Tuesday, November 28, 2006
sorry to any of you who've been checking in of late and finding no new posts...life's been messy in the way that means it's difficult to write in a public space...too difficult to edit out the specifics, or perhaps i've just been suppressing those feelings i've mined in the past so that i can speak of the universal without needing to reveal the particulars...
those who've been persistant like RD in dropping by will know this post started out last night as an untitled memo list of things i had in mind. after a busy enough day of lots of productive little bits n pieces, cleaned bathroom (followed by first use of the recently plumbed bath - bliss!), helped keli chop vegetables for tonight's tuesday dinner (groundnut stew), correspondance, laundry, and other sundry household chores, and well... the rest will be apparant as i go... i'm now ensconced in bennets for an hour to fill the blanks and perhaps join the dots... this'll no doubt be a long 'un...
across the line
last night i was at this... free in, some great music and topped off by two duets by duke special and iain archer, including 'the little drummer boy', which iain has recorded for this soon to be released charity download album. pete's solo set included a cover of 'i drove all night'. dee-lish-uss. it was also thoroughly entertaining to watch the gang of familair belfast gig photographers up the front vying for position with their long lenses and engage in running freud-meets-david attenborough commentary...
fun is also the word for the earlier part of the evening...as is full.
the 'gig' was preceded by ricky and i chumming each other on a grand tour of the christmas continental market in front of city hall - it's nice when you find yourself in the company of someone who understands the concept of 'i need to do a "once round" and see what my options are before i can decide', even though he was pretty much set on indian from the outset. patience is indeed a virtue. for a committed vegetarian, our richard took a surprising amount of vicarious salivation by encouraging me to consume the roasted hog bap - think spit-roasted pork piled into a bun with stuffing and a condiment of choice - i went for cranberry relish. my mouth waters at the memory. SO good. followed by a very tasty french vegitarian half baguette topped with mushrooms, peppers, red onion, lashings of garlic and what i think was possibly emmental, all served by a very cool french guy...followed by a classic sucre et citron crepe, also served by friendly french folks. this was all washed down with gluwein and a surprisingly decent mocha. i also sampled some amazing baklava and were it not for the fact i was stuffed to bursting, i would have had some spanish donuts called churros - which rather than being round with a hole are long and twisted. a return visit is definately required.
i am rereading for the timebeing. it's been a long while since i opened this and it's like reading it again for the first time. my perspectives on a lot of things have changed and so it feels a very fresh experience. thanks to the darks for a gift that keeps on giving.
will enthusiastically fill this blank, wednesday...
or, it's hard to read subtitles when you're peeking through your fingers. saw this on sunday night at qft. freaky. violent. arresting. beautiful. a fairy tale for adults. V.I.O.L.E.N.T. F.R.E.A.K.Y. i went to sleep with the fairy lights around my bedstead on... fear of mythic monsters is a delicious feeling all of its own. the trailer at the official site is for general audiences. it features a fine performace by "trailer voice over man!" and only hints in the merest way how very violent and freaky the film is... as i type i have the site open in another tab and the music is beautiful and haunting...
as a kind of creative pay-it-forward (see ted hughes entry) i passed on the following to a friend currently in song writing mode. together these items make the basis of a great tool for all forms of creative writing...for noting ideas, words or phrases that come to mind:
cork board, pins, flash cards, coloured pens.
my room is currently stuffed with piles of books and canvases but i'm gonna use what last remaining wall space there is to play with this method myself. this is the starting point for my next art piece, which i'll hopefully be submitting for an ikon exhibition in the waterfront hall in the new year. i'm not initially thinking this'll be a collage, but, as with those pieces, it'll start with words... i was inspired to see that tom waits notes down titles he comes up with for songs he's yet to write...
this week's homework is to go back to the drawing board and depict my emotions, which as noted above have not been particularly bright of late. i say this as much as anything as a reminder to myself that i need to get it done. i've been putting it off...
i'm acting in one-off performance for a small audience in the cafe for a friend doing a mediaeval literature module for their english degree. as part of her assessment, chloe chose to put on a play rather than write an essay. so, in front of her tutors, 5 women including me are telling the stories of incarnation, jesus' relationship with women, crucifixion and resurrection in a subversive version of the mediaeval style... i feel quite distanced from the narratives in some senses but the symbology is fun to play with and i quite like the parts i have...but all this means i have to learn lines, songs, choreographed movement around the stage, and the haka. all in 2 weeks.
thinking a lot about france. and namely, would i like to live there for a while? this is one of the many questions currently rolling around in my head. if the self-inquiry has a theme, it is, what's gonna be a life that will potentially bring me happiness and fulfilment..?
i worked in the shop with jayne on saturday. it's been a very long while since i worked in a store. agatha & bibi in newtonards is owned by the lovely emma and she sells beautiful womens and childrens clothing and accessories and children's gifts. it's a really nice store. and i had fun. and was reminded that when you work for nice people it makes all the difference in the world. i'm back there in a couple of weeks to fill in again and i am looking forward to it. oh, and i brought home a rather funky charlie & lola advent calendar. i may have wandered off the faith path this past year but i shall still be celebrating advent and using the time to consider what i want Christmas to mean to me this year.
cat and mouse
hmmm. been thinking about... this'll have to wait too...
received an unexpected gift on sunday. a cd of ted hughes reading 'crow' and other poems. i look forward to my first listen on the train to dublin tomorrow.
so, after a rehearsal at the cafe i'm off to see me Pa for 24 hours.
hope this finds you well
Monday, November 20, 2006
1. take the ridiculously well toned muscles of several body builders and plant them all on one body of a not bad looking bloke (but not so much he'll be called a 'pretty boy', mind!)
2. add lashings of pointless violence. lots of running. jumping. make your hero slip once or twice early on so the lads think he's one of their mates. but cooler.
3. throw in more machismo that you can shake a stick at, oh and on the subject of sticks: silencers on most of the guns, even when not needed. very long silencers. lots of them. together they spell out the word P.E.N.I.S. (or was that my imagination?).
4. add some hardly-at-all-veiled homoerotic sadomasochistic torture.
5. mix leading man with a "complicated" (read: intelligent) woman, who might as well have shagged James (to be said breathily) from the get go given she was gonna give in all along, but who instead waits til he's down to his last shred of masculinity, see previous ingredient, and then succumbs.
6. blend in blatant product placement. and some rather cool cars. act kind of like silencers when revved hard.
7. oh, a cherry for the top in the shape of dame judi to save the whole shebang as the stern-but-caring-matriarch who orders her boy to kill whilst being worried he's "putting up walls", doing it all wonderfully as only she can. bravo.
i prefer my men a little more lithe and bohemian and little less psychotically violent thank you very much. they've tried to make 007 a little more "new man" these past few years, but quite frankly the only difference is he only actually shags one woman and she plays harder to get than her predecessors. and to compensate, it's more violent than the old skool. i tried to disengage my brain. that was easy since some of the dialogue definately suggested the writers thought the audience were a few cans short of a six pack. it was plot-line-by-numbers.
but i did my best. this was after all entertainment. and so i allowed myself to be entertained. and i laughed. although curiously not when the blokes all laughed and sometimes on my own. i think maybe we were getting different jokes or something.
to be frank, and in short, it was kind of like sitting in the cinema with a couple of hundred men laughing as they all spanked the monkey together.
or, in other words, entertaining in its sheer ridiculousness. and if it's lads getting entertained with some mindless testosterone fueled cinematic action rather than actually killing other blokes on the street, who am i to complain?
casino royale. in your local multiplex now.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
keli and i have spent a lovely couple of hours on the belmont road having coffee and a light lunch while spicing up her CV and talking about plans, hopes and lessons learned this past year. tears wept for recognising one's worth and how one deserves to be treated, were accompanied by feeling gratitudinal for being loved and encouraged, for so much learned and the surprise of sailing through the past couple of weeks and conquering fears often without even really noticing them in the conquering. leaping and nets appearing, fears disappearing.
the next few weeks will need bravery to let go of the place i once called home and yet i am looking forward to putting plans into action and journeys ahead and getting back into writing, which i've missed a lot these past couple of weeks. can't wait to start processing the new things witnessed.
the tatt is now in major peel mode but doing well. but it's a little sad to say goodbye to the technicolour vibrancy of the top layer. more delicate shades lie beneath.
tonight i'm back at the tuesday table and mark and i being there together for the first time.
right, i have james alison article to read for tonight, keli and i are going to sort some paperwork for her visa renewal and my well, life, while getting into spooks season 2 and then there's dessert to be made for tonight.
so, after a thoroughly lazy monday, tuesday has been productive so far.
here's to whatever comes next...
thoughts on the past couple of weeks and no doubt a return to the '...s' will follow as the fingers get back into the zone.
i heard and sang along to this on the radio this morning as i washed plates and laundered, randy newman's lovely theme to accompany the little piglet that could,
A kind and steady heart can make a grey sky blue,
And a task that seems impossible, is quite possible for you.
A kind and steady heart, is sure to see you through.
It may not seem like very much right now,
It'll do, it'll do.
When you find yourself in the middle of a storm,
And you're tired and cold and wet,
And you're looking for a place that's cozy and warm,
You'll make it; you can never forget!
A kind and steady heart, can conquer doubt and fear.
A little courage goes a long, long way,
Gets you a little bit farther down the road each day,
And before you know it, you'll hear someone say,
"That'll do, Babe, that'll do."
A kind and steady heart, is sure to see you through.
A little courage goes a long, long way,
Gets you a little bit farther down the road each day,
And before you know it, you'll hear someone say,
"That'll do, that'll do, that'll do, Babe, that'll do."
::your joy is your sorrow unmasked::
Saturday, November 11, 2006
in bed. tired but so used to being up til at least half two in the morning these past ocuple of weeks i 'm finding it hard to get into sleep mode, plus my mind is racing with things i need to do first thing.
oh, and there's the minor matter of not being able to sleep on my usual side in case the tatt should stick to the sheets...
so, i have a cup of tea in hand, and i've just had a maple pecan twist, thank you stu!, and i'm reclining on a freshly made bed in my tidy room, everything's unpacked, i've done 2 loads of laundry, and a third is in the machine as i type, and my stuff for the last weekend leg of the tour is waiting to be packed in the morning.
for my own ref:
pack bag (need change clothes for last night aftershow)
jeff - contact p.
jayne - contact d.
email stock sheets - check queries
ben - text
text jim re: surf m.
sort out rtn
sometimes a blog is like a to do list.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
very weird to be back stage in a venue i've been in so many times in my youth.
concession tonight which means i get paid for someone else to do my job. nice. just need to make sure i stay the right side of sober as i need to count the takings at the end of the night and sign my name.
but for once i've been for a sit down meal with the band before the gig, which was a pleasant treat to have hot food and company on a work night.
in a few hours we'll arrive in belfast and when i wake i'll be a short hop from home. i'll be able to make my first coffee in the commune, unless i take the band and crew for an ulster fry. very excited to be going home.
tomorrow (fri) i'll be getting a tattoo. and saturday i'll be dropping by the cafe to get a special from ben, who rang while i was in galway for chat.
and best of all i'll get to fall into familiar embraces and hear the voices that let me know i'm home.
it's been an absolute trip, and i'd be up for doing this all again now i have a taste for it, but
colour me really excited to be getting 24 hours of 'the nest' before the final 2 gigs.
pete was doing a promo on the radio today and doing his desert island album. he chose tom wait's closing time. i've given my thoughts on that album here before.
but these are the waits' lyrics that spring to mind tonight as i feel the anticipation of returning...
San Diego Serenade
I never saw the morning 'til I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine 'til you turned out the light
I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody, until I needed a song.
I never saw the white line, 'til I was leaving you behind
I never knew I needed you 'til I was caught up in a bind
I never spoke 'I love you' 'til I cursed you in vain,
I never felt my heartstrings until I nearly went insane.
I never saw the east coast 'til I move to the west
I never saw the moonlight until it shone off your breast
I never saw your heart 'til someone tried to steal,
tried to steal it away
I never saw your tears until they rolled down your face.
we've got something very special going on in belfast. we really have. i've met so many new people, experienced many things for the first time and been taken right out of my comfort zone, but for all the rock star touring coolness, if i had to choose, there are those i know i'd choose to be with hands down everytime.
you've been missed. can't wait to see your smile...
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
all is good. well, except my wallet's gone missing - last seen in nottingham. so in essence if it doesn't appear i've been working for free for a week. oh well, it's been an incredible learning experience.
but such is a small inconvenience. there's been a second bereavement suffered amongst the crew and it makes everyone feel far from home.
and yet sadness as ever sits beside celebration. it's neil's birthday and he just got presented with a cake on stage, with candles and a fine rendition of happy birthday.
i'm recognising the inner fragility rising that comes from witnessing and empathising with grief and holding back tears and it feels like missing home and i'm really looking forward to reaching belfast on friday and finding myself in familiar embraces and their accompanying voices.
you are loved. and missed.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
"what it is it", the bassist asks, his voice shifting as he speaks, "about liverpool? as soon as you hear a scouse accent you have an uncontrollable desire to imitate it?" if there were a city with a reputation that lends one not desiring to piss off the locals, this is it.
so, greetings from liverpool. yesterday was an off day. the crew headed home, we (the crew) slept on the bus overnight on thursday in the car park of the roundhouse and left around 8. i woke somewhere on the M6. i drank my tea and read my first guardian in a week (wearing my friday reveiw section smile) while one of the back line crew watch the Poseiden remake at base thumping loud level. no amount of hints from fellow travellers led to it being turned down so coats were put up over the speakers to (excuse the pun) drown out the screams and explosions.
i spent yesterday afternoon at the Tate Liverpool where i saw some surprisingly inspiring new realsit artwork including a warhol and a klein. i am regretting not noting down the names of the other artists. i got to see the work of Perry, the guy who one the turner with his big it was a refreshing break to get some time to myself and after my first meal this week requiring a full set of cutlery, italian, accompanied by reading a fab book on contemprary art i purchased in the shop, i returned to my room and looked forward to watching the duke on jools holland. but alas i fell asleep before newsnight review had even started and awoke at 3am still fully dressed on top of my bed with the tv on. i clearly needed the rest. so, after a nice hot bath this morning and repacking my bags i am sitting in the lounge of the thistle hotel on wireless, wondering at what point the coffee bar is going to be opened, or rather, staffed.
i am surround by a sea of red and white scarfs and shirts, which tells me there's a football match on today. and i've deduced that even without coffee.
this is a very interesting experience, this touring lark. the other other woman on the bus is lucy the violinist and she has been commuting to the gigs this past week. claire, pete's tour manager, is on the other bus, so i am surrounded by men in their mid to late forties...
i find myself negotiating many a moment and am learning so much... as pete noted the other night, watching the roundhouse gig, being on a tour bus is rather like being on big brother. (but with less space and more drugs.)
got to see the lovely JJ at the roundhouse, which was a treat. saw paul weller too, who was very tanned.
right, time to head to liverpool academy. this is working day after all. i don;t need to really get working till after 4 so i'll head to the venue and then go find a proper cup of coffee. pronto.
hope this finds you all well, thanx for the messages posted here and texts. you keep me rooted.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
stu has emailed to say someone has attached a bootleg of the frames live in belfast to one of my collages, which came home yesterday and are now in my room.
to whoever the mystery person is, thank you!! i look forward to listening to it as i get my tattoo done on friday 10th. yay!
am feeling rather groggy after a disturbed night with nowhere near enough sleep. a rear tire shredded on the tour bus and cut an air line and we had to pull off the road at half four in the morning into serives somewhere near stanstead. i hadn't even gone to bed at this point 'cause the noise it had been making for an hour was like a pneumatic drill inside the bus when we were at full speed.
so in bed at 5am. hauled out of our bunks at half 8 and onto a second bus to get us to norwich while our one was repaired. i thought it was 9 but i think the "hauler out of bedder" was trying to make us feel less disgruntled by making us think it was slightly later than it was.
the second bus tore down the road and it was a far from smooth journey. so, no sleep. just sat and drank sloshing tea and the lads examined a map of britain i had bought yesterday to get better oriented and we traded quite interesting geography related facts and trivia which i would share if i could remember them...
right, i'm gonna go find some food and avoid napping while soundcheck is on.
tomorrow is a very big day. sold out gig at the roundhouse in london. so, be surprised if you hear from me before liverpool on saturday.
post script: london gig works on a concession basis, which means i won't be physically selling anything, the venue does.
this is a good thing. it will be a busy night. there is a bleary smile on my face. biggest night on my watch and i'll be doing less than on any other night. :0)
keli - i have decided that when the lights go out over europe is probably my favourite dc song in the set. the one with the spooky plinky plonk notes in it. sends shivers up my spine everytime.
right, now for tonight's count and i want to do it before duke's drum check starts. chips big bass drum is not conducive to accurate numerics in the head.