The week on Ile de Re was short, but fun. Dom & I spent one night in the tent, and was woken up in the night by rain spattering down, but we were dry. The night before I left was the village fete in La Noue, where there’s a bandstand with local choir and maritime band performances, some cabaret, and a rock band that plays covers…on electric ukuleles. Yep. There were oysters and wine, and I bowed out at 10.30 that evening…
As I had to be up the next morning at 4.45, getting in the cab to the train station in La Rochelle, for my 5.35 train to Paris (zzz) then crossed Paris in a taxi (surprisingly quick) for my 10.23 train to Amsterdam, then cabbed over to the studio on KNSM Eiland. Yep, this studio where I’ve done so many recordings, including a few this year. I had agreed to work today because a) I was coming to Holland anyway b) working, and getting paid to do it, is healthy and c) we only had access to this drummer that the artist wanted to work with, who lives in New York, this week. The artist was Marisa Schlussel, who I’ve been working with on an album episodically since March. She lives in London, and the drummer from her old band was in town, so we took advantage of that and recorded the drums on two songs. I had a few tech issues to solve upon arrival, but then we got rolling and by 10.30 that night I was busting out bass lines and having wine…
Up early in the morning to get down to Den Haag, where I was picked up by mohawked tattoo artist Danny Zalm, who was doing me the courtesy of taking me to a little guitar shop where I got my guitar, which was suffering some travel damage, set up. Then Danny dropped me at the festival site, Waterpop. Waterpop is a 37-year institution in Holland. It’s a free festival, always has been. Now with three stages, it’s a nice size open air festival. They can fit 15,000 people in the site, I would guess there were something like…7000? or so when we played that afternoon. While I can’t say it was our tightest show ever..it had good spirit. I had a lot of friends in the audience, which actually makes me more nervous than an audience of strangers. Playing during the daylight hours is also a little awkward. But, there was a hilarious guy, with a little bit of a hippie/clown get up, with a machine that blew bubbles in front of us…lovely. My stage banter met with zero reaction, haha. And, when I went to play “Flavor of the Month” my guitar was tuned incorrectly…it’s hard to read the tuner in the sunlight, and the difference on the tuner of “D” and “Dsharp” as written is the difference between “D” and “D.” — and I couldn’t see that little dot.
but the last songs really rocked, “Licenses to Hide” and “Glitter Prize” and “Solar Sister”, the first two with Eva Auad singing with us.
Back at the merch table we had so many friends to see and we sold lots of CDs, so we could see people really loved the show. And it was only 5pm! So we had a lot of time to hang out, drink rosé and enjoy the atmosphere…lots of rosé. I have a dim memory Jon & I doing an acoustic session in the dressing room trailer for Muziek.nl, and then a big dinner in the catering, somehow they ended up feeding all our friends.
Then, we stumbled back to our hotel, which was in a very quiet little village. It was only like 8.30. And Marisa, and Jeff, her drummer came over to hang, drink MORE rosé, and Marisa gave me a haircut! I was falling asleep by the end, it was a long process…in fact, I’m pretty sure I was in bed asleep by 11.30.
HAARLEM (part 1) 8/10
Ahhh good night’s sleep at last. So nice. I leisurely strolled down for breakfast, and then we shared a big van taxi with the band Heymoonshaker, really cool guys, who told us all about their lives, moving from UK to New Zealand to Sweden to France…about the power of affirmations and how to be careful what you wish for…
we got dropped off at our train station and got on the train to Haarlem. At one point Joe noticed the sign that indicated the status of the toilet was no longer illuminated…so, toilet available. He walked up to the door, and pulled the big red handle that seemed to open it. Except the bathroom this sign was indicating the status of was on the upper level of the train car, and this big red handle was the emergency stop of the train. We slowly came to a halt. Train staff came to investigate. It really was just…kind of typical crazy Joe, not by bad intention–he owned up to it and they actually forgave his w/o penalty!
On we went. Got to Haarlem, and Joe and Darius ended up having an insane walk in the rain to the hotel, and Jon & I did a very nice performance at Sounds Haarlem record shop. The current releases that our distributor asked us to support were my Best of, and a Holland only re-release of “Dear 23” that came out in the last couple years. Jon & I did 4 songs from “Dear 23”, and 2 from “Blood Candy”, then *I* did two solo songs…we sold out of all the vinyls at the store…so, that was worth doing. Then we headed to the Patronaat and set up for soundcheck. Looks like it’ll be a great show tonite!