17-11-11

Guys with guitars

Okay so I was like "hell I'm gonna go to this show in Anwerp, I have nothing else to do and I've heard a PJ Bond song once and I'm gonna drink beers and it'll be fun". Next thin I knew all of that was correct.

On Monday I went to De Kleine Hedonist which is like a literary hipster kind of bar in Antwerp. I was early so I started drinking (expensive) beers and I read Jerk Store fanzine #9, which was really good. After a while this guy from Switzerland grabbed his guitar and a mic and got on "stage" - note: not really a stage. He dismissed the mic because it wasn't necessary.
This dude's name is Greg Laraigne, you might know him from his band Hateful Monday. I didn't know him at all, but I'm really digging his songs. He has a punk rock background so a lot of his songwriting is influenced by punk rock, aside from influences such as Ryan Adams and other singer-songwriters. Some instant hits, some sad songs, some harmonica, a lot of passion and love for the stuff he's doing. He's a supernice guy, a great artist but humble and down-to-earth. Also pretty funny and he's good at English but there's a definite French accent which is funny sometimes. He has an album coming out on Shield Recordings, it's called Story Tellers, True Believers and it's AWESOME (I know because he sold/gave me a burnt copy of the record, but the lps aren't ready yet. I also know because I am good at listening to music, I really am.) So buy that stuff, man!

I asked a friend to come over to have some beers and he did so I was not alone anymore. He also thought it was good (he saw like half the set). So yay!

Then this dude PJ Bond came on with his guitar and he plays songs. You probably don't know him from the band Outsmarting Simon, but he played in that band. Now he left home and plays around the world. I think it's crazy but awesome. He plays songs he writes and thankfully the songs he writes rule. I like sad songs. I also like happy songs, though. He played all kinds of songs, sometimes powerful, sometimes fragile. He's less punk rock influenced, compared to Greg.  PJ Bond also has records on Shield Recordings and records rule and Shield rules as well.

Random facts:
- There were like 6 people watching the shows.
- Hmmmm, beer.
- My brother came to have a beer after the show, which was cool. Den Dimi also arrived suddenly, another awesome thing.
- I wish I didn't need to catch a train.
- Both PJ and Greg have beards, plaid shirts and tattoos. I think it's cool but it's also pretty obvious. Funny.

So after this night of fun fun fun I decided to head to Hasselt for their second tour show in Belgium at de Carpe Diem. Cool bar. Arrived pretty early again, drank beers, hung out.
Greg did his thing and I was able to sing along to some songs (noteably Nothing To Write Home About, Geneva's Burning and Let The Lucky Guys Play). He did a Ryan Adams cover and a Brian Adams joke-combo. He's awesome, just trust me on this.
PJ also did his thing and yet again played his heart and everybody else's heart out. Best dude. Best dude.

Random facts:
- Lots of beers. Some shots, thanks to Greg/PJ, thanks dudes! Fun bar!
- Lots of hanging out. Heard quite a lot of cool stories about touring and learned a lot of stuff and got a lot of stuff I need to check out.
- Thanks for Dennis for the place to sleep.
- Did an interview with Greg & PJ for the next 'zine. It's not really good cause I'm not a good interviewer and I only knew them since Monday, but they had some cool things to say about the boring subjects I asked them about.

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