Freitag, 22. Mai 2015

Harbour Towns

Once more this was it. My annual crusade across Finland, this time the comparably stripped down version. Six shows up here, every single one again memorable in it's own way. It's been wonderful again to meet old friends and fans, mostly hard to tell whether there is still a difference or not. It sure had a healing effect. No matter how exhausting the travelling can be at times, in my case it sort of got me back to look at certain things in a more positive way. Before leaving what I'm tempted to call one of the sleepiest, if not most boring, cities in the south of Germany - statistically one of the, if not the, safest town in Germany, that tells something, eh? - I honestly couldn't really imagine this trip might bear big surprises in whatever way. Most importantly this time I had to get away to do something I'd consider sensible and worthwhile doing. I mean playing shows, get people emotionally aroused. Move them. Have this short time every evening they and me can just focus on living. Even if it's just a limited time, the time a gig lasts. Make strangers realize there is something out there that's worth discovering. Whatever it is. Go there. Find it. It's all yours. I like that. I need that.

The magic thing about touring are the surprises, which do usually come very unexpected. That's why they are surprises I assume. They are probably one of the reasons why some people get almost addicted to touring. Things happen there that would happen no where else. You really do miss this once you're staying in one place for a longer period of time. It doesn't really help if the place is being considered the safest town in Germany, or anywhere else.
But let's not forget there is a downside to this ever changing, exciting, life of travelling and performing as well. After doing a lot of touring, particularly solo,  for a longer time, let's say some years, you might find yourself in a slinking process of becoming some strangely introvert individual. Wearing a shell of fucked-up-ness to prevent yourself from taking things too serious. Particularly things that go wrong. And I tell you there is always things that go wrong. Sometimes just slightly wrong, sometimes completely wrong. So in a way this self-defence shell is a healthy thing but then again it will also make it difficult for the nice things, the surprises, the positive, emotional and exciting ones to come through. So rather not wear that suit too tight. You might end up being just that tiny little notch too fucked-up to see them happen.

I've been lucky this time. My third show up in this country, the 13th on this tour, happened to be in Turku. The monthly Flavour Of The Month evening at Pikku-Torre. Always a nice one. Always two live acts. That's where I saw Nightbird play who opened up for me that night. Swedish-Finnish female singer-songwriter. Dark, intense, folk-blues songs, occasionally accompanied by her hauntingly beautiful slide guitar playing. One of those slow nights with a small audience, every one of which just sitting there mesmerised, like in a gloomy, oddly misplaced Sunday service.  

Played a cosy, little arts gallery with Helsinki based Songwriter Juhana Iivonen in Helsinki the next day. Good stuff, lovely place. That very singer whom I've seen just the night before turned up with some friends. We had a fun night out in Kallio, I had some terribly expensive beers (well, I'm afraid these are just regular prices up here), that was it. That's what I thought. Sunday morning I left Helsinki for spending two off-days at my family's cottage in the woods of southern Finland. While rehearsing for the following, last Finnish gig in Helsinki there was this new song. It was just there. Don't know who put it there. The one I could hear Nightbird play slide guitar on and do the second verse. The words were there too. Sometimes things like that happen to materialize out of nowhere. Back to Helsinki again on Tuesday for the last show there, together with probably the craziest folkpunk solo act over here, Ozzmond, with whom I'll share the upcoming eight gigs across the Baltics. Thanks to Asko and P-K of 22-Pistepirkko I had the privilege to stay in one of the most inspiring places I've been to in Finland, the band's Altai Studio. Owe you guys for this. It's a haunted place in a very friendly way. Some weird Utajärvi voodoo I guess. Had the opportunity to rehearse and arrange two songs with Nightbird there which I hope can be recorded very soon. For the time being all of you got to wait for her upcoming debut album. Will be out this fall. September if I understood right.

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