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Why travel so far to play a show?


I've spent a week back in Valencia. It's strange to be a visitor at a place I consider my home. Part of me is super-excited to re-experience what used to be my life, and the other part of me gets rather sentimental and don't really know what to do with itself. In any way, there's no doubt that slow days, sun, cafe con leche, writing and reading is good for my restless soul.

Eli Gauden at Leonard Cohen Tribute in Valencia 2017 PHOTO: Holy Smoke Photography

The main reason for coming down here was to play a few shows. As I'm gaining experience I learn what "kind of shows" I find rewarding to play, who I enjoy working with, and when and when not money matter, and when and when not travel/distance should matter. I must admit, it's not any kind of show I would travel all the way from Norway to Valenica for. But when I was asked to play at The Leonard Cohen Tribute concert, there was no doubt.

Cohen is becoming a bigger and bigger influence for my writing. Performing his words, is not only a gift to the audience but almost a form of personal therapy. Despite this, I wouldn't have travelled all this way, if it wasn't for the people I got to share stage with. A show I want to play is a show that's put together by people I respect and admire and like being around. Wendy McNeill who put all this together, is a heartfelt woman who includes you, sees you, help you, and make you find the best in yourself. Her musicianship is so playful and sweet and truly genuine. It's always a pleasure to see her play. The other artist(I didn't know all of them beforehand, but) were also a joy to be around. It really makes me believe in music and the power of collaboration and art, when I meet such open and friendly artists. The venue was magical and the audience silent as can be; catching up every word I sang(as well as the words I didn't sing, cause I forget them), every note, and every breath I took.

I was so nervous, worried and not feeling good before the show. I wonder, are there something called an artist-devil? I think there is, cause I got one of them in me. And it seem to bother me more then usual nowadays. What it does is that before a show it makes me so unbelievably tired, and makes me completely forget why I chose to do something as ridiculous, as being on a stage and playing notes on a guitar and making sounds with my mouth(yes, it's the devil speaking).

But you know how it goes, once you get started, and the room is filled with excitement and positive tension, then it can't go wrong. I played the life out of that devil(even with all the mistakes) and again felt like I gave something and got something!

I want to send a big thank you to Wendy and the team for having me and creating this beautiful show...and some love and thank you up to Leonard. I hope he smiled while we unrehearsed performed (or tried to perform) "Anthem" :)

"You can add up the parts You won't have the sum You can strike up the march There is no drum Every heart, every heart to love will come But like a refugee

Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything That's how the light gets in"

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