Friday, 18 September 2009

SEPTEMBER 18TH - 20:26


tomorrow i move to london.

i haven't written anything on this for over a month. in this time i have experienced numerous things that are worth noting:

1. my solo show at scy, which was both a pleasure to play and, thankfully, mildly successful. it was a pleasure to play with annie, and it was nice to play with my best friend matthew. people really seemed to enjoy the night, and it was the first showcasing of alot of my new songs. 

2. i read les enfants terribles - it was incredible, the lyricism and imagery of jean cocteau's writing did, for me, wonders to re enforce the credability of his somewhat uncompromising visual art - the 'surrealist' tag he has burdened with being disproved, and instead the rich and humane ethic to his works certified.

3. i have been gradually getting ready to move to london - buying countless amounts of bulbs and blankets, suggesting there is nothing worse than being in the cold AND in the dark!

it seems i have forgotten the entirety of events that have happened in the passing month and a bit, but it mainly involved spending time with close friends, and savouring both lincolnshire and my family.

i hadn't really felt any emotion, other than sheer excitement, for tomorrow until last night. a surprisingly large group of my good friends joined me for a meal in my favourite restaurant in lincoln - roman's place, situated both picturesquely and conveniently behind both the castle and the pub!

after a few ciders and a lovely meal, we headed into town for more drinks and, ultimately, one final night out in scy.

it is so humbling to think that this group of people that i would call good friends would go out of their way to say goodbye to me before i move - and it was massively appreciated. thankyou.

so now - as the situation stands - i have packed the majority of my things - all my favourite records, books and dvds, all my acceptable clothes, all of my condements, ointments and delicates, and all of my indispensable instruments. i am ready to go. but first, i must bathe for one last time in a good few months, and get a good night's sleep before setting off bright and early tomorrow at 9.30AM.

thankyou lincolnshire, for being beautiful, a pleasure, ugly and unbearable. the same goes for my friends!

i have been listening to this song constantly for the last week:

they won't go when i go - stevie wonder

i first heard the song when performed at michael jackson's memorial service. it is sheer power, an epitome of soul and faith, and the piano and melody reminds me of nina simone. i think it's quite fitting for the situation as it stands..

Friday, 7 August 2009

AUGUST 7TH - 23:32

it's become obvious and apparent to all that this blog is no longer a daily routine - to move on with our lives we must all accept this fact and thus appreciate the sparse yet rich entries i provide from now on...

...i've been to greece since we last spoke. the weather and the waitors were fantastic and scorching in equal measure, although for the majority of the week i thought i was going insane - i confessed to my mother one night, to her delight, that i was convinced a moustached german looking man was going to shoot me at the dinner table.

that particular night we watched greek dancing, so erotic and energetic, a british explorer who i'd guess was 70 told me:

'this is sex. we had it in the sixties, we had it in the jive. we held them here (pulls his hands close to his chest) - we had them in our hands. now, youth waste their time by dancing three feet away from eachother.' this is something i will never challenge or forget.

i read arthur schnitzler - dream story, leonard cohen - beautiful losers and andre gide - the immoralist. it seems sexual craving was the coherent theme for my literary ventures in greece!

since i have been back chris has turned 18 - he is now legally obliged to go out into the night and witness the beauty and the carnivorous.

i have been writing alot lately - i now have five songs that i would determine a singular output:

in ashes
the blood prayer (i think this title is slightly too chauvinist)
youth symmetry

wrote a song with matt this week - rauceby asylum, i look forward to playing this and all my other new songs at the gig at scy in a couple of weeks. how ironic that the songs i have written should have their first performance on the very dancefloor they were conceived.

listened to andrew bird - armchair apocrypha alot in greece. this song stands out, the first time i heard it reminded me of the simplest magic of music - the instantaneous attention commanded to apparent simplicity - the catch.

his whistling as absolutely beautiful, the rhythm is addictive, the melody is so whistful...

Sunday, 19 July 2009

JULY 19TH - 17:01

memorable things that have happened in the last five days have included:

- yesterday when chris kelly and i came back to kelly's car, which was parked in city hall, and a couple were having sex on the front seat of the car next to us. awkward to say the least, they tried to pass it off as them having a conversation when they saw us, but his trousers were round his ankles. even more awkward when i had to get out of the car to usher kelly back, to help her reverse out.

- went to the record fair yesterday. jack frankum had bought out the prince section. first come first served, i say. it was disappointing though, no leonard cohen and an abundance of michael jackson jokes.

- friday night was the night of chris' serious monopoly induced breakdown. he was getting much to into it and got power crazy, kelly and i were tired so i messed up the whole board so everything was mixed up and muddled. chris went crazy and stormed out.

- worked on thursday night flyering for adam, did it for two hours with al, then went to lloyds with nikki, al and kate for a drink. the bouncers challenged my id saying it wasn't me, it really angered me so they decided to let me in anyway. absolutely ridiculous.

- went to nikki's last night for a low key birthday gathering. drank death cider and took hilarious pictures on nikki's camera. fell asleep watching science of sleep - it was the influence.

i am sat in my kitchen on a sunday, hungover. been for dinner with kelly and my brother, my sister and parents have gone to t4 on the beach. i've tried to show them the way to live in the past but you can't lead a horse to water. they will learn from their mistake!

going to see morrissey for the fifth time on wednesday. really looking forward to it, i haven't seen him this year and i haven't been to london since march. needless to say this visit i will not be in the same optimistic, smitten blindness that i was in march, but it is london - there's more than enough to blind you. 

i've come to a term this week that has enabled me to accept my true feelings, however insane and offputting they may seem, but the silence drowns out the longing. the only way to persevere is to embrace, i am hoping. this isn't gibberish, or self indulgent mindlessness - it makes perfect sense to me! if anyone reads this, this is complete honesty!

i was trying to remember the song that someone told me was about cancer spreading through a body. i can't remember who it was by or what it was called, but i remember him telling me that it had a choir and an orchestra in it. however i daren't ask him what it was called. oh joy.

out of all the people in the world...

this is for you.

this is for me.

bon iver remind me that not only is there potential in new music, but there is faith, intimacy, honesty and devotion. such an important artist, the bloodbank ep and the album are both incredible, seeing them at glastonbury was a truly religious experience. this song is beyond words.

i got to corfu on friday, to read beautiful losers and venus in furs.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

JULY 14TH - 17:17

friday night was pretty memorable. i do enjoy spending the majority of my day in the jolly brewer, even more so when i have an excuse to. the tommy show went very well, with a huge crowd and a huge applause from all. it makes me happy to be part of something that means so much to my friends, dave especially. the show itself is for me very nostalgic, after performing in a theatre royal residency last may - it reminds me of friends past and present, hot english summers and illustrious conversation. the show itself is fantastic, and always makes me smile.

after the show, and the imminent 'get out', i said goodbye to a good friend of mine, jay. jay was one of the first people i made friends with on my old music course, which i started as a shy, reserved boy. however, i completed warmed to jay and he has remained one of my very good friends to this day. i will not be seeing him for a long time now, as he has gone back up to liverpool without a reason to return to lincoln, and i of course move to the big smoke in the autumn. until next time, though.

the night ended up at dave's house. a night of martinis, twelve year old scotch, michael jackson on repeat and impromptu dancing that lasted until around 5.30AM, when jack emily and i piled into dave mallett's bed (dave was dead to the world on the sofa downstairs). we woke up at around midday to black coffees with honey and copious amounts of water - and proceeded to fantastic conversation, coffee and cigarettes in dave's living room. after putting the world to rights and cementing eachother's inevitable success, the rabble left dave to his saturday chores at around 3PM. i waltzed into town to try and find ryan a birthday present i had in mind - i looked in every bookshop in lincoln, to no avail. however, i did find leonard cohen - 1956-1966 in jews court for £1.50! an absolute snatch! i had an interesting conversation with the ever-lovely woman in the harlequin bookshop about beautiful losers, and we discussed times we had seen leonard cohen perform...

i went to hmv to buy ryan's presents, in the end. i bought him two albums which mean a very great deal to me, two of the most important and beautiful albums i could imagine giving to someone as a gift, and two albums that ryan was least likely to actually have downloaded...

i went with the smiths debut and my favourite nick drake album, bryter layter. i have always admired nick drake and his music, his dialect and instrumental skills lend themselves to eachother in their beauty, fragility and precision. such a beautiful boy too, with the face of a cherub, and the hair of a goddess...

chime of a city clock was always my favourite track from bryter layter - the urban jazz/soul influences of the track are similar to those prominent in marvin gaye's masterpiece - what's going on. the rural purity of nick drake's voice, when presented with his knowledge of jazz and lounge music, creates a vital, dominating presence. when listening to this song i can smell the rain, i can hear the busses, i can see the slate grey skies and the red's songs like these that persuaded me to follow my london dream...

on saturday night we all went to scy to see ryan jarman attempt a dj set. i would have been satisfied, had i seen any evidence of an attempt at all. he didn't even manage to save himself by playing panic...terrible.

however, the night was very much a good one, with aaron playing a cracking set of songs for us to get our jive onto. i managed to make amends where they needed to be made, and it left me feeling comfortable and happy. kelly was sick too, which is always a laugh...

sunday was pretty much uneventful. ryan's birthday, i woke up around mid day with somewhat of a hangover, we all managed to pull ourselves into town for a coffee before kelly and i set off for home at around 3PM.

i stayed at kelly's house on sunday night, and was reminded of just how great a movie dumb and dumber is. that script is absolute comedy gold, and jim carey and jeff daniels are such a fantastic duo.

today i managed to do two hours of flyering before realising i have done every house that needs to be done in ruskington. i'm going to being sleaford tomorrow...i have been ironing for the majority of the afternoon.

i have been so excited about moving to london this week - i keep searching the internet for articles relating to students in london, each time i read something new it fills me with excitement and restlessness...

Thursday, 9 July 2009

9TH JULY - 21:47

today is thursday, and i have spent the majority of this week rehearsing for tomorrow afternoon/nights performances of tommy at the jolly brewer.

on monday night chris, kelly, kim and i went to wetherspoons with the intention of entering the quiz. however, after meeting kelly and kim's 6th form friends and witnessing the amount of people in the pub, we decided against it. we ended up going to the barge and bottle (after kelly chris and i hosted our own music quiz in the beer garden of wetherspoons), where chris' drink was taken from him as he was unable to provide ID. this proved to be as entertaining as ever.

the night became more entertaining, however, when 'steve' decided to join chris and i for a conversation that opened with the following, drunken line:

'which came first - the jazz or the perfume?'

you know a conversation is worth having when it starts with such a question...

after a time discussing little richard, barbeques, led zeppelin, gretches and regrets 'swept under the carpet' with 'steve', we made our way to the mabern for a spot of pool. they were playing a michael jackson show on some sort of music channel, without the television screens turned on - i know this as we walked in to the sound of michael dancing on and and smashing the swastika bearing windows of a car - an amazing sequence that caused controversy when shown as the extended finale to the black or white video.

i learned the playing pool against your two best friends is much more fun when played to such a brilliant soundtrack....

i stayed at amy and ryan's house on tuesday night to watch the michael jackson memorial show with amy. my emotions are still quite confused and i am still in a sense of disbelief about the loss of michael, however the memorial was spectacularly emotional, tasteful, and poignant. it left me with a sense of not only the traditionally religious values of the jackson family, (highlighted by a beautiful rendition of the gospel piece 'the king is coming' as michael's coffin was wheeled in), but the humane qualities of the enigma. behind the glitter, a surface is bare. and behind a mask, there is a face. a father, a brother, a lover, a friend, and a rock.

as the brilliant al sharpton said to paris, prince and blanket: 'it's not your daddy that was strange, it was the thing he had to deal with that were strange.' in both a literal and a metaphorical sense - michael had to deal with strange attention, surreal heights of fame and genius...and with his own demons and insecurities, both of which were on an elevated scale. however, just like everybody else on the planet - he was not a strange being. he was a human being, conceived and born in flesh.

stevie wonder's contribution was spectacular - so dignified, traditional and powerful...

it will only be when michael is buried for good that the world will truly begin to come to terms with the loss, however i am certain that the influence he had on me as a vulnerable, weak child, and on millions of others like me across the world, we never die and will, sadly, never be understood by the sceptics. 

found this amazing song by a band called S.C.U.M. the song is called warsaw, and it is so powerful. it enforces my ethic that the audible energy is always coupled with a visual energy - it is a natural and magical process, and this footage is so absolutely captivating, raw and powerful - it also highlights the identical qualities of the delicate and the powerful.

S.C.U.M - warsaw

Monday, 6 July 2009

6th JULY - 17:39

today rehearsals for tommy began again, with two shows at the jolly brewer on friday. they went well - my chest is really starting to clear which is good.

saturday night involved ryan, chris, kelly and i going to the tap and spile for old rosie - walter was there so kelly and chris got to witness the spectacle that is his fantastic magic tricks for the first time.


walter: (88 years old) guess a number between 1-10?
kelly: 7
walter: you lose - take your clothes off.


afterwards we went to the dog and bone for lee gretton's 30th surprise birthday - had a huge discussion on the possibility of prince headlining glastonbury next year. also ended up playing i'll be there and hallelujah on piano. 

we went home at around 1am and watched ten minutes off little miss sunshine before i said i had to go to bed as i was falling asleep.

sunday consisted of me returning my ricky gervais dvd to cex in exchange for dumb and dumber, and going to see ryan work in starbucks. i made him get me a vanilla latte - it was ok, as good as starbucks coffee can be. i really dug there boho attitude in there...jokes of course.

been thinking alot recently about how important it is to retain and hold onto the flame, to remember those moments which at the time seem insignificant, but in heinsight crucial, and to have faith in love, desire and people. it is possible to be wrong about people, and it isn't something to be ashamed of - the flame you behold never dies, it just retires until it is time for it to return.

this song, for me, epitomises the flame - the spontaneity, innocence and determination of young love. it is from an album that is very special to me, and is practically the reason i managed to complete school. the visions, the beauty, the magic (never an illusion), the sheer texture makes this album absolutely vital. this song always rang completely true to me and gave me hope in love.

'The world is our carpet now
The world is our dancefloor now
Remind me how to dance again
The world is our carpet now

The world is just waiting now
No staring out windows now
Our train stopped moving hours ago
We're here, we're here, we're here

Yes we're here
Free to laugh and cry
Obliged to try
And nothing here's worth winning without a fight

When I can't move
I'll enjoy the still for a while
And lose myself in waves
And mountains and the sky
And I'm back here quick as lightning

'Cause we are just seconds
Seconds in a day

It's a dancefloor now
No staring out windows now
Our train stopped moving
Hours ago
We're here, we're here, we're here
What do I do?

Free, free to run and cry
Obliged to try
And nothing is worth winning without a fight
Oh yes we're here
Free to go insane
Joy and pain are fighting in the corridors inside

When I can't move
I'll savour the pause for a while
And lose myself in waves
And mountains and the sky
And I'm back here quick as lightning
'Cause we are just seconds
Seconds in a day'

the dancefloor is a ceremony, and the moment is the marriage. true love should be chased, and the living chase it. corpses don't.

guillemots - we're here

Saturday, 4 July 2009

JULY 4TH - 14:08

my chest infection is, thankfully, starting to slip under control. i've been prescribed amoxicillin, and i take three a day for a week. it's clearing up - now to get this sodding sinusitus out the way and i can get back to life!

wednesday night = michael jackson tribute night at sakura. kelly, ryan, amy, tom and i arrived at about 11.40PM and i was told i have to put a jacket on to get in as i was only wearing a vest! ridiculous - i saw about 6 girls wearing sleeveless tops inside...maybe if i was a transexual they would have let me in unquestioned - i had a ponytail for christ sake!

anyway, amy and i had our fingers plastered and we were easily the only two people in the whole club (which was nicely packed) that knew every single syllable to every single michael jackson song that was played - including ad libs.

a very hot and sweaty night, but it cemented the fact that michael jackson has always, and will always be able to tear up a dancefloor.

i also found out on wednesday night that ben atkins wants me to do some promotion for ctrl alt del at scy (it will always be the cell). should start next thursday night...

i went for a drink with giles on thursday, and adam and liam arrived conspicuously - it was absolutely roasting hot (i love the heatwave), and i very much enjoyed both the company and the mixed fruit koppenberg...

after walking with giles and him leaving to go to coffee aroma, i went to the horse and groom to see chesca and ryan for a couple.

conversation that took place basically confirmed that we are likely to go to hell for being born into a christian country, if christianity is the 'wrong' religion, that it is amazing how much can change in a very short space of time, and how intricate and complicate family relations can be - tiny, seemingly insignificant descisions causing ripples for years, even decades to come.

this was proceeded by one of those legendary bjork conversations i like to share with chesca. the outcome of the conversation basically confirmed that bjork never mentions sex, but it is the backbone of her work through her humanity and her feminine ethics. her music itself is that of a true artist - seemingly diverse, with diverse influences, yet coherent undertones bind the work back to one point - the mix of influence and originality. we confirmed that medulla is probably her most underrated album, debut is kitsch but nescessary, post her most diverse, volta her most colourful, and vespertine her most fragile. overture, from selmasongs, proves her genius as a musical existence, not just a performer.

thursday night consisted of kelly coming round to portland st, copious amounts of roule and wine gums (perfect), and me falling asleep in the sweltering heat to eagle vs shark. from what i saw of it, it was a brilliant film.

friday was the first tommy rehearsal - i was surprised at how quickly the structures and arrangements came back to me. i always enjoy working with dave on any project - such a good friend and never fails to make me laugh.

last night i came home at around 5.45PM, and played michael jackson songs on my piano for an hour or so, then was picked up by kelly and chris. we drove to sleaford, and i ordered a take away - adopting novelty quotes such as 'kawabonga' and greeting the girl with 'hellooooo' in the style of david brent. she asked me if it was a wind up after the kawabonga incident (which followed the news that we WILL recieve free cheesey garlic bread)....why would this be a wind up? it wouldn't be remotely funny at all - we hadn't even ordered anything novelty!

a wind up would be 'hello can i have 36 steak and kidney pies at £1.60 each, and a slice of apple pie.'

anyhow, went on a facebook 'adding spree' last night, adding all of the people i could possibly think existed in previous lives and situations. i surprised myself at just how many people i remembered - peers in primary school and even infant school! although it does look like i've had a breakdown and am trying to get as many facebook friends as possible. i also added some of the awful girls who used to bother me way back when, at the start of secondary school. some people are such leeches. examples of such incidents shall be saved for another day.

today i have spent my entire day, semi naked, in kelly's room. i've had a shower and now i'm going to get dressed. tonight, chris kelly and i are going to lincoln to go for a pub night with ryan.

until next time, here's one of my very favourite motown tracks. motown will never die - it's influence on me is immeasurable. so innocent, and beautifully crafted pieces of music - along with the magic of the black voice...this particular song is fitting for the state of affairs in the UK over the past week.

martha reeves and the vandellas - heatwave