Take everything I’ve said on this page with a big pinch of salt.
Tonight’s show was rewarding and enjoyable. I’m still not happy with how I look.
But I can change that with time. For now, it’s time for a break. And then Hockley Hustle…
12/07/18 lyrics She Touched Me (On The Toe) She touched me on the toe So I found it hard to grow She did it for the best Objective and correct My rambling was madness Never would shut up Complaining comes abusive If you don't give it up Put some money in the bank If I play you at pétanque Bury me in sand up to my head And start rolling your balls Foot in the door Slowly start to grow Confidence for gain Money to your name She got me by the throat The blood pressure will jolt Shovelled on the dirt A casket doesn't hurt Didn't pull the knives out Didn't let it spurt Speckling the walls Dripping off the door Handles to the floor Pooling like manure Which has been Wettened in the rain Hard to feel the pain When even though I'm Losing everything we had I'm finally liberated.
12/07/18 lyrics Belle Vue Avenue Got a date on Belle Vue Avenue I feel fine. I'm right on time. I wish you knew everything You appear to be to me I wish I could be how I appear to you. Sometimes we still see each other around Together lost. Alone we're found. But I bet we'll live when we're dead And laugh at just how crazy life can be. Losing it, all my senses thrive like a volt of electricity's passed through I wish I could halt my seeing eyes When I focus on the truths I wish weren't true. Sometimes we still see each other around Together lost. Alone we're found. But I bet we'll live when we're dead And laugh at just how crazy life can be. 28 years have passed me by A pariah desert isle Without a view Saturated with Options lucrative You've no need for me And I've no need for you
‘Go Easy’ is coming out at the end of this month.
July. 2018. Like everything else I have to do a digital release for now to survive.
8th July 2018 Spent Saturday watching England with Mum & Dad (& Calla & Parker). On Sunday I went into Paper Stone Studios with Tom from 3rd Door Sound. We spent 4 hours on vocals for this upcoming acoustic album, 'Go Easy'. Then Gary and Parker came in for the afternoon and we recorded some of the songs we like the demos of from our homemade phone recordings. At the moment these songs are called 'The Hat' / 'Give In' / 'Rolling Tight' / and 'Weeklong'. I'm torn between not wanting to rush out releases and not having the money to attempt to make them jump out at the world. But, that said, my favourite way lately of listening to individual artists is sifting through a couple of years of back catalogue in a row. It doesn't really matter to me which ones sold well, even though I know that obviously one of them had to or I wouldn't still be aware of them after 50 years. At the same time I want to feel like I'm drinking fresh orange juice after years of powdered substitute mixed with purified water aboard the International Space Station.
4th July 2018
I tried to delete everything on this page earlier.Which is sad, because it shows how unpredictable I can be.I wish you all the very best, anyway. I’m happy most of the time.But never when I’m looking at myself in music.I feel abandoned.
28th August 2018 Today was a long day. I have a teaching job until 3.15pm every day. That in itself wasn't really in the plan. But I try to see the positives and look at all of the things which have gone well. That said, I feel like I'm on a constant knife edge whenever music gets brought up. "Why did you stop doing your old job?" At least that's a cute question. But I'm there thinking, "Because I didn't make enough money in time". In fact, I didn't make enough money for a good time. To the extent that I once had a fight with my Dad, who was attempting to drown a rat he had caught in a cage. My dad, angered, screamed, 'SPONGER! NEVER WORKED A DAY IN YOUR LIFE!" Like when I was 13 with bad skin and whenever I stood up for myself someone would make fun of me for that, or sometimes they'd just do that for the sake of having a laugh anyway. I'm sure many can relate. But today there was one student who isn't so much a fan of my music. She's always called it weird, which is fine. But no matter how hard I try to laugh and change the subject, sometimes somebody else will make a comment about me singing - it's always about the singing, never about the guitar or the performing or the writing - and then this other student will say something like "No-one wants to listen to that" or something equally as dismissive, and I never react and always smile wryly. But then I walk back home for an hour and even now, 3 hours after work finished, I can't stop thinking about it. I haven't worked on Go Easy tonight at all. I know I'm too sensitive and that I need a thicker skin, but the only way I've ever managed that was through taking SSRIs and I felt like that wasn't my real character, and also like I was just eating loads and drinking so much beer all the time, which in itself got me depressed. Recently we've been talking about methods for helping children with autism manage their anger problems. They say that life is like a bucket. It is constantly filling with sand. Sooner or later it can overflow or erupt. But every time you talk about how you feel, you cut a little hole in the bucket and let some of that sand out. Then you feel better.
You know, I’m such a silly person sometimes. I feel all cool this week. Last week I must’ve been on some downer. It’s like in that Rick & Morty episode, Rest & Ricklaxation, where Rick says “Man, I really overthink stuff when I’m angry”.
The debt is slowly going down, as is my weight. Go Easy is getting there and I’m going to release it digitally on Friday 27th June 2018 with very few expectations, despite the fact that now, after a bit of stripping back, I think it’s very pretty and something which makes me proud to have carried on with it.
I wrote to Rough Trade, Secretly Canadian, Big Scary Monsters, Fierce Panda, Fiction Records, Atlantic Records, Island Records, Universal Records & Sony. Nobody replied to me or showed any interest.
Gallery 47 @ The Halfmoon @ Putney this summer – August 20th 2018
Still sorting out the details but it looks like I'll be coming back to play #TheHalfMoon at #Putney over the Summer. I love this venue since they helped me out all the way away in 2007!
I was shocked to read such a scathing profile of Johnny Depp by Rolling Stone magazine. Cruelty in journalism freaks me out. I guess the alternative is to sugar coat everything. Either way, I’ve generally been okay with critics but every now and then someone has said something which hurt my feelings. Maybe I should just get a thicker skin. That’s what they say you have to do.
This week has been a bit up and down. I’m a bit depressed and a bit tired of my own voice. I’ve fallen out with the BBC because they kept rejecting my music – songs like Lefty from Young World or Emigrate from Adversity Breeds – and I felt like I couldn’t be good enough for what they wanted. I deleted my account. Yes, I know it seems like throwing the dolly out of the pram, I worry about that too a bit, but in general I feel a lot better since doing that. At least I have some of my pride back. Let someone else have a shot.
I’ve had more than my fair share of help. ‘In their honest opinion it wasn’t good enough’ chirps in my reasonable side and makes my unreasonable side feel guilty.
‘Now you’ve really gone and done it!!’ Then, the sad relief in remembering that being played never got you a label anyway. Then it gets REALLY dark. Then it gets into the “Nobody came to your Industry Night for ‘Go Easy'”. Then it gets into what can only be described as introspective hell. I don’t even know who rejected what, probably someone a bit further up who doesn’t know me or like me or have any sort of agenda to help me.
I should just know my place, eh.
Ha, yeah okay. My friend at work tried
to cheer me up. But when I told her
that Radio 3 and Radio 2 weren’t
receiving my uploads anymore,
there was this tiny bit of pain
in her expression, as if you
could see her faith in my
prospects take an ever
so slight turn for the
much she may
to hide it.
So I look back at this week with quite a lot of sadness, really. I’ve always had a plan at the back of my mind of what I was going to do as soon as I got home, or as soon as I got up. But this week, after what I found out on Monday, I’ve just felt completely rubbish. Haha! So that’s partly why I’m tired of my voice. Tired of my music. Tired of everything. I’ve got all these ideas and nearly-there songs, but I just don’t know what the point of it is anymore. It’s got me thinking that having 7, 8, 9 albums on your own label could just look desperate and hollow. “Well, yeah, it’s all very good saying you’ve got 7 albums, but none of them charted and none were picked up and none won that Mercury Prize you kept applying for”. And I still haven’t printed the CD or Vinyl of ‘Young World’. ‘Go Easy’ was supposed to be next. It was going to be 5. Young World –> 6. Go Easy –> 7. Stilte Graag –> 8. Chaos Ensued –> 9. East Street (from when we were living at Old Kent Road in Bermondsey) and then rounding up to 10. Bye & Bye, which would feature the full band and songs which I’ve been co-writing with some of them.
That was my plan before.
Maybe now it isn’t that way anymore.
Only a week ago I agreed a short PR campaign budget for ‘Go Easy’.
But now I feel quite hopeless. I can’t honestly predict any success.
And I’m already in so much debt which makes it all so much worse.
And I definitely don’t have the energy left to pretend I’m okay.
But hey, maybe a little rest and a lot of acceptance.
I’ll make friends with the worst of my demons.
I’ll treat my worst projections as verifiable facts.
And I’ll try to turn any anger or pain inward on myself, and not on anyone else. And then, hopefully, I’ll start feeling better, and then I’ll realise some of it was all…
…just in my head, anyway.
I try to hold on to my hopes
A puppet til I cut my ropes
[quiet terminal] 21/06/18 Things seems quite terminal at the moment.Since I quit Sertraline I'm arguing with everyone.Falling out. Wanting to quit jobs. Kicking Off. Boiling Over.But I've also lost 7lbs in as many weeks.And I feel so much more in control of my future.
20/06/18 – ‘Give In’
I feel a bit like Diego Simeone at the end of that Champions League Final in 2014.
Every day I plan to quit everything out of protest, but then I get bored or my mood changes. Are you gonna take part in the race or are you not? I’ve managed to detach some of the insecurity from what goes on, though. If I don’t get a reply, of course I worry that my music or voice isn’t good enough for those people. But that can lead to paralysis.
I’ve always felt better whenever I’ve heard people insulting musicians I admire. Particularly, maybe, Radiohead and Bob Dylan. Those seem to divide opinion, though both draw absolute loyalty from so many fans amid calls of genius, and I agree. I was listening to The Bends last night, wondering what they all think of it now. Especially now everything’s mastered for Alexa, haha! I thought how my little bluetooth speaker didn’t quite do justice to the song ‘Just’. When Thom Yorke is screaming ‘You do it to yourself!!’ and then he screams “RHAHAHAA”. That bit stood out a bit at me last night when it never has before. I guess that’s the thing about masters and editions, isn’t it. Lots of people wouldn’t notice too much difference between the Spector / McCartney mixes of Let It Be. Wait a minute, what am I on about now? Why am I talking about this?
Anyway, there isn’t really anything for me to say. I’ve already used writing or blogging or noting or writing lyrics to try and articulate whatever great pressure weighs so heavily on my chest. But maybe I’m just tired or having a bad day. I remember in 2011 I just got so fed up with the world after my first album release that I stopped playing gigs for a year, or really doing much musically. I had a great year on Fifa 12 though, and smoked so much it’ll probably kill me down the line. So you see, even if something magically changes now, there are some of those scars which won’t really heal. And I agree with you that it would probably be best for me to get busy living and stop complaining. Well, I won’t. I like complaining. It cheers me up. Woe is me.
Adversity Breeds 19/06/18 PM
I tried to arrange a show at an established small venue in London. They tried to charge me £150 to play a small show, plus £500 of drinks at the bar. In other words, if they made £100 at the bar, I would have to pay the other £400. It would take a £650 risk to play this gig at a small venue. I try to get by, food, transport and stuff, on around £400 a month. I made approximately £47 last month through digital music sales.
I was told by another musician that they were invited to play for quite a bit less than this only a few weeks ago. I can’t help but feel, therefore, that I somehow didn’t make the artistic credentials to warrant an existence, according to this person. This kind of thing, you know, hurts so much. It does. I feel terrible. I feel totally worthless. Maybe I can go back to 2004 and never pursue anything. Except I can’t. I’m stuck in it. Its hard enough to apply to anything. The Charles Darwin of the modern world. Mr. Fucking Baudelaire.
It’s alright 19/06/18
Try not to read too much into my latest depression. That’s the thing about playing shows again. If it’s a good gig with lots of people, everything is euphoric and brilliant. But if you’re not happy with your performance, or if there isn’t much of a crowd there to watch you play, it can become quite a downward spiral.
I’d compare playing live to going to the gym. After you play, your body feels both energised and drained. Your electrolytes are all over the place. It is the one time I will buy whatever I want to eat without a tiny shred of fear or dietary doubt. I will drink freely, often because I’ve deprived myself of any such indulgence prior to every show.
So the first date went well, it honestly did. It was just that there weren’t many people down there. Sometimes in the past I’ve gone round trying to bug people to come down, trying to email, sent loads of facebook invites and stuff, and it does work but comes at such a personal cost. I don’t really write to people anyway socially. I tend to wait until someone talks to me. So for me to be so quiet normally and then send out lots of personal emails inviting people to shows, you know, it becomes more of a test of my Sales & Marketing skills rather than anything to do with the music. I’m just not big enough an artist to put on a string of shows and get them populated without help. I wanted to try and get a booking agent, but now I just feel stressed out and bitter by it, like these gigs are causing too much disruption and instability. Surely it’s better to keep happy and work on a few decent records over the summer rather than try and fail to get whichever nameless industry down to gigs.
But I’ll stop short of cancelling everything I’ve got. I’ll play these shows above, hopefully to more people than came out at the Notting Hill show. But it’s taking it out of me. At work a few people came up to me and asked, “How did it go? Did you get paid?”, and I said “Hardly anyone came and I felt terrible, and no, I didn’t get paid”. And I wrote to thank the promoter anyway and didn’t get a reply. So I really can’t help but think that musicians get given the worst possible deal, and it really shouldn’t be this way. But guess what, I can afford to maintain this little wordpress website. I can afford to release an album a year. So I’m not going away. But I’m on the most pacifistic war path I’ve been on in a long time, and I’m not going to disrespect myself by begging for help from those who don’t show respect to me.
Persistent Panda 18/06/18
Lately I’m wandering around not knowing what to do with myself.
I’ve written so many songs which I’m now questioning the worth of.
The songs are fine, it’s just the value of them. Supply and Demand.
I sent the best 3-5 samples from ‘Go Easy’. None of them came.
I played to the other bands and 3 friends who had come along.
So maybe in Nottingham it’s got better over the years, and maybe,
sometimes, in London it has got better on some dates at some venues……but nevertheless, despite being happy with my set, being proud,
I’m stuck here thinking, “Well, don’t delude yourself. You made it
quite clear that you were playing and not many people chose to come.”
And then I understand perfectly why the record labels didn’t get back.
Why ‘Go Easy’ wasn’t enticing to them. Why I wasn’t enticing to them.
Because it makes no sense to invest in someone with such worth.I wake up, woke up, and the familiar push was gone. These hundreds of
fragments of ideas. And I felt stupid for deluding myself into thinking
anyone actually gave a single, solitary, tiny little care. I think of every person’s
name on the invite list. I think of the booking agent who was interested
when Some Things had 20,000 plays in a couple of weeks. It’s so funny.
It’s just so transparent. I honestly believe that you need to make it yourself
Before anyone else comes along to help you make it. And then I think,
‘Hmmm, would I want to work with those people after they so coldly
rejected me? When it would have been a bit of work for them? When it
wasn’t a sure thing?’ No, I wouldn’t. Because if you don’t help when it’s needed, you never had belief in something anyway, you were just looking for an easy investment. ‘Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face’. Cut it off and let the face turn blue for all I care, certainly that then let you crawl back.
JUST ANNOUNCED: Summer 2018 ‘Go Easy’ Album Shows
Gallery 47 – Bad Production 2 [EP] Out April 6th 2018 on iTunes / Amazon Music
2018 – ‘Young World’ [LP] and ‘Bad Production 2’ [EP] are Out Now!
2017 – ‘Bad Production EP’ & ‘Adversity Breeds’ [LP] are Out Now!