6 December 2012

The best and worst - 2012
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We kicked off 2012 with some real nice gigs, but following my father's death soon after, much of the year was spent tangled-up with family affairs and lawyers, in a saga worthy of a mad Shakespeare play.
Glad that's now all behind me and I can shift my focus back to music, art, bottles of vin and all the pretty things I truly love.
Some crazy, some wonderful and a few ridiculous things were said or overheard along the way.
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Did YOU really say THAT? Let's find out, shall we?

 

 - What you really wanna do is re-launch Drugstore as an american band,  so they stop mixing you up with 90s Brit.
- Wot? are you craze? We're not a rocket, we don't wanna be re-launched, whatever - why can't people just let us be?!

- erm... but your bedroom door wasn't locked, so I thought...
- Right.., I'm gonna count to 3, real slow, and when I'm done, you're gonna disappear, get it? here we go... one..., twoooooo... 

- Oh... I see what you mean... you actually want me to play the parts like they are on the record, huh?
- If you could bring yourself to it, yes please.

- Isabel, your blog is too 'wordy', these days people just wanna see a few nice pics. 
- Wordy?! But that's the whole bloody point of writing a blog... with words, lots and lots of words. If people don't like it, they can just go to the next stoopid blog and see some nice pics of cats playing piano with silly hats on, that's fine by me.

- The last 2 Drugstore gigs were the best I've seen all year...
- ah... that's nice.

- Ok, this is how we gonna do this: we gonna eat the muck, schtum on the trenches, then swallow the whole amaretto, d'accord?
- yep, got it.

-  Have you ever thought about doing a duet with.. (here> insert name of any vaguely famous, regardless of whether or not I actually like their music or voice...)?
- Nope, I haven't and nope, I won't. 

- Someone broke into your PRS account at a cash-point in Stratford. Newsagent kept the cctv. Some guy with long hair.
- Hummm... that does surprise me. I thought long-haired guys were supposed to be the good ones. There is no hope.

- Let me warn you: a lift to the tube station round the corner with El Pedro at the helm is never that straightforward.
- (4 times going round the same block later, Steve, our drummer: 'Christ.. now I know what you mean. Please stop the car, I think it'll be easier if I just walk, I really don't mind getting wet, honestly...'

-  'drugstore' - has anyone ever heard of this band?
-  without doubt, our favourite twit of the year.
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3 December 2012

London Gig - St Pancras Church
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Gig sold out a month ago, so all we got to do now is look forward to an evening of music, blessed drgstr music.
Got tons of stuff to update, some cool things we're gonna be doing next year -
have a feeling it's gonna be a pretty nice one.
Cave already in a pathetic state of disarray, always a good sign.
stay with me, baby.
x
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27 July 2012

London Calling to the faraway towns
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To all the Olympic non-believers and urban-cool party gloomers, the time has come to drop the high-brow snobbery and embrace the freneticus pane et circus olympicus.
I hear your doubting shouts and moans - but I believe it's time to join the lycra-party and have some fun.
Yes, it's corporate branded, but so is everything else in our material world.
Yes, there's been some terrible bad-planning and poor decisions made along the way, but spare a thought for Seb, Boris and Boyle: those guys are trying to pull off one gigantic motherfucker nightmare gig - and that's no mean feat.
Yep, the logo, the typeface, the uniforms, everything about London2012 looks ugly and in poor taste - how on earth did London, the cool graphic design capital of the world, ended up with Lisa Simpson giving Bart a blowie for the 2012 logo is beyond me...
(go, Lisa...)
Still, all of this and so many other controversies and mishaps, I believe, have only added to the drama and excitement, and the sense that something really special was about to happen.
The sarabites at the Guardian and the Independent tried very hard to convince us we didn't give a damn, but the wonderful BBC torch-cam told a very different story: The nation cared, and was moved by the humbling tales of the many inspirational torch-bearers. I wept as I read some of their stories.
So please, whichever way you feel about the Olympics, do try to remember that, not unlike the music industry, although made up of a dirty amalgamation of money-driven corporate rats and media opportunists, at its heart, right in the middle of all this nonsense, there are the athletes, solely driven by their desire to pursue their dreams and ambitions.
The long and hard journey each one of them must have made to reach our town commands our respect and admiration, and puts to shame all of those selfish enough to go 'round moaning about how their stupidly irrelevant daily work commute was going to be disrupted by the games.
No, for me it's not about team-gee-bee, or how Brazil are gonna crush everyone on football, my plan is to root for all of them, from Algeria to Ukraine, all will be met with the same ridiculous amateurish enthusiasm and admiration at the cave.
And as I gaze at my Olympic tickets, right in the corner I spot that wonderful Olympic logo, beautifully and perfectly designed by Baron Pierre de Coubertin.
It still stands for something - an ideal, an aspiration, of fairness, equality and excellence. It still touches a chord within, makes me weak at the knees and brings a tear or two of pure human hope and joy to my heart.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/b1/Olympic_Rings.svg/800px-Olympic_Rings.svg.png
And as Siobhan Sharpe would say:
'Ok guys, so here's the thing, the things is, like, let's totally rock this shit..'
Enjoy the games - see you at the beer tent!
x
ps - (fit people wearing super-tight lycra shorts and running, jumping about.
what's there not to like about it? - bring it, baby, bring it!)

3 May 2012

Women in Rock / Two Dirty tales
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A couple of hard-hitting tales about life as a ladykiller in a rock'n'roll band.
Read it here:
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16 April 2012

A Tale of two Cities / London - Norwich gigs report
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There's something bout London gigs, your hometown, that often makes it weirder than any other shows.
Bands are usually more uptight, whether it is to do with having to play in front of family, girlfriends and friends, having a ridiculously long guest-list or what, I don't know - but I always felt the provincial gigs were looser and more dangerous.
But, our gig at the Lexington on fri apr 6th, was anything but 'safe' - and that's what made it so cool to us.
We were cheeky, we were rowdy, we had a party and got the whole room to join in. It really felt like a private soiree.
Unusual, for a London gig, where the urban snobbery tends to get the better out of the most confident of bands.
So, a fantastic night all around, and a big drugstore sexy hug to everyone who came along.
The room was packed with goodness and nothing makes me happier than receiving an email from the venue the following morning:
'Thanks so much for playing at The Lexington and it was such a great atmosphere You guys were all a pleasure to work with too, and one of the nicest bands. We can work out a free-hire for you nxt time. Pls come back! We love you, miss montiero'
But, as you know by now - life at this Drugstore never without it's unexpected shards of cold rain:
All the money we made from selling our lovingly handmade MERCH mysteriously disappeared.
We are not doing any of this for profit, and whatever we sell at gigs, pays for van, petrol, crew, venue, soundman, support band, Dj etc, and helps keep the band going.
This really broke my heart, for it's not about the few hundred pounds we lost, but the terrible idea that someone, anyone might take advantage of us - that I find it utterly devastating - hence my post-gig twit of Hank Williams 'Cheating Heart' and follow-up '2+2=4', for without honesty and integrity, I don't know what else you've got to hang onto in this life. Might as well lose all sense of logic and humanity, and drown into darkness.
But, thanks to the positive vibes from band and crew we hit the road the following Friday, towards Norfolk, in happy spirits - certain that it would take more than a shitty merch-Ratón to stop us in our tracks.
nice pictorial reportage of the Lexington gig by GarySimpson here:
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And just to break the convention, the Norwich gig was probably one of our most civilized - almost reverential - filled with such an intense atmosphere, you could slice the air with a plastic knife. Really wonderful.
I like that too - when the whole room goes so quiet on the quieter songs, you can almost hear people breathing - that's a sign of respect, and a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T is the one thing I feel we always longed for, but for some reason or other, it somehow eluded us.
So, a genuine gracias to anyone who came to the NAC and provided such a gloriously respectful backdrop for our music.
The post-gig drinks was held at the pool-lodge, where band, crew and honourable guest, Mr Paul Bonham, drank many a bottle and argued very hard about the past, present and uncertain future of this band, until the moon was no longer in the sky, and the obtuse bright morning light hit our weary eyes.
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Let's not forget to credit the venue-promoters: Annie at Wombat, Mal Campbell at Hebden Bridge, Delia at the Lexington, who were not afraid to take Drugstore on, when everyone else around us said: it can't be done. (which usually works well for me; Just tell me I can't do it, and I won't rest until I can prove you wrong - sorry, teen-angst still kicks within).
All gigs were packed, and we could not have done it without the support of our seriously loving fanbase.
Thank you for making this possible.
My final thought: we really deserve to be out there playing, not nearly as much as we used to, of course, that would be ridiculous, unrealistic and unfeasible, but occasionally and wherever we are welcomed.
For love it or hate it, this band, I have never met quite another.
x
ps1- but did we misbehave? tell me more, tell me more! ahh - that's not up to me to tell, is it? - the rest is silence (shkspr) -
(cheeky monteiro / you shall burn in hell, on a stick, barbecued, with no sauce on to ease the pain... x)
ps2- band: Steve, Oliver + Pedro + crew Ben Bambino were great, real great.
ps3- no vid-footage of Norwich avlb yet (well, only El Preso and, understandably, Im a bit tired of it) /so did my own jam.
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video
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29 March 2012

This music biz malarkey / Why do we do it
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About a week or so ago, would-be-trend-making magazine 'The Quietus', twitted the following:
'Was a time when a track-by-track preview of an LP involving Jack White would bust a site. What's changed, readers?'
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There's a pretty easy answer to that:
- Nothing has changed, while everything has changed.
The music industry is driven by a single non-stop motion: churning forward.
Jack White was the man of the moment, about, say, 5 years ago?
We haven't stopped loving him or his music, it's just that now there's this new guy in town, you know the one, Jack Red?, or Black? or whoever. Now, he is the one we all wanna read about.
Nothing profoundly wrong with that, it's just the nature of the entertainment beast, but it does pose the question: why do artists keep releasing music and remain willing participants in an incongruous carousel that, as the years go by, will inevitably throw them further and further to the back of the fading queue?
Why do we keep doing it?
To understand why we do it, we need to unravel the reasons why we don't do it.
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No - I can safely say, fame is definitely not the reason why we do it, as most artists are quick to realise the weak nature of this animal, and disregard it as a mere offshoot of your desire to release and share your works with the public.
I used to be on the vip list at Damien Hirst's Pharmacy restaurant in Notting Hill (yes, go ahead, Isabel, you name-drop it like it means something) - but, my point is, what does this mean?
Does this have any tangible meaning?
None whatsoever, only that some PR person, who probably never even heard my songs, one day came across my name and decided I was cool enough and deserving to be on that list. Well done.
Your music, your universe, made of real sweat and real blood, now reduced to the bottom of the formaldehyde who's who c-list. Pitiful.
I never went, as eating fake fish'n'chips from a medicine cabinet didn't quite appeal to me.
And it proved particularly useless when I was down and out, and could barely scrape enough for a portion of chips at my local Mile End chippie.
The only vaguely good thing about fame I can think of, is that it will make your parents feel proud of you. Yes, you - the rebel nothing-good-can-come-out-of-this-one has finally found something to do with his wasteful life, and we have printed articles and newspaper photos to prove it. There! - I knew he was special.
My mother used to collect magazines cut-outs and it makes me happy to know that all those mostly irrelevant, long-forgotten reviews and write-ups brought her some joy.
But ultimately, fame is feeble, all forgotten, amounts to very little.
Next!
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Money - now we're talking, right? Katchinnng!
Sure, it's good to be able to pay bills like normal people do, and not have to dread that knock on your door, and hide away from the bailiffs. But most artists I know will indeed have chosen to live for their art, and make whatever sacrifices necessary to do so.
It's not martyrdom, it's a life choice.
It's wanting to spend as much time as possible doing that which comes naturally - that's not entertainment, that's fulfilment, and how can you put a price on that?
And for many the road ahead will be tough and unpredictable, a gauche and broken path, with no certainties or clear direction.
It's also pretty obvious that so very few make any real money in this industry - only the fat dinosaurs, people like Lady Kaka or Madonna - but for most, the chances of making a fortune this way are so slim and remote - that I can confidently say that, if it's money you're after, then you'd be better off digging for gold in your neighbour's back-garden.
It baffles me that most of humanity seem to be fixed on this idea that money is where it's at - as the High Establishment discreetly laughs away at our own stupidity: 'Yep, we got the suckers where we need'em: quietly working their asses off into oblivion.'
No - money is certainly not the reason why we do it.
But you do get free drinks, though, which, I suppose, is a nice incentive.
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Now, perhaps you're thinking, maybe you're tempted by that whole ego-trip-mind-bling: dozens of strangers loving you, telling you're the greatest thing in the world, cute guys wanting to sleep with you just 'cause you managed to rhyme alone with heart of stone.
Surely, that's got to be where it's at, non?
Well, from experience, let me tell you - I really don't think artists need their egos boosted at all - not an inch. But why?
Because in order to cross that line, to take your work into the public arena, you need to have complete belief in yourself and be totally confident that what you're doing is worth doing.
Otherwise, you just couldn't do it.
The only way you can overcome the many pitfalls, the heartaches, the setbacks, is by having this innate, near irrational faith of Kierkegaardian proportions in your work.
And I really don't think this is a trait particular to Monteiro or Drugstore, but something secretly shared, but often not acknowledged, by most artists.
It's not arrogance, but sheer belief.
We don't do it to be loved by others, we do it, because we love what we do and believe in it wholeheartedly.
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So, if it's not fame and fortune or ego-stroke that get us going, what in the name of Don Quixote is it, then?
I have long suspected that all artists suffer from this common creative disease, this little bug that bites inside, and from which we can only recover by fulfilling the ideas that keep cropping in our heads.
For once you've seen it as an abstract tugging at your thoughts, you simply have to succumb to it and bring it to life.
You just have to do it.
I once wrote, right at the beginning of this 'anatomy' process, just as I was starting to write the 1st songs for the new album, jokingly, that an army of naked Venusians armed with rayguns could not try to stop me - cocky, huh?
Guess I was trying to get across this feeling, this drive, this need to do it and not be in peace until it's done, no matter how many or tall the windmills ahead.
In a funny way, artists have much in common with house-builders and painters-and-decorators, we both have the drive to get things done, and once the dust settles, and the work is finished, there's that precious moment, when you finally stop, sit and stare, quietly thinking:
'Yep, I've done that, and it's pretty much how I pictured in my head.'
It's a real nice feeling, and that I believe, is one of the genuine reasons why we do it.
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I cringe every time I hear a musician state that: 'Well, if other people like our stuff... that's a bonus'.
What?! Are you seriously telling me you went through all this trouble, heartache, effort and pain, and you don't even care what others are going to make of it?! Why bother releasing it, then?
It simply doesn't make any sense - for keeping it locked inside the cave would certainly be an awful lot easier and way less stressful by the hundred-load.
The sole reason why we put our stuff out in the open, is in hope that someone else will get something from it, make some sense of it.
Everyone's got a story to tell, but a story remains dead and quite redundant if there is no one else to hear it.
That is a primitive and natural human instinct, to share, to talk, to get feedback - it's at the very heart of what it means to be human:
w-e -- c-o-m-m-u-n-i-c-a-t-e.
And whether we do it for thousands of people at the peak of our musical lives, or a few hundred, and even a single dozen towards the end, it really is totally irrelevant.
As long as the drive and need to write and share is still kicking inside - I believe it is your god-forsaken-given right to do it.
And when eventually someone else makes a connection with your work, it feels like the project has at last reached its ultimate conclusion, and the long line of fairy-lights you've been painstakingly stringing along, finally gets switched on.
And that is the other real reason why we keep doing what we do, regardless.
For when it fully lights up, it never fails to be a pretty sight - worthy of all of our efforts.
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19 March 2012

Trip the North / Hebden Bridge gig report
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Oh what fun we had.
It's one of the many weird contradictions of this Drugstore life: we go out there, deliver the saddest of songs and have a wonderful time doing so.
This has been both my favourite trip and gig so far.
Best trip 'cause the vibe in the camp is real nice / best gig, cause, although a little rough 'round the edges, it was the 1st time I felt some genuine chemistry/bond with the band onstage and was comfortable enough to start playing songs they've never even heard of.
The band, Peter, Steve and Oli, did us all proud and totally captured the spirit of our perfectly shambolic universe.
We stayed at a lovely B&B a few miles away, although whether we will ever be allowed to stay there again, now... that's a totally different story (read pathetic, shameful R'n'R tale below...)
The venue was sweet and we were really well-looked after by Mal, the promoter.
And the warmth of the crowd and everyone we talked to was really, second to none - friendliness in abundance.
There were some emotional scenes too, both onstage and after the gig - real moving stuff - I'm always touched by the support we get and talking to some of our fans brings it all home to us.
We were all dead nervous, 1st time playing together, so I can understand all the craziness that followed after the gig.
Craziness, did I say craziness?
'Affraid so. There was much lovely-craze stuff that could not be blogged, but not forgotten.
After the gig - we got some chips and headed back to the B&B in very high spirits indeed. Ended up drinkin'n'talking nonsense till 5am, your usual post-gig band-monteiro-crap:
I'm not worth it - life's not worth it - We are great - life is great - life is rubbish - no one loves me - I love this band - I love you, man, I really do - fuck the business - fuck everything - Did you say, fuck? - Did she say fuck? - NO! I didn't! YOU did - Why do men always bloody bring Fuck into EVERYTHING? - Scoundrels! - Booze, we DEMAND to have some more booze! (usually followed by mad scramble to find the last bottle of anything) - Man, the gig was great - You were great! - No, YOU were great - but...We are nothing and the universe is huuuuuuuuge - I want to be alone - no no no - please, dont leave me - I dont wanna be alone... - a toast to Drugstore!' etecetera etecetera etecetera.
Christ, the amount of crap we talked could easily tip the planet off its orbit.
6am - picture the serene Yorkshire moors scene:
Quiet hills, early birds singing, all the people in the land peacefully sleeping - but wait - what the F is that?
A NAKED GUITARIST wondering round/ drinking vodka and talking to pigs?!
No, I must be dreaming/nightmaring, right?
Nope, you were not - Oliver Marvin went on a craze walk BUTT NAKED, but the little star had the misfortune of getting himself locked out - he then had to wake the WHOLE B&B up, trying to get back in. Pathetic. Foking pathetic.
Later in the morning, a couple staying at the B&B, demanded a refund and we ended up having to pay for their stay -
Great. Yep, cheers, Marvin, there goes our post-gig pizza-with-the-band mini-profit.
Thankfully, as it turned out, the landlord was a DRGSTR fan, and as we were leaving, had album to be signed at the ready, and laughed much about it and I quote:
'You guys restored my faith in rock'n'roll - good to see bands misbehaving like this, brings back memories of the good ol' days...'
We were just about to hit the motorway heading South - when got call from the promoter: 'Hey, you left a guitar behind, looks kinda of expensive...'
Maradona mia - leaving £2.5k guitar behind? that's another 1st for this band.
Still, nothing dented our spirit and good-humour - as we drove back to LDN chatting away, still buzzing from the wonderful time we had in Yorkshire and some of us, secretly pondering...:
'Can a boy love a pig?'
Thank you Yorkshire - we got some great memories to treasure.
Now wait.... - did you hear that?
Yes - loud and clear: Bow-bells-a-ringin.
LONDON CALLING!
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11 March 2012

Hit the North
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As we're gearing ourselves up for our 1st gig in northern England in over a decade, excitement at the cave is reaching peak levels.
There's always that heightened sense of freedom and possibility when you hit the road with your band, and leave behind all that heavy burden of worries and petty concerns, that constantly conspires to grind any possibility of life happiness to a halt - We say no to that - and armed with our ol' bass guitar, a homemade pedal-steel and a set of discounted fairy lights - we intend to Hit the North with our shameless desire to play a little music and have some fun.
Have the best memories from gigs up north - the Manchester Union, which we played year after year, often to no more than 100 people, the Leadmill in Sheffield, the Lomax in Liverpool, and so many others - all shared one thing in common: audiences that were 'up for it' - and that's just how we like it.
There's always an element of 'unpredictability' at our gigs, not sure where that comes from, if from a bottle of wine, or childish desire to break our own rules and not follow the setlist all the way - but one thing is certain - we may be a little older now, but time has not dented in the slightest our spirit and passion for music, if anything, it has added depth to our character and strengthen our commitment to play straight from the heart.
So c'mon all you good people of Yorkshire and beyond: the Drugstore doors are wide open - all you got to do is step right in.
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massively important ps: and oh, behind this mini drugstore starlet, a group of very talented, awesome musicians and really good people too, the best we've had since the gran restoration - it is thanks to them, that our music is still here. salut!
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1 March 2012

Aquamarine single / homemade video
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A few weeks ago I came across some archives of criminal mugshots and crime scenes - pretty fascinating stuff, in a twisted sort of way - like when you see a car crash, you don't want to, but you can't help but look.
One face stood out, this man bearing the longing stare of someone whose life had derailed so badly, that the only road ahead was a lonesome bottle of cheap vino.
I fell in love and decided to finally give him the break that had so eluded him in his life, and made him the star of our little video.
I'm no videographer and only have at my disposal my crappy PC and an old copy of windows movie maker, but I think this mini-vid captures something of the sadness of the characters in the song, and their sweetness. (I'm getting a bit tearful, now - don't know why).
The single is out on apr 2, the last outpost from the Anatomy harbour, and probably my last for sometime.
enjoy. we're still here.
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----------------------------------------------------------------- Aquamarine mini-vid extra footage source credits:
* 'lonesome cowboy on the beach' - Sydney Pollack 1969 'They Shoot Horses, dont they?'
* 'dance teaser' - 'Sheree Tiger Dance' - vintage erotic film / public domain
* 'blue water horse legs' - aquapacer horse rehabilitation machine
There is a wealth of clips/footage and effects freely available to everyone /one of the cool things of our digi age, all you need is a little bit of time and effort to source it out.
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postscript - In conversation with Jeff Buckey - the clouds within
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In reference to the post below, 'in conversation...', it was prompted by a recent review of a Drugstore show - brazilian journalist was watching us for the 1st time - wrote a really nice review, but..., here we go, he was surprised by how upbeat our between songs' banter was, given that a lot of the material was so sad.
Well, amigo, I say, guess you caught me on a good day, and as far as I'm concerned, whenever we're onstage, playing music, is always a good day.
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19 February 2012

In conversation with Jeff Buckey - the clouds within
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I have always avoided mentioning Jeff in interviews for a number of reasons:
First, 'cause it's not cool to name-drop at every opportunity - two, 'cause I still find it hard to talk about him - and thirdly, as he's not available to reply, we have to apply utmost care and diligence when citing his name.
Jeff was one of the very few people I made a connection that went way beyond the tour schedules; but if anyone here is hoping this story is going to be filled with gossip of a personal nature, don't bother reading further, for the trust of friendship I had with him was sealed absolute, and that will never be broken.
But I wanted to share a conversation we once had, as it does have some bearing on my own anatomical life as an artist, and therefore, has still some relevance today.
I will be drawing a few parallel lines between us, but I must stress: strictly of a non-musical nature: for Jeff Buckley, in my view, was the brightest of all stars, profoundly talented, and this shabby isabel monteiro - (no capital bold here), just a 5ft meteor lucky enough to hit his path.
But I will draw attention to some idiosyncratic personality traits we shared, this being the topic of the conversation in question.
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Anyone who's met Jeff will surely remember him as I do: a really, really funny guy - I mean, he was one of the funniest people I've ever met - sharp, witty, with an incisive sense of humour, always on the money and spot on.
But one could easily see that beyond the jokes and crisp remarks, there lurked a pool of great sadness and disquiet.
In this respect, I believe, we were very much alike.
We were talking about our personalities and moods, and how annoying it was that most people often made the wrong assumption that our 'sad side' was somehow 'more real' than our 'funny side' - which we both concluded it was a mistake, 'cause from our perspective, all those aspects made up the full picture of who we really were.
Then Jeff came up with this beautiful metaphor, one that stayed in my memory, he said:
'You know, it's like we've got this weather system trapped inside us - in the pit of the stomach, the clouds are always forming and waiting to rise. Even when everything's sunny, the clouds are always there, brewing. And every now and again they rise up and it pours for days, sometimes weeks; then it dies away, the sun comes out and the whole thing starts again. We're stuck with it, the clouds within.'
This struck me as such a pretty and lyrical way to describe the complexity of our souls, and it brought to mind this wonderful image of artists going round the world with clouds in their stomachs. poetic.
But then, the implication of what he said hit me , so I asked him:
'But...that means we can never be happy?!'
'Yeah, that's right, people like us can never be happy.'
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The last time I spoke to J, sounds quite surreal now and hard to believe, but we've been talking about recording/writing a little acoustic album together in NYC - whole thing was gonna be quite simple, country-esque and gospelly - this now sounds so far-fetched, almost in the realm of fiction - but it didn't then.
I had a few tours booked ahead with Drugstore, but was planning to fly out to NYC once the promo/tours etc were done.
When I got back to London, I checked my voicemail, which at the time was one of those retro BT machines, that had a cute mini-cassette tape inside, remember those? To my surprise Jeff had left lots of little messages - each one under a completely different guise/voice - and very funny they were too.
People may not know this, but he was also a master impersonator - he could do voices, any voice, really well.
The messages ranged from Homer Simpson to Nigel Tufnel, via Al Pacino - each one was funny, quirky and very lovely (in one, he said I should soon be travelling to the US on Concorde 1st class, as the royalties from him singing Alive and No more Tears would soon kick in - though he needn't worry, knowing that he liked my songs was the greatest reward.)
By the time I called him back, he already had travelled south and was stuck in the studio, working on his new record, so I thought it was best to pursue our own little project later down the line, once his album was done.
I never had a chance to speak to him again.
The years went by and, sadly, I lost track of that BT answering machine, (probably deemed obsolete during some last minute flat move).
In this life, I've been given a lot of really expensive crap that had no intrinsic value to me whatsoever, from Cartier to Rolex - all met the same end: a cheap desperados' pawnbrokers in East London.
But if I could have something back, I would choose that little tape with Jeff's messages in it - I'd be very happy with that.
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8 February 2012

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21 January 2012

Drugstore MUSIC RECORDING TIPS .
Here's a short compilation of tips and tricks I've picked-up along the way whilst recording our latest album.
So you don't have to make the same mistakes I've made.
Read it here:
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6 January 2012

Aquamarine, earlybird 2012 tour dates
Just the antidote needed for the post new year cobalt blues: a measured dose of Drugstore gigs to light up the way.
I love booking gigs, it all gets a bit frantic 'round the cave, and I have to keep checking and double-checking I have the 2012 calendar in front of me, and not some obscure byzantine almanac.
I'm a bit shambolic and all over the place, granted, but, no one can dispute the fact that I do get there in the end, and like my dear mum used to say:
'The difference between a Rottweiler and Isabel, is that the dog, eventually let go...' - woof woof.
Very pleased we got 3 really nice venues, friday night gigs, which are great for the fans (and band too!) - so all we got to do now is pray real hard that the fanbase are still alive and kickin...
Go Drugsters Go!
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