Big thanks again to everyone in Belfast for being so brilliant, and special mention to Michael our driver, for the guided tour; the 'Peace Wall' with a million signatures, and gates that close at 10 p.m. to divide the Catholics from the Protestants was a revelation, and we'll sign it next time when it's not dark and scary. Thank you for making us home-made sandwiches, Michael: they were very welcome at 4.45 a.m. in the morning on Monday as we waited for the early plane to Gatwick with a hundred silver-topped businessmen. Now that's a geezer! Michael had lots of interesting stories about horrid famous people (Shhh!)
Thank you to Joe, Sean and Maggie too, and to the audience for dressing up to the nines, asking brilliant questions and giving us a standing ovation. we had a great chat afterwards: things like The Clash letting down a whole venue load of people, because they were too scared to come to Belfast, and the replica bands that did extremely well playing other bands' repertoires, like The Belfast Beatles. I liked that idea, local people making a load of dosh for themselves out of the fear of the proper pop stars!
It was great to see the students again for the first day of term later on Monday, even through a mist of tiredness: they are all ready to write more songs. And the MA students did just that on Tuesday, with Badu from Senegal adding some thrilling improvised lyrics to his verse.
On Wednesday I went to Cambridge to record a session and interview with Dave Hammond for The Smelly Flowerpot show. Dave is a great interviewer and a total music fan, and it was a right larf to catch up with him again. The show is going to be broadcast on 28th January so I'll post a link when it's up there.
Yesterday Ian Ballard from the label Damaged Goods came to talk to the students at the University of the East, and the boy done good- his talk was entertaining and informative, and he also gave me a copy of the cover version of Oh Bondage Up Yours! on pink vinyl that Shadtax have just released (Billy Childish's son's band). I'm writing a chapter on the X Ray Spex track for an anthology of favourite songs, so it's great to have the cover to write about too.
And today I went to record a session with Ian Button, musical/engineer/producer extraordinaire, as recommended by Kenji. We got five tracks done, several of which are definitely good enough to go on the CD I'm going to release later in the year.
What me gonna do this weekend? Sleeeeeeeep!!!!!!!