Author: Pierce

Brighton the sea gull city

Blown away in Brighton.

I grew up by the sea, it lived across the road from us on the quay, upstairs in the sitting room with that blazing fire at my back, I often peeked past the curtains at its commotion.  From my bedroom on the third floor the seagulls announced the dawn with their yelps as they circled the Dutch coal boats in pursuit of their morning slop.

 

Now I am in Brighton U.K. where the seagulls play a much bigger part than they did in Wexford.  Their announcement of the dawn is like the sound of an advancing army, thousands of yelps, squawks and baby squeaks of laughter, many Brightonians would like to mow them down, or make them wear diapers at least. Sometimes you can hear the blood- curdling Banshee-like wail of a Fox as she fights with a Mammy Gull, I am told the Foxes go after their babies, and that sometimes the Gulls go after the Fox cubs. I go out and there is a baby Gull standing on the roof of the car, right in the middle, like an ornament.  I know it’s a baby because it is not white yet. They are beautiful animals, but they leave their mark everywhere, long brown splatters mixed with subtle feather clings to almost every available glass surface.  Shit- upon windows are more common than untarnished ones. 

 

Down by the beach (if you don’t presume a beach to mean sand) they stand still in the wind, like a suspended sculpture, it feels like you can reach out and touch them, and they seem unperturbed by that possibility, a live animal meditates within arms length, floating into the weather.  I retreat to the café (pronounced Caff here) on the waterfront, there guarded by canvas windbreakers I consume a sausage sandwich and a cup of tea and think of what I should write to you.

 

I miss my American friends, how are you?  I will be back in January; I look forward to seeing you.

If you are in England, I have a great gig coming up between here and France. November 2ndat Crazy Coqs in Picadilly Circus, the very heart of London-this is one of England’s great venues with a Grand Piano on the stage, it is the English version of Manhattan’s Joe’s Pub.

 

In the meantime I am writing and sleeping and looking and listening.

And I still love you more than fish……. and chips.  Pierce  xxxxx

 

 

 

To book tickets go here https://www.brasseriezedel.com/live-at-zedel/pierce-turner-nov-2018?date=157370711

Also I am heading back to The Hot Spot for a follow up to the last great gig there, tickets at the Hotspot- On Dec 7th.  And Greenacres for a home town Christmas gig on Dec 28th tickets at Greenacres.

Astonished by the sun

Just got back from a couple of gigs in the West of Ireland. 

Hit Cork City, then drove south west to Ballydehob, or as I call it, Ballydequityourjob!  ‘cos it seems like most people who live in this idyllic little haven have moved there with the wisdom of a Buddhist Monk. 

I am sure that the waiters in the little café across the Street from Levis Corner Shop, were hording PHD’s in their biscuit tins above in the attic. 

Joe from Levi’s found time to run this great spot, share the minding of his beautiful daughter Johanna, one year and three months old, going on PHD.  His wife Caroline had a lap top attached to her as she levitated around with the calmness of a Ballydehobian, doing some kind of computer work and minding Johanna, as well as helping with shop. Joe’s Mother Joanne, always seem to be leaving as she was staying, and you’d be mistaken to think she didn’t have the run of the place.  I asked Joanne could we put the TV on to watch England playing Sweden.  Caroline, Joe and little Johanna were at the Farmers Market in Skib (Skibereen) and like all TV’s, their TV didn’t like strangers trying to turn it on.  It didn’t even recognise Joanne. 

(Astonished by the sun)

 

“Ara don’t worry about it Joanne” said I, picking up the Cork accent.

 

“Ara no, I’ll give Joe a call”

 

I really didn’t want her to go through all this trouble for me, and didn’t want to interfere with Caroline and Joe’s fun at the market.  Mike and I went in to set up the gear for the gig, Joanne kept fiddling away, she was intent on sorting this out.  We were hammering out my loudest song “The Sky and The Ground” with the drum machine at full wallop, when Joanne came in a said how wonderful it sounded, because she is a Mammy, I half expected her to recoil from the volume, but no! she loved it, and said I should stop while I was ahead.

 

“You’ll be worn out”

 

Off she went inside to have another go at the Tellee.

 

“I figured it out”  says she, “It wasn’t plugged in! How the hell could it work if wasn’t plugged in”

 

It was 3pm and they were singing God Save The Queen.  I made up a salad and sat down to watch, thinking how great Joanne was for going through this much trouble for Mike and myself.  To my surprise Joe’s Mother sat down too, folding her arms she became engrossed with the proceeding, she meant business.  I wondered how long she would last, she lasted!

 

“Ara how could he miss that?  He shoulda just kicked the bloody thing.  Ah shur he’s way off side for God sake”

 

He was! And the bloody Ref didn’t even see it.

 

The Sun continues to be lost, it must’ve confused Ireland with Spain, dementia I believe.  Long may its little happy head be muddled, for we are a gladder people, if this goes on we might even play like the Spaniards and win the World cup.

 

Next week…Wexford, the centre of the universe.  The beautiful Green Acres even has Air Conditioning, not put in there for us mind you, it’s for the Art, but we get to use it anyway, so cool beer and wine with cool air.  I’ll have something new for you, and we will sing Orange Coloured Sun in the summer of our lives. 

Two more gigs added just added, The AKA Kilkenny Arts Festival in an Elizabethan Pub called The Hole In The Wall, only holds 50.  And an ancient Church in Cellbridge Co Kildare – where they serve free wine on a grass covered mound mingled with ancient gravestones, as only the Protestants could.

I love you more than I can remember.

Pierce xxxx

The Green Acres show will be dedicated to my dear friend Michael Carroll who sadly died last month, still a young man-Michael helped me hugely through I.T. snaggery he was such a special person.  And to his beautiful young family who must be so heartbroken.

We love you Michael-hope you are getting to the bottom of one of your great passions; the paranormal.

 

Wexford Town-Greenacres Selskar July 20th-9pm tix at Greenacres

The Hole In The Wall -The AKA Kilkenny Arts Festival Aug 9th-9pm Tix at tickets.ie

The Tay Lane Church Celbridge Kildare-Aug 24th– 9pm

Rather be a tree

 

Yick, yick, yick, goes the Blackbird at the top of leafless Tree.  I wonder why it is leafless?  Clare say’s it’s dead. “Hmm, and yet it stands, way up high above all the living leaves, wonder why we don’t’ stand when we die?”

 

I start to imagine the possibility.  Where would we put us, would we still have graveyards?  If so, Undertakers would have to use different vehicles-stand up jobs-maybe like a Chariot, and of course there would be no reason to change the dress code that we now employ for our wakes.  A nice suit, shirt and tie, or her favourite dress , with full make-up of course, in both cases, as it is now.  Or we could return to the original shrouds, when death was gender equal.  Even big sturdy macho men adorned a gown for their trip to heaven, with nothing underneath of course, clothes wouldn’t be necessary in either of the supposed destinations.  The chariot would drive through the Town with him/me standing there in a black or purple smock (ecclesiastical colours) in full make –up, with the hair groomed back like Ronald Regan or Teresa may, and nothing but the wind underneath.  What if, like the Tree, we didn’t pong? Graveyards might not be necessary at all. We could be just stood in the corner, or sat in our favourite chair, to wilt away until we fall apart.  Sitting here at the Kitchen table with my morning cup of tea, as you can see, I have travelled to all kinds of crazy thoughts with my imagining dream-state.  The Blackbird continues to yick,yick. She sees Albert the Cat languishing in the hot sunny grass, but Albert has no intention of pursuing her Babies, he is a big softie.  Still the old Tree holds sturdy, would I rather be a Tree?

 

I have more than tree gigs coming up.  And if I don’t see you there, I won’t see you at all.  I have got my songs and my stories, and my love for all of you, only you and I can share what this is.  And no matter what happens, the memory will stand for a long time, just like the Tree.  Build your memories, they are our foundation for the present.  I am coming with fire in my belly, like a jumping jack flash!

And I love you as much as I love the Stones.  Dublin next week! Weeha.

 

Dublin-The Grand Social June 22 – 8pm 25  euro tix at Ticketweb

Cork City-Coughlans July 5th-9pm tix at Coughlans

West Cork Levis Ballydehob July 7th-8pm

Wexford Town-Greenacres Selskar July 20th-9pm tix at Greenacres

More dates to come.

 

 

 

We caught one! Joe’s Pub NYC Saturday April 28th-9pm

I was lying on the floor at the Gym, the Asser Levy, a public Gym, I like it because it’s cheap, and because normal people go there. No annoying music, and no perfect bodies preening themselves in the mirror. Was stretching away on the ground there, when a pair of huge flat feet went by in gum shoes. Atop those feet, a very big man was stuffed inside dark blue overalls with “Staff” written on the back. He walked with the ponderous gait of someone who was jaded with their job. He was trying to shake off a piece of white cardboard stuck to his foot, turned out to be a glue trap, a cruel invention covered in very strong adhesive. He shook his foot, no go, he tried to pull it off, his beer belly got in the way of his stoop, no go, he leaned against a machine and tried to rip it off, no go. He tried walking again, it was really getting on his nerves, he was stuck to it! A fellow staff member howled with laughter and shouted “Look everybody, we caught one!”
Pierce Turner Ensemble at Joe’s Pub Saturday April 28th 2018 at 9pm – box office 212-967-7555

I haven’t the time to write this

Photo taken at The Saint Asbury Park on Sunday March 11th 2018 (c) Kathleen Connally

I haven’t got the time to write this really. I’m rushing out to have breakfast with my friend Una Johnson, who is dropping off in New York for a few days on her way back to Ireland. It’s snowing like a whore outside. The weather-persons usually make such a big deal out of something small, but they did the opposite with this. The dog wouldn’t even walk in it, she kept trying to brush it off her face with a paw. I made sure she stayed out long enough to have a poo anyhow, God knows when we’ll be out there again today.

 

Una is coming from the South by South West Festival in Austin, she is one of its Euro rep’s for music. She used to live right next door to me here on First Avenue, literally my next- door neighbor. She was with Phelim O’Lunney then, he mixed the sound for The Major Thinkers (our Punk/new wave band) Una was a great help to me when I was organizing the Tour of Manhattan to go with my first solo album, sixteen dates in Manhattan within a month. This was 1986. Una and myself went all over Manhattan, up to its very tip and down below Houston, canvassing places that we liked the look of, almost never conventional venues. We even booked the New Amsterdam Brewery over on the West River. Philp Glass was there and that great filmmaker that he made the trilogy with, Godfrey Reggio. Standing up on that huge, tall counter with the massive beer vats at my back singing “How It Shone” was a great moment, thanks Una.

 

After that I toured America with the Smithereens one time, and Graham Parker on another-we had great shows at Toads Place in New Haven, and on April 8th I will play at Café Nine in New Haven, for the first time since then. Fred Parcells will be with me, as he was then. We’re getting in a car and driving all the way there, you better get in yours in you live nearby, twill be great. I am attaching a powerful photo by Kathleen Connally from our gig at The Saint in Asbury Park, trying to leave Manhattan!

 

And Next Wednesday March 28th we’ll be at the 11th Street Bar around the corner, that magnificent speakeasy back room with the piano. The last one was magic, they have been trying to get us back there since, this was the first and only chance. Twud be wise to book it now, we are keeping it down to 50 people. I love you more than my Dog hates the snow, and that’s a lot!

Pierce xxxx

11th Street Bar between A and B Wed March 28th – 8pm tix at brownpapertickets.com

Café Nine, New Haven Sun April 8th Matinee, doors 3 pm. Tix at Café Nine

Joe’s Pub on April 28th!

Ireland in the summer.

 

 

 

Manhattan in the 80’s. Pierce Turner blog

The front of my building.

Manhattan in the 80’s                                               Pierce Turner © 2018  

 

Philip buzzed me in. Buzzers were a luxury then. Some of us had them, but they seldom worked. Most of us kept our keys in a thick, knotted sock. Outsiders would shout up at the window, and we would pitch the sock down to them. Every day without fail, I heard the same voice shouting up “Yo Howie” outside the building next to me, he would shout it repeatedly in a thick booming New York accent. Eventually Howie would throw down the knotted sock. I didn’t know anyone in that building to speak to, but I knew some faces, and had supposed some of their stories. Twice, the building caught on fire and they had to call the fire brigade. On both occasions Howie had fallen asleep with a cigarette on the go. The second time the building had to be evacuated at two in the morning. I looked out my front window to see a woman being carried down the Fire Escape in her nightie. Down below on the street, the entire occupants of the building were looking up in anguish. I knew most of their faces, and took a guess at which one was Howie. The one with the frail skinny body that I had decided was an alcoholic, struggled on his gout ridden feet to angrily accost Howie, he swung a wild punch at his clueless nuisance of a neighbor. Someone held him back while he shouted angrily at the bed smoker in Italian. Eventually the fire was quelled, the army of fire engines went home, and we all went back to bed. The next day I heard it again “Yo Howie” And the knotted sock hit the ground.

 

Pierce Turner Parlour Performances in 2018

 

Greystones, The Hot Spot -Friday Feb 23rd at 8pm (last Irish date before returning to the States) This is a beautiful venue. Book here.

Tickets

 

Asbury Park N.J. The Saint (the legendary) Sun, March 11th- Afternoon session 4.30 start. (with Fred Parcells) And Avon Faire

https://www.ticketweb.com/event/pierce-turner-avon-faire-the-saint-tickets/8075875?pl=saint

 

Manhattan-Paul Muldoon’s Picnic-@ The Irish Arts Centre-Mon March 12th – 8pm

http://irishartscenter.org/event/muldoons-picnic-march

Manhattan The beautiful A.I.H.S Building – March 15th at 7pm (3D tour at thins link) https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=es26Y1iT9VT

For tickets visit the website here

www.aihs.org

 

Manhattan –(the luxurious) Joe’s Pub, one of America’s top 5 venues-Sat April 28th-9.30 Show.

January is a useless month

January is a useless month, steeped in disease and misery. It’s a terrible month to start the year with. We should shift it and start with a different month. Maybe July? That’s a pretty good month to start the year with. Just imagine, you have a New Years Eve Party knowing that the next day, day one, will be the 1st of July! Hang up the Parka, put on the shorts and sandals and head down to the beach with an ice cream in hand.

 

I woke up the middle of last night wanting to pee, a normal enough event in recent years. I burst into the sitting room, where our toilet is. Wanting to turn the light on so that I wouldn’t walk into the clothes -horse standing somewhere before last nights fire. But I didn’t want to wake Albert, cos if I did, he would demand immediate attention. So I resisted the light, and semi-sleep walked in the dark past the couch where he slumbers, he jumped up immediately with a delighted yelp “Good morning” said he, “forget it Albert” said I. As usual, he scooted out to the Kitchen expecting to be fed. I scooted back to bed, before he could catch me, he has been known to give me a little bite at times like this, or to jump up and grab my leg, with soft claws. Sounds cute, but not when you are trying desperately to hang on to the sandman.

 

The bed had all the warmth still intact, the covers wrapped around me, filling every cavity, snuggling up to the nape of my back where sometimes a pocket of cold can vex. But sleep seemed unnecessary, I felt done! Shit I can’t get up this early, the day will be useless. I should point out that I was in the spare room, right next to the main bedroom (everything is right next to everything in this little house) I have had a malady of some sort, they say it’s the Australian Flu, whatever the hell it is, it makes me cough all night long. So I went to the spare room, so that I could have the pleasure of coughing the night away without the added guilt of keeping Clare awake.

 

I hear Clare sneaking around and talking to the Cat, who was still pretending it was breakfast time. But then, remembering that it was January, I thought, what if it’s deceptively dark?

 

I reached down for my I- pad to check the time – 9;05 AM !!! I look out the window, and a woman is flying past on the opposite side of the street, she is pushing a pram with all of its weather resistant gear in full use, the rain, trying to get in at the Baby, makes sure to compensate for any failure, by drowning her and the green clad postman heading into the garden behind her, his glasses saturated beyond redemption. This is the morning?

January!! It’s enough to make you believe in God.

One week to Jan 16th at the National Concert Hall, an elevation over the hump, Come for a huge hug.

https://www.nch.ie/Online/Pierce-Turner-16Jan18

Life on Mars, January 16th-Dublin

Before I start-something urgent needs to be brought to your attention if you are in Ireland-On January 16th I will be at the National Concert Hall (JFR Room) what else could have to do on a Tuesday night? I want to see all the sausages there, or what is the point? book here https://www.nch.ie/Online/seatSelect.asp

Life On Mars

I walked into the spare bedroom and reached to turn on the light, but the light was already on. Strange discovery, but it happened before, recently enough. It’s not that I couldn’t see, I just wanted it to be brighter, even though I was only looking for a piece of cardboard to write a sign on.

We were having a New Years Eve Party, the musical theme was 1940’s. Having had several NYE parties in the past, I had no ambition to struggle through my music collection to find something fresh and contemporary, yet familiar, not too racy or noisy, that would suit a generational melting pot of all age groups and taste groups. The1940’s felt like a way to avoid all these issues, the music would be before everyone’s time, so therefore beyond debate. Yet, it was good fun, bopping along stuff – Glen Millar, Benny Goodman, and all that jazz.

 

As I was compiling the music, it began to feel a bit samey after a while. So I decided that it would be ok to stick in a bit of David Bowie, The rationale being that Bowie died in 2017, and that he was born in the 40’s. Just a couple of Bowie tracks “life On Mars” as a sing along “Let’s Dance” as dance along. But how many people know the words of “Life on Mars”? I don’t even know them myself. So I googled em and wrote the chorus out on a big yellow card board with a black sharpey. This part; Sailors fighting in the dance hall – Oh man, look at those cavemen go . I was a bit surprised, it turns out that I really didn’t know what the song was about myself.

 

New Years Eve. The kitchen table was pushed into the corner, the lighting all sexified, packed full of friends all swinging and swaying. When I produced that yellow sign everyone sang, even older people whom I’m sure had little or no knowledge of the song.   What a great party, how was yours?

 

I won’t pull that sign out at the National Concert Hall on January 16th-but there will be other signage. By the time we get to the 16th – January will be trying enough, and God knows Tuesday will be as dull as …….Tuesday. Except for where we will be, beneath that beautiful Chandelier in the company of Tuesday giants.

This is what a great friend wrote to his friends, please pass it on to yours.  I told my main muse Pierce Turner I would promote his gig in the NCH on 16/1/18 as a way to elevate spirits  early in the week early in the new year. details at

Home

 

Reach for the light and make it brighter in 2018

Happy New year.

I love you more than sage stuffing.

Pierce xxx

 

 

Back in Ireland

  With Cillian Vallely and Fred Parcells at the 11th Street Bar last month in the East Village.

Got the fire going, the shed is falling down, but there was half a bag of coal in there, went out there in the dark last night with the flashlight, the moon was at a quarter and the sky was clear and northern, I picked the green sack up and poured the coal out of the cut off corner, even at half full, it’s heavy enough! My coal man is an ex priest, how the hell does a Priest get to be strong enough to throw these sacks around? When the bag is full, I have to take a deep breath and run at it- to lift it over the lip of my sheds door frame. He just throws it over his back effortlessly, and drops it gently by the back wall.
Now the fire is blazing, a rich red core with jagged amber flames curling up around the chimney path. My Sister Dolores was just here, as she warmed her arse by the fire she declared

“Oh that fire is gorgeous!”

Cork coming! Coughlans Dec 7th
Greenacres Wexford Dec 29th
The National Concert Hall Dublin, Jan 16th
England in between.

New Yawk New Yawk

The National Concert Hall 2015- back to that beautiful chandelier room with the incredible Steinway Piano on January 16th, 2018-ideal Christmas present, to wipe away the January blues-for you’s. Tickets on sale now at the NCH.

It’s a crazy morning in New York, I can feel the vibes in the air already. Walking in to a restaurant, I changed my mind half way through the door, when I noticed that the tiny place was full. Pulling back from the door, I backed into a woman who was right on my heels “Oh sorry” said I, she threw me an impatient look and was about to say something, but withdrew after the first syllable, a vague sound-but not a vague suggestion, the message was clear she considered telling me off-so what would she say? “Why didn’t you put your brake lights on?” Or “ You are a stoopid human being?” Anything is possible in New York.

I have always said that being here, is like living with a large dysfunctional family. This woman acted like a Sister who is sick to death of her Brother, I mean what stranger would think of telling off another person for changing their mind to enter a restaurant?

Once when I was at a very boring Tom Stoppard Play on Broadway, having not eaten since breakfast I picked up at Kit Kat in the foyer to give me some sustenance, sugar in other words. Clare and I sat in our tiny seats made for tiny people eighty years ago, way, way up in the Gods. Squeezed between strangers on both sides, winter anoraks underneath us, handbags in between, scarves, gloves and hats filling every cavity. It was claustrophobic and vertaphobic, and it was hot! Really hot! The Play was on its way and it was pretentious and strained-my eyelids became heavy “ Oh God I can’t go asleep here” I know, find the Kit Kat! There are so many pockets in that blasted Canadian Winter coat, will have to do this like an FBI spy, slippery and slowly I felt my way down the rough weatherproof exterior of my coat, feeling around almost every pocket before I found the right one. I pull the paper wrapper off it very carefully, so far so good, I’m now down to the silver, it makes a soft crackle. This play is excruciatingly quiet, I break off a finger, and let it melt in my mouth without chewing. All was going well, I think it’s ok to go for another finger, a little less gingerly this time. They are in a boat now with an oil lamp, it’s beautiful looking, but what the fuck are they talking about? I reach for a third piece, thinking nobody cares what I do…… SMACK!! A woman sitting a couple of seats away from me slaps me on the hand with her glove, like lighting, without even looking. What?? I mean, is she my Mother? I tried to get her attention to express my astonishment, but she didn’t seem to even give it a second thought. See what I mean?

So back to the Restaurant, after leaving I went around the block to another place that I like, but there was a line outside the door. So I just walked back to the scene of the crime to see if things had changed, sure enough it had, there was plenty of room. So I sat down, read the paper and had some Italian coffee with a Caprese sandwich, delicious.   As I finished my breakfast, I notice the woman across from me is nasty with the waiter. Pointing at her empty plate she snaps “ Just take it away!” dismissing him with the back of her hand. He brings her the check book and she starts foraging around in a small crumpled white envelope, she pulls up a five dollar bill and a few ones-with her coat off and seated I hadn’t recognized her-it was yer one who almost told me off for changing my mind at the door, while she was so close she could have run me down. The waiter brought back her check in the black plastic book. She opened and removed the three dollars and put them back in the envelope-picked up her Sunday Post-pushed it into her bag, and chinked a few quarters on the marble table top.  Yikes.

I leave for Ireland soon, might be good timing. I love you more than Mozzarella.

Dec 7th Coughlans Cork

Dec 29th Greenacres Wexford

January 16th The National Concert Hall (JFR)

These last two would make great Christmas presents don’t ye tink?