20th March

March 20, 2004

On Thursday I’ll be performing my first ever gig in Italy. I’ll be joining Alice (and Steve Jansen) in the fantastic Milano Duomo, as part of an ambitious event which the organiser tells us ‘sets out to combine poetry, film and music in interesting ways’.

In addition to my singing a duet with Alice, after one of the performers dropped out of the event, I’ve also been asked to do a reading from Keroauc’s ‘On The Road,’ while improvised jazz provides an atmospheric backdrop to my cracked tones. My very English voice colliding with Kerouac’s very American prose is admittedly a bizarre concept, but game for a laugh and making a friend of masochism yet again, I’ve decided to accept this very Italian equivalent of Mission Impossible.

What next, Sylvester Stallone reciting Shakespeare in the hallowed confines of Canterbury Cathedral?


A productive meeting with One Little Indian in London on Wednesday made me realise how much I don’t miss living in the City. Wandering around old haunts in the centre and in the South East, the place failed to make any kind of connection with me and I found it difficult to imagine how I’d spent 8 years of my life there.

The new Picking/Bowness music seemed to generate some positive reactions from the label people, but regardless of whether or not the responses were genuine, I was personally delighted with the way the songs sounded. Concise, emotive and at something of an unusual angle to the later No-Man material, my gut instinct was that these songs represented something unique and potentially lasting in terms of my ongoing work.

Returning home with a swag full of CDs, books and Jamaican patties, a feeling of tentative optimism hovered in the air.



Elbow – Fugitive Motel
Ingram Marshall – Fog Tropes/Fog Tropes II
Mercury Rev – All Is Dream
Sigur Ros – ()


Edge Of Darkness (BBC DVD)