Thursday, May 21, 2015

On Tour In The UK With Pacific Soul Ltd. #6

Leaving London this afternoon following a successful fortnight of musical adventures. Pacific Soul Ltd. had a nice run of shows from North to South. I enjoyed each show. They were all gratifying and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to return to the UK to perform.
Cavern Pub made for a superb warmup/introduction for the band and for playing with Jon. We were in good hands with his steady beat. What a profoundly cool person and top musician.
The Cavern Club show was a barn burner. The energy and the audience were on point. The most fun I've had playing there yet. Thanks, IPO!
Our gig at the Jacaranda was a welcome surprise. Getting to play on a true relic of the Beatles' halcyon days was indescribable. So I won't try. Our harmonies were tight at the Jac.
Rolling out to Bradford was an Amazing Race. Driving on the right side of the car/left side of the road on a bit of a Magical Mystery Tour. Ate some good curry up there. The audio difficulties we had were countered by the good times we had with old and new friends.
While we were in Liverpool, I picked up some new vintage clothes. Always looking for cool vintage clothes to wear on stage, especially the British-type. Fab gear. I also found a couple of record shops and tea houses throughout the tour that added to the fun.
Croydon was the next stop and that show felt almost like a homecoming with Peter opening for us and a great vibe/sound in the room. Also, you have to love any venue that will do tea during a rock show.
Our gig at Medway required a little travel via train. Two big highlights of the trip occurred. I spotted and possibly scared Pulp's Jarvis Cocker in St. Pancras Station when I clearly recognized him and gawked like a superfan. Second, when the highspeed train pulls into Richmond you see a ruined Castle! Then the show was 2 hours of raucousness, soul and harmonies. PSL makes that a thing.
To wrap up my run, after more afternoon teas than an episode of Downton Abbey, we hoofed out toward Highbury for our set at 12 Bar. 12 Bar were wonderful hosts in an eclectic venue that looked like an electric church thrust into a split-level concert hall. Surreal.
My favorite moments consistently in the shows were the performances of "Your Majestic Rejection"/"Portland." Close runners up would be anytime Adam, Teresa and I sang harmonies; or watching Jon play the drumkit so tastefully.
Time to power down the phone. What a ride. Can't wait to do it again Britain. I have to do this ever time, but thank you family, friends, fans and bandmates. You have all supported me in my continuing recovery and in the pursuit of my dreams. Cool. God is great.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

On Tour In The UK With Pacific Soul Ltd. #5

Fifth day of the tour was split in thirds. The first third was spent at the Liverpool Cathedral. Always interesting to visit churches. I had been before and was looking forward to revisiting the Lady Chapel at the Cathedral, which is a divine space. Said a few prayers. Had lunch there, too.
The second 2/3rds were Beatle-heavy. We did a repeat of the National Trust's tour of the Beatles' Childhood homes. The NT takes you to 20 Forthlin Rd (the former McCartney residence) and 251 Menlove Ave. aka Mendips (where John Lennon was raised). On this tour you are allowed into the homes and are regaled with stories from two expert guides, wife and husband team Sylvia and Colin. Visiting those shrines is moving, inspiring and a marvel. The Beatles lived in Liverpool right up until they broke in the US. They were already famous in the UK, but hadn't fully abandoned there hometown.

From there we went to Strawberry Field. Caught a cab and the driver took us to Penny Lane. And then, we played a mini-set at the Jacaranda. An unexpected addition to our tour dates. The Jac is one of the few remaining small venues that the Beatles actually stood upon to play. And I was there. We were there. Pacific Soul Ltd. performed on the same underground stage as the Silver Beatles (John, Paul, George & Pete). Outstanding. First the Cavern, now the Jac. Thank you, Liverpool.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

On Tour In The UK With Pacific Soul Ltd. #4

Fourth day on the road was a day of rest in Liverpool. We went to check out the Beatles Story museum at Albert Dock. I hadn't been since 2006 and many of the displays had been updated and spruced up. Well worth the revisit. Highlights included George Harrison's first guitar, the Mellotron used by the Beatles on legendary mid-career recordings like the astounding "Strawberry Fields Forever," and George Martin's handwritten tracking notes for the HELP! LP ('me on Hammond'). I am well-versed in Beatles' lore, but seeing their story told through the lens of their hometown is fascinating. After the visit, Jon, Adam and I talked about the band and their impact. Fun conversation. We also wrote some fan mail with Teresa while we had dinner at Leaf. After that the whole party hiked uphill to the Cathedral. It was 9 o'clock and just dusk. Golden light cast over Liverpool. Perfect for pics with this fun company. All for now. Maybe some more music-making tomorrow!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

On Tour In The UK With Pacific Soul Ltd. #3

Friends and fans, what a fantastic experience to be back in Liverpool and playing for you. I didn't know when or if the day would arrive that I would return to the Cavern (or anywhere) to play again. The two Pacific Soul Ltd. sets for IPO were a thrill. It's tremendous to be onstage with such talented people. Jon Braun, Teresa Cowles and Adam Marsland make it really easy. We are playing a potent combination of PSL songs, Adam's and my material.
Adam, Teresa and I trade the spotlight. Which means I can rev up and cool down appropriately during the show to maintain my energy. We are doing the coolest transition from my tune "Your Majestic Rejection" to the acapella intro to Adam's poignant "Portland."

Anyway, here's the link to the PSL page for the set lists. Thanks to everyone who attended yesterday's the shows. It means a lot to me to have you in attendance. I feel blessed to be alive and well enough to be on stage in Great Britain. Love you, Liverpool.

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