Standing on the stage of what used to be Digbeth Civic Hall in Birmingham (while sound checking for our appearance with Mark Ronson), I was being almost transcendentally transported back to my youth and to some of the most musically fertile times of my life. In this room I witnessed early performances by The Police, The Cure, UB40 and Adam and the Ants...quite an eclectic selection I must admit, but all important in my development at the age of 18. Then came the realisation that at some point in the late 80's, in this very room, I had been invited into the dj booth by the somewhat legendary dj Frankie Knuckles, and that this hall was also the main room of infamous rave club 'The Institute' ...a different moment in time that triggered a life long love of dance music...amazing how many powerful memories four walls can hold. It was so great to be playing again as a band (albeit with Mark stepping in manfully for Dom), it really felt like we were 'revving the engines' in preparation for the upcoming tour in South Africa and the shows that we will inevitably be doing in support of the new record next year.
I also bumped into my long time friend Boy George, who I know from the burgeoning post punk scene in Birmingham circa 1978. He was in great spirits and I am loving his song 'Somebody To Love Me' on Mark's new album. This song is a sure fire hit record if ever I heard one, and it would really be wonderful to see George have some major chart success again...actually as I am writing this 'Culture Club to re-unite' has popped up on 'Yahoo News'...exciting, hope it happens!
Also, starting to hear final mixes coming back for our new album at the hands of the one and only Mark 'Spike' Stent. I think I can finally use the word 'AWESOME' in its true context ...and as the 16th Chilean miner comes up for air I realise that it really is 'El Mes De Los Milagros'.