Saturday, 23 July 2011

A tune for the summer

A couple of years ago Poppiholla, Chicane's take on a Sigur Ros track, was undoubtedly my song of the summer. This year that title is likely to be taken by something of the Hurts' album Happiness. Both of these are unfortunate confessions to make before today's big announcement for they betray a fondness for electronica and retro-styled synth pop. However, unashamed and undeterred, I will offer this suggestion for your summer fix of pop punk rock.


Peace & Love is the latest recording from Gilgal, they band which Rowan and I form two-thirds of. It is one of those relentlessly energetic tracks that demands repeated plays at high volume. You could drive fast to it, dance crazily in front of the mirror to it or take your choice between air guitar or air drums. (Full disclosure: I'm the guitarist but when it comes to air instrumentation I am almost exclusively a drummer.) It may not be the sound-of-the-summer but it is certainly a sound-of-the-summer type song.


Because we feel a bit guilty soaking up the hot sun here in Bosnia and Herzegovina, watching friends in the UK tweet about grey skies and rain we want to do our bit to brighten your day, should it be a dull and cloudy one. Click the link to the Gilgal Bandcamp page (www.gilgal.bandcamp.com) and you can download Peace & Love to kick start your summer fun – regardless of the weather. You can get the track for free, or if you want to leave a donation Bandcamp makes that very easy. All donations will go towards the work we're doing making music recordings with young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Whether you prefer your summer synth pop or punk rock, we hope you have a good one!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Gigging again

We're gigging tomorrow and Saturday. Gilgal. That's us. Rowan and I and Budo, our drumming co-worker at Novi Most in Jajce. If your eyesight is good you'll see from the poster that the gigs are at two different caffe bars in town. We're actually playing outside two caffe bars, because at this time of year any caffe bar that has the option to operate outdoors does so.


These will be are first gigs in Jajce, if you don't include our cameo in last November's AVNOJ event. As you'd expect, we've been putting the hours in rehearsing. We're ready to play about 35 songs, including extended guitar solos and an acoustic set! Quite how the evenings will play out is anyones guess at this stage. Experience has taught us to at least try to be relaxed about such minor details start and finish times, and whether another bunch of guys are going to hold an impromptu jam on your instruments half way through the evening.


I guess in the UK advertising like this is called fly posting. Over here it's how the word gets out about pretty much everything. We weren't responsible for where our posters went up and I probably wouldn't have gone for this particular spot as, although it has an advert for summer day trips to the Croatian coast, it is mostly used for posting death notices. That said, we always see people stopped and reading them here so perhaps it wasn't a bad idea. We'll find out tomorrow night.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Awesome!

I show this photo not to illustrate man's propensity to spread a little around the middle but because it was my favourite photo from our recent camping experience. That it is pains me. Not because I have anything against any of these guys; the photo was the idea of the bloke doing the pointing and I thought I'd do them all the favour of blurring their faces to spare their blushes. And it's not that I dislike the photo. I like how it captures the happy wind down after a mad five minutes that mixed testosterone and a diving board. My pain is because of all the good photos I didn't manage to take.


Four days camped out at Boračko jezero, the lake you get a glimpse of in the picture, came with some fantastic sights that did not include excessive man flesh. The sunlight, the mountains, trees, clouds, weird and wonderful bits of wildlife: all of these I tried to capture. I failed. The photos I downloaded from our camera this afternoon have no mystique, no sense of wonder. The real deal, however, did not disappoint at all. Whether it was the morning sun striking the rocky mountain outcrops, or the brook weaving its way down the canyon, or the usually unseen stars revealed in a night sky with no light pollution. In the correct sense of the word, I had a great time seeing creation be awesome.