Archive for March 2005

Brandon's blog: amazing (what we're up against).   Leave a comment

This is a very funny bit of blog that Andrew sent me. Go here:

Or just read the damn thing below:

Monday, January 03, 2005
Evanescence concert review Here is my amazing and fun-filled review for my first “real” concert going experience. On July 27th, Tuesday, Stefanie and I went to see Evanescence at the TD Waterhouse Centre in Orlando. Before this, I had only been to see the London Symphony Orchestra in Daytona Beach. Now, the LSO was not the typical concert that most people are used to. For example, I wore a nice shirt, tie, slacks, and other stuff to make me look suave. You sat during it, and if you even sniffled, you were looked at. God forbid a cellular phone goes off. Now, by the time someone is 27 years old, he or she probably should have attended at least one concert. Sadly, that all passed me by. First, I never liked the idea of them, and, probably more importantly, not one single singer or group appealed to me enough to take the time to go and see. This changed, though, when I found out Evanescence was coming to town. For those that do not know, they are probably one of the biggest groups in the world right now. Proof of that, barring their album sales, is that if *I* know about them and like them, then they must be big. Their deput album, Fallen, has gone 5x Platinum (which, so they say, mean 15+ million have been sold so far, and counting), and their concerts are selling out all over the place. They are huge and have, without a shadow of a doubt, crossed all cultural, sexual, geographical, racial, and any other line that one could draw. I will go into that more fully when I get to the part where I talk about the people I saw there. Why are they so popular? First, the music is good. It’s that simple. Those that know me know full well that I am not a HUGE music person. Usually, on average at least, when I enjoy a song, it really is a good song. I am overly picky when it comes to what I will listen to. With Evanescence, though, I, in all honesty, like their entire album, every last track. Sure, some are stronger than others (track .4, My Immortal, being one of my Top 10 Songs of all time), but still, the entire CD is great. They were around before the Ben Affleck vehicle known as Daredevil (actually a fairly good movie), but it was their single, Bring Me to Life, on the soundtrack for that film that really propelled them into super stardom. From what I read, the soundtrack made more money than the film itself. That, of course, just made their actual album sell even better. I liked the song. I can recognize a good singing voice when I hear one, and even those that dislike the group admit that Amy Lee, the lead singer, is a huge talent. That, too, is why I believe the group has done so well. The music is primary, yes, but the fact that the lead is female just makes it more appealing. She is not attractive, not at all ugly, rather cute, really, but just “real” looking. Guys like that, and girls respect it. Plus, the music is not rock, it is not punk, it is not alternative, it is not goth-like, it is not something that can really be put into a box. Just compare tracks .1 and .4; they are two completely different entities. So, the CDs start selling like there is no tomorrow, they are everywhere, a video is released (which can be found on the second disc of the Daredevil DVD or online), and they have not slowed down since. I eventually got my hands on the CD and listened to the entire thing. I loved it. Well worth buying. Great music, great lyrics, great voice, great package for only about $12 – $15. Time passes. I find out almost two months ago that they are going on tour and will be in Orlando. I must go. Not once, not ever, had I even remotely felt like attending a concert such as this. “This” being a real concert. I had to go, though. Still, I could not go alone. Who would attend with me? Choices were obviously slim. Let’s look at the people I know and the options I was presented with: Micah – Lives in Seattle. Even if he were here, he would probably not attend. He’s out. Mason – Lives in New York City. I do believe he would have gone had he been here, even if only to see me at one of these things. Still, he is not here. He’s out. Stephan – No real desire to go with him. He had been to one concert in his life, Weezer, hated it with a passion. He ended up destroying all the Weezer CDs and never listened to them again. Plus, he could never afford it (it was not expensive but was not cheap). He’s out. Fernan – Cool guy. I will go to theme parks with him. He saved me last year at Halloween Horror Nights. However, he would not in the least fit in at one of these, and it would just be awkard. He’s out. Stefanie – Lives locally, has attended some concerts in her time, and would fit in there. Three good marks. However, she, oddly enough, had never really “heard” them before and odds seemed good that she would not be able to go. Still, she was able to go and that is who attended with me. Plus, if I do end up looking like a complete idiot, I can laugh at myself if she is around. With the others I would never live it down. Tickets are purchased. I get the most expensive ones thinking they’ll be great seats! But no! I get tickets for what is known as “the floor.” I am dead. We first eat at Chiles. It is good. Stefanie does not like her water, but I like my bacon cheeseburger. Dale calls mid-dinner and asks if we are going to midnight bowling on Saturday. I tell him I am. Stefanie may or may not. It looks promising, though. We pay and head to the TD Waterhouse Centre which is really not all that far. Upon arrival I am forced to pay $5 for parking. It is not at all crowded. I get worried. The concert is set to begin at 7:00pm, and it is now around 6:30pm. I know it is sold out according to Ticketmaster and the radio. Stefanie informs me that there will be opening acts and that most people do not show up until just a little later. I feel better. We get a great spot and decide to sit in the car and just kind of do nothing. We turn on their CD, and she realizes she has heard their music before but just did not really connect the dots of who they were. Still, even if you have never heard the name of the group, you HAVE heard the music. We both start pointing out different people going in. Look, the aging hippie! Look, there, the two women in their 40s that dress in dominatrix outfits! Look, typical high school kids with baggy pants with suspenders attached to them with green hair! Over there, a mom and her young daughter! Wait, look, there, a group of lesbians! To the right we have the fat girl that likes to believe she is hot but is horribly ugly! To the left we have the middle aged wanna-be skinny biker guy with a mullet and no front teeth! I see whites! Blacks! Asians! Hispanics! I see it all! I was worried about feeling out of place, going so far as to post a message asking how to dress. This was not at all needed. You can dress however you want and not really stand out. Well, that’s not true. You will stand out to the two of us because we make fun of others. Finally we decide to go in. There is a special entry way for those with floor tickets. We get checked by two Orlando Police Department officers and a few employees of the TD Waterhouse Centre. We get orange armbands that tell people, “Hey, not only did I spend the extra money to get to go to the floor, but I get this style’n band on my wrist! Take that you poor people in the seats!” We make our way to the actual auditorium. I stand, shocked. This is a damned concert. A real concert. A stage, countless seats around what is, I guess, “the floor.” This is where trouble can begin. No joke, there are EMTs stationed around the floor. I am going to enter into the battle. Actually, there is no battle seeing as how it is still not all too terribly crowded. We are forced to show our wrist bands and tickets a few more times, but we make it to the floor. I feel giddy. We are close enough to the stage where we can see
everything, as long as the occasional tall person does not get in the way. I agree with Stefanie, the floor should have height restrictions. I soon learn that you have to say “f*cking” before anything. The announcer comes out and begins to get the crowd excited, “HELLO, f*cking Orlando! Are you ready to f*cking rock?! I can’t f*cking hear you! We have f*cking kick f*cking ass opening acts! First Breaking f*cking Benjamin is going to come out, followed by f*cking Three Days Grace and ending with f*cking Seether! I SAID F*CKING SEETHER! SEEEEEEETHER!!!!! RAAAAWWWWKKK! And then, oh ya, and then F*CKING EVANESCENCE!!!! F*CK!” The crowd cheers. I smile. I have a new found appreciation for the F-Bomb. So, Breaking Benjamin comes out. I do not have a clue as to who they are. They begin to play, and in that split second, I go deaf. In no way, shape, or form was I even remotely prepared for how loud this was going to be. It is deafening. I have heard loud music, very loud music. I have set off exceptionally loud fireworks/firecrackers in my life that leave my ears ringing. And, louder than any of that, I have fired guns a few times without wearing ear protection and it, too, is absolutely deafening. All of that combined, though, does not prepare one for the sheer pain you feel the first time you hear them play a chord. My internal organs were shaking. I could FEEL them shake. It is hopeless trying to talk to the person next to you. It is simply not possible. We resorted to our own form of made up sign language to get us through during songs. We could talk between songs and between groups, though. Oddly, when each song was done and there was no music, it was hard to hear the person next to you. My ears were not ringing, they simply did not function. For them to ring would have been a blessing. By the time Breaking Benjamin is done, I realize that the entire place is filled to capacity. In fact, there is overflow up into the upper seats that had been closed off. There are people everywhere. I do not recognize a single song that Breaking Benjamin did. Let me take the time now to bring something up: I was wondering how Evanescence would perform. The stage was not at all large; it simply had a black looking tarp-thing and enough room for the drummer, a few guitar players, and a singer. Nothing more. This was it? Let me also say something about lesbians: There are the real lesbians. I do not mean they have to be butch or anything, just *real* lesbians. They mean it. They are in love with the person they are with. Then, sadly, we have the fake lesbians. These are, typically, high school aged girls that no guy likes, so they come together because “they don’t need guys!” They touch, they do stuff, but they are not lesbians, not even bisexual. They are faking it. As soon as a guy shows interest in them, they will go that way and never speak of their temporary lesbian times again. Then we have the middle school to high school cute girls that think they may be gay but have no idea what they really are. They are confused about their feelings but like feeling *something*. They may be gay, straight, bi, or something else. They just do not know, they do not know what their feelings are telling them. They are confused. These three different types are absolutely painfully obvious once you start looking. Next we have Three Days Grace. I say, “Play Kryptonite!” Stefanie elbows me and states, “That’s Three Doors Down! It’s not even the same group!” I am truely lame. This group talks a little between songs. They f*cking love Orlando and they f*cking have been here f*cking four times and have not yet f*cking been to Disney but they f*cking really want to go. I have no clue who this group is until…. “This is our last song. It’s doing really great. It’s getting major play time nationwide and we heard it’s in the top five here in the Orlando area! If ya know the lyrics, sing along!” They proceed to sing a song entitled I Hate Everything About You. I know this song! I HAVE heard it! I am in the presence of gods! A song I hear every day on the radio and HERE are the people responsible! I do not sing or anything, but it is, actually, kind of cool. They are done. I run up to the restroom and realize my zipper is already down. I wonder how long it has been down for. I buy a $3.00 Pepsi-Cola. I return to The Floor. I cannot go into detail as to why, exactly, but there was a kid there that I wanted to kill. I wanted him to vanish from the face of the Earth. I had to be held back from strangling him. I hated every last thing about him from his attire, to his hair, to his attitude, and just EVERYTHING. I wanted to completely erase him. A black backdrop is dropped against the already black back drop. This one says “Seether.” It is written like Satan himself wrote it! We wonder if ‘seether’ is a word. See The R? Seet Her? I have looked it up and now know what it means, so I am smarter for that. Now, I actually do know who Seether is. I have heard of them, heard some of their music. They play. Two songs before their final, Amy Lee (of Evanescence) comes to the stage and the crowd goes insane. It’s Amy Lee! It’s her! She sings with Seether for one song and vanishes. A god was among us! Seether plays their final song and proceeds to think it is the 1980s – early 1990s: he starts hitting the drum set with his guitar and then proceeds to destroy his guitar. People cheer. I wonder if that instrument costs more than most people make in a year. It saddens me. It’s half-time. People begin to run for a restroom break, get something to drink, adjust themselves. Everything is taken from the stage. It is empty. After about 15 minutes the lights go down and the music starts. Where the hell is my band?! The black background goes away and there is a huge set/stage. It was hidden! It is actually a very cool set. It looked like something out of Hellraiser combined with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre… just very clean. The lights were incredible. Stefanie, who has attended concerts, said they were the best she had ever seen. I was in awe. It really WAS cool. They play their entire album. During this time some funny stuff happens: Stefanie points out this horribly fat girl jumping up and down and becoming one with the music. I wish people would understand that fat girls have no right to become one with the music. The music does not want them. This girl is roughly 5’7″, stringy blond hair, about 50 pounds overweight (if not more), and jumping for all she’s worth. Stefanie makes fun of her flabby sides, and I am transfixed by the fact that she was even allowed in. She is a gorgeous specimen of grotesqueness. She was worth the price of admission alone. It is an image that will stay with me forever. Three songs in, it gets quiet and a piano rises from the stage. Amy Lee can not only sing but she can play the piano! Go, Amy! The lighting, again, is amazing, and she plays one of the slower songs. A few lighters start flickering to life around the arena. It is not even half the people, but it is enough to think to yourself, “Isn’t the entire lighter thing done with yet?” The lighters go off and then I see something that Stefanie missed: a poor kid try to bring back the lighters again. This kid is probably 14-16 and looks like a slightly smaller Anthony (for those that know him). About a minute after the lighters go out, he digs his out and holds it up high and proud! Absolutely no one else responds. He looks around, sweating, hoping. No, he is denied. After about one full minute of agony, he realizes he has lost and turns it off and quickly puts it back into his pocket. I laugh. Then one of the funniest things of the evening: I look up and to the right into the stands. There is yet another fat girl waddling down the steps and she is moving *perfectly* to the music being played. I point this out to Stefanie, and she proceeds to laugh so hard she nearly falls over. It is truely a once in a lifetime moment. Very funny. There are two girls in front of us, probably 13-15 years old. They absolutely cannot see at single thing. I’m about 5’9″, Stefanie an inch or two shorter, but these girls were tiny compared to
her. The pe
ple in front of them were just too tall. These poor girls could not see a thing. I feel bad, actually. Oh, while I am at it: putting a girl on your shoulders should not be allowed. I think they should hire snipers to take the girls out that end up on a guy’s shoulders. After 4+ hours or so, the show winds down. Amy states this is the last song. People rock out. They leave. Some people leave. Most people, though, begin to clap and not shut up. The London Symphony Orchestra came back for *four* encores. What would this group do? After a seemingly long time (minutes), they take the stage, “You guys want more?!” “Yes!” Amy looks at me, directly at me. I feel like Patrick Bateman at the Bono concert he attended. Stefanie grabs my hand and insists, demands, that because this is it, I simply must “pump” it into the air like everyone else. I comply. Half way through, she pretty much tells me to stop because I am completely off the rhythm and not matching anyone at all. I say I am. She, again, states that I am not. This is not the first time in my life I have heard this. I am doubting that it will be the last. The concert is over. We must leave. It was a ton of fun. I will be going again. If they come to town, I’m there. If not them, maybe I can find someone I want to see. I am deaf, though. But who needs hearing? It’s not that cool anyway. In fact, we both had fun, a ton of fun. Stefanie now wants their album. How nice. By the way, never, EVER buy any items at a concert. A $12 t-shirt for $30? No, ma’am. And that is that. Brandon

Posted March 31, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

currently not working   Leave a comment

You know I was on about my problems with voodoo or astrological black ice or whatever it is that causes electronic equipment to choke to death before my ears? Well, in Rotterdam, as I’ll tell you again later on, my video camera stopped working. This is the expensive digital video camera that I use almost daily. Well, shit happens, and they are fiddly little things, and it has had a lot of use, but I’m still a smidgen devastated by the fact that I am prohibited from recording audio-visual minutiae in the manner to which I am accustomed.
I’m a bit more surprised by the sudden death of one of my Technics 1210 Mk 2 (black) turntables, which are meant to be as sturdy as a Bedford truck. It’s just stopped working – no power light, no rotatory movements, no nothing. I’ve checked the fuse in the plug and it isn’t that, but if anyone else has any better ideas I’d be really pleased to hear them. Is there an internal fuse on those things?
Obviously I’ve got some computer problems too, but by and large they are too tedious to mention. Oh shit – here I go anyway. Basically I am beset with multiple error messages every time I boot up, and also when I am sat using the computer. One of them is because I tried to listen to the Rob Da Bank show when he played People Hid In Jumpers, and I was trying to update RealPlayer (as you seemed to have to do) and Mozilla Firefox didn’t like it, and so now I get a Windows Mediaplayer error message about once every ten minutes, no matter what I am doing or not doing. It’s so cool!

Right. Sam and Syd are away for a couple of days so I’m going to try and do a few updates. I can’t guarantee it but that’s the plan. This is the first opportunity I’ve had time to do non-real life stuff since mid-December, but I’m committed to tidying my room, so that may take a while. In fact I feel like a nine-year old boy trying to pull Madonna. It’s basically a necessity because you can’t get from one side of the room to the other without damaging a sitar, and because I want to remove the low shelf (amongst the rest of reasons) that makes my guests look so awkward.

Posted March 31, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

fuck the thief at the station   Leave a comment

This is old news (I can’t be current right now because I’m right in the thick of this moving flats biz):

OK – really quick entry. Played an indifferent-ish gig in Notting Hill yesterday, after which bass-matey from The Dirty Pins told me to fuck off. All I’d said to him was “Nice set. Pretty…uh… full-on”, ‘cos we met in the bogs, but I wasn’t being entirely sincere, so I guess that’s fair enough. At Kings Cross I bought a 6-for-5 Stella deal and hurried my sorry ass onto the train. When I got off at Cambridge I was walking up the platform, listening to The Magnetic Fields loud when I felt a hand sneak into my backpack. I turned to see a matey hustling right behind me in my personal goddamn space, and instinctively I reached inside his jacket to see what he was holding nicked in there. I’d been walking round fucking London all day feeling paranoid about my DV camera/minidisk player/MP3 player etc and jazz on my back, so I was primed for the subjective experience of victimhood, even if I had some senses cut off and some fairly dulled. Anyway matey was a clever if unambitious thief because the next thing I know he has sailed my half-inched Stella can (for that is what he’s lifted) into the air and instead of confronting the cunt in the arse I find myself athletically moving and stretching my hands out to catch the descending tin, cricket-style, but it hits the concrete deck nonetheless. By the time I have stopped it rolling and have it in my hand mateyboots has smuggled himself into the crowd and I am stood there looking like an alcoholic patsy, and with the clever music blaring on. I felt kind of wronged and invaded and stuff, but I still drew some comfort from the fact that some opportunist street-criminal thought he could steal beer off Pete Um, and then was forced to face up to the fact that the situation was more complex that he had hitherto surmised. I ended up giving the same can to Man From Uranus to drink, so whatever, and fuck the thief at the station.

Posted March 20, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Day Two Menu in the Men's.   Leave a comment

Right, Day Two:

I’m a gonna rush through this because otherwise I won’t. For breakfast we had:

Stuffed vine leaves
Raw-ish ham in large chunks with cloves of garlic stuffed into it
Olive oil
Hard cheese
Soft cheese
Dark bread
White bread
Sun dried tomatoes in oil

Nathan ate like a horse but I was feeling a little delicate. After a while we set out in search of tourist stuff/the famed record shops of Berlin. It was pretty cold and snow lay roundabout. I was glad I was in Nathan’s company, because I hadn’t quite managed to shake the feeling of dread and impending doom. It was only Day Two after all. I felt physically…weird…like a coronary or a total mental breakdown might be on the way, or something. I couldn’t really get my head round Berlin either. I was sort of expecting … something. Since I’ve been back people keep asking me “what was Berlin like?” and I haven’t been able to tell them. I expected the former East/West divide to be more apparent somehow, like one side would be full of fat guys with moustaches taking in some cabaret action and the other would be thin women in headscarves in front of monolithic state apparati or something. It wasn’t like either version; you’ll be surprised to hear. Maybe it was just because we were looking at large historical buildings and it was pretty nippy but everything seemed depopulated and on a massive scale, like a sort of ghost city. I’m not sure if I’m getting this right but on the top of the former East German (DDR?) parliament buildings the German word for “doubt” has been erected in 10-foot high plastic letters. DOUBT. Is this some art thing, or am I missing something? I wasn’t sure if it made me feel better or worse, or just exactly the same.

We checked out the Reichstag. I needed a piss. Luckily there was a little public loo right next to it. You have to remember that I’m feeling paranoid, physically frail, and slightly unreal. The toilet was a little prefab hut like you might get at a public event. Outside two large dogs were barking in the manner of vicious dogs, as though making a heavy-handed comment about emotional security in a bad film. You had to pay about 50p to relieve yourself. Three or four underclass types with mullets staffed the bog enterprise, clutching lapdogs and tabloid newspapers. The Reichstag is next to a large park with dense trees so if you faced towards the toilets you could have been anywhere, but nowhere particularly sane or pleasant, if only because of the tableau I have just described. When we’d quit the situation I remarked to Nathan that I’d found the whole scenario a tad or two out of the ordinary, and he said, “well, yeah, the guy with the bag on his head was a bit bizarre…” Apparently while I was in the loo Nathan saw somebody with a plastic bag on their head stumble out of the prefab and make towards the bog attendants as if to do them a mischief in the style of a zombie killer, albeit for a laugh, presumably. This is right next to one of Berlin’s top tourist attractions. It was all just a bit too Kafka-directed-by-David-Lynch-in-the-style-of-Benny-Hill for me. I had to struggle, y’know?

Oh yeah, whilst in Germany I was on the quest for the perfect sausage experience, if you dig me. Whenever I’m in Notting Hill I always have the best wurst experience at the German sausage stall and I figured that the indigenous Germans might do their own wurst best. Unfortunately we went to the wrong sausage source and I had the worst wurst I’ve ever had. Meanwhile Nathan ate a raw fish and onion baguette with relish.

And we saw a few things to do with the terrible behaviour of the Nazis.

And a church with a dope organ that the MFU would have probably fallen in love with.

And we found a record shop but it was shitehausen. I almost bought a Pierre Moerlen’s Gong record before I checked myself. It was only because it was cheap, and I empathise with that. The only cool thing I found on my quest for yer genuine Krautrock was a Guru Guru LP for about £12 that I already have and got from Resale for what I recall as being one pound. It’s actually quite good, but I never listen to it.

Then we went home and fell ravenously upon a feast of:

Stuffed vine leaves
Raw-ish ham in large chunks with cloves of garlic stuffed into it
Olive oil
Hard cheese
Soft cheese
Dark bread
White bread
Sun dried tomatoes in oil
A horse

Nathan ate the horse. At one point it struggled to its hooves and tried to leap off the small table but Blunt caught it between his teeth and wolfed the fucker down. Then we hot-footed it through the cold night to the gig at Schoko-laden with the Chap.

OK. I’m going to continue on a new page. I might see you there, yeah?

Posted March 14, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.   Leave a comment

Well, this isn’t about the tour but I thought I’d share anyhoos. Rob Da Bank played People Hid In Jumpers last Thursday. Funnily enough I saw Jolly James on Mill Road earlier and we’d discussed the efforts of The Dude Ross to get my arse ART played again on the RDB show. I told JJ that I’d sent off a Giraffe and we’d have to wait and see, or hear. Later that day I’m at Cambridge Station seeing my dad off, who is non-habitually drunk, because its his 61st, and Shadowy Shires bells me to tell me that Um’s on Radio One – Hello Mum! I don’t tell my dad, of course. I just muse on the fact that I’m wearing a Next zip-neck jersey. How ironic. Then it strikes me that underneath that I’m sporting an M&S rollneck, which is perhaps even more Alanis Morissette. At this point I realise that I’m a living pisstake of my own self, because underneath that second jumper I’m (almost unbelievably) ensconced in a lightweight sports pullover. It was cold though, man.

Posted March 14, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Um European Tour Debrief Part One, Day One.   Leave a comment

Okay. I’m still alive, although I have a bit of a tickly cough.

It was the night before I left…

I was trying my best to not to freak out and stick to normal routines so I drank quite a large amount of Guinness but nothing seemed to stem a rising sense of doom and panic. I described my state of mind to a drug-fan I know in an anarchist’s bedroom and he produced a packet of chill-out pills of some kind (Valium-stylee) like an emergency doctor. Then we drank Pernod, because it was all that was left. I popped a tablet experimentally and went to bed. After a sound and refreshing sleep I woke up again and began panicking anew in earnest. I took Syd to school and hugged him like I’d never get the chance again. Then Sam drove me to the airport and we said goodbye, also with some depth of feeling. I then took another magic pill and headed for the Shakespeare Bar. By the time we were due to board I felt reasonably neutral – like not drunk or whacked-out but no spineless terror either. I think I just sort of emotionally shut down, and I barely recall the flight. I tried to listen to Bowie’s Low but it didn’t seem to have anything to do with me.

Berlin was cold and snowy, however, and the price of beer is almost as sweet as the taste. Nathan laid out a welcoming plate of:

Stuffed vine leaves
Raw-ish ham in large chunks with cloves of garlic stuffed into it
Olive oil
Hard cheese
Soft cheese
Dark bread
White bread
Sun dried tomatoes in oil

Nathan ate like a horse. I ate like one of those small, prehistoric horses. This pattern continued throughout my stay. Apparently the reason that they have those flat-bottomed INSPECTO-POO bogs in Germany is because parasites can be present in uncooked meat. I did actually enjoy the food (the pork excepted) but I still managed to seem like an ingrate and crack jokes about carrots, which was upsetting to my kind host. Sam has since had a go at me – “You and your little jokes…”

Then we headed out to find the venue. At the arched iron entrance to the RAW Tempel a man stood smoking. He was lit from behind and was dressed like a 50s actor, possibly in a German film without many gags in it. As we passed he said: “You are from England?” This was Bernd, my contact. It seemed funny to me that he was waiting outside in the sub-zero for me to get my stupid ass over from Great Britain. The venue was great – a big old barn of a place a bit like a smaller version of Dachstock in Berne. I was so excited and keen to get on with the job and chuffed to be there that I don’t remember much about the gig except that I was a bit of a show-off and drew attention to someone who was wearing leather trousers. “What’s leather trousers in German?” I quipped, and then felt pretty stupid when someone told me. The set finished with a dog coming up onstage to gently greet me as the music faded. Then I sat down and saw Panos from The Chap coming to greet me and then went over and hung out with these London boys, which was great. There were with a geezer called Alex, who has some sort of connection to They Came from The Stars, I Saw Them, and who was organising the The Chap gig the following night at Schoko-Laden. He suggested that I also might have a small role to play in the entertaining of the punters at that gig also, which was kind of fittingly weird as I had been terrier-ising the various Chap chaps about this possibility for some weeks previous, but for one reason and another the idea had fallen off the table. So, now, although I’d booked my plane tickets to Germany without any definite gigs, the two miracle gigs that had been hastily organised just before I had now suddenly become three. Three gigs in a three-day visit! I felt amazed and chuffed and incredibly artistic and a little bit up-myself. What with Bernd’s charismatic handler number and Nathan introducing himself (in German) as my tour manager to all and sundry and me not having much to do save for singing and smiling and drinking free beer it was all a bit odd in the most brilliant kind of way. Eventually we left and went home to Nathan’s, so that was Day One done and dusted. Thank you and goodnight!

Posted March 3, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Hey student! An interview with Pete Um.   Leave a comment

Sorry, I will write an account of the European Tour very soon. I will I will. The problem is my spare time in the day has been taken up with the decorating of Sam’s new flat, and I really need that window in the day when my brain is working to write stuff, as opposed to the evening when I’m tired or inebriated, or both. The decorating is doing my head in. Can you imagine Pete Um, the nebulous street-punk, being forced to wander round Homebase and choose a fitted kitchen? I would like to write more about this absurdity but I’m too shagged. In the meantime I’m uploading an interview with the nebulous one for Gown magazine. I seem to sound like a bit of a twat, but I’d hate for people not to see it. I’ve sorted out some of the worst typos but there might be a few still in there.

Tell me a bit about yourself.
A bit? I’m male, tall, shy, bit of a
silly streak…I once shot myself
in the foot…
How did you start making

I was in a band at first, being
the appalling singer. When
the band split I couldn’t play
any instruments, so I bought
a computer, and have been
mucking around with it, when
it’s not mucking me around, in
my bedroom ever since.
How would you describe your

A hateful question. My stuff
varies quite a bit, but I suppose
much of it could be described
as a kind of rhythmic collage
of unidentifiable sounds with
a miserable bloke singing
something badly that you
don’t understand over the top.
Somehow, it all just works!
What are you listening to at the

The noisy fan on my PC,
generally. Like a lot of folk, my
music tastes are diverse. I’m
most likely to be found listening
to something forbiddingly
obscure and if I’m not, it’s
because I’m listening to Billy
Idol or something stupid like
that. I’m very snobbish about
music, but I think that people
who don’t like pop are sad and
desperate individuals.
What do you think of the current
music scene in Cambridge?

Which one is that, ha-ha! Well,
I’m probably shamefully out
of touch and there are loads
of brilliant young guitar bands
that I haven’t bothered to go
and see. I’m mainly down with
the electronic music scene
in Cambridge, such as it is. I
would like to big up my chums
at Bad Timing at this point for
fighting against the current in
this regard.
What was the best thing to
happen to you in 2004?

I’ve had a crappy year, to be
honest, but good things have
happened. I finally made it
onto vinyl, for one, and I got to
support a musical hero of mine
– Damo Suzuki (of Can fame –
Ed.).I also had some really good
gigs, and in Giraffe(my new CD)
I’ve finally done something that
I’m genuinely chuffed with.
Do you have any tips for people
wanting to get into making or
performing music?

If you are racked with doubt
about your abilities it probably
means you have more to offer
than some self-confident
chucklehead who thinks they
know exactly what they’re
doing. Don’t hang about, I would
say. With regards to making
music – the most important
bit of kit is your ears, so you
don’t need the latest version
of the software / classic amp
/ analogue synth or whatever.
The first stuff I did on my own
was with two tape decks. Mind
you, it was rubbish.
What was the oddest thing to
happen to you in 2004?

assaulted at the Strawberry
Fair / cheating at a Christian
pub quiz / doing a gig in a
tree / having a rib broken by
a falling person. Details of all
these bizarre incidents can be
found in the diary section of
my website: http://www.umbusiness.
What have you recently released
or will you be releasing soon?

My most recent release is the
5-track clear-vinyl / free mini-
postcard Africa Is A Fridge 7″
on Strange Lights records. My
most recent CD-Rs are Giraffe
and Giraffe Outtakes. They’re
£6 each and people can email
me for details or buy them at
Where can people come and
listen to you soon or where can
they find out more?

www. which has
gig listings and also features
a diary section where I ramble
inconclusively about stuff. I
don’t play locally as much as I
used to, but if I do its most likely
at a Bad Timing night at The
Portland Arms (129 Chesterton
Road) or an Upgrade & Afterlife
night at CB2
(5-7 Norfolk

Posted March 1, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized