The second of three video installments..
I edited this one while in the remote mountains of Flores in Indonesia. This is a little post I wrote about what turned out to be quite a surreal experience!
This morning it was not all rosy in Flores, the land of flowers. I found myself editing The Frames Live In Whelans Chapter II, a brilliant way to pass the time waiting in a non-English speaking clinic, 18000 miles away from Whelans, to treat a pounding ear infection that I’ve had for the past three days. The locals sitting opposite me, also sick as dogs, glared at me as I took this panoramic photo, with a kind of “who the fu*k is this westerner showing off with his pricey technology” look on their faces.
A kid in his teens, dressed in rags and clearly suffering with a bad flu, sat down beside me. Like most people living in remote Indonesia, I presume he had only ever heard of artists such as Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Phill Collins, Bob Marley and the extremely progressive, ahem, Coldplay. I had no headphones so the volume was very low on my laptop but he leaned in closer to me and became enthralled with the video. How could I stop and go back to tweak that camera shake, he was tapping his feet and hands. I had to let the video run through, rough as it was.
As the waiting room filled, more people sat around me, watching and listening intently. I raised the volume a touch. More feet and hands got tapping. Then I was asked to play the video again, as they handed me their phones to write down the name of the band.
It suddenly dawned on me. Like the Portuguese who made the whole Island of Flores catholic, hundreds of years ago, that if I went from town to town, showing these people new music, I could totally fu*k up the infrastructure that big western labels have laid down here, to sell poor second hand and out of date 80’s and 90’s music to South East Asia. It’s all you hear on the radio. ALL YOU HEAR. Streaming video on the internet, or downloading music here is not possible. Good internet is saved exclusively for the rich and tourists in big hotels.. even then, you can hardly get a Giff to play, the download speeds here are so dark ages.
That kid, and the people with him are now hard core Frames fans! I caught them before they eventually hear Rihanna or Gaga (some ten years from now). The feeling of satisfaction was tremendous, ten times that of posting a great unknown folk artist online for people at home. I’m beginning to think I should dawn the cloth of a music missionary and sacrifice everything to come here and spread the truth. That The Back Street Boys are dead, history. I’m alright with a bit of nostalgia, but these people’s hearts are so open, honest and sincere that it seems they connect immediately with anything different and guitar based that I play for them. They love it.
Press article about the show http://www.orderinthesound.com/frames-gigs/the-frames-whelans-30-june-2014