Thursday, May 19, 2011

Big World

My friend Tim Guy has just finished a new video.  It's really good, and you'll probably like it; I know I do.   He shot the video, I'm pretty sure he said, while he was on tour around New Zealand in the summertime. If you've ever been on tour around New Zealand in the summertime I urge you to have a look at it - you'll recognise a lot of the places you drove hundreds of ks on windy roads to play shows at.  There's that sweet gig you can do at Milford Sound where they take you out on their boat in the morning, and then on the way home you can listen to Kashmir the way it was meant to be heard - in a van full of amplifiers driving through the Homer Tunnel, which looks very much like it was hewn by Dwarves with two-handed axes.  There's the pass at the top of the Cardrona road, which isn't the quickest route to Queenstown, but if you have to play there you might as well go the pretty way.  There's someone's house near Invercargill or somewhere with a cat and a dog, where you had a ridiculous party after a show where the drummer in the support band was probably dressed like a pirate and you woke up on the couch. Then there's the Wellington motorway just before you get to the ferry to play what is often the most hilarious set of the tour: 10 a.m in a fake Irish bar on a half-empty boat crossing one of the most notoriously choppy stretches of water in the Southern Hemisphere.

I like this video it because I've been on tour with Tim, and being on tour with Tim was pretty special. He didn't do any of the driving - I can't remember why - but it was cool with me because I like to drive.  He would be in the back of the car, often keeping quiet, and he shot videos on his camera.  Sometimes I'd sneak a look at them and there was something about each of them that made them better that the videos that people often shoot on their cameras from the backs of cars, like he would have noticed the way all of the windmills were turning at the same speed as they came over the horizon, or he'd be mumbling something hilarious and barely audible into the mic.   When we were in Paris we walked for a couple of hours from where we were staying at the confluence of the Marne and the Seine, along the banks of the river and all the way into the city.  I can't remember what we talked about but we talked the whole way, and when we got into the city we found just about the most expensive bar they had and got tall glasses of beer for around ten euros each.

In Berlin we stayed with my friends in a room with white walls and concrete everything, on the ground floor of a building that seemed pretty old.  It was a good room with a big oak table and mostly we just sat around listening to the way our guitars sounded in the room.  In Hamburg the show was just off the the Reeperbahn and Tim was looking for the ghosts of where the Beatles put in their ten thousand hours or whatever it was, but all we found were packs of Englishmen with loud voices and lots of hookers who frankly terrified me.  In the countryside outside of Stuttgart we spent some nights in a barn made of stone in a compound on an old vineyard, and everything was solar-powered because the people who lived there were photovoltag engineers at the solar plant down the road.  Power was supplied by a complex web of cables connected to a bank of batteries hooked up to solar panels in various stages of brokenness, and the lightswitch in the room where we slept was nowhere to be found as far as we could tell. We didn't want to bother anyone at night and during the day we would forget to ask about it, so we slept two nights with the fluorescents on.

The whole time, I listened to Tim play his songs most nights and sometimes we'd do some songs together because his songs are a lot of fun to play on.  A lot of people's songs you'd get sick of after hearing them night after night, but Tim's just grew on me.  When he came through Auckland a month or so ago it was a good feeling to sit down and play some of his songs together, and I got that feeling again when I saw his video just now.  Go on, have a look: