It seems like it just a discussion? Or are they playing as well? I'll be on gardening leave then so might pop down
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Bill Nelson's website says there will be playback of the album (through cinema sound system) with projected photos, graphics, and guitar images. They will discuss the music and their creative and collaborative process.
Advance copies of the album on CD will be available to purchase (no postage charge) and have signed.
As promised here is my review of the afternoon with Reeves and Bill Nelson.
Actually getting to the event was a logistical battle in itself. I had earlier in the day decided to try and catch some of the Tour de France that was going on in Cambridgeshire / Essex just over the border from Hertfordshire, but the album launch was due to start at 3.45-4pm in Central London. That meant I had to somehow get to the TdF, find somewhere to park without ending up in the blocked off roads, then cycle from my car to a good viewing spot, wait for the riders to come past, then get back to my car and then drive back home for 2.45 to then get the 3pm train into London. (Phew! Got that?) I worked out all my timings and found a spot where the cyclists were meant to come past at 12:50. They actually came through about 1.20 so I was already panicing but had allowed for some leeway. Anyway, cut a long story short, I got home at 2.45 which gave me zero time to dump the car, quickly change and then run down to the station. It was at this point I realised I could probably take a Cure CD or Vinyl and try and get it signed, so a quick mad rush to work out what would make sense, realised Wrong Number was my only choice, ran around the house looking for them, found they didn't fit in my bag, found another bag and then ran out the house. Realised I'd left the event ticket in the house, got the ticket, back out the house, and had to run non-stop to the station. Only to find the train was 10 minutes delayed, panic over. (Double Phew!)
So now to focus on album launch itself. What would it be like? What if the album was terrible / boring? Would I meet Reeves up close? If I did, what would I say? Would I mumble? What if they run out of time and didn't do the signing. etc etc. All the normal fanboy / fangirl thoughts.
Eventually I made it to Oxford Circus (near Soho) at 3.40. It was starting to rain hard, I realised I felt rough as hadn't grabbed any lunch yet, and it dawned on me I hadn't checked the location of the venue. A quick check - bugger - it's at least 10 minutes away. A quick walk and eventually I made it. Quite a few people milling around, some with name badges on, others queueing up for something but I couldn't tell what. Looked like a guest list of some sort. A quick check and I worked out the desk was selling CDs of the album so I joined the queue. At this point, Reeves wandered into the room. No one seemed to really notice or make a scene (which I thought was fair enough). I wondered, do I go now and end up saying something dumb, or hang loose and wait? I waited, paid for my CD and got a beer and some crisps (that was my lunch).
It was getting near 4pm now. Hang on?! Why's everyone got name badges on except me? A quick check back at the desk - you need a name badge to get into the Cinema room. Ah! You could have said when I bought the CD! Got my name badge, and rejoined the group, now heading into the Cinema. I reckon there was 40/50 people there, maybe more, but it was certainly a low-key affair.
Eventually, the compere (Tom?) enters the room and explains the format. They will play the album over the sound system for just under an hour, along with images projected onto the screen. Then there will be a Q&A followed by questions from the audience and then the signing sesion. Lights down, a quick sip of beer, music starts. Here we go...
As for the album itself, I can't really describe it in great detail. Partly because I've obviously only heard it once, but mainly because it doesn't fit into any category of music that I already own. If push comes to shove and I had to say it sounded like something, I would say Space Rock-ey, with some Psychadelia. Think Spacemen 3 / Spiritualized with some Julian Cope when he was most off his head on drug cocktails (possibly. I don't want to get sued by JC). Some of it was quite Jazzy too. Plus some of the images being projected were pretty trippy too. A couple of the songs I didn't really take to. Most were ok/good. A couple were easy to get into. During the playback I did the obvious thing and listened for Cure type riffs, but nothing really stood out apart from one track where you could imagine Robert taking hold of it, tweaking it and laying some dreamy lyrics over it. The overall style of the album was as the name suggests - Fantastic Guitars. Two guitarists with very different styles, conversing using their weapon of choice. It was interesting listening and trying to work out which guitarist was playing which section. Almost Duelling Banjos but not quite so cheesy.
After 40-45, we got to the end of the album. Warm / polite applause (I think the venue / format was a little unsettling. It wasn't really condusive to audience interaction as such.)
A quick break in the proceedings as chairs and table were brought out, and off we went with the Q&A. How did they meet? What was the recording process? What was easy, what was hard? etc etc. Reeves in particular enjoyed the roast dinners he had while staying in Yorkshire at Bill's home studio. The Cure were mentioned briefly - having met on various occassions they met up again when The Cure played Leeds, and the idea of an album came out of that.
So onto the the audience Q&A. First, a question about why Bill had never been invited to play with Bowie (he didn't know. He'd had invites from the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, and someone else I forget now, but had turned them all down). Reeves butted in "You turned down Van Morrison!!??". Then another question about their musical compatibility (I think - my mind was wandering now in terms of photo opps, signing and "don't say something stupid to Reeves".)
With the Q&A over, it was now time to get the CDs signed. Due to a lack of foresight, we ended up with 2 queues from different directions, one for each guitarist. I managed to get myself 2nd place in the Reeves queue so I was well chuffed, but it didn't leave me long to get my "chat up line" in order. I actually forget now how our chat kicked off but while he was signing the Fantastic Guitars CDs, I whipped out my Wrong Number CD and said "remember this?". He said "sure do! That's great!". So I replied with "well that's just as well because I've got the 12" here for you as well. Hope you don't mind?". He was absolutely cool about it and in fact seemed to be enjoying the chance to meet people in such as small quiet venue.
Now for the million dollar question!! "Have you heard of The Cure Community forum? I'm one of the admins there. We love what you've done live." His reaction was, he doesn't really get involved in fan sites. He's heard about it, along with Chain of Flowers, but tends to keep his distance. He has other people to keep an eye on things (it turned out later in my 2nd chat with him, this is his wife). I was keen to continue the marketing exercise but I was struggling to remember the story about a photo that was posted onto the site which he then contacted us about as he really like it (something like that anyway.) Mauro's named was mentioned and I sort of mumbled that that could be right but I knew that wasn't quite the story I was referring to (more on this later.)
I can't remember what else was said now so finally I said thanks and goodbye with a spring in my step and headed off the queue for Bill. I noticed people were now asking for photos/selfies. Ah! Why didn't I do that! I've missed my chance now. Oh well. Not being familiar with his past or his work, I then had to think of something interesting to greet him with! I'll spare you the details but it involved a Ukulele! He was a nice chap and he thanked me for buying the album.
It was getting towards 6 o'clock now and those still in the queue were told to start a new queue back in reception. Aha! Here's my chance to get back to Reeves and try for part II. So upstairs, I joined the new Reeves queue at which point a lady came round talking to the various people. It turned out to be Reeve's wife Susan, so I had a chat with her. I explained that I'd actually got my stuff signed already and just wanted to grab a picture. She said, sure, come over with me and I'll take your photo now. Woohoo!
So here's the piccie. Susan joked that he was pulling a face and I said that's fine because he doesn't know what I was doing behind his head. I wasn't doing anything but that's not the point!
When Susan had finished taking the pics, I explained to her that I was actually a Cure fan first and foremost and she seemed pleased, as if she hadn't met any others during the afternoon. Reeves said to me, tell her about your fan site so I mentioned it again and again tried to recall the story of a fan photo from a live gig that they wanted a copy of because it was so good. Again we bounced some names around and then she said... . . [drumroll] . . Kelly! Yes! That was it! The story came back to me and it was indeed our Kelly that had been contacted. I was super impressed that Susan remembered not only the situation with the photo but Kelly's name too. Susan then started praising us as she thought that we were a pretty nice bunch doing all the right things. So, high 5 team.
As you can imagine, I was pretty happy with my days work at this point so said my final goodbyes and started to make my way home (with a quick Tweet to @curecommunity as a teaser).
Apologies for the long re-telling of my day, but i've never been one of these people that bumps into celebs or heroes on a regular basis so I am enjoying my moment of glory for as long as I can. Hope you enjoyed it.
3 more photos to follow in the next post...
Last Edit: Jul 7, 2014 23:19:08 GMT 1 by paulwUK: typos