Archive for July 2009

Treworgey Tree Fayre 1989   Leave a comment

Been miserable and disenfranchised and pessimistic today and making it all worse by researching Spiral Tribe on the net. One day in 1992 someone came round our house and asked us if we wanted to go to a free party and alas a combination of canedness, partied-outness and, if I’m honest, actual general gutlessness prevented me from gathering a few things and getting in the car and I have of course regretted it ever since, and I’m not given to regret either. It was Castlemorton, y’see. This book does a pretty good job of explaining the importance of that event in the context of Spiral Tribe and the wider movement they were a part of, even if some of us were barely aware of what it was we were a part of, let alone what we were missing. Anyway, I’m tired right now and I’m not going to do justice to this but what made a lot about what was interesting about the free party scene and its origins was the overlap with the travellers and the free festivals. And, according to this page on this site, my first festival was a particularly legendary one. Funnily enough Sam was at this too, or at least she was until shit got too weird with the acid and the head injuries and so on. I would like to continue and tell you how my school in southern Africa had a hippie from the Peace Convoy as a guest speaker, about how Spiral Tribe stole my headphones, and about another tenuous connection I have with Spiral Tribe, but none of them are particularly great stories and one of them in all likelihood isn’t actually true.

Hmm. All of this needs following up really…


Yeah, funny place to see Loop, but I was there. Oddly enough my Mum lives just down the road now, which was weird the first time I realized where I was all those years later. Not long after Treworgey I was at Torpedo Town, possibly 1990, and my Mum also later lived several miles from there too. Cosmic.

Grist Podcasts.   Leave a comment

3 cool things.   1 comment

First off, the marvellous Russell Taysom has made good on a promise and done one of his joyously dark illustrations of me, here seen feasting on the head of Man From Uranus. To me he’s captured Phil rather better than he has me but then it’s hard to judge a likeness of oneself (perhaps indicative of the distance between subjective and objective realities with regards to ourselves) and as I can’t deny the formless hair and the lines around the eyes and as Syd seemed to think it was pretty obviously me I am overall very chuffed to be the latest to be granted this honour. Besides, as Russell pointed out, Phil is instantly recognizable by his blue skin.


The next cool thing is that I received a copy of the latest album by the Flower-Corsano Duo, which has a nice big Pete Um credit on the back simply because I was pointing my camera towards the stage at The Portland one night. In fact The Doozer did as much as me with helping out with that one. Anyway, big fan of all things Corsano so it feels like a really cool thing to me.


And talking of fandom, it seems my online big-up of unique hip-hop legend Sensational, you know, this one:

might find its way in part into a documentary about the man. I am fucking chuffed about this, no two ways about it.

Vile Bodies   Leave a comment

 I’ve only seen the Bodies once and I thought they were deeply unlikely and testingly brilliant, so I’m chuffed to be asked to play this, albeit rather aghast at the news that this is their last gig. Also my concert schedule was in danger of becoming indistinguishable from that of someone who doesn’t actually perform anymore so I think there would be some kind of conceptual unity if this was both a farewell gig and a comeback show at the same time. I can’t speak for Hot Fiction. This may be just another day on the rock ‘n’ roll highway for them.


Posted July 13, 2009 by peteum2013 in grist, pete um, portland arms

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Pete Um Obssession.   Leave a comment

Some lady has become obsessed with me.

Posted July 3, 2009 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Powerful indeed.   Leave a comment

Was trying to think of something to counteract that last post and I thought of Dan Deacon. I don’t much care for his records but I reckon he’s got to be worth seeing live for sure.

This is an interesting insight into Deacon’s thing too.

Posted July 2, 2009 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

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Poptones/Careering   Leave a comment


My man Simon Doling just linked this for my attention. I was trying to write a comment underneath but my thoughts spiralled a bit too far. First off I started thinking about just how cool a clip it was, and what a cool and brave thing Lydon does here, and how it feels like he’s somehow mashing the future together with the past to tell the present to hurry up, whilst similtaneously burying other pasts, the ex-Johnny Rotten in a white suit getting black kids to dance to that funky, dubby bass. How he somehow got to play Doctor Who twice by being a poster-boy for punk and for post-punk. All the stuff you know or should know about the story of Johnny Rotten. All the stuff that kind of makes it a shame that he’s always been a tosser who now sells butter. Then I started thinking about the impossibility of something like the two worlds in the clip ever meeting in this day and age, some modern equivalent of the harsh, dirgey doom disco with Lydon’s discomforting warble of a dead, bored soul car-crashing into the wholesome generic teen TV rave-up show complete with cluelessly bland, cheesy shithead older-dude presenter, and I found myself grateful once again for the YouTube miracle. The miracle that happens over and over whenever someone sends you one of these links, or whenever your stoned fingers manage to type in “Can” or “The Monks” or “Funkadelic” or whatever. I felt grateful that I live in an age where these lost cultural antiquities of the past can suddenly be manifested for my private asessment, enjoyment or education at the touch of some buttons. It also gives me pleasure to think that those artists who did that cool thing once in a certain place at a certain time will eventually get their kudos from a wider audience, because that feels righteous. It nourishes the thing inside me that often feels like a bitter lie, the idea that you hold onto the faith, you keep your dreams. Furthermore it should engender a sense that, as long as that all-important recording is made (and not lost), it is worth doing that thing you do, and getting that jam tight, that joke right, that little step to the left… right.
But then, because, like any decent object of aesthetic appreciation, this YouTube clip of Public Image Ltd performing in the Spring of the first year of a new decade of what would become 1980s America, has, of course, a multiplicity of possible meanings and interpretations, and I started to think about it in another way. Because, in a sense, both of the worlds are now as dead and gone as each other. That door we see John Lydon kicking in has gone, and so has John himself. They cancelled each other out. That show would never happen any more. John’s a celebrity, get him out of here. But… I’m floundering here. I guess I’m trying to say that that piece of footage, fittingly for Lydon’s oeuvre, contains the seeds of its own demise. Lydon senses the stillborn thing that the show’s format will produce – a mimed performance to a seated audience, and lays waste to it in a classic act of creative destruction. Good old Johnny, he always wants to destroy. A great moment, very cool, captured forever on YouTube, possibly. But, and there are many reasons for this, that moment will never happen again. Shit, if I was getting paid for this instead of sciatica or whatever it is that’s making my right leg hurt like hell then I’d bother to get this right, or buy another chair or something. But yeah, every time that clip is seen it makes the possibility of the kind of sabotage or detournement or sheer spontaneous fuck-youness of the type John Lydon gets away with a little bit less likely, partly because they wouldn’t let you get away with it, and partly because it’s so been done. I mean, people can and probably will try and do that type of thing, but they’ll probably have something like this in mind, and, even if other people write about it like it meant something and still more fools believe them, it didn’t. Those worlds are mutually exclusive now, and it doesn’t matter if you’re holding up a banner in the American Idol audience or punching your fist in the air at a Wolf Eyes gig. Those days are over.
Hmm, that kind of unravels as it goes along doesn’t it?

Replikant   Leave a comment

Was mixing my drinks last night, with way more herbal teas than standard. Green tea, peppermint, cammomile. crashed out about 2AM after viewing the enjoyable Royal Tennenbaums with my hand on the volume knob all the way through. I could watch Gene Hackman all day. Awoke sweating after vivid dream just after 4. Dream was in the style of sophisticated and modish American TV program about a military unit engaged in jungle warfare, like a more humid version of Generation Kill. Woke up silently screaming – being pursued by guys in headscarves swarming down a hill. Outside it was a muggy, misty East Anglia.Felix’s thing was fun, although I have some regrets. They are:

Should have taken more pictures because it was hard to take a bad one, especially at the party.
Wish Felix DJed the 7″ singles he asked us all to bring (one each was stipulated, although I brought about 6 and Dave brought 3), or maybe even asked me and Dave to DJ, although he probably doesn’t know quite how talented we are in that regard. He certainly didn’t know I had brought my MP3 player with minijack to RCA phono adaptors just in case.
I regret being totally fucking partied out by about 1.30AM, thereby not getting to actually talk that much to people.
I regret telling Mariola’s daughter that she sounded like her Mum. What I meant was that I’d been trying to discern evidence of her maternal origins all evening and suddenly I caught a glimpse in her manner, in a sudden intensity of expression. Even Bobby, who isn’t synonymous with propriety, was more or less aghast at this gauche error.

Treated Belgium and London as one long holiday and I’m a little tired and bored of myself now. I’m sure burning the candle on and off uses more wax or something. Anyway, you lot babysit the apocalypse for a bit. I’m getting an early night.