The Vancouver The Guidebooks WON’T Tell You About!

Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Sitting in a driveway, waiting for a bag to arrive. This is my day. Deep, deep in the suburbs of Vancouver, on a tidy treelined street, quiet and motionless in the mid afternoon, smell of cut grass, gas stains on the cement; skies are dismal, occasional weak sunshine peers … Continue reading The Vancouver The Guidebooks WON’T Tell You About!

Oysters On The Edge Of Infinity

Stepping off the afternoon train in Bayonne I was swallowed by damp. A fine wet mist hung in the air, softening edges; it smelled of salt and mystery. I dragged my bag noisily through the pretty cobbled streets, stopping to take a breath on the Pont Saint-Esprit. I leaned on the parapet and watched the … Continue reading Oysters On The Edge Of Infinity

Fighting Vainly The Old Ennui…

At the window of my suite in the Citadines hotel, I yawned and looked out across the square at clutches of elderly Parisians huddling in fear as gangs of shouting, spitting teenagers slouched by. They call it a suite because in a sort of alcove off the bedroom there’s a sink with a hotplate next … Continue reading Fighting Vainly The Old Ennui…

Running Around in Circles

On one of those disorienting days between Christmas and New Year I circumnavigated a local park in an attempt to keep my indolent, sulky winter blood circulating. A damp grey mist draped itself listlessly about the bare, frozen treetops, and squirrels spun in frantic circles across the hard dirt in an 11th hour nut-hunt. I … Continue reading Running Around in Circles

A Series of Minor Inconveniences: Paris-Rome-Potenza

“Dear passenger, this is to inform you that your flight with us tomorrow has been canceled. Thanks for your understanding. –The Alitalia team.” The email reached me during a break on my last gig in Paris. A warm Wednesday evening, I was standing outside the club, absorbing as many of the sights and smells as I … Continue reading A Series of Minor Inconveniences: Paris-Rome-Potenza

A Night at the Huchette

The Metro spat me out into the muted streetlights of the Place du Chatelet and I headed across the river. I’d been in Paris a week and had so far avoided the centre of town– the crowds are too young and the beer’s too expensive– but tonight was the grand reopening of one of the … Continue reading A Night at the Huchette

A Page from the Jet Lag Diary: Paris

I looked up and smiled as the lights started to swim. It was a few hours after landing, and I appeared to be at a small round table on the street outside a busy brasserie somewhere in Montparnasse. My movements leading up to that point completely escape me–  I think there was a cab ride, … Continue reading A Page from the Jet Lag Diary: Paris

Will Someone Please Explain Florida to Me?

I’m the problem. It’s me. Florida is fine– they know what they’re doing, lumbering around blinding freeways in their hulking SUVs, eating their fried fish fillets, painting stuff beige, keepin’ it familiar. It’s just that I don’t get it. I try, really I do. I went down there with the best intentions, eager to spend … Continue reading Will Someone Please Explain Florida to Me?

Back to the Beach

I’m about to board a plane for the first time in 14 months and jet down to sunny Florida. Like drug-induced hallucinogenic paranoia, it’s a state I haven’t been in for 25 years, and one I have mixed feelings about revisiting. Working the Caribbean as a lowly musician aboard monstrous American cruise ships, the town … Continue reading Back to the Beach

Pass the Lube; it’s Jazz Time

Apologies for that grinding, squealing noise– it’s just the agonised turning of my rusting gears, protesting after more than a year of neglect. It’s worse than just lack of practice, it’s a soul-deep inertia, my limited life skills desperately longing to remain at rest. But the giant seems to be awakening– I think that explains … Continue reading Pass the Lube; it’s Jazz Time