Well it’s that time again… said my sad goodbyes – half a world will pass beneath my feet before I stand back on the earth and pick up my guitar… : ) After this wild and windy year, epitomised most by the moorland and meteorological Edale festival a few short weeks ago, the steamy Orient will feel a world away. I will relish the brilliant colours and wear a straw hat – but always in the brilliant light and the deep tornado sky I will be half a mind on the rainy skies of home… x
Floated down to the desert out of the clearest blue sky, just after sunrise. Even so early the light was piercing and brilliant white, impossible to look into. A dawn mist lay over the sands, mauve-gray hills in a low ridge and then the Arabian Sea, moon coloured in the morning. The airport is a silver wing, cool and shaded. A thrush like bird is flying inside, with the sweetest song…
Sitting by a porthole I couldn’t see the wing, just the mouth of an enormous engine, keeping perfect pace with me, but separated in the air. It seemed a steely whale shark flying, sucking oceans of strange plankton on an endless high migration. Somewhere over the Andaman sea I saw a perfect rainbow hang between towering white clouds – It was so tiny, somewhere down there between the sea and me, calling me back to the beauty that I know is always there, if I can only be bothered to look.
BOOKWORM CAFÉ GIG. I love this café, organic, community, still working for a better world (in such days as these it’s all we can do – drop by drop, kindness by kindness).
Most of all I was paid in smiles – so strange that we can value dead metal and printed paper so much more than these tokens of another sentient being’s esteem. A tiny girl, fourteen months old sat at the front and danced and clapped. Some of the time I was playing my own daughter’s baby guitar – a guitalele I bought in Indonesia – she’s out grown it now and lets me use it. This tiny one came and played some solos with me – a powerful short circuit back through the tunnels of time, from now to my own little one, bashing away and laughing…
On the wires, in the late light, little swallows sat together, gathered for the spectacle of the day-end. The red of their gorgets faded to black as I sang – we ate and drank together, me and the people of Guangdong.
THEI GIG. Arriving by train at Tiu Keng Leng, outside the smoky station a jewel blue sky, the colour of kingfishers. Walking to the venue, I played games with the brilliant sun, running like an arched back child straining from its burning hand, hopping scotchily from one shade pool to the next. The friendly, draughty refuge of bridges and shadows. A place of tower blocks –affluent compared to some – beteween high green hills and the sea. Faux Ionic architecture, bizarrely. Concrete porticos and columns, dyed to look like marble, skirting the window stuck towers – the bones of Hydra, washed up finally on this distant shore.
In the unbounded happiness of this hot fresh weather I found the theatre – the THEI auditorium. It’s in a bulding of immense proportions, rising on white painted trellis work legs – the cool, cool place at its centre infested by mice. Brightly painted and funny, their human scale is a wonderful foil to the steel, stone and glass rising all around.
Inside, the theatre was mountain cool and airy, powerful sound and brilliant light. Created to be creative, a lovely place for ‘son et lumiere’. A special thanks to Hui Kar Man, who sang with me – a lovely voice – and Ho Sui Wan for the visuals x