Sunday, December 14, 2008

Canadian Nights

December 14th 2008

we'll here we are in canada. we've been here a week and we've come more than half way across the country. we have the night off and are in kapuskasing ontario. for those who don't know what and where that is let me just tell you it's extra special. but i'll get back to that, first allow me to recap the week. brad and i arrived in vancouver on the 25th of november and rested up for a few days. we stayed at a nice enough hotel and had some great japanese and korean food. very rejuvenating.
matt and oren joined us a couple days later and we played the commodore on the 28th. it was a really fun show for us. i forgot that we had left my little amp in england and brad found a great little red fender blues junior for sale across the street which we purchased within hours of the show. that night we traveled to kamloops british columbia were we had another day off! joy. oren and i found an asian goods shop and we bought a butane gas range to cook on the bus. gas poisoning on the bus! yeah.oren made a great japanese stew and we bought vegetables for soup. 
our domestic bliss was not to last though.
we departed for calgary around 5 in the morning and we were all comfy and cosy in our bunks when we left. one is usually awoken when a bus starts up and begins it's journey in the middle of the night and this night was no exemption. it was very clear very soon that something was wrong with the bus. needless to say we ended up making the decision to charter a passenger bus, load all the gear into it and drive the 8 hours to calgary. getting us in just in time to do a quick soundcheck. i didn't enjoy the calgary show that much. nor the next night in edmonton. i think this band works best in a big club and the theaters can be a bit stiff feeling. or maybe it was us but the energy felt a little low. next we played saskatoon which was really fun again. that's a nice town and the audience were very groovy.

december 14th, montreal
 it's been a crazy week and i cant get onto it right now. let me just say that i've never been so stressed and tired in my life! it was worth it though. the family had there biennial christmas show at carnegie hall on the 10th and it went really well. the band and i arrived from toronto on the 7th to start rehearsals. it was complete insanity but we learnt and performed 34 songs with guests such as emmylou harris, lou reed, laurie anderson, jimmy fallon and justin bond. now that that is over with the band are back out on the road to finish this tour. we have 5 more dates and then it's over. what a whirlwind. we played montreal a couple of days ago and it was really fun. we were so exhausted but it worked because i just didn't care. off to joliette now and the i have to prepare the cassoulet. i'll tell you all about it later.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Perth Airport- Day 51

November 22, 2008
Day-51, Perth Australia
Venue: Perth Airport

brad and i are in the qantas lounge having some toast and vegemite and a flat white (that's what they call a latte in australia).australians have little cute expressions for everything and they abbreviate words and put an o on the end of them, like freo for freemantel or brissie for brisbane. it's kinda endearing but i don't know if i really get it. a good friend of brad and i has been tour managing us here and he has done a great job, his name is tim peterson and i would highly recommend him as a tour manager and sound guy. we also had a really great guitar tech called alex grand from glasgow, and all in all the shows went smoothly and were good, thanks for the hardwork guys!!! god, i've become incredibly boring..... this touring has become hard work-a-day and your reality becomes quite narrow in scope and size. in any case the canadian dates start up in a few days. brad and i will go to melbourne for the next two nights where upon i shall present someone with an air award and sing a beegees song. oren and matt are off to new zealand where they will be having there long awaited honeymoon....... then we are off to vancouver on tuesday and we start up again. we'll have a new crew but both guys i know and are great. the greenlandic clothes have been shipped to canada so hopefully they are there, i hear it's cold in canada.
tired but content enough. i think my favorite show in australia was in adelaide and one of the highlights of the trip was having a dip yesterday in the indian ocean. over and out

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Byron Bay- Day 45

November 17, 2008
Day- 45 , Byron Bay Australia
Venue: A Day Off

well i'm alive. only just though. i'm sorry i've been a bad blogger. it's been over a week and it feels like a month. today brad and i are in paradise, although anywhere would seem like paradise because it is a day off. a real day off with no show last night or tonight and we are in a beach front hotel in byron bay on the gold coast of australia. we arrived in australia six days ago and we've done four shows so far. we start up again tomorrow in brisbane. the shows so far have been good although i think sydney and melbourne, the two biggest towns, were negatively affected by jet-lag and delirium. the sydney show in particular i felt like i was on acid in the second half. it was kinda fun for that reason although i'm sure the performance was lessened by airheadedness and general sillyness.the last show we did on saturday was really special. it was in a tiny town called meeniyan about 2 and a half hours from melbourne. ian and suzanne run the concert series held in the town hall and they are the best hosts you can imagine. we arrived to a roaring fire and fresh cut flowers from the towns people's gardens. then there was the food that was made for us by a lovely group of people. then there was the windy ridge wine made 2 miles up the road. and i think we finished it off by a good performance, it was one of those intimate small shows that are generally better then the larger venues, at least for the audience.
We're off for a walk now on the rainy beach, ahhhhhhhhh

Sydney- Day 36

November 12, 2008
Day - 36 Sydney Australia
Venue: Enmore Theatre

Guest Blogger: Brad Albetta

(I'm filling in for Martha today because she's busy doing press)
As i write this I'm doing our wash, a man's work is never done!!
We arrived in Sydney yesterday morning after the grueling 20 hour flight. We we're greeted by the lovely spring weather, ahhhhh so nice after the rough autumn UK weather...... but then it all went a bit wrong when our luggage + guitars didn't arrive with us. Lucky our man Tim Peterson was on the case and retrieved them this morning from the airport, Thanks Tim.
We're looking forward to seeing our old friends from Chuggs and Shock , they have been very good to us over the years and we consider them good friends........
But most of all we're looking forward to playing the shows, Australia has GREAT music fans!
Tonight is our 1st show so jet lag and all here we come!!!!!


go to to view new photos from the road

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Madrid - Day 31

November 7, 2008
Day 31 - Madrid, España
Venue: Joy Eslava

well we finally got out of uk. not that i don't love the uk but...
we arrived in bilbao, basque country, 2 days ago and it's been a breath of fresh air. the tasty "pinchos", lunch time snacks much like tapas but more open sandwich like, and the Guggenheim museum to shelter us from the mountain rain, were much needed and appreciated. the show last night was really good. the audience definitely though. these people like to talk!! we had to shush people quite a bit but eventually they shut up which was good because otherwise you can get depressed on stage which is not good.
we are only four now on stage after my mom's departure from dublin 4 days ago. time is moving very fast. since then we have played nottingham, where i was a little under whelming because of exhaustion and the rest of it, oxford, which was a really good gig i think, and we've dropped some of the crew and flown to spain, done press, had a great meal with promoter, and done bilbao. angus and julia are still with us which is nice. they provide a lovely feeling and are a joy to work with. it is too bad we never worked anything up together but it has just been too hectic. this has been an unnatural amount of shows but i guess i knew it would be. i can see how you age quite fast on the road. i'm looking a bit rough and as a woman that's a bit depressing. thank god i have brad to be nice to me and tell me i'm pretty when i feel down.
we had a great dinner with unai and uri the promoters in bilbao. they take a honking piece of cow from the rib and bring it out on a ceramic hot plate sizzling. the meat is still cooking while on the table and you can pull it off when it is cooked to your liking. i've never eaten so much meat and felt a bit rough afterward but my god was it good. my apologies to vegetarians reading this. this was definitely a free range animal. and the rioja harvested from the hills an hour away was a perfect complement. oh what gluttony! to the vomitorium! no, just kidding. the meal was super fun. we also had a beautiful hotel which was was a god send after the stinky tour bus with the broken toilet. now we are racing through the mountains of alava coming into rioja land on our way to madrid. brad's a bit sick and my back aches but other than that we do have a great life!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dublin - Day 26

Special Guest Blog: Kate McGarrigle
November 2, 2008
Day 26 - Dublin, Éire
Venue: Olympia

There use to be a song back when I was too young to change the dial on the radio called "throw mama from the train a kiss a kiss"....some sappy song about growing up and leaving home, maybe it was Doris Day, someone like that, can't remember. But as we came into teenagehood, our collective mischievous memory just had it down as "throw mama from the train" and we'd break out laughing every time...over and over...
It is fifty years later and i'm on a tourbus with my daughter Martha who has graciously invited me to join her(but not for too long)as she promotes her second CD on the green and pleasant land of England. I joined the band on the rainy grey hills of Edinburgh whence we made our way down from the North, with a swing thru the South and landing in London where she played to a raucous crowd at the Roundhouse and then back on the bus to a quieter time in Liverpool. Currently we are on the greener(but just as pleasant) land of Ireland where two nights ago we witnessed All Hallow's Eve in Belfast(almost Ireland) and caught the pubs tossing the costumed flotsam and jetsom out onto the cold streets - the forty something, tough-looking broad dressed up as a pussycat trying one last time to have one last pull at pulling the geezer who's in a costume of working class finery but he can barely stand up: he's hanging on to the lampost....i didn't wait to see the outcome, had to make the light which is a very important thing in this part of the world where you can easily get killed looking the wrong way when crossing a city street.
Tonight we're in Dublin.
I have many old friends in this fair city and wanted to catch up with with a free ride across the Irish sea on the rock & roll bus I decided to make this my point of exit and...
Tonight is my last night.
So I will catch all the kisses that were warmly thrown, and toss them back with equal love - i'm glad I came...
And now it's time to "Throw mama from the bus".

Belfast - Day 24

October 31, 2008
Day 24 - Belfast, Northern Ireland
Venue: Opera House

oh my god,
it's been soooo long since my last blog entry. isn't that just the way. time is flying and it's been quite a hectic whirlwind journey. of course kate has been here since edinburgh and she has added a lot as a piano player and general incredible spirit. it's nice o have someone on stage that i can lean on to entertain the audience and take up some of the slack. she has 30 or more years of experience with that. hopefully she is happy on the bus with us. there hasn't been any days off and everyone is getting tired. we just need to get through tonight which should be fun. it's halloween in belfast and from what i hear ireland does a good all hallows eve. must think of something of wear for tonight but first let me recap the last few days.let's see. i guess the big show was london and it was great to see friends. middlesbrough was a hoot and warwick quite staid. unfortunately we lost lily and sylvan 2 days ago which was planned but they are truly missed. just when we are getting into a real rhythm, but i guess that is the way i always do things. i love to keep moving and changing things up. not always for the best i fear.oh well, it's hard to not follow your instinct! i've never not followed it, or when i haven't it's been a disaster. it's a beautiful day here. I'm trying to organize a trip carlingsford for oysters and guinness but i think the driver needs to go straight to dublin for his hours off. bummer. i need to wash my hair in any case and go out and find something for brad before he gets up. yesterday was his birthday and i really dropped the ball.
i haven't gotten him anything and birthdays are tough. too much to do and so little time. i need some real time off.

Liverpool - Day 23

October 30, 2008
Day 23 - Liverpool, England
Venue: Philharmonic Hall

Year of the Dragon from Martha Wainwright on Vimeo.

Monday, October 27, 2008

London - Day 21

October 28, 2008
Day 21 - London, England
Venue: Roundhouse

Martha and beat-boxer Shlomo rehearsing Martha's new song, "So Hard" at the Roundhouse in London.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Brighton - Day 18

October 25, 2008
Day 18 - Brighton, England
Venue: St. George's Church

Martha and Brad perform "Stormy Weather" at St. George's Church in Brighton.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Middlesbrough - Day 16

October 23, 2008
Day 16 - Middlesbrough, England
Venue: Empire

Edinburgh was a fun show! The sound was tough on stage because of the room, but we got through it and had some musical moments. I'm enjoying playing the electric. I play it on three songs, and I think I'm getting better. You have to be more careful in some ways and yet you can have more abandon. Kate came up and did the Barbara song, but we will add her to more songs tomorrow night and in Warwick the day after. 

We got a new tour bus a few days ago, and, although it's bigger and doesn't have exhaust fumes spewing into the lounge, it's not as smooth a ride. It's a little hard to sleep when the bus is moving, but I end up sleping in the morning once it has stopped. We got to Middlesbrough a few hours ago. Quite curious about this town. Never heard of it. Time to juice. Maybe go for a quick bike ride.


Martha and Kate perform the Barbara song, "Dis, quand reviendras-tu?" at Empire in Middlesbrough.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Edinburgh - Day 15

October 22, 2008
Day 15 - Edinburgh, Scotland
Venue: Picture House

Well, it's now the 22nd and Kate's arrived. Kate's my mom. I haven't seen her yet but I should in a couple of hours. She's resting at the hotel and we are starting our soundcheck. Just did a thing for this show called The Culture Show, and it was a bit tedious. They make you busk, and they film it and then you count the money and it's a bit of a competition. They had me set up on the Edinburgh University campus (we're in Edinburgh, by the way), and filmed me in a very television-contrived way. The students were really nice, thank god for them. I realized I hate busking. It was embarrassing and I didn't sing that well. I felt bad for the kids because the cameras were filming and it was a bit unnatural. Oh well, that is the nature of television I suppose. Lily and Sylvan were there filming the filming and Lily told me that there was this old guy there watching and I think he hit the nail on the head when he said, in his thick Scottish brogue, "If she's supposed to be busking, then why are those cameras muckin' about?!" "Why don't they just let her sing!"

It's been a good couple of days, though. The shows are starting to get really good, I think, and that's a relief. We are in Edinburgh, and Scotland is a joy. Yesterday we did my favorite thing which is to walk to the top of Arthur's Seat. Arthur's Seat is in Holyrood Park, where the Queen stays when she comes to Edinburgh...

Soundcheck now, I must run. More soon.

Bristol - Day 13

October 20, 2008
Day 13 - Bristol, England
Venue: Colston Hall

Power to the sound-system goes out during a live performance of the song 'Bleeding All Over You,' at Colston Hall, in Bristol. Martha then performs 'I Wish I Were' unplugged.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Leuven - Day 10

October 17, 2008
Day 10 - Leuven, België
Venue: Het Depot

Martha singing her song 'Jesus And Mary' during a video interview aboard her tour bus in Copenhagen.

Utrecht - Day 9

October 16, 2008
Day 9 - Utrecht, Nederland
Venue: Tivoli

Martha and Brad try out their new (used) bicycle in Utrecht.

Lily and Sylvan found some very groovy old bikes and we bought two for the road. They're old Dutch style bikes made by Gazelle. The new ones are all made in China, apparently, except if you want to spend a thousand euros. The bikes have back brakes, just a single gear, and they are a joy to ride. I realize I am always purchasing things for a lifestyle I wish I had rather than really have. Lily got me a basket for the bike--she knows me well--forget the fact that I am on the road and won't be seeing a kitchen or supermarket for the next three months. I guess Lily and Sylvan will have to take them back when they leave in about two weeks. Can't take them to Australia, and they won't be much use crossing Canada on a bus in December.

Things are going well. Finally starting to sing properly. Oslo was good, and it was nice to see some old Norwegian friends, but Copenhagen was really great, I thought. The Vega is a wonderful venue and the day was nice. I did a little video-shoot for a Danish online magazine and then a photo-shoot with a big Danish photographer for an exhibit. He told me he had photographed Rufus and it was nice to chat to him about how much of a joy it is working with Rufus. I miss Rufus and Kate and realize how lucky I am to have Brad out on the road, as well as Lily and Sylvan for now.

In Copenhagen we met all of Sylvan and Lily's family from both sides. They are very nice and the resemblances are truly there. They are aunts and cousins of Dane Lanken, Lily and Sylvan's dad, and it made me think of my growing love for Brad's family and the amazing thing that happens when you have children and a family tree grows.

Off to dinner now in this great town. We love Utrecht.

- martha

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

København - Day 7

October 14, 2008
Day 7 - København, Danmark
Venue: Vega

Martha and her cousin Lily in their Copenhagen dressing room.

Martha singing her song 'New York, New York, New York,' live at Vega, in Copenhagen.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oslo - Day 6

October 13, 2008
Day 6 - Oslo, Norge
Venue: Rockefeller

Martha does 'bus yoga,' and talks about juicing, on the bus as we roll into Oslo.

Martha singing her song 'Factory,' live at Rockefeller, in Oslo.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Stockholm - Day 5

October 12, 2008
Day 5 - Stockholm, Sverige
Venue: Nalen

Martha singing in the dressing room in Stockholm.

Uppsala - Day 4

October 11, 2008
Day 4 - Uppsala, Sverige
Venue: Katalin

My butt's a little sore because of the small amount of working out I've done over the last couple of days. It's been at least three weeks since I last went for a run before this trip and I've been inspired by Matt to run after him as he jogs with ease through Sweden. He doesn't have to carry the weight that I'm carrying! Front and back. Oh well, it feels good to move around and get some fresh air. The weather is beautiful and we are able to see the miracle of Fall in the cities we are going to this month. Uppsala looks gorgeous today although I was only awake for the second half of it. The colours of the dying leaves are spectacular in the northern light. I feel like a true woman of the North, considering the last couple of weeks, which is good for me because I like the cold. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait for Spain either, but Fall is truly the most beautiful season if you can witness the trees changing colours.

Last night's show was great fun. The people in Malmö were really nice and it had a fun rock vibe. The stage was blazing hot and we all got really sweaty--but I like that! I look like I just got out of a shower; not that great. It's genetic. Both Rufus and I sweat like pigs. Oh well!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Malmö - Day 3

October 10, 2008
Day 3 - Malmö, Sverige
Venue: Babel

Greetings and salutations, friends,

We've had a bit of a rough start, but I think we are getting into the swing of things now. We started the tour a few days ago; there were some little bumps and hurdles, but all things you would expect in starting up a tour: the bus broke down, I lost my voice, different tour manager than expected, and general communication breakdown. Oh, and very little Internet access so far. We're off and running now, though, and it feels great.

I must say I think this tour will be a great adventure. We are going to some great places across quite a few countries, both hemispheres, which is fun, and from sweaters to shorts back to hats and gloves. It's Brad Albetta, my husband, on bass, Matt Johnson on drums, new addition Oren Bloedow on guitar, and my cousins Lily and Sylvan Lanken are joining us to. Lily sings back up during the show, and she and her brother Sylvan are filming us on the road. The crew are pretty great so far and all in all I think it will be a good group.

It's been a bit strange for me because I just got off a ship that sailed the western coast of Greenland. It's a long story, but if you're interested look up Cape Farewell, which will explain everything. The first show was a little tough, but alst night in Berlin was really good and we are all excited to play tonight in Malmö, Sweden. I made some of my record here with Tore Johanson and hopefully will see him tonight.

I just went for a run with Matt through a beautiful park, and we got the vegetable juicer going. I know it sounds pretty un-rock & roll, but what can I say.. I like vegetables and I've wanted a juicer!

We have seven shows in a row, which is a lot, but my voice is coming back after the boat trip and, as I said, I think we are finally on track!


Berlin - Day 2

October 9, 2008
Day 2 - Berlin, Deutschland
Venue: Volksbühne

Martha talks a little about the tour on Day 2, in Berlin.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hamburg - Day 1

October 8, 2008
Day 1 - Hamburg, Deutschland
Venue: Kampnagel