Belgium, I love you

Back in Bari, back to my drawings and brushes.

The Luigi Fest has been a success and I feel really lucky to have been there with you and see bands and people that I have been wanting to see live on a stage for years, to meet old friends and new ones, people I have portrayed on the sleeves of the Joe Speedboat tapes too. It’s something I will never forget. Thank you very much for all this, for the friendship, the good beers and all the talks we have had. I have really enjoyed all your performances, listen live to songs I’ve been playing many many times while drawing things for you has been exciting. The addition of Philippe Guslain to the schedule has been a beautiful suprise. One of the first releases on my record label has been an album of The Ordinary Seaman. I love the belgian (dutch) language and it’s nice to listen to someone singing in belgian (dutch). I might not understand what he is singing but I like what I hear. Wio is an old friend of mine, I’ve met him on my first trip to belgium, seen him a couple of times on stage and loved and wore all his records, time hasn’t changed my feelings, I always think he is a great musician and love his music a lot. Mote’s album has come out of the blue, I thought the had disbanded, I did not know they were still active and It has been wonderful to see them on stage. Powerful, intense, pure. It was nice to see Annelies perform live again. One of the first tapes on AHT is by her, beuatiful piano songs, the first vinyl lp is by her (Zent One) and I’ve followed her on Morc and other labels. I’ve really enjoyed her set. It is really beautiful to see how you all contribute to other projects. Lobke and Jelle on stage with Annelies. Hans and Jurgen on stage with Mote. Autopilot: I’ve devoured their demo, listened to it many many times while driving through the streets of Bari. It’s a bomb and I’m happy to have been the cause of their return on stage after twelve years if I’ve understood well. Why so many years? Kohn was mind blowing, luckily I recorded his set and I’m going to listen to it again and again. Joe Speedboat, the rising star of the belgian lo-fi scene, with Jelle speaking a perfect italian. One of the weirdest requests I’ve got in matter of sleeves was portraying all speedboat memebers for a guy. Lots of fun, it was great to see all the sleeves I’ve did for them projected on the wall (Thanks!) Lots of work, but also great fun. de portables ruled, so many talented musicians in a single band. Listening to the songs of It’s Time To Leave This World Behind live has been beautiful, thank you very much for this, I’m a lucky fan, you even performed Haut Gay Emoticon smile Thank you guys. Uh, and Wio’s cover version of that italian classic, that’s another highlight.

I’m back to Bari with a lot of projects for the new year, try to convice the Autopilot and Wio to finally give a follow up to their last albums (I’m ready to use the brute force, like closing them on studio and throw away the key), wait for the new albums by de portables, kohn, annelies and mote, work on that idea with joe speedboat, draw some sleeves for Philippe Guislain, reissue Kohn and Joe Speedboat tapes with new sleeves, the first AHT releases to be reissued, organize a Luigi Fest III in Bari.