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.

Friday, 16 January 2015

I bet you thought I was full of surprises?

In a data driven world where it is possible to so comprehensively think and feel so many different things in an ever diminishing span of time, it's increasingly difficult to pick one idea for which it's worth getting out of bed in the morning. This might be caused by a childish loss of the ability to concentrate (which is easy enough to blame on 'the internet' just as it was on 'the television', 'the radio' and 'the paintings on the wall', rather than seeking the cause in our own personal failings and primitive need for quick slaps of quasi-cerebral occupation), or it might be that, in general, ideas are so diffuse and large swathes of the culture so homogenised that distinct ideas no longer possess the laser-like ability to energise in the way that they once did. So, one may wake up, have, achieve, do fun, and then sleep, perchance to dream, with little source of lobo-motive energy but pre-packaged plastic packeted slates of creatively perverted carbohydrate. There is as much negative to be said about this cycle as there as positive. There is as little left to preach of it as there is vitamin D currently being pressed through my veins. (So many people cared and feared for me and my paper white skin, eighteen months ago, when overloading yourself with as much vitamin D as you could possibly take became a strange source of Great British Pride until kale turned up at the bottom of an aeropress and ruined things for everybody who'd got it all so right, so far.)

And I guess that's kind of what I'm talking about. The world I see that runs rampant in screens and speakers is a flat plate of boring ideas, executed largely by pretenders, mainly for people whose primary interest is themselves and how selfless and nu-new-age they can appear to be to others while buying clothes made by slaves and paid for, with quivering and fearful hands, over a counter attended to by either a tax-dodger or a pseudo-socialist so pierced that they whistle when it's windy.

But perhaps that satirically emphasised point of view is just my own, if that makes it more easy to discard.

Hurrah, then, for a new energy in the Phoria camp, so we might at least attempt to avoid this fate of cookie-cutter drudge and despair and perhaps break through to something a bit different.

New shit. New shit. New people and things and ideas. New music. New directions. We're having discussions where we bash our heads against each other more hard than before to try and come up with something that'll work. We're all sensitive folk, and we're all finding our way, but we all see that we've been sucked into this particular breadth of the temporal vacuum where relevance is more relative than it ever has been before; where age and work can be more easily packaged and sold; where the ability to energise others with whatever you're doing can be achieved more succinctly, through a million different channels all at once, and in a million new ways.

Whether it will all amount to water and ash is something we will have to deal with as it comes, but for now the mere promise of doing something new, whatever it might be, is getting us going, and giving us a little glint in our eyes, and making us look forward to the future.

Let's see what will happen today.

I'll probably fall asleep in an hour. All this energy is tiring me out.

Tim

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Look at the horizon. That's me, there.

Ingredients:

1 banana
2 knife fulls of peanut butter
2 slices of bread (white or wholemeal, but never seeded)
a tilted jar of honey

Lightly toast the bread put peanut butter on the bread slice the banana on the peanut butter on the bread tilt the honey drizzle the honey on the banana on the peanut butter on the bread grill for five minutes or until the banana starts to brown wash down with coffee and a coffee and whatever tobacco products you might have to hand and end up sprawled on the cold hard patio having chewed off your own arm.

We're kind of back, after the Christmas break, looking for winter berries and hot pockets to snuggle in. It's cold here. Everything online might be polished enough to successfully deliver eternal escape, but a computer screen can only keep you so warm.

I fear I may have to leave the comfort of my tiger-print slumbering table. It's dry in here, and outside it rains. But the tracklist is real. The album for the tracklist is real. Sorry – the tracklist for the album is real. We might be getting together today to further the infinite new of culture. Sounds exciting, eh?

All the stuff is ready at the band house. Just half-an-hour down up the alley.

But...the bed. This bed and the state it's in. It's got memory foam on it and I just picked up a new duvet. It has an aura. If temperature is a measure of the movement of atoms, I think the rate at which my body is expelling some musty odour is creating the heat I find myself in. If I leave it a couple more days I might even start to save on the lighting bill. I should not draw this experiment to a close, yet. Neither for the band, nor to reverse my twenty-odd year decline in social status...

I've also got things to do, don't get me wrong – I'm not looking for a day of zero sum.

I'm looking for a day of pulling puppet strings from behind a simmering pot of letters, like an evil Grandma cooking soup.

We've got a few meetings tomorrow, too, in that London, with some people or something who want to enjoy being a part of what we do.

If they like hot beds and bananas, they'll be just fine.

We'll let you know how it goes.

So speak free and loud, and listen out.

Tim


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas is coming.

[opens door]

Oh my days it's you! How are you?

[you hand me a gift wrapped basket of pornography]

Oh! Is that for us? That's so thoughtful!

[I rummage through and pull out 2001: Erased Modesty]

Oh, Jeb will love this one. Is this the director's cut with the monkeys still left in? Fantastic. Come in! Come in and have a coffee.

[I take you by the hand and guide you through beneath slabs of meat hanging on rusty hooks. We sit on short stools around a tiny table. Seryn and Jeb are in the corner, hanging stale donuts and cheap tat on the giant twig we use as a Christmas tree. You can hear Ed in the next room, singing in a falsetto voice whilst doing the washing up loudly in a passive aggressive attempt to make us feel guilty]

So, how have you been?

[you give me some boring answer about the family and illness and how much bad stuff has happened to you]

Yeah, that's great. Let me put some music on.




Now this is one of my favourites of the year. Should perk you up. It's got Christmas bells in it at the beginning.

[you finally ask how our year has been]

Well, it's been a funny one! We've had things that we thought were going to happen sink without trace, but then new and more exciting things have constantly popped up to replace them, which is cool. Display came out this year, and did nicely. We did a UK tour, a little European tour, and loads of shows, all around the place. We got some good airplay on Radio One, were a record of the week on BBC Radio Six, smashed the Hype Machine again, broke Soundcloud, went recording at Abbey Road, and just generally did loads of great stuff. Seryn got a job in Sainsbury's car park for last few weeks, which he loves and says he might take up instead of the band. I think he calls it 'extra-commercial lead generation', which excites him, at least.

[Seryn's face appears from behind a bauble: 'I am easily excited, let me tell you.']

It's easy, with the way things are going at the moment, to look at stuff negatively (like, you know, the loud rise of a socially conservative minority that have somehow taken all the popular power in a country where more than half of the voting population voted 'left', and only one third voted for a right wing party – a party that hid behind a lie of centrist rhetoric, smiles, and bicycles - at the last election...and alongside that the only apparent counterbalance in our popular discourse is a mediocre comedian with the political views of a fifteen year old rolling a spliff under a pier), but when we think that this year we've had some of our best gigs, and our best times, in the back of a ragged old van with cheap bottles of booze and a DIY set-up that we love more than life itself, it's difficult to be upset. We have been very, very, very lucky.

[you warn us about...]

Yes, yes, I know. Still, we're really grateful to Ben and Stevie at X Novo, Jörg, Colin, Vivien, and Robin at Humming Records, Jesse the plugger, James and Jules at The Agency, Carlo at ASS (or wherever he is now), Ciara and Bram and Nell and Archie, erm...we're grateful to everyone we've stopped working with this year for everything they've done, and we're really looking forward to new relationships in the new year. We're grateful to all the promoters who had us play, and all of the people who let us stay in their houses, without knowing us. Nottingham; Leicester; Copenhagen. We're just grateful for everyone who's been involved – everyone who came to see us, everyone who bought the EP, everyone who follows us on social media, everyone who's covered us and interviewed us in blogs and on 'tape'. Even the person alone in their room who was looking at pictures of me and then accidentally clicked 'like' on the Phoria page and was about to 'unlike' until this textual distraction popped up in their newsfeed. That's a list, isn't it?

['Stop it.']

Alright.

It's true, though.

So, yeah. What are you doing for Christmas?

[you say how you're spending it alone, curled up beside a candle for warmth and drawing pictures with your finger in the ripped carpet of all the people who have abandoned you.]


['What...like...pornography?]

Obviously not.

['Like...money? Are there no workhouses?']

Well, yeah. Call centres. But many would rather die than cold call vulnerable people and scare them into buying double glazing.

['Then they had better hurry up and die, and decrease the surplus population.']

Not sure.

['Yeah, they should.']

Don't know.

[Seryn's wide-eyed face pops out from the top of the Christmas twig and says: 'Christmas, let me tell you.' Jeb is eyeing up one of the donuts.]

[you ask if we got you anything, as you have very little to your name but still managed to steal us a big basket of now illegal pornography. I flick through the most recent ones, including In to Stella and Hard Ians of the Galaxy. allow me this fun]

Watch our social media on Christmas day, perhaps. Watch our social media on Christmas day, perhaps when you're stuffed full of Turkey [you say you haven't got a Turkey] and supermarket booze [you spent all your money on double glazing, you say] and perhaps we'll make something available to soothe your spirit. Maybe we'll have something available around then that you can put your Christmas money into.

Something distant from the racket, which everyone will need.

[Jeb puts the star on top of the tree, picks a donut from the box, and whispers in my ear that it's time for 'The Ritual']

Well, I'm going to have to let you go.
[You say your name is Trewin and you live here]

No you don't. Bye.


Monday, 13 October 2014

We'd like to insist that you complete this voluntary questionnaire.

We thank you for your involvement thus far.

To complete your submission, please answer the following multiple choice questions. There are no correct answers. This does not mean that all/any answers are acceptable. Please hand your completed application to the blank page at the front of the test after you have left the room.

1) You are...?

  1. Tired.
  2. Out of ideas.
  3. Uncomfortable, but obliged to exist and act.
  4. Seryn.

2) After one week on the road supporting the excellent James Vincent Mcmorrow, you fear that your band (and crew) consisting of six ragged men has garnered a reputation for...?

  1. Sharp wit, style, and debonair elegance.
  2. Farting, juvenile humour, and the scent of used, hot leatherette chairs.
  3. Over-complication, obscurantism, and ironic maxilexicographicality.
  4. Seryn.
3) The gigs were...?

  1. Really nice. We appreciate everyone who came to watch us and who made a lot of noise. We also appreciate the whole JVM crew, and everybody who had us to stay or helped us out along the way with beer or advice or lifting things or all of it.
  2. Awful. The stages were made of wafer and the crack-cocaine was sub-par at both best and worst and at average times of which there were few, which makes little sense.
  3. What gigs?
  4. Huh Oh man, I...I can't even remember. I was, like... oh, man – the lights were. You know, like, when you look at the sky, and you look at the clouds and...and with the contrast you're just like, 'Oh, man. Those are real clouds.', and you can see like the contours and everything and it's like...that's water? That's, like, a real sky, man. It's fucking amazing. Hey, man, you hear about Earth? He's with Honeyblossom, now. Yeah, they met in Peru when she was over there protesting against her Dad's oil company. Yeah, she's flying back today. Did you say you were making tea, man? We need milk. And tea. Yeah, there's a pop-up grow-your-own tea-leaf place just outside Waitrose.

4) There is...?
  1. No way out of this, now.
5) In Copenhagen, we...?

  1. ...were accosted outside of the venue, straight after parking the van, by a group of very nice people looking for our autograph. They approached the bus holding pictures of us and looking especially for Jeb. I hope they are reading this so I can let them know that Jeb sends his warmest regards. They also waited outside the venue for JVM, but were, I think, unlucky (I might be wrong). Still, eleven hours, what's that? Six films? It's nothing, really. Copenhagen seems a very nice place to stand.
  2. ...met a nice man named Philip who, on being asked if he knew of any good hostels in the area, invited six random, sweaty/debonair foreign people to sleep at his house, and fed them with alcohol and mattresses and Danish psychedelia.
  3. ...came across one of the friendliest and most professional technical crews we've ever had the pleasure of working with, in the venue most evocative of a Stanley Kubrick film we've ever had the pleasure of playing in.
  4. ...went for a ride in a helicopter with a cow pilot.
  5. 100% of the above.
  6. 75% of e.

6) Every crowd was...?

  1. So nice that no alternative answer will be offered, as I'm even welling up a little just thinking about the openness and generosity of all the people who saw us. Some of the applause and smiling faces will live with us for a very long time. My heart's fluttering a little, and that very rarely happens, such was the joy of the crowds we were privileged to play to. I'm also going to kind of hide behind a hedge with embarrassment after that little show of authenticity, so I'm now going to leave you in the hands of Dr. Shit.

7) My name is...?

  1. Dr Shit.
  2. The number-letter-changer; cognitive re-arranger. Tssss.
  3. Arltang.
  4. W-W-W-dutiful.

8) The road...?

  1. ...is long, with many a winding turn.
  2. You're still using numbers, rather than letters like you were before.
  3. ...leads only to Berlin, where we were held up in traffic for two hours due to an apparent convoy, transporting some American representative somewhere or other. I have no idea if Obama was in town (no doubt droning on about something, right, readers? Ah, illegal, criminally under-reported, poorly managed, robotic warfare, we hardly knew ye.), but if it was him, then we'd like to take this opportunity, which may not come around too often, to blame The President of The United States for making us late for sound-check and putting an inordinate amount of pressure on us and the rest of the crew. Then again, I'm sure he can wriggle out of responsibility by getting another shot of diplomatic immunisation or something. I think diplomatic immunity is like MMR, but much more likely to result in strange psychological effects, damaging the lives of those around you.
  4. ...sounds like Brian May with a cold.


9) We thank:

  1. We're back to letters? Who the hell is in charge, here?
  2. Jörg, Vivien and Mattias, Colin, Philip, Jamie Shaw, James Vincent McMorrow, Justin and the whole crew, all the technicians we worked with, everyone who made our food – especially 'Mr. Lamb Shank' in Copenhagen, who I've always said I wanted to me(at)et LAMB – Carlo, erm...the dinosaurs for dying and giving us fuel. Vauxhall. Hamburg, Copenhagen, Berlin, and Koln. Our parents for giving us the kind of faces that keep our tour medical bills down to only paracetamol and burn cream. It's weird. It was four dates, but it was one of the most epic weeks of our strange little lives, so it's still a big deal, going out there on a shoestring and being thrust into a world of curious oddities and foreign languages and the kindness of others, which we took all-too readily, and live in fear of disregarding all-too cheaply. I hope everyone who helped us out is in this list somewhere, and, if I discover one day that it is not, then I shall write it in the stars when I die.
  3. Jumping Piss Man.
  4. Oh! The people who interviewed us. They were very friendly.
  5. Satan.
  6. Vishnu.
  7. All gods who consist of the same substance and have all qualities attributed to them by all religions and also none of them due to their binary nature which is what gives binary possibilities in the first place, that is: all Gods whose existence is made possible only by their non-existence, which is a quality of them.
  8. Xenu.
  9. The ghost of Rik Mayall.
Thank you for your eternal submission.

Should you have any other queries, I refer you to Ed's staff.

Tim

Phoria Research And Tour Services


Friday, 3 October 2014

There are way too many sentences in the world.

What are we, if not present?

It's not like there's anywhere for us to go, anyway. We're always in here, somewhere. What are you doing? Streaming us? Clicking on a file front and having us blast through speakers that weren't made for us? Having a big black needle-scratched lozenge dance around in the corner of your place on a turntable that your parents would turn their noses at if they cared enough about this century to talk to one of its victims every now and then? They don't care, do they? They don't want anything to do with you. They never have. I've got a theory that every parent, when their child leaves home, joins a secret club and they all get together and bitch about their kids and how much they know that their kids will never know until their kid leaves home. I've always had this feeling that there's some secret to life that gets revealed to you at some point along the way – probably when you least suspect it and hopefully whenever my bloody phone stops ringing.

I suppose that's all good and fine. I'm sure you're loved, really.

New material's at the bottom of the just-boiling pan. To add to my legendary failure to poach an egg the other day (my close friends, at least, know that it turned into an 'underwater frying'), I also failed to boil an egg just twenty-four hours ago. I have no clue what I'm doing wrong. I was standing in my kitchen in my underwear next to the netless windows, stirring the water well with my fly swatter, keeping time by sniffing my herbaceous pits at measurable intervals (being a musician I, of course, have an impeccable internal metronome), and yet when the egg dropped onto the plate it collapsed faster than my dream of being the thing that pings the ball up at the beginning of a pinball session. I just never had the hips.

I mean, that's what brought the vision of the little bubbles that start at the bottom of the pan to mind when thinking about new material. It's born of heat and chemical and structural change, which makes it exciting and indicative of forward thinking, which is important. You have to get this right. There's no point in giving this kind of line to you, a line direct to us (or at least, one of us and perhaps the one most least qualified to conjure images in anybody's head likely to result in our success), if we don't get it right, you know? Everything has to be correct so that the whole music/image/personality of the brand can form a cohesive whole.

I mean, so long as the album cover is a .gif of me scratching my balls and the music consists mainly of my sampled farts and belly slaps, I think it's as cohesive as Nicky Minaj's strategy, and, when you really think about it, inclusive of almost identical content.

Unless the pictures match the music, there's just no point in any of it.

I guess we've all started to assume that the current government is mainly a post-modern performance art experiment, yes? Yes.

This is the last day of idleness and political obsession before hardcore rehearsals (I can't use the word 'practice' any more, as I literally cannot get to grip with each incarnation of it, so 'rehearsal' is now the word) in preparation for our supporting James Vincent McMorrow around Europe next week.

The sense of being and time in this band can be bizarre. Display came out in June and seems to have been really good for us, and enjoyed by lots of people. That's good. But on this side, you want more. You want to make more, do more, experience more, be more, in a kind of childish not only wanting to play with the toy but almost wanting to be the toy and eat the toy and play with the toy, all at the same time. So, whatever you're doing, or not doing, it's not enough, so you get kind of paralysed with movement – not only wanting but needing to go down every road at the same time. We've been here before, but the roads were smoother before and they and led to less. This one is different. It's like choosing which minefield to cross to get to the place where naked people smother themselves in whipped-cream champagne. Last time it was like choosing which country road to walk down to get to a hug from a warm, roadside-hedge-bearded vicar who smelled like lavender and fed you with sticky Murray mints.

Jeb's been in Italy, the git. That's one road you can go down, I suppose. Trewin's been working at the farmhouse. Ed's been trundling around in his new 198...3? I think it's a 1983 Citroen BX. I might have remembered his registration wrong. 'Two lady owners', is the standard description, I think. 'Only drove it to the carvery and back on Sundays.' Suits Ed, then.

Seryn's been indoors, I think, much like myself. It's pretty good. The main thing about spending a lot of time in isolation is that you don't consider how your hair looks, even for a second.

I'll let you think about what kind of paradise that might be when you look in the mirror tomorrow morning.

We'll see you on tour.

Dates and ticket here. We're with 'The McMorrow' from Hamburg to Cologne.

Don't let us put you off.

And don't forget to pick the news out of this ramble like one of those bogeys that makes you wonder how your funny bone got stuck up your nose.

News: a couple of new tunes, taking shape.

We're gonna kick each others' asses on this one. We want to get this stuff out.

Now, it's Friday, so care must be taken – but be sure, this weekend, to throw your personality at people like monkeys fling their shit at paying customers.

Otherwise, there's no point.

We're nothing, if not present.

Have fun, and don't forget that if you do what needs doing now, then it doesn't need doing, so don't do it.

Tim

Monday, 22 September 2014

Good time reliance status: Phorium.

So here we are, then. I'm listening to Syro. That's the most pertinent news of the day for anyone who's alive. Jeb doesn't like it, yet. Then again, I will tease him forever for what I consider to be his deficiencies in the 'listening to too much soft-rock and thinking that mere gentilesse passes for beauty' department.

Hey, I get heroin AIDS needles jabbed in my ears for some of the music I listen to. You have to put up with this when you're all as opinionated and self-righteous as we are.

Especially Jeb 'Ken Bruce' Hardwick.

This in-band acceptance of interpersonal hatred and hostility comes from another fifteen-hour (or as I like to call it 'infinite') van ride down to Hamburg for the 2014 Reeperbahn festival. Binky The Van is looking worse than Mickey Rourke at the moment, which means we had to do a Rob Lowe and rent a much younger, more attractive model. We did, however, [Yewtree inappropriate], so it was a bit of a squeeze with five of us and all our gear.

Talking of Rob Lowe, Reeperbahn, or the Reeperbahn, if you don't know (Dad), is the red-light district in the port city of Hamburg. That's where we went on the first night.

Um.

It's a bit weird.

I don't know why I expected anything better than it actually was. Maybe because it was particularly grim. Imagine Blackpool (or, Hello Hometown, Paignton/Torbay), where instead of signs saying 'BIG CASH PRIZES' there are signs saying 'SEX HERE NOW BANG BANG BANG RELENTLESSLY'...and there are people who look like the operators of stolen, layby-parked fairground rides standing outside, somehow appealing to some members of the, inevitably, British, Australian, and American crowds that gather with rather more than money in their hands

Paignton: My first love. Feeling sexy, yet?
 

It was noisy, bright, and certainly a spectacle. We would return the following evening, after the gig, also, as it was heavily advised that we visit the 'Men Only' street, which, in its touristiness and bizarrely clinical isolation, resembled a Harry Potter film directed by [inappropriate Yewtree]. I started many conversations with the people there, trying to (Lord, why this vocabulary?) get a flavour of the mood and attitudes.

'Hi.'

'Hey, Baby.'

'How are you? Are you OK?'

'I'd be even better if you came inside.'

'No – I'm not going to. I'm actually wondering how you are.'

'Mmm, I'm good, baby – you wanna come in and I'll make you feel good, too?'

'No – I literally just said that I'm not coming in, and I don't believe the sincerity of how you say you're feeling. Are you actually alright? I'd assume it's a bit rubbish, in there.'

'You don't want me?'

'Again, I just said...'

window closes

The business of the gig was what it was. We were kind of tired, what with the logistics of transcontinental travel and infuriatingly obstinate prostitutes to deal with, but we think we were OK. We were filled with 'foreign country adrenaline', even if we left our sleep back in England. Running around all day... I mean, thanks to all who came. Everyone around the gig was really friendly, and, especially in 'the other countries', we couldn't do without that kind of support.

The trip was not all about prostitution and crippling insecurity in presentation, though, as we got to go to an industry party or two, which - for those of you wandering or dreaming about what these kinds of thing amount to i.e. what attitudes are involved, what the general atmosphere is like – is a million miles away from either of those things.

After such fulfilling adventures, then, it was left to a couple of Humming Records people and related artists to provide the perfect palliative to our spiritual fatigue, taking us around the city following those more insistent engagements and pulling the curtain back again on the superiority of German nightlife to the bulk of what our Great (and forever United, it would seem) Isle has to offer. Some of the German bars hold lights under 17,000,000,000 lumens, which is particularly novel. Beer is to be readily purchased for little outlay, and consumed in the street, where throngs of smiling revellers greet each other, relatively happily, their teeth not yet stained from midnight vomit nor the blood of their lips from too much sneering.

Still – I don't mean to complain. Consider it the standardly accepted weatherly whinge we accept when people return from Spain: 'Oh, it was much nicer over there...' etc., only consider that my gripe relates to core aspects of our self-determining culture, rather than weather patterns.

A bundle of idle noise, then.
 
The trip was whistlestop, bizarre, mind-bending, and distancey.

Straight to Southsea.

Actually a lovely change of pace, in Portsmouth. This was one hour, down the road. Weird. We like to keep it by the sea, when we can, it seems. Great crew, again – friendly and helpful and professional. I've said it before, but it's things like that that can make or break a gig and it makes a real difference when the people around you are supportive. So, like, thanks Southsea crew omg blushes

And yeah.

This is what hashing over memories with a cup of overly strong, cheap coffee and the new Aphex Twin will give you. A little bit of nothing and someone for everything.

Next time I'll fill you in over a cup of Chamomile and some Debussy, and we'll see if it comes out a little sweeter – a little less self-referentially hectic – and – perhaps – a little more standardly punctuated.

Unlike our lives, of course.

'Oh man, Tim, did that just come to you?'

'Yeah.'

'Cowabunga!'

'That's not entirely appropriate.'

So, it's Monday.

Our luck never changes, does it.

Be well, and don't try and be clever. It won't work.

Tim