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Guitar technician reporting from the tourbus....

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Just come back from the pub - my first "leisure time" in a week. It was jolly nice to read the paper over a pint on a warm spring evening in Yorkshire. Speaking of springtime, there's an awful lot of rabbits running around outside the bungalow, all quite cute with their white tails bobbing about the place, though I can't help imagining what they'd be like in a spicy Sicilian tomato sauce with some crusty bread to dip in. Mick has very kindly supplied us with a motorcycle and mountain bike for our recreational and transportation needs while isolated here, bringing the shops a little closer, but providing less of a chance to say hello to the horses tied up by the roadside along the way. I'm going to buy the poor things some carrots tomorrow. Plenty has been done recording-wise since our return to the UK - the tracking for the album is rapidly nearing completion. Les is doing some rough mixes for record company and management ears. It's nice to hear the songs in an almost complete form - so much of recording involves listening to little snippets as you try to nail a particular vocal part or whatever. We've had news that visits to Colombia and Brazil might be added to our South American trip in May making the whole thing pretty bonkers flights-wise. Not good news for notorious aviation-phobe Matt.

The photo shows the big board in the studio, pictured some time ago I might add.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

The Tunisian escapade made it into the papers back home in England, namely the Liverpool Echo and The Sun!

I'm with Anathema in the studio for a couple of weeks (currently recording Vincent's vocals) so I might write something about it if anybody's interested - just waiting for something blog-worthy to happen. Knowing this lot I won't be waiting too long.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

How about that?

I just had a call from Ahmed, our esteemed promoter in Tunisia, telling me that the missing guitar has been found! Apparently he received an anonymous tip-off pointing him towards an area of woodland close to the Acropolium where he found the damn thing sitting there. I still can't quite believe it. Many, many thanks to all those in Tunisia who did so much to help find the guitar - your efforts obviously pricked a guilty conscience.


Thursday, 9 April 2009

Back home...

...in London for a few days before heading back to the bungalow to help Anathema finish the album. We returned from Tunisia minus one rather expensive Les Paul guitar which in all likelihood went missing from the Acropolium sometime between Friday and Monday when we were denied access. Also one piece of hold baggage was removed from the connecting flight to Manchester in Paris. This happened to be Jay's bass, so we're down two guitars on the deal. The bass is traceable fortunately. So if any of you good people in Tunisia come across a wine red flame top Gibson Les Paul in a black Gibson case, possibly with an Anathema sticker on it, I'd be awfully grateful if you'd let me know. You can leave a message on this blog.

What a massive pain in the arse that all was then. In spite of everything though, I'd like to say that I and the band have nothing against the Tunisian people - what happened during our visit was a series of unfortunate events. We would like nothing better than to return to play the concert, which judging by the fans we met will be an amazing event. All being well Anathema will return sometime very soon so keep your eyes peeled for news. In the meantime, the next stop is Romania on April 29th.

See you in a couple of weeks.

Monday, 6 April 2009

After four days at the hotel waiting "just one hour more" for authorisation or whatever, the gig has finally officially been cancelled (not by the band of course). We've been up to the venue and removed all the guitars and keyboards we set up on Friday, all the while watched by disbelieving fans, who one assumes experienced this same disappointment just two days ago. It's such a shame for all the Tunisian fans (and of course those who travelled from elsewhere). We don't really know why this happened and who really was to blame - there's been a lot of talk and a lot of silence surrounding the whole affair. The one thing that is certain is that Anathema will be back to play in Tunisia in the not-too-distant future.

Until then, bye for now.

For the record

I'd like to make it clear that this blog is not intended to be an official source of information regarding any of the bands for whom I work or any other persons mentioned in any of the posts, merely a series of (hopefully entertaining) anecdotes about life on the road with Anathema and others. I hope it is read in the same spirit with which it is written.



Sunday, 5 April 2009

To all the Anathema fans who travelled to Carthage to find the concert postponed: myself, the rest of the crew, the promoters and the band tried everything in our power to make it happen but sadly were prevented from doing so by circumstances beyond our control. We'll do all we can to put on a great show for you tomorrow evening.

Hope to see you there.
There were a great many angry fans at the venue on Saturday evening and quite rightly so. Many had travelled a great distance and won't be able to make the Monday re-schedule. In an attempt to make amends Danny and Vincent put on a great little acoustic show in the hotel bar for around fifty lucky fans and a few unsuspecting guests. Our promoter Ahmed has assured us the gig will go ahead on Monday once the correct paperwork has been presented to the correct people. So we found ourselves with a day off today and headed to Sidi Bou Said for a prolonged high-pressure sales pitch from the local hawkers and shopkeepers. I almost had to buy a bronze horse just to escape with my life. It's a lovely little town, all white and blue due to some strange local bye law, though sadly lacking in places to enjoy a cool beer. Everyone's back at the hotel now, starving and waiting for the restaurant to open.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Okay, now this is good. The gig has been postponed until Monday evening and we have been denied entry to the concert venue, having arrived this morning to find a police guard at the entrance. Our promoter informed us that somebody, in an attempt to scupper the project, has told the Tunisian interior ministry that Anathema are Satan worshippers who eat black cats and drink their blood (but draw the line at kissing their anuses - see earlier post from Blois). The ministry have requested song lyrics to peruse over the weekend in order to put their minds at rest. We're now sitting down to a nice dinner (courtesy of our apologetic promoter) while someone heads up to the venue to break the news to the disgruntled fans. We'll have to see what happens on Monday.
Waiting in the hotel lobby for the bus to the venue. We were told to be here at 9am and it's now 11.30. This whole thing is starting to fall apart. The missing bag is still not here and they now have Les's passport. Also, the Carthage sewer system is having to work overtime due to something dodgy on the menu last night. There may not be a gig.

Friday, 3 April 2009


Things are not really going to plan here. We're still waiting for one bag that got left at the airport (complimentary drinks from Air France to blame) and we were denied today's soundcheck as there's a dispute about whether we're allowed to make any noise or not. We're heading back at 9am to see if there's going to be a gig. All the equipment supplied is a little low-spec - it's a bit like a "my first gig" play set. Still, the venue is spectacular, inside and out.
On the upside the hotel is posh and we've all got our own rooms and the dinners are great. Bafflingly, the place is full of people recovering from nose jobs. Regular sound man Matt is revealing his mental age (six) with his Dastardly and Muttley dvds, photos of a rocket he's building and a stupid hat he's planning to wear while mixing (see above).