at 4.30am, the taxi arrives at 5.30am
and my Ghanain driver’s been working all night. It doesn’t stop him sharing his
taxi driver philosophy. We discuss Zimbabwe
duplicitous role as both coloniser of
its past and arbiter of its present. White people, he tells me, you can not trust them, I’m not saying black
people are perfect, but you can’t
trust white people. I can empathise wiht his position. And however you look at it, if a white person
said the same about a black person it would have a totally different root cause. How
did they hurt you I think to myself. How
did they hurt you.
me at The South Bank, Megan is shooting the long shadows as the river Thames stretches from my office. We are off to The Glastonbury festival. By the artist entrance the sleepy vocal orchestra. are
I am a special guest of theirs through
the musical direction of Shlomo, the centrefugal force of Music Through
Unconventional Means. Shlomo is artist in residence at Southbank centre. In the seat in front of me is Pete Lockett a special guest percussionist. Other special guests include DJ Yoda, get cape wear cape fly, martina topley bird Martha Wainwright but most of them are already at Glastonbury.
Lockett and I played the same event some years ago in Tunbridge Wells. It was years ago but I
remembered him from the quality of his playing. Check
his website, he is prodigous, having written
the percussion for five bond films and The Incredible Hulk to name a few
projects. I mentioned shooting earlier. A pilot documentary for Sky TV is being made about myself, by babycow productions the company owned by
Steve Coogan and more effectively, Henry Normal.. Megan shoots a lot of Pete and I in discussion, he
is witty as hell. One of the great
things about touring is other people.
is fun, conversations are light. We eventually, two and an half hours later, pass Stonehenge
which is beautiful, some kind of trick. The Egyptians have pyramids, the
Americans, mount rushmore & we have a stone age domino set. Glastonbury soon appears
on the horizon! The hills are alive with
the sound of music! The coach wends its
way through west country and virtually parks next to the stage. Absolutely freakin perfect
Loving your sneakers man, says DJ Yoda at the artists canteen,
but why you bringing them here, mine are
all home in their boxes. Glastonbury is notoriously dirty. I sense the logic but mentally counter it with
what a fashionista said to me. She said,
why wear your best only on certain occasions, why not
wear your best all the time. It’s such a clear statement of intent on how
to live life. Why not wear your best all
the time. . And your best could just
as well be a kurt Geiger shoe as an air force one sneaker from LA. It’s like, why not be your best all the time.
As part of the show I read the poem Let There Be Peace and Shlomo works it through a voice box. The aim was to distort my voice, almost beyond recognition and to interpret the poem through distortion.
hour event takes place. The audience of thousands basks in the sunshine and roar in the presence of Shlomo who directs a near perfect two
hour show, an encore ensues. Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys is back stage. See kate moss at back of stage. Group picture taken. Gear packed. Done. My first sober Glastonbury. Within the hour we are back in the coach and arrive
home back in London
12.30am. I think the best compliment of
my forty second contribution came from the southbank centres Glen Max you
delivered he said you delivered. That’s an eighteen hour day for one minute on
stage as part of my residency here at The South Bank. Shlomo will be famous. When I say it was worth every minute, I mean
it. I take my bike from the office by the river and cycle home. At 3am I am
But as I cycled home I thought about the taxi driver. Whoever has hurt you, however they have hurt you and for whatever reason, life is about dealing with hurt. On the cycle ride home I listen to Stevie Wonder blast through my head phones. He is a poet and there's Very Superstitious Writing On The Wall.
Very superstitious, wash your face and hands,
Rid me of the problem, do all that you can,
Keep me in a daydream, keep me goin strong,
You dont wanna save me, sad is my song.