Sign up for the JV Newsletter!

iLike Julian Velard

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Meet The Band

Oh yes it’s check-in time from Starbucks. I’ve been to Ireland and traversed much of the British Island since I last wrote, only to find myself smack in the same seat, drinking the same bad coffee. One difference this time being I have an NYC original sitting across from me – Mr. Ari Hest. Ari’s been kind enough to visit me here in London, more than I can say for you lot. I made my record company fly him out on account of my terrible loneliness, which you’ve noted in my blogs. Mr. Hest has been my traveling companion the past few days, accompanying me on a karaoke adventure this past Friday, along with the rest of EMI/Angel, my label. It’s gratifying to know no one at my label can sing as well as me, even more assurance I’ll have a job at year’s end. Ari also rode down to Portsmouth last night for my last show on the Amy MacDonald tour, which has been an absolute blast - she’s a gem that Scottish lass! Portsmouth is a funny town, feels like an old seaside resort from 1920’s. I imagined myself strolling down the boardwalk, side by side with beanpole gentleman in striped bathing costumes, twirling their curlicue mustaches. I’ve seen a good bit of the UK this past fortnight: Newcastle, Sheffield, Liverpool, Exeter, Bristol, even Wolverhampton. It’s completely different yet surprisingly similar to touring the States, only with shorter drives. I’ve been in the company of beautiful cavalry, my brand new UK band. Three completely distinct characters I’ve been wandering the British countryside with in a splitter, which I call a van. Let’s meet them:

John Calvert a.k.a. Major Singon Smythe: John is a beautiful lad, proper gentleman, and a bass wizard moonlighting for Roison Murphy and yours truly. He’s London born and raised, skinny like a whip with the metabolism of arachnid. He can eat anything anytime of day and I applaud him for it. He‘s also had the same sneakers for 6 years, which he thinks is a sign of genius. He’s been my guide to British culture, introducing me to it’s many wonders such as Delia Smith and Alan Partridge.

Sam “Blue” Agard: Sam is a curious fellow, member of Corrine Baliey Rae’s band, and a monster of a drummer, or he likes to refer to himself, “head of the percussion department”. He’s obsessed with PSP, Nando’s (a gourmet fast-food chicken joint) and Tango (kind of like Tang). His favorite band is Mint Condition and he insists on putting absurd polyrhythmic fills in my songs. He’s also one of the best drummers I’ve ever played with. Sam brought his two kids to our show last night, Rishon and Kieran. They are the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a long time, have made me give up my vow of never to speaking to children again, as per my years as a Pre-K Gym teacher.

Francois Pare a.k.a. The Canadian: Francois is the first Canadian I’ve toured with, hopefully not the last. Believe it or not, they are just like Americans. If I can judge by Francois, they also love Burger King, KFC, and the band Toto. Francois is a front of house god, choosing the work me after a year long stint with the Hoosiers. We both agree on a love of Phil Collins and are working to re-create the vibe of “Something In The Air Tonight” for my live show. He refuses to call me buddy, for which I respect him greatly.

So yeah, that’s my crew. Next time yerr at a show, come say hi and share some of these personal details with them. They will welcome you with open arms. They will also beat me later on in the van, er splitter.

No comments: