UPDATED TOUR DATES WITH LONDON GRAMMAR
A message from our friends Dan, Dot and Hannah of London Grammar:
“Due to unavoidable scheduling conflicts, it is with great regret that we have had to postpone our tour dates in November.”
Tickets already purchased will remain valid for the rescheduled dates. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.
New tour dates for North America are as follows:
UPDATED NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015
01/21 – Sound Academy //Toronto, Canada (upgraded from Danforth Music Hall)
01/23 – Olympia de Montréal // Montreal, Canada (upgraded from Club Soda)
01/24 – State Theatre, Portland, Maine // Portland, ME (upgraded from Port City Music Hall)
01/26 – House of Blues Boston // Boston, MA
01/27 – TERMINAL 5 // New York, NY
01/29 – 9:30 Club // Washington, DC
01/30 – Electric Factory // Philadelphia, PA
02/02 – Deluxe at Old National Centre // Indianapolis, IN
02/03 – First Avenue & 7th St Entry // Minneapolis, MN
02/06 – Roseland Theater // Portland, OR
02/07 – Fox Oakland Theatre// Oakland, CA
For tickets and further information, please visit:
Can’t wait to see you all in January.
AN INDISCRIMINATE ACT OF KINDNESS | FLIP FLOPS
“ When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened ” - Winston Churchill
After nine sublime, sweltering weeks in the jungle. I was ready to come home. I felt that the balance had shifted in my mind. That I was facing upward again. Those days with a shaman in the jungle. Those early morning hours in a Muay Thai training camp. They had reset the clock, but I wanted one final adventure.
The overnight train, runs from Surat Thani in the South, straight up to the capitol Bangkok. The engine is ancient, the journey is endless and rickety and a screaming, screeching utter joy. About an hour in we stopped. The engine had perhaps finally fossilised, or the amount of chickens allowed to run freely amongst the carriages had reached capacity. Whatever the reason, the train was still. That is precisely when I made a terrible decision. In that hungover, balloon headed, half sleep, I decided with no semblance of reasonable
thought, that I would leave my seat, my luggage and my shoes and walk barefooted from the train, across the platform and towards a distant neon glow. Distant glow did not sell gloriously cold beer. Distant glow did not stock cigarettes, because distant glow was just a distant glow, only now not so distant and much less fucking glowy. My unquenched thirst and nicotine addiction were however about to become secondary in my ever changing list of first world problems, because that sound I could hear right behind me, that deafening chord of rust on rust, was the sound of my train pulling slowly away, wheezing and snorting like a tired old bull being dragged from the pen against a will it no longer has the energy to summon.
I think of all the times I have sighed in life. the sigh that escaped me in that particular moment must have been the deepest sigh of all. It was probably long enough to have its own melody. I don’t remember my initial thoughts, other that i was not too surprised. I tend to be able to laugh at my own stupidity and anyway, why cry over split milk, even full fat milk with cream on top, squeezed from the teat of god’s own unicorn - standing at 11pm at a nameless train station in a nameless town, with only the shirt on my back, a few hundred Thai baht in cash, my passport (miraculously!) and NO SHOES.A few aimless, humid hours passed. I walked for a while, the tarmac and dust still warm, I could feel an anxious knot tightening in my gut. Adventure it seems, is a meal best shared and suddenly I felt very very alone.
Another distant glow. This time with sound. People! As I got closer, the first thing I noticed was people, a lot of people, sitting outside underneath a tarpaulin, silent and still. Trepidation and suspicion it seems, is replaced with hope when hopeless and I couldn’t have walked any quicker. Immediately a gesture. I was beckoned to be quiet, but not unkindly and shown to a chair at a table. I was passed a bowl and with gesture, it was suggested that I sip and pass the bowl to my left. I have travelled enough to know to respect a culture that you do not understand and I have met enough people to make a judgement on any perceived danger I may or may not be in. So, that said and with the situation being what it was, I took a sip and passed the bowl to my left.
After the bowl had been passed a few times, the same beckoning, friendly middle aged gentleman that had led me to the table, encouraged me to walk with him to the other side of this room. He spoke only in Thai, but tone is a powerful tool for communication and using it and his hands summoned me to kneel beside him, take one of three available burning joss sticks and to pray. It was then and only then that I realised I was at a funeral. His mothers it quickly transpired (some very clever sign language) and here I was kneeling beside a huge, colourful, lavishly decorated coffin, praying to a god that I’m not sure I believe in for a woman I had never met whilst alive. The gravity of the moment was fairly overwhelming. Beautiful. The Thai way is to welcome, to share, to have your arms open to anyone and everyone. Here was a man, not grieving his mothers death, but celebrating her life. Sharing a deeply personal and hugely significant moment with me, a man that he had never laid eyes on. We didn’t swap names or discuss the weather, we didn’t complain about our jobs, or scorn the rain, we just knelt there in peace. Quiet, powerful, kind, forgiving peace. The story does not quite end there. It does have a resolution of sorts. When the service was over, I was led around the room and introduced to family and friends. The knot in my gut had long since been replaced with the feeling that I was experiencing something real and strange and beautiful. Still no words were exchanged. By now it must have been at least 2am and I was no closer to Bangkok and certainly no closer to London.
The last smiling face that I was introduced to was that of the granddaughter, she spoke the most english and shrieked the words “Justin Bieber” as soon as she saw the strange, tall, white man at her grandmothers funeral. What she did next was the reason I remember of all this so well and something that I try to take with me always. She quite simply, took one look at my feet and without pause, took off her shoes, (very small, blue, flip flops with a ribbon across the toe) and handed them to me. I have spent enough time in that part of the world to know that to not accept this incredible gesture would have been rude and fairly unacceptable in the circumstance. I put one of them on, she laughed and said “You need for Bangkok, very dirty, Justin Bieber” With that she was gone, smiling, walking barefoot back into a funeral.
I wore those flip flops as I walked back to the train station, I slept on a bench until the sound of the next train woke me up at sunrise..I wore those flip flops in Bangkok, I wore them until I landed at Heathrow. I kept the ribbon. I have it in a box somewhere, I don’t need the ribbon, I need the memory. I need the reminder that an indiscriminate act of kindness can stay with someone forever, no matter how small.
I have up until precisely three and a half seconds ago, been forever putting off keeping a journal, or at very least/best the scrawling down of random thoughts. I know why and it is not for a lack of anything to say, or for a lack of drama. Every time I thought about starting one, I convinced myself that the day I started, the adventure would end. Superstitious, yup self important, yup, down right idiotic, yup. It is a ridiculous thing to think, but that is all it is…a thought. We have on average 48.6 thoughts a minute. 47.6 of mine are utter baloney, a kind of worried porridge that sloshes around my mind from minute to minute until eventually I have one of those rare thoughts that we call ’ An Idea’. Thankfully, ‘idea’ is a bully, a big fat bastard of a thought that eats everything in his way, even porridge….
Until The Ribbon Breaks was an idea. It still is. The idea that if you say what you actually want to say over music that you actually want to make then how can it fail? Here is how……..
(for this section now we will use the word porridge instead of the word worry)
You can porridge that a piece of music no longer has a place in a world of such quick exchange of communication and information.
You can porridge that by endlessly chasing your dream, your idea, you will end up on skid row with someone else’s sock for a duvet and no friends.
You can porridge that you are simply not good enough, that in the end, Tina Turner will always be a better singer with better hair. So fuck it.
Point is, I am really tired of porridge. I want a fillet steak, I deserve one, Everybody deserves one. The Ribbon only breaks when you break it yourself (or if you are run over).
Note to self, don’t porridge so much. It might just all be alright.