Jamaica…at last :)

Radio as a medium has a magic of its own.Its the original music traveling platform. Popular music without radio would be like the dodo. Half the things we’ve heard, that often link to the biographies of our lives, we would not have heard without radio. And now more than ever net radio goes across the globe from home to home – country to country like one massive cyber grapevine. It’s a real sense of freedom less the controls of automated play lists and the cultural fascism of the mainstream.

I embraced this radical revolution on the net over 15 years ago joining BigUp Radio (USA) and dabbling in a thing called podcasting, which despite being around for a while was news to me. Since then I have journied all over the world with music and radio collaborations. Morocco, France, UK, Ireland, Japan, Corsica, USA, Bermuda, South Africa and my homeland, Cyprus. One thing though was always on my mind.To select on a net radio station in Jamaica. When my bredren and academic fellow journeyman Dennis Howard offered me a slot recently on Riddim 1 Radio, based in the heart of Kingston, I felt a sense of jubilation. Reggae is Jamaican heritage, it’s the place where it all began, and contributing to Riddim 1 feels like reaching Ithaca, in Cavafy’s words:


‘Keep Ithaca always in your mind,
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.’

So every Monday, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, at 8pm Cyprus / 12 noon Jamaica, I go live on Riddim 1 Radio. You can hear the first episode on this journey on Soundcloud and tune in to Riddim 1 by clicking the image below…

More info on Haji Mike

The Mid-Summer Fog: A Virtual Music Festival

midsummer Fog

 

Feeling really honoured to be on the line-up for this unique Virtual Music Festival  produced by Independent Distribution Collective & Digital Lamb Productions. Full Press release here 

Streaming LIVE from San Francisco at 5 pm PST/8 pm EST/2 pm HST on Saturday, July 18th, 2020.

Tune in LIVE at: https://bit.ly/31Ub0Xn

You can also enjoy a Spotify Playlist of all the artists here

So tune in tonight in San Francisco around 6.19pm PDT – 4:20am  Sunday in Cyprus – xarama tou fou! I am doing an acoustic set with my friend and Radio buddy Dimi Morozov on guitar. Its going to be  an amazing festival with a wicked lineup! And big thanks to George Panagakos @525Media for the killer poster!

poster summer fog

I also want to say a very special thanks to my long time bredren and music distributor Steffen Franz for the invite to take part. IDC do a wonderful job for independent artists around the world. They have just revamped their website, worth a click

And last but certainly not least,  a very massive thanks to our people at Blind Dog Records. Med Dred for the fine sound engineering and music production and Maria Larkin for the wonderful videography.

 

 

The Daily Chiofta

the daily chiofta

It happened one day, May 5th 2020, sitting in the garden and thinking about some old stories lived, tales experienced, memories cherished, chioftes in the main, short stories on my life span. The studio, some 4 miles away, where these are normally recorded was tricky to access due to lockdown regulations. So I looked up podcast apps and came across a number of options. Settling for Anchor, which works perfect on my Samsung S10, a test recording was done, and I thought this is so easy. So ‘The Daily Chiofta’was born. I was not quiet sure how this would pan out. And then I recalled the wise words of my late friend and mentor, Georges der Parthogh ‘A Chiofta a day keeps the Doctor away!’. The task then is simply this. Each day, for 100 days, I record, usually in the back garden, a chiofta which is then shared as a short podcast online. There is no set length, minimum 3 mins maximum just over 6. In these chioftes I salute inspiring people like Sugar, Mike Minas, Trehantiri Music, my grandmother Shenkou and a recollect on a very close shave in my DJ career when not playing ‘Zorba The Greek’ saved our lives.

Its difficult to say where this will take me. The aim is 100 chioftes. It might become a published book, say with a title like ‘Around The World in 100 Chioftes’. It might also become an audiobook, which means recording it all again in the studio. And it could also just be a podcast that stays up there on Anchor, as ‘The Daily Chiofta’ and after 100 days I’ll add a chiofta every now and then. There’s also a Facebook group, for those of you that want to engage in Chioftian banter. Of course it could also be all of the aforementioned things, a podcast, a book and an audioarhcive. I am not sure about doing is all again, in the studio. The spontaneousness of how its done presently has something about it, a simplicity, sitting in the garden, early in the morning, coffee in hand, some days the priests are ululating in their own tones, dogs bark, birds sing, bees pass by, things just happen. Doing it in the studio, with edits, processing the voice, making it all sound, how can I say, right, hmmm not sure about that..But we’ll see where it goes…Mean time thanks to every one for the over 1,500 plays and…enjoy the The Daily Chiofta.

Blind Dog Radio Testing in Beta Mode

Bling Dog Radio is a new net based Radio initiative based at Blind Dog Studios in Ayios Dometios, Nicosia, Cyprus. The station aims to become a hub for independent artists, musicians and DJs from around the world. We are currently testing in Beta Mode, click on the pic below to tune in….

 

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‘RLY?’

HGR RLY Cover

 

It all started quiet bizarrely on Valentines night, 2017 when my left and right ear had to negotiate between two completely different sounds at my daughter’s school.  To my left, some din, presumably played from a mobile phone that was autotuned to the max. And on my right ear, a bluesy guitar riff that drew me in. A few folks were jammin in the music room of the school. I knew two of them, Kristian and Kyri, on bass and drums respectively. The other two, on guitars, Dimi and Kemal, I had seen around but never knew them. Encouraged to pick up the guitar by Kristian I joined in and the rest as they say is history. A year or so later we found ourselves with drummer Hugo at Real World Studios recording an LP called ‘RLY?’.

I have made a few vinyls over the years, in different shapes and guises. ‘RLY?’ is the 10th vinyl I have been on since 1988 when I started this independent journey in music making. And I know most people will think this is all hype, but playing the new LP on a turntable just made me smile like a Cheshire cat. The warmth of vinyl, its sensuousness, that magic, call it what you want…that sound just makes me proud of this work….Every one played a part in this process, Dimi, Kristian, Hugo, Kemal, those vagabonds who sail the stages with me as Highgate Rockers;engineer Oli Jacobs at Real World, who operates Pro Tools at a surreal pace; Michael Voinov for the amazing design works; and last but by no means least, a man called Rob Bozas, my long time brother in the music business, who after hearing us rehearse said ‘You guys need to get into record at Real World.’

This Saturday we take to the stage at Diaxroniki to launch this new LP.   Two more bands, Side Effects and The Max Aloisi Trio join us. Plus DJ Moz – a student of mine in the Department of Communications at The University – spins the beats at the after party upstairs. It will be a  fantastic night and we hope you can join us. More details on the event here 

‘RLY?’ is available as a vinyl, CD and digital download

HGR Diaxroniki

Roots as Routes

I’ve always been fascinated by what the late Stuart Hall said about identity and culture, so much that recently I decided to deviate slightly from the textbook by Giddens to include these thoughts on identity as ‘Routes’ as opposed to just ‘Roots’. As Hall said:

We reproduce our own identities in the future, rather than simply inherit them from the past. Of course we make them in the future, out of the past. So it’s not that I want people to forget the past — not at all, I want them to really remember it….If you think of culture always as a return to roots — R-O-O-T-S — you’re missing the point. I think of culture as routes — R-O-U-T-E-S — the various routes by which people travel, culture travels, culture moves, culture develops, culture changes, cultures migrate, etc.

I try to explain this innovative approach to students during class, teaching Principles of Sociology for the first time, I decided to do it through poetry and music, exploring a time line from 1920 -1995. A poem by Langston Hughes (1920) inspired Gary Bartz (1973)  who in turn inspired Courtney Pine (1995). The R-O-U-T-E-S Stuart Hall refers to are are like the rivers in our lives, the journeys we take…the cultures we explore and who we are… as a combination of where we come from with where it’s at, and where it might be going…(source)

Here are the three texts…

Image result for langston hughes

The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes (1920)

I’ve known rivers:

I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I’ve known rivers:

Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

Gary Bartz  NTU Troop ‘I’ve Known Rivers’ (1973) from the LP I’ve Known Rivers And Other Bodies 1973

GARY BARTZ

Courtney Pine – 4Hero remix ‘I’ve Known Rivers’ (1995) 

Image result for Courtney-Pine-I've-Known-Rivers

In making classes more  creative, students, I think tend to engage more with ideas and concepts. While these ideas are interesting to read, and personally I identified a lot with Stuart Hall’s thoughts on many levels, as a reader, academic and poet/musician/DJ – experiencing things like this tends to be more like living Sociology through examples that people can feel/understand better….

Good Times at Real World

It did seem a bit of a crazy idea when my long time buddy Rob Bozas was over for a few rays in the spring. I have known Rob since his Swanyard Studios days, when I was fortunate enough to work with producer Simon Emmerson, that led to a publishing deal, and recording three songs which defined my future, ‘Mousiki’, ‘Stavroulla’ and ‘Vrakaman’ with bouzouki coming from my friend and mentor, Sugar Hajishacalli, who sadly passed away in 2007. In the UK music whatever you want to call it, business, arena, field, zone one thing always leads to another. So when Rob when is Cyprus I invited him to our HighGate Rockers band rehearsal. He was impressed and said we should record at Real World Studios. It did sound far fetched at the time, but we worked hard over the next few months honing down our material, rehearsing regularly and doing a few local gigs.

Before we knew it we were playing live at Schtumm, a night Rob runs with Dean Creighton at The Queen’s Head then, three days in tranquility, recording at Real World. I have been in many studios around the world and this heavenly place, tops them all. The Studio was established by Peter Gabriel in 1986. Surrounded by water, in a converted 200 year old water mill in the town of Box in Wiltshire. The ‘Big Room’ 2000 sq ft was added and is built out of concrete and lead, with all the piping being made of clay in the AC – something which exudes positive energy. Stepping into this beautiful acoustic nirvana, my mind just thought of all the sessions, and all the happiness this place has brought to the world of music.

Rob appeared at the sessions just like he did in 1992 at Swanyard, popping in and out when he could find time. We had just finished Vrakaman on the afternoon of day one. It’s not so much a remix, just a band version, The HighGate Rockers Version,  with a groovy vibe in the percussion that kind of takes you to Latin America. Rob smiled and said ‘You know you are onto something here, its got a good groove…but nah the MC…heheh’ and he grinned at me just like he did in 1992 in that special original session with Sugar at the controls. He said exactly the same thing then, and just like then, and just like now as if it was yesterday, we all cracked up laughing. It was hilarious hearing the same compliment again. Rob is a great friend, a humble person whose opinion and wisdom I will always value. So here we are at the controls…two buddies 28 years on still making music together…EhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhOpppppassss!!!!

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A great night at Schtumm

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Traveling to Wiltshire UK from Cyprus we note a drastic change in temperature (40 to 25 – heaven) and some huge traffic on the M4 and we’re heading to Schtumm!!! What is Schtumm – a slang word meaning – keep your trap shut – it’s also a monthly live music happening with a difference set in The Queen’s Head on the A4 (also known as The London Road). Long before motorways this was the transport link between London and Bristol. The Queen’s Head is a charming place. Low ceilings, music memorabilia and signs that make you smile like…

The wonderfully informative and welcoming Dean Creighton, who runs the pub, is a supportive and knowledgable guy. You get the feeling instantly from Dean that he loves live music and along with his partner at Schtumm, the infamous Rob Bozas, the two of them make a great team out here in the middle of the Wiltshire countryside, in this charismatic pub just a stones throw away from Real World Studios and WOMAD’s offices. I’ve known Rob since my ‘Stavroulla’ and ‘ Vrakaman’ days, when he worked a Swanyard Studios in Islington, London. Rob is one of the few people I have met on this journey called music who a)really knows his stuff and b) is a very genuine friend. So what is Schtumm? Basically it’s a live event which is streamed also simultaneously online, in a marquee behind the Queen’s Head overlooking a lovely field with some huge trees. OK you might say, every one streams live these days. Well the difference with this team is what they come up with looks so professional that you feel you have just been on The Old Grey Whistle Test. Vintage gear galore, great sound on stage and a warm receptive audience. We thoroughly enjoyed playing at Schtumm. Its one of those places that gives musicians a really professional platform to their thing. On the stage with us the same night was Phil King, a solo artist who totally blew me away. Great voice and moving songs, and the first person I have ever seen to play a Squeeze box with a drum pedal. The drone the instrumental gave was haunting.

 

All in all a great night at Schtumm and we are really looking forward to our recording session at Real World Studios next week 🙂 Here’s the band live, Dimi (guitar), Kemal (vocals/guita), Kristian (bass), Hugo (Drums), & Haji Mike (vocals/guitar).

Haji Mike & The HighGate Rockers Live @ Schtumm

 

 

 

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Eurovision Cyprus – δεν ΞΕΧΝΩ – Ι do not forget

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As an observer and tax-paying individual in Cyprus, I have seen many Eurovision ‘attempts’ rise and fall over the decades and when I was thinking about writing this blog there was a dilemma that came to mind. Do I write it after the contest, in which case, if Cyprus loses (does not come first) I will be accused of an ‘I told you so’ ‘sour grapes’ bratness which in the Greek vernacular is called ‘gkrinia’. Alternatively, do I write and publish the blog a few hours or so before the competition and get accused of negativity by all those who are determined in their quest for first place even to the extent that any form of critique equals treachery. I say publish and be damned, my view is based on historical realities. Its one I have had for ages, it will not change, but before explaining it, I would like to clarify some things about this year’s Cyprus entry.

From the outset. I have not heard the song. I did however come across it by accident when doing a live radio show with the sound muted and in so many ways, it reeked of plagiarism image wise. The hair waving profusely, the simulated flames and synchronized dance moves. I expected Jigga to appear out of nowhere at some point to spit some annoying little nasal rap over an 8 bar break. However, plagiarism is such a common thing in mass produced pop music that you cannot expect anything else, its Eurovision after all.

As for the artist, I must confess I am not a big fan of Greek pop music, and Eleni Foureira’s roots as an Albanian Greek do not bother me one bit. I will leave those kinds of racist digs to the Neo-Nazis of The Golden Yawn party in Greece. Now how Foureira was chosen by Cyprus and why, does concern me, because that relates more to the matter at hand. Like all entries in The Eurovision Song Contest, people are chosen to represent at a national level by a state or public broadcaster, in our case, this is CyBC who have a complete monopoly on Eurovision. Aside from the World Cup and Olympics, it is probably their biggest earner financially.

So, I have not heard the song, and probably will not hear it. I plan to listen to Mi-Soul Radio on recommendation of the mighty Lindsay Wesker tonight with the studio door shut tight until the contest finishes. After which point if I hear car horns beeping loudly in my yard I will know Cyprus has won. If I do not, it will be all quiet until next year. You see Eurovision for many people in Cyprus is the pinnacle of their musical engagement and the rest of the year, they go back to their routines until the next song is dished out and hyped all over again by the state broadcaster. Which brings us to the essence ‘δεν ΞΕΧΝΩ – Ι do not forget’ – such a common worn out cliché term for the eternal Cyprus Problem. We have grown up with it – heard it-seen it-lived it thoroughly for so many decades.

I cannot engage with Eurovision because in the past, they, the state broadcaster, I will not say we, as we had nothing to do with their choices, have entered some embarrassing bloopers and any critique has always been muted in the mainstream media. In addition, if Cyprus wins, one of the reasons for that happening will be we have never won before. We are the underdog of underdogs – who more or less every year gave 12 points to Greece and got 12, usually in return. I used to love that moment when the late Terry Wogan would say, year in year out, ‘well there you go, they’ve done it again….’  The underdog syndrome has been  so evident in international media coverage this week, and its really cringe worthy. Some people even think the extra coverage, the prospect of winning Eurovision will help the ‘Cyprus Problem’. Not sure how that works but if we had any sense we would have entered a tri-lingual song and caused a real stir locally and internationally, and promoted a much more positive image of Cyprus than a lot of the crypto-nationalistic drivel that represented us in the past – more of that in a bit.

It’s hard to accept that the state broadcaster, an entity that does not accept critique, has hosted a chat show with a Neo-Nazi like Notis Sfakanakis (and paid a heavy price for it as the singer was overtly racist and they were rightly fined for it) and yet you would never see me on the TV sharing some very basic thoughts on the Eurovision song contest. I guess that’s what people at CyBC call balanced broadcasting. So I feel a need, a desire, to state the case on an alternative way of seeing things.

Therefore people, I deem myself ready to go for this, here are my top 5 ‘δεν ΞΕΧΝΩ – Ι do not forget’ Eurovision bloopers from Cyprus. Click on the links if you dare!

  1. “Sti fotia” (Στη φωτιά) 1995 – Alex Panayi – a rather tribal pseudo operatic anthem like song which featured the patriotic line – ‘Είμαι ο Έλληνας που πολέμα’ – which translates as ‘I am the Greek who fights’. Patriotism was at its highest in 1995. The Government of then President Clerides had ordered S300 missiles from Russia, despite us taxpayers paying millions for these, they never came, the ended up in Crete but thats supposed to be a secret. The song finished 9th. I still find it hard to digest how the EBU, European-Broadcasting Union allowed such a blatantly political song to be viewed by millions of people around the world. In addition, as a taxpayer it made me ashamed to say I am Cypriot.  I must stress here that back in 1995 everybody who paid electricity had a levy on his or her bill, which went to financing CyBC. This draconian method particularly hit people with families in the winter. It was rightly phased out, as it was completely unjust. So our electricity levy financed this nationalistic drivel.
  2. ‘Ela Ela (Come Baby) 2005 – Constantinos Christorofou. Christophorou entered the context 3 times, 2 solo and once with a boy band called One. There is so much wrong with this song musically – a weird 12 bar bridge in the middle of it makes you want to count to 16 – and his English, oh my lord his English. ‘I’ll make your heart go bang, bang’ ‘I’m the king of the night, Let me show you tonight who I am Ela, ela, ela, la…’ and very cliché rhyming ‘mysterious’ ‘delirious’’action’ ‘passion’ etc. I did try to bring much of this up at the time, in my weekly column at ‘The Cyprus Mail’ but I was censored from saying anything on TV and radio shows soon afterwards. Relief is, after 3 attempts, Kochos from Limassol probably will not enter for Cyprus again – well at least never again in English.
  3. ‘Genesis’ 1998 – Michalis Hajiyiannis. Not sure what this song is about really. It has obviously a biblical title but it seemed again to touch on nationalism, with an image of Cyprus rising like a Phoenix from destruction of the past leading to freedom. He also looked such a misfit, such an odd match. Here was the adolescent Cypriot teenager and he is singing a ballad song called ‘Genesis’ in Greek at Eurovision with a shiny black leather jacket and what looked like a full orchestra being conducted by Giorgos Theophanous. He on the night thought he was Andre Previn, doing all the moves a conductor does. There was also the backing singers with mismatching clothes and sizes. The wardrobe assistant at CyBC also got that one badly wrong. The entry just seemed so over dramatic that there was a real relief when the song finished.
  4. 2006-09 and 2014 – four years in a row Cyprus failed to qualify. A bit of an injustice was done in my opinion in to ‘Firefly’ to Christina Metaxa in 2009 which was not that bad. We also went from English, to French to Greek in  3 years (2006-08). 2014 is a notable year. Cyprus did not enter due to the financial crisis/haircut of 2013. There was no money in the state coffers. Ironic then that our current Minister for  Economy and Commerce, Haris Georgiades has declared this week that he will open the same said state coffers if Cyprus wins in 2018. That is a hard one to stomach as a taxpayer. Has he visited the state hospital lately? Why doesn’t he take out the chequebook for that? People are dying due to incompetents and health cuts and a minister gives Eurovision more priority!
  5. “Tha ‘nai erotas” (Θα ‘ναι έρωτας) – 1999 Marlain. I had to put this in because it was the worst ever entry points wise – just 2!. Marlain, a nice affable singer/actress was convinced of a much higher place and tended to blame everyone else at the time. As a song, it starts as a ballad made for theatre, with again grandiose imagery in the lyrics and then about half way through it goes into a cheesy euro-house beat, which was an uneasy transition to make – imagine that on the dancefloor? Marlain’s platform shoes hindered the dance routine tragically as well, which is why she was only moving her arms. Still she was a member of Hi-5, the first Greek girl band, they did not last as long as The Spice Girls, but there you go…that’s the pop music game for you.

I am often accused of negativity on Eurovision, a contest I affectionately refer to as ‘Euroxtijon’ in the Gringlish vernacular as most of the songs on the contest are complete stinkers. Nevertheless, there is one or two I liked. I mentioned ‘Firefly’ already. That’s just my taste. However, the best entry for Cyprus points wise was ‘Stronger every minute’ by Lisa Andreas getting 170 points and finishing 5th in 2004. A simple ballad that simply worked.  Nothing more than that. Lisa Andreas just mesmerized the audience. We never came close to that kind of points tally again, which does lead me to beg for a final question. If Cyprus has done consistently badly why have no heads rolled at CyBC? In any other context in the music industry, when so much is at stake, failure would result in a change of approach and management.  This is not the case at the state broadcaster, which ticks over, no matter who is in government, the taxpayers pay, and the bureaucrats stay in their seats, despite a long list of absolute bloopers. I have only named a few, there are many more. In another domain, like football, managers change based on performance and goals set within specific time frames. Many of us have these in our work duties – and if do not meet them – there could be trouble. Why should there be one law for a state employee then and another law for us? Are they ever made to be accountable by any one?

No matter the result in 2018, it is time for some heads to roll and changes to be made. If Cyprus wins it will partly be due to this. We have never won, so even if the people making the decisions do get it finally right, for so many years, they have time after time, got it consistently wrong and that I find hard to forget…let alone forgive…because it is my taxes and yours that pay for their bloopers.

 

 

Playing in the Prison that held you captive – 2 compañeros from back in the day

Around 1984 I was living in a bedsit loft in Hackney, post doing 2 degrees at Essex University, and getting back into all things London. It was a buzzing time in the area. Most weekends soundsystems could be heard humming familiar bass lines passing through poorly insulated walls and ceilings, and you might wonder still why I like Dub. During this time, through my flat mate Alister I met all kinds of interesting people from all over the world. We were all in some way linked as political nomads of sorts, people who had either been forcefully uprooted from their place of birth or had at some point in their lives decided to up and leave the pressures of what they left behind them.

One of the things that attracted me was the sounds of Latin Americans in exile. My friend Lukax Santana, a political refugee from Chile, had escaped Pinochet’s fascist regime by coming to London. The capital gloomy and usually raining was however bustling with sounds from South America. The London School of Samba, Inti Illimani, Dave Hucker spinning discs at The Sol Y Sombre and a strange  little experimental outfit called Quilombo Expontáneo ( Q.E. ) which Lukax was the percussive part of. Q.E once played Essex University, I think that was one of their first gigs. It must have been 1984 and it was a wonderfully weird concoction of sounds and things played spontaneously. Most people present at the gig expected Andean flute pipes but they got one of the most surrealist acoustic performances of their lives. ‘Ere’ someone asked me ‘was that bloke really playing the bendy hoover pipe with his mouth whilst rotating it above his head like a helicopter’.

One night Alister came to the flat with a friend. ‘Mike this is Mauricio – Mauricio this is Mike’ and the rest was up to us. I did not know who I was talking to but soon found out he was a poet and singer who had been imprisoned and tortured by the Naval Secret Police under Pinochet’s regime. We talked for a couple of hours about poetry and music with me realizing how limited and backward my thinking was. Those moments with Mauricio Redolés changed me so much that whenever I hear his name or read one of his poems or hear a song I know this is one of the few people in life who shone some light on my creative poetic mind in troubled times. ‘You are trying so hard’ he told me ‘why make it sound like a lecture, it’s too didactic’ and from that time, whenever the inspiration has taken me, songs, lyrics, poems flow free without the habit I had before of writing in a routine way about everything and anything. Mauricio taught me not to provide answers all the time, leave some questions in people’s minds, and  upset a few people, annoy the establishment, whoever they may be, as well. I felt like I was listening to the Chilean equivalent of John Cooper-Clarke.

Now the free flowing approach and that sense of spontaneity I owe rhythmically to my friend for life Lukax Santana, who I reconnected with recently via LinkedIn (of all places). Lukax is now based in Chile after decades of living in exile in London. We did so many gigs together and no one gig was ever the same. Some times in band settings other musicians found this tricky to deal with but he always smiled and said ‘don’t worry I will follow you’ proceeding of course to improvise again. Lukax is a humble, relaxing soul who I never had an argument with. I don’t know if this is a healthy thing as in most relationships it’s good to have differences. We did disagree on a few things but we never disagreed on playing music, unless of course he had another gig somewhere else already booked! This wise friend could play a rhythm on a match box if he had to and whenever I worked with him things were easy, cool, no pressure, no worries, just music and feeling your heart beat to the flow.  Lukax will always have two things over me – that famous surname – comes in handy saying I used to play with ‘Santana’ in the 80’s and 90’s and, he played in Cyprus before me, thanks to our mutual friend and compañero Costis Ahniotis – RiP.

Mauricio, who I only met once, and Lukax, who I performed with countless times, recently did a gig together in Santiago Chile on March 8th 2018. On this day the old prison where they were held as political prisoners in 1973 was declared a National Monument and they played live there together, 2 compañeros from back in the day, in the prison where they were once tortured and detained. Hoping we will link again soon…and be 3 compañeros….

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