Monday, 13 November 2017

The flock scatters at the sound of breaking glass

I am defunct hardware.
Scratched disks
Clicking and trying to write over
what I cannot understand.
I am not compatible
with what you want to do
Drop me from a great height
into a cavernous metal skip.
Listen to the crunch and shatter
as I spill my innards,
rare earth metal,
scraped from exotic lands,
buried in a mundane mound.
The once and future king
picked over by flocks of gulls

I am a fragment of memory
I am the path once travelled
I am archaic connections
I am the picture behind a blank screen
The words under the stuck keys.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

A lack of insight.

Little maggots squirming.
Fat little dreamers
Oh, to be a fly
and to feast on shit
instead of rotten flesh.
The open skies await.
Tiny little minds
cannot concieve
of the spiders web.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Deny sleep

Wasting time in fear of silence
Filling the space with any noise
Pseudo company.
The illusion of a connection
I drop the stone
If I do not hear the splash
It might be falling forever

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Turn on the radio, nah, fuck it, turn it off.


I don't mind Gordon Brown. He's like a big old armchair and I imagine if you're in a room with him he moves quite slowly, so he wouldn't alarm you too much. He'd be good company in a library as he seems quite self contained though I think he probably chews his food quite noisily and that would do your head in if you were trying to read the paper in a bedsit share scenario where you were like Jimmy Porter and he was the other bloke who lives with him in 'Look Back in Anger' - Brown is always going to remembered as 'the one who wasn't as big a cunt as Tony Blair but pretended he liked the Arctic Monkeys and got gobby about Sue letting him speak to 'that bigoted woman'' which really is a bit tight when you consider he did lots of other stuff that no one can remember because it was a bit boring.

One thing I do remember him doing was saying he liked Six Music and that the BBC shouldn't axe it. People said 'Good on you Gordon Brown!' and the BBC didn't axe it and then David and Sam Cam liked the Smiths and everyone lived happily ever after listening to reheated Peel sessions in their expensive sheds in the Cotswalds and there was no poverty any more and Liz Kershaw was made Queen of England.

Except I fucking hate Six Music and I think it's frankly a squalid waste of tax payers money. Look at that stupid logo with it's underlying 'guitar music is real music' message. Piss off.

When I say this, usually people say to me, 'oh, but it's got some good shows' and it has. It genuinely does. I don't want to waste time discussing what they are. There aren't many given it broadcasts for 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

The thing is. It could be so much better. So much better.

Lets take a critical and thoughtful approach and move beyond the fact that it's comforting in your mid 30s to hear familiar sounds from your misremembered glorious youth. Yeah, remember the Charlatans, that was great! Good times! No it wasn't, it was crap and you spent it staring into the middle distance with 4 other depressed people wondering why nothing ever fucking happens, then you got hammered and thought the Levellers were good because you'd drunk two litres of cider.

That is not what the license fee is for, helping you remember that.

You don't want to remember that. You should be listening to Radio 2 if you want musical nostalgia. You can get all the hits, Curiosity Killed The Cat, Cameo, hell, they even play edgy stuff liked the Damned and 'this old house' by Shakin' Stevens. Real music man, when it was good.

But underneath this irreverent revelry lurks a serious point. There is already a radio station dedicated to playing 'classic pop hits' with space for a bit of white boy indie nostalgia. There is no reason at all why Radio two can't shoehorn in a few 'boys with guitars from off of the 90s' shows in its schedule.

It's got Steve Wright, Chris Evans, Johnny Walker, Jo Whiley, all the people from when you liked Radio 1, from when it wasn't all hashtagbanter and DJs with just first names or nicknames.

Which brings me to my second point. Why the shitting fucking crap is 6 Music full of ex radio one DJs? It's like a place where people who weren't even on Radio 1 very long and no one remembers being that arsed about the music go. Or, where people who were vaguely interesting to interview in the NME in the 90s go to do a radio show.

Why is it minor indie celebrity corner? I don't fucking care what Huey from the Fun lovin' Criminals is up to. No one liked Catatonia anyway and if you did, you really should have got bored of them by now. Have you not heard classical music yet? It's way better than 'it's all over the front page, you give me road rage'

The license fee is not for giving ex Radio One DJs a comfortable life until retirement (and quite why they haven't dragged up 'the Ranking Miss P' yet is a mystery to me. They've had everyone else you'd forgotten that you remember on -why not her?) or for subsidising people who were in middle ranking indie bands by paying the so they don't have to drag themselves round the festival circuit growing more and more depressed as they look out upon the pathetic ranks of middle aged people desperately trying to relive their youth with their kids on their shoulders like no one ever was embarrassed by their own dad ever and blurting out the choruses to songs that were tired two weeks after their release, holding plastic cups of wine and shouting stuff like

'Claire! we should be going soon, I've got a meeting Monday AM and I don't want to get bogged down in the carpark'
'But Shaun, Sleeper are on soon'
'Oh, Cl-aire'
'Shaun! You got to watch Dodgy!'
'Ok, we'll stay for inbetweener, but I want Lucy and Clive in bed by 9, they've got tutoring tomorrow'

It's probably hard for people who were in 'rock n fuckin' roll' for a bit to not want to go a bit UZI mad at your typical festival and I don't really blame them for wanting to do a Sunday morning show which consists of them doing an hour or so of browsing their records and picking a few songs, hitting 'shuffle' on the 'new music playlist' and then chucking in a couple of records from 'the big book of good records that everyone agrees make you a person with impeccable taste'

But that's not really what the license fee should be for.

I'm not being cruel here. I'm really not. I wish these people well, it's nice to see Liz Kershaw and Steve Lamacq them looked after a bit better than poor old Bruno Brookes but frankly, it's a miserable that a station that is about 'new music' isn't better at getting people on the airwaves who actually give a fuck about it. Who is on Six music that wasn't a music industry or radio name 15/20 years ago? Er, John Peels son and... that bloke in the morning who rambles on like he's doing a stand up act and that's it.

What the license fee is for should be about creating opportunities for people to make radio shows which could never exist on a commercial platform. It should be about art, about stuff that challenges the listeners tastes, that broadens the definition of music and 'radio'

The license fee should be about risk taking and the triumph of the unlikely or the unknown. I'm not saying Six Music is unremittingly shit. Mary Ann Hobbs is automatically allowed to do whatever she wants and is exempt from all criticism because she's MHB. That's a fact, whether or not her show is any good. It does, from time to time, play some interesting songs. a fair proportion of the time it's only vaguely distinguishable from 'mainstream' radio.

It tells you constantly that it 'Keeps it Peel' but the endless recycling of 'vintage Joy Division classic sessions' isn't what John Peel was about. The procession of well chosen, quality songs and quirky quiz items just for fun isn't what John Peel was about. The samey guitary whiteness of much of it's output isn't what John Peel was about. It really, really isn't. 'Keeping the spirit of Peel alive' doesn't mean giving jobs to some people who were once in session or interviewed by him at Glastonbury or he had a pint with or had an office next to him at Radio 1. It should mean an obsession with music, it should mean a radio station that some people love and most people turn off, not a good thing to tap your foot to in the car.

Peel lived it, breathed it, his car was full of random tapes people had sent him, he lived amongst stacks and stacks of records, he played stuff that was amazing, strange, odd, short, long and sometimes fucking awful. He constantly wanted a new sound. I still miss him. I don't think Six Music is at all in his spirit. It's cosy and safe most of the time. It's a pseudo radio 2. It's an excuse to make Radio 1 contentless but with none of the imagination of Radio 3. Like, Metal Box is the greatest record ever, but I don't want to turn on the radio at 10pm and hear 'vintage PIL Peel sessions' - I really fucking don't. I want to here something interesting, original and different and I want the radio station that is branded as 'the music' station to care more. I want it to dig into the corners of the music scene. I want it to scare me, to shock me. I want to hate it and love it and it to be breathless and odd and different and ugly and beautiful. That's what new music is. I literally just checked what is playing...



It's just disappointing really. It could have been so much more, It could be so interesting but it all seems like a 'concept' of a radio station aimed at a target audience. It's got no spirit, no freshness. It's like listening to two spotify playlists - one of them is 'your mate's playlist of classic choons from back in the day' and the other is 'hot new tracks you might like because you like Beck'

I'm sorry, it's not good enough and it's symptomatic of a BBC system where everything is aimed at a demographic or a target audience.





Monday, 9 October 2017

Rat

Sensation of disconnection
uneasy silence.
The opposite of peace. 
Disquiet.

Half finished buildings. 
Notes that don't ring clear.
Phantom alarm calls disturbing sleep
Dead sea waves.

Exhale
Expell 
Ignore

Monday, 2 October 2017

Kindness flows harder than cruelty
Setting hard. Anger runs like lava
I am becoming stone.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Scotia

Marching pines bleached white in fog
Cascade of dying ferns
Waterfall of decay.
Liminal space.
Yards and lorry parks
The signs viewed back to front
All pole and bracket.
Truncated walls and tangled coppice of
trees.
The past is guesswork.

So many turbines
Seem to power the rainbow
Which forms above the town
Watery mirage
A headfuck of light.

Taking the edge from the squat square blocks squeezed tightly and meanly in the middle of a lonely land.

The river is full
The future is guesswork.