With this report, The journey to Ka Palaho Beach, I describe the long way to the interview with Fizzy Blood, in which we are speaking about their debut album Pan Am Blues. The adventure started back in April 2019 and came to an end in December of the same year. It’s a story filled with encounters, surprises and it’s a stunning example of my passion for what I’m doing. Have fun and enjoy this little piece of history. I loved every second of it.
‘Viva lost Vegas …’, Paul starts to sing as I recognize the melody and words from their demos and after a few seconds I join him carefully: ‘Viva lost Vegas, come and try your luck …’
We are in a Leeds shopping mall and he sits at one of these mall pianos. The sweet melody fills the air around us and I realize that this is really wonderful. I’m in town again to take photographs of Fizzy Blood and to talk with them about the record they were working on back then. Let’s call it by it’s name: To do an interview. The demos were on heavy rotation the days before my journey started and there is a radical change in their sound. In the past I couldn’t handle stuff like that. Like what happenend with Linkin Park. Now I’m fine with it, if it happens for an understandable reason. So here we are. In this mall, Paul plays these songs on the piano and I’m back in Leeds. And this is one of these moments, when you know that everything is right.
How the journey started
After Fizzy Bloods first headline tour we stayed in touch and I came up with the idea to visit Leeds again. To refresh some memories, make new ones and to have a good time. So I figured out a week in April and booked the flights – easy! The fact that the band was working on new songs was a more than welcome information as well. Eventually I got my hands on the demos and sitting in my flat (that was back in 2019, think about that) songs like Last Orders, Famous Planes or Viva Lost Vegas pretty quick became my favourite new tunes. The change in their sound (as mentioned above) was stunning and I was amazed.
And then the idea for an interview came into my mind. Not just an interview, no this time I was thinking big! Polaroid pictures fitting to the themes of the songs and I wanted to paint on these picture as well! To keep it simple: I wanted to something totally different. And oh boy, eventually I did, but that was a long road! With all these ideas in my mind I landed in Leeds Bradford and an Uber got me to the adress Paul gave me beforehand. After I took the small steps leading to the door I rang the bell and yeah: That’s how the journey started – I’m back in Leeds.
What happens then?
What’s following are some great days with friends! We are drinking too much alcohol and of course we are talking about the concept of the record. On that first day we are also seeing Amyl & The Sniffers live, finally back at the Brudenell – still a lovely place! Yeah, time flies as I’m meeting a photographer I got to know on the previous tour, or as Paul and me are going to a roller skate disco. I hang around the city very much these days … Time to reflect, to think about stuff, to prepare the following interview with Talkboy. We are going to play Bowling and before we are finally meeting at the Tenpin, I’m at a Spoons with Paul and his girlfriend. As I’m trying to get rid of my expired Polaroid film, I’m taking the first picture for the galery of Ka Palaho Beach.
The bowling experience is a wild one, after the games I’m doing the interview with Talkboy and afterwards we are going out: This is our night! Everyones around, even Ciaran’s there, feels like I’m seeing him for like five minutes, but hey! The only one missing this night is Benji. But I’ll see him later that year. When eventually leaving Leeds, I have no idea what’s going to happen the next months. For example, meeting Benji again!
Back at home, I’m still listening to the demos, looking for a new job and eventually getting one. Back to earning money for the next trip! So in September my little sister and me are going to London and there I’m meeting Paul again. We are at a birthday party and are talking about the progress of the album and then we’re deciding to finish what we started in April. Yeah man, let’s do this! It’s a fantastic night out, friends, shots and a fireplace in the backyard of a pub in Camden town. There is nothing more to say!
But naa, that’s not right. On the next day me and my sister are relaxing in Hyde Park, strawberries, good beer, even the sun is with us. And it’s there where I start to write The journey to Ka Palaho beach. Squirrels are around us and yeah! Sounds scenic, doesn’t it? Well, well, hold on and see what happens next! Shortly after I got rid of my T-shirt (it’s really warm these days in good old London town) a pidgeon lands on my back! In the future we are calling this episode of the trip “PIGEON attack“. I’m nearly getting a heart attack and my sister can’t stop laughing. Not just her, it seems that the whole Hyde Park has seen this and needs to laugh. Eventually I join the laughter, but from that moment on I’m really suspicious whenever a pigeon crosses my way.
There and back again
In the end of November my plane touches ground, it’s a frosty day and so I’m getting back to Leeds again. As always I’m heading to the place where Jake and Tim are living with their girlfriends by taking an Uber. I’m dropping my stuff and we are having dinner at a nice place in town. I don’t recall the name of that nice place, so I’m sorry about that – no advertising here! After that we are going to visit the Christkindelmarkt. It’s a crazy little piece of Germany in the city centre of Leeds. Drinking some Glühwein, laughing about the wide range of Lebkuchenherzen (they’re all just saying Ich liebe dich or I love you) we’re having a jolly good time!
Later that night we are picking up Paul at the train station where the fun and drinking continues. But what else happend then? I do not remember it that clearly so let’s continue with the next day. I’m waking up in a small room, two mattresses on the floor. Yeah fella, that’s the Rock ’n‘ Roll lifestyle! On the other mattress Paul is still asleep while I’m getting downstairs to the living room. To rest, think and just be there. And as time goes by, person by person the house is waking up, Jake’s preparing breakfast, it’s such a gluttony. And that’s what life should be like. Sharing food with friends, talking about stuff, planning the day that lies ahead. It seems to be an easy one.
A lazy day for me, the guys are going to work on some of their demos in the basement. Restless as I am, I’m deciding to go for a walk. Getting some Holsten and donuts for the boys. Having a Black Sabbath at Temple Coffee Leeds. It’s a chilly day, but it definitely was the right decision to go out for some fresh air. I just love being around these streets of Leeds. Memories of my former visits are popping up in my mind and yes, it is good to be back, even if it’s just for the weekend. Coming back to the house the guys are still working on some track. But it’s time to release the donuts and to have a beer together. The whole band is down in the basement but it’s like in April: Benji’s the one missing.
Fortunately I’m seeing him later that day when Paul and him are doing some vocals at Ciarans Place. Sipping beer, chatting about what’s been going on recently, we are preparing for the night out.
To be precise, Ciaran and Paul are joining me, Benji’s going home, whilst Jake and Tim are playing at a wedding, damn these busy boys! So it’s just the three of us who are going out to see The Ninth Wave live at the Brudenell. It’s the third time I’m seeing the band live that year, for Ciaran and Paul it’s the first time and we are definitely enjoying the short set they are playing. The headliner that night is The Magic Gang and to be honest I cannot tell you what the fuzz is all about. No offence!
The one with the MDMA
My alarm clock wakes me up. I’m upstairs in bed, had just a few hours of sleep and I’m exhausted. Sure I’m still drunk as well. As I’m recalling the beers I had last night, also the last one in the living room – thanks for that, I get out of bed, grab my stuff and tumble down the stairs. I’m trying to wake Ciaran up, but holy moly, that takes some time. He’s just as exhausted as I am. I decide to give him some more time and to go back to the house on my own. My suitcase in my hand I walk through this cold and sunny morning.
Before I’m reaching the house, I do a turn to the local shop to get some groceries for breakfast. Dr. Pepper and sandwiches, a healthy one! But finally I’m at the house. After a short while everyone else is there and I’m accompanied by the whole band. We are reunited again. The first time since the tour in 2018.
You know what? There was that guy yesterday who offered me MDMA. I just sat there, being pretty pissed already, with some guys I didn’t know. We were chatting a bit, when he asked me something. I didn’t understand him, but I just said yes. Nothing important I thought. Suddenly he took this little bag out of his jacket. Puzzled, I asked him: ‘What‘s that?’ ‘MDMA, I just asked you.’ What the fuck?! So I told him that I’m not interested. Some kind of misunderstanding.
After I ended that little lovely episode from last night called ‘The cousin’, we are talking about the other things that happened in the past hours. And then we are preparing ourselves for the interview, which means: Everyone gets a tinfoil hat.
Source: YouTube, Renés Redekiste
Here we finally are. We made it. Welcome to Ka Palaho Beach!