Sunday, 13 April 2014

It's like you've got one of those dentist's mirrors and you're using it to peek around the corner of our lives like a Hollywood spy.

So we've got an interview today. Cool! Not a bad way to spend a Sunday evening.

It makes you wonder how to be, though. How do we turn up? What do you wear to appear in words? Does it change anything? Who do you appear as? Yourself? Maybe. What if even you find yourself somewhat of a doof? What risks do you run in putting up a front? Especially if you question your own judgement on what makes someone not a doof. Using the word 'doof' marks you as something of an ass on its own. So what do you do?

Are you charming? Who knows? Could you pretend to be? Maybe.

Are you disarmingly humble? No.

Do you risk, in projecting an air of confidence, appearing to think that you're more talented than the person on the other end of the dictaphone thinks you are? Where are we then? Does that air result in your convincing people that there's more to you than first appears, that perhaps your work demands an even more positive appraisal? Or do you come off as some arrogant and clueless little thing, convinced of its own superiority but ignorant of how opinions are formed in other peoples heads?

What if you come across as caring too much about how you're taken by others?

What if you come across as alarmingly insecure, or worse, boring?

No, conversations are too big a risk to take. Expression is too big a risk to take. What I think we should do is just sit indoors and never talk to anyone, ever, about anything at all. Like Kate Bush, but without that nagging history of success.

Maybe it doesn't matter. At all. Maybe it's all OK. Maybe there's no such thing as expressing an opinion or attitude that doesn't potentially alienate a large number of the people you're supposed to be trying to get on your side. Maybe if you try and please everyone you just end up going into politics, claiming that The Big Society is part of some grand spiritual mission rather than an attempt to rip out hard fought for governmental support for people who weren't born into a comfortable network of potential. Are there no workhouses? No? Then they should build their own.

So who cares, eh? These questions rise and fall, and the only answer is to go and do and be and not care about it. Have fun, and ignore the sirens and riots that result outside the pub door as a result of what you just said.

I hope you're well, having your Sunday. I keep saying it, but things are coming. We are working, and we are happy with how it's sounding. Artwork, at the mo. That's where we are. The sounds are there. It's coming. And we just might know when, but, as is usual with self-production, we're taking the time to do it right, lest we alienate anyone; lest we fail to appeal to every living thing and come across as people with ideas.

Tim

This unpopular post written with the aid of self-reflexive irony.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Oh it's time for FUN. EH? ISN'T IT? EH? YE



                Right. I’m supposed to tell you about the photoshoot we went for, aren’t I? That’s the kind of thing that usually turns up on here. I tell you about the horribly early morning that only took its toll at 9PM yesterday, when I looked at my phone (goodbye, horology for the unenthused) expecting it to read ‘late into the night’ when in fact it read ‘you just bombed the town of Circadia’. 

                I tell you about the journey up. Five of us facing forwards in a car, having a puffy-eyed laugh, rather than rattling about in the van with the threat of a cymbal stand in a face-hole looming its chromed head at every red light.

                Then I say that we arrived at our destination, in a kind of ‘phew’ tone. A feeling that even this description of that phenomenon has managed to induce a little. Don’t ask me how it’s done. And there’s the bare sarcasm, layered thickly like the similes that often appear here, too.

                Then a funny thing that happened. Something relatively small but humorously magnified. Ed was worried about something in a sandwich, or Trewin realised he’d left his washing on a goat so we had to rush home. Something like that. Nothing like that really happened. It was literally a normal day with very little adventure. The photoshoot was fun and we’re very grateful to Rhona for doing it for us. We’re either getting more professional or more boring. I see no evidence of eitherTHERE’STHATSARCASMAGAIN(hee hee ho, mateys!)

                So we’re back in it now; back in the actual description of events rather than an attempt at having fun with the format. We just drove home. That’s literally it. We said loads of funny things and talked about the shortcomings of various Hollywood franchises. People in a car. You know how it goes. Imagine times you’ve been in a car with people (not that time you parked around the back of the industrial estate because your divorced friend said she really wanted to try it but needed someone there in case ‘something goes wrong’ and then you realised that in fact you have a fear of gloveboxes so you vomited all over her skirt and she had to drive you to the hospital because you were starting to retch your leg bones up around your ribs and through your dribbly, bile smeared lips) I’m really out of ideas and still very tired have a nice weekend I’ll let you know how we get on with the new material next week.

Happy Mothering Sunday.

Tim

Friday, 14 March 2014

[intentionally left ironic]

‘Brrrrr’, said Binky.

‘Grrabbabararabrabrbatatat attt tatt tata ttatat.’


From Our Van in Vanvana by Van-key Moon.



So our delicious van – the van that took us to Croatia and back with nary an issue but how best to express its apparent love for us – started throat singing like Frankenstein the other day. Five minutes down the road from the house, it was. We were due at our Hoxton B&K gig in about three hours.

                We drove home. What to do?

                Take it to a friendly garage?

                Money. Time. Fear.

                Rent a van.

                Frantic calls.

                ‘Yes, this is van.’

                Trewin and Ed went with themselves in Ed’s car. Jeb and Seryn took the wholly sensible step of going inside the house while we waited. I sat very still and silent in the broken down van and stared into space.

                I heard a rumbling coming up the hill. Diesel.

                Trewin beamed from the open window.

                ‘You’re going to be so excited…’ he said.

                Ed and I have a history of giifting large and valuable amounts of time to the video games Tekken II and Fifa. I go round fairly often – usually an hour or two before rehearsal or something – to relentlessly thrash him to within an inch of his life. Eh? Eh? What’s that, Ed? Oh sorry I can’t hear you over the wall of servers separating your response from this indeleteable wall of text. Should I redress the balance and say that you’ve won, like, one game in six months? Should I, Ed? And that was even before we found out that the controller I’ve been using is a bit dodgy? Hmm? Eh? Yes, I’d love  a coffee.

                …so we discover that there’s a PlayStation in the back of the van. The van with plump and bulging leather seats, pregnant with hours of inactivity.

                Ed 
n
i
p
s home on my instruction to get the games, delaying our departure by about six minutes. A harmless sacrifice, in my opinion.

                ‘Where’s Ed?’ asks Trewin.

                ‘Erm… dunno. I think he’s dropping his car back.’

                I run away from the conversation.

                I literally don’t care about anything but playing video games in the back of the luxury van at this point. We decided that Binky (the name of our regular van, if you don’t yet realise this) should never know that we’d been out whoring, and that it would be disrespectful to denigrate her out of earshot, especially considering our history with her, so we reign in our praise on ‘Overlord van’, as I shall now call it.

                Overlord van was literally a dalliance. A costly, baroque dalliance. Think of it as nothing more than the lunch-hour activities of a city-bound banker or politician. You know – the self-proclaimed moral arbiters of society.

To remain happy in the Rick Parfitt we shall have to flick that switch we all have and reorder our memories. Force feed our brains the food that makes the remembered imaginary.

                So the trip up there was good.

                Then the gig. Lovely. Great stuff from Groves and Amy Studt. Thanks to all of you who came down to see us and thanks to the good people at IAM for putting us on. We were really pleased with the turnout. If you didn’t come then I ask you: What the hell else were you up to on a Wednesday? Fishing? Where were you going fishing in the centre of London? Some pavement? No, no, no. This doesn’t add up at all. I refuse to believe your harmful concrete lies.

                The gig was fun. I pretty much destroyed myself. That’s always a good thing.

                So – in, out, play on the PlayStation.

                Little story simplified: Ed was winning. ‘Someone get out and help me park, please.’ ‘OK Trewin, but don’t turn off the ignition because I’m winning against Tim and I never win. Turning off the ignition turns off the games console. I’m literally just about to win.’ ‘OK.’ Brum brum brum. ‘OK that’s good.’ (turns ignition off) ‘Oops.’ ‘Oh Trewwwwwiiiiiiiiiiin!’

                I promise, that’s all from mine and Ed’s little obsession. I just couldn’t leave that little bit out, as I often say.

                So then we went inside and did the usual, wrenching up my favourite landscape with the usual means of tectonic transit. Big green bottles and tinnys and candles and cigarette making apparatus and snacks springing up everywhere and everyone laughing and planning our next move towards total world dominance. Release dates, etc.

Release dates.

I outlasted everyone, again. Everyone. I ended up finishing my wine and dismantling prematurely discarded fag-butts to craft glorious machinations of charred health on my own at sun o’clock in the morning. Mmmm. Good?

                Morning. Everyone’s happy. Drive home.

                No games, please – I’ve forgotten how to use my eyes.

                And then it was home. Bacon sandwiches, tea, and a lingering feeling of a job well done.

                Well done.

                More soon. The new songs at the gig were just a taster of what we have in store.

                Be well, and enjoy your Friday - you never know when the next one might be.

                Tim
               



Monday, 3 March 2014

Blog entry number: Dalmations.

Where are we, then? What are we up to, eh? Are you hungry, are you? Are you hungry for more? Are you? I am.

Where are we, then?

Well, we signed off on one or two things last week. That’s good. Nothing like ‘OMG Phoria are whatever big now’ kind of stuff, but really good and exciting stuff nonetheless. We’re proud and happy to be working with everyone we work with which is a great position to be in and we feel very lucky especiallyinthisphaseofourcareer, which we can only hope is the early phase. Imagine if it isn’t. Imagine if this is the late phase. Imagine.

Go on.

Shit, isn’t it.

I mean…that’s it. The waterwheel just keeps spinning. I didn’t know it had it in it. Still the music pours out of the speakers, still there’s a frequency that needs tweaking, a spread that needs balancing, a trinket that needs placing just on the edge of the mantelpiece so despite the comfortable chair and fine whisky we’ve laid on for you there’s still this little sense of urgency in your chest demanding that you don’t let the little thing fall off despite our telling you specifically not to touch anything before we left the room to go and find our special lubrication provided to us by a time travelling future gravel-as-auto-erotica entrepreneur.

That’s where we are. That’s how we’re trying to make you feel. Don’t touch it. We left it there on purpose. It won’t fall. Or will it? Your synapses are telling you it will. But will it? No. Trust us. Oh, hang on…

Repeat.

Repeatitagain.

We’re on this list, which is good. Very nice people at Gigwise. They’ve been really supportive. We like them. The whole list is great and it’s lovely to be among those names.

If you trust their opinion, here’s the facebook page of our next gig in London. Get it up on your feeds and that and hopefully we’ll see you there.

Sez has started pumping out playlists for everyone to get their well-used little ears around. Here’s one.

This week?

Sort more stuff out. Keep everything moving. Build a house out of litmus paper.

It’s Monday, and I’m sorry for that. If anything big happens, I’ll call you on a dog's bones.

Tim







Tuesday, 25 February 2014

I enjoy it, anyway.

We’ll start at the beginning, then, as is the fashion.

Not that there’s much of a middle. Or an end.

Oh good: I can relax.

We hit Bristol last week and we’ve only just recovered. Thanks so much to everyone who came. Start the Bus is a great venue – really friendly and accommodating. It makes a difference when you get a good crew and a good vibe before the gig. The crowd grew in numbers while we were onstage, too, which is always good. Yeah…basically it was good and everyone was friendly and had a good time, is the crux of the matter. A bit of a non-story. This whole ‘starting at the beginning’ thing has fallen at the first hurdle to be honest - although that in itself would imply a linear narrative, which of course this inevitably has as it is, like music or baking a delicious cake, something that you cannot help but experience as something persisting through time, meaning you’ll naturally apply your own sense of narrative to it. If you didn’t recognise that I didn’t start at the beginning at the beginning (which I actually did) then you wouldn’t be able to say ‘He didn’t start at the beginning’ when your friend asks ‘What’s the first thing you notice wrong with this?’ Mileage may vary by tolerance and/or imagination.

But you digress.

It’s been a funny old week. One of those where not that much has changed but you feel like you’ve been up to loads. What that does mean is that you’re filled with the enthusiasm of busy days but with very few meaningful stories to tell if you, like me, were stuffed from a young age with a suspicious modesty and a tendency to slip subtle hidden messages into your blogs. It’s like life: at the end of it all you’re just left with a dull hangover; your brain feeling like a well-wrung dishcloth and your body blalaaaaaaaa

BLALAAAALALAALALaALAALA

aaaaaaaaand your tongue fingers licking at a keyboard with nothing much to say, but a sharp and distinct urge to say it, as usual.

Look, we’re a way in to the week, now, OK?. Oh no, it’s only Tuesday. We’re, like, a day away from the beginning. That was good, wasn’t it? Remember when the week was new and fresh and exciting, just like every Monday? It’s somewhat erotic, isn’t it? That first thrust into the week ahead, teasing Tuesday like a FILTHY WHORE?

It’s not, is it.

Music.

The band.

Enjoy yourself, whatever you’re doing.


Tim

Friday, 14 February 2014

Exactly the kind of thing you should expect in the 21st century.

There’s a chill in the air, isn’t there?
               
                Valentine’s wishes to those of you having a tough meterological time of it in at the moment. We’re on the South Coast, but are not seeing the kind of badness that lots of you are. Do be well, or ‘do-be-do-be-do be well’ as Fred Sonata would say.
               
                We’ve been all around the houses this week. A couple of days of recovery, a couple of days of great big work and more new songs for live purposes. Lots of stuff going on behind the scenes as always, new avenues and futures and all that as usual. The same old stuff in that everything is new. Consistence in novelty and excitement. It’s pretty good, really.

                I’m just putting together the last bits of my ‘Valentine’s day surprise’ for my loved one. It’s a 21st century musician’s lifestyle simulator – the most realistic one yet! First I will succumb to an absurd desire to destroy my body and mind, then we’ll live in one damp room with nothing but books and guitars for company, and then this evening we’re going to feast on scraps of rat and cupboard shavings! Ooh, she’s a lucky girl. Then she gets to agree to everything I say and agree that everything I do is good so I don’t crumple into a pool on the floor, weeping into an essay entitled ‘What I want to be when I grow up.’

                I think the rest of the band have the same kind of thing ‘planned’.

                Happy Valentine’s Friday!

                Telston


                Tim’s top tip: One thing missing on Valentine’s day? i.e. human contact? Simply drink heavily and manipulate a hand puppet into a selection of depraved acts! Or, order a bunch of flowers delivered to your door alongside a card that reads ‘From yourself.xx’ Upon receiving them, immediately open the card, stare the courier in the face and declare ‘They are flowers from me that I sent to myself.’ The courier will run away so fast that they’re bound to knock someone unconscious in their retreat. Hey presto! A Valentine’s date is yours!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

It was a gig and it is one that we played.

I’ve decided to write this while all the strange colours and shapes from last night are still somewhat vivid in my memory. Good, no? I’ve got my second coffee of the day on the go after just getting through my front door, so let’s start with the joys of gigging.

Those who came to our St. Pancras Old Church gig are very beautiful people. Thank you so much for your support. Nice venue, no? Interesting, fun...a little strange. I thoroughly enjoyed shaking all the religious artifacts with incredible bass power during soundcheck. And in the gig. Big shout outs to Cate Ferris (‘support’ act. She ‘supported’ us with her songs. ‘Suppooooooort.’), Louis D’aboville who sorted out that whole light thing we had going on, and to our fabulous string quartet who, despite playing instruments that aren’t made of buttons that go BBRRRRRRRRRVVVVVVVVVV, still manage to make music. Thanks to Communion, too, for putting the whole thing on. [If I weren't so knackered I'd put links on all those names, but I'm knackered (see earlier in sentence) and some of this bit is an edit, so I'm essentially writing from beyond this entry's grave. Woooooo-oooo.)

I’d like to say that my highlight was when the church bells from across the way started ringing during the quietest and most tender moment of the gig, but that would be my favourite moment in a kind of twisted way which, after having such a good time, I’m not feeling. My actual favourite moment was the end of Posture. We just smashed it and then ended up getting a tidal wave of reaction which, when you’re standing up there, makes everything go away and you can just drown in the flood of sound. It’s very difficult to describe how it hits you, if you haven’t experienced it. It’s like it goes straight through you and your mind kind of hooks onto it as it passes through and you suddenly find yourself living a mile or two behind your own skull. Awesome.

Look at that – a little sincerity, albeit dressed up as something hideous and garish so that I might protect myself from my own feelings. Makes you feel uncomfortable, doesn’t it? Me, too. Let’s sit in this puddle we’ve made for ourselves for just a moment. Tum-tee-tooo.

So, one of the members of the string quartet, who I won’t mention by name because it feels odd to (and I don’t know why), suggested we head back to hers after the show for a little chill and a drinky-poos. There’s no other way to end such a fun night, really, so after a couple of trips to a couple of Greenwich’s finest twenty-four hour supermarkets we found ourselves fully boozed and parked up and inside the building. Inside a lift. The lift didn’t work, for a while, so we were then seven, closeted up close like those fish that come in those overly used similes. It was a couple of minutes after the fear hit that the door finally opened, us having gone nowhere and perfectly happy to consign the last few brushed-chrome moments to the funny bin.

Ah, stairs. Front door. ‘Let me just snap my front door key in half, and we’ll be in.’ she must have said at some point, someone failing to suggest that it might be better to unlock the door, instead. Do you have a spare? No. ‘Hello, flatmate? Where are you? I’ve snapped my key and locked myself out! Oh, you’re in town? Can you...’

No, no, no. No help coming. Rightly so. Not a problem. She was mortified. We, of course, found it funny. Jeb only wished we’d been stuck in the lift for longer so that this might have punctuated the evening even more effectively. She ran to get the ‘super’, which I can only assume means Superman because I believe Superman helps human animals who need the superior help. Hence: Sup ‘erma’ n.

We didn’t go with her, because no-one offered to. Ho-hum. We sat on the floor of the very well appoitment block and opened our beers, like everyone who crosses that line between the privileged and the redundant should. We laughed. We joked. We needed a wee, we tried to pick the lock, and we contemplated lowering Seryn down from the roof with my hair.

She came back, still horrified, no super.

Don’t worry – we’ve got a van, outside.

So we sat in the van, in the wind and the rain, and we figured out what to do next. I mean, drinking and laughing were the first two things, but then we had to figure out how to get a set of keys back from the centre of London at 2am.

Taxi.

Taxi booked.

More laughing. More drinking. More cold, wind, and rain.

Forty minutes passes.

‘Yes, Hi, we ordered a taxi earlier, just wondering if...OK it’s still on its way to him...’

Stupid laughs. Punning on the names of composers, the jokes far too scatalogical for a blog so sophisticated as this little brown bum. Let's just say that 'Rimsky-Korsakov' made an appearance. Not literally, obviously.

‘Hi, we ordered a taxi about an hour ago...’

They’re almost there, they say. Who’s got the baccy?

‘Yeah, ahem, we ordered a taxi about two hours ago and we still haven’t...’

Gluggety gluggety glue. Trewin found some extra-strong tape in the van, made a crown, and we started sticking things to his head.

The wind and rain were still battering the van, and here we were in this car park, listening to an awesome pirate radio station playing some incredible jazz and house. I don’t usually like the radio, but this I could get down with.

Glug glug.

‘Yeah, hi, it’s been three hours now and...’

Ahem.

‘What about [insert immediate despatch courier name here]? They’ll probably do it and it’ll probably be cheaper.’

Very good idea.

‘Yes, that’ll be twenty minutes.’

Twenty minutes later, it showed up. Awesome, truly awesome. We’re talking half-four in the morning, at this point. We were to subsequently learn that a taxi showed up at the location about half an hour later, with the taxi driver telling the person from whom the key had already been collected to ‘go freng yourself’, or somesuch. Ah, well.

So it goes.

Indoooooors!

INNDDDDOOOOOOOOORS!

Lovely flat, big sofas, massive double bass in the corner, laptop, various refreshments, post-gig-glow still in attendance plus the surreal nature of our time in the van...

We ended up laughing, laughing a lot, long into the night and watching the sun rise over the London skyline listening to Ella Fitzgerald.

It was difficult to know exactly when, as the night segued so gloriously into the day that I didn’t feel a click of instinct or routine, but soon enough the adults knew it was time for bed.

‘We don’t have any curtains in the house, so...good luck.’

Thanks.


So that was last night. I now have to stay indoors for the next five years to pay off the loan I had to take out to buy breakfast at a Costa coffee on the A23, so you won’t hear of any shenanegins like this for a long time.

All of us are having a well deserved rest. That was a big gig.

Thanks again for all your support, our dearest people.

Have fun, and let the caffeine start coursing its way through your system this Saturday night, it’ll help you write nonsense.



Tim