Koh Tao Flood Relief Album

Finally after almost a week of incesent downpour the rains have stopped. Now it’s time to clean up the mess. The damage caused by the record breaking falls is tremendous. Roads, homes and businesses washed away. It will take months before the community recovers, and I’ve got a way that you can help from afar.

Click “download” on the link below to make a donation and get some music made right here on Koh Tao.

Some of you may have already read about my unfortunate flood story. On the 6th of January 2017 we had the worst of the storm. 190mm of rain dropped that day. 40mm of that happened in just one hour early in the morning. So much water rushed the island that almost every road became a turbulent river. Choppers, a venue that I regularly perform in, was flooded and unfourtunately my gear was inside. When I arrived the following morning I found my gear floating around in the muddy flood water. I was heart broken. Any musician will know the feeling. My guitar is not only a tool it’s a part of me, it’s a close friend. I felt like I had let it down, left it in the cold wet storm to drown. The image of Hannah pouring water from it’s sound hole will haunt me for years. But the pain didn’t stop there. My loopstation, the tool that has now defined my stage performance and given me the opportunity to travel the world with my craft sitting there in the dirty water, it seemed all hope was lost. What will I do, I can’t afford to replace it and I can’t afford to continue my journey without it. This wasn’t even the extent of the damage. Also amongst my gear was my laptop, full of material I will never see again, my mixing desk, my microphone, a brand new, still in the box MPK midi controller and my guitar tuner.img_0685

As a result I decided I needed to raise some funds to get my tools back.

Back in 2014 I recorded a live album right here on Koh Tao with my good friend Andy V. Two days ago I put that album on my bandcamp page with a “pay what you feel” price for all of those out there that would like to contribute. Over the years I have met some beautiful people while sharing my music across the world and in two days I managed to raise about 10,000 baht. Though it is not enough to cover the damage I incurred financially, it is definitely enough to heal my broken heart and put me back in a positive mind set. I no longer feel overwhelmed, instead I feel excited and ready to face the world and whatever it can throw at me. And though the 10,000 baht is not enough, it is enough to get me started so I can rebuild. Now I would like to do the same thing for my Koh Tao community. From now until the evening of the 12th Jan 2017 all funds raised by this album will be donated to the Koh Tao Rescue team that were so invaluable to the people of the island during the storms, and will continue to be in the clean up. I will be presenting the funds to the team at a benefit concert I will be performing at Banyan Bar on the night of the full moon.

To donate simply click the download button on the link above. Please dig deep, share this article, buy the album and get in touch. Empathy and love are the greatest of all emotions, they bring us together and teach us what it is to be human.

Enjoy the album with lots of love from all of us on Koh Tao. Happy New Year.

img_0686

If you are on the island or know anyone that is, please make sure you’re at the benefit gig on Thursday. We will be raising money for 5 Burmese homes that were destroyed in the floods.

Advertisements

NEW VIDEO: Let’s Stay Together/You Don’t Know – Live Loop Mash Up

I love Koh Tao. I have since the first day I set foot on that rock in the middle of the Thai Gulf. There is magic there. Until you experience it you will never know it. I’ve traveled there many times now over the past 4 years. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to share with my close friends from back home. It was only February this year that I finally got to share it with Hannah, and like me, she fell in love with the place as soon as we landed at Mae Haad Pier. This June though, when Hannah and I were half way through our Koh Tao leg of #looptheworld we were visited by a bunch of our good friends from back home. Shout out’s to Jonno, Edan, Danielle, Mikey, Anton, Mick, Anthea, Dave, Casey and Hayley. So good to share Turtle Island with you all.

Not only did I get to share the magic of holidaying on Koh Tao with my friends but also a little of the creative side. Casey and I  did a couple of shows together. One at Banyan and one at Choppers. They  both went down in Koh Tao history. Mikey and I did a couple of shows together at Fishbowl. One was shut down early by the most epic of tropical storms which Edan Chapman Photgraphy was patient enough to get the million dollar shot of. But one of my favourite collaborations on the island is this one right here.

On the 11 June 2015, Jonno, Edan and Andy Stock (a guitarist friend that lives on Koh Tao) came together at Fishbowl Beach Bar with as many cameras as we could muster up including 5 x GoPro’s and 2 x Cannon DSLRs and shot this clip. Jonno later edited together the 40+ Gigabytes of footage for Straight Jacket Productions and now we have a Koh Tao memory that will last forever and that we can share with all of you.

The song is a mash up between Al Green’s classic “Let’s Stay Together” and the hip hop verses from my own track “You Don’t Know” from my 2009 EP SW&theE. I love Al Green, I was lucky enough back in 2011 to see him live in Melbourne at the Palace Theater in St Kilda with my good mate and fellow loop warrior Andy V. The show was everything I expected and more from the living legend. Andy and I used to play this song years ago jamming in Melbourne town and last year we recorded a version on our EP Live on Koh Tao which you can download free here. That version happened to be recorded live at Fishbowl almost exactly one year before this one.

I hope you enjoy and please help me out by commenting, liking and sharing. The success of my #looptheworld adventure depends on the support of you guys. Thanks so much for watching.
Si x

What’s this bloody #looptheworld hashtag thingy all about then?

looptheworld pedal on grass

If you’re reading this then I guess you’ve noticed #looptheworld popping up on my social media pages recently. In short, it is the name of the tour I am currently on with my partner Hannah, my loop station and my guitar. However this is not the Rock-Star World Tour that most people imagine. My hope here is to give you a little insight to what it is, where it all began and the plan, or lack thereof, I have for this adventure.

#looptheworld is a story, mostly unwritten, that will be told over the coming months…. maybe years. To be entirely honest the story began many years ago. I did not play music as a teenager and never imagined myself to become a working musician. However, I did dream of a job that would take me around the world and allowed me to be my own boss. I guess you could say I’ve been unconsciously planning this adventure since then but for this particular tale let’s say the story began in February earlier this year.
I was on Koh Tao in Thailand on another working holiday. I’ve done this many times before, only this time I brought with me my beautiful girlfriend Hannah. Hannah quickly fell in love with the island and the lifestyle and we began talking about taking it on full time. She also managed to complete her Open Water and Advanced Diving courses which inspired a career change that will suit the endless summer #looptheworld existence. Hannah plans to qualify herself as a dive instructor along the course of the adventure. By day she’ll teach ‘em to dive and by night I’ll get ‘em to dance.

I started saving, Hannah quit her job, we got rid of everything we own, leased out our room and bought some airfares to places we’ve never been.

We started the trip in Melbourne at our local pub, The Birmingham on Smith St in Collingwood with a #looptheworld launch party. Next we flew to Byron Bay where I was a semi-finalist in the annual Blues Festival Busking Competition. Unfortunately I didn’t win however they gave me a spot out at the festival as a wild card anyway. Since then there have been two more shows (The Rails 08/04 and The Beach Hotel 16/04) and there are two more shows to go in Byron Bay (The Treehouse 24/04 and the Rails 01/05) and a radio interview on BayFM (26/04). On May 7th we head up north to the Surfers Paradise Live Festival where I will be performing live both Friday 8th and Saturday 9th May.
Sunday the 10th of May we fly to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, then Surat Thani Thailand. From there it is a bus and ferry out to Koh Tao where we will be staying for seven weeks. I’ll be gigging seven nights a week between three venues – Choppers Bar and Grill, Fishbowl Beach Bar and Banyans Bar and Hannah will be working and diving with Mojo’s Divers.
After Koh Tao we fly to Athens then a bus and ferry out to Ios where we will be staying for the month of July. Again I’ll be gigging seven nights a week but this time just in the one venue – Harmony Mexican Restaurant and Bar. Next is where the plan gets a little vague but also a little more exciting.

We plan to meet up with my good friend and fellow musical warrior Andy V in Romania where we will purchase a van, deck it out with a bed, a stove and a PA, and hit the road with no destination in mind, driving across Europe.

We’ll be paying our way with street performances (busking), the odd gig here and there, and whatever opportunities come our way.

We plan to document as much as we can through this here blog, my Youtube channel, my Facebook Page, our Instagram account and the #looptheworld newsletter. – Sign up here. If you’d like to contribute to the narrative simply use the #looptheworld hashtag in your online posts.

I won’t be playing to stadiums full of people, we won’t be trashing five star hotels, I won’t be in trouble for punching the paparazzi or getting groupies pregnant that’s not to say there won’t be the odd drama along the way. This is a real tour, two people on a guitar string budget taking on the big bad world, living simply the best we can.

And that my friend, is far from the end of the story, but as far as the story goes.

Simon Wright and Andy V – Live on Koh Tao Loop cover EP

Simon Wright and Andy V sweating it up at Choppers 6 June 2014
Simon Wright and Andy V sweating it up at Choppers 6 June 2014

In June 2014 I met up with Andy V on Koh Tao in the Thai Gulf to play a string of shows over 12 days. We played every night except one in two venues. Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays we would play at an Aussie Bar named Choppers and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays we would play at a bar on the beach named Fishbowl. Though Andy and I have played a lot of music together in the past it had been almost 3 years since our last jam (With the exception of one hip little gig at a whiskey bar in Byron Bay). In this time both Andy and myself had started playing with the Boss RC loop stations. I am on Beatbox, guitar, vocals and MCing and Andy takes control of bass, keys, sax and vocals. It’s amazing what two guys with loop stations can get cooking.

It was great fun working with Andy, I learnt a lot and played some of the best music of my life in a tropical paradise. Good times.

***All tracks from the EP Simon Wright and Andy V – Live on Koh Tao are available for free download from my soundcloud page****