Apr 2014 - The Empire Society Sessions, Pirate Bay & more...
April was a bit disrupted in what I was planning to get done in terms of recording, because we made a short notice trip back to Northern Ireland last week for the funeral of my grandmother. In typical fashion though we tried to make the most of the circumstances and did a couple of gigs while over there. So in roughly chronological order...
» ZIBBA @ Edelbier, Rieti - 8th April 2014.
Alongside Unquiet Nights, we keep Essential Credential active in a few areas of music with the intention to expand a bit in future. There isn't much time for it but when something interesting comes up, or something that might benefit Unquiet Nights at the same time, we try and do it. This time we were asked to book some of the tour for Italian artist Zibba and his band Almalibre, who were recently successful on the San Remo Festival TV show here in Italy. So that was a good night and his band are all great players, everyone invovled was pleased. Team Essential Credential might get more involved in concert promotion in future.
» The Pirate Bay.
I've never noticed us on the torrent websites before, but during April some time "21st Century Redemption Songs" appeared on most of them. Whilst major labels complain and moan in a very childlike manner about this type of stuff, it's actually unavoidable and in the current music industry it would in it's own way be worrying if we never made it on there. The biggest labels were blind to the changes that technology was bringing after the CD era, and sleep-walked through years of it without cultivating new talent. Independent bands like ours are used to the idea that the financial value of music is at an all time low and that bands have never made less out of people listening to their music than now. Luckily though, financial gain is not in my top few reasons for making music in the first place, so you won't find any Metallica style cynical whinging about piracy from me. Just hopefully people who pirate it will pass it around to friends and hopefully at some time come and see us live or buy a future release. Many of the bands, films and TV series that I've discovered through pirated material I've gone on to buy multiple releases of, and a lot of people are like that. What I object to more than pirating, believe it or not, are "services" such as Spotify who more cynically and ironically exploit and rip off artists with their vulture like business model.
» Charlotte Cameron RIP (1931 - 2014).
As mentioned above, my grandmother died last week. Although she was recently discovered to have cancer, it was sudden. She was one of the biggest supporters of Unquiet Nights, used to drive to gigs on her own and would listen to the album start to finish. She was from Detroit, Michigan and ended up on Cregagh estate in Belfast because of her step-dad getting a job in Harland & Wolff shipyard during the war. She recalled a teenage George Best, and always referred to Van Morrison as "wee Ivan" who used to sing on the doorstep for the local blind kid.
Having always done amateur dramatics, she started wracking up major credits late in life in things like The George Best Story (ITV), The Closing of The Ring and City of Ember (2008). The latter featured Tim Robbins, Bill Murray and exec credits by Tom Hanks. The director Gil Kenan tweeted condolences.
Anyway, goodbye Charlotte. No ones indignation over which songs I didn't play in my set list were as furious as yours. No one's pride over anything Unquiet Nights achieved was greater.
» The Empire, Belfast - 30th April 2014.
One consequence of being back for the funeral was that I did a couple of gigs at short notice, having not played in Ireland (North/South) since June '13. The first was at The Society Sessions in The Empire, Belfast on 30th April, last Wednesday as I write this. I felt like stale roadkill obviously, having (not) slept in Gatwick airport during the stopover from Rome. The gig was good though, the bar at The Empire is normally pretty full. I had more in the way of wedges to eat at the table than I did in my monitor wedges on stage, but despite that it was good. Did a new song called "Constellations of She" for the first time, and ended with "Don't Wanna Kill For Religion", which is interesting to do in Belfast as people get all the references. In fact, one guy was talking to me after the set, who I had seen was paying me good attention while on stage said something like: "particularly the last song with all the references about Belfast".
The next gig was at The Maverick in Belfast, but was on 6th May so I'll write about it in the next blog. There was a recording done of the set on my Zoom H6 recorder, so maybe I have something to upload for you to hear.