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Scrubbed From Head To Foot

After finally reaching the hotel, complete with super stealth power shower, the battering removal of the grime of three days of farm life and trekking frees the mind to wander through a myriad of corridors, each storing memories, each promising a banquet of misplaced delights.

Singing Panic Beach around the campfire with Maria McKee, enjoying, for the first time ever, an acoustic show alone- sans accompaniment- to a hushed and reverent audience, eating delicious crawfish while wearing a paper hat and attempting to join in with Swedish drinking songs, enjoying a farewell lunch of home grown produce that makes the stuff they sell in supermarkets taste like McDonalds, Taylor riding a pony in the garden, a vegetarian restaurant that pick the stuff that morning and give you a plate of what they know you want to eat, our wonderful new friends, the awesome hostess that is Maria Anderberg, Taylor laughing at his first face to face with a cow, awesome schnapps and little woodland creatures falling asleep.

We left Mrs McKee with a birthday gift (that we miraculously found after 5 minutes of searching) and said goodbye last night. It’s also the last we’ll see of Maria A, Krystal and Esther for a while, all true treasures to a girl. Well miss you until next time.

The 6 hour train ride to Stockholm today to meet with Conny Bloom and discuss the set we will play on Monday will provide more invaluable memories. I hope Dregen will show up but we aren’t sure of he’ll be in town. Wonder what Stockholm is like in Summer? Hope we find a babysitter, and a laundrette.

Then we take an overnight boat trip to Finland, which I’m really looking forward to taking Taylor on, where I’ll be reunited with Michael Monroe to carve out some new tunes for a few days before embarking on a huge press day in Helsinki.

I’m busy and I’m clean, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

See you somewhere nice.


Crawfish, Schnapps And Song

If anyone has a more sociable method of dining than the Swedish then they’re keeping it a secret.

The show (which was sublime, by the way) included my set, many more players following, then I guested with Esther Rose Parkes on Am I The Only One Who Ever Felt This Way and finally got up for the finale to growl through Rocking In The Free World with the entire bill performing. A truly brilliant moment. After being presented with a bottle of champagne each onstage (thanks Maria Anderberg) we retired to the country house where the wonderful Maria Blum and family cooked crawfish and drank schnapps (each drink precluded by a drunken Swedish song). I can’t remember ever eating anything better than crawfish. Delicious doesn’t even scratch the surface.

All in all as perfect a day as I’ve ever had.

And singing onstage only to look around and see Maria McKee smiling behind me, sharing the chorus, is a memory that is indelibly etched into my consciousness. 

Off to Malmo today for more fun ‘n games today. I absolutely LOVE Sweden.


Swedish Magic

So, after a very long day travelling we finally arrive at our destination, a dreamlike country retreat straight out of a Swedish kids book.

After feeding and bathing Taylor, and settling into our accommodation, I venture into a guest house with an array of seasoned musicians jamming extremely professional quality cover songs, where I’m lead to a microphone to sing Rocking In The Free World.

As I hit the chorus I look across the table to find that Maria McKee is filming me, and then she starts singing harmony with me. Maria McKee is singing harmony vocal to my lead vocal.

Bizarre event no.1.

No. 2 happens over a campfire after dark, where Maria compliments me on my songwriting following a slightly drunk version of Inside Out. I don’t think a compliment ever resonated so deeply before. Feeling freshly cocky I request Maria sing Panic Beach and I’ll strum along. She does. I do. It’s awesome.

After filling our bellies on amazing BBQ meats, and passing my acoustic guitar around the fire, Esther (a lovely English girl that Maria is grooming for success) and I go into an impromptu version of Am I The Only One Who Ever Felt This Way? that moves Maria into suggesting we sing the song this evening. After one more rendition (for Maria to record) we agree. And so came bizarre happening no.3.

After a hug I thank Ms. Mckee for the wonderful music and lifelong inspiration and we head off to our Country lodge in which I’ve just woken up and took Taylor out to meet his first cows.

Dreams are coming true as we speak.

I think God must have based heaven on Sweden.


Dreams Come True

“Dreams come true, say they do, say they do, say they do” Maria McKee

After a criminally insufficient amount of sleep (thanx Taylor, boy am I gonna keep YOU up when you get older) we are ready to leave for Sweden, where I will perform with the greatest living female vocalist and writer on Gods earth, Maria McKee. We will hang out, maybe even write a song or two together, but the point is I will get to thank her in person for the years of great music and inspiration she has given me. This whole thing came about because I was talking to a friend of our manager about Maria. This friend not only knows the great woman but invites her to stay at her little Countryside retreat in the heartlands of Sweden. It was mentioned that I should visit too, next time.

No more thought was given to this, slightly drunken conversation. And now, through honesty and positivity, I am about to get on a plane to this very retreat.To meet Maria McKee. Honesty and positivity, the energy of dreams. If you ain’t got both you ain’t got any dreams coming true, and you sure ain’t making any come true for anyone else.


Then, after a brief acoustic show with my buddy Conny Bloom I’m off to Finland to write with Michael Monroe, one of Rock’n’Roll’s last true icons. He’s planning a new solo album and I’m helping write it with him. Who knows, I may even play in the band he’s going to put together for it? Stranger things have happened.

And usually to me!

Stay positive out there and remember to be honest. Not just for yourself but for everyone around you. It works, it really does.

Now, where did I put that passport?