Noephemera

Having gone through all my ephemera again recently I realise I have nothing which has any link to November. No poppies nothing.  This November we have come to remember more than just the 5th.  November made me feel very nostalgic, and sad. I’m a December baby.

Petra and Lettie in fancy dress

Petra and Lettie in fancy dress scenes from my childhood

I went to San Sebastian at the end of September to the San Sebastian Film Festival and watched a lot of films! It was a good idea to go since who wants to sit in restaurants every night amongst stony silent couples and anyway they eat pinchos in San Sebastian.  It was very much off season almost too late to call it a Summer holiday. I braved the pool every day even though it was only 18 degrees.  I was the only one swimming.  It closed the day we left.

Swimming pool San Sebastian September 2014

Swimming pool San Sebastian September 2014

It’s a beautiful town on the sea and the hotel we stayed at was in the middle of a theme park! (By tower on hill in postcard).

San Sebastian Ondaretta Beach Dominguez- Madrid

The reason I bring this up is because of my lack of ephemera to share this month, I thought I would share some of the postcards I found and photographs I took in this strange amusement park.

San Sebastian Big tides Foto Color Galarza

San Sebastian Big tides Foto Color Galarza

San Sebastian Vista Panoramica Rio Urumea y puentes  Nocturna

San Sebastian Vista Panoramica Rio Urumea y puentes Nocturna

It is probably one of the oldest in the world. Some people complained on Trip Advisor about this but all I can say it was the most surreal experience apart from the site of the three very sad donkeys that walked up and down the mountain promenade for the odd child that wanted a ride. We went on the rollercoaster and boat ride and walked into a rather frightening tunnel of terror which only the Spanish can do.

Casa del Terror September 2014 San Sebastian

Casa del Terror September 2014 San Sebastian

For some time now I’ve been doing a project based on this Sicilian doll who I have called Dolly and basically there is a concept which is fairly simple.  Donde Dolly is a series of photographs where you have to find her as she is a very shy doll.  Here she is not hiding.

Dolly at San Sebastian fairground September 2014

Dolly at San Sebastian fairground September 2014

Choosing postcards San Sebastian September 2014

Choosing postcards San Sebastian September 2014

Dolly seeing how strong she is September 2014

Dolly seeing how strong she is September 2014

Here she is hiding.

Donde Dolly?  Where is Dolly? Can you find her in Inglesa de Santa Maria in San Sebastian Church September 2014

Donde Dolly? Where is Dolly? Can you find her in Inglesa de Santa Maria in San Sebastian Church September 2014

We are back in the studio and we had a nice reunion with Richard Moore an exceptional violinist and top company. He’s only 24 and has played with Nigel Kennedy. He’s a star in the making. Five tracks mixed (two years later) it’s become an ardous journey lately. I work four full days now which has slowed down progress considerably.

San Sebastian was very inspiring.  I had many ideas.  I love hotels the more deserted the better – the view from this one was staggering.

Hotel with a view San Sebastian September 2014

Hotel with a view San Sebastian September 2014

I would just look out to sea. It was totally anonymous.

 

I live with someone with dementia which unfortunately I am sure people know is a very frustrating thing. My aunt with whom I have been hiding upstairs at for the past 10 years was boring at the best times apart from the film jobs I got her (and she had a very successful film extras career spanning hear early eighties) so now she’s even more so.

 

lunapic-121923793967373(3)

Lettie in the bath a few years ago worried – shes still worried

 

She forgot that when I came back from Spain it was I that found her on the floor got her in a bath but couldn’t get her out then called an ambulance. We don’t know how long she had been there for but I estimate about 8- 12 hours.  So quite honestly I saved her life!  But what can you do? She only likes men so she thinks it was my brother. Anyway, she’s back . People keep saying never give up like this wonderful inspirational lady that releases her own CDs and sits in San Sebastian performing with her friends, but I just can’t see I will be able to it for much longer.  This really does feel like the last album.

Lady singing in San Sebastian September 2014

Lady singing in San Sebastian September 2014

I have had wonderful news that despite Dave Barbarossa’s commitments to his other projects he has agreed to drum on a couple of the tracks. I’m so happy about this. Mostly though the album has no drums on it at all. It’s pretty bare.  The most important thing at the moment though is to cut down the number of tracks as we have far too many and that’s what I’m going to be doing this weekend. It’s time to focus and try and finish.

Hinkcley Knight Hotel Watling st A5 Route HInkley The proprietors John and Pat Stubbs will make you very welcome Tel. Hinkley 2335

Hinkcley Knight Hotel Watling st A5 Route HInkley The proprietors John and Pat Stubbs will make you very welcome Tel. Hinkley 2335

A huge mention again of David Baron who played all the instruments on the song of the year “All About The Bass’ by Meghan Trainor. It’s a really catchy song which is breaking all over the world. It is such an honour to know him and have worked with him on all three of my albums. As I said before without the generosity that I got from David, I wouldn’t be writing today. I used to be on instant message with David every day. These days it’s hardly ever. Simi Stone the most beautiful singer songwriter as well as person, with whom David has just recently been working with has just got signed too.  I first met him in 2008 at the Hotel Edison where the studio was hidden.  The biggest private recording studio in New York. Now it’s gone and so next will it’s famous cafe where you could see Broadway stars having breakfast.

New York's Art Deco Gem Hotel Edison - In the heart of Times Square- Broadway Theatre District, close to cultural and tourist attractions and many corporate headquaters.  Restaurant, coffee shop, lounge, exercise room and business centre

New York’s Art Deco Gem Hotel Edison – In the heart of Times Square- Broadway Theatre District, close to cultural and tourist attractions and many corporate headquaters. Restaurant, coffee shop, lounge, exercise room and business centre

You may have noticed my website has changed address. This was by accident and it’s a long story but the only good thing about it is that I can now update my site more quickly.

For more album news check out www.unbeknownrecords.com 

xxx

Posted in Ephemera, Music, Postcards, Singer Songwriter London | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Andrea Marongiu

No words….

Louise and Andrea from Crystal Fighters outside Shepherd's Bush Empire before he had to and pack away his drums

Louise and Andrea from Crystal Fighters outside Shepherd’s Bush Empire before he had to and pack away his drums (September 14 2011)

In Memory of Andrea Marongiu

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New EP ‘Crossroads’ with Dave Barbarossa out tomorrow!

The EP Dave Barbarossa and I wrote is out tomorrow, on iTunes. It consists of only 3 tracks.

I would also like to write more but time is not on my side. It’s mainly spent working in my day job and I need to finish off the project I started with Mark all that time ago. I have also been writing with a great writer called Dylan Freed and Geppi in Italy. Everything I do has a completely different feel.

It would be wonderful to perform again as we had a great time supporting the fantastic Lene Lovich ….I just don’t know at the moment.

Supporting Lene Lovich Lettie w: Dave Barbarossa August Friday 18 August photogaph by Pamina Brassey

Supporting Lene Lovich Lettie w: Dave Barbarossa August Friday 18 August photogaph by Pamina Brassey

I sort of have a deadline to aim for which is interlinked with my living situation and many other things besides. I’m not interested in money but the investment that is needed to actually do music is something akin to the hunger or thirst of a gambler that can’t be quenched. I keep thinking ‘yes I will do just one more track and record it to the highest level I can’  but each time it wipes my finances out.  There’s a whole in my bucket dear Liza.

By the way what happened to these? What a great way to collect for charity why were they phased out?  Or are they a bit creepy?  I’m not sure now.

Please put a penny in from article in Nova Magazine 1975

Please put a penny in from article in Nova Magazine 1975

Please Put a Penny In from Nova Magazine IPC Magazines Ltd 1975

Please Put a Penny In from Nova Magazine IPC Magazines Ltd 1975

Please put a penny in from Nova March 1975

Please put a penny in from Nova March 1975

I was incredibly lucky in the past to have recorded 3 albums for free with David Baron.  This is unheard of by most people and I am incredibly thankful and grateful to have had this opportunity and in many ways feel like I have let him down were it not for the fact he is doing incredibly well!  One track he co-wrote and produced has topped the iTunes Charts and the album with Simi Stone, amongst others he has done recently, is excellent.

Unknown photograph

Unknown photograph

Anyway, back to August and holidays.

Photoplay cover Maggie Pierce ( see her in M-G-M's The Subterraneans) August 1961 Vol 12 No 8

Photoplay cover Maggie Pierce ( see her in M-G-M’s The Subterraneans) August 1961 Vol 12 No 8

Ah Summer Sun! From Photoplay Magazine August 1937

Ah Summer Sun! From Photoplay Magazine August 1937

Holidays with the Holiday Fellowship Alnmouth

Holidays with the Holiday Fellowship Alnmouth

Brean Camp August 1946

Brean Camp August 1946

There’s a lot of tragedy in the news of late and at times it gets too much.

By Batsford and Dryad Press books for Schools 4 Fitzardinge Street London W1H 0AH published 1989

By Batsford and Dryad Press books for Schools 4 Fitzardinge Street London W1H 0AH published 1989

Dear Maer Very sorry dear I did root for you yesterday will call round about 8 Freya date unknown early

Dear Maer Very sorry dear I did root for you yesterday will call round about 8 Freya date unknown early

Athena Internatioal Good Morning Vietnam copyright the Walt Disney Company printed in England

Athena Internatioal Good Morning Vietnam copyright the Walt Disney Company printed in England

Humphrey Bogard and Laruen Bacall in Dark Passage (1947) Private lives leaking out onto the big screen, a Big Combo behind the secens as well as on celluloid from Screen Lovers by Anne Bilson 1988 photographs from the Kobal Collection

Humphrey Bogard and Laruen Bacall in Dark Passage (1947) Private lives leaking out onto the big screen, a Big Combo behind the secens as well as on celluloid from Screen Lovers by Anne Bilson 1988 photographs from the Kobal Collection

Dear Popsy we arrved 6.30 we spent the day touring it was lovely the weather is grand.  S is much about the same she sends her love Amy Les and Bernard 1956 Bournmouth copyright Sunray Continental Color Series published by Thunder & Clayden

Dear Popsy we arrved 6.30 we spent the day touring it was lovely the weather is grand. S is much about the same she sends her love Amy Les and Bernard 1956 Bournmouth copyright Sunray Continental Color Series published by Thunder & Clayden

I spent most of this weekend in bed reading for once ( I forgot I was supposed to be going to a gig to see the very talented Kirsten Morrison who played keys with Lene Lovich but also had been special guest with Peter Murphy back in 2009).  Her music is extraordinary and I was gutted.   I was tired and I decided to stop for once; Stop recording, stop writing, stop doing my accounts and stop looking at my diary (hum). Stop. I pretended I was on the beach. I finished a book a biography about an addict and Sean Hughes book of poems ‘My Struggle to be decent and Poems of Sadness and Light’, which was, along with his show last night, excellent. I particularly like his stories about his pets.

From back cover of Full Color Dog Books at $1 each How to Raise and Train published by T F H Publications 245 Corenlison Avenue Jersey City 2 N J 1964

From back cover of Full Color Dog Books at $1 each How to Raise and Train published by T F H Publications 245 Corenlison Avenue Jersey City 2 N J 1964

I often take my boss’s dog out for a walk called Whiskers. He is a Border Collie. He is so intelligent that not only does he open doors but he actually (I have seen this) closes them too behind him. I am very fond of Whiskers and I wonder if deep down he realises, despite all the love he gets, that something is missing. Ultimately that something is sheep.

Another unknown photograph from same photo album Bridlington 1938

Unknown Photograph from photo album Bridlington 1938

Unknown Photograph from photo album Bridlington 1938

I also love watching late night television, which is a really bad habit.

Bad Habits S Deepah 13703 Printed in the EU Bizarre www.bizarrverlag.com

Bad Habits S Deepah 13703 Printed in the EU Bizarre http://www.bizarrverlag.com

I only start watching TV very late.  I switch from the news to BBC4 programmes.  On mind recently was one about the Buddhist Sherpas in Nepal near to Mount Everest who act as guides for climbers up Everest no matter the cost (16 were killed in June of this year) and last night the incredible tribes in Borneo trying to get honey from 40m in the trees.  Elephants are used to cart logs across dense jungle as no mechanical vehicle would get through and just how delicately they manage with almost ballet feet is remarkable.

Storyville 42 August-September 1972 printed and published bi-monthly by Storyville Publications and Co., 63, Orford Road London E17 9NJ

Storyville 42 August-September 1972 printed and published bi-monthly by Storyville Publications and Co., 63, Orford Road London E17 9NJ

When I think of the world and see such programmes as this, it does remind me how immensely large and untouched it is and god knows what the future holds but it is beautiful.  Mankind will always create civil wars and fight each other I believe destruction is part of the human condition no matter the intricacies.  I lit a candle on 4th August  for ‘Lights Out’ lest we should ever forget….

Beneath This Stone Rests The Body

Beneath This Stone Rests The Body

As I wandered about town last week I thought how lucky I am even when a guy literally spluttered a mouthful of beer in my face at a pub near the Oval (first day of the Test), saw an Indie band called Pink Cigars hanging out at the Portobello Gold and longed for the old days, met Barry Lategan world famous photographer at the Chelsea Arts Club and imagined days before I was born.  I saw my friend Petra for a mesmerising film called ‘Boyhood’. She set up something called Kerb which is delicious food markets at various sites around London. If I keep my head down I will be fine by my rescheduled holiday in late September and might even be able to visit her in New Orleans when she goes.

You can buy the EP ‘Crossroads’ by clicking on the home page for a hard copy. It includes various bits of ephemera and if you want ‘Good Fortune, Bad Weather’ included let me know. All of these images were found in the attic where I live.

You will also find it on iTunes by clicking here from Monday 18th August.

xXx

Posted in Ephemera, Music, Postcards, Singer Songwriter London, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Milano and the Summer of playing again

Picturegoer The National Film Weekly Week ending July 19 1952 Stills Session for Joan Rice

Picturegoer The National Film Weekly Week ending July 19 1952 Stills Session for Joan Rice

Thank you to everyone who came to the Bush Hall it was a fantastic night. Thanks to The Mostar Diving Club for having us.  Here are some photographs by Dave Bagg of my performance with Dave Barbarossa.

Lettie and Dave Barbarossa at Bush Hall 5th June 2014

Lettie and Dave Barbarossa at Bush Hall 5th June 2014

Dave Barbarossa and Lettie at Bush Hall 5th June 2014

Dave Barbarossa and Lettie at Bush Hall 5th June 201

Lettie performing at Bush Hall on 5th June 2014

Lettie performing at Bush Hall on 5th June 2014

It was fantastic to play again!  My set up has been simplified out is the loop pedal and on with the matter in hand.

Films and Entertainment Photoplay July 1962 Isabel Corey

Films and Entertainment Photoplay July 1962 Isabel Corey

The trip to Milan was exhausting but fun. A big thank you to Geppi for being the host with the most. Having arrived on the very day I was performing without a single rehearsal was quite a prospect.  I had stayed the night before at the creepy Premier Inn.  I don’t care how many jolly leaflets of Lenny Henry there are, the eerie blue corridors stretch to eternity, a silent mausoleum the strange key cards that you get from a slot machine have to be swiped at every door.  God knows how you would get out if there was a fire at a Premier Inn.

Stansted Airport departure gate Friday 27th June 2014

Stansted Airport departure gate Friday 27th June 2014

Geppi very kindly provided all the gear so I had no issues at the airport (what a relief!) including the PA and we managed to do three tracks together at Santeria which we will release at some point. Geppi is a very talented musician (is a member of Casino Royale), engineer and producer. There’s no end to his talents.

Lettie performing with Geppi at Santeria 26th June 2014 photograph by Thomas Pololi

Lettie performing with Geppi at Santeria 26th June 2014 photograph by Thomas Pololi

Geppi and Lettie at Santeria 26 June 2014 photograpy by Thomas Pololi

Geppi and Lettie at Santeria 26 June 2014 photograpy by Thomas Pololi

After the gig we then did some photographs in a tunnel somewhere in Milan with a photographer called Thomas Pololi (I’m not sure where I was half the time) and even a video so it was a very productive two days for sure!

Lettie and Geppi in Milan by Thomas Pololi 27 February 2014

Lettie and Geppi in Milan by Thomas Pololi 27 February 2014

I then went to Bergamo for my last half day and collected some photographs and postcards for my collection.

Milano Scorcio dal Dumo e Campanie di S.Gottardo postcard to Silvana Bracchi Bergamo

Milano Scorcio dal Dumo e Campanie di S.Gottardo postcard to Silvana Bracchi Bergamo

Milan The Columns of St Lorenzo 3 September 1964 addressed to Silvia Maggi Bergamo

Milan The Columns of St Lorenzo 3 September 1964 addressed to Silvia Maggi Bergamo

 

Unknown photograph found in Bergamo bookshop

Unknown photograph found in Bergamo bookshop

Unknow photograph found in Bergamo 28 June 1962

Unknow photograph found in Bergamo 28 June 1962

 

Serie 106 postcard addressed to address in Bergamo 13 February 1960

Serie 106 postcard addressed to address in Bergamo 13 February 1960

Unknown photograph found in Bergamo

Unknown photograph found in Bergamo

This is the year of collaborations and it is difficult to explain all the different projects I have on the go.

Ediz Servizi Sociali Marzotto Rip Veitata Vera Fotographia date unknown

Ediz Servizi Sociali Marzotto Rip Veitata Vera Fotographia date unknown

Going back to Dave Barbarossa we are releasing a 3 track EP entitled ‘Crossroads’ on August 18th and we are supporting the legendary Lene Lovich and her band on 18th July at The Hill.   Thank you to my friend Jude Rawlins and Lene Lovich for organising it and having me and Dave to play.  The gig is sold out which is fantastic and Dave is playing on a couple of other tracks ‘Cocaine Lil’ and ‘Bitter’. In the meantime we are going to write more.

 

Lene Lovich born in Detroit moved to Hull..at 13 she ran away from home and worked selling hot-dogs, bingo caller...it was after signing with Stiff Records that success came her way hit singles have included Say When and Lucky Number

Lene Lovich born in Detroit moved to Hull..at 13 she ran away from home and worked selling hot-dogs, bingo caller…it was after signing with Stiff Records that success came her way hit singles have included Say When and Lucky Number

Whilst we were rehearsing last week I could not believe my eyes when I bumped into Zac Alford who was rehearsing with Hotei who is a phenomenal artist from Japan best known in this country for writing the main sequence on the Kill Bill soundtrack.

Postcard unmarked date unknown No 1649

Postcard unmarked date unknown No 1649

Not only was it odd to see Zac who is based in Woodstock in New York state but it was extremely strange that Dave was drumming for the first time on ‘Bitter’ which was one of the tracks Zac kindly played on for me on my last album produced and written with David Baron ‘Good Fortune, Bad Weather’. Last time I saw Zac I introduced him to Seb Rochford. From one great drummer to another to another! I am lucky to be acquainted with some many legendary ones!

Drawing from Autograph book belonging to Delys Nash 272a Blackhorse Lane Walthamstow E17 1925

Drawing from Autograph book belonging to Delys Nash 272a Blackhorse Lane Walthamstow E17 1925

My album project is with Mark Vernon and is currently half way through. The studio sadly has now gone due to the fact that David de la Garza had to return to Mexico so there was a mad dash for it round London to try and retrieve all the files before he left (very suddenly).

Message in Autograph book dated 1925

Message in Autograph book dated 1925

Page 2 of Autograph booked dated 1925

Page 2 of Autograph booked dated 1925

I am gutted about this studio going as we had many a happy recording session there, photographs I put up on my website for our label Unbeknown Records. Anyway, we will get there in the end.

So turning my head to other things Viv Albertine ‘s book (I have seen her perform quite a few times now) is fantastic. I couldn’t put it down.   I also saw the Eels and got a hug. I got a hug from an Eel. What more can you ask for!   What a great evening at the Royal Albert Hall. Last time I got a pair of the band’s shoes at Oxford O2 left outside the venue where the tour bus was and gave them to my brother. Whilst I haven’t got into the whole festival thing probably because I’m too broke, hate mud…look what happened at this festival where you could watch the Grateful Dead play for 6 hours…

The Bickershaw Festival Festival In Pictures three days of heavy rain turned £120,000 Bickershaw Pop Festival into the worlds most costly swamp from it magazine 18 May 1972

The Bickershaw Festival Festival In Pictures three days of heavy rain turned £120,000 Bickershaw Pop Festival into the worlds most costly swamp from it magazine 18 May 1972

I am looking forward to John Cale in the Autumn and various other things. I really enjoyed Dave’s band Cauldronated the other night along with a band I had never heard of ‘The Vultures’ who have a great song called ‘Cancer’. What a fantastic night that was! I also saw the beautiful Jova Radevska who is extraordinary.  Her tracks with Donnie Darko are doing really well and she performed ‘Time Will Tell’ acoustically.

Dear how are you you see I am very near where you were last year.  I am off to Leicester with my cousin tomorrow so thik of ma ta ta dear Ehtal (date unknown)

Dear how are you you see I am very near where you were last year. I am off to Leicester with my cousin tomorrow so thik of ma ta ta dear Ehtal (date unknown)

So me and Dave Barbarossa are releasing on August 18th 2014.  You can order your hand mastered copy from myself from my website for £6.50 which includes postage after that date.  It will of course be available on iTunes then.  I will be putting up videos soon.

All tracks were written with Dave Barbarossa and special instruments such as Moog, EMS Putney on ‘Crossroads’ were played by David Baron.  Thank you so much David.

Crossroads EP available to order from 18th July 2014 £5 to include assortment of postcards and other ephemera from Lettie's personal private collection

Crossroads EP available to order from 18th July 2014 £5 to include assortment of postcards and other ephemera from Lettie’s personal private collection

Anon postcard addressed to Signorumo Bergamo 1956

Anon postcard addressed to Signorumo Bergamo 1956

 

Can't read adressed to an address in Bergamo

Can’t read adressed to an address in Bergamo

Thank you very much for the presents you sent me.  I hope you are well.  Please give my kind regards to all the family at via verdi with love from Nellie Gillett addresed to The Misses R & E Traine, via Verdi 20, Bergamo Italy 1971

Thank you very much for the presents you sent me. I hope you are well. Please give my kind regards to all the family at via verdi with love from Nellie Gillett addresed to The Misses R & E Traine, via Verdi 20, Bergamo Italy 1971

Posted in Ephemera, Music, Postcards, Singer Songwriter London, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thursday 5th June at the Bush Hall London

So much has happened such as the studio closing down.  That’s been a real blow. More later.  I seem to be always working but not on music.  Anyway, it’s just like everyone else I just have to be more organised but I can’t.  I can’t even get up at the same time every day.  I work through a chaotic magnetic field of my own making.  I even managed to give myself a very nasty electric shock with my amp plug last week.  You got to squeeze your fruit and get as much juice out of your day as you can.

Lettie self portrait

Speaking of which the legendary Dave Barbarossa is taking a little bit of time out from playing with Adam Ant and his own fantastic band Cauldronated to play 3 new tracks we wrote together some time last year!!  Thanks to Cameron Craig and Mandy Parnell, they are now mixed and mastered.  And now I’m sitting on them but I will try and release them ready for the 5th June.

We will be playing them at Bush Hall supporting the wonderful The Mostar Diving Club.  You can buy tickets by clicking here.   We are on 8pm sharpish.  I won’t be playing again for some time unless of course there is some kind of demand!

Dave Barbarossa

Dave Barbarossa

Except in Milan at the end of June where there is a very small one!

Milano The Sforza Castle

Milano The Sforza Castle

 In the meantime…

With Miss Ada Russell's Compliments

With Miss Ada Russell’s Compliments

xXx

Did you hear Lettie's playing - I know she's not really performing much these days but I think it will be worth going are you around?  Oh you're like me can't plan ahead but you know ...it might never happen again

Did you hear Lettie’s playing? She’s only doing the odd gig these days. Are you going to be around? Oh you’re like me can’t plan ahead but you know …it may never happen again

 

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Land of Napoleon and Cola

Dolly somewhere in the middle of Corsica March 2014

Dolly somewhere in the middle of Corsica March 2014 (Photography by Lettie)

A huge thank you to Anthony Phillips and Denise Arnold for being instrumental in my wonderful trip to Corsica. The kindness of the audiences and organisers was unprecedented.  On my way over I bought Mike Rutherford’s book which writes about the early Charterhouse days and the beginning of Genesis and his meeting with Anthony.

2110 Corse Ile d'Amour Moriani et ses environs San-Nicolao Edition Roc E Mare Fabrication Francaise Marque Deposee

2110 Corse Ile d’Amour Moriani et ses environs San-Nicolao Edition Roc E Mare Fabrication Francaise Marque Deposee

Villages de Corse Marignana Photographie J M Battini

Villages de Corse Marignana Photographie J M Battini

I did two gigs on two different parts of the island. The first performance was at Ustaria Di A Rota in Marignana and I was driven by the wonderful Denise with all my gear for 3 hours through gorges and mountains, down one single windy beautiful road.

Somewhere in the mountains of Corsica

Somewhere in the mountains of Corsica (Photograph by Lettie)

In the shadows of the snow capped mountains that looked like they had been sprinkled with icing sugar, through the evergreens, under the rocky faces, past the empty out of season hotel that reminded me of ‘The Shining’ and on on through continually breathtaking scenery.

Up in the mountains crossing from east to west Corsica March 2014  (Photograph by Lettie)

Up in the mountains crossing from east to west Corsica March 2014 (Photograph by Lettie)

Snow capped mountains of Corsica March 2014 photograph by Denise Arnold

Snow capped mountains of Corsica March 2014 (Photograph by Denise Arnold)

A wonderful restaurant and bar with it’s own theatre situated on the west of the island in Marignana was a trouvé. Despite the language barrier of neither speaking French nor Corsican, I did my very best to engage. Invariably I spoke Spanish to a perplexed Corsican audience! Cedric a talented sound engineer did a sterling job of helping me.

Ustaria Di a Rota Club March 2014

Ustaria Di a Rota Club March 2014

 

At Ustaria Di a Rota Club March 2014

At Ustaria Di a Rota Club March 2014 (Photography by Lettie)

Poster advertising Lettie's performance at Ustaria Di A Rota March 28th 2014

Poster advertising Lettie’s performance at Ustaria Di A Rota March 28th 2014

Lettie at Ustaria di A Rota photograph by Denise Arnold

Lettie at Ustaria di A Rota, Marignana (Photograph by Denise Arnold)

Lettie at Ustaria di A Rota by Denise Arnold

Lettie at Ustaria di A Rota by Denise Arnold

Lettie and unknown gentleman at Ustaria di a Rota photograph by Denise Arnold

Lettie and unknown gentleman at Ustaria di a Rota (Photograph by Denise Arnold) March 28th 2014

At Ustaria di A Rota pre gig 28th March 2014

At Ustaria di A Rota pre gig 28th March 2014 (Photograph by Lettie)

The second was at a club at the Tavagna Club in Talasani.

Tavagna Club 20230 Talasani

Tavagna Club 20230 Talasani

Tavagna Club 20230 Talasani 04 95 31 36 94

Tavagna Club 20230 Talasani 04 95 31 36 94

The organiser Francescu Marcantei is himself a musician and sings with an all male choir creates haunting spiritual music as well as traditional Corsican songs.

Tavagna in Veru Concert de Polyphonie Corse  Label Sergent Major Mosaic Music Distribution 2006

Tavagna in Veru Concert de Polyphonie Corse Label Sergent Major Mosaic Music Distribution 2006

Francescu Marcantei at Tavagna Club Talasani Corsia

Francescu Marcantei at Tavagna Club Talasani Corsica

I have been listening to his albums and it is clear the Corsicans love voices and perhaps my own music when it was it’s most bare and simple was the most effective. I therefore adjusted my second set to cut down on the electronics!  You can see a couple of performances on my youtube channel.

Corsica in Marignana Maria Saveria Cardi 1950 Cismonte e Pumonti Edizione 20229 Nucariu Corsica copyright

Corsica in Marignana Maria Saveria Cardi 1950 Cismonte e Pumonti Edizione 20229 Nucariu Corsica copyright

Corsica Foto di Francescu Cardi 1979 Canut corsu in a notte Chant Corse, la nuit

Corsica Foto di Francescu Cardi 1979 Canut corsu in a notte Chant Corse, la nuit

Corsica Foto di Francescu Cardi 1980 Muntange di Vicu in a matina Montagnes de Vico le martin copyright Francescu Cardi

Corsica Foto di Francescu Cardi 1980 Muntange di Vicu in a matina Montagnes de Vico le martin copyright Francescu Cardi

Corsica Capi Corsu Foto di Francscu Cardi 1984 (copyright of Francescu Cardi)

Corsica Capi Corsu Foto di Francscu Cardi 1984 (copyright of Francescu Cardi)

The trip was an adventure.   It reaffirmed to me that the new music I am doing with Dave Barbarossa and Mark Vernon is in the right direction at least I’m keeping it simple!

Denise Arnold on the beach

Denise Arnold on the beach

Thank you to all those that came and a special one to Denise for her patience and tolerating the time I spent creating bizarre photographs of these traditional dolls that have journeyed with me on various islands over the last two years.

Lettie in the mountains of Corsica by Denise Arnold

Lettie in the mountains of Corsica by Denise Arnold

In the meantime back in London the tracks with Dave Barbarossa will be done in the next few weeks and Dave is back with the Adam and the Ants so I’m thrilled he’s back on the big stages where he belongs. So my writing continues with Mark Vernon and will take me over the next few months. Cameron Craig has kindly agreed to mix this album.

Me and Mark at his Birthday party March 2014

Me and Mark at his Birthday party March 2014

I also have an electronic track from an artist in Italy to sing now I have retrieved the microphone David Baron has lent me from Funky Junk!  It seems so long since the last album with David and it’s all thanks to him that I’m even doing it.

Blue tit in Denise Arnold's garden

Blue tit in Denise Arnold’s garden

As a last note I bought a book called Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Not Visted and Never Will by Judith Schlansky. I have continued to buy numerous copies as presents for people and as the plane  MH370 disappeared I looked up in this book any possible remote islands in the vicinity.

Postcard not known

Postcard not known

It is strange that one of the most secret bases on earth Diego Garcia which I pointed out looking at the map in the book, is circulating on the internet as holding a key. What’s even stranger is the pilot had this particular runway in his flight simulator. Despite the great tragedy of this for families involved and not to belittle that at all, it is the most extraordinary story of recent times.

xXx

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I was sad to hear the passing of Ronnie Terrill who used to follow my tour in 2009 with Peter Murphy on Facebook.  I saw him just before Christmas for the first time in ages. I used to spend many days talking with him, he used to collect garden gnomes, work at Ronnie Scotts and own various galleries before I knew him.  When I first arrived in London and met him in Finches pub, he took me under his wing and took me to all his haunts in Soho and Notting Hill and introduced me to a lot of people but I hadn’t seen him for years. You made me laugh. I’ll miss you.

Lettie in Corsica by Denise Arnold March 2014

Lettie in Corsica by Denise Arnold March 2014

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Bad weather but my hearts still in it….

From Photoplay 'now it can be told! The Jean Harlow Story Hollywood SUPPRESSED August 1937

From Photoplay ‘now it can be told! The Jean Harlow Story Hollywood SUPPRESSED August 1937

As the snowdrops bow their aching heads in the blustery weather forecasts that prevail through January and February, I think back often on the albums I have recorded and the time that has passed and I have to remind myself on the lost couple of years I spent in Oxford trying to record that album ‘Other Days’ which never saw the light. Sometimes people remark on those tracks I wrote with Mike, and then David Baron pulled me back to the Catskill mountains and helped me record ‘Good Fortune, Bad Weather’ which is work I am very proud of.  It’s possibly not been heard that much and I have yet to put it on Spotify.  The one thing I’ve been right about though is the bad weather!

Unknown coastal photograph

Unknown coastal photograph

Here’s a postcard of Dawlish in sunnier times.  My thoughts go out to all of those affected.

Hello Love, Do you remember This place? We fed the Ducks with aunty Iris & Beverly a few years ago.  Dad is trying to get a new type all our love Mam & Dad

Hello Love, Do you remember This place? We fed the Ducks with aunty Iris & Beverly a few years ago. Dad is trying to get a new type all our love Mam & Dad

I tried to do a film for every track but I started to do less because I exhausted a lot of my locations.  Secondly there’s a lot more films now (since I started in 2008) than there used to be due to iphones and most people don’t have time to watch videos and certainly Facebook is a hard place to put them up.

Anonymous photograph

Anonymous photograph

I have been so fortunate – I filmed ‘Cold’ in ‘The Deep’ in Hull which his now going to be City of Culture and ‘Pandora’ on the very last day of Streatham Ice Rink which will never be seen again. I filmed ‘Lucky’ on the way to work as well as ‘Everyman’ and others as you will probably see in my bedroom, on the roof, in the garden in Suffolk or at Southbank or Sizewell B!  They are vignettes into my life! Some of my other films were carefully transferred 16mm or 35mm film which I took to Stanleys in Wardour Street and edited so as far as I know will not have been in circulation or even seen before. You can see all my films on my Youtube Channel.

Obscurity is harder to come by which is why my collection of postcards are now littered with photographs which are unique.  I find such pleasure in the old, the obscure and the secret treasure troves of the past.  I do, however, also create new things.

Unknown photograph of tea room

Unknown photograph of tea room

I have been recording quite a lot in the last year or so.  I have three great tracks with Dave Barbarossa which are ready to mix and have recorded eight songs with Mark Vernon.  Mark began his music career at Cadburys so I found this to give him.  He then went on to manage PJ Harvey in the early days and John Cale.  It’s been a great experience for us both to record what will be an album in Brick Lane with this fantastic studio we found Dada Studios.  I am keeping a blog for our work under the title Unbeknown Records.  Please click on that link for more photographs that I shall be posting shortly and information.

Special Visit to Cadbury Bros Ltd Bournville 16th May 1962

Special Visit to Cadbury Bros Ltd Bournville 16th May 1962

Marko taking a picture of a squirrel from Dada Studios February 2014

Marko taking a picture of a squirrel from Dada Studios February 2014

The next stage though is all about money and unfortunately I lost one of my jobs after Christmas but I’ve blow dried my hair, put on my suit and I’m back in the saddle after a couple of interviews!

For tape in a hurry- Tops in electrical tape! Johns- Manville Dutch Brand Choose from a broad range of pressure sensitive electrical tapes.  Plastic, Friction, Rubber, Cloth, Paper ...

For tape in a hurry- Tops in electrical tape! Johns- Manville Dutch Brand Choose from a broad range of pressure sensitive electrical tapes. Plastic, Friction, Rubber, Cloth, Paper …

The plan (and I’ve had many before and usually the plan goes wrong!) is to release a single ‘At the Crossroads’ with three tracks in the next three months, and aim for Autumn to complete the project with Marko.    Before all this I need to pay for my microphone, which has been repaired and is still at Funky Junk an incredible place.  Thank you Dave!  I will be there soon!

Aside from all this recording I plan to go to Corisca for two gigs at the end of March which will be exciting and hopefully a gig in April.  I will, therefore, be getting out the instruments again “just for a little while, oh just to see you smile” (‘I Love You’ by The Velvet Underground)

So in celebration of St Valentine here’s a postcard I bought in Prague last year:

Den pro mou lasku 14.2 Valentyn -Leko 0641:20 27 70 Czech Republic

Den pro mou lasku 14.2 Valentyn -Leko 0641:20 27 70 Czech Republic

A very old postcard from 1906…..

Where Ignorance is Bliss 1906 Dear M, Hope to see you soon From you know

Where Ignorance is Bliss 1906 Dear M, Hope to see you soon From you know

A new one from Italy….

Lascia che il cuore sussurri al tu arecchio le sue parole, Vera Fotographia

Lascia che il cuore sussurri al tu arecchio le sue parole, Vera Fotographia

Unknown cutting that flew across the table at Portobello market and Lettie felt compelled to buy it when the next door trader kindly found it

Unknown cutting that flew across the table at Portobello market and Lettie felt compelled to buy it when the next door trader kindly found it

Because of my obsession with volcanoes at the moment and due to the fact one of our new tracks is written around them here is my ideal Valentine dinner venue a completely empty restaurant overlooking a huge volcano how romantic!

Dining Room, Volcano House, Hawaii Halemaumau firepit, Kileuea crater and 13,680 foot snow capped Mauna Loa Volcano are clearly visible through the picture windows of the new Volcano House dining room card by H S Crocker Co Inc

Dining Room, Volcano House, Hawaii Halemaumau firepit, Kileuea crater and 13,680 foot snow capped Mauna Loa Volcano are clearly visible through the picture windows of the new Volcano House dining room card by H S Crocker Co Inc

Love Lettie x x x

Lettie at Tintern Abbey photograph by a friend November 2013

Lettie at Tintern Abbey photograph by a friend November 2013

(click on an images to make larger)

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