On Tour

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The Independent Culture
I generally spend more time in other European countries because there's a completely different attitude to jazz there. It's ranked as a serious art form. There's a place in Cologne, for example, called the Stadt Garten which is run by jazz musicians and funded by the government. It's a fantastic place to play because they've cultivated a really intelligent audience. Over here jazz seems to be pushed more and more into the corner. The best touring experience was with a South African musician called Dudu Pukwana - he'd record everything during a gig. The next day we'd pile into a transit van and the tape would go on and all the next day we'd be listening to last night's gig. Then we'd get off at the next venue and do it all over again.

Touring with Loose Tubes was like being in a huge family although it was fairly dangerous at times. It's easy to forget how frightening 21 people can be when they're all high- spirited. The morning after our last gig in East Berlin, a few years back, I found myself on a coach to the airport at six in the morning without having spent any of my money. I thought if I give it to someone at the airport they'll be rich enough to afford it anyway, so I was throwing handfuls of money out of the coach window hoping that the right people would pick it up. I turned round and saw our East German guide looking horrified and realised it was a bad move.

Django Bates was founder member of Loose Tubes and plays keyboard and peck horn. His group, Human Chain, tours 'Out There - A Jazz Romance' to Glasgow International Jazz Festival, 7.30pm on 9, 10 Jul at The Tron, 63 Trongate, Glasgow G1 (041-552 4267)

(Photograph omitted)

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