Friday, February 4, 2011

Addis Ababa

Trying to get anything done in Africa always meets with much resistance as the people trying for a regime change in Egypt will tell you.

At the moment of our first rehearsal it was announced that the location of the rehearsal was no longer available even though this was supposedly set up months in advance. Some scrambling ensued while the promoter found another spot which, conveniently enough, was in a club in the basement of the hotel we're staying at. All in all, the rehearsal started 3 hours late and had to end when the nightclub, Club Voltage, ended. On a positive note, they had a good amp and cabinets for Bill to use - a Peavy Max 700 with a Hartke 4x10, a Hartke 15, and a Peavy 8 x 10 with a brand new Marshall 200 watt head for back-up. Dominic, the guitar player, also got the amp he prefers, a Roland JC12.

Even though we are a a 5 star International Hotel, there are still periodic power blackouts though they only last a few minutes. This stopped our rehearsal a couple of times.

Lots of Ethiopian English language newspapers - thought there would be much coverage of the Egyptian situation but barely a word - mostly reporting on local and national issues. Wondered if this was some kind of news blackout, but doesn't seem so. Much coverage on TV, they have CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera broadcasting it in the rooms. Yesterday they had the coverage broadcasting with sound in the lobby as I was going for breakfast. Noticed an interesting juxtaposition getting ready to leave for soundcheck. A synth and sax player played Arabic muzak - very soft and mellow - as images of the uprising, revolution, military coup - whatever it is, were shown on television behind them. Some people are oblivious to the world burning behind them.

This area of the world is very "hot" right now. Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Jordan, all of them experiencing unrest, are in the neighborhood. The people in Addis appear very friendly and relaxed so it seems unlikely that would happen here although there was a nearly sucessful assasination attempt on Mubarak in Addis Ababa in the 1980s.

Gotta go - more later.

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