live mix: Michał Walder
mix, production, mastering: Karol Schwarz
supervision: Anna Szynwelska
art work: Patryk Hardziej
photography: Paweł Jóźwiak
coordination: Martyna Olszewska
Writing this in late November 2020, I last played a live show with an audience almost a year ago in December 2019 at SpaceFest in Gdansk, Poland and it almost seems like a dream to me now.
It was towards the end of a slightly gruelling US tour that I received the invite to appear as co-band leader of Pure Phase Ensemble 9, the house band of the festival, along with revered trumpet player Wojciech Jachna.
The list of previous Pure Phase band leaders includes Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab, Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Mark Gardener from Ride and Will Carruthers from Spacemen 3/Spiritualized and the remit was simple enough – workshop from Monday to Friday, write a set and perform it live at the weekend.
The band was made up partly of players who had applied to perform in that year’s band as well as musicians selected by the organisers, and so it was that we ended up with a twelve piece band: the four piece horn section led by Wojciech, a four piece guitar battalion – we set up facing each other in the rehearsal room and kept the same V shaped line-up for the show – as well as bass, drums, keyboards, harmonica, clarinet, djembe, Indian flutes.
The first thing we did in the rehearsal room was play a G chord and tune up and make some noise before slipping into the sweet groove that became ‘Sun Is Setting’. We then spent a day and a half just playing and seeing what happened and on the second night Wojciech and I listened through to the recordings and selected sections to develop and turn into songs throughout the rest of the week.
Now I’ve never captained a football team and certainly not one where everyone speaks a language I don’t understand and there were some moments of heated debate in Polish in the rehearsal room where I didn’t understand what everyone was getting so worked up about but had an idea. In a way this actually....... więcej