Sometimes you have to admit that things don't go quite as planned. I've lost count of the number of gigs that have been cancelled recently due one thing or another. The ash cloud that sat over Europe for a week scuppered a Spasm Band trip to Italy, and a further 2 shows in France had the plug pulled by the promoter. Chik Budo were also let down a few times by promoters or venues double-booking, and also we had to pull out one show as Aki broke his wrist!
So instead the last month or so has mainly been spent in the studio. The Spasm is in the process of writing our next album, and incorporating some new material in the live set. I've also been working on new Chik Budo material - there's some new tracks up on the myspace.
I'm also currently finalising the mixes of the trio recordings I did in march with Mark Holub and Toby McLaren. I've pulled a number of short trio and duo pieces from session that are being mixed by Alex Bonney, and should be unleashed on the world soon.
The unexpected lack of gigs has also meant I've had a chance to see some gigs here in London. Peter Brotzmann was at The Vortex with his band Hairy Bones - Massimo Pupillo (from Zu) on bass, Toshinori Kondo on trumet, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums. Their set was one of the most intense and powerful I've ever seen from what is essentially an acoustic band. Peter Brotzmann was also inspiring to see (and hear) in the flesh. His demeanour, physicality, and presence are so strongly tied to the sounds he produces. I also liked seeing him shred about 4 reeds in 45 minutes, and each time he put on a new reed he'd file it down with a 4-inch flick-knife before he played it!
I also managed to catch a gig by Ken Vandermark at Cafe Oto. His rhythm section for the night was Paal Nilssen-Love and John Edwards - which has to be one of the strongest and inventive you'll find anywhere in Europe right now. Plenty to be inspired by.