ON ONE HAND I DON”T AT ALL BELIEVE IN OMENS – dangerous things full of bird sorcery and superstition. Flying to Bangkok tonight for gigs + workshops, I was feeling sad saying ‘farewell’ to my kids. Then I saw this fractured rainbow at Manchester Airport, like the ancient rainbow bridge from star to star… and I was upgraded! Thailand has been so consistently magical a place to perform – it feels kind of exciting to have a magical beginning x
I HAVE ALWAYS RELIED ON THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS…arriving at immigration after a 17 hour flight I needed to fill in an arrivals form. I found to my dismay I’d lost my spectacles. Cheap reading glasses – but without them (the clue is in the name) I can’t read. I was really stuck – blurry blocks of letters and gaps with not the slightest clue what any of it said. This side of the barrier I was an exhausted sweaty mess – on the other side was everything wonderful. An Indian lady – fantastically busy with her ancient Mother and a gaggle of kids in tow – was filling in her forms – she read out each line and pointed to where I should respond, with a wonderful patience. Random acts of senseless kindness x
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 – Atlantic Drifting between watery air and waterlogged earth
Adhere the 13th on Samsen Banglumpoo is a Bangkok junk 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… Ach I won’t keep you in suspense ; ) 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 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
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 northern Thailand. Wonderful to share in something you didn’t know you knew – the dim lit subterrea of the ancient mind. Half the audience and I barely shared a word of language – but in music we walked together, across the lines : )
Heading home – by Ford Anglia