Monday, 29 October 2012

The Disjointed Gantlet

dis·joint·ed
Adjective:
Lacking a coherent sequence or connection.
Synonyms:
incoherent - desultory - disconnected - rambling

gant·let
Noun:
The convergence of two parallel railway tracks in a narrow place; the inner rails cross and run parallel and then diverge so a train remains on its own tracks at all times.

A former military punishment in which the offender had to run between two rows of men who struck him with clubs, etc. as he passed.

A series of troubles or difficulties: in these senses, now spelled equally as "gauntlet".

According to The Book of Isaiah, there is "no rest for the wicked". It pains me to concur, for I am wicked and I constantly struggle to rest. The phrase was originally expressed as 'no peace for the wicked' and refers to the eternal torment of Hell that awaited sinners. Not surprisingly, it derives from the Bible - Isaiah 57. The expression was first printed in English in Miles Coverdale's Bible, 1535:
"But the wicked are like the raging sea, that ca not rest, whose water fometh with the myre & grauel."
"Eueso ye wicked haue no peace, saieth my God."

Right, so that's the vibe. Who needs rest, eh? OK, stupid question, we all need a good rest, now and then, but I'm currently in the grip of an asphyxiating void - a deadly silence looms. But let's not get too dark too soon. It's been a fairly stimulating autumn, thus far, and the winter looks to be fairly intriguing too. I'm talking in terms of music, once again, as that is my vocation - my bad decision. The latest instalment of MPH journalism will attempt to bring together some of the more potent experiences of the latter part of this dreaded year of Jesus, 2012.

But first, I want to talk about my musicians, because it appears that I've stumbled upon yet another magic music formula, possibly my most magical of all. It's still a pretty new machine, which has had its quirks, but now, with a little bit of mystical MPH oiling, the world should feel safe in the knowledge that there's a seriously potent, organic musical product, known collectively as PERHOWER, which is ready to fluently translate the mysterious inner-workings of an extremely rare wizard / performer / tactician / ME.

The individual components are fascinating to analyse (and it hopefully makes for an interesting read), so here is my summary / review of each Perhower player:

FIBASS (bass guitar) - Since being thrown into the mix, all those years ago, armed only with a cheap keyboard and a dodgy bass, this fine, extremely competent musician has evolved so much, it blows my mind. She has gone from being more of a background figure, complementing tunes with her phased keyboard chimes and tones (and occasionally filling in on 2nd bass), to being a fully fledged BASS QUEEN. She is no longer Fiboard, she is Fibass, and she loves it. After conquering her slightly frenzied approach to setting up both her own idiosyncratic bass pedals and my vocal effects, this woman has really started to get the most out of performing. The element of panic is fading. The powerful forces of her tight yet abstract rock n roll techniques are crucially pervading. I couldn't be happier. She even plays with her fingers. No plectrum - and it still sounds bang on. I get a feeling that we shall be seeing much more from this player.

ROSE OF BEARWOOD (drums) - What can I say about someone who has been at the forefront of almost every instrument you could want in a rock group? Rose is the ULTIMATE utility woman. She's also been a master gardener, watering and nurturing this little shoot, known to some as a "Matthew Philip Hale", until it grew into a fucking mutant rainforest, known by most as a "Miles Perhower". But it's best to concentrate on what Rose is doing best right now...drumming, once again. It's all about the beats with this girl. Give her the right kind of twisted challenge and she will pull it off like a real pro. Naturally lacking in confidence, but brimming with musical education, it only takes a small dose of reassurance to bring out the insane best in Rose's drumming. She needn't live in fear of being inferior to any bulky, anthem obsessed male drummer, not at all, this one might appear small but she's stronger than anyone I know.

That is except for ROSCOE T. BALABAN (guitar / backing vocals) - who can crush a house brick with one hand. Despite his extremely violent tendencies and fondness for bestial orgies, Roscoe is quickly developing into a VITAL guitar player. His willingness to follow all sorts of abstract instructions and compositions is a true sign of selflessness and intelligence which is rarely found in guitarists. There is also a real cool style to Roscoe's playing, combining clean strokes with dirty scrapes and bursts of tonal feedback, all presented with a beautifully crippled posture. There is no 'cock rock'. He uses that thing enough. Leave the dicking-about to me, please. I have no doubt that Balaban will continue to evolve as an all-round musician, as well as a vocalist. We shall be looking into a couple of new effects, to add some more ambient spices to something which is already pretty fucking tasty. Yum.  

But here comes the sucker-punch. There is NO REVOLUTION coming. I have wasted many days worth of brain-power contemplating the next MASSIVE SHIFT, but it's not going to happen. We have ARRIVED and we are STUCK. Once you have come to terms with that extraordinarily bleak concept, you can truly start to embrace creativity. It's a privilege to live and work in such knowledgeable times. There is so much to take in, so much to draw upon, you'd have to be a lazy, soulless pig, if you fail to come up with anything vaguely interesting to write, sing, or dare I say it, make art about. Ah, but not everyone is lucky enough to have been guided through this massive wealth of potential influence. Many are doomed to only suck up shit, and then spray it out in almost the same form as when they sucked it. There are too many pure-breds scraping the bottom of the Gene Pool. Our world has become like one giant Tesco, loaded with every possible brand, of every shape, size and colour, yet, despite this massive choice, all under one roof, we usually just end up feeling lost and mildly depressed. I fucking hate that feeling, so I intend on living my life in a way that goes SERIOUSLY AGAINST it. I refuse to take comfort in comfort. I take comfort in complexity, which can be softer on the mind than you might have thought. Once you've crossed the line of regular sanity there's really no going back. We'll probably get along if you're happy to dangle over the edge, every so often. We're all killing ourselves, and each other, every day, both consciously and subconsciously, on a wide ranging scale, but death is life, and life is death, so, for the moment, I'll just get on with spinning a few tales...

...And not so Tall Tales, well, not THAT tall, more like horribly disfigured, teratogenic tales - you know me, you know me well. But do you know me well enough to know how much the inspiration for this next section cost? Ah, I see I've stumped you. Yes, this bit of the piece actually has a receipt for £16, which isn't bad, considering the abundance of mind-melting weirdness and thrilling syntax it has provided. Great ART is CHEAP, these days. Or maybe not. Maybe the following reportage will land one or two of us in some very expensive trouble, but I doubt it.

PWS Promotions. Holy fucking mutant Christ! For the love of Noel Gallagher, I have never encountered such redundant scum in all my life. Well, maybe I have. Paul Self and friends aren't even really any good at being redundant scum. But they are certainly pathetic and dumb. They are stupid enough to steal our earnings at a professional Birmingham gig and think that they can get away with it. They are a very low form of human scum. Self, a boring as fuck 'music' promoter (some sort of connection to The Twang? ha haha) who was "on holiday for the first time in three years," and his ultra-pathetic stand-ins could be described as laughable runts who deserve to be SPAT at. They have no detectable souls and cannot function adequately due to their extremely inactive brains. They are basically useless and need to be put to sleep. Much like many of the low-end, humourless promoters, who shouldn't be doing the job because they haven't really enjoyed music for ten or fifteen years, these lot are a poor excuse for Human Beings. Do something else, you fucking dumb rats. Feel free to come back at me for this, I'm up for it. I have NO FEAR AT ALL. That is a fact. THINK about it, will you? No.

You've got to laugh, really. The last few times we've played at The Flapper, under various guises, have been a general success, both musically and financially. The same can be said about the show we played there on Friday 28th September, 2012. Quite disgustingly, we were refused payment, even though we basically provided the entire audience. It sounds quite pathetic, but I understand these things very well. Getting 16 or 17 people out to a place like The Flapper, on a less than appetizing Friday night, in late September, is pretty good going in times like these. £5 a ticket, £1 of which goes to the band for each one sold. Decent venue, good sound, enough people through the door to ensure that we got our transport paid for, and enough punters buying drinks to keep the venue happy. The problems started when "Joe" (or whatever the fuck the stand-in promoter's name was) realised that the first band had done a runner with their own tickets and money (about 2 or 3 tickets worth - SHOCK - although the cunts went home with more than we did in the end - I wonder how Paul Self would have dealt with Perhower running off with £85 worth of ticket money?). This is why, in the future, I will be hiring The Flapper out myself, because if a promoter can't do his job properly, like being able to collect all the money, as well as actually PROMOTING the event, then they can only be described as useless, gutless scum. For the record, that opening act, who were absolutely intolerable crap, are called "Broken Witt Rebels". But, let's no get too brutal here. Would a sensible, legal-minded person, like myself, ever have the nerve to warn them that they will need to watch their backs? What if someone, possibly a really crazy person, threatened to kill anyone associated with PWS? Fucking hell, that would be quite shocking, wouldn't it? Don't get me wrong, I WILL NOT FORGET ANY OF THIS. I have an army of good people behind me, so keep your no good stinking selves alert, you nasty little pieces of criminal shit. We have dealt with worse than you before. Savage and cold-blooded Brierley Hill Hit-Men could soon be breathing down your dirty little crook necks.

Anyway, up until THAT point, we had been treated like the lovable, polite weirdos that we are. Joe even came up to us outside and licked our arses clean in front of a handful of friends and fans. Jett, Cosy, Crash, Barry, Doc, Matt and CN Support were there, amongst others. After quite publicly stating how great we were, he asked whether we had seen the other band. We hadn't. He then disappeared. Literally the next time I spoke to him, he was telling me, totally out-of-the-blue, that we were going to be "banned" from every single venue in Birmingham. WOW. What's fucking brought this on, I thought. I'd been so kind to this intolerable little prick all night, but then he just went mental. He'd obviously snapped under the pressure and became convinced that he was some sort of GOD. I couldn't help but laugh. I kept asking him if he'd seen "Drive" because he was like a midget Ryan Gosling who blabbed too much. I asked him if he was "some kind of pleb?" which even the sound-man found hilarious. What could I do? I had found out from the rest of the band that we were being refused payment because the opening act had buggered off with £10 or £15. It had been a fun night, so all we needed was £10 to take the edge off the taxi back home. But he refused us even that because he wanted whatever was left for himself, as this was his "only source of income". Just before we finally left to go home, a despicable spectacled character, who I assumed was friends with Joe, told me, with a definite look of confusion in his eyes, that if I expected to get paid for performing then I was "in the wrong business", but then had the nerve to say that he "really enjoyed the set". It was seriously bizarre, at the time, because I had consumed vast amounts of whiskey and smoked many joints filled with powerful skunk, but that bizarre sensation quickly transformed into pure hatred over the next few days. It was actually a horrible feeling, for a week or so, but now, while writing about the whole ordeal, I feel the need to genuinely thank Paul, Broken Witt Rebels and Joe (plus his very weird friends) for providing me with so much twisted stuff to write about. I mean, those guys should feel proud that they are finally part of something which is genuinely thrilling, you know, a real pulse-racing piece of art, instead of just the usual corpse's farts.

Just as I finished typing that last line, my phone started buzzing on the desk. I didn't recognise the number. Hmm, I thought, there's lots of crazy stuff going on at the moment, maybe I should answer. So I did...
"Hello..." I said, politely, but there was no reply, just total silence for three or four seconds, until...
"Hello there, is it possible to speak to Miss -------, please," a male voice with a Welsh accent finally responded.

--------------------------------------------

Birmingham was like consulting a doctor
It asked the right questions and understood my symptoms
But it had its own terrible problems
Lice were laying their eggs in its brain
Severe blockages caused frustration and pain
Faded posters and suited swindlers sloshed on the pavement
Badges stuck into huddles of witches who handed out blue news
And ex-offender preachers waved and whined about Broken Britain
They tried to feed it to me and so I flicked it back at them
Because I wanted no ignorant-arrogant dribble for lunch
But then a black man sort of threatened to bang me out with a punch

Before I proceed with the "Cold Caller" story, I'd like to throw a few other little ditties out there. They consist of surreal, unexpected collisions and generally shrewd observations made during the Conservative Party National Conference (Occupation of the ICC and its surroundings) in Birmingham, October 2012.

I threw on my leather jacket, scraped my hair into its rightful place and left my house with only one intention, a very boring one, I was off to Town to buy a new skin-head for the snare. Shit, that reads more interestingly than I thought. Never mind. I purposefully strode into Birmingham, carrying the old skin-head in a flimsy plastic bag, which constantly flapped around my legs, determined to get to the music shop quickly and efficiently. There was no real need to bring the old skin with me, not only because it was covered in blood, duct tape and dents, but because I should have just measured the bugger. My mind doesn't work that way, so I thought it would be wise to take the thing with me in order to obtain a new skin with exactly the same measurements, even though I KNEW that whoever served me would not only snigger at my ignorance, but also at the hilariously war-torn state of the old skin, which had been used constantly for 12 months.
These thoughts quickly subsided when I made my way down Broad Street. There was definite stink in the air, much more than usual, but I couldn't figure out why. I'd had enough of trying to get my head around national politics in the preceding weeks. I had intentionally avoided all the demagogic garbage which was doing the media rounds, so it was an unpleasant surprise when I stumbled into the vile midst of the National Conference of Tories. A similar thing happened to me last year when I walked right smack into the EDL meeting in Birmingham, but at least that had a slightly more exciting feel about it. Police were funneling people, violent thugs, skin-heads and their sunken wives were everywhere, it was fascinating, and only caused about an hour of mild disruption. Which, in some ways, is better than having to deal with the Conservative Party's overblown and paranoid four day occupation of a decent patch of Brum.

They had turned the ICC and surrounding areas, including the canal, into a sort of executive prison-zoo, with bored looking police guarding every possible entrance and exit, even doors which are, I would assume, ordinarily impossible to break into anyway. It dawned on me that I would have to brave this disjointed gantlet, so I gripped my plastic bag and marched forwards, past weird metal turnstiles, gangs of suited nobodies, huddles of confused civilians, relentless and oddly faded new Tory posters in every frame on the outside wall of The Symphony Hall, which is usually filled with advertisements for upcoming middle-of-the-road acts. It was now filled with middle-of-the-road politics. The same old crap replacing the same old crap. What does all of this mean? I thought. Is there some sort of connection to reality here? I pushed on, trying to ignore snippets of irritating conversations along the way, until I arrived at Centenary Square.
The place was infested with all kinds of annoying life. Young girls were handing out faux-newspapers while half-arsed looking policemen chatted distractedly to confused old women. Lonely, windswept suits wandered around, while security passes flopped about. It was all very grey, like a festival of dullness. Then I saw the Jesus brigade. A handful of smug old fruitcakes were standing in the way with placards about how Broken Britain can be fixed with a Bible. I walked past them, further into the gantlet, shouting, "I LOVE MY GODDAMN PRISON-ZOO!" through the fence. A few people laughed, but the cops ignored me. AUTHOR'S INTERRUPTION - I must have a few generous swigs of disgusting white wine before I continue with this story. It's a Friday night and I'm on my own again, for fuck's sake. The fun weekends always seem to be over before you know it, but the low-key ones seem to move at snail pace. At least I won't be too battered and beaten on Monday morning.
But then, the dreams will start again... Oh, this vicious circle. By the time I'm straight, it's time to get bent. Come on, you cheap-ass Californian White, hit me with your "zesty tropical fruit flavours" and dubious brain-loosening powers, the good people need me to finish typing this sickening little tale. Glug, glug...maybe I should phone Cosy? Ah, fuck it, he's got the little Cosy's to look after. Come on, Miles, gulp that fucking vile piss down and get on with the show.

OK. So I moved further into the gantlet, still clutching the old snare skin in the plastic bag, when this younger looking Jesus spreader shoved a leaflet into my face, I stopped in front of him, looked at it for less than a second and then sent it spinning back into his chest. He too was also holding up a big ridiculous placard about 'The Prophet' and 'Broken Britain'. That stupid prick wouldn't know Jesus if he got slapped in the face by him. Jesus tangoed. Anyway, after chucking the leaflet back at this freak, I heard a voice, a pseudo-laughter, saying something like, "Whoa! That's not nice!", so I glanced behind, without breaking my stride, to see two young lads pointing at me. I smirked and carried on walking. Then I heard one of them say, "If I was that guy I would've banged him out for that," so I quickly responded by saying, lightheartedly, "Which is why you're not handing out Jesus leaflets". This didn't go down very well, because he then, much more aggressively, stated that he would've "banged" me out if I'd have done that to him. So what, I thought. Just keep moving, stay on course - YOU MUST REPAIR THAT SNARE. But then, unfortunately, the other lad said something like, "Ah, look at him walking away," so I instantly turned around 180 degrees and fearlessly stared at both of them. The one doing most of the shouting was a short, bearded black guy, and the other bloke, who appeared to have an Arab complexion, was about 7 feet tall. Obviously my turning around had somehow brought into question the small guy's authority, so he immediately had to square up to me, in the holy name of Jesus. He was seemingly amused by my appearance. Was it because I was wearing two coats? Was it because of the flimsy plastic bag I was carrying? I wasn't totally sure. All I could do was smile, because I was surrounded by old women and policemen, and I was WHITE, after all. How much danger could I have been in? My senses were a little burned out though, due to the unexpected assault they had endured since my arrival on Broad Street, so I can't particularly brag about my quick-wittedness, but I can briefly summarise what was said;

"You'd BANG me out then would you?" I asked him. His tall friend was looking down on me, half-smiling.
"I never said I'm gonna bang you out. I said that if I were that guy I'd bang you out," he replied with wild eyes.
"Oh, I see, So are you a religious man?"
"Yes, I am. I wasn't baptised or anything, but I would bang you out for being rude and throwing something at me. You should stay out of other people's business"
"I see, that's very Christian of you. But I didn't throw it at him, actually, I merely gave the leaflet back, but I'm in too much of a rush to stop."
Just then his giant friend interrupted, "Yeah, yeah, walk on, walk on," he said.
So I did. I walked alongside both of them, like an old buddy, for about ten seconds, until we got to the war memorial.
"You're entitled to freedom of speech, boys," I mumbled, "but I need to go and buy a new snare skin now."

I headed towards the library and heard them taking the piss and laughing at me until I finally got far enough away to focus my mind on something else. Maybe I shouldn't fuck with crazy religious people, I thought. But, even then, I knew I'd end up writing about that madness, so maybe it was all worthwhile? Who knows?

Later, that same day, not long after I'd got back home, I'd just finished writing an extremely menacing piece about being ripped off by soulless music promoters, when my mobile phone rang, remember? Good, you're still with me.

I answered it and politely said I'd take their contact etc, as they'd phoned MY phone asking for MY girlfriend, but the Welsh bloke who called me just hung up when I was in the middle of a sentence. He made the mistake of telling me his name and something about "lifestyle money claims", though. So I called the number back, but only got through to a robotic sounding American voice recording saying the number was not in service. I googled the number and found a forum about nuisance callers, which then led me to the actual company's contact details.

I phoned the official company number and got through to an over-long customer service recording. I hung up and tried again, but this time I just pressed 3, on a whim, and got through to the main office. A familiar male voice answered. Welsh accent again. I knew that I'd somehow tracked that cheeky bastard down.

"Is Scott there, please?" I said.
"Yes, this is Scott," he replied.
"That's great," I said, calmly, "because you just cold-called and then hung up on me while I was politely trying to take a message from you. I know where you are, Scotty, I'M GOING TO COME TO SWANSEA AND I'M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU, YOU DIRTY CRIMINAL SCUMBAG! YOU'RE A FUCKING EVIL LITTLE WORM!"

He reacted quite badly to all of this by instantly saying really weird stuff like, "I'm going to pull your foreskin over your fucking head and suffocate you with it," and "Welsh people won't stand for this," which, I must admit, was hilarious. I don't even have a foreskin, but I do know the Welsh pretty well, as I lived in Aberystwyth for a while. I once got punched in the face by a nasty middle aged local who was violently threatening and racially abusing this young Indian lad in the street. Not that all Welsh people are like that. I had a couple of really cool Welsh friends. Scum can be found everywhere. WE'RE THE HUMAN RACISTS, after all.
Anyway, I hung up, made myself a cup of tea, called the same number back and pressed 3 again...

"Hello, Lifestyle," the same voice answered.
"Hello there, Scott. I'm just calling to remind you that I'll break your legs if you ever call this number again, OK?"
"Come on then, you fucking cunt. You've got mental problems," he said.
I couldn't stop laughing because he continued to react.
"Come on over then, buddy. Here's the address, it's..."

I hung up again. That's probably enough of that, I thought. But I was wrong. My phone rang again about five minutes later. I picked it up but said nothing. I could hear heavy breathing, and then...

"Right. This is my personal mobile number. I'm standing outside the office building now, so let's sort this out, YOU FUCKING PRICK!"
Jesus Christ, I thought, we're into a whole new zone now. I quickly set my phone to record sound. After making myself comfortable, I took a couple of sips of tea and enjoyed the show. The bloke was quite obviously having a complete nervous breakdown. The abuse was flying at me. I could feel his spit and phlegm hitting the receiver. It was visceral. I actually managed to record a perfect clip, which I may attempt to use as part of a track at some point. Basically, he was threatening to repeatedly "badger" us by constantly ringing up our phone numbers, which they have stored on "The System", every single day until it becomes unbearable. The recording is too funny to properly explain here. After having my fill of violent word entertainment, I hung up on him while he was still in the middle of a despicable rant. Oddly enough, he never called again.

Most normal people would've just ignored the cold-call in the first place, but I'm DEFINITELY NOT NORMAL. I live with an abnormally heightened sense of awareness that is almost unbearable to cope with. I feel physically sick because of it sometimes, which is why I should probably be on more brain-numbing drugs than I can currently afford. What a shitty statement. No amount of drugs could ever silence this voice. Well, maybe lethal doses, but it is this disturbing climate, however, that is the perfect breeding ground for exuberant written work. If I am a troll, then I am The Bard of the Trolls. I'd like to think that I'm The Anti-Troll. The Llort of the Land. Every once in a while, conflicts such as these are worthwhile sacrifices of the peace.

Welcome back to the Human Race.

It is 12:30pm on a cloudy Thursday in October, 2012. I am feeling slightly / severely hungover today because I made the mistake of drinking a fair amount of whiskey AND red wine last night. I was also smoking marijuana until the early hours. There must be some kind of less damaging way to cope with pre-gig nerves, but I've yet to discover it. The show is tonight, another charity gig, this time for Barnardo's, and it looks like it will be a big crowd, consisting mainly of students. These people can be very unpredictable. They are young, naive, socially confident, yet they are highly sensitive creatures who can be very dangerous when provoked. My act is not earnest in the way they would expect. Violent humour and lack of small-talk could prove to be the crippling flaws in the show. I never quite know how things are going to go down with the student crowd, but I'm quietly optimistic about tonight. I have a feeling it's going to be an electrifying performance, but we shall see...
I wish I could say the same about my feelings towards reports of the UK economy rising by 1%. It's not an overwhelmingly positive news story, as the mainstream channels would tell you, no, it's a sick fucking joke. Just because we bought more crap over the last few months doesn't mean we deserve to feel proud of ourselves. The politicians are lapping it up, of course. The Olympics is being hailed as some sort of miracle and it's getting much of the credit for this slight economic boost, but it all just feels so fake, shallow, and depressingly short sighted. I feel absolutely no connection to any of it. They are flogging a dead horse, which is preserved with chemicals and never decomposes. There's something seriously creepy about it. We are dressing up our rotting dead relatives in a disturbing attempt to disguise and deny the painful truth. This is our tradition.

It is an awkward time to be a genuinely good-willed eccentric. The Jimmy Savile revelations have dominated the news for quite a while now, but what gets me is how they never report anything about how talentless he was. Having the ability to charm is NOT a talent, it is one of the biggest problems we face as a species. I'm sure there are huge numbers of successful talentless people out there who have quite literally CHARMED their way into positions of power and privilege. There are too many demagogic dilettantes. We must not stand for it. Let us take the reins of reality and ride to more fertile pastures!
Just look at me and my friend Gary Ironmonger. We are in the process of forming an experimental rock group at a Cerebral Palsy centre. I'm also tempted to organise an art class there because I think my own, admittedly savage talents can bring out the best in people, especially those who have never been given the opportunity to create something of real value, instead of mere time-filling activities. Even though it is important to enjoy the creative process, it is the realisation of a desirable product that I'm interested in. I do not see myself as someone who gives gifts, I'm much more selfish than that because I expect to be impressed and entertained by the results of my shared talents.

But who really gives a fuck about talent, eh? You've either got to be really scary or a real slag to get on in this media-obsessed world, especially in the 'creative fields'. Actually, I think the slags have overtaken the scaries now, so the only way around it is via extreme commitment and endurance. That's where I'm at. The only other option is indifference, which can be a relief, but I think it's a cop-out. Despite my misanthropic tangents and occasional massive detachments from 'reality', I'm actually still pretty optimistic about all the wonderful potential and possibilities of Human Life. You can't really afford to be too sensitive about things, but striving for greatness and goodness is a MUST, in my opinion, because everyday is an exhausting battle against our savage nature. If you are reading this in the year 2022, congratulations, you made it. I hope the world isn't too much more fucked and dumb. If I am reading this in 2022, well, I'd like to think that would be a good thing.

It is now 11:21am on an autumnal Friday morning. I am feeling quite hazy. The gig was pretty excellent last night. It raised over £300 for Barnardo's, which is impressive, I must say. If we're not getting the money then at least it should go to a worthwhile cause. £300 through the door, in just one night, at a decent little venue, it's certainly nothing to sniff at. The bar must have done well out of it too. They are renaming it "The Lounge" soon (not a great name, but it's better than The Indie Lounge), and I can see us playing there a few times next year. There were lots of younger people, students, I assume, which is an unusual crowd for us, but I think we kept everyone interested and even ecstatic at times. They just need to work on the lighting for the stage area. It was way too bright. That killed off a little bit of the atmosphere, but with a little more development it could turn out to be a really good venue for live events. I got on well with Dan, the sound engineer, who is also heavily involved with the development of the pub in general. He'd been there since 9am, painting the roof, so he was pretty burned out by mid-night. But we did manage to discuss the possibility of doing future shows. I'm certainly interested, but it would just depend on how much control we would be able to have over the door and general ambiance. Things can turn sour fairly quickly if you don't get the balance right, and let's face it, I can be fairly unbalanced...

RECOLLECTION OF EVENTS AS IF IN PRESENT TENSE. TIME TO GET LOADED. TOMMY TWO COATS. NINE POCKETS. ELEVEN INCLUDING MY TROUSERS. ONE MINI BOTTLE. ONE HIP FLASK. TEN JOINTS. TWO LIGHTERS. ONE MASK. ONE CAMERA. HOUSE KEY. WALLET. TISSUES. TOO MANY BULGES...AUTHOR'S INTERRUPTION....

I think I've had enough of this shit. How am I expected to keep coming up with the goods when there's NO DEMAND for it. I am of ZERO INTEREST. My innovations are not required. The people are happy in their blandness. I blame the numerous record labels, management agencies, radio stations, promoters and established acts for never giving me a chance to show them what I can really do. I have patiently attempted to make professional contact with loads of them, but I never once received a genuine response. A very small number of people, who are probably reading this, have given me support over the years, so I must thank them for that. The Fall were the only 'established act' ever to take a chance with me, but that was fucking years ago now. I've developed so much more since then. It's a real shame that I've not been granted any generous exposure all this time. I think it's because I'M NOT A MANIPULATIVE WHORE. It could also be something to do with my intimidatingly weird intelligence and powerful artistic control. I have never been a safe bet. I must be seen as some sort of social anthrax, much too dangerous to openly embrace. Even this new "Writer's Lifestyle", which was kind of exhilarating at first, has failed to pull me through. I'm so depressed and stressed out, it's not right that I have to drink and drug myself up to the eyeballs in order to cope.
I suppose this is a written warning, for everyone and anyone who cares, because you are in danger of losing an insanely committed Artist. That thing called Miles might just have to be put into a coma for a while.