Archive for December 2003

Just has to be different…   Leave a comment

One more entry actually, just for laughs, and to prove that some kind of cosmic order is being restored while the rest of you are out getting wankered: its now 10:05PM, I’ve had a glass of champagne, and now I’m going to bed.

Posted December 31, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

disappearing into the mist…   Leave a comment

I must end 2003 prematurely and get on the M roads. If anyone wants me I’m drinking gin and tonics in the rain with my mother.

Posted December 23, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

The new improbability/ different wealths   Leave a comment

What the fuck is it with John Fahey and me? I first hear John Fahey about 10 years ago on the Peel show. Then I see a record of his in Resale but don’t buy it because I’m not yet into my vinyl jones. Then a few months after that I see two more Fahey records in Resale and this time I’m hip so I get ‘em for two quid each. Then I find a best-of collection on CD in a chazzer. And then the other day I get “The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas Album” in the fucking Catflap, of all the stupid charity shops in the world. I can’t believe there is some dude somewhere in Romsey who’s gone completely mad and is drip-feeding his Fahey collection to the chazzers in the bug-eyed intention of making the world a better place. Keep them coming though, freak-boy; my piece of the planet is improving with every cut-price purchase.

Now, as we all know very well, my bloodline goes very deep down into the African dust, and when I was at school out there you’d often hear the platitude, usually from some ex-pat wife, that the indigenous people of that part of the continent measured their wealth in head of cattle, rather than dollars and cents or whatever. Historically there is a great deal of truth to this notion, however quaint they made it sound, because these people were farmers. I’m pretty sure that their British counterparts would recognise the relationship between the number of their livestock, its market value and their perceived social standing, especially when they have seen its value decrease dramatically in recent years.

Anyway, what is my point? What is wealth? I haven’t got a pot to piss in, but, to a greater or lesser extent, I do have the time to take the piss. That’s important to me. I also measure my wealth in vinyl, and so if I do keep finding John Fahey LPs in charity shops, I’ll be a rich man one day. In the meantime I’m available for DJ bookings.

Posted December 12, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Shall I compare thee to a Roger Waters?   Leave a comment

Finally I’ve fallen to the germ posse flying round the flat in coughs and am illin’ like a villain also. Feel like a piece of shite, like Beck might say if he was from Macclesfield or somewhere. People often compare me to Beck and I have to smile indulgently and tell them how much I admire and enjoy his work, while smothering the urge to ask them if its just because I’m one bloke and I don’t mind being a bit silly. The key to understanding what I do is to imagine that Beck was from Macclesfield, only its actually Guildford, and Botswana. Mind you, somebody said I was like Beck but if he’d been in solitary for 10 years, and I think that makes sense, bar the Beck bit anyhow.

Here’s a review from that Bull & Gate gig of the other week:

We need to tell you about a man buying things and then putting them in his shoe, just one man, in a cheap Oxfam suit, drinking Guinness and being oh so visual with his one man spoken word over strange sound-bite soundtrack. If John Cooper Clark was to come from Cambridge and was to be a little more like Nick Cave and have the hint of an arsonist about him. The one man is UM and we’re in the Bull & Gate (best venue in London by a mile – friendly people, good sound, good lights, good beer Mr Power, reasonable prices, it isn’t that difficult so why is it the only one?). Um is ranting about Cambridge and to be honest, god knows what he’s on about – inspired insults and never playing in Cambridge again and having a foreskin for an eyelid or something like that – an inspired man, he should be Prime Minister…

Is it wanky to print your own reviews? Probably…

Here’s a list of people I’ve been compared to:

Beck
John Cooper Clarke
Nick Cave
John Hegley (only I’m “too drunk”)
Yer dad at a school disco (for my dancin’ styles)
Syd Barrett
Roger Waters
Captain Beefheart
David Byrne
Gary Numan
Billy Bragg
Genesis P. Orridge
Ray Davies
Bowie
The Streets
Ivor Cutler
Peter Cook

I think Roger Waters is my favourite. The similarity is so strong that you almost can’t see it at all. I think David Byrne is the most flattering, but its still way, way, way off the mark. Still, at least I don’t get comparisons to Jim Kerr or Sheena Easton, so I’m not complaining…

Actually I started that list with the intention of revealing the odiousness of the comparison with the more unlikely personalities, but once I started to remember some of the more thoughtful and informed attempts it doesn’t look quite so ridiculous when taken as a whole. If that sounds like I’m blowing my own horn what I mean to say is if you took maybe a stem cell from each one of the above and grew something new, maybe in lager, we might have begun our long journey towards scientific certainty. Paul (from Slightly Off Kilter in Brighton) put the following on his poster:

“Eccentric loner music. Imagine if Ivor Cutler had grown up in the 70’s, shacked up with Elisabeth Esselink’s drum machine, while recording the ghost of Peter Sellers inside Dave Vainan’s plate reverb with Timothy Leary at the controls and you’re still nowhere near it.”

I’m not sure about the truth content of that, but if I saw that on a flyer I’d want to go to the gig, even if I didn’t, which they didn’t.

Why am I listening to Merzbow again? I feel awful.

This isn’t really a weird Mill Road happenstance but amidst the rainwater and the dogshit I saw a £500 note (Monopoly money) on the street today.

Posted December 12, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Weirdest Recent Mill Road Happenstances   Leave a comment

A popular problem for the self-obsessed is that everything seems to be happening to them, whereas in fact it’s just confusing old reality going about its business in its usual chaotic fashion.
Every day I walk down Mill Road and more often than not I’ll spot something that seems particularly out of the ordinary, and the other day I decided to keep a daily logbook of odd events to test scientifically for especial weirdness. I’ll call them Weirdest Recent Mill Road Happenstances.

Weirdest Recent Mill Road Happenstance: Up ahead of me I see the guy with one leg attempting to cross the road, but unfortunately his false leg has come off and is slipping down out of his trouser leg. Obviously the poor fucker is mortified because he’s in the middle of the road and there’s a car waiting for him while he gets his shit together, but he’s flustered and he’s trying to do everything too quickly. The leg looks really unsettling because it’s a fucking leg but it’s totally at the wrong angle and so on. Matey is so desperate to get out of the road that he just hops vigorously to the kerb with the leg trailing awkwardly out of his slacks, and the held-up motorist moves off as though driving on eggshells.

Posted December 10, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

coughy dogs should put Cambridge on the map, chaps.   Leave a comment

So when Bugs asks me at short notice to support the new band he’s drumming in I agree, because he’s a mate and I’m an implausibly kind and gracious individual, but I don’t expect them to be any good, not because Bugs is a monkey or anything, just because most bands aren’t, let’s face it.

But, actually, Ruby Nicholls are, as I immediately realize when I saunter in on their soundcheck. It’s quite a shock because there’s something eerily fully-formed about them, and like, the singer is a good singer, and he’s singing loud and clean. I’d already decided that I was going to have a good gig because there was no pressure because it was their debut gig and I doubted we’d get a whole lot of people, but now I felt like I’d better be good despite the fact. As it happens, the place ends up near to full and I end up having the best Um gig in months, and the best in CD sale terms ever without doubt. A Greek man bought five, for instance, as I was walking out the door. Such a cool night – a fucking lesson in how to do it really. Like, two of the band had never even really played onstage in a group before (although I recall guitarist Mario adding improvised live noise to Dans Ma Salon’s intense electro-wiggery at the upstairs at the last Good Times I did) and yet when almost every other new band in the world would settle for not-too-shambolic, it all seemed incredibly well-organised. They’d brought lights that turned the Portland stage into something that looked like a band might appear impressive on, setlists taped to the floor for each player, and a comedy 60’s bar (including fake fur) for the doorperson to prat about behind, which he did rather well, as though pissed off his head, which he was. And they were tight, and they opened with a real killer song too. Plus they hire two really good DJs – Squirrel and another bloke, who’s name I forget, who play interesting funky stuff that women like also, and so we have a kind of party atmos.

We were all a bit worried, y’see, because The Broken Family Band were playing at the Boat Race that night. Apparently they sold out too, so that makes it even weirder. How does that work? What the fuck is happening to Cambridge? How come there are decent local gigs? How come there are decent local bands? How come we’ve got loads of international electronic artists visiting the Portland Arms and people come and see them? Where the fuck is my record contract? Sorry.

Anyway, this is my theory: the music scene in Cambridge has been conspicuous by its absence since the dawn of time, as far as I can work out. If things are on the up, we should make haste with the hay whiles the sun shines, and not fuck about. Players of all stripes and sizes should have respect for themselves and knuckle down. You never know, it might happen. Even the Songwriter’s Night at The Boat Race was pretty busy the other night. I should go on about this. I ought to. I have a whole flow chart in my head about this… but I can’t be arsed. I’m very tired. Last week went on and on and then everyone in my house got sick at the weekend and are coughing like dogs.

Posted December 10, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

He's Japanese, so he knows what he's doing.   Leave a comment

I’m sorry, but this is how it is. In on a Friday night again. Sam was meant to be going out, and although she didn’t, I made no plans and here I am. Really fucking tired too. Kinda tipsy, a little bit caned, sorta regretful. I was busying myself with the printing of Um covers and questioning the wisdom of wasting time, energy and someone else’s printer ink on a few “just in case” copies of things like “Um For Charity” just in case some one came up to me at a gig sometime in the future and said “Great set, I’m Henrietta. I just need Um For Charity and Grievous Um.”

Anyway, feeling like it owed it someone, I put on Spokes by Plaid again. For about two minutes I thought I might have been a harsh judge, but when the mind leaves kicked in it started to annoy me when I wasn’t even actively listening to it. Then I put on some Ben Liebrand Bobby O remix thing (I presume it’s the 2nd of the Studio 57 things – I got it off the net), and although its gone off the boil by the time I get this far, it started like a fucking metaphysical map of funk truth, a deep, deep disco pain, a funk sufferation. I went from weary despair to dancing on the way over to write this. The only problem is that whoever dubbed the original from the vinyl to MP3 needs to visit the needle exchange, because the mixes are long and by the end I found myself unconsciously getting up to try and blow the crud off it.

Later…

Just found myself getting up to give up on a Merzbow track (off Merzbeat – the bits I’ve listened to so far are awesome) and then I made myself sit back down with the thought: “He’s Japanese. He knows what he’s doing.” He does too – beautiful technical facility with chaos. I think I’m going to play this when I DJ for the Broken Family Band – that should sort the mature individuals from Those Who Have Yet To Learn To Rock.

Posted December 1, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized