Best space-rock referencing story ever!
Greg Jarvis, leader of transatlantic space-rock orchestra The Flowers Of Hell, was nearly killed when he stumbled across a political demonstration in Papua New Guinea recently, after being mistaken for an MI5 man.Following such a tale, the least you can do is check out The Flowers Of Hell's third album, 'O', via Optical Sounds on 15th November. It comes on a double-sided CD/DVD, with a regular stereo mix on the CD side and a 5.1 surround sound mix on the DVD, along with a live concert film and various special features.
While holidaying in the country Jarvis walked past a demonstration by the outlawed OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka) with his camera out, unaware that membership of the organisation is punished as treason, and was promptly chased by a large number of protesters. He ran back to his hotel, which was nearby, but the angry mob was soon banging on the doors and windows. Hiding in the kitchen and not seeing any suitable weapons, he decided to face his attackers "Gandhi-style", with hotel staff acting as translators.
"I just kept feeding them Elvis' old Vietnam War-era line: 'Look, I'm just a musician; I don't know anything about politics.' The atmosphere was supercharged as they tried to decide if I really was a musician or if I was a foreign intelligence operative," recalls Jarvis from the safety of his home in Toronto. "I knew the OPM has a history of kidnapping and in some cases killing foreigners, so I asked if I could go to my room at get an instrument – I had a travel ukulele that I'd picked up on Denmark Street. In that moment I just wanted to play, for it didn't look like I'd ever get to play again. I started playing a version of 'Opt Out', our usual set closer, and I played good, like my life depended on it - because it did! Almost immediately the tense atmosphere dissipated. After a couple minutes one of them stood up and yelled and they all left abruptly!
"The hotel manager, receptionist and I all hugged each other with relief. The manager said to me, 'For your safety, Mr Greg, it is best you leave town at sunrise.'"
More at myspace.com/opticalsounds.