Saturday, July 21, 2018

Mocked By An Offsprog, In My Minds' Eye

Ah, the new song is a soppy one, a hippy one.
I imagine Offsprog Two's perfect impression of me playing a song on my guitar, all sincerity and rolling eyes. You can't be a narcissist with daughters who take the p*ss so effectively.
Might have a go at a kitchen version tomorrow. I have a mouthful of stitches but somewhat miraculously, I can sing. It's a bit too dark out there to do it now.

Hidden Eggs at Process, Somerset House

Pick up the latest copy of Hidden Eggs at Somerset House today- an issue devoted to political gardening:

Friday, July 20, 2018

Vic Godard at the Somers Town Festival Last Saturday

Fleas4U by Paul Magrs

Paul Magrs is an artist and writer originally from the north-east and now located in the north-west of England. He posted this beautiful painting of Fleas4U sitting on the back fence, seeing off the sunflowers who are peering over the wall into the back yard. Fleas is a watch-dog, or rather, a watch-cat, and I will soon be training him to be my bodyguard.

Paul's blog can be found here:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Stay At Home

I have a few days of enforced staying-in after a minor operation has left me unable to speak or eat. In some ways this is horrible, but in other ways not. There is a total lack of pressure to do anything (I can't) and I stocked up on crime novels on the way back from the hospital yesterday.
Also, the day before a new song just popped up in all its imperfection and every so often I pick it up and change bits of the lyrics and think about how the chorus might go. It is about nature.
Porto is an inspiring place and probably the best bit (after the conference, that is), is the beautiful Crystal Palace Garden, up there on the hillside and bustling with greenery. Gardens are joyous places: Kew, Cluny in Perthshire, and Drummond Castle just outside Crieff.
And Gaudi's Garden in Barcelona; I wrote a song about that garden and I should probably post it online again after it was deleted a couple of years ago.
McDad was a keen gardener, and also competitive: he could never grow Ivy-Leafed Toadflax, which grows as a weed here in London, but he could grow Tropaeolum, which grows almost as a weed in Perthshire and which he finally persuaded to grow in the garden they had in Edinburgh. I tried it here but it's too hot and dry, and the slugs gobbled it up as soon as the shoots appeared. McDad thought that was very funny, until he remembered being unable to grow Ivy-Leafed Toadflax.
Almost the whole of Tuscany seems to be a garden: those tall, slim, dark green trees striping the landscape just as they did in ancient paintings.
The best gardens of all are British railway lines: ox-eye daisies, yellow toadflax, poppies, ragwort, rosebay willowherb: drifts of beautiful wild flowers colonising the oil-soaked iron and stone routeways. Sometimes, I daydream about making degradable paper darts and shooting little packets of wild flower seeds into desolate areas to plant more wildness in the industrial vacuums that humans create en route to destructive 'greatness'. My friend used to cycle round London throwing handfuls of seeds over the hoardings into bomb sites.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Saw this lot on Saturday at The Somers Town Festival, along with Vic Godard. Super hot afternoon, in every way.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Happy End: Singing Of The Socialist Motherland

Sarah Jane Morris in great voice, with a fantastic arrangement by the late Mat Fox. Boy, did I used to love this band! Mixture of skills, genders, ages and all that stuff; they were spectacular, completely spectacular! #my-past-belongs-to-me

The Hope and Anchor Last Night

The Loud Women organisation has a radio show, an e-zine and a thread of gigs throughout London that showcase female and female-fronted music. This was the first of their shows I had played (and I hope not the last); the variety was absolutely amazing.
The night kicked off with Carolyn Striho from Detroit; she had played keyboards for The Slits in the US and also sung with Patti Smith. Accompanied by her husband on guitar, she gave it all she got and roused the crowd into a proper Saturday night mood. Carolyn herself plays guitar and keyboards and has a big, big voice that filled the Hope and Anchor with positive energy.
Anna, the promoter, who fronts her own metal band, introduced the bands.
When I went on the crowd were incredibly positive and even the woman behind the bar sang along to The Sea. They seemed to really connect with my songs and despite having a crappy cold it felt really good to sing and play to such a greta bunch of people.
Concrete Bones were on next and it was heartwarming to see Maya singing in front of her band. I met Maya when she came to a song writing weekend at The Premises a few years ago and she has a gorgeous voice; now fronting this band, she looks perfectly at ease. Flanked by two women guitarists and with an excellent drummer too, there is no need for a bass player in this band. The last song, Concrete Bones, was really strong and I am looking forward to hearing their forthcoming EP.
Finally, Tokyo Taboo took to the stage; they are loud, extrovert and their singer Dolly Daggerz swished through the crowd and sang a song from a perch on the bar, never missing a note. Again, she has a big, big voice and is backed by a very well-rehearsed band of musicians; this seemed like a band ready to be signed and on the brink of success.
The atmosphere of the whole night was brilliant- the audience was completely up for everything and it reminded me a bit of those 1980s gigs in Scotland where people went for a good night out and made bloody sure they got one. The sound in the Hope and Anchor is crystal clear and the sound guy did a really good job.
And now, relax....


Bloke bought a CD, then won one in the raffle, which he gave to his friend.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Sing Along To This Tonight!

As played by Gideon Coe, one of our fundraising tracks for Stories from the She-Punks.

Choir: Stephen, Katy, Eva, Guy, Shanne, Terry, Karina, Karen, Denise, Jono (out of shot) and by email, the she-mails: Sot, Anne, Gina and Kirsten.
Drums: Zoe Street Howe, Bass: Jono Bell, Guitar and Vox: Helen McCookerybook, Trumpet: Andy Diagram, Recorded by Jono Bell, Mixed by Ruth Tidmarsh.

Playing at Hope and Anchor Tonight with Concrete Bones and Tokyo Taboo

I'm on first- 8.30. Really looking forward to hearing the other bands!