"He doesn't speak any French, and I speak no English... but through music, we understand." -Sekou Kouyate
In the port city of Marseilles, home to many a nomadic soul, Joe Driscoll first met Sekou Kouyate. The two were paired up to collaborate at the French festival 'Nuit Metis' (Nights of Mixed Race), and though they shared no common spoken language, they encountered no obstacles communicating through their music. After a few weeks of improvising and jamming, they had found a spiritual and musical bond of kindred spirits. The resulting album is a mad fusion of afrobeat, hip-hop, folk, and reggae, that defies any simple tags or description.
Brighton @ The Hope
Friday, February 3rd, 10:00 Location Website London @ The Secret Garden Pub
Saturday, February 4th, 10:00 Location Website London @ The Bloomsbury (Basement of Tavistock Hotel)
Friday, February 10, 10:00 Location Liverpool Threshold Festival @ The Baltic Triangle
Sunday, February 12, 3:00 Event London w/ The Local Posse @ Bedroom Bar
Friday, February 17, 10:00 Location London @ Hootananny's - Brixton
Friday, February 24, 10:00 Location London @ Small World Winter Warmer Party
Saturday, February 25, 10:00
"Gigging isn't a job, it's an adventure"- quote on Bill Mitchell's facebook wall
So, the tour has been, if nothing else so far- eventful. We played Guernsey and Jersey- both amazing nights on the islands (check Alex's tour photos to get a little taste of how it went) The crowds were massive and really up for it, and the Live Lounge in Jersey was bumping with killer sets from Benny The Moth, Smooth Hounds, and Asylum Seekas. Everyone on the bill was on their A game- especially our homeboy DJ Oneofakind aka Andre DeCarteret. Big up to Guernsey and Jersey for a little over a week full of alot of music and a lot of laughter.
We've just started the UK tour, and all's going well so far. London show was great with a massive crowd, and stellar sets from Sound of Rum, Skitz and Darrison, Don Hendicuttz and Only Joe. This is the first European tour I've been able to bring along 315 partners in crime DJ Afar, James 'Hollywood' Moore, and my business partner Alex Munro- who is helping organize and promote the tour as well as documenting it through photography and video.
We all had a great time in London, though to be honest- it was a bit like 'get off the plane, get into the cab, go to the hotel, go to the club'. Things were pretty hectic the whole time there, and I didn't get to show the boys my city of London like I would have liked to. London is a city much like New York in the sense that you could spend a few months exploring it and still not feel like you've even scratched the surface. We got to sneak in some great touristy strolls around central London tho, and a great night in East London- enjoying the late night culinary genius of Brick Lane's Indian food.
We also got the privilege of grabbing some Kingsland High St. Vietnamese with folk troubadour Nick Mulvey and Eddie Rankin of Gentleman's Dub Club. who recently did a brilliant remix of the tune 'Water' off of Mixtape Champs- that we will post soon! Two of my London brothers that are steadily progressing in both their crafts and their musical enterprises. Was great to chat and catch up with them both and hear about all the great things going down in London town in my absence. So many of my musical family from both Chai Wallah and One Taste Collective are really shining so brightly, and it was a real blessing to hear that their struggles and triumphs were similar in so many ways to my own. Here's a few YouTubes links of them both- so I can give well deserved props to my homies- who are out there creating such inspired and magical music:
Gentleman's Dub Club:
So the London show was packed and good times, but the next morning we had to fly off to the Channel Islands for shows in Guernsey and Jersey. We played a really fun private party in Guernsey on that Saturday- and it was great to be back in good ol Guerns! Guernsey is a little island between the south of England and the north of France where I had played five times previously. My first time here was for Vale Earth Festival in 2007, the island's big summer festival. I played just before a full live band set from Herbalizer, and apparently everyone had a good time- because I've been invited back every year since by the amazing Andre De Carteret aka DJ Oneofakind aka The Get Down! Every time I've been down here I've also made the trip over to Jersey as well, a slightly larger island to the southeast of Guernsey. My brother Jamie from the fabulous band 'Benny The Moth' has always been a true brother in arms there! I have a lot of love for these two islands- and it's been magical to share it with my brothers from the 315.
These islands are Bailiwick of England, which means they are part of the U.K. but they maintain their own currency and are in many ways - their own sovereign states. During World War II, the islands were the only part of the U.K. to be fully occupied by the Germans and they still celebrate their independence day annually. These factors and many others contribute to the peoples of these islands definitely and truly having their own distinct character as a people. We've definitely been enjoying the eccentric behavior of the locals!
For our week of downtime, we've been cruising the local beaches and cliffs and enjoying cold beverages with some new found friends. Yesterday we went off to Herm, another tiny channel island that you can walk the length of the entire island in about 45 minutes. No roads, no vehicles, just beautiful untouched nature and good times. The weather here has been absolutely lovely, and we send our condolences to our New York friends who apparently have been getting snowed on
So, we're going to try to continue blogging when we can and send updates to our friends all over the world! I was chatting to Hollywood about how one of my favorite obscure Dylan songs has never been recorded acoustically by him as he does it in his film 'Masked and Anonymous'. We started jamming on it, and decided to begin vlogging acoustic jams from some of the places we visit- so we've posted our first in a series of acoustic sessions. Though the road is massively hectic, we're going to continue to try to keep yall updated and entertained from the road- so keep checking in- and we'll do our best to stay in touch. The first video is "I Will Remember You" by Bob Dylan, filmed by Alex Munro, recorded live and mixed with footage from our channel island wanderings. Hope you enjoy.
We have to pack up the bags soon and head off for sound check- tonight- Friday, March 25, we play Fusions Nightclub in Guernsey- and tomorrow Saturday, March 26 we play Live Lounge in Jersey. The following day, we'll be taking the boat back to France- to head back to my new second home of Marseille where we pick up our tour vehicle! (woo hoo!) Can't wait for Alex and DJ Afar to get a taste of the Marseille I've come to love so much! The road ahead is looking sweet! We'll be back in the UK by the end of next week tho- with a show in Canterbury at Casey's Pub on Friday, April 1st - and then we trek all the way up north to my old stomping grounds in Liverpool at Django's Riff on Saturday April 2nd with my main homie DJ Buddha! Much love and thanks to all for checking in and for the support! Hope to see you all out on the road sometime soon! All the best from Joe D & the posse. Peace and blessings!