Friday, August 31, 2007

Fleas, guitar cases and Autumn; I bore for Britain

I bought a flight-case to take to North Carolina today. Being a fool, I bought one a size too small and will now have to take it back and exchange it. I phoned the shop, and they assumed I was calling them fools. But I reassured them it was I and not them who was a few suits short of a wardrobe.
When I got home, I went to buy some flea-killing tablets that you feed a cat. One of the members of my household was worried in case the tablets poisoned the cats as well as the fleas. Not in a pretty pink box with kittens on, I confidently replied. But then I thought, what a good disguise for poison! A pink box with kittens on it!
On the way to the pet shop I passed two African boys throwing crab-apples they'd picked up from the pavement at each other. 'Not while I'm walking past', I said. 'Sorry', they said. They stopped till I'd gone, and then I could hear the pelting each other furiously behind me.
Next, I saw a person who looked just like Mick Hucknall walking along with a budgie cage, looking very embarrassed. Do you think Mick Hucknall has a terrible nerdy secret? Perhaps he breeds budgies privately in a little semi in Barnet, watching them nut their little bells and gobble up seeds from a pressed seed-ring before haring off to play at Wembley to hordes of screaming middle aged ladies. Ha ha Mick! I know your secret! Give me a million pounds this instant or I will tell the News of the World!

What else? Well, I been playing my ukelele and fumbling a few chords on the piano. The new album, Polyhymnia, is nearly finished, just waiting for a little bit of sax from Paul, a little bit of guitar from Martin and perhaps a pinch of cello (Allan back again) to finish it off. Diana told me off for wanting to make a shapeless green jumper that looked like the nettle clothes for the cover photo. She says I've got to look glamorous so perhaps I'll ask Debbi if I can borrow one of her dresses. I want to find a perfect location to do the pics, but I'll have to listen to the music first to see where it tells me to go.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Toast

Had a catch-up yak with Dubulah yesterday. I was making toast at the time, and so, it transpires, was he. He had Marmite on his. I just had butter.

Today I went with a friend to the Duke of Uke to swap my mini-uke for a big 'un. Gina said it would be OK, and I'd been having trouble getting my sausages round the baby Uke. There was a uke she's signed up there on the wall!
It was tempting to go for an upgrade but I erred on the side of caution and parsimony, and got the same model only bigger.

I've just written a song on the piano, with my limited knowledge of chordery and stuff. I'll see how it sounds on the Rhodes down at Tom's, but may possibly record elsewhere, perhaps Goldtop in Camden if I can persuade them to give me a cheap morning, rock'n'roll dawn perhaps (that's about 11 a.m.)

Monday, August 27, 2007

I still haven't cleaned out the fish tank

I am too lazy.

Fallendowntree

Just come back from the Fallendowntree on Hadley Common where I had some photos done. I hope they have come out well; I wasn't in a smiley mood due to lack of sleep, but maybe grumpiness will be in this season.
I wrote to Leonie Cooper to thank her for the Guardian article and the tip about the Duke of Uke, and I told her about Gina getting me a mini-uke and the only song I've started writing on it sounds like a punk song. She said I should record it and put it on my Mspace, so I've started to finish it.
Ramble, ramble, if I keep on writing I won't have to clean out the fish tank. All that is left in there are three neon tetras and a fat orange fish that hides and only comes out at night when the lights are off. Bit of a cheek really, could have a hamster that does that and it would be cuddly to boot.
My cousin's gerbils got so bored thy ate their own feet.
Sometimes I am tempted to do the same thing, but recently I've begun to value my feet much more.

Ramble, ramble, I wondered whether to become a politician after I mobilised our neighbours in Camberwell because we all had rats coming up in our toilets. the local councillor didn't turn up when we all went round to his surgery and I wrote him a very cross letter. He then came round to each person's house individually, and said I should think about becoming a local councillor. I did think about it for a nanosecond, eventually ending up working at the Labour Party HQ in Walworth Road for a year. All sorts of people who seem like a pain in public are actually nice- I was too impatient to use the lift and often used to bump into Jack Straw springing up the stairs.
Once or twice I took visiting politicians from emerging democracies to the Houses of Parliament, which they found hilarious, particularly Black Rod and the House of Lords. I took some to the leadership election where Tony Blair got elected, and they told me he was going to be the next Prime Minister. They could see that. I saw the press photographers trying to goad him into raising a clenched fist as Neil Kinnock had done at (was it?) Live Aid, which all the papers printed as some sort of sign that he was a communist. I saw that Cherie Blair was very pretty. I have never seen a photo printed ever where she looks nice.
Ramble, ramble.
Ah, brambles!
I think I'll go blackberry picking!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Walking: a list


Through the Camden Market foodsmoke, past the East European accordion player under the damp bridge,and the sinister dark grey visiting barges.
London Zoo, and the monkeys'chatter.
Pedestrians and cyclists arguing about whether cycling is allowed.
Snatches of converstion from people moving at a different pace to me. Elderly people resting on benches in the sun.
Weeping willows, tree of trees, dipping their dreadlocks into the canal.
Gentle puffing and lapping as houseboats glide past, silent as cats, leaving chopping water in their wake.

Just me and the sun and childrens' shouts in the distance.

A cough. Hyper-real sound.

A man cycling in a top hat.
The lovely smell of green in the city.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Gullible's Trabbles

When I was a little girl, McDad used to take me and Big Bruv to the Hancock Museum in Newcastle.
There were lots of boats and mechanical things, but also a room full of stuffed animal heads poking out of the wall.
Imagine my excitement when McDad said "Let's go next door now and see the bodies; they are on the other side of the wall in the next room'.

********************* little stars to tell us that idea is finished and another one about to begin

I think I am coming to the conclusion that the best songwriters have the ability to recognise a crap song when they've written one and throw it away, pretending it never existed in the first place.
How I wish I had this ability myself.
I wonder if it's too late?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Studio

Allan Bradbury came to play cello on some of the new tracks, fighting through my incompetent attempt at writing dots to come up with some lovely playing.
Meanwhile, Tom's been seduced by Protools and its coat of many colours, abandoning grey and pink Logic, the bullfinch of programmes, for a computer screen that looks like a Marimekko print. I thought of making a t-shirt for each song on the new album, featuring the Protools screen with its primary-coloured soundwaves across the front.
Logic tracks always used to remind me of mountainous landscapes reflected in still lakes.
Twee, ain't I?
Tomorrow, guitars; Martin's Martin, and some megabackingvocals, even though I've been telling everyone I'm gonna keep it simple this time round!
Listening... to Nick Drake. Why have I never listened to him before? I play guitar a bit like him sometimes- it was so funny listening to his songs and understanding what he was doing and why he was doing it. He also writes weirder songs thatn me which is very comforting because he is famous. This means I can reinstate some of my more peculiar songs without being worried that they sound silly.
You know, when I was a teenager in the Northeast, Southerners seemed very mysterious and clever, as romantically different from us as those Motowners across the pond, or even the Staxers or the FamilyStoners.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ouch

I had surgery upon my eyelid yesterday, and will spare you the details. Suffice to say that I have to prepare a blend of pink and blue eyeshadow to make the left eye match the right eye, as I am meeting up with Caroline Coon today to give her her copy of the Lost Women of Rock Music. I am so looking forward to seeing her, as she is huge fun and I haven't seen her since the party.
The University of the East have said they want to do a launch too, which is great news. This is going to be a boat with more launches than anything else I think; different flavours, different locations, different crews.
Nothing else to report today, apart from the fact that I am the only person in the house that allows the cats to sit on me; having been a ghastly squatter years ago, I'm completely immune to flea bites and can watch the blighters hop on and then off me in frustration because I am not a tasty morsel at all, I'm a bitter old hag that tastes of grapefruit and vinegar.
I have been offered lots of gigs in the autumn and I am inclined to say yes to them all as they are all over the place and they sound like fun. I also think at some point I will have finished the next album and will be able to take that along with me. But just playing live is such a blast, I do really like it; it's like having a blood transfusion, all the miserable watery grey blood replaced by happy red corpsuckles full of oxygen and birthday presents.
Or something like that.
I think I probably got up too early this morning.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bells and Moss

BINGBANGBONGBUNGDINGDANGDONGDUNG!
BINGBANGBONGBUNGDINGDANGDONGDUNG!
Yes, it's the Barnet campanologists ringing dem bells again!
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, said McMum, so I learned the bellringers craft in Wylam Parish Church, ringing the little bell (still a big bell) every Monday night with Stella Jackson and Simon Brough, my friends, and Australian man with a goatee who taught us what to do, and some older people who I've forgotten because I was young and silly and when you're young and silly, older people are invisible.
BINGBANGBONGBUNGDINGDANGDONGDUNG!
At the weekend, it was the chants from the Barnet ground floating up; the footy season has started again and for a little ground, those Barnet fans sure as heck make a noise. I'm gonna go to a match again soon; it's fun there 'cos you can see everything and they still have terraces.
The sounds of (human) nature!

About moss... well, perhaps the nettle garments that Eliza made for the thirteen swan princes... I'm going to get some dark green mohair and knit a big green sweater for winter. Maybe I will wear it for the cover photo of the next CD, a nice frumpy look, or maybe in my best dress halfway up a tree.

What plans this week, McCookerybook? Well, meeting Caroline tomorrow to give her her book (I bet I forget to take it!), recording cello parts on Wednesday and guitar parts on Thursday, may go to see Shimmy Rivers and Canal on Wednesday (they are good, they remind me of Blurt)
What me been listening to? well, High 7 Moon 5 by Martin Stephenson, which is really, really good (in spite of the fact that I sing on it) and made the chores a whole lot more bearable today (still clearing up after rats),and also the CD by Wet Dog which is packed full of energy and catchy songs. They have a Myspace, check them out, they're great. Perhaps a good band for Offline, Mike!
What have I been eating? Strawberries, of course, little red cheerful things!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Green Man Festival, Friday














This is a great festival- what a good atmosphere, not too many people, really easy to find your way around, not too muddy even though it was raining, and fantastic food.
Mufti ( of 'Swan' fame) and Sara were there, all cheerful; they had baggsed a space in front of the stage with their huge brolly. Mufti was having a snooze under it, but I bumped into Sara at the coffee tent. I'm definitely going again next year. I want to sit at that big bonfire and sing at midnight.
Joanna Newsom was playing on the main stage at the end, but I was running around on the grass- so great to be out in the wilds of Wales!- and wasn't paying attention, although I do like her stuff.
My car is full of grass off my feet, which I find a blissfully attractive customisation. I'm keeping it there.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Chilly night in Camden; nice warm gig

It was Folk in Cellar last night, such a lovely place to play.
This time, instead of being singer-songwriters playing to singer-songwriters with guitar cases all over tha tables, it was pretty packed, and a rough-and-tumble of performers. Still loads of guitar cases, but the audience outnumbered the acts (just).
As usual it was a mixture of folk, folk-tinged songwriting, and young whippersnappers plying their trade. I did a short set with Martin, including the Airship Song which is off his new CD, High 7 Moon 5. Stephen from What's Cookin' came along with bagfuls of CDs for him, hot off the press; Jim got up and played fiddle for a couple of songs. Martin accompanied me on Heaven Avenue; we played Loverman. Then out of the back of the pub we all went to yak; it backs on the the Regent's Canal. It was cold, but very amicable. My Champagne Friend came along, Rowen came, Peter Knight on his trusty bicycle, McSis and Paul, and assorted Hairy Country Music Types in assorted Neo-Country Hats. High 7 Moon 5 has had a very good review in some magazine or other (I can't remember what it's called!)
I'm up early this morning as the Ratso Men are coming. One of the cats tells me there's another dead rat in the cupboard but she may be wrong. I do hope so.
Then down to Merthyr Tydfil this afternoon to play a couple of songs at the Green Man in a tent; Hey-ho!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hot off the Press

I've just come back from recording at Tom's, re-recording and adding some BVs to 'It Was a Bad Day'.
I've put it up on Myspace. I'm still gonna do a bit more to it but it's changed dramatically.
Also, I'm playing at the Constitution pub in St Pancras Way tomorrow evening. Martin Stephenson's playing too.
It is free to get in.
I've just eaten 3 walnut whips for a late lunch and am now suffering from sugar fatigue, which is infinitely preferable to rat-fatigue, or ratigue as I believe it's known.
Also also, my hair is getting long and my head is hot as a result.
I can't decide whether to lop it all off, or whether to put up with it until winter, when its benefits will be apparent.
The troubles we middle-aged suburban housewives have to put up with.
Urgh.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wet Dog


That support band was called Wet Dog- here's a photo of them. Their guitarist was very good, and they did lots of short punchy songs that had great riffs. I think I'd go and see them again because they had a bit of bite to them.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ari at the Spitz

Ari phoned yesterday to say that she was on at the Spitz, which was great cos I missed Thursday's show and I like the Spitz too. When I got there, first person I saw was Nadya, who I haven't seen for a long time; Tessa was there as well, and one of Ari's twin sons, Tessa's daughter, and Holly who sings with the Slits. I liked the support band (I'm gonna have to alter this posting later to talk about them because I can't remember their name and I thought they were good)
I wasn't sure what I'd think of Ari on her own- the Slits are so good. Her band was a bunch of big New-York-bear types with a titchy little ginger-bearded drummer who I was watching a lot- he was very good in that percussive way.
As always, Ari was fab- she has got such a good on-stage personality and led the audience in a lot of singalong stuff- merry word like 'Herpes", she's like a perverse pantomime personality, a real good wicked witch with a strong singing voice instead of a cackle, and a heart of gold under all that warrior garb. It must have been weird for the Slits who were there to hear their lovingly-crafted songs played so carefully by session musicians- all those spontaneous time-changes rehearsed to a tee- but it did show what bloody good songs they are and Tessa seemed magnanimous about it, dancing along to someone else playing her basslines.
It was a good night, just because you can trust Ari to be a great entertainer at all times; she is a combination of a great entertainer and a person with a strong passion to oppose violence, which comes across in a lot of the newer songs she's written. She's just moved her younger son out of Jamaica, away from a lot of their relatives, 'cos her brother in law got shot a few weeks ago. That's how she lost the father of her twins. Her life has not been a joke.
I came away inspired, realising what a lot I still have to learn about life and being a performer.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Health

I was writing songs in the middle of the night and had to stop; there was a Billy-Joel-type singer songwriter warbling away in someone's garden at an outdoor party. So I stopped to listen. It was nice, actually.
I got up very early this morning and started pulling up weeds. Three buckets, and I would estimate another 50 to go.
So I stopped, and now I'm going to take Blogger for a walk. He has been slobbering a lot in the hot weather and it's quite cool today, cool enough for a good run on Hampstead Heath, I think.
Before we go, a good swig of Marks and Expensive's fruit juice.
Weeding, walking... withmatic?
You never know, I might end up becoming quite healthy.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Where is her second album?

Ah, Lily Allen, where is her second album?
I could help, you know- I am a melodysmith and rhythmsmith; she is a wordsmith.
I could cultivate those song seeds until they became fully fledged music, ready to take off and fly.
I could
I could
I could
She only has to ask!

Own Trumpetblowing


Yesterday I met up with Ruth Gibson, a friend I haven't seen for almost ten years. She used to be a choreographer, and created the best dance moment I have ever seen when she appeared in a full size horse costume, front part, with the back legs trailing behind like a strange sort of wedding dress train. It was a beautiful costume and a poignantly funny moment, because the worst thing a dancer can do is not move, and she was completely restricted by the horse.
We met in a caff in Spitalfields, talked ourselves insensible and then she took me to the new Rough Trade, which amazing- the exact opposite of the old one off Portobello Road (which I still really like), but well worth a visit, for its hugeness and spaciousness. We were looking for my CD and I was sure it souldn't be there- I don't know what sort of music I am anyway; all I know is that I'm not heavy metal. I was happily embarrassed not to be on the shelves and then discovered this- so I had to take a nerdy phonephoto, didn't I?
Ruth makes Gameboy Computer Art now with Bruno and I'll post the details of her site when I am sitting next to my bag (I'm on the floor in the front room with the fleas at the moment)
I got the new copy of Nude magazine today- it's like a child's comic for adults, a funky Look and Learn that leans more towards the Dan Dare and less towards the 50 Facts About The British Monarchy You Didn't Know scenario.
See you later.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Pestilence, etcetera

I didn't go out last night, because I pulled open the kitchen drawer and found a rat's nest on top of the tea-towels. The hysteria over the fleas had only just subsided.
It was all too much.

In my musings of the wee small hours, it occurred to me that perhaps the Almighty was taken by my fretting that this blog was becoming boring, and the blights and pestilence have been sent to pep up the dreary scribblings and add a bit o' flava.

Well, OK, Almighty, I get the point. Could we just get back to gigs and recording and small observations about public transport?

I spent the not-going-out-time listening through the stuff I'd recorded on the go on my mobile, and throwing away the crap ideas. There is one beginning of a song that I really liked and I might work on that when the men from Rentokil have gone.

I have also had an idea.
I would like a huge choir to sing on my holly'n'ivy Christmas song and anybody who reads this is welcome to join it. I will probably record the song in September, and if you'd like to sing on it, send me an email and I will do my best to organise you. I will buy you a lolly for doing it. You don't have to be a singer, just up for a laugh, and I will send you instructions nearer the time.
helen_mccookerybook@yahoo.co.uk
Go on, be brave!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Drilling for swans in Northumbria

I thought they were- there were all these swans at the mouth of the river Coquet, and a big yellow drilling thing next to the river with lots of white things that looked like swans but turned out to be big white plastic bags.
Where was I? Oh yes, the gig at Foakies. What a great little club it is- tiny, in a cellar, holds about 30 people and run by a really friendly man called Tom Fairnie, who books poets as well as songwriters, he said, so that the audience listen to the lyrics of the songs. It's true- it works! It was full, the first gig I have done for thousands of years where they were actually turning people away (remind me to play tiny venues all the time in future!); Neil Cooper, the journalist from the Herald came along, and the audience was friendly and they really listened to the songs (most unlike the last place I played, Viva Viva, which I might review as a venue when my blood has stopped boiling!). I was chuffed to bits because some people travelled a long way to get there.
I also sold some CDs which is great 'cos the recording fund is running a little low.
Foakies has a Myspace- check it out if you live in Edinburgh and want a real live music experience!
What else?
Ha ha- I did a live interview about the book for an Irish radio station yesterday which was almost a disaster- I was on the Northumbrian coast at Cullernose Point and there was no signal, until I hit upon the idea of standing on a farm gate. Just as the interview time got close, Mrs Middleclass and her two posh children rolled up on their bikes for a picnic. 'TAKING THINGS FROM MUMMY"S BAG ISN"T THE SAME AS SHOPLIFTING, DARLING', bellowed mummy, as she rustled, panted, crashed and fumbled. They went off somewhere else, I sighed with relief, then what should come along but an EU-funded green megatractor. I had to hop off the gate, it drove into the field, and two huge wings folded down at the far end of the field and it started to spray the barley. It was getting closer... I climbed back on to the gate, wove my legs amongst the aluminium bars, and waited for the phone to ring. They tried three times and I couldn't hear a bloody thing, and then finally they got through. I did the whole thing standing stretched up as tall as I could get wobbling on the gate, until finally they finished with a text from someone called Derek who asked what happened to all-girl group The Wombles. I suggested that he was probably the expert on that one, and the interview finished just as the crop sprayer hove into earshot.
And they say city life is stressful!

Just got home to Darn Sarf, and the house is hopping with fleas hungry for any blood at all, even a cup of tea if no blood is available. I am now poisoning the inhabitants of the house with insecticide, but anything's better than fleas.

Finally, Wearsthetrusers e-zine has a little interview http://blog.myspace.com/wearsthetrousers
I like them- they just do stuff to do with girls and women making music

Going to see Ari play tonight! (Camden Underworld, I think)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Heralds and Guardians

I went to the Andy Warhol exhibition in Edinburgh tody- it was fantastic. There were some lovely paintings he did for children of tacky tin toys, which I'd never seen before, and some beautiful drawings.
The Herald (a Scottish newspaper) did an article about the book and my music today, and I think the Guardian Woman's page will have something tomorrow.
I'm playing at Foakies in Infirmary Street tonight, with a sore throat (stress, you wouldn't believe my very private life at the moment)
And thank you Mike Slocombe for getting that pic to the Herald!
Heading to Newcastle tomorrow to drink my traditional litre of Tyne water.
If you believe that, you'll believe anything!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Lunch

Well, I'm away in Scotland visiting McMum and McDad. Came up via Blanchland, that lovely little Northumbrian village that used to be a monastery and that now boasts the fattest rabbits and the podgiest roses you've ever seen; and Druridge Bay, just soft fine sand as far as the eye can see. I remembered going on a trip there as a teenager when I went to Bellingham International Camp, and having disgusting mini pork pies for the third day running. I persuaded everyone to bury them deep in the sand. I expect they are fossilised by now.
McDad's computer is very slow, it's getting old, and that's why I haven't posted much.
Today, I'm goimg to a puppet show at the Netherbow, and some comedy thing later. I wanted to see the Trachtenberg Family but couldn't persuade anyone to come with me. Tomorrow evening, I'm playing at Foakies, which is in a pub called the Oaks on Infirmary Street in Edinburgh. It's unplugged, its three quid (I think) and there's a poet on too. See www.myspace.com/foakies for details.
Gotta go- taking the folks for lunch!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Kilburn and Fleas

Thank you for your comment, Knife and Fork.

I remember when I used to live in a bedsit by myself in Kilburn, lying there listening to John Peel one night. He suddenly went off on one, saying 'There's nobody listening, is there? I'm just here rambling away to myself, and there's nobody really out there at all'.
I burst out laughing, because that's exactly what I was feeling at the time- like a solitary person in a box with a bed and a sink and a chest of drawers, listening to the only other person who happened to be alive in the whole world.

Well, today I'm heading north to Edinburgh to visit McMum and McDad and eat as much fudge as I can cram into my gob.
It's a lovely sort of a day, shame to be in a car but I loaded up the iPod last night with everything from Johnny Cash and Wanda Jackson to the Shaggs and even the Klaxons. Wnndows open, my fave road the A1 (you see I am a nerd in every aspect of life), Little Chefs, fakelyricking every song, megaflask (Stanley, no less!) of coffee, stop off in beautiful Northumberland for the night,
wot a wizz!
And I'm playing in Edinburgh at Foakies on Tuesday to boot. It's a bit dull being there at Fringe-time if you're not doing a show so I am gonna enjoy that. I have been playing some old songs; I still have a cold but the fresh sea air of Edinburgh (tempered by a cartload of diesel exhaust fumes from those tourist buses) might put paid to that.
Got to take the cats to the boarding cattery first- the cats and their millions of fleas. I will keep quiet about the fleas just in case they charge extra for boarding those too.
Actually, if you read back through this blog you will find rather a good story about fleas and West Hampstead. Never let it be said that I am not a cross-referencer!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Yours

In the doctor's waiting room I read an old-people's magazine called Yours (or something).
It was so sweet- they had sheet music and lyrics printed in the middle- people write in requesting music they can't find, and they find it and print it for them to play.
Us young hipsters have Mojo with the free CDs, and our nans and grandads have Yours with the sheet music.
Bless.

Going to North Carolina

I'm going to North Carolina to play on a porch!
Here come the blues! Or the yellows, because it will be brilliant!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I was boring yesterday, but I am interesting today

It's been all go.
Rentokil have been round, and found that rats are coming in the cat-flap, helping themselves to cat food, running round the back of the fridge and storing it under the kitchen units to feast on at their leisure. Cheeky blighters! (the rats, not the men from Rentokil). They covered the kitchen floor with sticky things to make the rats feet stick if they ran out, but they didn't. One of the cats walked over it and didn't stick. Maybe it was specialist rat adhesive.
The men told me about rats helping themselves to bread rolls and storing them in a false ceiling in a KFC in Wood Green or somewhere, and others nicking bags of crisps from a bar and piling them up behind a wall for later.
Maybe we should be training them to do useful things for us, dress them in little nappies so they don't make a mess, and give them a little respect for their intelligence.
Maybe not.

Apart from that I've just send three tracks to the Mad Professor who has probably forgotten me by now and won't like them anyway, but I gotta try. And I've begun a new song which will probably be another rockabilly one. I'm going to the guitar shop in a minute to see if they have a Danelectro footpedal to put a bit o' reverb on my guitar. I can't afford one at the moment but I can afford to daydream about one, and that's what I'll do. I'm also gonna drop off a CD to the blokes who fix my guitars (and those of the Chet Atkins Society and Chas from Chas and Dave- or was Dave from Dave and Chas? Do you think they argue because Chas's name comes first? Did they do it alphabetically? How did they decide to be Chas and Dave and not Charles and David? Shall we form a tribute band singing posh London songs and call ourselves that? Am I boring? No! Am I bored? Yes!!!)

The CD by the Young Marble Giants turned up yesterday. It's perfect for a sunny day, acually. I saw them in Hammersmith years ago and thought they were fantastic. At the time I was still a bass player and I loved the Moxham brother's bass sound. Up there with Andy Warren's. What a band!