Monday, June 17, 2019

Next Gig: Servant Jazz Quarters, Dalston, Wednesday

I'll be playing first and will have copies of the album, badges and things. Here's the ticket link:
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/472560

New Album Out Today!

Out today! Big thanks to Ian Button, Karina Townsend, Gill Wood, Vic Godard, Ruth Tidmarsh, Dave Morgan, Anne Wood, Isobel Reddington and Jane North for their work on this.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

New! Limited Edition Badges and Patches

CD will be available on Monday!
https://helenmccookerybook.bandcamp.com/merch



Upcoming London Gigs: West, South, East (No North)

West
On Saturday evening I'll be playing a set of woman-centred songs with five other female artists to commemorate the Grenfell Tragedy at The Tabernacle in west London. the event starts at 7.30 and ends at 9.30. The other artists are The Grime Violinist, Desta Hailé, Kinetic Minds, Ishani and Judi's Rhythm on Jazz. Free






















South
On Sunday afternoon, I'll be playing the deep south, with Portia Winters, Lara Jones, and the Pandang Food Tigers at Linear Obsessional's regular gig in the Arts Café in Manor Park, five minutes from Hither Green station. The event runs from 4-6 p.m. This is an informal gig, with children welcome, and I'll be playing songs from my upcoming album Green, plus one or two quirky whatsits. Suggested donation £5























East
On Wednesday evening I'll be supporting Deerful and Robert Rotifer at The Servant Jazz Quarters in east London, just next to Dalston Kingsland overground station on the ginger line. I'll be playing songs from the new album and also will have copies for sale, plus badges and (shock horror) iron on patches. £6 in advance. This is a beautiful venue!


Portobello Radio Link to Saturday's Event

https://m.mixcloud.com/Portobello_Radio/portobello-radio-radio-show-ep-191-with-piers-thompson-greg-weir-wellbeing-special/?fbclid=IwAR3wFMghoFSmzzvZSoHbZf5hfnJY4AD4Uv1e_Q81kocy-jg2EO8AXNZNh1A

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The New Album, Green

The box of CDs arrived yesterday, and today I've spent most of the time uploading the tracks to Bandcamp. This takes a really long time because they are AIFFs and not mp3s.
There are more lyrics to write out and upload, and there are also some extra things to add (some merch) before I release it on Monday.
I so hope people like it! I don't know whether to be jealous of my own last album or not. Are these songs as good? I've been playing a few of them out live for about a year but some of them are brand new, and one is an old one resurrected from the past. Because some of them are politically relevant, I have been bursting to release them before now, but it's best to wait until I'm more calm and collected and Monday seems like a good day to release something new. Or maybe Sunday is? Or Saturday? Or Wednesday, when I take copies to the Servant Jazz Quarters?
What should I do?

The cover looks really good though, thanks to Offsprog One's design skills.

McWarhol


Monday, June 10, 2019

My Kinda Pop! Northwich

Kevin and Linda's gig are not just unmissable if you're a punter- they also are if you are one of the bands or artists who are invited to play on one of their charity bills.
This one was in aid of The Samaritans who probably saved my life a while ago.

The New York plane landed at 6.45 and Manchester was shockingly cold and rainy. I put on my hat and imagined that it covered my whole body- this was severely sartorially challenging weather.
Luckily the pub where I was staying allowed me to check in early and the room was warm enough to get two hours sleep (thank you The Hollybush!).

The Salty Dog was fizzing with anticipation and sold out. The BMX Bandits were stranded in Austria, but the show went on anyway, staring with Soda Fountain Rag, a Scandinavian four piece who played a great set of short, punchy songs fronted by a woman on drums and vocals. Fabulous! They were totally refreshing and completely woke me up which was bloody lucky, because I was on next.
It seem like sacrilege to play a Rickenbacker sitting down but I was practically hallucinating, which was rather nice, actually. I don't drink or do drugs so it was pleasant to feel high on tiredness.
My arms got shorter and longer, the guitar grew and shrank, the songs drowned me and then saved me, but in the time zone I was in (probably still the tempo and key of New York City) I had a really lovely and strangely synaesthetic time, almost tasting the songs as they came out of my mouth. I could see people that I knew out of all four corners of my eyes and all was well with the world.
The sound engineer was really excellent which was a massive help, and so was the friendly audience (even if half of them disappeared when I asked them to join in with the Bathing Pond song: What cowardly custards! Huge ruffty-tuffty punk blokes in black leather jackets are much braver!). Somehow, my fingers remembered what to do even after a week off.
Well well.
I saw part of Pete Dale's neat and sharp set (he of Milky Wimpshake) before the swaying got to me and I had to leave. What a pity- I had been looking forward to the rest of it! I played in Hull last year with Nervous Twitch and really enjoyed their songs, Jetstream Pony are brilliant, and so are The Popguns. With any luck I'll be able to do gigs with them all again some time, and I look forward to that.

Soda Fountain Rag; Linda, Julie Sunbather and partner, and Kevin; The Salty Dog from inside out (great venue with brilliant lights and sound); Pete Dale singing; door stop and feet (it's all in the detail); dressing room (ditto).






New York In A Nutshell

 Random photographs: a pigeon nicks the grain meant for the horse in Central Park; Christmas decorations still on patrol in Williamsburg; lovely bronze sculpture in the Subway; massively pervy-looking dog carrying backpack device on the Subway; sunset view across Central Park from the YMCA; school bus outside the YMCA; policewoman eating oysters in Chelsea Market; huge paper mâché Easter Egg in Chelsea Market; tiny enormous diver sculpture thing in Mexican Restaurant at Lincoln Centre; cinnamon rolls for breakfast; small checks + large checks = style.











Sleeping Trucks in Central Park

A starling was having a bath in a puddle just in front of these guys.

Not Going To see Bikini Kill

My finger hovered over the 'buy' button on Twickets. But I simply haven't got the energy; the gig is something I'll have to experience vicariously, and I'm looking forward to reading the reviews.
Lethargy is the downside of hyperactivity. All I am doing today is Sitting. The 'no sitting, no peanuts' sandwich board man at Oxford Circus would have a field day if he was still around!

A Week in New York

It's pouring down with rain and it's cold. There is time to reflect on last week before I leap back into work again...
Thanks to United Airlines food, I spent the first 24 hours either asleep or throwing up into the bin in my room at the YMCA. No sinks, no water vending machine. I hd to ferry cups of water back from the shared bathrooms, which at least weren't too busy this time. I was too sick even to go out to buy painkillers, but thankfully it passed and I was able to start exploring.

First proper day, I got the Subway to the Bronx but it was a desert of sadness like many other deprived parts of US cities. The flip side is always thus. I can see how it is beyond any politician's imagination to make any of this better, but making it worse? That's perverse.

I went back into town and spent the evening in Central Park watching the dog walkers, the birds and the joggers. Park life is universal, and somehow timeless. Change the century, change the location, change the clothes people wear; it's not surprising people find them to be peaceful places.
Central Park is such a huge and beautiful park and it smells heavenly after the rain, which most days happened before dawn.

On Tuesday I met Tom Greenwood for a coffee; we recorded two and a half albums and an EP together back in the day, as well as the Saturday Night With The London Set single last year. Tom's a remix and library music producer now, and also a Dad. He's a good pal and it was great to catch up with him and I'm looking forward to seeing him and his family when they move back to Yorkshire.

One of the things I have come to love about New York is it's wanderability. To my shame (perhaps) I haven't been in a single art gallery there. It's the streets that I love: hopping on the Subway and emerging at random places. That's what I did last year on the first visit and although I had much less time this year, it still felt like the best thing to do. I accidentally ended up at the High Line again and walked it for a while before the mid-day heat became overpowering, and I slipped down into the shady streets.

One day, I decided to go to Harlem to check out The Apollo Theatre, but didn't stay there long.
I walked past a group of men and one of them said 'I like that bitch!'.
That's a great way of getting rid of a bitch!
Next time I'll go there with someone else instead of on my own.

I went to Chelsea Market and bought some socks with Sumo Wresters on them.

My friend Jane Abernethy invited me to sit in on a meeting of women A&R people from both major and independent labels. It was fascinating, and a real privilege to be there; I loved the universal sigh at the '...but my friends say...' response to the artists mixes of songs! We had a good yak afterwards in an Italian restaurant and it was a great spontaneous meet-up. Next time too, please!

Thursday was the work day: a gathering at Fordham University of academics and journalists who have written articles on our favourite tracks. More about it all another time, but what a blast to sit around a table with the chap who started the Hanson fan club, amongst others! It was intense, fun, informative and oddly bonding. We all went out for dinner afterwards and shared rock'n'roll stories, political horror stories and a lot of bonhomie.

Friday, I went back to SoHo and wandered around watching the world go by. It felt too early to be going home but the My Kinda Pop! gig was the next day. Newark International Airport: ugh.
Lifts not working, travelators not working, toilets out of order. But at least there were some rogue sparrows darting about to relieve the tedium.

Both on the way there and on the way back, I sat next to in-plane chatterboxes. This was massively entertaining, but it meant I only got one hour's sleep one the way there, and one hour's sleep on the way back. I am now living proof that you can survive for days on stupidly tiny amounts of sleep, but I think it's sensible to avoid doing anything too important today. I have already made one slip-up, but Work will have to wait until tomorrow, when my soul has caught up with my body.

It's still somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, floating around happily on a burnished cloud.

Saturday, Etc.

This is on Saturday; it has been arranged to commemorate the Grenfell tragedy, and each act will be playing 20 minutes of gentle music to support the role of women in the aftermath of what happened. It is an honour to have been invited to support this night. Thank you Woinkpa X

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Friday, May 31, 2019

Painting, Barnet Museum

Good speech from Keith West, the painter, with a nice little bit of left-wingery subtly slipped in amongst the heraldic jiggery pokery.
Fab painting, too and I liked your explanation about all the imagery.


Manchester and New York

Tomorrow me and Gina are going to Manchester to show the Stories from the She-Punks film; we will each be playing a song afterwards too and the event will be hosted by John Robb, of The Membranes.
Here is the link- it's on early at 6 p.m. so you have plenty of time to go out to wherever you were going afterwards: https://homemcr.org/film/stories-from-she-punks/

On Sunday, I'm flying to New York for a few days. The author Simon Reynolds and the academic Asif Siddiqi have teamed up to put on a day's seminar, with a group of academics who were asked to choose our favourite tracks to write a chapter on, and we are being flown over there and accommodated too. What luxury!
I finally got the chapter draft on Oh Bondage! Up Yours finished yesterday. But everything about Poly's life makes me want to cry at the moment. Going through the terrible press cuttings: oh how vicious you were, you reviewers! So many of them are cosy Guardian-type writers now, yet they hounded that lovely young person like a pack of hunters with baying hounds until they destroyed her band, and almost destroyed her too. I truly believe that they felt she had to be punished for not being weak; they wanted to break her spirit. No wonder we all like her so much now!
That was 1970s society for you: 'Get up, shut up! Girl you have no rights!' (sung to the Bob Marley tune).

I've really enjoyed reading Zoe Howe and Celeste Bell's book on Poly (Celeste is her daughter) because it manages to celebrate her without leaving out the dark bits. at the book launch I was much taken by what Celeste said about Poly loving fluorescent colours as an antidote to all the darkness she saw all around her. Punk was all very well, turning everything inside out as it did, but the hidden insides of everything was horrible: all that violence, racism and deviation laid out on display alongside the dying embers of British industrialisation. No wonder we all though the end of the world was nigh.

Now I'm restless! Will I forget how to play guitar before next Saturday? I get off the return flight at 7 a.m. then play a set at this gig in Northwich in the afternoon. This has been year of mad doings, and this is probably the maddest. But look at the bands on the bill! I guess I start drinking coffee at 8 a.m. and then just power though it all. I can't bear to miss any of it!


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

More Lexington

A Good Life with a Bad Apple filmed by Tracey Holloway. There are videos of all of the bands up now- take a look because everyone was really on form!

Graft

There has been no time for the Oh Bondage! article today.
I have had to do University work.
There is no brain left in my head, just a small dried up lump rather like a mouse dropping.
Nothing on the to-do list has been to-done, and nothing will be today.
It's only just after half past two: how do you navigate the rest of a day with so little fuel left in the tank?
Probably by dancing to disco music, I think.
Let you know later!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Poly Immersion

This, by Zoe Street Howe and Celeste Bell, is a very good book.
Despite the fact that it's a Bank Holiday I have spent the entire day immersed in Poly, from the 1979 BBC Arena documentary Who Is Poly Styrene? through Zilla Ashworth's film She's a Punk Rocker to actually writing and tidying up the chapter on Oh Bondage! Up Yours that is taking me to the Lincoln Centre to present at Fordham University a week on Thursday. The chapter has to be uploaded on Friday and I keep thinking it's almost there and then finding more to tidy up. The event is a day of talks on people's favourite tracks from academics in the US and the UK; everyone has written a chapter, and the whole thing has been organised by Simon Reynolds and Asif Siddiqui. Gradually I can put reference books away and fold up photocopied NME articles. Unless I escape, it's looking likely that the summer's going to be spent responding to editors comments on various bits of writing that I've done.
That and writing disco songs, of course.

Some Pics from Last Night

Dressing room shot by Neil Palmer: Johny Brown, me, Simon Rivers and Tim Rippington. I reckon there must have been about 200 people there last night and we have raised a tidy sum for Hope Not Hate. All down to Tim's hard work, faith in humanity and determination. Hats off to you, sir! Other photo by Beth Arzy. Thanks for coming along! And it was so lovely that Kenji, Till, Caryne and Dave made the journey. And Gina and Mike, Shanne, My Champagne Friend and her husband, both Offsprogs, Little Bruv, Ruth, Dave and Ruth's cousin, Johnny Brittain, Lee and Tracey, Vic and Mandy, Tim, Peter and Tonje, in fact the entire London Set were there. Indeed there were a few more stars in attendance: Richard Strange and his family, who are big BOHJ fans , were there. And Spike. And, and, and....
It was great to meet John Henderson at last: three cheers for making the dash from Spain with the BOHJ records when the couriers failed to deliver them on time.
I know Lee recorded the gig and I think there will be more photographs. Every band had some real memorable moments- Neil shadow-fencing with his drum sticks with Dave Morgan in a drummers standoff during the Oldfield Youth Club's set (I love the B-side of their single); the wonderful Arrest! Charlie Tipper with their Velvet Underground sound with added spiralling electronics and trumpet, who stopped the song about putting up shelves (not being able to) and started it again at proto-punk speed. But the night belonged to the BOHJ. The sight of Johny running into Inge's films, and leaping on top of amplifiers, with the band roaring away was unforgettable- and the SONGS! It was just perfect, just the best night and I feel so glad to have been able to play as well. Big luv to the audience for being completely silent and listening while I was playing. I have never used this word before, but that was awesome. Thank you X

Tonight

What an absolutely fantastic gig. Amazing turnout, thank you friends and family for coming and to the audience who appreciated every band that played. Johny was completely brilliant, lots of encores. In fact everyone was. Great work on the sound, Sergei, and hats off to The Lexington for being perfect hosts.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Melancholia

It's funny how listening to music can trigger nostalgia to such a deep extent. I'm listening to Phoenix, a group whose music I first heard in Urban Outfitters (great music in there, and in New Look too).
Long time ago, and such a dreadful time in my life; but listening to music from another continent was a transcendent experience like a living dream or a self-administered drug, a powerful distraction and the trigger for a sense of hope.
I used to clutch at music to stop me from drowning, firstly music made by other artists and later, the songs that I wrote myself, that I didn't even realise where telling me things about my life that I was completely in denial of.
Almost everything in my life has been mapped by music, even the years of no-music when crying babies threw into relief the beauty of silence!
There is so much catching up to do, still; I missed most of the 1990s, and feel like I'm walking about with a radar helmet trying to detect what's going on all the time. And for the last three years, music has held me even more in its spell, pulling my entire soul into its world in a way that it used to when I went out dancing every night in my teenage years and twenties.
It's sound: it's adjustments in sound waves, pulses travelling through the air. Yet it's so much more than this... a relentless puzzle.
Maybe I've been doing too much reading. I am trying to shape the article on Oh Bondage! Up Yours, finding myself in s really different world to the reviewers back then who seem to absolutely detest music, relentlessly trying to slay it like St George killing the dragon.
Someone should have told them that the dragon always wins.

Songs from the Kitchen: Swifts

And of Course I Will Be Playing This Song.

https://helenmccookerybook.bandcamp.com/album/saturday-night-with-the-london-set


The Lexington, Sunday Night

Oldfield Youth Club! Arrest! Charlie Tipper! Me! The Band of Holy Joy!
All playing for Pop! Not Hate!
And of course I will be taking the song Saturday Night with The London Set home to where it was first dreamed up, at a gig at the Lexington on a Saturday night several moons ago.
So come on, all you puntaz, all you party animals with conscience buried somewhere in that hangover, all you bored-on-Sunday-nighters, you ruffty-tuffy leather jacketeers, you nerdy vinyl tooters, you shall-I/shan't-Is, and please some girl power (lots of men have bought tickets: please can I see some smiley female faces down the front, like in Newcastle?)
We will have records, CDs, badges, t-shirts and luv!

Here is the ticket link: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/459915

And here is the poster:


Friday, May 24, 2019

Politix

I despair. I feel powerless until I write a song that explains things to myself, as much as to anyone else.
This is a year of benefit gigs; it feels like the only way to do things at the moment (but of course, I vote, sign things and march too. And I'm a lecturer, so everything that I teach is informed by what I believe pitted against what other people believe that I don't believe in, for balance, you understand).

Big Hair

During the course of today, I have developed Big Hair.
I wonder if it will last till tomorrow?
I look like Bobby Gentry, except with my tired old tour face poking out from between the curtains.
I have poor eyesight, so of course this perception may be entirely wrong, and it may be the actual curtains that I can see in the mirror.
The illusion is extremely enjoyable, anyway.

Time

Yum yum! This delicious thing called time! I can wash the dishes (or not).
(who guessed that I would spend so much of it sleeping? Still in tour recovery mode, and gearing up for the next thing....)

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Monday, May 20, 2019

At the Bathing Pond

Just for a few days... here is a preview, because there's a TV documentary about the Hampstead Bathing Ponds on this evening.

The Day After

Every so often I have such a brilliant time that I forget all the convolutions and upsets that have happened in my life and feel like the luckiest person alive.
The Bristol musician Tim Rippington started up Pop! Not Hate several months ago and has put a massive amount of energy into organising gigs all over the place; there are different combinations of bands playing these gigs in different parts of England (there's even one coming up in Wales, but due to the size of Arrest! Charlie Tipper, not Scotland yet: finding places of seven people to sleep is not easy).
Johny Brown, the force behind The Band of Holy Joy, more or less donated his gig at The Star and Shadow in Newcastle, to Pop! Not Hate, and Saturday's gig had collection buckets which I gather were pretty full by the end of the evening.
The Oldfield Youth Club travelled up from London and so did I; the opening band was Hector Gannett, a group of predominantly guitarists who played slow and moving songs over hurdy-gurdy like sounds, accompanied by black and white archive footage of 1950s and 1960s shipbuilders, fish smokers and other dead industries that had previously thrived in the northeast. The show was a riveting storytelling experience that pulled you into the magical world of the past. The fact that we were experiencing this in a new co-op arts centre literally built by its users, underlined the survival of the human spirit against those who wish to control and destroy people's autonomy. It was an intense start to the evening but everyone was completely pulled in by the experience.
Next up were Oldfield Youth Club. They play tight, energetic and upbeat songs with a good deal of positive energy. It's great to see a female bass player up there (go Kim!!!) and they soon created  mood of celebration and a really good Saturday night vibe.
Bit difficult for a solo artists to follow that but big up the girls in the crowd- they came to the front and started dancing and made my job easy, Actually it was a real blast to have to rise to the challenge! We sang happy birthday to Margi who was waltzing with her mates down in the (dare I say it) mosh pit and it was REALLY GOOD FUN!
And of course the main attraction, Band of Holy Joy, were on fire. This was a homecoming gig for Johny, and you could feel the love in the room. There have been different versions of the band over the years: I went to some of their very early gigs, but always at the centre of it all is Johny and his vision: committed, spiritual, songs evolving out of deep emotional thought. Accompanied by Inge's visuals, this was a rowdy, boisterous, cathartic climax to the night with terrific songs. Johny is in fine voice and commands the room with authority: he holds the audience in the palm of his hands and they got two encores from their delighted fans.
It was just such a good night, it really was. It could not have been better. Huge thanks to the Star and Shadow for making us all dinner too; after the travelling, sitting and eating together, well that was lovely social experience.
And Pauline and Rob from Penetration came too!
The next day BOHJ picked me up from Newcastle Central Station and we drove to Leicester's The Musician. It couldn't have been more different, but oddly it was just as good. The sound at The Musician is as clear as a bell, and Andy, who drives the band around, made some recordings. This night was promoted by the musician Kevin Hewick, whose songs are acoustic and verging on the 'outsider' in their subject matter. One is about a racehorse with a skin condition that necessitated it wearing a cover at all times; this was hard to visualise. The horse could have been Jesus, Kevin said. They were good songs, with some very intricate guitar picking. Later, after my set, he came over and said to me 'You know all the secret chords!' I had felt the same about him, so that was rather flattering! I enjoyed the BOHJ's set even more on Sunday than I had the day before- I felt like I really knew the songs and I could work out how they fitted together (nerdy musician stuff) and the clarity of the sound made it like watching a CD come to life, or listening to a CD come to life, whichever and whatever.
Part of it all was the van bantz and listening to mellow songs on the radio on the way there and the way back. I had no idea I knew all the words to Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines! We listened to Doris Day, and Carol King's version of You've Got a Friend (another song I didn't realise I knew all the words to) which resonated with me very strongly, and all sort of other stuff.
I so appreciate all this, all this musical life, these people, and friendships from way back; three years ago, I felt like the most lonely and dejected person on the planet and I am hugely grateful to the people who helped me back then, and to the people that share their musical journey with each other. We are all so different from each other, but we share the desire to create and make social connections through that. What a lovely thing.
(I wonder whether I'll delete this post tomorrow on the grounds of post-tour emotional over-wroughtness!)

Doors open 7:00pm
Oldfield Youth Club 7:40pm - 8:10pm
Arrest! Charlie Tipper 8:25pm - 8:55pm
Helen McCookerybook 9:05pm - 9:35pm
Band of Holy Joy 9:50pm - 10:30pm
Get there early to appreciate all 4 great bands, donating their time to raise much needed funds to fight racism and hatred in the UK.

Photos

Oldfield Youth Club: Simon Rivers, Neil Palmer, Kim Rivers.
After gig.
The Band of Holy Joy sporting the 'Hawaii the Lads' look.
Hector Gannett.
Dinner with most of BOHJ in Leicester last night.





Saturday, May 18, 2019

Weekend's Gigs

Went to see Wreckless Eric last night; very good songs, great performance. Ian Button who has recently recorded my songs was playing bass/drums, and Amy Rigby got up and sang too. Life is hectic: no proper reviews at the minute- sorry!
Nice to see Gina and Mike, nice to see Robert; Pete Astor was in the distance. It was very full.
Tonight: Pop! Not Hate at the Star and Shadow, Newcastle with Oldfield Youth Club and Hector Gannett, all supporting the amazing Band of Holy Joy.
Tomorrow, Leicester Musicians with Band of Holy Joy.
Marking almost finished apart from stragglers; moderation halfway there.
Then the dreaded data inputting.
I am training up the squirrel in the back yard to do that.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Songs

At the beginning of the week, I started to listen to this year's student songs. At this point, I feel like the luckiest person alive. I would make a uselesss A&R person, because the best thing is always the imagination, the ideas. Add musicians who elevate those ideas with spirituality and emotion, and you have magic.
At times, I was moved to tears. It's all knitted in with the idea of clumps of people across the UK who seem to be determined to demonise young people, and trash their futures. The students I am lucky enough to encounter are from many different cultures. Yes, they clash, but not because of that: they clash because ideas make people fizz with energy, and that can happen in many different ways. It can make some people competitive, others anxious, some destructive, until they find their route and their role.
But that energy also creates beauty, emotional honesty, and a sense of communication that far overrides any other form.
The treasure they uncover is not always fully formed, but it always sparkles.
I can't tell you just how crap some parts of my life have been, but this bit of it is amazing.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Three Cheers....

.... for Andy Holdcroft, complete champion of all things musical in Leamington Spa and Coventry. Thank you for an excellent weekend, Andy: for suggesting The Tin, for arranging the screening in Leamington and for these great reviews of both events, which have been appreciated by one and all!
http://hotmusiclive.co.uk

Mad Bicycle Song


Filmed by June Whitfield at Andy Richardson's house concert in Hull on Saturday, where Graham Beck and Doodlebugnuggets also were also on the bill. Lovely night!

Doris Day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRPnNO2D3_g

I was always fascinated by her. And what a voice she had.

Friday, May 10, 2019

A Weekend of Gigs and Film

This week I marked more than 100, 000 words.
Next, 30-40 songs to give feedback on....
However, tonight it's the gig at The Tin in Coventry with the fabulous Sunbathers and Peter Hall; prepare for a night of songsmithery!
At 2 p.m. on Saturday I'll be at Temperance, Leamington Spa, showing the film Stories from the She-Punks and doing a Q and A; then in the evening I'll be in Hull with the hilarious Graham Beck and DJ Doodlebugnuggets.
Will I be tired on Sunday? You bet.
Oh yes-and Gina will be in Nottingham showing the film and singing some songs on Friday evening!
By, we're working this film!

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

External Procrastination

Is there such a thing as external procrastination?
I was so tired yesterday after work (which was hilarious, by the way: watching formerly dignified students crash, yell and cheat their way through a game of Racing Demon was one of the best moments of the year), but had a lovely conversation on the doorstep with a neighbour on the way home, who it transpires is also a musician.
I put my keys in my pocket instead of my bag, though, and went out this morning to pay the deposit for Friday's venue wearing a different coat.
Locked out.
It costs 90 quid to get a locksmith out, and a bent coat-hanger was no good, so I took the tube to Soho and met Offsprog Two to collect her key.
Thankfully, I am the world's greatest over-producer of endorphins.
The trip into town was handy because I needed to buy a hard drive for Saturday's screening in Leamington, and to get to the Apple shop I had to walk through the cinnamon bun shop.
You see what I mean?
I'm about three hours behind with the marking now.
Still though, I'm not concentrating.
I started writing a song about swallows, swifts and dodos last night and I can't resist playing it to see if I can finish it by next week.
And I'm trying to decide whether to go to see the Roberts Forster and Rotifer at the Union Chapel next week, but I think probably not because the state of my bank balance is rather woeful after buying a car a couple of weeks ago.
But (endorphins again!) that meant I could go to visit Ruth and do a bit of work on the video for A Good Life with a Bad Apple which was fun: ever sprayed fake graffiti on a railway arch, and then found the powder spray doesn't wash off like it's suppose to do?
Oh, I'm so sodding urban it hurts!
Or perhaps sub-urban (which probably has something in common with subhuman).

I'm walking and in hand with poltergeists at the moment who phone my friends from my bag, which probably means that I'm not as calm as I think I am.
The stress-dyslexia is flying full throttle so I guess I'll go out for a walk in the rain, and leave the next lot of marking until I can actually write.