Of all the things from 2009 the photo above shows the best thing. Scott and me in Germany with Till Kniola. A photo taken by Asmus Tietchens. The Tobacconists on tour in Europe. Smoking and drinking. Scott and I made what we think is a great Lp, and hopefully will be released somewhere in 2010. That was absolutely the highlight of the year. Other great things were the recent Zebra gig in Brussels (and also seeing A Certain Ratio a day later), Kapotte Muziek gigs in Leuven and St. Petersburg. Some fine releases on :Zang and Korm Plastics. I wish sales would have been better for some releases, but then its the economy, stupid. Next year there will be a concert in Enschede with Roel on January 13th, Rote Salon (Berlin) on February 13th (i hope that's not an unlucky coincidence), some shows with Franz Fjodor in May in Austria, and maybe Lithuania in April. We'll see. 'Dialogues' should be out on CD by Entr'acte, hopefully that Tobacconists LP, new work by them in the pipeline with Asmus Tietchens, Freek and I should conclude the next Beequeen CD, the Kapotte Muziek 25th anniversary event at Extrapool on February 26 (inc Howard Stelzer, Radboud Mens and more), repeated on the 28th at Occii in Amsterdam. And Korm Plastics will exist for 25 years also, so there will be a nice compilation cassette, which is now more or less half way being finished. I'm sure there is more, but I'll think of that another time.
Zebra headed to Brussels for two missions. The first was on friday night at The Public School. Kosten Koper organised a class about Martin Hannett. He compiled a film displaying various interesting angles about the late great producer. Then it was time for some live music. First I played 'One [Live] Aspect', using the 'In the Studio with Joy Division' as the source material, which went well, I think. Complete darkness made it not easy to see what I was doing, but perhaps that's part of the fun. After the break and more red wine, Zebra played their piece. We added a third part to what we already planned earlier and Roel and me think its a damn fine piece. Kosten Koper provided some light-show. First mission was succesful. The next day we walked all the way to the former Expo 58 site and looked at the Atomium. Nice building indeed. In the evening we walked to Plan K, a legendary place. Here Joy Division played the first time outside the UK, former home of Factory Benelux and Les Disques Du Crepuscule and god knows what else. On the programm was a Factory Night. Although we arrived quite late, we were still in time to catch the opening act, The Names (with a strings). The strings didn't add much, I think and it was more or less alright. The Wake followed. They were alright too, I guess, until some female keyboard player was added, and they looked and sounded like early New Order, but not as good. Back in the day I never heard Biting Tongues, who arrived too late in the 80s to catch my attention, but who were actually great. No wave funk music. Section 25 sounded more together than a year ago, but still the lyrics had to read off paper, which looked silly. Quite loud, heavy on the guitar. The main attraction, at least for Roel and me, was A Certain Ratio, who, despite some technical troubles, delivered an excellent set, highlighting their best songs: 'Do The Du', 'Shack Up', 'Flight', 'Knife Slits Water', 'Mind Made Up' and ending with an excellent 'Sir Fermir O Grido'. Our third companion Rincke has a small video of that which, once I have it, I'll put on youtube and here too.