Friday, November 26, 2010

Three Hours and Plenty of Wishes with TVP

Soundcheck for The Roman Games at Palace

It is the day after thanxgiving, and I have many thanks to give indeed. Had an intense and most gratifying trip in Europe, saw the shores of Portugal, an admirable collection of animated short movies at the Cinanima Festival in Espinhp and, oh, Miramare!

Frank on monster bass

Back in Switzerland after two nights of rehearsal, The Roman Games version 5.1. with
Charles Wallace on guitar, Frank Heer on bass and Jan Haux on drums were ready to take stage before the Television Personalities at Palace in St. Gallen. After soundcheck, we had dinner at Baratela and shortly met Dan Treacy and his band, Texas Bob, Mike and Arnau, they were looking forward to the show and Daniel explained to his mates that St. Gallen is the rock city of Switzerland. There you go.

Charles Wallace, authentic rocker

We played a reasonably tight 40 minute set and enjoyed ourselves, although we all felt we were better the night before at rehearsal... it was just amazing to walk in to Vinnie's little cellar in Zurich's red light district, plug in, and rock away with these great musicians, who had the ten songs down in no time, plus brought them to life like never before.

Straight from Berlin, Jan Haux
Thanks, guys, foremost to Michi Gallusser for the sound, also to Dani Stieger for photography and video. To Marcel and Damian from Palace for making it happen and Hampi Schlumpf for the Times!

Pics by Dani Stieger

They got rewarded by Television Personalities with a performance of well over three hours which is termed by the local media already as "legendary". The Palace Newsletter writes: "What made the concert stand out was that it worked far from any product logic. Maybe that's exactly why it turned out a piece of art."

Daniel Treacy playing Wü's '62 Hoefner guitar

Through the often bombastic sound, there shimmered a few gems, long echo trips to hell were followed by shining little highlights, nobody ever knew where Dan would turn to next, all were lost in sound or the crowd of familiar faces, in the hands of Mr. Treacy. They managed to blow out Franks solid little bass amp, but it was almost worth it. Or as they say over there: Certain losses have to be accepted. We had a nice talk after the mammoth show with Texas Bob, who is always everywhere and always amicable. Mike and Arnau are most modest and friendly and very level-headed. The band arrived Friday afternoon and had to catch a train back to the airport at 7am... We said goodbye at 5.30...

The view from behind the drums

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Supporting Television Personalities!

...And don't the kids just love it! I remember their first LP, the black and white cover with the cut-outs and the two-minute pop gems, one more original than the rest, the fine cast of characters... Geoffrey Ingram, Dorian Grey, Pauline Lewis, Syd Barrett... IT made me want to play guitar, too, and write songs just like Dan Treacy... We called our band after a song by TVP, The Perfumed Garden. We covered Silly Girl and If I Could Write Poetry. We bought the black floppy hat. We wore Paisely Shirts. Then the 90s came and then the 00s... and now TVP are back and The Roman Games are opening for the tomrrow, Friday, November 19th at Palace in St. Gallen, Switzerland... a young boy's dream come true 25 years later. Honored to play with a cast of great friends and musicians: 'Former' Frank Heer on bass, Charles 'HeadQuarters' Wallace on guitar and bvox, Jan 'Room' Haux on drums and percussion. Looking very much forward to playing and meeting a lot of friends from back in the days!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Doing the Jam at the Monster Mash

It was Monster Mash number 5 this year on Sunday night and we got our act together and played The Jam, with Heather "Rick" Wagner on drums, Jesko "Bruce" Stahl on bass and me doin Paulie, Start!, That's Entertainment and Down in the Tube, of course.

Minor Threat, who played before us, were a though act to follow and definite winner of the battle of bands. The Only Ones featured one of the best guitar players i've seen in a long time, Ana B. The Clash were supercute young boys who did an honorable job. Gary Glitter's vocals were lost in sound.

A highlight were the white Bad Brains, who made no attempt at hiding their white skin and did without long afro wigs, instead chose to play in boring white men business suits...but then proceeded to rock the house as if they were the real thing. Kudos to Alana 'Suzie Q" Amram, who not only played in three of the bands but also held the whole evening together despite repeated ugly cat fights and pizza throwing contests.

Just what you expect from a Halloween party. Search monster "Monster Mash" on this blog to hear from earlier years of this best NYC Halloween party. We can't wait for the next one and are aiming to be the Stranglers. All together now: No More Heroes Anymore!

Pics by Thilo Hoffmann

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

New Lucinda Black Bear Album Out: Knives

Uh...should have told you about this some time ago: There is a new Lucinda Black Bear album out, the long-anticipated follow-up to 2006's "Capo My Heart", and it was worth every day of waiting: 11 Songs, intricate melodies, catchy lines and a voice that embraces, seduces and tempts you, while keeping you safe and sound. Get your mind off of politics and the drab of everyday living and take an hour long walk in the sound universe of Christian Gibbs - still in pain, but definitely seeing the light. They are rocking the 92YTribeca downtown, at 200 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013, Telephone: 212.601.1000, this Friday. Here's what Christian says about the new album and the upcoming show: "It sounds epic. Babies were born. People got engaged. There were mild flirtations with musical theater. All life's changes for a spell delayed but enhanced the completion of this record. Now it is here to be celebrated and we invite you to take part in this evening of catharsis and reverie. Our drummer Kristin Mueller unfortunately is on tour in Europe and we will miss her. Our friend and co-conspirator Russell Simins from Jon Spencer Blues Explosion will guest on drums."
Tickets are few so buy them now below. Go to itunes and buy the record on Nov. 2nd or buy it at the show. Listen to the exclusive preview song "Percival" on the podcast in the right sidebar on this blog!