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good old england…

February 12, 2007

wow… cannot believe i did it… but yes, i did my last gig in europe two nights ago… and only two more nights left in paris… wow…
hmm… so much has happened since my last blog… hope this won’t sound all too crazy and confusing and too long… oh, well… maybe i’ll break into two parts…
so after the first gig in london, i went on to bristol, hull, leeds, nottingham and back to london… took a train to bristol… the one i was supposed to be on got cancelled because there was fire… then the one i took ended up hitting a dog… then did a fun gig with patrick farmer on drums… although it felt a bit weird opening up for this singer/songwriter person… don’t know if people liked or not but we liked it… some people did walk out which i actually liked… it’s better not to have those people around sending out weird vibe, if you know what i mean… the following morning, we took the very first train to oxford… then again this one stopped due to some engineering work… while we were being held, patrick saw this guy outside the train and said “i didn’t think you could get off the train…” then a minute later, the conductor announced that we were being held because this guy who was wanted by police and being escorted to the next station had escaped through a window… then we saw this lone police officer who happened to be woman, chasing the guy by the train… while the conductor was running around within the cars… finally that guy ended up running off to the nearby motorway and we could see that poor police officer gave up on chasing the guy… so that was my british train experience… so exciting…!!!
then we got off and joined patrick’s band mates and drove to leeds… and they were all so lovely… and i was surprised that i understood what they were saying… guess by then my ears were adopted to british accent… then i dropped my expensive croissant at a service station because the woman at the cash register was mean… well, i was being clumsy more or less but she WAS mean…
then met up with jez riley who set up hull & leeds gigs for me and drove off to hull… played at this super cool, funky place called the adelphi club… and let me just tell you, paul who owns that place had a voice so much like patrick mcgoohan’s, i was in awe all the time… and he was such a cool guy with great sense of humor, you know, so-called british style… the gig went well, i think… was really shocked to see people had turn up… played with jez, karl d’silva and rob gawthrop after a short solo set… also cooper-jones from manchester shared the bill and they were lovely…
the next day was at leeds playing with 7hertz and the navigators and matt bourne… they were all fantastic and sooooo damn nice… and the place we played, holy trinity church was just fantastic… you know, you can do anything and still sound good because the acoustic is so amazing, especially if you play a string instrument… i somehow ended up playing standing up for 10-15 minutes… have no idea how i did it but i didn’t drop my cello…
the following day jez and i went on to nottingham to play at the rose of england with lee patterson, will guthrie and dom lash which patrick and rachel put together… was more electronics heavy line up which worked very well… although i was struggling a bit with my solo set… think my strings were pretty much dead and harmonics were not really coming through… oh, well… i somehow managed thanks to the great audience… after the gig, i talked to dave (sorry, didn’t get your last name) who told me he agreed on what i thought of “mystic river”… gotta check out that “dead man’s shoe” he recommended… it has paddy who i find very intriguing…
uh… then got back to london, went straight to the gig with liam noble at the shaw gallery at LSE that jamie (damn, i forgot your last name again, sorry…) set up for me… and the place was really great… except i was a bit intimidated when i got there since it was a real library that everybody was very very quiet… or asleep… we did a short duo set i liked a lot… although i felt bad for liam who probably had no idea what to expect from me musically… but he played great and kicked my ass… well, there was this girl who slept (even snoring lightly) through the entire set somehow… i really did my best to wake her up by playing all the ugliest sounds i can make on my cello but did not work… thought about throwing a lychee at her but then didn’t want to start a trouble…
oh, have to mention this horrible hotel i stayed in london… well, the first one i stayed at called europa house hotel wasn’t too bad… it was rather old and not the most convenient one but still people were very sweet and its location was great… a few minutes from paddington station… then the second one i stayed called comfort inn at earl’s court was AWFUL… the people were not friendly, the room was literally a closet and it was so damn noisy, i ended up waking up at 7 in the morning… i stayed there on the 2nd and the 7th… and i asked them if i could leave my cellos flight case for the days i was gone and they wanted to charge me £5 per night…! if it hadn’t for matt milton (who is one of the sweetest guys i’ve EVER met even though he might not like me saying it) who took it for me, it would have cost me £30…! i really strongly discourage you from booking at that hotel…
oh, although i wrote that it was mainly ladies who helped me out at the tube stations, there were many gentlemen who helped me out on the last day… i actually almost got into an accident on an escalator while carrying my flight case and suit case… was scary… yikes… my flight case got stuck at the bottom of it and almost fell… after that at least 3 people helped me with carrying my stuff… and this time, many of them were men… (matt, people are nice in london although i did see a guy getting out of his ferrari with a metal rod ready to hit this guy who punched his car in the middle of oxford circle…)
went to tate modern twice and i really really really love that place… they had two barnett newman pieces called “adam” and “eve” and they were so beautiful and inspiring… amazing red and deep brown/purple… and his “zipz” are so poetic… if i can ever write music remotely close to them, i’ll die as a happy person… and saw an elegant piece by giacometti called “hour of the traces”… it was something he made totally unconsciously (or tried to, it looked so damn fantastic!!!)… saw bruce nauman’s “double no” again… also i saw “three studies for figures at the base of a crucifixion” by francis bacon and i think it might have been the very time i saw hos paitings in person and i was totally blown away… the color and intensity… how abstract the figures were yet so emotional and felt real… wow… i got chill on my spine… i really need to spens whole week there just sitting in front of the paitings… oh, then there were this set of 9 paitings by rothko… damn… wanna go back tomorrow… too bad i didn’t get to ride those tubes… oh, well…
ok, i have to write about paris in the next one because this one is already ridiculously long… but can i just tell you, i do LOVE paris too… wow…

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One Comment
  1. Hi Okkyung, this is Dave (from Nottingham). Thanks for coming to Britain, I enjoyed the concert a lot and it was nice talking to you. I hope you get to see Dead Men’s Shoes some time soon. Talking to you reminded me that I don’t go to the cinema often enough so since then I’ve been to see Pan’s Labyrinth (absolutely recommended) and For Your Consideration. I hope you can come back some time soon and I’m looking forward to hearing you with Mike Ladd and Vijay Iyer. Cheers, Dave.

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