NEWS & BLOG

Recording News
15th May 2013

Vinyl re-release of "Embrace The Herd" (with NEW! sleevenotes) coming out in August on 1972 Records c/o: 

international feel 
po box 11444 
oakland, ca 94611

8th May 2013

Just back from a very pleasant few days in London, recording the first 3 songs for "The Devil Laughs" my NEW! album of solo material chez Louis Philippe.
 

This coming weekend I return to record the debut Moxham & Halliday album "A Known About Thing" with the eponymous Mr Derek Halliday. All the above at Ken Brake Esq's petite but marvy facilities in Regent's Park NW1

GIG News
8th May 2013

Moxham & Halliday play Tapping The Admiral, (77, Castle Road, Kentish Town NW5) Saturday 18th May.

This staggeringly good old school pub is run by old mate Spike Williams who helped Young Marble Giants to international fame and later featured in both The G!st and Weekend as well as writing, playing and producing excellent albums as Alison Statton and Spike.

tappingtheadmiral.co.uk

"Stuis"


27th January 2013 

The news is that Moxham & Halliday now have a FaceBook page:

https://www.facebook.com/MoxhamHalliday?fref=ts

With our debut recording available:

http://moxhamhalliday.bandcamp.com/track/other-birds-2

And Yours Truly has been uploading solo too:

http://stuartmoxham.bandcamp.com/track/riding-the-bang-horizon


Thursday 13th December 2012
Tokyo 
An expedition in which I find myself drawn to the older buildings of a determinedly modern city . . .

A rare older building amid the proud modernity of the Shinjuku district

The whole Tokyo jaunt was a blast; I enjoyed every minute, despite an inflamed blister caused by a new pair of shoes which were the only footwear I had with me....

Weds 28th November 2012

As we taxied towards takeoff at Heathrow at 12:30pm today I looked out of the window at the exact moment that we were passing a radar tower on the Northern Perimeter Road. This landmark reminded me of the many (antisocial) hours I've waited there to collect passengers for a living. Seeing that symbol of my self - burial in jobs which have stopped me from grasping the nettle of self - determination, it felt extra good to be on my way to Japan to play my songs. Yay!


Detail of a bas relief in the Asakusa temple area

Thursday 29th November 2012

According to my watch, which is still on GMT, it is now 22:00 but I'm looking at the dawn as we fly into a new day.

I have no real idea of what it will be like in Tokyo, despite “Lost In Translation” and the incredible animation work of Studio Ghibli and Mad House, etc. and I anticipate that it may be an interesting test of my resourcefulness.

It's always a lovely day above the clouds, of course, but it stayed sunny as we taxied interminably into Narita airport. I saw a large bird of prey, easily the size of a buzzard, sitting aloof on a runway light fixture as the giant shadow of our Boeing 777 slid past. Obviously a confident worker.....

Inside the terminal, at about 09:30am local time, Izumi Katani introduced Pat Fish of Jazz Butcher

Suddenly a random film crew, (probably students, asking arriving passengers questions for a college project,) appeared.

They were good - natured and enthusiastic, to a fault. After some basic questions they requested a look at my guitar, which was strapped inside a flightcase, at which point I passed the buck to the infinitely more obliging Pat.

I was wondering how much further it would go - would he drop his pants if asked? - when our coach arrived.

The formality and professionalism of the three(!) uniformed staff were positively Victorian, and engendered an unaccustomed feeling of security. Everything was done with sombre ceremony, with people doing jobs which don't even exist in the UK, where the driver opens up the luggage space and closes it when you've bunged your bags in.

Here we were instructed: leave your bags on this part of the pavement; line up here, between these lines, then the Guide goes aboard, bows to the passengers, gives them instructions, while another uniformed operative is carefully loading the luggage, etc. The driver waited impassively while the white - gloved minions took charge of the changeover of his passengers.


On a Metro platform.....

On the 90 minute journey in, Tokyo itself appeared to be very modern with a crisp, angular architecture, many buildings being in a range of very pleasant and unusual hues.

I saw a street cleaner diligently marshalling some leaves along a gutter with incredible patience.


Everything; the trucks, buildings, streets – even the infrastructure of walls along the main routes, is in good repair, clean and built with incomparable attention to detail. It really brought home the fact that those modern, efficient and reliable Japanese  motorcycles of the 1970s were simply typical of the entire philosophy of the country.

A Tokyo drain cover!

Being too early to check in to our splendid (but simple) hotel, we strolled to a nearby Tully's cafe. It was unselfconsciously classy with some decidedly non-mainstream jazz playing, of a sort you might only hear publicly in a club in Europe. It gave the place a calm, detached atmosphere, intensifying that lovely feeling one gets, when newly abroad, of being in a movie.

It was good getting to know Pat; good to have someone to talk with and, later, to meet his bandmate, Max Eider.

After an hour, and a delicious latte, we headed back to the MyStays hotel. I was feeling ragged – it was 04:00 GMT – and after a much-needed shower, I decided to maximise the chance of sleep by not putting an alarm on.

As I lay in the small but beautifully designed and appointed room with it's comfy bed, (with three different types of pillow) and an open window, I realised how quiet this area of the city is, (Shinjuku, the metropolitan centre of Tokyo,): there's not been much traffic, away from the main routes, no horns, sirens or general clatter and chatter of human activity.

In the "walking streets" off the main thoroughfares it all looks as homely as the Studio Ghibli animations so affectionately represent it; intimate and slightly scaled down, but not the claustrophobic neon racket I expected. The tangled maze of wiring and US-style transformers of telegraph poles seem incongruous.

After a solid three hours' sleep I met the other musicians in a nearby restaurant, (the place is teeming with places to eat, all specialized by their menus,) and much hilarity and musical anecdotary ensued over beer, seafood and shochu. This continued back at the hotel with Suntory, which is, according to Pat, the world's most popular (Japanese) whisky, with beer chasers.

Friday 30th November 2012

After an excellent sleep, waking at 10:30, I rehearsed and put a set together before Pat and I met our promoter, Tetsuya Katani, and took two clean, spacious Metro trains to an area called Asakusa where we resisted acres of stalls selling tourist tat and looked at some temples.

My good pal Ken Brake was due to arrive during the early evening for a holiday with benefits; (he will perform our song “East” with me,) so after a lunch of ”heavy” (they were...) noodles with roast chicken, and another nap, I went out - for the first time on my own - and hobbled among the skyscrapers until I found his hotel. (During my visit to the temples today my room was immaculately remade - when I returned I noticed that they had placed a coaster over a glass of water which I'd left beside the bed.....)

We ended the night unexpectedly in an “English Pub” because there are very few places to drink without eating. They had a far larger range of Scots whisky than I've ever seen before, although only one Irish whiskey, which I chose.

It all helps to ensure the necessary sleep for a weary traveller!

P.S. Gentle Reader,

There IS much more of this tale to tell, with pictures as well, once I've found time to figure out how to upload images now that the site is getting a monk on about it for some reason....




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