Monday, September 29, 2008

London Sight-seeing

This morning I went through my usual morning activities, took a nap, paid some bills (with what money I have), and went on a walk through Hyde Park to dissipate some of the stress that usually (unfortunately) accompanies bill paying. I had spoken to my fabulous new friend, Chris Nicholas, a close friend of, and songwriting collaborator with, Zoe Ellis, earlier and arranged to meet him back at the hotel for a tour of the city. I met Chris in the lobby and he proceeded to take me on a lovely walking tour past many of the significant London monuments near Hyde Park. We passed throught Trafalgar Squarea, Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, Marble Arch and ended up in SoHo for dinner. I had a traditional fish pie, which while tasty, I wasn’t able to finish, perhaps because of exposure to a stomach virus that many on the tour had been suffering from. I never experienced the worst of the virus, but I was surprised that I didn’t eat more, given my usually very high metabolism and concomitant large appetite!

After dinner, I returned to the hotel for a short nap, before joining several of the band members for a night out. We went to a weekly jam session in a club in Piccadilly Circus, and met and played with some cool new musician friends, including John Altman, Alexei and host Patrick Alan. Initially, we were all claiming that we’d sit the night out, stating our fatigue as an excuse not to perform, but one by one, we were compelled to the stage.

I sat at the keyboard and joined in a funky jam with everyone, while Patrick was singing an improvised song. Then Patrick put a mic in front of me. I was a bit taken aback (as I’ve been singing background forever but have very little lead experience), but went for it anyway, singing whatever romantic lyrics I could think of in the moment. Vocal improvisation is a definite skill set, and, let’s just say, something I should work on! lol We then played extended versions of “Do I Do” and “Supersition”, each of us taking a solo. Despite the fatigue, it was great fun. The club was too loud (I spent much time with my ears covered), but the audience and other musicians were awesome. I didn’t get to sleep until nearly 4am…

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