Thursday, 24 February 2011

Efterklang, Billy Bragg and Beyond

I won't deny, it's been a trying year, as I'm sure ANYONE has experienced, let alone those that are particularly creatively inclined. That's not to say it's been a dull year, far from it. But after having a spell of lacking somewhat in confidence, I've finally realised I'm good at what I do, and I should keep doing it until it no longer excites, frustrates and educates me.

This last week has taught me that I am STILL learning, and that is a great thing.
I am engaged, inspired, I seem to have streamlined my materials and myself that I get pleased with the improved efficiency of my learned approach. It is satisfying to see that I have learned, and modified, and adapted. It is also good to recognise that I've been doing this for 11 years now, more concentrated in the last 6, and that I still lose myself in it.
So I guess I'm doing what I'm meant to be doing.

And then there are the bonuses. Like today, it became official that Thee legendary Billy Bragg bought one of my drawings. This put the icing on the cake of a week of two other collectors also buying my drawing of Robyn at last year's Polar Music Prize, as well as my ATP drawing of the amazing and unforgettable Daniel Johnston, plus a good wholesome smattering of print orders. Not forgetting a HUGE amount of compliments and feedback courtesy of the fans on Billy Bragg's facebook page after he made a post about me and my drawing - 227 likes and 50 comments - not bad :)
Then for the first time in a few soggy cold weeks, the sun shone all day. Moreover - frustrating as it was - there were at least three great gigs on tonight, one of which I attended and created one of my all time favourite drawings - most definitely aided by the top class band performing :)

The three gigs tonight were the SXSW fundraiser at Stereo for Kid Canaveral who's recently been welcomed into the talented and eclectic fold of Fence Records. Sharing the bill with him was the burgeoning greatness of Randolph's Leap and the wonderful Martin John Henry formerly of De Rosa. Then there was Cry Parrot's night at Sleazy's with the crazy assed Vialka, the very splendid Tattie Toes and an improv super group made out of Jer Reid (Dawson, Issho Taiko Drummers), Shane Connolly (Tattie Toes, The One Ensemble), Douglas Marwick(7VWWVW) and Stevie Jones (Arab Strap and many more). At times like these one wishes one had a few spare clones kicking about. But they probably wouldn't draw. They'd just get drunk and dance...and then I would kick them. :)

So the concert I actually attended with pencils in tow was that of the marvellous Efterklang - hailing mostly from Denmark, although scattered about via Nashville, Berlin and Copenhagen. I was very fortunate to be surrounded by some lovely voiced uber fans who sang along to most every song, in a mostly pleasing way - there was a bum note in there somewhere:) Tonight was part of Efterklang's last tour for a while to concentrate on album work and other projects. They've been touring fairly solidly for 3 and a half years so I guess they're allowed a break. They played after the beautiful film screening of An Island - Watch It!! - a collaboration with the infamous film/visual/audio artist Vincent Moon.

Efterklang, Oran Mor, 24022011 featuring Heather on Piano, Peter on Violin, Mads on Laptops, Dan on Guitar (who mysteriously evaded getting drawn...), Caspar on Vocals, Rasmus on Base, Thomas on Drums. Brilliant.

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