Vienna 2017.4.11-12 and London

old Roman water, still good
A night off in sunny Vienna at Das Triest hotel. The place oozes confidence, iMac at your disposal for CNN, or cheering up with a non-stop Schlager infomercial. Have some fruit and Römerquelle, the water with the logo of the Roman soldier quenching his thirst from a chalice. I guess the frontal-nosed Roman soldier who (maybe) eats barley and wears heavy armour all day, has cultural status in Vienna these days (?). The bottled water company claim Römerquelle (Roman Source) is not a marketing invention:
Their summary of this source starts in the days of Emperor Aurel of Rome (121-180 AD) to the 21st century. Jump ahead to the Wars of the Reformation, the Habsburg inheritance of the Holy Roman title and the Austrian Empire, the Congress of Vienna, etc etc, is all skimmed over, to say basically that the source remains as miraculous today as it was for Emperor Aurel. It still heals wounds and ‘animates the senses’, but a leap further to get us into sexual threesomes (see Prickelnde Slogans, Tabubrecher und Promis from above link). I can’t deny that their water tastes special, and maybe it does heal wounds. “The aesthetic and eye-catching implementation [of the 70s ad] was presented in the advertising by the Ménage-à-trois from 1974 – at that time a real taboo smell”.

gig day

venue: Simm City, Simmeringer Hauptstraße 96A,

Drum set:
Tama Superstar, always a pleasure, with Yamaha Stage Custom.

Poor Adrian has the stomach bug, so rested while we had dinner after sound check. At this final show of the tour, we got through it with a lot of good feedback. ‘Dr Theatre’, as Adrian has said, is the idea that performing helps you get better. I tend to agree.

flowers in the shopping cart at Simm City, Vienna


What shall we do with the ones that get caught?

Martyn and Alfred and I ate in the quiet schnitzel restaurant, with silent middle-aged people who don’t smile but are gentle. Martyn, (whispering): ‘I just love seeing them, some of them look like they’ve died already’… Then a familiar tease: ‘Where did Adrian Huge hide all the dead bodies, were they buried in the back garden?’ Criminal legacies of Austria start coming back. The Austrian singer Tony Wegas served prison time for having robbed an old lady in the street for a handbag, in the lowest ranks of inmates. I wonder how much soap he dropped. Jack Unterweger killed prostitutes and went to prison, becoming respected for his prison writings including one piece about his guilt and purgatory. When he was released and became rehabilitated, Jack used his skills to get jobs in journalism, helped police find killers, advised on attitudes to prostitution. His autobiography was taught in schools.

They soon found out Jack was still killing just before going to America to work for a magazine. The FBI found him in Florida, and he went to prison for life. He hung himself with shoelaces and a cord from track suit trousers (Wikipedia).
I find it difficult to hold a rigid position on what to do with cruel and pedophile citizens (they are still citizens). Unterweger’s crocodile tears got him back into the free areas, his good behaviour allowed him to kill again. The system gave him too much freedom? Should we give serious criminals less of a chance? Tie up killers and rapists of children, and whip them to death for all the children to see? Someone shared such a video recently, urging no one to show mercy. But more cruelty is not going to stop more cruelty from naturally developing. We’ve been through witch hunts, and mobs have pilloried and decapitated and lost a taste for public torture for good reason. It’s not just because it is unpleasant to watch. It’s because we learn about people faster, we have places for them to stay away. When you make the decision to silence the guilty, that is addictive for mobs of democratic spoilt people.
It’s a cold night in Vienna.

Obscurity Galore

One last drink at the Anzengruber, meeting Alfred’s musician friends including the Bassenger who makes some interesting noise on Soundcloud. Maybe I’ve missed the golden years of music in my infantile age of 34, but I like the context of something local to a place when visited. By the way if you need a good mixed media/post production/ editing photographer in or near to Vienna, definitely check out rEST iN pICTURES

Moving on to see and share the stage with obscure London bands/artists. Charles Hayward at Total Refreshment Centre was fantastic, the least obscure of them I suppose. This drummer’s solo piano ballads remain sincere while this man’s funny side keeps on showing, “Measure a circle, start anywhere, what goes around comes around, isn’t it great when everything comes together”. Alastair DePlume played heartfelt music that isn’t too clever and made me laugh and think a little, in the middle of the floor. “I was going to fight fascism but… Jenny wasn’t so I didn’t either…”.
Thanks Cat Boi, Cos Chapman, 100 Years Gallery, The Beehive in Bow,  Grassy Noel and Ape, Gardyloo SPeW, Sly and the Family Drone, Chunkitini, Fat Cop, Graham D. Elder and all the other good world citizens and friends I didn’t mention, for a great couple of weekends.

with Chunkitini and Grassy Noel & Ape, the Beehive in Bow, 2017.5.1, Cat Boi’s birthday!




Runaway Wedding Band
at the Mad Hatter in Oxford – April 19th, 2017

Near the centre of Oxford on Iffley Street is a corner with a pub that looks derelict, with boarded windows, and you enter from the back… When you are in, pour a nice cup of tea, for you have entered Alice in Wonderland, with a lot of things to remind you of it. Toby Nowell’s Runaway Wedding Band taps into the Balkan/Bulgarian/Kopanitsa/Cocek numbers, Dirty Dozen-style tunes, and Toby’s original compositions from each genre, and we got a load of Oxfordians dancing. Alice Williamson soloed talkatively with Toby, and occasionally we all did, that kept us on good terms with the Queen of Hearts. I hope they call me again.

Toby Nowell – trumpet
Alice Williamson – clarinet
Peter Watson – accordion
Dave Powell – tuba
Jonas Golland – drums and percussion