SeaTac Airport, 13 April 2015, 5pm
Sooo, chances are this is gonna be a mammoth final blog for this journey, catching up with the last couple of days and this trip’s experience overall. So much has happened within the last week, my head is spinning. I’m mentally exhausted and physically in need of sleep and a strict diet. I would have never thought I’d say this, but I’m ready to fly back. One week of continuous excitement has taken its toll on this 40-year-old body and it’s time to go home and lean my head against the shoulder of a certain bearded man.
I’ve just scrolled through my photos; it’s crazy how much has happened and how many people I’ve met! As planned, I spent the first couple of days exploring new corners of this place before I followed my Seattle writer friend Stephen around town, meeting musicians, writers and other legends who all turned out really lovely people. I can’t thank Stephen enough! Not only did I get to talk to those super interesting folks, but hanging out in Seattle with him and geeking out over music and all the other things that make this place so amazing, made my trip extra special. So, big thank-you, Stephen – let’s do this again soon! Oh, and for the Seattle music interested reader check out his book (and buy it too!!!).
While I’m thanking, I need to include my super lovely hosts, Jay and Bri and their kittie Reese. I’m so glad I got to check out Columbia City. I think it’s my favourite neighbourhood as of now. So close to the lake! Also big thanks to Paul and Justine (and kittie Kazoo) for giving me shelter after the Before Cars gig. I always love staying over on the islands and no Seattle trip would be the same without it.
I’m just a very lucky girl to have so many great friends. I keep saying it: I love Americans! Especially the ones I know 🙂
(Wow, BA just made their flight announcement in a Northern English accent – what a brain-blower!)
But let’s go back to the last couple of days. Or even back to Friday, the day of the Malfunkshun gig, because I just didn’t get to say enough about it in my last blog. I mean, what a treat! As much as I enjoyed them with Jeff Loftis a couple of years ago, in my own humble opinion, they’ve finally found their right match in the new Jeff. And I know the singer of this band will always be a sore subject, especially for the people who knew, love and miss Andy. And as I said before, I’m usually a purist when it comes to established bands and new singers.
But the new Jeff’s performance convinced me that with the right mix of voice and attitude it is possible to win the singer replacement challenge. First of all, Jeff’s a great singer, perfect for Malfunkshun’s music. His looks actually reminded me of Andy with his long hair and infectious smile. But he’s also got his own thing going (he wouldn’t look wrong in a death metal band), so it’s definitely no case of ‘trying too hard’. But the main reason why I enjoyed his performance so much was his stage presence, how he engaged with the audience, his jokes, his good mood, his way of celebrating the music in his own fun way. Having watched Andy on video, there were definitely similarities but it’s simply down to Jeff also being a nice guy who likes to have fun on stage. It was real and I loved every second of it! Well, and when the night couldn’t have gone any better, Chad and Rob joined Kevin for a last Malfunkshun jam. I’ve not seen Chad rocking out on drums like this till the 90s. The three of them had a great chemistry. I’m chuffed I got to see it!
The same way I was chuffed to see Derek Burns and Before Cars on Saturday. That crowd is my home from home. They’ve been there literally from the first day I touched down in Seattle a couple of years ago (remember the gig in Belltown?) and I just love to see them play and hang out with them. It’s almost like a homecoming for me, seeing those faces and listening to the music that makes me fuzzy inside.
Over the weekend, Stephen introduced me to many Seattle legends (members of The Thrown Ups, The Squirrels, Vaporland, Bruce Pavitt and Jack Endino) as well as writer Jeff Stevens (watch out for his Seattle book coming out in the not-so-distant future). Those were really personal experiences; every single one a special occasion that won’t be forgotten but I don’t feel like going into them now. I only wanna say that I absolutely appreciate these amazing encounters and I’m convinced Seattle just wants me to be happy.
I just watched a movie and one line got stuck in my head: ‘You have to put yourself in the way of beauty.’ When I look back on the last couple of years, I can only say that is true for me. For years, I’d been dreaming about going to Seattle but it was only when I finally said, ‘Fuck it! I’m going!’, all those amazing things started to happen. I put myself out there and Seattle took me in and rewarded me highly with friendship, amazing experiences and – last but not least – great music.
I’m gonna cut this off here. I feel like I’ve said everything and it’s time to go back to normal life. I know I’m gonna buzz from the last week for months to come. And by the time I’ve calmed down the next trip will be just around the corner.
So, thank you, everyone I met and thank you, Seattle. You got a way to make me feel special!