Before I left for India, I had no idea I was going to stay in a city so connected to one of our songs and one of the hardest decisions of my life. When I came back I did a TV interview and the presenter named Tereza asked me where exactly I stayed in India. I said I stayed in Pondicherry and I suddenly realised something strange.
It was only back in Prague that I realized a fascinating coincidence. In Always June I’m singing: “Richard Parker and me, we are sailing away. We are hungry and weak, but we will be okay.” That is a reference to the movie Life of Pi you might have seen: A boy called Pi is stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with a tiger named Richard Parker. They’re each fighting for survival in their very own way. Pi collects rain water and shares it with the tiger while making sure he doesn’t get eaten at the same time. On the other hand, Richard Parker respects Pi and soon they forge a special kind of relationship.
These words in Always June mean a lot to me because they mark the end of my first band Charlie Straight and the start of Lake Malawi.
Initially, there were more animals on the lifeboat until they got killed by the tiger. Pi’s family was sailing on a huge ship to Canada. They used to run a private ZOO in India but couldn’t make ends meet so they were forced to move with all the animals. Though the ship sank, both Pi and Richard Parker made it out alive. Guess where they sailed from…
…from Pondicherry. Even as I was walking around Pondicherry doing this video, it wouldn’t have occurred to me. Now it does. I guess nothing happens without a reason. Ã.
On Friday, I visited an elementary school with my guitar after a fan called Markéta asked me. She was doing a project about Lake Malawi and I was to be her surprise guest. I can totally understand why teachers love working with children and young people in general. They give you incredible sense of hope with their transfixed eyes and curiosity without boundaries. I was there for about an hour and wanted to stay for longer.
Last week, I spent a few days in Prague trying to finish the radio version of We Are Making Love Again. I was in the studio with Jan P. Muchow and Ecson Waldes. At times, it was raining so hard, I felt like I was in London again. Ã.
In fact, I wouldn’t be in a band if it wasn’t for Coldplay. When my cousin played The Scientist to me when I was fifteen, I wasn’t only hooked, their music resonated with me so much, I knew what to do with my life.
At high school, Zuzka Kudelová & I played Macy Gray and Sting covers, jazz standards and my early stuff as Funkiers. Then I took on drums and met Pavel Pilch, my drum teacher. I would spend a good couple of hours a week drumming in my parents’ garage. Then I met Johnny Cienciala and Michal Worek and we had a little jazz trio called 3JAZZ. When I came back from Ramsgate in 2005, I’d written my first songs (like Swim Across, UK Blues or She’s a Good Swimmer) and played them to Pavel. Straight away, we both wanted to do the same – be in a new band together… I already spoke to Johnny about this and somehow, we later persuaded my elementary school mate (and a genius pianist) Michal Šupák to join in. This is how Charlie Straight came into existence (the band split up in 2013).
I’m writing about it all to come back to Coldplay, of course… One winter afternoon back in 2005, I was doing The Scientist at a school assembly. Somewhere in the crowd, I made the most important fan of my life thus far (except from my parents). At that very moment, Johnny’s classmate Vojta Dohnal came to believe I would make it as a star at Glastonbury some day touring the world far and wide. He has been managing my musical career (with my dad helping out) in one way or another ever since. He is the manager of Lake Malawi now.
If I ever meet Chris Martin or anyone from Colplay in person, I’ll say thanks for the music that made me want to make music so much… The music that even made my best friend believe in me and find me. I am a Coldplay fan for life… Ã.
Oooooooooh!!!!! I haven’t been that excited for a long time! I’ve got a journal I once bought at The Royal Albert Hall and I’ve found I tend to write mostly when I’m sad or feeling shit. Well, this blog is the opposite! I really feel just great today! How are you?
The Prague acoustic gigs were lovely… I went to Nouvelle Prague at the weekend and discovered this incredible band called The Amazons. I spoke to Matthew and Joe (I think that’s the guitarist) afterwards about how we all love Tame Impala so much… And I had a dream of calling Kevin Parker up on the phone last night.
I did my first Periscope broadcast from a train the other day and I’m doing the Leoš Mareš show on Wednesday. Keep your fingers crossed for me! I’ll write more in a couple of days. This week is going to be crazy… These two songs have been on my brain forever: The Weeknd & Soak. See you soon! Ã.
On Thursday I went back to Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick and met Táňa Kadlecová who is such a cheerful and uplifting character. She did this interview with my previous band Charlie Straight a couple of years ago. Now she’s doing her first year of fashion photography at UCA (if I’m right) and took a couple photos of me on film that day. This in the instagram one.
Then I did an interview plus a couple of songs for Met Uni’s Verve Radio on Holloway Road where I feel at home eating halloumi wraps at Crystal Kebab all the time (I stay three or four bus stops down the road). And then I re-discovered this band we found at The Great Escape while plaing The Fiddler’s Elbow.
Will Green of Feldspar is one of the nicest people I came across in London this week. He told me to meet him at The Lamb near Highbury & Islington which quickly became my new favourite pub. Will loves John Grant, I need to check him out. As he was sipping his Red Fox and I my ginger beer, somebody’s pizza delivery arrived and this mysterious man in dressed in black appeared in the middle of the room wearing a motorcycle helmet he wouldn’t ever take off. Strange… It instantly reminded me of this video by James Blake! And then I remembered the lovely interview by John Kennedy which made me an even bigger fan of both him and the XFM DJ.
On Wednesday I went to Strongroom Bar & Kitchen to see Chris Lovett from Souterrain. We’re planning a little Lake Malawi UK Tour at the end of April and I can’t wait to do something with Chris again. Our first Croydon Radio interview is one of the friendliest memories I have of venturing out into the unknown realms past Zone 3 and turning up in South London’s San Francisco (I’ve decided to call it that because of the trams and Kate Moss).
Finally, before taking the train to Luton Airport yesterday, I went to Harrods where a charming shop assistant sprinkled my wrist with something I kept smelling all day long. It made my day really. It got me through the Russel Brand loneliness I feel on Oxford Street sometimes. I also discovered this beautiful song by Japanese House which helped. And I caught up with Barbora who currently works for SHOWstudio. All in all, one of the best weeks I’ve had in a long time… We play at Prague’s Chemistry Gallery tonight. Fifty people sitting on pillows, the four of us strumming away and I’m in heaven again. Ã.
I never felt this good in London. Staying at my magical cat home in Holloway. Learning the importance of a hot water bottle once again and the true meaning of half term holiday. I went to see Alxndr London at Electrowerkz last night. Incredible for a first gig. I caught up with Mo Hausler at Hackney Wick today which was really inspiring and made me want to go straight into the studio and get down to work. He mixed the EP for us and I do hope to work with him again soon. This morning, I shot some videos with the Road Two crew in Shoreditch while James and Scott from Mystic Sons kept me company.
On Monday, I found that my London modelling agency MiLK moved offices. I met Calvin and gave him some CDs. He gave me a hug. I’m really happy to be on their special bookings board with Mike Skinner. I love The Streets… Last year, I did a Timberland photo shoot for Shortlist magazine. I’d love to do something like this for Burberry one day. Here is a song by Miguel I discovered at the gig last night – I just love the drums and the bass distortion on that. Good night wherever you are… Ã.
I first met the talented photographer Lupiga thanks to my sister when we did the We Are Here Now photo shoot. In fact, we are secretly working on new Lake Malawi t-shirts and a band hoodie with Musicwear and my sister even now… Lupiga took some photos of us during a recent Furch Tour gig in Zlín, one of the most beautiful cities ever. Thanks! Ã.
We spent sixteen hours on that train… Still, I enjoyed the shoot with Yemi A.D. I love working with him, he’s so good at managing people on set and motivating them. The video was shot on a 16mm camera by Jirka Vágner, Robert Roszbeck and our steady cam operator Lukáš (see credits for more). Jarda Gazda did a great job as the production manager. Many sleepless nights… And YZA did colour grading.
Backstage video by Ilya Fomykhin.
We’ve been loving the acoustic Furch Tour… Please use the tag #furchtour and #lakemalawimusic when putting stuff online, so we can find you! Last week, we played four gigs in a row, did a Years & Years cover once and I read my favourite book Catcher In The Rye to kids in a library… Photo by Klara Wiltavská. See you in Zlín tonight. Ã.
Last Saturday, we played at Waves Vienna and I enjoyed every single bit of it even though the crowd wasn’t very big. It was a small show on a dry ice-rink behind Hotel Intercontinental. I realised I had been ice-skating there with my first girlfriend a long long time ago… Nothing is a coincidence to me now! I love this gig review by Ndreya on wienkonzert.com, thank you so much for sticking around.
Photos by Natali Glisic, she came to say hi after the gig which made us happy and has a cool tumblr.
A friend of mine who works for this design furniture studio called INNEX brought me a gift from TOPSHOP. It was the world edition of their current Denim Issue Topman Magazine. And we’re there! Big thanks to Michael Cragg for featuring us! It’s all happening!
Finally, it’s the start of the acoustic Furch Tour on Wednesday with a sold out show in Brno. Have a lovely weekend, everyone! Ã.
Jerome and Pavel are watching football on TV while I’m typing away. We had a rehearsal in Prague today ahead of our Waves Vienna Saturday gig that starts at 20.30 on the Red Bull Brandwagen. Patrick brought me this hipster caffeine drink from a friend who runs Brewbar, the coolest place for good coffee in the city. Tomorrow (on Friday) we play at La Loca from 8.30 pm.
I am a big fan of Ben Howard and his beautiful backing vocalist. I hope to meet them both one day and say hi. I met him in Morocco in winter and said: “You were the soundtrack to this holiday. You’re in my iPod. Beautiful stuff.” He said thanks and went on playing checkers. I also love fact that they’re touring with Daughter (this first song is incredible):
On Sunday, we played for about 20,000 people in a football stadium. That was a good moment! Good night, Ã.