fredag 6. mai 2016

Italy and UK ultimo April + 1st of May 2016

I travelled from Bergen to Oslo to Milano Malpensa early on Monday 25th of April. I bought a pair of new in-ear phones both in Bergen (cheap substitute ones) and in Oslo (not-so-cheap proper ones), because the cable for my Bose’s is fucked up. At the plane to Milano I was at the very back, and there were nobody else next to me or in front of me – in fact the whole 2 back rows were for me only. Luxury!

Then I took the train from Milano to Brescia and Ale picked me up at the station. I don’t remember so much from this night, only that we watched Cars II (we being Ale and me and Pietro and Samuele – they are Ale’s kids and they are super cool), and that it was very nice. As it was the first night my Italian was even more bad than usual, so I mostly watched the pictures on the TV and enjoyed hanging out with the family. It’s weird how much it feels like being with family when I’m in Italy.

The next day, Tuesday 26th, Ale and I drove to Orio al Serio to pick up Moa, who is our new synth player. I really love how much cooler the songs are live now than earlier when we didn’t have her. We went to have lunch first, and then I saw the new Panini Euro2016 sticker book and started to look forward to that. And then we went to the studio for the first practice. Some songs were surprisingly hard to do the first time, just because of emotional baggage (for me), like Don’t Kill the Clowns.

Practicing Angry Girl

That evening, after we had eaten gnocchi (<3), I discovered Pietro’s Amici Cucciolotti book, which was perfect level Italian for me. So I used some time to read about seals and sea horses.

Wednesday the 27th was also practice day, and it became very clear that my voice is not used to singing several hours a day. But we started to sound good during this day! In the evening Samuele and I played with cars and I got grappa also, and the combination wasn’t bad at all. I really like the way we can speak to each other without worrying about meaning, like he talks to me in Italian, and I answer in Norwegian, and nobody really care that we might not be talking about the same thing, because that’s not the point.

Thursday the 28th we drove to Bologna, after a short practice first. Driving with Ale on Italian highways is one of my favourite things to do. (I had kind of forgotten how much I liked it, but after these days I felt like writing a follow up song to Driving in Your Car, and so I did (couple of days ago).)

Driving in your car.

This gig was the first one since summer of 2013, and the first with more of a “proper band” since the summer of 2011, so it was really weird. Also we had to play Super Quiet, which was also weird, but nice to be able to hear my voice really properly. And Ale said that I sang well and was friendly :)
A really good thing about that night was also to see Enzo again. He was dj-ing as well, and that’s good because then you can be sure that there is only good music.
We drove back in the evening.

Trying to be Really Quiet!

Friday the 29th we could have a slow morning, so we did. Moa and I went down to Ale, and then he went to the store to buy some food, and when he returned he had bought the Cucciolotti book for me! 


And there were a lot of stickers, and I was so happy! Then I was the most useless person for a while because I was sticking stickers while Moa was cooking and Ale was washing the floor…but also my stomach hurt super much so I would perhaps not have been so useful even without the sticker book. So before we started driving to Vittorio Veneto we stopped by a pharmacy to get something to make my stomach shut up. The pills made me kinda tired also, so I wasn’t as happy a camper as I would have liked to have been this day. But the gig was ok anyway I think, we sold 5 copies of the old album, and I could drum as loud as I wanted.

Flyer for that gig.

Saturday the 30th Fabio returned from Germany, and we had one quick rehearsal with him before going to the airport. We went with British Airways, which is good because they have free wine.

On Sunday the 1st of May, we had breakfast some place near our apartment in London. While we were eating there, money was falling from the sky outside. This almost never happens! They were picked up by a dude who looked like Snoop Dogg, and he delivered a rather large amount of it to the staff at the café, in case someone came asking for them, but also kept a Rather Large Amount for himself. He was fun. He ended up paying for everyone’s breakfast, pointing to each in turn saying “done, done, done, done!”. This was probably confusing for the one entering the place after the money had fallen: “Some dude just paid for my breakfast and then pointed at me saying DONE!?”.

After this Ale read a bit for me from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and that was super nice, and we also relaxed a bit and had lunch, and then we went to the venue, which was the Schacklewell Arms. I liked that place. It was brown and had football on the TV, and you could either listen to the bands or be in the bar or be in a backyard, and they also served food so you didn’t have to go anywhere else to get that.

Moa, Big Food, Fabio, More Big Food, and Ale

We played at 21:30-ish, and there were a lot of people, and I think we were good, but you can decide for yourselves as the whole gig is at YouTube. Here's part 1, and the rest is out there (10 in total).

It was the best gig of those three we did, and also now we had Fabio on the bass and that made a huge difference. I’m really really happy with my new band. The best possible band for me!

Me and Ale in the window, Moa, and Fabio

Monday the 2nd of May I joined Ale and Fabio to Gatwick even though it was far too early for my flight, because I had no reason to be in London with my luggage and all. 

Too Early!

And I really hate to say goodbye to Ale, and now it was even worse than January, so the security dudes seemed to assume I was some really really sad suicide bomber. I got to tell them about the gigs, so that was nice… Last time I was at Gatwick, they thought I was wearing terrorist trousers, so now I want to travel from there more just to see what happens next time. After I was through the security control, I found The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and bought it, because I had only borrowed it before. 

Me at Gatwick - Would You Trust This Person? 

Looking very much forward to the next concerts at Indiefjord and Indietracks. It’s Good to Be Back! 

from the old myspace blog: "The Gigography" & "Is it Really about Childhood?"

Wow, they gave it back to me! Now we may enjoy several years of my wit and great humour! There's no point in posting it all tho', because there's a lot of "nice review - here (dead link)" going on, but here are two lists, one from 2010 and one from 2008.

From 17.09.2010

Soda Fountain Rag Gigography, with my comments

07.09.06 –
Phonofestivalen, Café Opera (Bergen, Norway) – The only gig with a banjo!

06.10.06 – Bergen
Bandstand, Kvarteret (Bergen) – We won! Still waiting for quite a lot of the prize.

30.11.06 –
support for Rough Bunnies, Spasibar (Oslo, Norway) – With the “band” on CD,
hehe, great to meet Frida and Anna.

01.02.07 –
Kvarteret (Bergen) – At this gig Anders went off stage, through the crowd, over
to the sound engineer and yelled at him because he was doing a really bad job, then
he went back on stage. In the meantime I did an Alx Rose-dance.

14.02.07 –
Morya (Brescia, Italy ) – Almost dead from the flu.

15.02.07 –
Lego (Cesena, Italy) – I felt like a star! First time we met Zonda.

16.02.07 –
Capannone sociale (Vicenza, Italy) – hohoholy shit, really bad gig.

17.02.07 –
Ponterotto (Firenze, Italy) – One of the best days in my whole life.

18.02.07 –
Zuni (Ferrara, Italy) – Lots and lots of people.
Driving all night and being very sad (“Driving in your car” is related to this night).

03.03.07 –
With Montt Mardie and Suburban Kids with Biblical Names, Kvarteret (Bergen) – Great night,
playing with heroes.

19.04.07 –
Torsdagsrock, Hulen (Bergen) – Why oh why did I say yes to this gig?

19.07.07 –
Loco Squad (Milano Marittima) – My mum and dad and my best friend were all there!

20.07.07 –
Bagno Moderno (Marina di Grosseto) – Haha, SFR on a beach! Now that’s ridiculous!

21.07.07 –
Nosilenz Festival (Brescia) – It smelled very much like a farm, and featured a great puppy called Molly.

22.07.07 –
Castello dei Pico (Mirandola, Modena) – Playing at the castle of an old comparative religion-hero, not bad.

25.08.07 – Support for Pelle Carlberg, Hulen (Bergen) – Nicko’s first gig! Hurra!

15.09.07 –
Kaninkanon V (København, Denmark) – Indie/DIY-party de-luxe, we stayed in
the best room with lots of cartoons, and we went to the Tivoli.

29.09.07 –
Hard Working Class Heroes Festival (Dublin, Ireland) – 15 minutes of pain.

09.10.07 –
Uka, Knaus/Samfundet (Trondheim, Norway) – 2/3 of the band had pretty poor health, some very drunk girls from Molde danced on stage and shared a cigar with us backstage.

04.01.08 –
Morya (Brescia, Italy) – A cold and Christmas-esque evening.

05.01.08 –
Mattatoio (Carpi, Italy) – Someone knew the lyrics to “The Fall”.

10.01.08 –
Relè Café Bistro (San Giovanni Teatino, Italy) – We slept in a truly beautiful apartment with 5 cats.

11.01.08 –
Traffic (Roma, Italy) – My only impression of Rome is that it is very, very dirty.

28.03.08 –
Buffalo Bar (London, England) – oh, no.

31.03.08 –
Whelan’s (Dublin) – Some videos from this gig is on youtube. A bit sad that I chose that moment
to be 10kg too much.

05.04.08 –
Din Nye Ven (København) – Always great in Copenhagen, and a really nice place too.

14.06.08 –
Fincken (Bergen) – Yes! Best gig in Norway ever! Best place to play in Norway ever!

31.08.08 –
Support for Fanfarlo, Mono (Oslo) – hmmm, but there was chocolate on the pillows.

05.09.08 –
NG2 (Bergen) – I felt bullied, but people said it was good.

24.10.08 –
Support for My Little Pony, Hulen (Bergen) – I passed out the night before, so this was a Solo and smågodt-gig.

09.07.09 –
Support for Shugo Tokumaru, Landmark (Bergen) – Wow! What a year for SFR!

27.02.10 –
London Popfest, 100 club (London) – Yes!

12.05.10 –
Astra Stube (Hamburg, Germany) – Yes, Yes!

07.08.10 –
Cosy Den 2010, Gula Villan (Haninge, Sweden) – Yes, Yes, Yes! Also this was Nicko’s last gig with Soda Fountain Rag.

From 08.10.2008

(Regarding It's Rag Time! red.anm.)

I’m a bit confused as people seem to think the theme of the album is «childhood». So, as a part of my ongoing quest to not do anything proper I went through my album, song by song, to see if this is correct:

Is it really about childhood?

1. Army of silent kids – definitively

2. The Saddest Boy in Town – yes, but in retrospect

3. You Sit and Wait for Life – nope, this is early/mid-20s angst

4. I laugh myself to sleep – not at all

5. Escalator – well, it’s all about falling, which can happen at any age I guess…

6. Go! – definitively not, it’s very childish tho’, but that’s another thing

7. Driving in your Car – nonononono

8. Angry Girl – the use of words like «boy» or «girl» does not mean it’s a song about young people. This is a very personal song. I have however moved since the song was written (twice actually), so I don’t hate my neighbours anymore.

9. The Saddest Boy Again – This is about a gay relationship that ends. So, no.

10. Oh, Brother! – Again a very personal song, about wanting brothers. Not age-specific.

11. I was Reborn – Being uncomfortable with ones gender, is not age-specific, wanting to be a toy-boy however suggests that the «I» of this song is at least older than, what, 15?

12. Monkey Girl – The «I» of monkey girl is old enough to go on a train ride to Italy on her own.

13. Don’t Kill the Clowns – Yes! It’s a song about childhood/growing up!

14. Everything Ends (Baby, that’s a fact) – This kind of madness is early 20-ish I think, so no.

That makes 3 out of 14! Haha, this was fun!

mandag 11. april 2016

SFR spring/summer-gigs update

28.04.16 Bologna @ Zoo [ITA]
29.04.16 Vittorio Veneto @ Spazio Mavv [ITA]
01.05.16 DIY POPFEST - London @ Shacklewell Arms [UK]

09/10.07.16 Indiefjord 2016 - Bjørke [Norway]

29/31.07.16 Indietracks Festival - Ripley  [UK]

fredag 4. mars 2016

I'm back

After some years highly involuntary hiatus Soda Fountain Rag is returning for real this year.

Here's how that happened:
Frida & Ale were going to play Indietracks last summer, and asked if I wanted to play drums. We practiced once before the gig, and it was super fun. But most of all it was great to see Ale again. It sounds like a cliché, but it felt like no time had past since we last met in December 2010(!).

After this we started talking about maybe recording some songs, with him on guitar and Fabio on the bass. And so we did in Brescia in October 2015. Four songs were done in some days, and being in Italy again felt a bit like coming home. Those people are my family, after all.



A perfect drum kit

This January I went back and did five more songs, and together with one song recorded in 2010 which I thought was too good to throw away, this will be an album called Extra Life. Release will be later this spring, through WWNBB.

There was a lot of percussion going on. Ale took these pictures:


Here's a sneak preview of one song from the album

There will even be concerts again:

28.04 -  Somewhere in Rome
01.05 - DIY Popfest (London)
9.-10.07 -  Indiefjord (Bjørke)
29.-31.07 - Indietracks (Derbyshire)

This will be great!


Be nice,