27 02 2006

The money came in early so I bought a hat and some shoes. Also booked myself some gig tickets. If you’re interested, have a look at out about to see where I shall be propping up bars round London.

Importing music onto the computer so I can sell all my CDs and buy an iPod. Some songs I have been listening to:

  • Hempolics – This is My Island
  • Catch – Boys Will Be Boys
  • Starfall – Psylocibe
  • Stabb – This Joke’s On Me
  • Bennet – Dogs
  • Arcade Fire – Headlights Look Like Diamonds
  • Jim Noir – Eanie Meany 2

Every month I seem to be in a race to see how fast I can pay out my entire wage packet so that I can spend the maximum possible time dancing around on my overdraft limit.

This got me thinking about how fast I earn money. In past jobs I have, in bored moments, calculated exactly how much I earn per minute and per second. It was never very much.

So I had an idea for a little software widget thing. I don’t know how to programme so you won’t be downloading it here anytime soon unless someone cleverer than me reads this and gets on the case.

So you type in your wage details and your expenses, and the widget sits on your desktop and every now again goes Ping! You have earned this month’s travel, and Ping! You have earned your credit card payment, or Ping! You have earned another pint. You could have a counter clicking your wages upwards, or clicking upwards how many pints you have earned.

Computer people: go forth and make it happen. Bring those wage slaves hope…


symposium. A

25 02 2006

Liverpool Lomax 05.98

Best gig ever: Liverpool. Symposium headlining, A supporting. Summer 1998.

How Ace Are Buildings had been out a couple of months, and I was in love with a band, a band called A. We didn’t know about Google in them days. They had the best logo I’d ever seen and I wanted to get in the crowd and shout back at them. They came to town on the day of the second general studies exam, the day before maths so none of my mates could go, but I had a two-week gap before my real exams started.

The weekend before, we were at a house party. I wanted a gig partner so I asked everyone. Ev-ry-one. When I was about to give up the sea of people parted and there she was. It was like John Hughes or something. I must have been pissed because I asked her, and maybe she was pissed because she said yes. We kissed later, but that’s not the important bit.

Didn’t concentrate much in the exam. I don’t remember what I wore, although I was in a Renton phase, I had the physique for Trainspotting chic then. I had to got there really early because of the last bus through the tunnel. I walked around but Liverpool was shut. It never even occurred to me to just wait in a pub on my own. Couldn’t even get a Big Issue, and I was followed for quite some time by… No, I’ll tell you that one some other time.

For a while I was nervous I wouldn’t recognise her, but she showed and we our eyes met across the empty square. She wasn’t like any girl I knew. She looked like she rocked. I asked her if she minded me going down the front, and she said she always went down the front. That was pretty cool, but its not the important bit either.

I’m not exaggerating to say my life changed that night. I’d been to the Lomax on a couple of occasions before with my best mate Paul and about eight other people. I wasn’t expecting the place to be rammed full of sweaty, expectant kids, especially not for a support act, especially not for a band I thought only I had heard of.

Animal wallet and lager in plastic pints. I didn’t know what a cloakroom was until I moved to London. Gigslick on my retro Adidas. Then they were there, Jason Perry bounding onstage and screaming “Sick-of-you…!” like he couldn’t wait for his band to catch up, but they did and the place exploded.

Chaos. Sherbet semtex in a shoebox. Abiding memory: Jason yawing over the crowd and kids actually bouncing off the walls, upside down and pinwheeling off the ceiling. A gig in a washing machine. Spun us round and spat us out, bruised and soaking wet.

They have a song called ‘Five in the Morning.’ They tore through it. When it got to the chorus, “don’t bother waking me at-“ I bounced up out of the crowd “five in the morning-“ I held up my hand for Jason to give me five. He gave me five.

Yeah, and I’d do it again, dammit, and probably so would he.

Battered and elated, I blinked and it was over. Is this what drugs is like? Then Symposium threw another punk rock hand grenade under the crowd. I remember skanking madly to the intro of ‘My Fairweather Friend’ and the riot when they did ‘Hard Day’s Night.’

Everything was different that night. I may already have started down the rocky road of rock’n’roll, but that night a juggernaut mowed me down and when I finally scraped myself off its grille I was three continents away. That’s what I want to be: rock’n’roll roadkill.

Later, when I rang her, her dad told me she’d gone to Manchester. For all I know, she never came back. Oh, and I got a ‘B’ on that exam.

But the important bit (wait for it…) was the A.

let me tell you about Clare…

24 02 2006

She’s the first Clash album remixed by Aphex Twin in black and white, with Julie Christie and Catherine Deneuve dancing in slo-mo. She’s that sexy.

We know when we first saw each other. I thought, I want a girl like her. I didn’t know the half of it. I wanted to talk to her but I’m not sure I managed it. I was in bed one night when my friends came home, and when no-one was looking she walked into my room, kissed me and left without a word. I thought I’d dreamt it. Maybe I’m still dreaming. She said she was going to Reading but neither of us did. Thank god for text messaging. I only sent her the one but she seemed to like it.

Christmas. Two months together. She was going home and I was convinced she wasn’t coming back. I made her sit with me in the passport booth, so I could convince myself she was real. She’s smiling, dark-eyed, cute and sexy, looking out past the camera. I’m just scruffy.

She came back. She gets funnier, prettier, cleverer, sexier, more thrilling-er every time I see her. I can see her now, when I close my eyes.

Thrilling-er. It’s a word… Nah, you just don’t get it. Me neither, really, but that’s love.


23 02 2006

It’s my birthday soon. I started out on creating my own website just before my last birthday, and I’ve done sod all for nearly a whole year. Just realising that was the catalyst to finishing the job, and so I decided to follow the best piece pf advice I’ve ever overheard in a crowded bar:

You don’t have to get it right, just get it written.

So I got myself this here blog. I plan to move to my own site (which is currently boarded up; a tramp has made his home in the links section, and kids bounce a football against the main navigation bar) some time soon, when I have gleaned the secret of interweb language.

Aaaanyhow, now I am off the blogging blocks, I promise you I will not be so lazy over the next year of my life. Actually, lazy is the wrong word. Last year was great. I got some letters after my name and got a job. I went to a lot of gigs and I drank a lot of beer. And I fell more and more in love.

But this year will be even greaterer. I am going to do stuff. Loads of stuff. Here is some of the main stuff, in no particular order…

Number one:
DO WRITING Music, films, comics, things that piss me off. I will write about them all, here.

Number two:
DO COMICS I have been forgetting all my best ideas for too long, so over the last couple of months I have been collecting ideas, writing scripts and sketching motley characters in a selection of cheap notebooks. And this year you will get to hold those stories in your hands, on cheap paper. Photocopied mini-comics to start with, then bigger, better, faster, more!

Number three:
WORK SOME PUNK ROCK MAGIC Five years ago I got a loan to spend on food, and I went straight out and bought a guitar. I haven’t touched it since, but this year it’s coming out of its heavily-cobwebbed velour bag.

Number four:
GET ON THE DECKS It’s been a while since I DJed last, and I’m getting an itchy play-button finger. So sometime this year will see the triumphant return of fireandforget – the indie disco. And, let’s go crazy, I might even try podcasting too (hey, everybody else is).

Number five:
That’s where you come in. Howdy. Look out for cheap comics, stickers in dingy pub toilets, smartarse posts on other people’s sites, ads in the middle of the Superbowl, an’ that. fireandforget is more than just a blog. I intend it to share it.

Stick with me, and who knows? Maybe next year you’ll be at my birthday party with me, toasting our wondrous year with champagne cocktails and twirling our moustaches. I can’t wait.