of these ancient lands, with me astonished and inspired in the dim lit subterranea of the ancient mind.

 

Klong by Jennie

Klong – a deep green canal in the city’s heart

Bangkok sits on water – half flooded half of the time, calf deep water in the streets, water on the railways, water in the temples, water between the graves. The morning sun seems to suck out all the moisture, only to condense and dump it back down in a dark monsoon. I swim amongst it, bringing dreams and stories of the cold seas – Vagabond Language scrawled between watery air and waterlogged earth

Chao Phraya heading for the venue

Chao Phraya heading for the Princess Galvani Vidhana Music Institute

 

Last leg by Tuktuk

"It's going to be a bumpy ride"

“It’s going to be a bumpy ride”

Adhere the 13th on Samsen Banglumpoo is a Bangkok juke joint, every bit as broken as the voodoo lounges of the Big Easy – cracked old Teak boards stained by too many floods, flickering blue neons, Thai branded whisky and home made guitars. Played there last night, to a polyglot bunch of travellers and renegades, out in the heat, while along the road an all night vigil celebrated the power of the people. Lovely to have Nigel Richard soloing on the songs – every lead line on his sarod styled Scot’s cittern distilling down the soft-through-frenetic variations of a raga into a minute or two of playing. Resident guitarist Bong, between his sets on a beautiful Thai made stratocaster, said our music took him back to his village in the countryside of North East Thailand. How does that happen? Two celtic guitar players adrift amongst this seething life, take a skilled blues man back to the rice fields of his youth, half a world from where either of us were born… Is it humanity? The beating hearts we all carry, wherever on this small green blue speck we come from? Cut those connectons and something deeply important in us withers and dies. Here, tonight, among the high moon waters and plank walkways the connections fill the hollows and line the lanes – feeling something very like joy.

Adhere the 13th Blues Bar

Adhere the 13th Blues Bar

 

Atlantic Drifter at Blues Bar

Atlantic Drifter at Blues Bar

Adhere sits on the klong – one of those deep green canals that finger their way deep into Bangkok’s thicket of streets and alleyways. There’s always that sense of water – thick in the air and just beneath our feet. Tomorrow I’ll play my songs for the river and the rain… x

 

 

Rainy night on Samsen Soi

Rainy night on Samsen Soi

Lovely night at Adhere the 13th… I brought songs from a world away, born more of wind and ice than this sultry swelter and carp churned, silt heavy still green waters. A gaggle of blues players sat in the corner, cooing over my guitar and baffled by it’s four strings. Kkjinitee wanted to name it ‘Adad’ after one of my tunings. Pong owns the bar – a wonderful player who pounds out deep blues on his 1973 tele – a lovely man. My playing somehow reminded him of his childhood in the fields of north eastern Thailand. Wonderful to share in something you didn’t know you knew – the dim lit subterranea of the ancient mind. Half the audience and I barely shared a word of language – but in music we walked together, across the lines : )

Four string

Four string

 

13th

13th

 

Songs from the cold seas

Songs from the cold seas

 

with sarod/cittern player Nigel Richard

with sarod/cittern player Nigel Richard

 

with bar owner and '73 Telecaster maestro Pong

with bar owner and ’73 Telecaster maestro Pong

Heading home – by Ford Anglia

Heading home - by Ford Anglia...

Heading home – by Ford Anglia…

 

This is what we think of that...

This is what we think of that…

Mr Chow

Mr Chow

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