Tuesday 29 December 2009

Review of the year - 2009

2009 for me was dominated by the release of the 'Bird Head Son' album by Anthony Joseph and The Spasm Band. Endless touring all over Europe seeing lots of cities and festivals, especially France, playing almost all major towns and cities plus some obscure rural locations. Feeling nervous before playing live on French TV - 'Ce Soir Ou Jamais'. 3 days in La Reunion - swimming in the Indian Ocean. Dot to Dot Festival and Insomniacs Ball with Chik Budo. Late nights, motorways and fiddling with synths. Terrordactyl's first and only gig at Cafe Oto. Exciting new projects beginning to see the light of day - Wart Biter and Holub/McLaren/Webster. Seeing Sun Ra Arkestra, Seun Kuti, Egypt 80, and Archie Shepp live at in one amazing night at Jazz a Vienne. Sunny Murray at Vortex. Parliament/Funkadelic in Paris. New discoveries all the time...

Looking forward to a creative 2010. Less time spent on EasyJet, and more in the studio!

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Wart Biter @ The George

Live recording of Wart Biter at The George courtesy of Illi Adato.

Wart Biter - Live Encore

This is the last track of the set.

Recorded 6th December 2009
Colin Webster: Tenor Sax
Toby McLaren: Synth
Tom Fugelsang: Drums
Illi Adato: Electronics

Bird Head Son Tour 2009 Complete!

The Spasm Band tour of 2009 has just finished. Our last trip - predictably - was probably the most disasterous of the year. We played in Marne Le Vallee near Paris, in a great arts complex that was a converted farm. Plenty of snow on the ground, but still people made the effort to come and see us and it was a good gig. When we got back to Paris to get the train home we found out that the Eurostar wasn't running because of the weather, and we'd have to spend an extra night in Paris. Later that night we found out that not only was the Eurostar not running, but all planes were grounded, and Calais was closed to ferries.
It still wasn't clear the next day if or when the Eurostar would re-open. We couldn't get any news and no one seemed to know what was going on. Flights back to London were getting completely booked-up, and the prices were getting crazy. One report suggested that 24,000 people we're stuck, unable to cross the Channel.
We then decided the only option was to try and get a coach. Luckily there were spaces on one of the last ones that night. We caught it at 11pm, drove to Calais through the snow, caught a 4.30am ferry, and were back in London just in time for rush-hour the next morning.

Our autumn/winter tour also included a great two night stint in Montpellier, with fantastic gigs at Victoire 2, and Le Jam. In retrospect that would probably have been a great place to end what's been a brilliant, exhaustive, and inspiring tour!