Sunday, February 26, 2006

And.... we're off!

Well we've made it... we're on tour. I'm writing this from the Carling Academy in Newcastle while the band soundchecks upstairs. It's been a lot of fun, so far - only 3 days in and already we've left a piano in Nottingham, completely screwed up a couple of live mixes, had to wrestle a pissed asshole from the stage mid-gig, slept at 60mph and drank more than our bodyweights. My personal favourite, though, was having to wait for Clawfinger to get out of the shower at one of the venues. I find that to be particulary hilarious.

This is brief. I'm due in soundcheck in any second. If I owe you an email and you read this, you'll know why you haven't received it.

Peace and fucking love.

currently listening to: 65daysofstatic, on live loop

Thursday, February 23, 2006


I am so tired, and have slept so little of late, yet I have decided to stay up past my bedtime rebuilding my blog.

I'm beginning to think that the only way I can have fun is to do more work.

The 'currently listening to' bit at the bottom is ripped off the Prison Notebook blog which is operated by my friend Dan all the way over in the Canadian Victoria. Immitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and all that.

currently listening to: Eivoe Palsdottir - Brostnar Borgir

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Catching up with business


The videos are made, the files converted and split, the sets rehearsed, the equipment rented, the software installed and the bus hired. Guess there is little else to do now apart from going and playing some fucking gigs. We had the dress rehearsal today and it went wonderfully - if everything works like it should then we're gonna have blistering 16 shows.

65daysofstatic Radio Protector UK Tour

with Media Lounge visuals
Chris Clark, The Mirimar Disaster

24th: LIVERPOOL, Academy.
25th: NOTTINGHAM, Rescue Rooms
26th: NEWCASTLE, The Academy.

27th: GLASGOW, ABC2.
28th: ABERDEEN, Moshulu.

1st: STOKE, The Sugarmill.
2nd: LEEDS, The Cockpit.

3rd: SHEFFIELD, The Leadmill.
4th: MANCHESTER, Academy 3.
5th: BRISTOL, The Bierkeller.
6th: BIRMINGHAM, The Academy 2.
8th: NORWICH, The Waterfront.

9th: OXFORD, The Zodiac.
10th: BRIGHTON, Concorde 2.
11th: BOURNEMOUTH, Opera House.

I'm in a bit of a lull now... we don't go until Friday but everything is ready now out of neccessity, so as opposed to the usual mad dash at the last minute I am currently experiencing the calm before the storm. It's weird. I'm not used to being ready ahead of time...

In related news I am delighted with the software we are using for the tour, Vidvox Grid Pro. I have avoided live VJ software for so many years because I refused to believe that the video quality was any good - a TV image runs at 720x560 pixels and that is the ratio that we have always played out at, but Grid Pro uses files that are 320x240 and the quality is outstanding... one video, Natasha Beats the Devil, is comprised of video content that was downloaded at 320x240, blown up to 720x560, edited and layed off to camera at 480x360 and recaptured at 720x560 before being converted to 320x240 a
gain to be played out live... and it still looks great! No doubt I shall post here in a few days time when everything has gone horrendously wrong, but for the time being I am in awe.

Another point of interest:
My good friend and ML co-conspirator Feedle has released his debut album
Leave Now for Adventure on a nify little online label called SVC records.

It costs £3 to download the album, but it is worth many more times that. I'm sure that most people who read this blog already know Feedle personally, but on the off-chance that a lone stranger surfing in the dark of night happens across it I must post a mention.

It's an awesome album and Feedle is rightly getting some fantastic reviews for it. I'm very happy to see that my tune of the year 2005, Song For Dogs, is already being hailed as the tune of the year 2006.

I'm seriously proud of him

Monday, February 20, 2006

Busier than a whores hands at midnight

They say the first casualty of war is truth, but the first casualty of productivity is correspondance... the tour starts this Friday so we are furiously beavering away at our respective workstations to have everything done in time. I write this from work where I am stuffing envelopes and serving coffee as opposed to making visuals and prepping venues... not that I don't understand the relationship between financial obligations and personal choices, but this really feels like a big ol' waste of my time.

Best get back to it before I'm busted.

Didn't get the projectionist job, by the way. Balls. That's another 6 months of breadline living then...


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Temporate Desires

This is me in Venice a few years ago.
This is where I want to be... not in Sheffield.
It's too cold. It's way too cold.

Just give me a place by the sea where I can work in peace, where the ladies wear bikinis and where tuxuedoed dolphins bring me breakfast. Is that too much to ask for?

Had a job interview this morning for a projectionist position. Wish me luck.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Nostalgia can be a dangerous thing... it can generate sentences like "those were the days" or skewer your memories into a warped, and usually more positive, version of events. It can make you long for a previously destructive relationship, or create an illusion of friendship in people that never really existed. This is all perfectly understandable; as we get older we realise more and more that the world is not black and white and is, in fact, infinitely more complex, chaotic and illogical than we are ever truly capable of understanding. With this knowledge we retreat within ourselves and hark back to a time when we weren't so aware of all the middle ground that life offers up. This time is usually childhood, or the latter parts of childhood and the beginning of conscious memory.

This is why Friends Reunited is doing such a roaring trade. Millions and millions of people, despondant at the notion of their futures, have turned to the past the hope it will remind them of a time when self-importance and self-indulgance were required character traits. It reconnects you with people with whom you have a built in bond, and thus the complexities of real interpersonal relationships can be glossed over momentarily.

That's me in the centre, second row from top.

I rejoined the site a couple of days ago during the dying flushes of being ill ('Winter Vomiting Disease' is what the Guardian called it) and have since enjoyed my time skirting through the lives of my former classmates and secretly measuring their success against mine. I'm not sure who is winning...
  • about half are married
  • just under half still live in Nottingham
  • 70% of males work in IT
  • 30% of females have children
  • 8 people have emigrated
  • 2 people have dropped out and are proud
  • 7 people have an unusual or cool job
Obviously we all have our own barometers of success, but I can't help that feel that the class of 1994 has somewhat let the side down in the 'drastic departure from what is expected' field. Caroline Hustings aside (Radio DJ in Bangkok - yes, go Caroline - second from left, third row from top), most people have posted something akin to what Tim Taylor (to my left, top row) wrote:

"After graduating from Uni, headed home to Nottingham. Where I worked in the textile industry working as an Account Manager. Have now left the tax office, and am back studying for a professional qualification whilst working for a firm of accountants in Nottm. Been in my house for 18 months now , and finally got round to do doing the garden!!"

Now Tim was a lovely guy, and I sincerely expect him to still be so, but that description has hardly left me salivating with a desperate urge to get back in touch with him. In fact, it has illustrated for me that Friends Reunited has inadvertedly worked against the forces of nostalgia by allowing us to forever wipe out those rose-tinted memories and replace them with the harsh fact that we're all grown up and, look, this is what we're doing now.

There is another option; lie. My friend Lord Bunn claims on his Friends Reunited page to be about to publish his third novel. If you're gonna do it, do it in style.

Mr Micklewhite, Science.

You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
- the Flaming Lips

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sick as an ill monkey

I am, indeed, sick as an ill monkey. It's horrible. Bathroom bound every two minutes. You don't need to know all the info, I've probably already told you too much.
At least I'm not the only one.

So, in lieu of any detailed descriptions of bowel health, or any complaints about general male sickness, or any sarcasm about the great British ability to always have the flu, I have decided to simply post the response of the French newspaper 'France Soir' to the ridiculous behaviour over these cartoons.

"It is necessary to crush once again the infamous thing, as Voltaire liked to say. This religious intolerance that accepts no mockery, no satire, no ridicule. We citizens of secular and democratic societies are summoned to condemn a dozen caricatures judged offensive to Islam. Summoned by who? By the Muslim Brotherhood, by Syria, the Islamic Jihad, the interior ministers of Arab countries, the Islamic Conferences - all paragons of tolerance, humanism and democracy.

So we must apologise to them because the freedom of expression they refuse, day after day, to each of their citizens, faithful or militant, is exercised in a society that is not subject to their iron rule. It's the world upside down. No, we will never apologise for being free to speak, to think and to believe.

Because these self-proclaimed doctors of law have made this a point of principle, we have to be firm. They can claim whatever they like but we have the right to caricature Muhammed, Jesus, buddha, Yahve and all forms of theism. It's called freedom of expression in a secular country...

For centuries the Catholic Church was little better than this fanaticism. But the French Revolution solved that, rendering to God that which came from him and to Caesar what was due to him."