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more brighton

Posted on Monday, May 23rd, 2005

I had to wait a bit before writing this as I couldn’t log in to the server, so this isn’t as fresh in my mind as I hoped it would be. But whatever, I’ll just write a little anyway. Soooo.. OK, I am safely back home in France and reflecting on my weekend. It was pleasing. A little more about the show, where did I leave it?, oh yes, it was after the rehearsal. So saturday, daytime there was more rehearsing and the piece known as Calligraphy came together. It was Harolds idea to close the show with us all playing together, the approximate order of appearance being myself, Steve Cobby, Harold, Theo Travis, Alexander Balanescu and Bill Nelson with Jah Wobble and Steve Jansen arriving halfway through with a pounding 5/4 rhythm… So when Mr Wobble showed up, after just arriving from paris, we gave it some attention and it seemed to be, well, you know, it seemed to be pretty good considering the mess it could have been… We worked out some of the finer details, curiously omitting to work out how whe would end the piece.. (???).. (of course we’d all realise this a few hours later on stage).. whatever.. anyway, job done.. went to waterstones and bought a pile of books in English to take home and met up with a couple of friends before the show…
The Balanescu String Quartet started the whole event and I’m not going to go into the details of the show, as you had to be there.. this ain’t a review….but there were a lot beautiful moment’s, Harold seemed completely relaxed…(err… he always seems completely relaxed) and the audience was entranced.. After the interval Steve Jansen did a gong solo called Lirio and I realized I had to go on in 5 minutes, so I started to will myself not to trip over Bills pedals, or walk on with my fly open or some other thing that I’m predisposed to doing only when there is a couple of thousand people looking at me.. When I eventually found my way on to my place on stage, no thanks to the, er, minimalist lighting by Russell Mills, and picked up my guitar, I felt, well, relaxed and kinda looking forward to it… And well the rest is… well you had to be there.. I sounded like… me, I guess, and I can’t offer much more than that..

me playing at the brighton dome with harold budd © Matthew Andrews
me onstage with harold budd

On the whole, the calligraphy piece, had some moments of great beauty and I’m sure we all have taken something different from the experience, perhaps with the exception of us all realizing we hadn’t worked out how to finish the damn thing at the same time.. 🙂
So… after the show, the usual chit chat with the others about what we’d just done, lots of compliments all round then off to a little aftershow party where I met people who had travelled from afar to see the event and who all seemed pleased with the evening.. It was very touching to see the love for Harold in the room. He was so central to the event and he has made all of our lives richer by intoducing us all to each other..
So.. I just read that back and it seems so inadiquate, as there are lots of little anecdotal stuff which could amuse and many important parts glossed over..
Most importantly, I’m glad I was asked and I’m happy I did it….

8 Responses to “more brighton”

  1. raffaele

    dear robin, it was indeed an amazing night. the maestro harold budd touched everybody’s souls, as well as all you other musicians. I should also mention the added magic of russell mills’ lighting. it has been a great night. thanks

  2. mark g

    yes it was a great show
    i wish all the best to harlod in the future
    was i could have gone to the after show party too

  3. Halobrace

    Robin this may come across as too guitar geeky to address here and may not interest most, but any chance you might enlighten me a little to what gear you use live. Do you have a set travelling rig that you use, or do you put together a rig/effects setup based on the needs of each performance? I know you have done a number of smaller solo shows of late and i saw you in Boston a while back but was too shy to try to take a peak or ask you about such things in person. Just curious what you consider essential/fav live pedals and effects, what you cant do without, how many rack units/pedals do you tend to employ on average to achieve the sound your after. Fav guitar(s)? Again sorry to be a guitar geek but what other musicians are using is very interesting to me, especially considering that I am a fan of your sound.work.


  4. liz

    A worthy live compendium. I wish we could have been in attendance. Do you happen to know if there are plans for a live recording as an official release?

  5. Alan Legge

    Hi Robin,
    The show was fantastic,your contribution was beautiful I only wish it could have been filmed or recorded. The lighting by Russell Mills was outstanding and complemented the music perfectly. I do hope you can play in Germany in the near future as i have the perfect place where if were to play you sell the place out in hours.

    Fond regards from the German with a northern accent !!…………..Alan

  6. Jim

    Hi Robin,
    I just received my copy of Mysterious Skin over the weekend from Amazon.com, and I absolutly love it. I was turned on to Harold Budd’s music through Cocteau Twins like many people, and now am proud to say I own over 25 of his CD’s. Really nice collaboration, and the liner notes were great. I’m sure you were touched by them. Hope to see you in our neck of the woods sometime soon (Austin, TX USA). All the best, Jim

  7. Keith

    Hi Ronbin

    I’m actually pretty corious about your rig to. I just got hold on a Boss Dc-3 space dimension effect – that im looking forward to trying out next week. I almost have the sound iøm looking for now – hope the dc-3 will make my sound even greater. For now i use – boss- microrack Compressor – t.rex swamp distortion – EH polychorus – T.rex replica delay – boss Rv5 reverb – (will try putting the DC-3 in front of the Polychorus when i get it. Any ideas or suggestions robin of a better setup line with the effects above.

    band Rumskib

  8. Daniel Prendiville

    Hi, Robin,

    I was at the harold Budd farewell gig in Brighton. Most enjoyable. I’m just curious to hear that Harold still seems to be gigging. So did he, like, give back the pressies he got at the retirement whiparound?:-)

    All in jest…



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