Been a while, back seat in the corner next to the window as always. No table and all seats facing forwards this time so it’s got potential to be the mute seat. Conversation in the front three rows is flowing about food, I’ll stay quiet for now as just ate a ham and cheese sandwich.
This morning before leaving for our first show in over a year I went for my first run since breaking the sub 24 hour time in my last event and attempt at running one hundred miles, 22 hours 58 minutes was worth the two blisters. I picked up no other injury’s and I’ve now fully recovered after a couple weeks R & R. I feel even closer to the South Downs way after that mammoth task. The Alps still remains a challenge and I’ve a couple months of training before getting back there to attempt the TDS race, tag lined the UTMB’s wild sister so that should bring a fair bit of effort out of me, my legs and my mind. I’m strangely looking forward to it as always.
Meanwhile back in the van….
We are on route to our first BirdPen show in over a year, a festival in Belgium so I have positive buzz notes floating about as it’s always such a welcoming country for us.
Mikes been banging on about some Norwegian cheese we should all try, Jacobs at hand but he lost the knife so we have to try and tax one from somewhere.
Nibble nibble then, in a bit again.
Monday morning, thoughts and reflection from the van:
The cheese was nice but there’s been way too much bread intake and not enough cooked things over the last few days on this trip. Arriving somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the dark to an unlocked guest house with nothing inside doesn’t really bring warm comfort or sunshine vibes to seven slightly weary men who’ve just spent almost 13 hours in a van. The towels finally turned up and mine smelt like Rover the Labrador had dried himself and slept on it after a dip in the local stink stream, which was nice. More bread and waiting around awaited the day.
Arriving on site the lovely organisers had arranged a nice big television for us backstage to watch the world cup competition of kick ball. We scored six and they only scored one. More waiting, watching more kick ball and mooching about filled most of the rest of the daylight hours with a grey school diners meal thrown in for an attempt at stomach comfort.
I think for the first time in my life I might have enjoyed the setting up and packing down/ loading the van than I did the actual gig. I’m kidding of course ( or am I ? ) but the show had its problems as it’s been a while and with new setups and bits of tech, things can take a little while to bed in I suppose. It got better after the glitches and sound problems thankfully and the crowd were tip top as always in Belgium so cheers to you all for being there and being cool.. It’s good to be back but there’s work to be done from our end. Our Sundays evenings accommodation saw us stay in a quirky guest house with a huge porcelain chicken on the stairs and a massive long tap in the bathroom. I finished the night eating Crisps for fucks sake.
Here’s that really long tap.
And here’s me thinking about things with the chicken.
It took another twelve and a half hours to get home.
I am Dave Pen
I’m a little obsessed with mirrored images. I use a simple app on my phone. I like how it creates a whole other world from something as simple as a tree or a building or clouds and so forth. Here’s a load of mirrored images I’ve made over the last few years. I hope you enjoy them and they don’t give anyone a headache.
All images were taken and are owed by me!
I am Dave Pen.
Greetings to you all out there in cyber space land. I’ve have just returned from a very much needed rest of eleven nights on a Greek island, the time spent close to the ocean and in the warm sun was splendid.
Just before I left I was in the studio with Archive creating some new mad other worldly banging tunes. Prior to this we’d played our first festival of the summer in Germany alongside Mogwai, it’s always a strange feeling when you share a bill with other artists who have inspired you along the way. I wonder if this still happens to lots of other people in my situation? I hope so. The journey home ended up with me sweating it out and staring at a square on the inside of my bunk until my eyes slowly closed over the course of what felt like forty-five minutes.
The BirdPen latest album has been generating some good reviews and its great to see the LTD Edition versions of the gatefold White Vinyl albums available. Check it out:
Bird and myself have been back into the studio, which we set up in the surroundings of the New Forest down here in Hampshire to start writing what will be our fourth album. It’s early stages but 9 new songs have been created in the first writing/recording session. We are due back in next month for session number two. No need to speak about what the concepts of the writing are about yet as ‘In The Company Of Imaginary Friends’ is still very fresh in the mind and I’m looking forward to getting out and playing the songs live again this Autumn/Winter.
I’ve been delving back into the twisted tales of the dark sinister minister Mr Jim Jones again lately. I read Deborah Laytons book ‘Seductive Poison’, which is a brilliant haunting insight into the world’s most famous cult leader and his followers of the Peoples Temple. The faiths he was preaching about in the early days were that of a pure world with no fear or hatred and to then end up a paranoid junkie manipulative mad ranting demon bringing the deaths of over 900 men, woman and children just reeks of mad sinister evil. I found a link to the final forty-five minute recordings in Jonestown but couldn’t really bring myself to listen through it all. It all really creeped me out for a Wednesday morning so I went and mowed the lawn instead.
We’re back on the road again this week heading back to Germany for the Southside and Hurricane festivals. Always some top acts at these two festivals so will in doubt have a mooch and lend my ears to a few.
Might shove some random poems up on here at some point soon too. I’ve been jotting down rhyming ramblings a lot lately and I should get them off my Phone and up on here.
I don’t blog enough these days either.
I am Dave Pen
On the train heading to the studio up near Cambridge to do some writing and recording. The sun is flickering and flashing through the trees and windows on the train, that’s a certain way to trigger a migraine. I’ve had to put my sunglasses on, I look a bit like a jackal with my black hat, black puffa coat and now black sunglasses, I have no intentions of starting a fire and I’m not carrying anything illegal. I’ve been on a blog lull of late and haven’t entered anything since the big slab of photographic evidence from The Quest for Mont Blanc. That seems far away now but I know she is still there waiting and taking anybody who chooses to attempt to summit and touch the top of her head. So from the open space way up on top of western Europe’s highest point to the crammed stuffy germ filled carriages of trains zooming to the capital of England. Nobody wants to sit next to someone else, including me if I’m honest and I’ve been carrying the lurgy for a few weeks now. Starting from my nose to my head, then my limbs and now my chest, which is just where I didn’t want it to set up phloem camp. Its hit me hard enough to have to cancel my final endurance test of the year which was my first ultra marathon of forty five miles down on the Dorset coast this Saturday. I’m truly gutted, I wanted to sign the year off with a big test and now I cant and it’s made me itchy and irritable. Fuck you germy virus fucks. Get out and don’t come back no more.
I’m not sure why I’ve not blogged of late, maybe I’ve been doing too much and finding the actual time to sit and write out what’s happened seems like a memory slog . A few random past thoughts are – Touring with BirdPen across Europe was like the miles we covered, some were long and slow and some went quickly and I enjoyed most of the ride, a record new zero funds made on the merchandise in Stockholm, a blown tire on the Autobahn, shady Czech traffic cops, horrible Swiss border Nazi’s, tambourine thief’s in Berlin, chocolate cake in Bern, happy faces at the front of the crowd, serious arm crossers at the front of the crowd, nobody at the front of the crowd. Dancing till dawn, coffee and doughnuts, good luck charms, welcoming promoters, backstage invaders, going deaf and vomiting, needing sleep and needing more sleep. The birds will always find the antennas and we will continue to transmit.
I’m on route to the studio to record vocals and guitars for new Archive material, Darius and I spent a day together last week demoing some ideas which I’m exited about, we then spent six hours watching a world war two three part drama and ate lots of food. Perhaps we were fuelling up for the oncoming fuzz marathon of playing live in 2015. Next year will be full on from what I can see and the new album, which is called Restriction, is out January 2015. It will be great to get it out there on the road. So 2015 will bring a whole wedge packed whack of new sounds. I will have three albums out by the end of spring. Archive – Restrictions in January BirdPen – In The Company Of Imaginary Friends in March and We are Bodies in April of which The Kendal mad man Robin Foster and I just mastered this wonderful album in Abbey road. Always a special place to work and topped off nicely by getting to see Underworld perform live straight to Vinyl in Studio one, what a nice way to celebrate finishing the album. Sometimes my job is truly the best job in the world! I don’t know how I’m going to remember all the words I have written though.
Final words and am gonna close this one, I’m DJ’ing with the Manglebird and a bunch of dear friends this Saturday, then off Warsaw and Berlin for Restrictions playback party’s next week. I have to admit I’m gutted my legs wont hurt, guess I’ll open the sets with Road to Nowhere by Talking heads. I am Dave Pen
I’ve been busy packing up copies of the new BirdPen Saver Destroyer E.P and Global Lows albums to send out across Europe. Hope the fans who ordered like what they hear. I think it’s a cool E.P and it feels good to get out material we have recorded a little while ago. tor interested folk The track ‘Goodnight from the Green Bear’ was Produced by Darius keeler with us and the drums were played by the Seagull. The artwork design was designed by myself and is a captured still from an Indian ceremony that I was allowed to film whilst travelling around southern India a few years ago.
Also on the E.P is a cool Moody remix from my good friend Robin Foster. You can hear it below:
The Ltd edition E.P and Global Lows Album are available to buy from the BirdPen website shop here – http://www.birdpen.com/shop
Cheers everyone for supporting what I and my good friends create. I salute you all x
I am Dave Pen
Am loving the video for the Ltd Edition single release of the song Sorrow. Big thanks to Benjamin Lussier and Freakz Films for their hard work in making it.
A few limited edition singles remain for purchase at http://www.birdpen.com/shop
I am Dave Pen
A blog from July I forgot to post:
As said in previous blogs I always end up getting a really nice plush hotel room when I have only a matter of hours to collapse on the bed in my clothes and head to the land of nod for a far to short a time. This was the case after BirdPen’s performance at the Les Ardents Festival in Liege , Belgium. We haven’t played any festivals this year and this is our only major one this year. Accompanied by two deaths and a black umbrella for Only the names change we put in a full intense and fuzz filled BirdPen show to an early but enthusiastic crowd. So many ideas roar inside my head when in the BirdPen world and the gel of the band has really come together playing live. The energy is always at 100 percent and as soon as the first notes are played every stress or troubled frustrated thought seems to drift away.. I’m not being romantic with this here but it is the truth and that’s how I feel and this is my blog so I can write what I like . We are still trying to get Global Lows out which is frustrating but the fact that we played that festival without a manager without a publisher without a record label without a press agent without any financial backing. Armed with just a booking agent who believes in what we do makes it even more special, because I believe we where there on our own merits. Things get done because of belief and thanks to a few people that have believed in what we do, we have and can accomplish so many things.
My eyes feel so heavy, I arrived at the train station at 7.40am thinking I had plenty of time to get the 8 am train to Paris via Brussels from Leige.. I waited in line until 8.07 before I got a ticket direct to Paris that would be leaving at 9.49. Now I’m writing this trying to stay awake before being asked many more questions from journalists about the new Archive album. Simple love songs but done in a very un orthodox way. Processed crunchy beats like a machine with a broken heart. I’m writing this whilst the video to Roxette’s “It must have been love” is playing on the TV screen in the coffee house I’m sloped and typing in. Love songs huh? These Danish eighties haircuts don’t even come close to Conflict, or Wiped out…(They are new Archive songs by the way) and With us until your dead is a great album and I’m looking forward to it’s release.
The woman serving in the coffee house has a haircut from the eighties, big with lots of chemical hairspray with a splash of red on the front.. Proper European, time warp and timeless buffon hair do. Where are the shoulder pads to match? And Joan Collins?
There’s a spider crawling along the woman’s bag who is sat in front of me, I don’t like spiders at all. Never have done and never will, I wonder if they the most feared of creatures by human beings on this planet.
My head feels warm, my eyes feel heavy and this seat is aching my ass. I hope the slugs haven’t eaten my lettuce back home in the garden.
I am Dave Pen