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

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