30 April 2005

It's a Miracle - I'm Well

Look, I don;t mean to go on about my miraculous recovery - suffice to say, I looked after myself. avoided bad things. and watched Dr Who. I am rejuvenated, and will be playing the gig tomorrrow afterall.
Now I must ask you all to do something. Please buy The Art Brut Single - Emily Kane next week. Put this band on Top of the Pops where they belong. We are presented with a golden opportunity to end boredom and improve the world. Art Brut are the bees knees. They arte also responsible for fixing this computer. Repay them and reward them. Art Brut, top of the Pops. Art Brut, top of the Pops.Art Brut, top of the Pops.Art Brut, top of the Pops.Art Brut, top of the Pops.Art Brut, top of the Pops.vArt Brut, top of the Pops.Art Brut, top of the Pops.vArt Brut, top of the Pops.Art Brut, top of the Pops....

28 April 2005

The Innocents Were Spared

They survived, they live. Yes, even though I did have rather a lot to drink last night, I dragged myself from my pit at the ungodly hour of nine o'clock, put on a suit - you have to look smart for these occasions, it's about giving an air of authority - and accompanied the beaming demons down the hill to the church hall.
There were quite a few parents there, although I was the only male. They made quite a big point of my being the only dad, as though, this was in some way more significant. Reinforcing archaic male stereotypes perhaps, but it made me feel good. I bet none of the mum's drank twice their body weight in Guinness, or smoked twenty billion fags and sustained their fragile constitutions with saveloy and chips, consumed on the late train.
I have a gig this weekend which I am very much regretting agreeing to. The weather looks promising, so a jaunt to the country side would have been far nicer. To frolic in a bluebell wood. Instead, I'll be getting mixed up in May day riots, roast dinners and no doubt stronger substances. I have been summoned to The Colony Room to give a saw recital - with the World Champion Spoons player - I kid you not, so mayday for me, may be just that - an appeal for emergency assistance.
Some of you might have seen my column in the NME this week. Reasonably amusing, but unlikely to propel me to the front lines of teen pop stardom. In fact, I think I'll write them an angry letter, demanding to know what they think they're playing at, devoting column inches to an old git like me? Really, it's an outrage. That space could have been given to Razorlight or The Brentford Nylons.
Oh well, hey ho. Got to nip out now. As the Ramones almost said once.

27 April 2005

Dowager's Hump

I'm dying. Or at least it feels that way. Aching bones, knotted muscles and the beginnings of a Dowager's Hump. Well perhaps the last malady is a slight exaggeration, but really, I am knackered. I think I might have over done things slightly at the weekend, and exhausted my fragile constitution.

The gig was a hoot - quite a riotous affair, butI could have left at a respectable time and been tucked up in bed before the witching hour...Could have, didn't. And there were witches, wizards, demons and goblins...and potions and powders. Now I am sneezing, coughing, and in a state of inertia, rare even by my standards. It's only my super human bravery that enables these pained fingers to dance acros the keyboard.
I should be resting, but alas, I am forced to seek my living in the fetid environment of work. I dont mean to moan, but really...this is no way to exist. I should have been out on the tiles tonight, doing something marginally less boring, but even this little cul-de-sac of temporary boredom relief has been snatched by the brutal iron fist of nursery school.

Tomorrow morning, I have been asked to accompany the junior demons to a drama and dancing workshop. My task is to see to it that they don't fall off the kerb into the path of articulated lorries or get taken by lions, then return them to nursery in one piece. Can you imagine what this would be like with a hangover? I can barely prevent myself from falling off the pavement at the best of times - I'm often overcome with an urge to dive into the road and finish things off anyway. Will I be required to act as a human shield, should one of Kilburn's famous drive-by shootings occur, or does the last in first out rule apply?
I really ought to withdraw Ava from this irresponsible school,an institution that would trust someboby like me with the roadsafety of their infants. It's almost scandalous. Don't they realise that I am a rock'n'roll legend, a degenerate artist and all round bad man? Bugger it, they don't.
Yo bitch - fetch my slippers.

23 April 2005

Tonight 8.30

As warned, chaos has ensued. I am now on at 8.30
Please ammend your lives accordingly.

22 April 2005

The Duke of Clarence

Tomorrow night's little shindig is taking place at the Duke of Clarence in Islington. I am scheduled to take the stage at 9.30. This of course is subject to change.
I've no idea where the bloody place is - well, I've an idea, but I haven't actually been there, so can't quite pinpoint it for you with military precision. Up the Essex Rd near the Balls Pond Rd is about as much as I can tell you. Ask a Babyshambles fan is my advice.
It's the venue for the many late night Pete Doherty no-shows, and the occasional one where he did.
Many of you reading this ( I say many more in hope than knowledge) will of course be members of London's ultra hip underground elite, and will know the Duke of Clarence better than your own parent's front parlour. For those of you who aren't, I'm sorry, but I can be of any more help. I've got to find the place myself, so if you see a middle age drunk, staggering up the Essex Rd with a guitar case under his arm, 'take me by the hand and lead me through the streeets of London'.
We'll get there in the end.

The Germ that Roared

They got me when I was in a good mood. I've won. I'm getting my royalties.
They've got my debt. It get's better. It's actually since 2001.Glorious is the small man in his tiny victory. They actually did have a sense of humour though. They thought it was almost as funny as I did. Almost.
I expect their stocks to crash at any moment. Probably cause Black Friday. I shall celebrate my new wealth with a bottle of ale. Then I'll invade Poland.

Taking on the Universe

Hello Rotten Retards from Hell - that's intended as a compliment by the way.
Here we are again with the weekend pending, and the next hour dragging by slower than a slug on smack. Not feeling quite so suicidal as last week. More of a homicidal feeling actually. I am filled with energy, and looking for someone to bite. My work colleagues are giving me a wide berth - they're well used to my sarcastic jibes - all well intended, but usually sounding way beyond the bounds of jovial office banter.
When our newest employee fell down the stairs, dropping a box of pencils, I bellowed at him that they'd come out of his wages. I thought it was hilarious, but of course I would.
I'm trying to get in touch with my old publishers, who refuse to believe my contract is at an end. I have the joy of informing them, that anything they have collected since 2003, is mine all mine, and can not be put against my monumental unrecouped debt. We're only talking a few hundred quid here - my royalties, not the debt - that's vast. Anyway, the mood I'm in should be very conducive to telephonic unpleasantries with legal affiars and royalty bods. These people arent known for their sense of humour, so to hear my joyful old hoot down the blower that they owe me money, not vice versa, should sound like a Victor Lewis Smith wind up.
I am by most peoples' opinion, required to be doing work at present. Luckily, I take a contrary view. All the journalists have buggered off. There's no one to call. They're all in the pub getting a headstart on the rest of London's quietly desperate workforce. By the time the insurance clerks order their first breezer of the evening, our music hacks will be barking like wild dogs and eating their own vomit...and eachothers'.
I of course have agreed to humiliate myself in public once again this weekend. I don't know why, I really don't. I should get councelling.
All I stand to gain is a round of applause if I'm lucky, a hangover, a nosebleed, marital disharmony, and the undying love and respect of people who will request a free copy of my record because, although it is undying love and respect, it won't quite stretch to financial consumation.
Come on Universal, I want to fight you now. Of course, they'll call when I've sunk back down into servile doom, then tell me to get stuffed.
Oh, the suicidal urges are coming back.
Time for a cigarette.

20 April 2005

The History Man

My thanks to the many thousands of you who turned up at my triumphant last minute homecoming gig. Without you, it wouldn't have been quite so special.
Well it was a good rehearsal at least. I had been intending to strum my guitar at home last night anyway, so it was a reasonably useful affair. Like Gloria Swanson..or somebody else, said "I'm still a huge star - it's just the audiences that are getting smaller" or words to that effect.
I'm afraid I over did it with the pre performance loosing juice, and have had a red wine hangover all day. As I might have mentioned before, I am coming to the conclusion that I might be allergic to red wine. That would explain all those headaches the morning after drinking several bottles of the stuff. Perhaps I can register as disabled.
I have been rather slack on the blog front of late - that's not because I haven't been doing less than usual, that would be impossible.
I omitted to report my recent adventure as a University lecturer...On music appreciation of all things. It was the first time I'd set foot in what used to be called North London Polytechnic, since witnessing the Mary Chain riot there in 1985. Oh isn't life ironic. Luckily, this time, I was not shoved to the ground by a copper and threatened with a night in the nick. I waffled on for an hour, made my excuses and left. In 1985, I was so overwhelmed by what I had just witnessed, that I headed straight over to the Dennis Nielsen murder house in Cranleigh Gardens and danced on the lawn. It was pouring with rain, and the recently excavated soil began to give way, leaving my friend and I sinking up to our knees, and absolutely bloody terrified.
So anyway, I am available for lectures now. I will wear a musty tweed jacket with leather patches, smoke a pipe, and attempt to seduce pretty female students, in return for favourable marking.

Tomorrow is my day of rest...even more rest, but I will endeavour to be productive at some stage.
I began my novel on Sunday evening. I've abandoned it again now, but it's brewing.
Very much enjoyed seeing my brand new dear friend Jeremy Paxman getting stuck in with the man who calls himself Blair. Personally, I think he should have hit him. That would have knocked the wind out of his sails. It's Howard on Friday night. Funny how they've saved that one until last. Should be bloody. Garlic at the ready.
Night Night.

19 April 2005

Directions for Germ Agents

The Luminaire
311 Kilburn High Road
Kilburn NW6 7JR

Tube: Kilburn [Jubilee] / Kilburn Park [Bakerloo]
Train: Silverlink [Brondesbury]
Bus: 16, 32, 189, 316


Kilburn. For One Night Only

Good Afternoon Germs,

Should you be in the Kilburn area this evening, you could do worse that come to The Luminaire club. I am performing at 9.25
A bit short notice, but that's life. It appears that the support band for somebody I've never heard of, has developped a severe case of the shits and have cancelled.
As it's about two minutes walk from my mansion, I have agreed to step in and save the day. I was intending to strum my guitar tonight anyway, so I might as well do it in a club with people and money.
I don't think it's very much to get in by the way.
Maybe I'll see you there, maybe I won't - but don't say you weren't warned.


15 April 2005

Something for the Weekend?

Twenty minutes to six o'clock on the dreariest Friday in living memory. For somebody who fell asleep at about 8.30 last night and woke at 8.00., I am feeling extremely fatigued. I expect I have a life threatening disease - that'll be it. I'm on my last legs, and buckling like a BSE heiffer.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not angling for sympathy - I embrace death - give it two thumbs up. Reap me baby...
A bit of a selfish attitude considering I have dependents, but as Joe Orton said, a father can't be expected to be around for ever - being there for the conception is about right'. Still I'm modern and decent. I wouldn't throw myself under a bus, that would be cheating. I might deliberately walk close to the pavement's edge, so the blame could be shared....possibly wearing my slipperiest shoes on an icy day.
How many other office workers across the land are contemplating suicide at this precise moment. Most of them I should think. And don't worry - all my legions of fans, admirers and lovers - the only thing I am killing is time. Twelve minutes now before I jump from my desk, remove my clothes, and run naked into the streets. This was intended metaphorically, but you never know, perhaps it won't be.

10 April 2005


I've stayed in London this weekend - not something I like to do. Even an hours drive down the M4 corridor to that Nirvana some know as Reading, feels like a holiday in Paradise, compared to Kilburn's relentless ugliness and whitenoise.
Of course, there were a few distractions to keep the pulse going. The Royal wedding was a blast - not literally, as I'd dared to hope, but it's always a joy to see the truly mental flag wavers, a symphony in pink nylon, who've been camping on the pavement for days, living on M and S rations. People wearing bi-focal spectacles and union jack top hats, making a spectacle of themselves, while marvelling at the spectacle....how can Rover go bust, when these people walk the earth?..perhaps the clue's in the walking.
Anyway, enough of the wedding. I'd like to speak about the other horse race of the day, the Grand National.
As a tribute to my dear departed father, I elected to enjoy the race in proper fashion.
As soon as wife and child had left the premises, I sprung up from my bed, changed into acceptable apparel, then hot-footed it out to Kilburn High Rd for a paper, some ciggies and several pints of black stuff in McGovern's bar.
McGoverns is a proper unspoilt, Old man's pub. Very Irish, all purple faces and pipe smoke. It has Four televisions so that even the visually and alcoholicly impaired will never miss the racing.

Having consulted my dear friend and racing guru, the poet Jock Scott, and studied the form, it seemed logical that only one horse could win this race. The fact that Hedgehunter happened to be favourite, meant that either a lot of people had spoken to Jock on the same matter, or it was actually in with a chance.
At ten to four, the bets were placed at Paddy Powers, then I returned to the pub.
To assuage my guilt somewhat, I placed small bets for the Mrs and Nipper - Forest Gunner - piloted by a lady, and L'Aventure - being the youngest horse ...very long odds, but a caravan holiday in Skegness if it romped home.
Watching the race was the nearest to a religious experience I've had all weekend - the burial of pope John Paul coming in a close second. ( if the selector's for Ava's C of E primary school are reading this, please ignore the above, or grant artistic license)
The pink faced boozers, now turning purple, frail old frames tottering on crutches, necking pints and chasers, roaring, guffawing and swearing. What an atmosphere.
Hedgehunter romped in by a mile, leaving me £40 to the good, even with my guinness expenditure.
Well thankyou Hedgehunter. You took Mr and Mrs Moore and their delightful child out for dinner. Your victory, circumvented any slight awkwardness about spending the afternoon in the boozer and bookies, and even earned me a lie-in today. Oh the delights of being a slack dad.
Keep up the good work.

06 April 2005

Dunhill, Purdy, Nutter and Bristols

Apologies for my earlier rant - fiscal matters were, as in most forms of unpleasantness - at the route of things. Anyway, my mood has lifted to dizzy heights, since discovering that I have been mentioned in the 'Slack Dad' column in today's Guardian. It's not the first time I've made it in to this particular charming little backwater, but it's delightful nontheless. It insinuates that I might be slightly lazy at times....perish the thought.

As if this wasn't enough to perk me up, I've been informed, by people who know these things, that 'Half Awake' is-to use record company vernacular 'shifting units'. How many would be unwise of me to divulge - not just for inland revenue reasons, but, because if you knew our actual pitiful subsistence scale of living, and how little it takes to make musicians smile and imagine their rainy days are at an end, you'd cry. Suffice to say, I haven't booked a test drive at the Mercedes showroom just yet. However, my dreams tonight, will be filled with champagne, Dunhill, Purdy, Tommy Nutter and Bristols - the four wheeled variety. I shall be out on the grouse moor, having floated myself north aboard the old zeppelin, and later performing obscene yet absolutely neccessary ancient rites with the maidens of the estate, then attending a service at the church, where the locals sing hymns of praise, thanks and joy to their benevolent Lord...I mean yours truly of course. Not the one who get's your kids into the good primary school.

Of course, some of these things may never happen. It is Lottery night though.

God's Own Devon

I'm back from my grand vacances feeling refreshed, mentally alert and ready to wrestle the bank manager to the floor.
Had a fantastic time in Devon - livin easy, organic and well lubricated. At one point, I even considered swimming in the sea. I waded in up to my knees but quickly realised that death would be almost instantaneous should I submerge any further. So much for literary types being hardy souls - give me a heated pool, a hot day and a good rub down with duck grease.
Followed the demise of the Pope with interest. I don't think I'm in the running for the vacancy, but these events are not without their solemn charm. I wonder if the funeral will be targetted by terrorists...er - I hope not of course - that would be dreadful.

Haven't managed to start on the novel yet, but with each new day, it must be getting closer - mustn't it?

So here we are then May 5th. I wish I was a bit more interested. It's their fault of course for not being more interesting/ being liars/warmongers/people you would not care to converse with in a public house...or any house for that matter. Well perhaps Charles Kennedy would get his round in. The old argument that not voting is actually a vote for the ones you don't want, no longer holds true. I don't want any of them. If only my Aesthetic Jihad Party had begun earlier and had enormous funding...and a battle bus. It is too late isn't it?

I would like to remind those of you who have yet to purchase my record, that it is available from this very site. Come on Tightwads, Scrooges and Penny Pinchers, what are you waiting for? I am not going to drop the price if that's what you're hoping...I even might raise it. And don't you look so smug, those of you who have already bought it. Buy it again and again. What about a gift for your friends. Don't you know that you have a potential heirloom?
I'm sorry for that rant, but I've just received a rather unpleasant bill from my accountant - he's having his arse gold plated or something.
Back to work now, back to work boy...

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