I’m gunna start posting lots more stuff on here. Check this out, shot on the latest iPhone, extraordinary performance for a smart phone and it’s built in microphone 🙂
Its now 3 months since taking this giant leap, head first into a new world – so maybe time for a quick blog 😎
Here is a backpackers paradise offering just about everything you could ever need or wish for, all of us that have passed through Thailand know this. The particular place that I chose to make home is however- very special. True it has palm trees, white beaches, sunshine almost all year, and the cost of living here is almost the same for a year as it would be for one month in the UK. Almost.
But hidden in the east coast of this little Island, is a community filled with the most beautiful souls I have ever encountered. To live your life in such peace, and surrounded by love and kindness in abundance is.. to be free, and this is why I decided to come. Almost everyday you can make a new best friend, if you want to. And I do want. Almost everyone you meet with subtext- a knowing smile, an irrepressible spirit, familiar dreams and the sense that you kinda know each other already. Beauty is redefined. All those super-stunning amazingly fit people out there in magazines and movies – they are all here. And i’m not even joking. But unlike our western world, so full of superficiality and consumer culture – here the beauty comes from inside (its a cliche i know). But you can feel that. Its in the air. Its almost inescapable.
Of course you will say that such peace, love and beauty is everywhere. It is true. If we look, we will find it. Right? Well, for my part at least, i tried. Every time i went home after backpacking through the East, I tried to share my inspiring adventures and integrate what i had learned into UK life. But it was impossible to avoid all the distractions facing me through every day in the UK. I tried to live a conscious life in Exeter but kept being pulled into a super-demanding lifestyle of work-eat-sleep.. rinse and repeat. And even close friends, people i love dearly – they are just not into that. Westerners are preoccupied with routine, bills, hobbies, gadgets, social media, TV, you know- stuff.
Things had to change for me, so here I am.
It takes a while to settle into a new country and this is an ongoing process. In Thailand we are just visitors- guests – not residents, not really. I can’t sell up and move my whole life here, it doesn’t really work that way. Visa runs every 2 or 3 months are a permanent fixture in all of our daIly lives, and to make a business or a home here is really just a temporary solution to maintain the lifestyle, rather than a solid investment into your future. So for me – i’m a visitor. So how is my visit so far?
Found my home in the sand – its not quite the space and comfort i would prefer but its on the beach. So thats good. I have a scooter and a bicycle, didn’t yet get a car but working on that. This I need purely for music – I have already all the necessary equipment for live music so at some point I will take the show on the road – at the moment its just local places and the One Love Bar jam night (twice weekly) and still looking for the exact right people for my funk/ r&b/ pop/ rock super-band. (Apply here!) Koh Phangan is unsurprisingly full of bars and restaurants – and they are all crying out for a super hot rock & roll band. So i’m working on that. Thanks to Thomas, Artem, Igor, Niko, Robert and Stephen I have been pretty busy with music – sometimes all day and all of the night, and even every day and every night. That was awesome! But I gotta run the UK business too so still trying to find the perfect balance – its very easy to be distracted in paradise.
Business is ticking over, but demands a commitment here which is at least equal to when I was in the UK, so i’m working full time to support this beach life, which is as it should be I guess. I didn’t quite find my flow yet, the UK time difference means that late nights are needed here (5pm UK is 11pm Asia) and the clocks will change soon. Its low season so the island is now fairly quiet (if thats possible), temperature is milder – 32° today and evenings are starting to seem a bit nippy – but thats mostly because i’m on a scooter in shorts and a t-shirt. If i’m with friends the beach is often exclusively ours and the sunset is always (at least) spectacular. High Season comes Nov/Dec so then the island is much busier. But don’t forget the crazy tourists are mostly down south for the full moon experience; Sri Thanu can get busy but still- it always seems that this town is just for us, and everybody knows your name, mostly.
I miss my beautiful family, thankfully we are experienced in extended travel and very supportive of each other. My amazing sister is in Torquay (but i think she is planning to escape), My nuts dad lives in about 3 towns (and 2 countries) already and my mum and granny are up north. So we are all proactive in building our own perfect communities. Granny has an accident before i left- which was my first and biggest fear before moving away, but thankfully she has made an excellent recovery for which I am so thankful. It is her 85th birthday in just over a week!
The universe has been so very kind this last 3 months. I am healthy, slim, happy and my life is full of love. I work every day to find peace and balance from inside this crazy brain – as you all know – i’m a bit sideways – the best choices don’t always come easily but i thank my close friends for their support and guidance (you know who you are!) and all things considered, its a good start to a new life. Totes emosh. Love love love xxx
It feels like I should write something. Sometimes it
seems easy and equally difficult to open up and express what is inside, but its worth a go 🙂 Another year has passed and again full of change and diversity, new thoughts and experiences, discoveries and happiness, questions, perception and clarity. But was it really a year- those days that filled that year seemed more like infinite moments rather than sundays and mondays. This time in 2013 I was offering thanks to the people around me at the close of a big chapter in life- though now it seems less like part of a story; instead- just moments. Our choices are perhaps shaped a little, or a lot by the people around us- so again i want to say thanks to you all for sharing and inspiring all these infinite moments.
I have been on the island 4 weeks now and more intensely than usual it all seems brand new. Of course I have my own focus, priorities and goals, things that take time to achieve- always trying to remember that the road is only a journey, not a destination; and that there is only now. Every day here, yoga and great friends help to breathe young life into my body & soul and the environment is a perfect ground for reversing the ageing process- i recommend it with all my heart. And now- the sun is shining, the sea is whispering a few metres from this bungalow, friends are all around and it’s definitely some kind of paradise. The coconut shakes definitely help. 6 weeks remain, then back to another paradise, though i guess the reason i am here now is to help make sense of that crazy & turbulent life in the UK. I’m working on a plan to be free from all the responsibilities and expectations around me in Exeter but again- its just moments, so if we all live in those minutes and seconds to the best of our ability then it doesn’t really matter if you are in paradise, cos its in you, right?
Lol. I don’t usually drone on in such an esoteric or philosophical manner so apologies to any of my friends who feel short-changed after spending so long reading this. Marianne might post a message asking if i have been on the vodka (not since the UK). Romin might be in flux- between this world and that, and probably 50 others. Sarah might take something and put it into a song. My family will be happy, because I am. Andy might remind me that i need to get back to play music. Helen will take it all with a pinch of salt, because she knows my head is in the stars. Many friends might share in the love i have for these moments, others will wonder what planet i am on. I am most certainly right here, right now. So today, just like every day…… thank you. See you soon xxx
To preview a song, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to buy and download music.
|1||Bring It On||Mike Last||3:24||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|2||Coming Around||Mike Last||3:16||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|3||Separate||Mike Last||2:46||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|4||Prime Time||Mike Last||2:46||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|5||Love Idiot||Mike Last||2:08||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|6||Stranger||Mike Last||3:28||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|7||All I See Is You||Mike Last||3:02||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|8||All in Good Time||Mike Last||3:16||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|9||So Real||Mike Last||2:46||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|10||Victory Day||Mike Last||4:10||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|11||Nothing Wrong||Mike Last||1:41||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|12||Punked & Junked||Mike Last||3:46||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|13||Elastic||Mike Last||2:32||£0.79||View In iTunes|
Top Albums and Songs by Mike Last
|1||Bring It On||First||3:24||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|2||Coming Around||First||3:16||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|3||Separate||First||2:46||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|4||Prime Time||First||2:46||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|5||Love Idiot||First||2:08||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|6||Stranger||First||3:28||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|7||All I See Is You||First||3:02||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|8||All in Good Time||First||3:16||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|9||So Real||First||2:46||£0.79||View In iTunes|
|10||Victory Day||First||4:10||£0.79||View In iTunes|
If you had read the bio, you will know that in 2009 the artist became a businessman. That business is cashcats.co.uk, former documentarian by day and performer by night. Then started cashcats.co.uk supplying cool gadgets to the UK. (meow!). Your one-stop shop for Photographic, Macs, Video, Music and Audio products. All of our products are fully tested and thoroughly described with high resolution photographs. Click to buy now!
Established 2009 as an eBay shop we quickly became a Top-Rated Seller, gaining a reputation for great products, fast delivery and an informal, flawless service. We now have a client base of around 6000 happy buyers. SELL your unwanted items!
It’s been a while since I have blogged about anything of true meaning, instead meandering on the perimeter of minor events and circumstance. this is my tendency, to flit between one creative endeavor to another, never really settling on a destination – rather just enjoying the journey for a bit. and that was much of 2007 and the total of 2008 so far.
so now it is time for an adventure, a proper adventure. the plans for it have been bubbling away just below the surface since earlier in the year and its all starting to take shape ready for the looming 2009. this is going to be a good year, its unavoidable. a few kind friends here and there have encouraged a change by generously opening some interesting doors, new york, poole, dover, stoke gabriel, some of these things you will have read about in previous blogs or even seen plastered up on the news page like neon – flashing in a concrete jungle. but in essence its all about people. people are my career and i cant get to them unless i break away from the devon routine.
About one in five of my gigs takes place in what remains of the british night circuit, the social arena where happy people do funny things in silly ways, and everybody gets a bit involved. one in five. the rest – well you know the story, credit crunch, home entertainment, digital age, nicotine addiction/ exclusion, busy lives, chasing the penny, the british have mostly become a bit too british! and I dont think that i am essentially very UK these days. thats not to say that i do not feel heritage and pride flowing through these veins, i”m just a little stunted by britains lack of growth. and i’m not helping that. so its time to feel the love again, definitely time! i’m genetically italian, british, and scottish. but i’m feeling spanish, french and indian. these are worlds in which i am floating unawares, while they surround me in quiet background noise, whispers, incantation.
And lets not underestimate the seriousness of the mediocre weather. cheers god! it is not without a reason that i don’t use capitol letters very often.
I’m stepping into a brighter day.. want to take a ride?
Packet of three – Mike Last 20/07/06
For Mike Last it’s a warm-up gig, but revellers at Exeter’s Havana club on Friday night wouldn’t have known it. Prior to the ‘big one’ on 23rd in Poole supporting Ezio, Mike’s entertaining the crowds on the historic quayside and Havana is a bubbling cauldron of excitement. It’s well known as a restaurant, but has the best stage and music set-up on the Exeter music scene and Mike’s doing the setting and the sound system justice with two full 45-minute sets. Much of the show is his new material together with a smattering of interpretations of other classics.
Working hard on recording his demos in advance of the release of his first CD has obviously honed the lyrics, melodies and arrangements to a fine point. Particularly fine is Mike’s live version of Coming Around, already a great song in demo form on www.mikelast.co.uk but made special by the subtlety of solo acoustic guitar work and the heartfelt ‘give it all’ performance. There’s a depth of emotion oozing from every phrase and the attentive audience are lapping it up. There’s an enthusiastic response to an offer to do requests and bouts of dancing erupts across the room. In a great rendition of Separate, the repeated lyrical phrases provide the most emotive part of the night. Whether the songs are wistful, rejected, accusing or contemplative, he makes you believe he’s lived it. It was a pleasure to be there to see an artist in the making. A warm up? It seemed pretty hot to me.
Derrin Nauendorf Band + Mike Last + Susy Thomas 20/07/06
A hot sticky evening maybe but such an electrifying evening with two artists I have seen before. But the artist new to me provided such a wonderful set and seeing the audience response to Susy Thomas I know I was not alone in feeling I had seen something special. All her own songs
with such maturity for someone so young. The Round provides an intimate feeling and Susy’s playing and voice were what made it into an unforgettable evening. So much so that I purchased her CD the following morning. I can only suggest to those who enjoyed the evening as much as I did go and buy it – you will not be disappointed. I just hope that we will have another opportunity to see and hear Susy in the Round before the inevitable stardom arrives.
Poor Mike Last having to follow such a performance. But his performance was excellent, he has such a infectious personality and got the audience on his side with a powerful set, although indicating a reluctance to perform for the first time a new song, I don”t think anyone was fooled that he was happy with the reaction.
Derrin Nauendorf yet again gave an impeccable set, the addition of the band gives another dimension to the power of his talents. I met someone who caught the last two minutes of his appearance in the Square and felt he had to see him again and was so impressed. The talent of Derrin has been recognised by Bob Harris on his Saturday night radio show, playing some tracks over the last couple of weeks. The energy and power of the performance were influencing the audience in such a positive manner. Having seen Derrin on his last few visits it was great to hear the introduction of newly written songs. He said he is back in November – I will be there to see him as well as probably everyone else who witnessed another excellent set.
Derrin Nauendorf band + Mike Last + Susy Thomas 20/07/06
This is what a summer’s evening is all about- friendly staff to welcome you in, some liquid refreshment, meeting up with friends, and some chilled out acoustic music from ‘the round’. With the newly added ceiling camera and big screen set up at the back of the stage, it makes the atmosphere even better for a great, night of live music.
What a great start to the evening with an artist making her debut at Mr. Kyps, the young lady in question is Susy Thomas. Looking confident and making conversation with the audience between her self-penned songs from debut album ‘In The Morning’, she quickly won over everyone with her voice and guitar playing. Standout tracks were the single release ‘Mirror For Me’ and ‘Take me Away’.
Next up we were entertained by singer/songwriter Mike Last, who last played at Mr. Kyps as support to Ezio, amongst his own numbers he fitted in a song by them. He also went down well with the audience with his friendly manner and strong singing. With some verbal encouragement from the crowd he was persuaded to perform a brand new song which also went down well. After quite a few year’s of performing solo Derrin Nauendorf decided to get a band together, he couldn’t have chosen better than in Rick Foot on double bass and Channel Islander Jamie O”Keeffe on drums.
Kicking off with the very popular ‘Shipwrecked’ we were off to a cracking start. Second number was the first track off his latest album ‘The Rattling Wheel’ called ‘Universal Demands’ which I’m sure will be a regular number on future sets, with Rick showing what an underrated instrument the double bass is with some great work with not only his fingers but also using a bow. Some great stuff was coming from Jamie behind the drums, but the star of the show yet again came up with a brilliant set of singing and inventive guitar playing that makes sounds you’ve didn’t think could be possible out of an acoustic guitar. Playing ‘All Along The Watchtower’ on his own gave the song a whole new feel to it, Bob would be proud. The audience were held spellbound when the band played ‘Deliver Me An Angel’, a slow number impeccably delivered. Derrin puts his heart and soul into every number and has built up fan base on this. If you want something that little bit different his next gig at Mr. Kyps is in November: don”t miss it, you won’t be disappointed.
Derrin Nauendorf band + Mike Last + Susy Thomas 20/07/06
Suzy Thomas was first on the bill, but surely she won”t be for long. An easy-going, confident display af perfectly natural singing and playing was Suzy”s strong point – the gig seemed just a pleasant part of her day – and it was certainly a very pleasant part of mine.
Her songs were memorable, well composed and the performance was lively and engaging. As a set it was perhaps just a little on-paced and maybe needed an up-tempo number or a really slow ballad to mix it up a little, but it didn’t detract from a beautiful performance. Her free CD single “Mirror For Me” was eagerly received and the driving band arrangements on the CD place her firmly in the modern country-influenced rock category without ever typecasting her completely. She’s well worth seeing again. Just charming.
Mike Last was next, (but not last) – oh how he must hate those puns – and injected much needed pace and wit into the evening’s proceedings with a set of original songs – including, bravely, considering Mr Kyps discerning audience, a first performance of some new material. The lively “Said and Done” was followed by an Ezio cover (he supported them at Mr Kyps earlier in the year). After “Separate” came “Take It Or Leave It” when finally the audience decided they were going to take it and beaming faces and genuinely warm applause greeted each song. Then it was time for the ultimate modern stalking song “Cyberpsycho” and the hesitantly introduced Elastic, a novelty song that appeared to be about having an exceptionally flexible girlfriend. His set ended too quickly by half with “Russian Bride,” a dark tale of Eastern mafia – just great. What next? Perhaps Mike will do a Derrin Nauendorf cover at his next Mr Kyps gig? He sings well, plays well, looks good and has bags of personality. Make sure you see him next time – and he had a free CD too. As one chap said to me at the bar, “He”s brilliant, isn’t he?”
Then it was time for MR N himself. A three-piece band (double-bass, drums and Derrin on acoustic guitar) thundered through his original material. Rhythmically complex, engagingly performed and very exciting the performance only lacked memorable melodies to have been perfect. Derrin had obviously picked great musicians and despite the low number of gigs together, they were very, very tight. At times it did seem as if it was more interesting for him than it was for the audience, with a little warmth and humour required – “I won’t be giving away a free CD” is the only thing I remember him saying. Musically brilliant but a little po-faced.