Saturday, April 30, 2005

Confushion - shock rock mock horror

Ignore the title, just trying to get your attention for the following:

The Edinburgh Sound Collective and Fraser Drummond's "Confushion" are well worth a look and a listen if you like real live, growing and grown-up music - - there is always a gig or something going on so check them out.

Had a great evening hearing Confushion, featuring the considerable talents of Fraser, John and Chris at the somewhat underused venue that is the North Edinburgh Arts Centre. The playing was top-class, full of improvised gems, jamming and well worked out songs, even a few covers were thrown in. If I say "Midnight Rider v Paddy McGinty's Goat" - well you simply can't get a broader spectrum than that.

Nice also to meet Karen who also hails from the Kingdom of Fife and as for Fraser's garden - that's worth a whole blog in itself.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Out of the top of my head...

Two men, an accountant and a baby

The truth of young love’s strangest dreams
The touch and tell of how it seems
These lives are blown to smithereens
And then fall back.

She snaked a pass to find dry land
She walked across some Northern sand
In the distance played Franz Ferdinand
And kicked a football.

I see you in my crashing sleep
Too numb to run, too slow to creep
The infant love you just can’t keep
Here’s to you alone.

Someday things all will be put to right
We’ll stand together, shoulder tight
The smiles will shine, not so contrite
Champagne will flow.

The lottery of life’s controls
The chances break these mortal souls
The lucky eight ball’s contents rolls
And turns up indecision.

I love the wise way you cause havoc
The stress and strain of family traffic
It’s having all or having none of it
To run the world your way.

Here comes the last change, for sure, maybe
I thought I’d experienced all, in my way
Two men, an accountant and a baby
I’ll earn your respect.

From this we’ll all earn some respect.

Having free time & being happy

Thoughts between 0935 and 1004 today.

Being happy and having some free time to yourself.
I like to see geese flying in the shape of a vee.
A screen of trees growing that will eventually block out the view.
What about the two minute rule?
Anxious hospital patients and visitors looking for a space on the parking lot.
Thinking about buying a cup of coffee and a fudge donut.
Planning a difficult phone call.
Listening to Ventura Highway on the radio.
Bad pieces of rhyming poetry.
Remembering things that happened on holiday.
Struggling to fill a piece of paper with text.
Thinking about living in a hot, dry country with white walls, cold tiles and blue skies.
Swimming pool reflections.
Genuine Scottish Tablet, made from a traditional recipe.
What files are really worth backing up?
The vagueness of cloud design and mists and their characteristics and why people complain about the weather as if it was some kind of new, strange, unexpected phenomenon.
The noise of a passing car, tappets rattling, exhausts chug.
Wishing some things were different and worrying about the future.
Back to the two minute rule.
How do you clear your mind and live for the moment? Not easy if you feel you carry baggage, responsibility and hope.
Poor people stay poor because they spend their money on crap. People want to buy things that make them feel good. Price is not always an issue.
She says sell them hope.
Drum sounds.
Bass sounds.
Planning a new CD.
Thinking about the possibilities of digital radio.
Think about the amount of rubbish we accumulate inside our cars.
Thinking about far away traffic jams and incidents.
Why have hats always been so popular when most of them are quite ridiculous and what do they do to your hair?
People worrying about rain.
Two minutes again.
People who always agree with you.
Living a completely different life from everyone else (you think) but not being like Billy Liar.
Imagining a black and white cat crossed the road, seen from the corner of your eye.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Good Link I Think

Apart from the two above - a good link for our musical material (at 88 cents a track) is:

Currently three out of our four (or is it five?) CDs are there to download:

"scapes" 2003, "social enterprise" 2004 and "(wip)" 2005.

"heartburst" should be there anytime now - just waiting on the programmers, so we are told.

There's also the usual odd bits of blurb and writings, so please help our stats and counters, get us up in the ratings, feed our children and get John a nice new set of tyres and a front shock for his Mazda 323 - Download us today!

You will not be sorry and neither will we.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

It wasn't like heaven...

It wasn’t the way I’d expected it to be at all; firstly there was no white light, no great shock to my system, no spiral path. I was suddenly but gently in another room, well the space felt room sized but my senses were dull and my perception/radar whatever was picking up less visual information than before, before, when I was alive. In a peaceful incoming wave, carried like a stray piece of seaweed or driftwood the thought lapped into my mind and spun slowly on some purposeless current. “When I was alive, that was then, now I’m alive but not living as I was. I have died and this is life after..” The thought drifted on, I felt no panic, no need to grasp it back, no need to explore much of anything inside me, the grey haze of where I am now was slowly beckoning.

The grey fog did seem to surround everything and was sucked into all my stuttering senses. Sounds and smells were unclear, as if a hat or an opaque cover was pulled down over my eyes. I thought I was standing but I could have been staggering, I could have been lying down. I sensed arms, hands, fingers, legs but they were dumb oddly slow-witted as if they had things, functions to relearn. The grey was moving now, steamily evaporating like a monsoon shower struck by the break through of the sun and steaming back to the heavens to be reborn in some other shower later in the hot and sticky afternoon.

So the vapour trailed away, time not mattering much and my thoughts were still muddy. I wanted to question myself, feel myself, rewind in some way the recent events and put together a picture so that understanding was available. I was like my memory and familiar automatic functions hadn’t stopped, just become unavailable and dormant. My mind was a library of unopened, unread books, cataloguing experiences, ideas and events, lists and inventories of my time and passions and desires. These all now had closed with the dull thud of a finished book and it appeared would remain archived and remote for the time being or perhaps forever. Am escaping though suggested that really, right now they were of no consequence, their time had passed and they were unremarkable. That my life was stored and “unremarkable” didn’t trouble me in the least. That I was here now and found myself unbreakable was much more significant. The lack of panic, fear, pain and any rush of excitement, things I had assumed accompanied death and the stepping into the afterlife was now a mild maladjusted surprise. A bit like loosing a very pleasant Christmas present unexpectedly from unpromising wrapping and an unlikely source. Triggered by the Christmas thought I briefly pictured the Biblical descriptions of Heaven and Hell. The process of queuing, awaiting the judgement call, the angels praising, the truth being revealed, Hell and all it’s promised terrors opening up for me as I fell through the crust of the earth whilst the great and good travelled on some silver escalator high above, happy and oblivious of my fate.

The grey stayed featureless but was now less grey, bluer, warmer and accommodating though I could not pierce the membrane of unknowing that floated in and around me. My awareness grew gradually, some senses seemed to be returning, others sharpening, others dying and I found these states shifted even as I tried to concentrate on each one. Hearing was sharp, then dull as the white noise of heaven receded, sight clear as I focused on a pinprick of light catching my eye from the edge of a gaseous cloud, feelings pained then cocooned by a corset of nerveless ness. My consciousness took an abrupt turn back to earthly life when I suddenly realised I was reading. It was a sign, but not written, not pasted or posted up. It seemed to be inside my head but still in my field of external vision. It said “Ministry of Divine Works, Matters and Happenings: Newcomers and relative beginners required for career development, project work and satisfying outcomes. (Please do not apply if you have already been refused a position – second helpings of mercy are not available).”

I was aware of smaller print (?) below the main notice, try as I might I could not read it, it remained a mysterious and off putting blur. Anyway who or what was behind this notice anyway and how exactly had it become implanted in my brain? As I thought that thought the ridiculous idea that I should even begin to understand what was going on dawned on me. Here I am dead, passed away, on the other side and I expect normal rules and conventions to apply. At this point another “sign” materialised: “Debt collectors and accountants, sin and good deed consultants, criminal experts and perversion actuaries – we need you at the Ministry of Redemptive Management”. There was more blurred small print draining away at the dog end of this even more confusing advert. I found it even less attractive than the first as I began to conclude that there were significant imperfections in built in this perfect afterlife. I was apparently a continuation of some vast public sector bureaucracy, determined to mine and manage heaven or wherever I was in a structured way. The final add did it for me:
“Get your own back, square the score, settle your account with a rewarding position at the Ministry of Divine Intervention, no previous experience needed. Candidates must possess drive and determination, statistical skills and the ability to exert a strong one-sided influence over group work, no team players please!

A new life was now calling me from the Ministry of Divine Intervention. I had to find the application form. *

*Application forms in heaven are hard to find. There is general rule that if you can’t find or obtain by whatever means the form you need then you were never really meant for the job you wanted. It all smacks of a higher kind of total predestination. The forms themselves, when found, are quite easy to complete. Always in block capitals and often with plain yes/no tick boxes.

For a moment I thought I could hear Christian rock music, or was it country music drifting by in the distance? It rose and fell on some tired, laconic breeze. I looked around hoping to see the source and just as I was about to stop looking he appeared. He was a goat, well a man with a goat’s head, a white goat head and a beard. He was grinning and lighting a thin cigar or cigarillo. He puffed blue smoke from a corner of his goat mouth and with his woolly hands pulled the cigar from his mouth and spoke. “I can get you that form boy, but it will cost you dear, I need you for some of my chance happenings, are you in?”

I spoke out loud for the first time since I’d died “How difficult can it be?” As I breathed in after talking I tasted salt on the air from my breath. “How difficult can it be?” I repeated… be continued.

Acoustica 2 of 05

Acoustica 2 was last night (19th) at the Backpackers, Queensferry Street Edinburgh.

A mixed but supportive crowd saw Dangerous George, Julie King, Andy Patterson and Iona Marshall. A really good night of original music and songs.

Many OOTB stars, has-beens, about to bees and Klingons attended - and a car collided with a bus right outside the venue during Andy P's set - but he played on like a true pro.

More details, photo galleries etc. and details of how you (or your talented friend) could play an acoustica night are at

Monday, April 11, 2005

The UK general erection

Bored with the election already? What’s your manifesto?

Well according to Les Impossibles:

Firstly as we are on an island (in the UK) let’s invest in shipbuilding and build some ships again.

And planes and roads and tall buildings.

Sort out pensions.

Allow euthanasia.

(These two are somewhat interlinked).

Fire all the Health Service Administrators that add no value and give doctors a bollocking for not doing what nurses know they need to do (i.e. washing their hands, wearing white coats, stop talking pish to patients etc). Also pay cleaning staff enough to motivate them.

Let’s also start a quick and dirty space programme featuring a floating launch pad that can be towed/propelled to wherever the clear weather is for launches. Yahoo!

We’ll also build a proper interstellar space ship, or at least work towards it.

Have a programme to develop time-travel.

Stop wasting time on stupid ideas like wind and wave farms and actually make nuclear power safe instead.

All children ages 7 and over will be given complimentary Meccano sets.

Start building proper cars again: Deloreans, MG Magnettes, Ford Cortinas and MGBs but with modern technology.

Have sensible policies on smoking, alcohol and drugs that treat people as freethinking adults.

Stop children’s TV presenters from throwing gunge about and shouting (nobody, not even little kids finds this amusing). Try teaching the kids something and stop patronising!

Introduce a maximum wage for footballers.

Ban speed bumps, Subaru’s and Mitsubishi Evos.

Give kids a decent school dinner for £1.00.

Build affordable housing that looks good.

Demolish crap 90’s housing “estates”.

Cable up the country for the Internet, TV and whatever else.

I could go on but I'm bored already.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Little Spurt of Interest and....

Little spurt of interest.

She thanked me kindly for
The one she’d had before
The tale that I could tell
It serves her very well
Red sails into the sunset sail
And nature’s mother’s ways prevail
As I sway from optimist to pessimist
Love goes before and can’t resist
She wants her rest but I insist
And plug between the haze and mist
Our little spurt of interest.
That fragile spurt of interest.

In the future landfill sites prove useful, as they are found to be a source of alchemistic materials.

(Sometime in 2525)

Friends of the earth unite
We think we have the answer, right?
The world’s economies now in balance
Place in our grasp a new reliance
On seagull shit, black bags and compost
This paradise has not been lost on us.
There’s gold in them there cosmic mines
They buried there, the years behind,
The dust of ages settles thick,
Coke cans and isotopes can mix
With papers, plastics and cigarette butts
Materials your clean future’s lost
And now there’s gold in them there tips
In landfill, wheelie bins and skips,
Come Captain Kirk and charge your phaser,
Your flux-capacitor and Bic razor,
Our generation’s done no real damage,
We rest in peace despite the carnage.
The crown jewels upon your kings
Are from our crap and discarded things.
Spin in your cardboard graves Green Parties
Rotate amid tree roots and in despair,
Our shit still turns up everywhere.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Heaven is...

The Pope has gone to Heaven. Many good people believe in Heaven and expect it to be great, a reward, a rest and a perfect place to be with the Lord.

Those that don't make the grade however get Hell, no more no less.

So how does that work? I'm happy in Heaven but my kids, my partner, the people next door, my parents, all my favourite movie and rock stars - none of them made it. No cats or dogs either, but hey, they say it's a perfect place in Heaven. Everybody is happy, singing praises to God and we all have new bodies.

But maybe I'm not so happy, despite my new body, I'm me, I remember (or am I brainwashed by God, is that what he wants?) those I loved who didn't make it. Despite all the singing and green grass and shining lights, how can I be happy? So many I loved didn't make it. How can God be happy? It's like having a banquet in your house when the family next door is starving - you can't enjoy that.

So Heaven, a dream? Not much more or a whole lot more? I don't claim to know but whatever it is, it's not what Churches teach, I'm sure of that.