Wow. So it feels like Im in deepest WILDEST New Zealand…its been 4 months, 3 vans, 29 Gigs, and 7000 miles since I arrived into this country. What a journey! Ive grown a big beard, since most men it seems out here have beards and I was feeling a bit clean cut without one playing gigs… y’know – unbearded white english guy playing music to lots of bearded men?! Nope. beard it was.
So much to tell. where to begin. I think Ill just be random otherwise we’ll be here all day.
So. Ive done a LOT of GIGs. and without doubt the hugest driving distances Ive ever done in my whole life. Days upon days upon days of driving to get to just one Gig! crazy. I’ve lived in my small camper van the entire time. Ive been parking up at night in wild places, normally places next to water where I can wash. sometimes the sea. sometimes a lake. sometimes when Im too tired to find anywhere nice- just the side of the road. big trucks trundling by thru the night.
A couple of weeks ago, late at night after a great gig, a bit drunk, I managed to drive my camper van into a large ditch right next to a cliff. the entire van was stuck half in ditch – other half sticking right up in the air at the most incredibly dangerous angle… pretty scary. I went looking for someone to help. this is like in the middle of bloody nowhere…out in the hills. eventually a bearded man passed me on the road in an old tractor…i flagged him down and he kindly pulled my van out of the cliff/ditch. When i offered him some money as a thank you he kindly refused. When I asked him what he did for a living he told me he was a Gold miner! At that point i realised I was in deep New Zealand.
One subject I wanted to cover is the DIFFERENCES between living in New Zealand and the UK. There are many differences. notably this country is a WHOLE lot less UPTIGHT!!! People here seem more HUMAN. it made made me quite upset when I first got here because I felt it immediately… the realness of people, the unconditional friendliness of people, the way people are just SOOO much less hurried and stressed. People are much more PRESENT here. And it makes me feel sad about just how UNPRESENT most of us can be back in the UK.
When people talk to you they are just kind of fully there.
So, the tour is slowly coming to the end…I’ve played something nearing 35 gigs all around the entire country…all sorts of gigs, most in truly Quirky places, a few in horrible drunken bars to people who didn’t particularly want to hear it, but most others in amazing places full or eccentric & thoroughly alive Kiwis… the best gig i hear you ask me…? well our best gig no doubt was playing as the headline band at Evolve festival in Nelson, South Island, to a thousand dancing groovers on the full moon. that was the best gig. AmAZING.
One other reflection I am having out here is noticing the curious contrast between the DEEP rich stunning real VAST Nature out here and the gradual incoming of our greedy capitalist culture to this pure and real country…
in the Uk we are just used to this…the ugly signs of capitalisation reaching all over England, but here here most of New zealand is just untouched nature…VAST vast plains, mountains and valleys…just like in the Tolkien movies. and then one drives to a town…and slowly creeping in are the ugliness of MacDonalds, Burger King, KFC etc…It is truly a STARK contrast.
Beautiful deep nature and the unnatural energy and obvious greed of these companys trying to get a grip in these lands. sad. kind of surreal. Ive noticed these companies target poor areas …people who can’t afford to eat good food. People who don’t have any choice. These companies are BLOODSUCKERS! These companies have gotta go. their intention is so see-through. so deeply unempathic. so pathetic. I truly will never set foot in any chain like that again.
So. on a positive note. for yes we like to keep things positive round here… we aren’t quite done in New Zealand yet. we have 5 gigs left. beautiful ones. in Nelson, Takaka, Christchurch and Prana festival. But we also have 2 Recording sessions booked out here!!!! I felt like i wanted to capture some of the GROUNDING energy of this truly deep and vast land. playing music out here is a very different experience from playing in the UK. the reggae feels like it goes DEEPER… Im picking up on powerful tribal MAORI energies in the land and they are coming out in my music a little. some places more than others. So yeah we’re going to record 5 NEW SONGS out here…in 10 days time. Im starting to feel a New Album wanting to be Born. this feels like a good way to start recording it…
exciting!! A new album… the one thing on planet earth that really makes me feel like I belong here.
Ill let you know how the recording goes, if you’re interested, and Ill maybe start to make the new songs available when they are ready…
I hope this blog post finds you well, inspired and happy.
Signing off from a truly inspired adventure and amazing gigs out here in beautiful New Zealand. Ill be sad to leave, but also excited about returning to my homeland of England… a place with faults yes but also a land of powerful magic and awesomeness. We just need to uncover the magic a little more… you with me?