haters gonna hate – even the shit i be proud of, yeah?


October 2013

aging places – lorelle meets the obsolete

The Liverpool Festival of Psychedelia was fantastic. Moon Duo were, as I’d hoped, utterly brilliant. The set climaxed with a storming rendition of ‘Stumbling 42nd Street’. Mugstar were even better than the last time I saw them and the only other band I’d wanted to see were Eat Lights Become Lights, who were on around 02:00 on Saturday morning and way past the senile delinquents’ bedtime.
Of the bands I’d never heard of before, Lorelle and the Obsolete, Singapore Sling and Fuzz were all great leads. I’ve laid hands on LPs by all three bands and the Fuzz album is probably up there in my albums of the year – as is Lorrelle meets the Obsolete’s.
The first people we met – on friday night – were a flock of Fifers, down for a weekend of pushing themselves to the limit. Nice bunch they were, too.
To be honest, most of the weekend’s – even now – an impressionistic blur. Fuzz, opening with ‘This time, I got a reason’ (that riff postively REEKS of hawkwind’s ‘upside down’, doesn’t it?)
Each room had two bars. Queuing for ten minutes for a pint of white wine for c; queuing for a further ten minutes for a pint of whatever-was-going on the scouse independant brewers’ stall (I can’t even remember their name, but that PZYK red ale was to die for. As were most of the others I had over the weekend.
Telling someone I met about Popol vuh. Being told, in turn about the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Being one of the oldest people there. Missing Hookworms. Drinking savage coffee to punctuate the beer.

Why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)

A love story – on home-made acid – narrated by someone first used romatically, then set on fire, by the blue peter team, capering around the pyre like wrinkled vikings.


break up to make up – siouxsie and the banshees

Off for a week’s holiday. I’m writing this on the last day of term. A few more hours and I’m heading west to pick up my beloved Owner and Goddess and we fly out to Dublin a matter of hours later.
Long-distance relationships are weird, but I’ve had so many now, I think I’ve ironed out most of the kinks (except the good sort, obviously.)
We find ourselves still (after eight months) on our best behaviour around each other. This is a positive. Familiarity is so far off it can’t breed consent, let alone contempt. Neither of us has seen the other unshaven and hung over – at least, not enough to see a pattern there. We’ve both (I feel) prioritised making the time we have together, **ALL** quality time. So far, this has worked.
This arrangement also leaves both of us plenty of time to focus on our respective jobs, offspring and lives.
On the downside, parting always feels like a scab being torn off slowly. Our first night apart has, for the last few months coincided with a sleepover at my work – talk about from the sublime to the ridiculous! Waking up in a single bed, without the Boss-Lady, sucks.
Over the last few months, we’ve managed more or less every second weekend together, which has been great.
We’ve also managed several holidays together (this’ll be our third). Holidays, just as with normal people, are great – an absolutely artificial world, one with no jobs, kids or grandkids. Long lies, time on our hands and money in our pockets. Y’know, like in FemDom pornography? We’re neither of us billionaires, but we *can*, through work, build up shared time off, where we can get up to no good without external influences.
As with the psychedelic experience, these times aren’t sustainable. We can do it for a few days, once every couple of months, then come back down to earth and make more time and/or money to have another one.
It’s not perfect, but what relationship is?
This way, we come together, recharge our respective batteries, then pull apart and get on with all the mundane daylife things – and writing.
For my writing schedule, this relationship works a lot better than being stuck in an enclosed space with someone day in, day out.

Why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)

A love story – on home-made acid – narrated by someone first used romatically, then set on fire, by the blue peter team, capering around the pyre like wrinkled vikings.

when i was a man and you were a woman – john foxx

It’s weird, being back in Liverpool after so long. I got into Lime Street, walked down past Clayton Square to Central Station and the memories rushed back up like a dodgy kebab.
I grew up in Edinburgh, only moving away when I was in my mid-forties. Now, when I visit the place, I start to drown in memories. Show me a pub and there’s a fifty-fifty chance I remember an event that took place there. So many streets have embedded memories; someone who lived there, an event that took place there, something someone once told me about the place.
Liverpool’s like that for me now. Walking past pubs, remembering specific nights, bus-stops where particular conversations happened. And the platform on Central Station, waiting on the Kirkby train to get to Kirkdale. The night of the John Foxx and Louis Gordon gig, July 2006. We were bunnied on really good acid when the horde of wee girls got into an altercation with the station staff. As the train pulled away, one of them swung a WHEELCHAIR at the window of our carriage. It was over so fast (in a slow-motion kind of way) pulled off behind us and the massive CLUUNKHH! as it crashed (presumably harmlessly against the doors. We looked at each other. The air around us was filled with tiny sparkles and I could taste them each time I breathed in.
“That never happened, right?” I said to c, my voice slow and thick and heavy as a planet.
c looked at C. C looked back at her.
“What didn’t?” They chorused in their wee scouse accents, wee innocent faces now fixed on me.

Wandering around the city centre, I’m amazed at how much of it I’ve forgotten. I walked into Bootle – no problems, it all looks the same. But the city centre? A few landmarks, that’s it.
And, with me living away from cities for the last three years, it all seems so crowded and frenetic – people shoving everywhere, shops spewing distorted musics into the huge pedestrian-jam I’m thrown around in. It’s like being in the matmos. Less than twenty-four hours back here and I’m already thinking – at least part of the time – in a scouse accent. Actually, it’s more of a Kirkdale accent, which is how I learned to speak scouse when I was in my mid-forties.*

Why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)

A love story – on home-made acid – narrated by someone first used romatically, then set on fire, by the blue peter team, capering around the pyre like wrinkled vikings.

placebo – too many friends

What the fuck is it with Placebo? Their even-numbered LPs bristle with heart-wrenching anthems, songs that make you want to laugh and cry and explode in a starburst-supernova and punch the air, roaring like a burning creature.
But the odd-numbered ones? Fuck.
Ignoring the first LP, ‘Black Market Music’ had a couple of good songs, but also featured attempts at rapping. ‘Meds’ sounded like a band of placebo fans, trying to make an album that sounded like their heroes. Of the songs, ‘Meds’ was great, as was ‘Infra-red’ and ‘Follow the cops back home’ wasn’t bad. But the rest of it? A fucking duet with Michael fucking Stipe??? Come, come, my good man!
Contrast and compare with the first LP, ‘Without you, I’m nothing’, the mighty ‘Sleeping with ghosts’ and the astounding ‘Battle for the sun’… Every one of these is still a regular dancefloor-filler, here at scat-candy acres.
I usually download any new LP from Placebo. Where it’s a ‘Sleeping with ghosts’ or a ‘Battle for the sun’, I’m along at my local pop-emporium, foaming at the mouth, banging a big bag of coins on the counter and and shreiking, “Innkeep! The new Placebo, if you bastard well please!” And brandishing my warhammer in the fucker’s face. Same as everybody else in the shop.
‘Loud like love’ isn’t a slap-in-the-face like ‘Meds’ was, but it sure as hell isn’t ‘Sleeping with Ghosts’ or ‘Battle for the sun’.
That said, it *is* growing on me. Like a cheeky wee tumour.
They’re not going to pick up any floating voters with this one. It’s a poverty-packaged product. If we lived in the same universe as ‘Repo man’ took place, it would come in a plain white cover with ‘Placebo CD’ printed on the front in pale blue.

Why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)

A love story – on home-made acid – narrated by someone first used romatically, then set on fire, by the blue peter team, capering around the pyre like wrinkled vikings.

where’s captain kirk? – spizz energi

I’m writing this on the train to the liverpool festival of psychedelia. I’ve taken a couple of days out of my life to attend a festival – probably the first time I’ve done such a thing in three decades – the last time was Futurama V in Leeds – thirty years ago this very month.
I’ve was never a great festival-goer. I attended Futurama one, two and five, that’s about it, I think.
Two days – once a year – in a massive hall described as ‘two aircraft hangers welded together’.
Bands I saw there included, Public Image Ltd, Joy Division, Spizz Energi, Clock Dva, Cabaret Voltaire, Altered Images, Soft Cell, Poison Girls, Killing Joke, Southern Death Cult – ach, the list goes on and on. I’m just dredging these up now.
The only other festivals I’ve ever attended have been Scotland’s noise events, Kill Your Timid Notion, Subcurrent and Instal.
There, I’ve seen Acid Mothers Temple, Ruins, Prurient, Hojikaidan, Jazzkammer, well, you get the picture…
The Liverpool psychefest boasts Moon Duo, Mugstar and Eat Lights, Become Lights, the only three I already like and all the reasons I have for attending.
Apart from seeing an old mate from Merseyside, whom I haven’t seen in almost a year and another I haven’t seen in about four.

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