Friday, 21 August 2015

No, go on.

You don't have to make music – the notion of actually making music carries with it too much pressure and mammalian cultural baggage.

If you were actually going to make music you'd have to confront ideas of meaning, history, non-verbal communication, evolution, sociology, ethics, technology, physics, alchemy, ontology, epistemology, psychology, economics, and how a jumped up wedding DJ with an accent can become one of the country's leading taste-makers.

These things are not only ugly to think about, but they are, as I am about to show in one quick swoosh of an outlay, entirely unnecessary.

So burn your Universities to the ground, and silence your chattering minds with Chinese synthesised liquids.

No, you don't have to actually make music, dear listener – all you need do is make something that sounds like music, and all of your problems will be solved.


The beat, for example, no doubt stretches back to our most primitive states. 

  • Perhaps an accidental mutation led to us enjoying the thud of a stomped foot at some post-hunt regathering, leading to a desire to hunt more in order to celebrate more and hear more thuds
  • Perhaps the beat of some drum reminded our brains of the bodily thump of running through a clearing, again on the hunt, the synthetic memory short-circuiting our adrenal circuits and giving us some rush or other, in turn strengthening neural pathways and therefore increasing our adrenaline on a real hunt, making us better at that practical task to such an extent that those who increased their hunting ability with this ritual caught prey at the expense of other packs and survived to gave us habits that persist to this day. 
  • Perhaps playing drums just gave the most intellectually bereft a means to attract a mate, and we're all doing them a favour.

SO, like pretty much everything we do, the point of the beat is to provide a way for us to engage in the rehearsal of cultural actions more integral to our survival than these overblown rehearsals themselves. Middle-of-the-road-bland-pop with a standardised beat and fantastical sexualised lyrics? Dislike a challenge? Good music by which to work to in one of Cameron's slave cubicles, while fantasising about “a life that doesn't so closely resemble hell”.


I mean, there are of course much broader hips to this, for example




Kick on beat one, snare on three. Add some boom to that kick and some snappy high-end crunch on the snare.

Sounds like music to me. Fuck the needless theorising.

It takes the pressure off somewhat, does it not?

Of course, it doesn't. But it at least feels like it does.

Whose are the playing cards? Who cares.


Lucky you have learned that all you have to do is never, ever actually have fun, but just do things that make it feel like you're having fun.

At all times without end.

That's all you have to do.

Have fun doing that.

Summer's almost over.


P.S. We'll be giving musical lectures on these subjects in Germany this October. If you want tickets, you can win them, here (bring a notepad and an easel).

Sunday, 19 July 2015

A rebuttal.

“Look again at Trewin's room. That's here. That's home. That's us. In it: everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every worthwhile human being who ever was, lived out their career. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident riffs, choruses, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every bassist and coward, every creator and destroyer of music, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, bewildered child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt A&R rep, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our band lived there - in a room filled with dust, suspended in a sunbeam.

Trewin's room is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this room on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner; how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of booze spilled by all those musicians and drummers so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a room.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the music industry, are challenged by this cube of pale light. Trewin's room is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

Trewin's room is the only room known so far to harbor Phoria. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our band could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment Trewin's room is where we make our stand.

It has been said that studio-hunting is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of Phoria's conceits than this distant image of our tiny room. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish Trewin's room, the only home we've ever known.”

from Pale Shit Boys, by Carg Salan

The oft overlooked Carg “NASA dustbin lid champion” Salan could not have forseen how wrong he would be when he first wrote this on a Cornell toilet wall in 1994. At this time, the members of Phoria were still seven years old, and only three of the wet-kneed band had met (also in a toilet). In some ways, of course, Carl was prescient (who could forget his prediction that you'd remember him?), but of course in one way, the most important way, the only way that matters (what will henceforth be referred to as the curdsand way), he was wrong.

Even a cursory application of the curdsand way now dictates that the band are moving out of Trewin's room in Brighton and into a studio in a little town just along the South coast.

We're going to be right by the sea, in a little cul-de-sac, in a wood-type panelled room with no windows that smells like musical equipment. It reminds me of the places I used to play in years ago. It was comforting to be back in that kind of situation. When we went to look around I really did feel like I'd gone “home”.

It was nice. I haven't had that feeling in a while. It reminded me of why I'm in this business in the first place.

In the “vibrant” (read: overpriced and moribund) city of Brighton it's mainly rooms that double as living areas that double as offices that serve as creative spaces where you sit and figure out music. If you're doing this (frankly: idiotic) thing properly in this day and age, then your worldly possessions amount to a computer, a guitar, a bed, and an ashtray. You lock your door when your landlord knocks and you ignore the inevitable rise and fall of the sun. You're desperately seeking some new “thing” and trying to figure out the new way of getting to it. Admirable, I'm sure. Another middle-class martyr all too late for the scrapheap.

That's how it is. It's a tale as old as time.

After four or five years, there's something about this place in our career that still feels new (because it's fucking bonkers), but to step back in time and get back to stage one is refreshing and reinvigorating. Suddenly there's an emotion that's known that you can mould easily into something you can use, rather than having to deal with developing a perverse creative stamina on top of the panic and existential fear that is everything else you're doing.

So we're moving all the gear out next week into a sun-kissed, white-walled enclave along the blue-skied Sussex coast. We're right down on the beach. There's something in the air. We're going to finish stuff up and get it ready for the road.

It's going to be our little haven where we can get things done.

Oh, yeah...yeah of course...of course we'll invite you to the studio warming party. I was just going to...I was just going to say that.

Just...just let me reach for the invite over...over here...

Oh. Oh, my phone's ringing. No, you won't hear it because it's on silent yeah.

One second.



“Oh dear! Oh no, and it has all gone wrong has it? Oh dear and I'm the only one who can help.”

You'll have to please forgive me someone's stolen medicine from the fire brigade I'll have to sort this out by

Tuesday, 7 July 2015


You have to take your time, in life.

You cannot rush things.

You cannot constantly race the clock.

You have to take the time you are given, and more, if you need it.

You cannot run the risk of the bee you just resuscitated being trapped in the van with the five of you, should he not get out on time.

That's why I wrote the rulebook.

But Trewin didn't have time to read the rulebook.

So he picked the bee up from the tarmac at the ferryport and let it rest in the van as we waited to board, slowly nursing the little dot back to health with the caramel from a Mars bar.

I could have had that.

The bee came to life as we tumbled across the bridge thing, into the belly of the ship. We hadn't let the little thing out to rest when the call came for us to board.

We are not the types to give up on ill bees. You should know this by now.

So as it rose like a tiny sharp zombie, we all started shouting and panicking and flailing our arms. Because it's a bee. And it was flying around in the van. And real men don't cry. They flail.

We fanned it out through the open side-door (Trewin was hanging from the van – encouraging the thing out like it was a nervous fawn) just before we disappeared into the hole. We watched it buzz its way through the various criss-crosses of metal and the ship's rigging. A dot of the sky was being redacted by a pissed-up censor.

We would not have got so panicked were we not so rushed.

We needed more time to feed the bee.

We didn't have more time to feed the bee.

We didn't have time to do anything – we were due in Norway in two days.

Evidently, we had not had the time to read the booking arrangements for the hostel, either, as after a sixteen hour drive along the dizzying and never-ending tongue of the Autobahn we discovered we had not fulfilled the criteria for a late check-in.

Never mind. Laugh.

Death laugh.

Where's open?

Where will have us?

The clock hands start spinning.

There's a place. It's big.

We have to go to bed now. We have to be up in four hours.

Oh, we've already slept. Where next?

Tick tock.



What's this now where's this?

Nice people, and a nice flat down by the river. Have a brisk walk. Flick through Swedish television. Nothing's good. Give nothing a chance. Flip, flip, flip. Down your beer, don't sip it.

We have to be in Oslo tomorrow, and I don't know where I am.

Get up and get out.

What's outside the window?


What's the scenery like driving through Scandanavia?”


Where are we?

Get in. Set up. Good. Soundcheck. Nice. Everyone's nice. Hello, yes. Yes, thank you. OK, great.

Soundcheck finishedNO TIMEget onstage whoops no time sorry good luck.

Blast it. Every beat played punctually and every applause coming no more than 1.7 seconds after the end of each song. Good. We've got a schedule. Thanks to everyone for being so kind.

Where are we going? Bar. Downtown. How long? Twenty-minutes.

One hour later. Still walking.

And Norway doesn't sell alcohol on a Sunday. Did you know this? I didn't have time to read up on it before I left. I drank mine too fast.

Dry. Sobering.

So we have to get there quicker.

Jeez, get on with it, right, drink it up and laugh and spend and get into the hotel in 3 a.m. Norwegian perfect daylight. No bedsheets. They cost extra. You pay for their quality, no doubt.

So now morning and your brain's a needle on a scratched record and sprint back up to the festival site in the hot sun.

“You drive to Norway for one gig? Are you crazy?”

Don't answer him, Seryn – we've got to go. We're on a very tight schedule and if we break it we will die.

Crash, bang, wallop through to late nights in Copenhagen and Cologne (I don't have time to find the o with the umlaut) to very efficiently let good generous friends catch up with us on our race to a grim and abandoned finishing post that doesn't exist.

Quick. Up and out, again.

The ferries are on strike. The roads are clogged. Quick we have to make it.

We have to get there.

There's no time.

The sun stands still and the people walk around their dead cars, gesturing. The queues span around you in a circle and a police car slips by every second.

Time is passing us.

Our lives are bleeding out.
I can feel it.

I can feel it.

We're being crushed by a million still tyres.

Our fuel is burning.

I can feel it.

So, you have to take your time, and not rush things.

Just as soon as we hit our stride in the journey, it was time to come home.

Just as soon as we started making stories, ours was over.

So take your time with it. Rest a little, or get up and do something in the blackness.
We have nothing ahead of us, now.

One festival, close to home. And Europe...later. Much later.

The album is roasting. Slow roasting. We've covered up the timer with our pants and are drowning out the ticking by screaming.

We're doing nothing but peeping through the little window with our thumbs over our heads, pressing the button for the little yellow light.

We're taking the necessary time.

We're not rushing.

I'm going to lie motionless on the floor, hoping somebody feeds me a Mars bar.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Have we got everything?

Wake up.

These grunting, mucky bastards are your family, now. It's time for a family outing to Basel. Love your family, immediately and forever. Family delights. Family cares.

Shut up.

It's early morning and everyone's forgotten something. Grandad's forgotten his drum pads. Mum got too involved in something and left the immersion on. You aren't wearing any underwear, but you don't tell anyone.

Locked up.

Put a scrunched up bit of paper in a shoebox and shake it around. Shake it around for hours in joyless monotony. Shake the travel maraca.

Cheer up.

The hours pass like a dripping tap filling a swimming pool, but at least you're all here now. It's the Phoria-Smythington's family outing to Basel, and your first stop is some French place called Mulhouse, where you stumble out of the van and into a chrome and neon karaoke bar with a live performance of “A Whole New World”, inspiring you into wellbeing again along with a “beer”, which is a device you attach to your arm with a mechanical tongue that licks a little patch until it turns raw, which in turn tells your brain to release a new album of endorphins so your body and stuff can enjoy it all and the family can have something in common: a raw, bleeding patch on their arms that makes them feel great.

Roll up.

What's that? It might be a new day in a new country, but this family hotel has stars outside.Mum is happy she'll have a clean floor on which to do her ironing. Dad is happy he can put his slippered feet up and watch TV and pipe up intermittently about the state of the road. Little brother James has a soldering iron, two kilograms of semtex, and a behavioural problem. Grandad needs somewhere to settle in, and your room isn't ready yet. It's Room 101. This makes you happy and apprehensive, as you wonder what they're preparing for you in there. Turns out life in there is the same as life out here. Go figure.

Set up.

Out for a family meal. A day and a half of travel with sweating, grubby skin. Set-up, thunderstorms, bad packets of meaty euro-tubes and weirdness. The enveloping, soapy bubble of family in a totally new place (a whole new world), now made fine by clean and smiling hosts and a truffle dinner in one of the twisting gullets of the town. A smiling waiter who's had ones-just-like-you in all day, and sniffing clientèle who make haste soon after your arrival. Is that the ricotta, or those boys? Either way, it's blue. Eat your boeuf and let's get out of here. They're tickling each other and doing things with the breadsticks.

Mess up.

Manson had a family.

Yours barely know where they are. A square, somewhere. A growing crowd of people. You're setting up equipment that looks like a telephone exchange and one link in the chain keeps stuttering. Not now. Even the sound technicians have a nervous smile on their faces. The heat and the tiredness. You're not on edge so much as standing on the fronts of your ankles. This is new. Why do it new, now, Equipment? It can work. It will work. Do an interview with mum - moments before you get onstage - in a daze, being asked to comment on the state of inequality in Switzerland with a fresh mic and a big glass eye in your face, going out to people in their armchairs who have the option to change the channel; to change their immediate company.

You say you could do more about the issues, but right now, in this state, you don't know if that's true.You look like a hayfever-stricken frog.

You start playing – the family sings its Christmas songs – and you demand a Red Bull and chug it onstage. Your vision spins. The crowd gathers. The cameras are on and running you out of town in thick wires. Everything works, but instead of tiny keys and skinny strings there are bell-ropes and pulley systems and old mechanical workings that you have to heave and push and grind and wade through. Your performance hangs by a single thread string in a knife-throwing practice room.

Pack up.

Take it down and put it away. You did it and it all ends with a raucous cheer. Now the sun starts to set and you need that tongue-comforting thing to start licking your arm again. Head out into the cereal bowl to see what's happening and who's dancing. Another band finishes. “Thank you so much, everyone! We'd love to stay and party, but we have to go and catch our flight.” You recognise them. They're that family from down the road who puts the cover over their car and has a rotation of doormats. Their front door is spotless.

Your front door is a length of tin foil hanging from the ceiling.

Some people in the crowd suggest you're famous in this place; that Dad has taken you by the hand and dragged you onto the rollercoaster. You don't know about that. People are nice, though. Meet people and make them feel uncomfortable.

Walk across the city to a club. You don't go underground, but you regret that in the morning. Stroll back through to the hotel and watch everybody do like they do everywhere else. It's Friday, and the family takes a break from one another. The kids are in the crèche; the adults are in the lounge.

Fuck off.

Fuck off to the family home in the morning because you've all had enough. Sing a song or two and whistle up your own arse to enjoy the echo and put a plaster on your arm and on others' arms with a Nightingale smile. Sit in a chair and waggle your legs and get a boat.

Do it again.

Get some new equipment and get ready for Piknik festival in Oslo.

It's a long, long way away and there'll be other things to do.

How are we getting there, Dad?

Monday, 1 June 2015

How to live floorlessly.

“What needs doing then, lads?”

That room isn't quite an icon to me, yet. My own room, many Bridgestone spins away and which I share with the most messy and clumsy “wife” in the world, has seen so many deep cleans and give ups and accidents and covered spills and religious notes pinned to the walls and scuffs and weird collections started on unbalanced surfaces that it cannot now be changed from having had us live here. It is no longer a cave with our stuff in, but a little home carved out as a direct result of our activities. A tiny home, the size of a key cutting shop, that houses two people, two businesses, five guitars, a million feet of fabric, a mannequin, an industrial sewing machine, about five-hundred books, about two-hundred DVDs and games, my hair, and several years worth of crusted, narcotic-infused sweat.

It's also got a garden. Full of weeds.

I look around in the morning and see this place as “my house how I have it” – a symbol of two lives in the twenty-first century – rather than as a problem that needs to be fixed because the gold on the door handle has corroded, or because that un-binned empty box of luxury chocolates is hindering the passage of my hand as it reaches over faded-brown bed sheet stains for a similarly tinged shin-kicker.

Trewin's room, however, where all still has a touch of clinical purpose about it (moreso than my cave, anyway), likely for his sanity, manages to infuse any given memory I have with that feeling of “other place” – not a sense of homeliness or even familiar workliness. All this despite the number of meetings, drinkings, listenings, and other debaucherous rebellions against sensibleness that have gone on up there that should make it feel like an old friend.

Sofa bed piled with cushions, some of us perched on fold-out chairs with rusting hinges, paint peeling, and padding long since disintegrated by the sweat of a thousand arses. The twinned smells of stale white butts and yesterdays M&S yellow-sticker-reduced Platchula Bean Salad with Cuban Roasted Pecan Tudenza Leaf Puree and Fresh Chombo-Style Kale and Distilled-Water-Fed Quinoa Passata fill the room. The food looks like a half-arsed rockery and sits half on the floor and half in its plastic bowl. Trewin will occasionally turn from his computer to pick up the bowl, lick the congealed butter-death off the fork, and tuck in again. It must be good.

“We need to get the pre-mix of the album off.”

Yeah, and we need to buy some gear.”

“I don't have any of the stuff I need.” says Seryn.

“When's the next gig?”

“We need to book a practice.”

“Are we having a tech-rehearsal, later?”

Jeb's in the next room, his clicking mouse sounding like the desperate pleas of a soldier who, upon finding himself stranded in a gutted comms room, wishes he'd paid attention when his unit was learning morse code rather than copying off Neville and sneaking a peek at a cigarette card of Rita Hayworth.

“How are those videos coming along?”

“Oh...yeah...I'm's just rendering.”

“Oh, and we need to get some publicity photos done.”

Oh God, yeah.”

“Who wants a tea?”

And everybody oooooooohs and says oh, yes please – and relaxes as someone goes and boils the kettle before drying it off and putting water in it. It was stormy outside while all this was going on, so it was just right. It was dark grey at midday, the windows were streaming with rain, and I'd just had some soup and a cigarette. We all felt like cats in front of fireplaces. Droopy eyed and comfortable.

“So [yawn] that's a list of what we need to do, right?”


“Great, that's that done. So, have I shown you this video yet of a neon-painted deer riding a powerboat engine attached to a human skeleton?”




Saturday, 9 May 2015



Well, well, well.

Well, well, well, well, well.


As it were.

Worst Christmas ever.

We were so enthralled, that, even if we wanted to, we couldn't sleep. We stayed up all night waiting for Santa to come and put a little gift-wrapped box of hope under our second-hand tree.

Turns out we didn't even get a lump of coal. They didn't want to bring that old chestnut up again.

So yesterday we had our final practice before a trip to Belgium tomorrow. Tired and out at the studio 'til midnight. That saw us well. Dough-eyed, as usual, and with tails as low as the Lib Dem vote. New material? Che e eck. Playing the songs? Ch e e ck. Everything working? Ch e e e ee cck.

Enthusiasm trickling. Put it all back together like we haven't in a surprising while. We've all been holed up in our respective caverns, working on music and movies. Trying to balance the creation of the new with the return to the standard is a funny old see-saw of satisfaction. Tweak this and tweak that. More coffee. Keep it up. We descended a few times into lazy jams. The songs stumbled a little under our collective psyche.

BUT don't let that worry you. We're still attempting to keep our pride intact, and we don't take this stuff lightly, and we always look forward to it and try and do everything the best we can.

It's like when you've bought that new loaf of super-seeded incredi-bread, but you've got to use up the loaf you bought the other day. So long as the jam (hey!) is right, you're still having breakfast, but you kind of can't wait to open that other loaf. You fall asleep dreaming of unwrapping it, of reaching in past the end piece and running your finger along the strongly seeded top. Mmm. And a whiff of fresh. And you take the slices out, only two, and squeeze the little plump sponge canvasses and see the air pockets bulge and give way, gleefully.

Oh, bready bready bootsy.

And while it slowly cooks in a little box, and the room takes on the scent of history - of a million little repertoires performed throughout the ages and still, to this day, in most households with a heart and a Hovis - you pick up the bag and spin it, and it twists in the air like a ballerina, and you swing it around and it hovers delicately until you stop it with a thud, and this delicate and beautiful parcel gives you a noetic sensation of power and authority – the very thing that makes that well-baked coquette so restlessly enchanting – and to save the thing and keep its definition you tack the little label on the neck that runs to the bunched up bag like the stem of a rose, and you seal it. A little yellow leaf. And the sell-by-date is still days from now. There will be mornings more than this sweet sunrise. So you smile, and as you do two warm, golden brown hands pop up and wave hello, and they fall onto a plate and say how happy they are to see you.

And then you take the butter from the fridge. Butter so soft. Ripples so enveloping, she could churn heads (...). And then you take your knife from the drawer that rings like a treasure chest of an Emperor's silver, and you...

...the knife...

...the butter... all...

...spread about and messy and...and...

And then you wake up. It was a dream. And your real life kicks in. And the loaf is sat on top of the microwave, bulging at you. Plump, like a cat.

But you know you have to use up what you already had open; the loaf you bought on your way home the other day and you only had 50p in your pocket and didn't need enough stuff to spend on your card.

And the butter's all hard and unworkable and there are no clean knives, so you just find one sticking out the side of a pizza box and you wipe it on your pants and figure you're going to die one day, anyway.

And then you eat this weird biscuit that smells like pants and stare into the middle distance, thinking about the emptiness of the pain of thinking about nothing.

That's what it's like.

That's what it is.

That's where we are.

See you in Belgium.

I swear it's going to be fine.


Monday, 30 March 2015

Number nine.

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. - Jubkins Lossletops.

[That is, of course, a rationale that if taken seriously can just as easily be used to defend the worst kinds of violent fascism.]

We didn't dream at all, actually, managing to nab about twelve hours of sleep over three days, despite this being one of the better organised of our trips across that stretch of tarmac and furrowed field so flummoxing to island minds such as ours: Europe.

The street and shop signs may well have been in English. We have no idea.

The way we were it's entirely possible that we just drove to the end of the road and started hanging out the doors of the van in fits of jelly-bodied childishness, imagining entirely our exploits; taking the blue sky below us inverted as the sea of the ferry crossing and the pressing faces and queries as standard side-effects of being over there where things are upside down.

No, we went to Zurich.

Fifteen hours only evented (events must happen on a fifteen hour journey, lest the minutes and their tiny drills with which they bore into every imperfection in your powdering skull finally take hold and turn you into an ant farm; hollow chronological threads extended through only bad memories and becoming the very mercurial substance of every grim reflection upon reality that such sojourns in cold and leaky vans allow) by a couple of stops at which we dealt with some surprisingly friendly faces of authority. The police stops are always more fun than the customs stops, which are, of course, customary.

Looks like I got a wink or two last night, doesn't it?

Oh yes, I'm refreshed.

'Pop a few more like that in, Tim, and I might start to enjoy myself!'

And you might think it takes thought to take a tangential turn such as that (and this), but the fact is, as I'm sure you've anticipated, those words have been so aurally scarred into the upper corners of the room in which I'm flopping this log out that their inclusion is actually a concession to the world's impetuousness in forcing its collectively unsatisfied will on my ever frowning frame.

They look at you different when you say you are a musician, and I am not sure if it is pity or a kind of orgasmic awestruck effect at the kind of being they are presented with.

The officers of the law, I mean.

Despite the long hair, despite the eyes that looked like engorged flies dead on top of the poisonous strawberries that inspired their gluttonous passing into the great family picnic or dog shit in the sky, we made our preparations, for a great lol.

'Sunglasses off, lads.'

'Just look friendly.'

'Be quiet, Tim.'

And they took a quick check and let us pass, peering into my little porthole at the rear and judging that everything was alright, as I smiled and waved along with Seryn.

Me and Seryn waving at you through a grubby window in a shaky van.

You wave us on, unwilling to face your fear that the actions of the world upon itself may be far more broad than you ever dared imagine.

The world must be knowable, else all is lost.


I mean, everything was quite nice. We had rooms with beds in and a bit of booze here and there and a couple of friendly faces and smiles and helpful people and clean streets...

But the main thrust of the journey, for me at least, was the inducement of a static-caravan of sanity that parked somewhere on our collective neural carriageways but was kept at bay from the town centre of our actual minds.

The road – in particular the sheer length of it – transforms you from debonair fellow-about-the-scenes into a kind of travelling circus animal; locked away until it's time to piss or go and forage for food. And there is no food, because you have no money. So it's always the worst of the world's cuisine. Food as an additive to vehicle fuel; sold alongside it as an afterthought, to trick you into thinking you're hungry for cheese behind that wheel.

I had no idea at any point whether I was hungry or not, but the 'eat or else maybe die' aspect of being alive kicked in to full gear. And that's what I'm talking about. That's what driving on threadbare gets you: a complete change in psyche. The world mauls at the window like car wash brushes while your world consists of 32GB of music and another book, and watching that little real life television bring trees to a kind of psychedelic life while you, again, look back on every poor decision you made when you were twenty-three; why you thought you were right then, and why you are right now in a way you weren't then, and why you will be wrong in the future, but how you will also be right because of being wrong now, and how right that is.




then you

have the pleasure of complete arrival at your destination. When you have arrived at the venue and you have completed your sound-check and packed and unpacked and been shown around and shown the fridge and the backstage and given the codes and told all and wherewithal and whom then then then you have the pick of the place, and every luxury afforded you. Your status is entirely reversed from forager to one whom people will forage for in order to attend to. And suddenly you are brokered a million cigarettes and freshly iced beer cans and little molten gems of amber whisky in exclusive surroundings. And friendly smiling faces that stay static, and don't just brush by with the ferns. And suddenly, after being spun around in your office chair with your tie wrapped around your head, it is whipped off, and you make your way to your big birthday cake that someone balanced on top of the photocopier, next to the gin and pornography.

But this happens over the course of days, and is eked out in slow motion.

And you spend the last few dulling moments of it at the hotel breakfast, still dizzy, still sleepless, shovelling more pig meat and cheese into your now rotten gullet because you know what's ahead.

And then from the warm hotel lights and dizzy swim of every party, the van door slides shut again and SLAM. The world by accident becomes a little greyer and caged again and you start to smell the seats that smell like seats and you are locked in tupperware again.

And in the ride on the way home the weather is bad. So at the back end of the great white elephant you're travelling in you feel like a rubber raft on the back of a speedboat; your stomach lurching over every change in direction to correct for crosswinds, water leaking in through the roof, brain crunching into an emergency filtered state and then relaxing again, all through the fog of a hangover quilted only by a layer of alien-magic Burger King milkshake that had you laughing four minutes after first drinking it. Full of something not from here. Full of the thing that holds the air together, I'm sure. A baffling drink that could only make me think of Milhouse and Bart and their all syrup Squishy, or the millions of people who currently use amphetamines recreationally.

And then its dark.

It was night.

And I got sleep.

And now I'm doing this.

And now we'll keep doing the album, until the next one.

And I'll buy a cushion.

Have fun,


P.S. It's Trewin's birthday.

Trewin: setting fire to your computer screen.