Postcards from the Present
A vignette of white light will forever exist in memory when I travel back to those two days spent in Brighton. That perfect pair, that medicinal couple.
I travelled from Dublin by plane, from Luton by train to a place which I’d never been before in this form. All in aid of The Great Escape Festival, such an appropriate title - serendipitous. Stay tuned.
I was asked to emit two songs by the good people at 7 Layers, a live session. The location unknown to me when I walked through the town like a neophyte.
Lane lane lane See you on the lane lane lane ! Laneways that would entice and absorb the inquisitive innocent, and guilty too of course. Much to see, much to see, much to see by the seaside!
The rattling of bells....A flock of prancing, Morris dancing madmen! Take cover kid, onwards!
I flagged a cab and made plans to reach Hassocks. There stood a Saxon chapel, a battered monument from 1066. This was were the lad was due to sing.
Have we spoken about darkness before ? The darkness within ? We are all purveyors of darkness and light, this is a fact for it is part of the human condition. It is all one, I mean it is all drawn from the same well. For me like most the well can sometimes overflow and be it for better or for worse if it is not monitored correctly one can begin to drown.
The watchman fell asleep, bless him. We are all on a path but if you walk in the bicycle lane you are liable to get buckled. I find that periods of pain, self perpetuated or otherwise always act as gifts. All you have to do is investigate them further.
I’m not a religious man, never have been. I am a lover of love, nature, art, consciousness, self education, the beauty in life, in the self, in others. In saying that the energy in this chapel among those people, the acoustics in the place. I felt a reconnection with my songs and as a result my soul. Brighton and all her colours and creeds were warming me up and thawing the ice.
For the gig itself I found myself in a Unitarian Church , again another holy experience for a happy non believer. I stayed in the home of a friend after an evening spent soaking up the vibrations of this freed, character riddled place. Deep conversation was had, deep enough in which to swim.
The following morning as I ran along the pier I was transported back to Blackpool as a child with family. An ill timed grab by my grandfather at the carousel sent him sprawling, we laughed hard, I laughed hard.
I collaborated with Glen Chambers, a photographer, artist and man whose words and presence made me smile and made me think.
I am now sat in a quiet part of hyperactive London beside a bust of Rabindranath Tagore.
There is a newness in me today It being the twenty first day of May It being the eighteen year of the century It being my twenty fifth day on this Earth.
Photo Credit - Rob Benson
The Austrian Adventure
Today is a Friday, a Friday morning before eight. I am sat in the breakfast area by the front bar of the Hotel Steirer-Stub'n. I sit facing a gang of Austrian men, puffing plumes of smoke over glasses of golden beer. I sip at syrupy coffee awaiting the arrival of friend and guide Claus Schützenhöfer, a trip to Vienna has been planned for to seek out the unholy ghosts of Klimt and Schiele. Terra cotta slates all around, open air and flowing water, a river running free and clean and proud. They are a happy people, stoic and confident and why shouldn’t they be. I love the space here, the room to think and breathe and observe without any traces of cosmopolitanism. Identity and trinkets galore.
Last night now manifests in gratifying aches and pains, the beautiful kind, a gratifying graft in Graz ! Bullets of sweat fell under a cavernous ceiling. Blinded by lights I had to rely on feel and sound to imagine the faces sat in front of me. Gra Mór Graz, you hallowed home from home. Danke für die enladung...
The sun is burning in the West...field upon field of unfamiliar shades and shards of green, watercolor skies, pathetic fallacy.
Horn is a medieval place and the ruins of its ancient walls can be seen still, a sacred necklace of heavy slabs.
I find a post office and send out my letters. Vienna still fresh on my skin having only left her. I absorbed with every follicle the pure genius of three Austrian Artists in Kokoshcka, Klimt & Schiele. Words of description would be and insult to all that was unearthed in me as I witnessed their work. Profound and penetrating otherworldly relics of expression ! In all honesty I was embarrassed by the sheer body of Schieles work on show. A mass of art all cultivated before the man’s untimely death at just twenty eight years old ! A deep sea diver of self exploration and dissection, unraveling and reconstructing his inner and outer forms again and again giving birth to living things on canvas. The three sages poured wine down my neck which brought about a rush and I was branded by inspiration.
Vienna with her Austrian baroque architecture. Where time is slowed and stretched, rushing a cardinal sin. I think I’m in love, don’t tell the wife.
Graz, Vienna & Horn Three different perspectives, each one gifting me something unique.
I’ll return before the year is done. Claus brother we have much to do and see.