Saturday, 9 May 2015

Preservatives.

Well.

Well, well, well.

Well, well, well, well, well.

Right.

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...

...you...

...the knife...

...the butter...

...it all...

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

...dripping...gold...

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.


Tim

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.

But

but

but

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,

Tim

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

Trewin: setting fire to your computer screen.
 

Friday, 27 March 2015

OK, Swiss.

https://youtu.be/NzSxvyX3QfA

Let's get this straight.

Zurich on no sleep.

Crazy guys out on the road, living life, yeah?

Time for a nap. We'll see what happens when we get there. Until then: enjoy the view.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Just come to the gig tomorrow.

There are glitches on some video games that have gained relative internetty fame where the characters appear not with faces and freshly rendered, plump fake flesh, but merely as eyes on stalks, sometimes with wide, toothy, lipless grins.

"I do."

Cheery elements of facial features suspended in mid-air.

That's pretty much how we are right now.

It's been a ring-around-the-rosie of various illnesses and viruses in the band, culminating in my laying on my stomach in the middle of the practice room yesterday trying not to sing a symphony onto the floor while Sez handled his sneezed out snot like the sands of time; forever trickling through hands, flowing like Italian dough, the others looking on through braeburn apple eyes regretting every decision they'd ever made.

We've all had something or other over the last few weeks. I can only hope we're over it, now. I certainly feel better. I give it an hour. I found a pecan slice under the fridge but I'm being sensible and trying not to eat it too fast.

So, after how-many-days?-I-have-forgotten of wall-to-wall rehearsals, we're on the last day of them today. We are getting it together, of course, for this show at Cargo...tomorrow. New material, and all that. Always worth a mention. Album songs that you wouldn't have heard before. Just a couple. Just a couple of newbies thrown in there being heard for the first time tomorrow night. With a string quartet. Just a couple of new songs. From the album. Just a couple.

Shit. Is it tomorrow? It totally is.

Don't worry – we're ready – it's just that it's been so long since we played in the UK that the whole idea of playing has become a little alien. 


It's too early.

But then 

Tim

Thursday, 19 February 2015

It's a long one.

Right.

Push on through and start this.

So we pull up in Paris at about 1 a.m., suddenly all too aware that we have nowhere to stay. I'd been up since five – never wanting my 'room-mate' to be up and getting ready for work while I lay about in bed, using my 'career' as an excuse – and the two drivers had about seven hours of driving in their pockets. Jeb is Jeb, so he was tired, and Seryn was exhausted from the comparative over-stimulation of having left the house.

Do we kip in the van, blanketed-up against the cold streets of Paris, or do we check-in to the first hostel we see? Perhaps we should have planned ahead. We back and forth on this, eating from a pallet that we'd filled with food before leaving the house. Muffins and slices and pasties and out-of-date crisps and the things that we lived on over the course of the trip.

Never more pastry than in these few days.

What do we do?

Jeb can be proactive when seeking slumber, so he was the first to volunteer to run over the square in which we'd parked and speak to our first French person outside of a service station.

It was costly. Twice the price than if we'd booked online. This was the extent of our research.

But we were much as I am now: a passenger in a poltergeist. We had all reached that point where your brain convinces you that fuel is to be found in frowning.

No more of this. No more. None.

Worry about it tomorrow.

Credit card, and lifts that act like a puzzle from The Crystal Maze.

Take the stairs.

We were split across rooms on the fifth floor.

It all looked so fine from outside. All glass and lights and 'modern traveller'.

Into the sweaty, humid black. Bunks were assigned but already filled by others, so find your own. It was a wild west of foam mattresses as thick as DVD cases and what felt like alien fingers crawling across you as you slept. I thought the room was full, but torchlight in my bunk at 4 a.m. told me otherwise. Another intrepid traveller, attempting to take what had been allocated. Sorry, Sir, but when the authorities' backs are turned, we have our own game going on. You'll have to figure out these rules on your own, just as I did.

I eventually got an hour or two of rest after laying awake in the dark for hours, sniggering at my imaginings of how the others were getting along in their respective rooms.

It was a joy, then, after being awoken by the 7 a.m. refitting of the next-door bathroom, to arrive at a riverside breakfast greeted by four other frog-eyed men whose arms were as limp and lame as the stale cereal they were each lumping into their mouths. Jeb chewed on the milk and took a sip of sawdust coffee, before giving me a look.

'This is shit, isn't it.'

Nobody slept as soundly as the spiders that spin around the van.

So we moved in confusion and caffeine, driving around to get the kind of view of these cities we so often get; mainly from the window of a rumbling van. Tin can safari.

We did hop out to get a few selfies out by the Eiffel tower, though. Despite our state, our smell, and our brains slowly calcifying, we were still classified as humans; still strangers to one of the most iconic cities in the world.

It's all a blur, from then until our checking in to the hotel we'd been afforded for this night by the promoter. This was a first. Our first hotel. Riverside. In we go, our chests puffed up with pride.

Name?...breakfast...Check out...rooms...keys...yes, yes, yes. Mmmhmmm.

'...and it's all been paid for.'

This put a particular kind of smile on our faces.

Showers, naps. Games.

Knock on Grandad Jeb's door and run away. He will always open it, and always grumble.

Meanwhile, I'm peering out from behind the vending machines down the way, and giggling, and wondering why no-one else will play with me.

But we're clean and hydrated and heading to the gig, in a cool little place called the Trabendo, just off the beaten track, as part of the Fireworks festival.

Thanks to the crew and staff and promoter, you were all fantastic.

And hello to the awesome Sylvan Esso and Fickle Friends, with whom we had the honour of sharing the stage.

And thanks to all the people who turned up. The room was absolutely fantastic. There was a feeling in the air that I haven't felt in a long time. Out front, and backstage, the party was a constant force to be reckoned with, and everyone was a part of it. Smiles and energy and good feeling and smooth running. No hiccups, just good people and good times and grins and sweat and beer and bourbon.

Those are a few of my favourite things.

And then we pack up and ditch the van and head out, surfing on the buzz that only a great gig in a strange city and no sleep can provide.

We were ably guided by a local friend of a friend – the International Phoria Network runs deep – and after watching the barriers of the metro fall like crumbling mountains beneath our flying feet, we travelled through the wormhole to go...where? We did not know.

'Do you have any idea where we are?' Jeb asked.

'Nope!' I said, with a grin on my face.

Suddenly a bar, and I'm hanging off the end of it like a villain at the end of some action movie, the city trying to pry my fingers off and make me fall.

There are people inside, and there are people outside. We're talking and proudly letting our Englishness fall out of us like farmyard buckets spilling over with freshly produced, certified organic effluence. We're outside, bragging and joking. We're inside, leading the loud party and the music gets bigger and little pockets that once sat around in stone start ordering more and breaking out in dance, and we claw into the wood, making more beer and getting thicker and letting Paris channel us wherever it wishes.

And then we get a taste of it.

And I'm looking at my phone, trying to GPS it back to the hotel with everyone in tow, and I look up and the world has gone dark. The lights have gone out. I'm only reading shadows. I'm in the street and there is no colour anywhere.

I call the others and there is no answer. But I have the route to the hotel.

I find Jeb, like a lamppost in the wind, swaying on some corner with a little gaggle that had joined us out of the bar.

And I'm getting a call from one of the gang I've lost, my phone beaming at me through the darkness.
They've been locked inside a shop. Their eyes were bigger than their bellies could afford and now we are stuck and they are locked in behind blind black steel shutters and we are broke. We are stony broke, and the manager wants one Euro.

One Euro.

Oh, and before this bit, just as I have found myself in the darkness, I am caught in the centre of the underground workings of the city, for a brief moment, and it is only after the tires scream away behind me that I realise, alone and newly unlit as I was, that it was perhaps only a little joke in French about my personal 'intake' habits that may have gotten me out of more trouble than any steel shutter will give you. Everyone here is spring heeled.

Listen, in GCSE French, children.

But this man was sniffing, as it were, around the shop where my friends are shuttered. What's linked, here?

And a man appears out of the darkness, his bright white eyes gleaming. Also our Parisian guide has come to help, appearing from nowhere. She and the man are now arguing.

I must leave her and find one Euro.

So Jeb is still with his friends on a distant corner and they have something strange going on, and while he leans against the wind he chats to one or two of them who have craning necks and meerkat insincts, and who I know I have seen before; who ignored me on the other side of the road, and now they are surrounding us and circling us like jackals.

And one man speaks to one girl who wants to take us clubbing on the Champs Ellysees, and from what I hear he wants something from her more than the cigarettes that she offers, and in between the laughter and the heads of lager and fizz and pop there is a cats cradle being weaved and my mind takes an ugly turn.

On the other side of the street, they are still arguing. She is strong and that is good, but his eyes are fierce and there are more mopeds than only his, all with their engines running and heads turned uniformly, watching their friend.

And I break in to the conversation behind Jeb that I have been monitoring, because these party animals are smaller and the men who have caught them are not well, and I must have one Euro. My friends are locked in. But he doesn't care. And I have a Rizla raised in my hand that's out in front of me and I am ready because I have interrupted his cold-call sales pitch, so the thin roll of paper is held up like a fool's talisman and rests, powering the hand that protects me with mere drunken innocence and I keep my wits about me and I bag a coin from the girl once she has put the man to rest and he leaves and she returns to some of her friends who have appeared. And Jeb sways and I tell him to come with me, because we have raised more than our fair share of anything for one evening.

And the moped gang takes one measly Euro and slides off to whatever deliveries they may make, while the gang reunites and laughs and courts the last, strange thirty-minutes in confusion and relief and we walk a moment and the light returns to the city and turns everything gold and we smile, and Trewin says we need something to remember what happened and I say don't worry, I'll be writing about it.

So we say goodbye to our guide and our friend and we waltz through the roads, staring down taxis, and I'm wondering where we will go next, and what possible route we will be taken on to get to whatever resting place we might be heading to tonight, because we do not know if it will be wood or stone at our heads. A night rarely lets you go once you've been thrown to the dogs. You have to get out before they put the reigns on you, else you're not getting out at all.

And then I am sure he was an angel.

Patient and kind, to four strange and loud men, in our first night in Paris. He spoke no English, so I did my best, again – sat in the front seat with my phone held out in front of me, showing him the same route that I'd tried to get us on so much earlier in the evening. And he followed it and let me speak in broken French and smiled and nodded. He did know one phrase, actually. So I would speak badly and apologise and he would say 'It's OK. No problem.' It happened enough times that we were laughing about it.

And we got out at the hotel and he was a good man and we tipped him well and we stood outside the hotel and smoked in silliness and brushed into the lobby to say hello to the night staff, with smiles on our faces and brains that had been well thorned by the rose of Paris.

One man can work the bar, but he has no power. The hotel shuts the pumps down and locks the cabinets. I can buy him a drink. No? We still have something left in us, Trewin and I. We sit and drink water and we learn the man's politics and how he is a good man. We mean him well. It is short but he is courteous, and I hope he found us respectful.

How else would we be?

And suddenly we swallow night-time like a pill and it is morning and I don't know how I've slept, but I have. I am in bed. And the mirror shows that I am on television, being filmed on a handi-cam, and the mirror turns sideways and bumps itself on my head.

And we all pour down the lift-shafts and again just throw the breakfast at ourselves.

And we go, swimming through the air with light heads to wherever we parked the van. Ed is well rested. He will drive.

And Paris says goodbye to us and we wonder what the hell just happened.

These cities have their ways. We'll be doing more of them as we go. We'll be back in Germany in May, and we're looking forward to our first gig in Norway at some point later this year. Zurich, too, next month. And Brussels.

And until then we'll be getting the album done, as we have been doing so diligently. We're in a good spot. We're doing well.

Come and see us, if you're about. Check everything out for where we are. It ain't right here.

Because, for now, I am trying to piece this all together.

Thanks, Paris, and all who helped us along the way. We'll be back.

And we'll carry an extra Euro, now that we know.

Just in case.

Because these things can happen.

Over One Euro.

Hope you enjoyed it.

Tim


Sunday, 8 February 2015

Sunday confession.

How do we go about it?

Well first, you need to get stuck in an old car in the icy weather, one of you out front squirting de-icer at the windscreen (Ed) while the other (me) petrifies inside trying to get the heaters to work (they don't) and skating the windscreen wipers across the still frozen windscreen when you hear a muffled 'OK! Try it again!' over the sound of whirring fans and pop-pickers' radio.

Then you've got to skate on worn rubber to the train station and wait at a kind of pick-up/drop-off roundabout for the person who claims to represent your interests on a day-to-day basis. (This road is no good for someone like me – someone who wouldn't know where to put themselves if they'd been assigned their own seat at their own birthday party in their own house and they were the only person there, e.g. May 3rd 2013 – so there I was behind the wheel, shuffling and moving and making little trips backwards and forwards around one of those 'no-one-minds-we-don't-mind-you-don't-mind' blind-eye car-park-non-car-parks out the back of Brighton station until every other car just left a nine foot gap either end of me, placing bets on what I was going to do next.)

I was just trying to stay out of everybody's way, and strike the balance between my car neither blowing up nor breaking down. It's a see-saw, this life, I tell you.

Then you purchase Hussein quantities of alcohol. And carrots and crisps and dips and pizza.

Then head home to have a business meeting.

And share stories that go nowhere, and discuss mixing engineers and international corporate finance and strategy. And sit in light diffused by a couple of freshly laundered shirts because you don't have a good enough lampshade. Headaches are for tomorrow – not now. We're talking business and getting things done, you see.

And we're getting on one another's nerves and tickling each other's little bones, as it were, of contention and trying to pick the locks to each other's thinking places.

And we discuss the usual. How we're going and where to get there. And usually the trip is only as far as the kitchen to get another bottle or to check the food hasn't burned and whether any new gossip has come about in the house – which is spilling over like bad broth with the lives of 'other people' – in the last few hours before taking a deep breath and goodnighting to the others and diving back into the sea of six of us too skilled in the popular arts and living too much in the shadow of our shared cultural history to go to bed sober even once at this stage in our slowly degrading lives.

And us chosen ones hammer our lungs and livers and head out, as some of us fall by the wayside late, yet early, to the nitty-gritty of where we are, and who we are, because we're friends and not everything is easy and this great block of iron that is us needs forging, and that needs fire, and sometimes in a fire a hedgehog will catch alight. 

And the hedgehog will come running out from beneath the brush and swear his revenge against all of humanity, wherein the devil will find a willing soul, and engage us in the never-ending battle between good and evil; this world and the next; Ant and Dec.

So how do we go about it?

How do we go about our business?

Like righteous Gods. That's how. Breathing fire at the devils for your own protection.

So...

We're still working. We have these pictures in our heads. It's a process; it is what it is. Just know that today is Sunday and Sunday is for bleeding the evil out and letting the spirits in.

So get your leech on and allow us to shower you, as ever, in our everlasting love, for you have been invited to attend our mass.

Tim


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

There's a joke in this title.

What is a typical day like, at the moment?

We're in the gritty midst of a million different things, being snatched at and strangled by so many clammy hands that none of them can yet get a tight enough grip on our necks to pull us down.

Much of our work is fueled by bananas, coffee, and fatty snacks.

First thing is communication. There are always little bits of housekeeping to be done at the beginning of the day, be that replying to an email or putting a little package together or replying to your nice messages or checking this or that with whomever is sorting what.

I put things together sometimes, like little splashes of promo. Maybe a blog post, here or there, where I make things up entirely to put to bed the pretence that a musician's life is one of excitement and glamour. I often complete these tasks under a sheet, listening to Brian Eno and wondering if 11 a.m. is too early to finish yesterday's crisps.

It's not too early.

I've usually got about ten other windows open too, with some other stuff that I've been working on for a bit, so it ain't all sleep and cake.

Usually on a day like today the band will get together around 2 p.m. It's a time that suits everyone. Jeb's usually been up late, hallucinating into a computer screen until his clicking finger looks like one of Schwarzennegger's legs. Sez usually joins us around five or six, depending on what he's done with his day. Meanwhile Jeb, Trewin, Ed and I have a little jam, or just a noodle on some instruments, or edit some stuff for the new album, or have a session of ideas or just a cup of tea and a chat to warm up for the evening. Chat and a laugh.

Then we practice and problem solve. I think there's a new track where I'm going to be playing keys, and drums, and probably a harp with one of my feet. It's a bit like planning a war and sending your medic out on his/her/its/bear's own to plant explosives deep behind enemy lines.

And that goes on into the night. Getting the new songs done and choosing synths and putting the new live set together alongside the album. That's where we are. And we have little chats where we brainstorm and go off into flights of fancy about the future and what we could do with it, little ball of decorative marzipan that it is. And we look at potential artwork and trash it while drinking brandy with our little fingers sticking out and debating whether the ancient Egyptians predicted the Libor rigging scandal.

And then we say goodnight to each other and disappear into our respective hidey holes and drink Horlicks and cuddle our teddy bears and play old vinyls of our mothers singing us lullabys. And we do our homework and stay in school in play in the local sports team and eat healthily, just like Jamie Oliver has rigorously instructed us to under penalty of televised death for the last ten years of relentless commercial dictatorship on a show called The Non-Running Man.

And we fall asleep and suffer nightmares. Nightmares of the invasion by giant babies that swim through space as if it's water. Their scalp appears first, over the horizon, glowing like a torch shone from close proximity against a peach, before suddenly the big blue eyes appear and the smiling, toothless mouth that promises peace, at last, from all human suffering.

And then I wake up in a cold sweat to the sound of ethereal noise, and I realise that I never left my bed at all, but in fact fell asleep while writing this very note.

Then how did these words appear? I must don my cloak and jump the first carriage that will take me to the seminary. Surely Lord Pheethenstaph will want to know about this.

That's a typical day in the life of the band Phoria of which I am a part.

Tim

P.S. Probably mention Cargo album preview 10th March as that's something we're doing.