Hello. Here are some thoughts with a view to gleaning your thoughts also. You can always send me some pics and videos on whats app. My number is 02102592919. Be good to be able to reply on the basis of feedback from you all in my next blog.
Feedback is rare as gold. Back in the day it was easy. Let’s make it easy again. i still love this simple blog format with its leaning toward text alone.
Playing the Black & White Westport tonight from 9pm. It’s been here since the 1850s so all the locals will know where it is…just head for Westport. You can stay at the hotel. It’s cheap and cheerful and like how things used to be .
That’s whats so inviting about Coast. People can invest time in people coz there’s no over reaching alienating commercial urgency to do and to buy. This is humbling the conceited Aucklander in me. Hubris and vanity are Optional.
I love the so called rough pubs. Postboy in Nelson and B&W Westport.
His Scottish Space Programme is humming along. I can send videos if you drop me a line. Last night my audience of one disturbed part of the installation and it all came tumbling down.
Today there’s a board out on the footpath announcing my show. Thats it. But thats gonna be enough to draw a few characters that would inspire Dickens-if he were alive here again- to write another story.
I cannot believe the vibe here. The visitor is enthralled but be aware that the motive force is practicle and most have to work hard and me being in “the arts” don’t work at all-by comparison.ha ha
“Get a job” is one response But they respect someone who can bang out a tune and often I get the reverse response where people urge me to keep doing what I’m doing.
What am I doing? As little as possible. But there are certain demands like travel. Accommodation. Vehicle and all that entails. And getting the word out.
Big thanks to Jason Kemp and Tony Parker for sponsoring this vital side of it…without them I would be toast.
And here’s to you my wonderful subscribers. Please don’t desert me. The best is yet to come. Would appreciate it if you steered your friends toward bandcamp.com wherein resides my albums for Koha. Its a huge blessing when people support me by downloading my albums and attending my shows.
Keep an eye on events for any updates and additions. Expecting to add some new dates and venues soon.
Bye for now and please let us know about possible places to play. Can play anywhere at anytime. Conditions apply. Call/txt me on 021 0259 2919
I lost some info about possible gigs so please write to me again if I didn’t get back to you. House concerts a specialty.
Have to head to the lofty spires of Lumsden now. Bye for now and please remember to Take time out
God bless Luke
PS. Need space between the bars to create meaningful music.
The ceos pa. Seen below. New strings and set coming up for this recently sold masterpiece at Peter Stephen guitars.
Need work breaks also…for the same reason. So! Don’t overdo what you do do.
Peter Stephen has his workshop in Lyttelton. It’s on the corner of the first street on the left as you come into Lyttelton coming out the tunnel. Can’t miss it.
He’s been a luthier for decades and he works on an art for arts sake basis…the business is secondary to him as he tends to give people amazing service for ludicrously small amounts of money. But that’s changing as it has too. Big overheads to cover.
One guitar I bought off him in the 80s turned up in Alistars Music Wellington about 30 years later . I walked in and played it despite the owner telling me the shop was closed.
I conversed with a guy who the owners were talking to. He was interested in what I was playing and the history of the swamp kauri parlour guitar I used to own. I introduced myself and asked his name to which the owner said “you obviously don’t know who you’re talking to” it soon was obvious he was Billy Connelly.
A question I always wanted to ask him was “did comedy ruin your chances of being taken seriously as a musician.” And he replied that it certainly did. He was in a duo with Gerry Rafferty once. Comedy was probably the best bet and more profitable…but who knows?
Peter’s much loved by the people he serves and he needs more commissions to make his masterpieces. The fix it jobs are his bread and butter I guess. but he loves to make instruments. Double bass to mandolins and to date a big focus on guitar. Support him please. In Dunedin you have Steve Barkman equally capable so don’t forget him either.
These guys work real hard for their sustenance. Hope to see you all at a gig soon.
Hello friends ..It’s great to be free for the time being isn’t it?people are coming out of their rabbit holes and it’s time to explore hence the planning of the next tour starting Feb 22 and heading South (South Island) and back with three confirmed gigs so far. We can do better so please call me if you are serious. Just say where and when and Ill be there with cowbells on ? 021 0259 291 text or talk…always up for a chat.
Also planning to play in London in May so again please book me someplace. So far no confirmations there. It’s so far away from Waterworld Auckland.
Speaking of which we had a great time at the Auckland International Folk Fest. On the first night it was possible to have the barn for a gig where we encountered a superb player. Bill Angus. He’s been writing for 45 years and it shows. The big surprise was Ensemble Sangenito. Super!
Check the videos in the links.
And now for one key reason for writing this blog. Let’s discuss the attitude still alive and well in NZ…the attitude that musicians and artists generally should not be paid. This guy I’ve known for many years who is supposedly a keen endorser of my stuff tells me that musicians should not be paid. It’s his firm belief delivered from the comfort of his “I work and you don’t” bastion of ignorance.
Has he any idea what’s involved when it comes to writing recording promoting and performing original stuff across an area the size of UK with a support base at least 15 times less and a cultural attitude that sees the arts as somewhat superfluous and self indulgent and in the “why bother when we can go fishing” category.
It’s amazing when one reflects upon the expenses involved and how near impossible it is to break even. The attitude is just plain wrong.
The advantage of having an art culture cannot be denied. In the absence of a thriving art culture we have instead a thriving mental health system that can’t keep up with the psychosis that develops when a place offers no outlet for creatives.
Let’s change the script. Start with me! Visit bandcamp and buy my sounds. Call me and book me up. I can play.you will like. Just book me! Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeees! New York to Paris! Let’s make it a world tour this time. Let’s enjoy the freedom while we have it.
Happy New 2023 and beyond. This years going to be amazing. Really love to hear from you so please respond to this blog if the spirit moves you. My father was an ardent of WH Auden. Here’s an example of that poets insight
Validation from like minded people is a key motivator when it comes to creating and people kindly tell me things about my art that I would prefer not to be reminded of. For instance …the need to hone down lyrics because that is key.
Being a fan of John Martyn my ear inclined more toward the early work especially the sensational “May You Never.”
Got to meet him ever so briefly backstage Aerial Railway Sweetwaters where I was on after him. Expressed my joy at meeting him to the stage manager and she indicated that she couldn’t tolerate him on account of his stoned drunk state…which in those days was fashionable.
But not so cool when that lifestyle crippled and killed him but there and then he was phenomenal in his band calling for a joint from the audience and lighting up in his mainstage gig earlier. All very cool while you are young but not so hip later in his avoidable crippled condition.
So sad when heroes fall from grace.
It’s true isn’t it that the work from the pre recognition phase of an artists life often stands the test of time.
I rarely listen to his later stuff but he had a perfect folk-rock edge which he never captured in a studio…..nothing like his performances at those Sweetwater performances way back in the dawn of the 80s.
Do I look back nostalgic like? Hell no!
Those days inclined to believe the whole hippy thing was a disincentive programme to discredit viable values like the stern opposition to the Vietnam War from leading intellectuals and influencers. They lost a voice once the hippy ran with the baton taking the public imagination into fields that plough themselves and land that is free and sex that’s as meaningful as having a cup of tea. Ha ha and an antiwar which disempowered off the war cause those able to successfully oppose it were disinclined to join ranks with greasy long haired sex and love addicts. Ha ha
Anyway the point is that oftentimes we get it right in the early work and proceed to wreck it by experimenting with weird and wonderful innovative productions that lack the essential core elements like great lyrics and memorable melodies that came out of a genuine love of music and songs and not
1. Aimless travels and squalid hotels 2. Distractions of other people who “looooooooove your work” at the expense of your real friends 3. Less time writing most time promoting…selling…distributing which often ends up going nowhere. Unless someone volunteers to have it done right coz it’s often the case that the inventor of something is the worst person in the world to promote it coz marketing is a dark art few know how to master.
In those days you couldn’t play anywhere if you played originals…..and it’s like that again and it’s driven players to the streets or into mental asylums or cemeteries.
Am I being melodramatic?
Ask yourself. We’ve lost many of our best people to this absurd cult of mindless alcohol & other drug consumption and it’s time to reflect.
My message to anyone reading this is simple. Question anyone who thinks it’s cool for “creatives” to get high.
Show them decades of lost potential from a multitude of broken artists. Preventable poverty illness disability death all in the name of being cool.
End with a story told me by Dave Hiakita out of Back to Back. They had resigned from playing at the Tai Pei nightclub Dunedin . The owner Eddy Chin tried everything to get them to play again after Dave pulled the pin on account of some issue relating to inadequate remuneration…which of course is always a problem. Anyway, one night in sheer desperation Eddy rang Dave begging him to play because the band Cool Bananas hadn’t turned up and Dave politely declined to which Eddy replies “They not cool banana! They rotten banana”
Anyways….thanks for the support. Please keep visiting bandcamp.com and downloading (or streaming) my albums or singles there & you can donate to the proposed live street album called “Don’t Clap Throw Money.”
Not a bad title is it? It’s gonna be mainly live street stuff in Auckland playing an SB outside SB.ie a Steve Barkman guitar outside Star Bucks ha ha
Also tell your besties that I’m on Spotify but tell em also to support bandcamp. Give me a call if Rotten Bananas doesn’t show at your BBQ or you need some sounds at a tiny gathering (or a huge one) 021 0259 2919 is my number. Don’t all call at once. Let’s get live entertainment into people’s homes. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bye by Hollyweird…we can do it ourselves. Touring again in March – book me.