Posts tagged “unplugged”.

Reduced To This… TOUR

Reduced To This… acoustic Djevara (Redux) Spring Tour 2017

TOUR DIARY: Kicking of 2011 @ The Enterprise (18/01/11)

I played the first Djevara show of the year alone – no other band members even present, and no friends around that were not there primarily for some-one else, and little context or knowledge of either the venue or the promoter. Due to a last-minute cancellation, Viv Albertine had asked if I could do a solo Djevara Redux show as a support for her show at The Enterprise in Camden Town, London. Viv is probably still best known for being part of seminal band The Slits and is well respected particularly as female icon in modern rock music, and is now moving forward with her solo musical career. The original line-up was in fact originally entirely female – with She Makes War providing the main support. I’m always more apprehensive about solo shows than band shows, but this time the reasons for different reasons – on the recent tour with Babar I’d done enough solo shows which had gone down really well to feel much more confident with the format, but I was unsure about how even this toned-down version of Djevara would work in this environment.

It’s surprising that I’ve never played in The Enterprise before considering it’s location, I’ve surely played every other small venue in the area. One advantage of playing solo is that you can travel to a London gig by public transport, and anyone who’s ever driven in London, or worse tried to find a parking spot, will know quite how valuable a concession that actually is. Even by the time I was there for soundcheck there was a buzzing feeling about the night as preps were taking place, behind schedule but in an orderly calm and punctuated by the ridiculously noisy air conditioning system which I can only guess was built by BAE. I’m not usually too bothered by soundchecks, but in solo shows I like to have as much re-assurance as possible about what works and what I can hear – it’s punk rock, but it’s naked, stripped punk rock with the most sensitive arteries turned up and dilated. Everyone was friendly, in that we-don’t-really-know-you-but-hope-you’re-cool kind of way you get accustomed to on tour, and I was pleased to make acquaintance of soundguy Simba – who coincidentally also had Zimbabwean roots and had taken a rare and similar route in to rock music (ie via grunge) – and before I knew it it was time to go. The room was surprisingly pretty full even by the time I was due on, with people creating an almost festival atmosphere by sitting and kneeling around the sides and floors in front, and unlike most shows I play the audience was actually majority female, though nearly balanced. I decided to disconnect from the room and launch into my set, for which I fell almost into a trance, playing semi-acoustic interpretations of some Djevara songs as well as showcasing a new song idea I’d been inspired by (and featuring a sample of) the now infamous gunship footage first released by Wikileaks and also featured on John Pilger’s awesome documentary. By the time my set was over I was totally finished, emotionally and physically, and it was odd to note that I felt easily as exhausted as I do after full band shows in which I am certainly not restricted to a stool! I felt this was probably close to my strongest solo set yet, and was grateful to get strong compliments from my fellow artists as well as to note that, contrary to my fears, it actually seemed to go down well and managed to sell quite a few records (including one on the tube back amusingly), and the night continued to ascend in buzz and excitement and general vibe with charismatic sets by She Makes War and then the host Viv Albertine herself. Well, that’s one way to kick off 2011.


Set: The Offer, The Rising Tide (Epilogue), No Place Like Home (Working Title), The Tort Of False Light (REDUX REMIX), Corsa Al Ribasso