'In Cassidy's Care' is out there and, although the reviews have been great, the sales are negligible.
Apparently festivals, mugs and t shirts are the way forward...
Di and I returned to the Aarhus Festival recently.
I played at the opening gala last year and made such an impression that I was invited back as a non playing guest... maybe next year. Di made a bigger impression last year, I was essentially her freeloading fool this time. She was asked to photograph the various events.
And there were some quality events to capture:
Folmer Jepsen is a real gentleman, a relaxed Prospero who casts a gentle spell, creating a wonderfully relaxing environment for all of his visiting artists.
That evening I got to sit and chat with Jim White whose music I have admired for years. Jim's clothes had been lost by KLM (they lost my guitar last year) and he was wearing his one and only party shirt, down which I somehow managed to tip a plateful of salad within 5 minutes of our meeting...
Dinner chez Jepsen is always a treat, as Folmer's excellent wife Anna also happens to be a celebrity TV chef (think Nigella without the pout, and then add personality and charm).
Her fabulous food is a wonder of unfamiliar combinations; curious concoctions of pickled fish, berries, nuts, dried hams and pulses, salads that you'd never imagine. The cheese board is brilliantly bewildering and Folmer ensures that the wine is fine and full flowing. And the following days flowed into a magical musical marathon:
I'm hoping that I can work with Nikolai and Desoto some time in the future.
Their playing is easy, dynamic and quite brilliant.
In the evening at the pre-opening gala John Cale performed his rarely heard 'Music For a New Society'. It's a compelling blend of homely hymns and feisty dirges that tested the audience's patience and tear ducts. Cale was in fine voice (is he really 70+?) supported by a string quartet, a local choir and his own visceral, vibrant band from New York.
Desoto Caucus supported the support; Beth Orton (who I'm thinking actually sacked the band during the soundcheck because... they were too loud... ), the wonderful Jim White, and KT Tunstall, whose new album has been on non stop rotation within these walls all summer.
Here's a sample of one of the songs that Jim White played; 'Jailbird':
I went highbrow for the official gala opening with HM Queen Margrethe II and the Mayor of Aarhus. Get me! We were treated to Mahler's 6th with a massive orchestra, conducted by... It was all very sonorous and melancholic. Thank you Mr Mahler for having the percussionist crash his cymbals every 10 minutes or so; it kept a lot of folk awake.
A champagne reception followed during which Beth Orton confessed to me that 'Mahler bored the tits' off her. I was off my tits on champagne but kind of got what she meant...