Gigs

Tim to play solo gig in Los Angeles November 1

Tim has announced he will be playing six new songs supporting Julia Fordham at Molly Malones in Los Angeles, next Thursday, November 1.

Tickets are available from this link

Down to the Sea…

Tim & the band performing an acoustic version of Down to the Sea at the Church in Patra, May 2011:

The Nature of Prawns and Reality

So this is Dan keyboard player in the Tim Booth bearded band. I’m writing as the representative of a generation, the embodiment of youth of today. Amongst the Tim Booth entourage I’m the ‘young pup’.

Ironically I’m practically the only member without an i-phone or a mac on tour, it’s actually the older band mates who’ve embraced the modern technological advances, while i’m actually a typical retrospective 2011 mind, living through rose tinted specs at the past by collecting vintage analogue synths, recording music onto tape and listening to vinyls.

Anyway what does this have to do with prawns?

In Kendal, Lee, Neil and myself found ourselves at a food market amongst cheeses, hams, curries and a hog roast. While Neil made a beeline for the Hog, Lee and I went for these HUMONGOUS King Prawns with potatoes, a seemingly exotic and healthy option. The sign on the stand read ‘King Prawnies’ and I remember thinking…’hmmm prawnies?’ These prawns were the biggest i’d ever seen. Seriously big. We sat down to eat and we looked at each other quizzically as it gradually dawned upon us…’are these real prawns?…’ From a distance they looked like prawns but they just didn’t have the bite of a prawn, and looking closer they were molded, they had mold marks on them, and to top it all off they had hilarious pink pigment PAINTED ON!! You could see brush marks! So naturally insensed by this we went to get our money back. It went like this:

Lee: ‘Are these real prawns’
Shop keeper (without flinching) ‘No, they’re Prawnies’
Lee: (without hesitation) ‘Can I have my money back please?’
Shop keep quickly and quietly gave us both a refund.

We went to get a hog roast…guffawing at the idea that it might actually be a ‘Hoggy’, a huge pig mold filled with reclaimed generic meat.

It seemed that we were living in a hyper unreal world. We sat and had coffee at a plastic table with a rustic wooden table design painted onto it.

So in a world where Prawns are not prawns, tables are not tables, food is not food, how can we forge a meaningful reality? How do we not get lost in mundane fakery and illusion?

One place I know I feel real is at my instruments, and especially on stage with Tim and this band. This is a hyper real environment where adrenalin pumps, senses sharpen and moments can fly by in an instant but also stretch to super slow motion. An audience beams out their positive energies, which are in turn reciprocated by the band and spewed back out intensified in a self perpetuating cycle.

To be able to play music to others makes it almost ok to be subjected to fake prawns. Almost!

Youth of Today…
Over and Out.

Rehearsals & Tour

6am 9.4.2011
Packed and ready to leave for the UK. Rehearsals, promotion and tour of “Love Life.”

In March I flew in for 8 days of rehearsals. Walked in to the Brighton rehearsal studios to find a brilliant 4 piece already rehearsed under Lee’s vigilance. They had rehearsed over the previous months in Lee’s tardis of a studio.

Neil on bass. You may have seen him in My Federation, Lee’s old band. Bass that reverberates through you and a presence to match. A gem.

Rob on drums. Rob’s drummed with me before. Reminds me of a more subtle Gavan – James’s first drummer- he can do the Keith Moon thing but only when needed. I first saw him 10 years ago playing for the Lovegods- immediately went up to him after the gig to congratulate him. Knows how to support a song.

Dan on keyboards. Probably 25. I named him “Youth of Today” as in “So Dan, what would the Youth of Today have to say about this?” Brilliant. A real find. Plays sax beautifully too.

And then there is Lee. Well there has to be one amateur in the group. We’ve done away with the “Muddy Baker” bit and replaced it with “Hairy Watford” (his hometown ) or “ Hairy Watford crack” when there’s no children present. Lee’s the reason this CD got made. He’s the most naturally creative person I know. Check out his artwork on “www.leebakerart.com”. Watch the “Thames to Tama” video of the art installation he just completed with 5,000 school kids. A crazy man overbrimming with energy and enthusiasm.

They all can sing better than me. The rehearsals were as fun as the “All About Time” video reveals.

Oh yeah, and of course, Mr Saul Davies will be joining us for this tour! The video shows his first day rehearsing with this crazy bunch. I’m a perfectionist, if you hadn’t noticed, and Saul makes this just perfect.

So you see I’m flying to the UK with a big smile on my face as I already know what this band are capable of. Now if I can only remember all the words……

Hope you are enjoying Love Life. Sorry about the mess up with the Special Edition.

Look forward to seeing you face to face.
Tim

Brixton, horse tranquilisers & swallow dives

The manager of the Brixton Academy, 15 years standing, said this was the best that he had seen us play and other kind words that would make a nun blush. All Larry’s previous days pain management efforts have come to nought. As he desperately climbs the food chain of tranquilisers from small child dose to horse and now we are in search of elephant stunguns… looking for relief from the fire that won’t go out.

Vip soundcheck: As a band we insisted upon these vip soundchecks because they were so successful in America. We enjoy the intimacy, humour and it focuses us. Best of all it relaxes us for the gig to come because we’ve already played a mini gig to some faces we will see again later. I’ll admit the initial idea was presented as a way to tour America without losing money this time, but its turned into something that we enjoy; and so far everyone who has been to one seems to think its wonderful too. So to ye naysayers check it out before you slag it off. In these high tech days where people no longer buy music, bands have to find more creative ways to survive. We will choose the ones that mix creativity with pleasure.

Once again we chose an insanely suicidal set list. This recent development was inspired by the American tour where we alternated 54 songs in increasingly bizarre orders and found much to our surprise that the audience loved it and we received the best reviews we have probably ever had. At the Hammersmith gig I thought we had lost the audience three quarters of the way through, only to realise it was part of my paranoid delusion. In Brixton Saul turned to me and said, “I don’t think we should play Don’t Wait That Long we’re losing them. ” Luckily James don’t have an efficient communication system worthy of its name and the set continued and was, dare I say it, fantastic. But this gives you an indication of how nervous we are playing to a British audience who we know many of whom have come to see the wham-bam-thankyou-mam Burger King James greatest hits and then get confronted with a 15 course meal at the Fat Duck (some hits of course included.)

By the way, in answer to the OneOftheThree.co.uk review suggesting we should rest Out To Get You, we’ve tried. But it’s still so alive as a song, and Saul’s solos are still so fresh and unexpected, that it’s impossible to do so.

I loved the gig so much that when I was standing on the crash barrier I allowed myself to swallow dive into the mosh. The last time I did that was in ’95 in the same venue. Thirty people went down under the crush. I realised that if someone had got injured, I would have felt responsible, so I haven’t done it since. I think our audiences are a little more conscious now. If you see me heading your way be gentle with me I bruise easily. I’ve always loved that image of Iggy Pop standing up walking out into the audience raised on peoples hands; well a boy can dream.

Captain’s Blog – Hospitals & Hammersmith

Well it wouldn’t feel right without last minute dramas.

Little goes smoothly in our world; hence “getting away with it all messed up”. After the marathon bus tour of the USA a 7 date UK tour looked like a spa. Then Larry’s rushed to hospital. His bad back of Porto becomes the prolapsed disc of Hammersmith. In rehearsal the day before, our focus is on what kind of set we can do without him; how desperate we became was reflected in me playing “Lookaway” on acoustic guitar.

As the night continues his prognosis and gung-ho hi-tech treatments become worse – an epidural, then an epidural with a general anaesthetic. He’s in agony unless prone. I ring the tour manager, the long suffering Thomas, to research getting a tip up bed we can put him in onstage. Larry’s pride won’t have so it’s suggested we all have our own beds; Solidarity, a highly original theme probably never realized before, for good reason. In the event a toxic overload of painkillers, alcohol and adrenalin – traditional rock and roll medicine get him through. I have never seen a dressing room clear so fast on the administration of a pain killing suppository. We have to stop him moving too much on stage in the next gigs. A chant of “Larry no, no, no, no, no Larry. No, no, no, no, no Larry” (to Johnny B Goode) is requested if he so much as puffs his chest into the pose of an axe hero.

Bring on Brixton.