Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Ciao from Italia – 3 – Pienza and Montepulciano

We spent a day and night in Pienza, a sleepy little town which very nearly played host to a huge Papal palace when when of the old
Popes who hailed from here got a severe case of megalomania and laid foundations to relocate from the Vatican!

The town itself had a few great motifs for Miki’s painting, and we managed to park up for the night just outside the old city walls.

Then it was on to Montepulciano, which seems to have made it’s primary trade that of shoemaking, and leather work. There were
outstanding examples of this classic italian craftsmanship in almost every other shop. Once more we encountered the almost
unexplainable disparity in the price of a Latte Machiatto. We visited a beautiful cafe, caterering to the public with several smartly uniformed
waitresses and waiters in opulent surroundings. We were served a lovely large Latte and charged just 1.10 euros each! Go figure.

It was an interesting and diverse town, and we decided to stop the night here too. Today, we’ll make around 40 to 50 kilometers to
reach Castiglione del Lago, where we hope to stay by the lake for a few days

Kev Moore

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April 29, 2011 Posted by | fun, life, travel, writing | , , , , | 3 Comments

The Songwriter Diaries

Now available on Jamendo to download ABSOLUTELY FREE is my ‘new’ album, The Songwriter Diaries. I put ‘new’ in inverted commas because, there’s very little new about it really, and I wouldn’t even call it an album as such, more like a peek inside an artist’s sketchbook, a glance at pieces worked on, nearly finished, unfinished, polished and rough, but essentially, what the artist is about. I’ve purposely avoided messing with these songs and instrumentals, I wanted to give a snapshot of some of the work that, for one reason or another has ‘fallen through the cracks’ or not been generally heard before. The result is eclectic to say the least – download it by clicking on the image below and see what you think!

 

All Music & Lyrics © Kev Moore – 2009, 2010, 2011

This article was previously published in moore:music

February 18, 2011 Posted by | Ca' Puccini, Kev Moore's Music, life, Music, news, Sound recording, writing | , , , , | 2 Comments

A tough trip to Germany

Plauen

Opulent dining at the Alexandra hotel

The hotel entrance, not sure how long this woman had been waiting for a room......

This weekend, I visited the German town of Plauen for a concert with my band Christie, here’s a couple of pics from the place. If you want to read much more about this eventful trip , and see loads more photos, visit moore:music where I’ve written a detailed account!

Kev Moore

October 26, 2010 Posted by | Ca' Puccini, Kev Moore's Music, life, Music, photography, travel | , , , , | 6 Comments

Here comes the Son

Sunday arrived and with it, my son Corey, over to visit us for a few days. As always, it’s great to see him and hang out, talking music and stuff. This time around, I even roped him in to play on the title track of my Blue Odyssey CD, and even as I’m writing this he’s hard at work putting a drum track down. He starts his Music degree in September, and of course took to my studio like a duck to water!

"You hum it son, I'll play it...."

His own band, Jilambis, release their own debut album in a couple of weeks, and we’ll be putting links up for where you can buy it at a special price.

-But it’s also been nice to wander the Playa with him , chilling out, and for Miki, Corey and I to all go out for a Mexican last night. I’ll miss him when he goes, but it’s great to spend quality time together!

Me, Miki and Corey at La Cantina, Mojacar Playa

Kev Moore

August 11, 2010 Posted by | Ca' Puccini, Kev Moore's Music, life, Music, Parents and Children, personal, Sound recording, writing | , | 12 Comments

The Misty Mountain Hop – Part the Second

Bare on a Night Mountain.....

So, leaving Trevelez behind, we made our way deeper into the Sierra Nevada, eventually parking up at the top end of a village called Capileira. As we came around the Mountainside and caught sight of it, and its ‘sister’ village, Bubion, clinging to the slopes above, it was breathtaking. Even higher still, towering above at some 11,000 feet were the snow-dusted peaks themselves, defiant in the July sunshine.

The two villages high on the slopes

We spent several nights here, walking around the village, enjoying the shops and cafes, and going on huge walks up and around the mountainsides. The village, while beautiful, had a faint air of superiority that clung to many of its inhabitants. Don’t get me wrong, there were some smiles, but there was a snobism prevalent amongst many that lived here (I’m not necessarily talking about the Spanish here) for instance, there was an Irish guy on the phone in a cafe we visited. I’m pretty sure he worked in some capacity for a TV production company or similar, and his phone call was conducted almost like a speech to the surrounded table, bursting with pomposity and self-importance. It was very hard not to stop what I was doing and in gradiose fashion announce “my WORD, you’re an important fellow, aren’t you?”. I feel sure that’s what he would have wanted.

I think that was him, over my shoulder!

High above Capileira (and out of breath!)

"It's good 'ere, innit?"

Tiring work, this sketching business.....

Nevertheless, we enjoyed both villages immensely, and we were hoping to extend our stay in the area as we set off along a route that would gradually take us home. Lamentably, we seemed to be on a road that offered little in the way of stops (save for the spectacular scenery) and in short order we began to enter the area I call Plastic city, where the huge sheets of plastic stretched for miles across poles to grow food beneath have blighted the area and bring a whole new meaning to the word ‘eyesore’. I know it’s probably necessary for food production, but it sure makes you wanna join Greenpeace!  I just feel lucky that we live further along the coast, where the natural beauty (thankfully) remains relatively untouched. If you want to understand the scale of the problem, just take a look at this NASA photo of the area below:

Obviously this is where the singer Yazz got her 'plastic population' from then...

So, we ended up coming home earlier than planned, but resolved to go back and unearth some more undiscovered gems in the mountains at a later date.

Kev Moore

July 30, 2010 Posted by | Art, fun, life, nature, photography, travel, writing | , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Misty Mountain Hop – part the first

I know we only seem to stay in one place for a nanosecond before flitting off again, but believe it or not last year we felt we hadn’t really used the Boomobile enough, so we’ve made a point of remedying that in 2010. Our latest jaunt was up into the Sierra Nevada, mainly for Miki to sketch, but also for me to get a little distance from the album, and read some books.  Two of them were music related, of course, a wonderful biography of the legendary Who drummer Keith Moon, by Tony Fletcher, highly recommended, and Jools Holland’s Barefaced lies and Boogie Woogie boasts, a witty and informative autobiography by a great musician and presenter. I also managed to cram in the actor Robert Lindsay’s autobiography, Letting Go, which he kindly signed to Miki and I following Miki’s superb portrait of him, and perhaps the fact we’re both Derbyshire lads who support The Rams and have sang about them!

Rolling Stones on tour....

Anyway, as we journeyed away from the coast and up onto the winding mountain roads, our route appeared to quickly become ever more vertiginous. Miki was staring to get nervous (which is when I , perversely, start to enjoy myself) Added excitement was provided by: 1) The rock falls onto our carriageway, and 2) the disappearance down the mountainside of huge chunks of the opposite carriageway. We were encountering these at such frequent intervals, I can only marvel that we didn’t ever encounter both at the same time, thereby rendering passage impossible. This happy circumstance notwithstanding, I was glad to have brought copious amounts of underwear…..

"Here we go loop de loop...."

From the signs we saw everywhere, it appeared that many millions of European funds were being allocated to fixing these death traps roads. It seems to me that the money would have been better spent on teaching the Spanish how to build them properly in the first place.

Following an unfortunate right hand turn that almost resulted in me inadvertently making off with an entire village’s supply of fiesta bunting, not to mention a couple of old ladies wrapped round the wing mirrors, we finally entered the village of Tevelez in a more appropriate manner. The sign at the entrance proclaimed that the village ‘touched the sky’ and as we looked up from the valley road at the white buildings disappearing into the mountain mists, I felt inclined to believe them.  By sheer good fortune, we ended up beautifully parked within the village, adjacent to a waterfall and mountain stream.

The artist at work. I was making the coffee......

We spent a lovely couple of days there exploring the steep village streets and houses, and embarking on one of the mountain walks that circumnavigated the area. Miki of course, began sketching the sights around her. You can read about her thoughts and see some sketches from our trip HERE.

Working up an appetite on the slopes

....and a raging thirst

Perhaps the most staggering sight for me was that of the great swathes of pristine white snow still stubbornly clinging to the higher peaks, even in mid-July! Hiking around shirtless in the summer heat and gazing up at the snow was distinctly surreal.

Nature boy

Just having fun

One interesting event was when we heard some strange crackling sounds, and looked out of the window to find that a mist had descended all around the Motorhome – Except we soon discovered it was smoke, and where there’s smoke, there is inevitably fire. Jumping out of the Boomobile we could just about make out two figures trying to control a blaze of their own making. Health and Safety. Two words completely anonymous with each other in Spain.

"I told you not to smoke on the job, Manuel..."

"Aaahh! The cool, crisp, clean mountain air....."

The village also seemed to be famous for its Jamon, though we saw hide nor hair of a single pig on our whole trip. I could only conclude from this that the entire population had been slaughtered and now hung unceremoniously in the shops.

Nice legs, shame about the face.

Having enjoyed a wonderful few days in Tevelez, we filled our bottles from the fresh mountain water and headed off to find some more of these fairy tale villages, tucked away beneath the Spanish peaks.

Kev Moore

July 29, 2010 Posted by | Art, life, nature, painting, photo, travel, writing | , , , , | 3 Comments

We are so lucky….

Just saying hello......

An ass in the wild.........and a donkey in the background

Every day, Miki and I head out at 12.40 to nearby Vera for our 1k swim.  It’s about a 20k round trip, and we take a usually deserted back road which almost goes ‘as the crow flies’ between our place and the pool.  It always seems like something amazing is happening on that road, giant lizards scuttle across in front of you, or a snake coils its way from one side of the road to the other, or great flurries of brightly coloured birds fly above us. The other day, the whole road seemed to be dancing with wedding confetti, when in fact, as we got closer we realized it was a myriad of butterflies.

"I'm staying with Dad....."

"Oi!!! What you looking at???"

Lately, we have taken to seeing a lovely donkey patiently waiting at the side of the road when we pass, and yesterday we could resist no longer and Miki got out to say hello.  Today we also decided to get some photos of the wonderful horses that we pass in the stables near the pool.

"I think horses are overrated..... (((sniff)))) "

How lucky we are!  Not only to be able to go off and swim every day, but to drive through this beautiful countryside that serves up fresh surprises at every turn.

Kev Moore

July 16, 2010 Posted by | animals, fun, life, nature, photo, travel, writing | , , , , , , | 9 Comments

My Blue Odyssey Project – a sneak preview!

(This article has been previously published in moore:music)
Guitar not to scale……..

As the recording of “Blue Odyssey” continues apace, I thought it was about time I gave everyone a ‘sneak peek’ at what I have been up to, so I’ve put together a small sampler, giving a taste of seven of the songs that will eventually appear on the album. They are in no particular order, and in some cases aren’t perhaps the definitive mix, but I think they give an idea of the cross-section of influences I’ve drawn on for the project.  The tracks are as follows:

1 Parrot Beach Cafe – a song about a real venue that Miki and I visited in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Two of the musicians who regularly play there are featured on the track, Gil Franklin on slide guitar and Patrick ‘Jawbone’ Kenyon on blues harp.

2 Pass the Biscuits – a song about the legendary King Biscuit Time and its presenter ‘Sunshine’ Sonny Payne. broadcasting out of Helena, Arkansas, Sonny also appears on the full version of this track, and the drums are by Stef Cybichowksi.

3 Never get to Nashville – this song tells the story of our eventual journey to America, in Nashville style, of course! the full version will feature Cafe Crem’s Shelley House  on fiddle, and as a Delta airlines hostess!

4 A Mississippi Prayer – simply inspired by our time in the delta, absorbing the rich musical heritage, we couldn’t fail to be touched by it.

5 What a Night it Was – a strange tale….influenced by the night we got back to our hotel in Austin, Texas, to find that the whole area had been cordoned off by the Police, and the forensic teams were out in force.

6 A Cellarful of Dreams – This was a side of Nashville I hadn’t expected – an alternative scene, very vibrant and encapsulated by the Tuesday nights at The Basement. Great music, great memories. The song in full runs through several different styles, mirroring the diversity of the acts on stage.

7 Buttermilk Boogie – A bit of fun, inspired by my love of the Waffle House chain! I hope to submit the finished version to the company, so it may feature on the jukeboxes in each of their restaurants.

So, click on the player below to get a little taste of my forthcoming album!

Kev Moore

July 4, 2010 Posted by | Ca' Puccini, Entertainment, Kev Moore's Music, life, Music, travel, writing | , , , , , | 4 Comments

My disgust for the so-called ‘beautiful game’

Suarez, kissing his fairplay shirt.Spare me the hypocrisy.a little picture of an even smaller man

No apologies for a football topic. Deal with it, people.

I am angry. I am angry because the game I loved has now descended so far into farce that it no longer knows its arse from its elbow. Angry because incompetent Uruguayan officials don’t understand that when a ball crosses the goal line by a metre, it should in fact, be given as a goal. Angry because when an attacker passes a ball and his colleague is by the goal line with not only the opposing defenders but also the goalkeeper behind him, it is offside. Angry because the governing body FIFA ineptly lurching from one crisis to another led by the obseqious and obese Sepp Blatter, refuses to use modern technology to rule in such incidents, when a simple glance up to the giant screen would in fact suffice. Angry because so-called professional players collapse like a house of cards clutching their faces in agony when they receive the slightest brush with the opposition. Angry because adulterers like John Terry are awarded with the privilege of playing for their country, which they do dismally, after cuckolding one of his team mates, causing the wronged man to forego his dream of playing at perhaps a once in a lifetime tournament.

But last night was the last straw. Uruguay (hey, what a surprise)  and in particular the grinning, cheating fool Suarez, dragged the game to a point so low, we might as well sprinkle the holy water and say the last rites now. It was a slap in the face for the game, and a kick in the crotch for Africa, who, despite the sorry spectacle that has been served up there in terms of football, have triumphantly hosted this competition.

Suarez.  I really need to convey the depths of my disgust for this man. Single-handedly,(literally) maliciously and selfishly, he wiped out not just Ghana’s dream, but that of the entire African continent with an act of cheating so despicable, I will forever look upon Uruguay, and more importantly, the unrecognizable farce that the game has become as soiled beyond redemption. I simply do not recognize that team as victors. They disgust me. The moral victors here are the Africans. They have my respect. That is one thing cheating cannot buy you. Suarez, your grinning, self congratulatory misguided sense of your own importance and self-righteousness sickens me to the core,hang your head in shame. I hope you are given a football lesson by the Dutch and dispatched back from whence you came.

Bill Shankly, legendary Liverpool manager famously said “football isn’t a matter of life and death, it’s much more important than that…” Well, no longer Bill, no longer. The game you once knew lies broken and filthy in the dirt, and needs putting out of its misery, and all the ‘fair play’ badges on all the shirts in the world won’t help. A cheat is a cheat. Perhaps FIFA should make a nice badge for Suarez with CHEAT embroidered on it. At least the game could then claim to have a stake, however miniscule, in the truth.

Kev Moore

July 3, 2010 Posted by | culture, Entertainment, events, life, news, sport, writing | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Agua Amarga – 4 – In pictures

No ramblings from me today – just a handful of shots taken over the three days in this lovely coastal village.

Kev Moore

June 17, 2010 Posted by | fun, life, nature, photography, travel, writing | , , , , , , | 4 Comments