with shaky hands

21st August, 2012


    So Last week I turned 36 and as a treat to myself I went to the Edinburgh book festival to see a few of my favorite writers talk. The great Swedish author Sven Lindqvist rarely makes appearances in the UK so I was keen to hear him speak. 'The Myth of Wu Tao-tzu' is the book of his that I love and he was there to talk about it. He posses an ability to write about anything and make it interesting – for example, one of his books is about bodybuilding - something that I would normally have no interest in at all, and yet what he presents is an engrossing study  between mind and body, and the need for man to prove himself against nature and fight for his survival. A cult of power & strength.

     Sven is an old man now and read from his notes with shaky hands, although his voice was still clear and punctuated with long & delicate pauses. At one point he was talking about witnessing the corpse of Che Guevara, not long after his execution in Bolivia and a woman in the front row fainted – perhaps of the heat as it was warm in there - Sven looked down at the lady lying on the floor, and then back at his notes, calmly stating -  ‘we have a body’.

    I’ve mentioned in this blog before I’m sure that I am a big reggae fan. The Congos 1977 album ‘heart of the congos’ is one of my favorites (and arguably one of the greatest reggae albums) – so it was cool to hear them in collaboration with the expimental American group Sun Araw. Sometimes that kind of thing can go either way, but it makes for a strange and compelling mix – and a relaxing, weird & woozy record - a great thing to play while you’re barbecuing mackerel, drinking beer & toasting summer as it disappears into the Autumn.

    In Album & tour news – Heading off for a week of gigs starting in the village hall in Iona tomorrow. Some festivals – Solfest, Greenbelt and Towersey, and also a gig at the Edinburgh fringe in St Brides. Plenty more Uk shows in Sept/Oct/Nov all over the country, so check the gigs section and come along to one. Started booking a tour for March 2013 too, to co-incide with the new LP. I actually think it’ll be out in before then – in Jan or Feb – it’s almost all mixed so just all the finishing touches to do, artwork etc. and to sort out all the necessary distribution. Like the last one it’ll be out on my own little label, and this time people will be able to buy it direct from me via this website for a time, but more info on that one in due course.