Tuesday, 5 August 2014

for Heinz

I had met up with Walter some months ago at the house of my friends Val and John, who is also my road manager. Walter Kohl is a writer from Austria and a fan. We talked about collaborating on a book based on my songs, writing and his teenage memories back in the day and other things. We also talked about an idea I have for a project I call The Definative Interview.We hit it off together straight away and I felt very positive about things. We began to work out how these projects could be developed and we agreed to meet at a later date when we would have given the ideas some more thought. Later Walter invited me to go to Austria to play a FDPFAFDW party for his brothers birthday and to undertake some interviews with him towards work on the book. 

Walter and Christiane mein hosts

I arrived at Vienna airport where I was met by Walter and his daughter Isolde. We drove for a couple of hours to Linz where we dropped Isolde off at her home in the city. Linz has a heavy industrial area on the edge of town. It is not a pretty sight but then the huge of footprint of steel works and chemical industries never is, where ever it is. The centre of Linz is very beautiful and the city has had  a significant role in ancient and modern history. Thirty or so kilometres from Linz is where Walter and Christiane live high up in in the wooded hills. The road up to their place and the descent down to the main road is both a cyclist dream and nightmare, depending on the weather. By the time we had passed up and down this road a couple of times I knew it well. 
The Kohl's house a timber and glass construction on the side of a hill. Christiane designed most of it and it is a very spacious, inviting place with lovely vibes. The art that decorates the place and the many interesting objects make it a very unusual and special environment. At night it is quiet with out any sound. In the sun butterflies and insects of many varieties fill the air with their buzzing and in the evening the cicadas fill the air with their distinctive sound. One afternoon a young deer came by to have a look around. I thought of the deer that came to visit me while I was fishing in Larvik on my last trip to Norway. Perhaps this my deer spirit and has followed me always. I like the idea, reminiscent of Native American beliefs around animals.
I slept well after my journey to Austria and collected a few insect bites during my unconscious hours. I rose quite late, as I generally do on the day of a gig and still there was time to relax and prepare my head for things to come. This wasn't difficult. The atmosphere in the house is calm and very relaxing and the conversation invigorating around the widest ranging topics. Some how it always came back to some kind of alternative way of looking at and perceiving this world of ours or tales of our lives, shared as comrades and friends. I felt so at home here already.

a very surprised Heinz when we all turned up to party

The birthday party for Walter's brother was a complete surprise. When we all tuned up with old friends of Walter's he was visibly surprised and delighted. A barbecue was in progress and a large tent erected for guests. The second Kohl house was as beautiful as Walter and Christiane's house in a different way. I signed some albums for Heinz. He had every thing the EBB recorded. After this he took me on a guided tour of his lovely garden with it's standing stones and swimming pond, not a pool but a natural looking pond with lilies and other flora you would see around a pond in the wild. It was all very impressive and the view across the valley was lovely as the sun slowly began to dip over the hills beyond.
The barbecue was superb. Not having a garden this is always a welcome meal for me. I was careful not to eat too much before my set. It does have a slightly detrimental effect some how.

a chat with Heinz about evening over roof tops

time to sing

I had selected a paved area for my performance and I had borrowed a little amplifier from Heinz's daughter. She and her boy friend had smuggled it to Walter's house the day before so I could try it out with out Heinz knowing what was planned. It was a beauty and reproduced my Tanglewood's tone much better than the average electric guitar amp. I didn't need a microphone. So, I ran through my set telling stories about the songs. I took a break in the middle and then played the remainder of my songs. The guest were a very nice audience. I really enjoyed it all. They listened and they understood most of every thing as far as I could tell and many of them were very complimentary afterwards. We all headed for the tent for a selection of delicous cakes and coffee.

cake and coffee and potato soup to warm us up as darkness fell

We stayed chatting late into the night and I had some very interesting conversations with Isolde, Walter and Christiane's daughter. One of my favourite outcomes of these FDPFAFDW shows is that some times I meet some one special with a compelling and fascinating life story. We discovered we had some things in common and some similar demons. We talked about Dr Steve Peters, the guy who wrote The Chimp Paradox and I promised to buy her a copy. Isolde it is on my list of action to be taken.

the Danube from the old castle restaurant in Linz

Walter and I worked on the book in the evenings and on Sunday evening Walter and Christiane took me to the restaurant in the old castle in Linz. The view of the Danube below was spectacular and the juxtaposition of medieval and modern architecture is cleverly executed. Heinz joined us for dinner and we had a very nice meal and a few beers. It was another opportunity to share and tell stories.

Heinz Walter and me in the main square Linz
the Kohl family

I'd had a great time. We shared a lot and it is just a beginning. I think this story will run for some time yet and will have some very interesting and satisfying outcomes. Thank you to all of the Kohl family and their friends for the kindness they showed to me. It was a pleasure and a privilege to meet you all. I was a little sad to say goodbye but I had a very good feeling inside that will last a long time.
The flight from Vienna was a nightmare after the flood s at Gatwick Airport earlier in the day. I left for Vienna with Walter and Isolde at 4pm. I arrived back home in London at 2.30am. Still it was worth it.

This weekend I am going to Wigan for the auditions for local artists who want to join the bill for the Our Daily bread gig in Upholland church and to tie up a few more loose ends towards getting the show together. 
This will be a very special evening. Our Daily bread will be ticket only benefit for THE BRICK homeless shelter in Wigan on the Friday the 3rd of October.
Any one who has hosted a FDPFAFDW gigs will be offered tickets. You know who you are. Email me if you want to reserve tickets.
Arthur and Steve will be joining me for a few songs performed in a style you will have never heard before. 

The weekend after I will be off to the north of Norway where I will be playing two dates in Alta.




mike from Albuquerque said...

Fantastic such a pleasure to share your delights.Pls keep them coming.

Jarle said...

As you said Rob; I'm so happy I started doing this FDPFAFDW shows, and we all understand reading your words, the gig you did for us, the time spending together still is very much alive in our minds.Have a nice trip to Alta. All the best

walter kohl said...

thank you for that fine report. it was YOU who made special days out of these days!
the stories and the songs at the afternoon gig, and the little bonus-concert late at night left us enchanted, like touched by a gentle musician/magician whith his sparkling magic wand

ps: a little rectification: the man who has all your records, vinyl and cd, is my brother Heinz....

edgar broughton said...

Thank you Walter! I have corrected the "name" error. It was a happy time.

edgar broughton said...

Hi Mike and Jarle. Jarle I am off to do two shows in Alta next week. A little midnight sun is good for the soul.
Hey guys if you can get to the Our Daily Bread show on the 3rd October here that would be cool. It will be special and different I promise you that. Advance tickets available soon. More later folks!