To blow or not to blow…

I think I tend to only write blogs when I’m sad or I want to sell or advertise something.

Last night I went to the fireworks display on the forest. It happens right outside our house. When the kids were growing up I always missed it because I was on tour at that time of year.

When I watch it now, year after year, I always have the same thought: ‘Why don’t you just fucking blow the whole lot up there in one go instead of trying to make it last?’

When I was in my second year at college and the 4 week Easter break was about to start I had a £20 note to my name. Most students I was on the course with went home during the breaks. I couldn’t do that and I was always skint at the end of term even though I worked 5 nights a week in the student bar (doing ‘security’!). I was on a full grant but I could only just make my grant stretch to the end of term, doing a photography degree was expensive. Especially the way I was doing it.

On the first day of the holiday, a sunny Saturday, I was walking down Mansfield Road in Nottingham to attend a talk at the YMCA by a photographer who had taken pictures in the war that was going on at the time in Bosnia. As I walked down the pavement I was wondering what to do with my £20. Do I blow it all on one good night tonight and see what happens or do I live for the next 20 days on £1 a day?

Then the most amazing thing happened. I bumped into an old crusty friend called Iain H who I hadn’t seen for six or so years; since I had lived with him above a biker pub called The Harbour Lights in Whitstable. What a mad coincidence. He was a drug dealer and all of a sudden, there he was, he came out of nowhere, this blast from the past from Kent, walking up the hill as I walked down it.

“What the fuck Iain!” I said.

“Fuck…. Chris Olley, no fucking way man!!!”

We chatted about why he was there, what we had been up to, old friends etc. Turned out he had just arrived in Nottingham and was on his way up to Forest Fields where he was staying. He told me he had a bag of microdots (acid / LSD) that he needed to sell.

“Know anywhere I can sell these?”

“Yeah, I know a place.” I said

I met him later that night in Forest Fields (I lived there too) and we walked down to the pub in town where I thought he would be able to sell the acid. By now I’d of course decided to blow the £20 in one go. Fuck it.

When we got to the pub we started selling the acid in a very clandestine way but it didn’t take long before word got around the pub. A bit later we took some ourselves and then just started giving the rest away. Across the room I saw a girl I’d had a one night stand with a few months earlier and went over to her and asked her if she wanted a free tab of acid. I sat with her all night and then she took me home; we were off our heads and all my money was gone. Iain had disappeared.

She fed me and looked after me for the next 2 weeks and we fell in love and I ended up going out with her for 2 years. Iain reappeared again and hung around Nottingham until some other drug dealers chased him out of town a few months later. Two weeks into the holiday I applied for a hardship fund from the university and they gave me an instant £350 payment when I explained my financial circumstances to them. I repaid my new girlfriend for the last two weeks she had looked after me and then we partied for the next 2 weeks like we had won the lottery.

The moral of the story is; blow it all up in one go, just go for it, see what happens.

Advertisements

six by seven at The Maze

six by seevn maze photo

I have to say that was the best gig I’ve ever done on Saturday at the Maze. In the past six by seven was very strict and everything was worked out, right down to when we put the fuzzboxes on to create the build ups. People said I looked miserable and scary on stage, but this was because I spent most of my time counting numbers in my head and concentrating like a motherfucker.

Saturday was the opposite of all that; freeform guitar solo’s, huge segue’s with improvised drumming, cue’s for chord changes counted out live and beginnings of songs starting when I came in with the first line of the lyrics. Apart from that, everything was structured, we don’t want to be a jazz band after all. It sounded like Spacemen 3, Stooges, Velvets and Crazy Horse.

I also enjoyed doing the ‘acoustic / stand-up / story-telling’ support slot. Again, everything was pretty random but there was such a great atmosphere that it was easy to do!

It was great meeting people from the mailing list and putting faces to names and addresses, especially Shohei Miyauchi who had come all the way from Japan to see the show. I think best of all was that you made it happen by pledging on Kickstarter.

Rehearsals were also a joy, working with Charlie, Chris Moore and Chris Davis, everyone was so professional at getting this together in just 5 rehearsals. It was hard work and we knew we had to time it just right so that we peaked for the gig. Lets hope we can do some more, everyone in the band is up for it.

1. Got To Find A Way Out Of Here
2. Alone (new song)
3. Well (new song)
4. Mother Of Life
5. Fade Away
6. Cafeteria Rats
7. Flypaper For Freaks
8. Mind (Head-Fuck)

(Acoustic set)

  1. Everything Disappears
  2. All My New Best Friends
  3. Pain
  4. July August Winter
  5. Fighting (song from MuZiK KluB)
  6. 100 & Something Foxhall Road

 

.

The Great Storm 1987

micheal-fish

It was thirty years ago today that the storm hit which they are now calling ‘The Great Storm of 1987’. I think it was officially a real hurricane.

I was living in Whitstable at the time, well just outside, in a place called Tankerton, up on the hill from Whitstable. We were smack in the middle of the storm. It woke me up in the middle of the night. I sat up and listened to the raging wind outside and I remember thinking to myself: “This is not good, something is going to break.”

I think the wind had reached a critical point, the point just before it was going to start really causing things like windows to break under the force of it. You could feel the pressure and intensity and the imminent smashing that was to come. Imagine a really fierce blustering wind which is moving about so violently that it feels like it’s coming from all different directions every single second.

The whole house was shaking and by now my girlfriend had woken up too and was sitting up in the bed shouting: “What the fuck is happening!!?”

As we sat there listening and wondering what to do, the window suddenly gave in and a huge roof tile (about the size of a chefs chopping block) crashed onto the floor at the bottom of the bed. “SHIT!!!”

The sheer force of the wind coming through the open window was now frightening and everything outside was starting to break. Outside our bedroom door, Tim, our landlord and house owner was now in the hallway screaming: “What the fuck is going on in there, we need to get downstairs!!”

We ran out of the room and into the corridor and I remember thinking how strange it was that the door of the attic in the ceiling was smashing around above me like the lid on a pan of boiling water.

We went downstairs into the living room and tried to figure out what to do. Things were calmer down there. All we could hear was the devastation outside. We opened the back door from the kitchen and looked out and we could see our our next door neighbours greenhouse dying the death of a thousand cuts. Lamposts were creaking and some had fallen over and bits of people’s roofs and all sorts of shit was flying around everywhere. I think I saw a black bin liner.

We took the opportunity to get rid of all the milk bottles we had accumulated…about 40 or so. We held them out into the wind with arms straight and then turned the bottle into the wind and let go and they shot across the gardens like bullets and we could hear the crash of them when they hit stuff. We got rid of them all and only added to the devastation.

I got bored and went into the living room and fell asleep. The next day, Tim had managed to get a battery operated radio going and discovered that we were now cut off and in an official disaster area. Brilliant, no work today then. (I was working as a car cleaner in Canterbury). It was another day before we could get to Canterbury.

At lunch time I decided to walk down to the seafront to see if the pub, The Harbour Lights, where I used to live, was open. There was nothing else to do, I knew people would congregate there. I couldn’t believe the carnage I witnessed on the way down to the sea front. Houses were literally smashed to pieces with bits missing off them and so many trees were bent over onto the ground or completely uprooted and lying in the roads. On the road leading to the pub, there was a tree which had fallen right through the drivers cabin of a milk float. I stood there looking at it for ages; it’s back wheels were about 4 foot in the air and there were smashed bottles everywhere. The tree was huge. There was no milk man though, Ernie was fast, he had escaped.

That was about it really. The pub was open and everyone I knew was in there telling the same story as mine. After a few days everything was back to normal. A few weeks later I caught the train to Dover and it was then that I saw the real devastation of the hurricane. The countryside had been torn to pieces, there was debris everywhere. Huge parts of forests looked like a giant had just trodden on them and there were bits of trees scattered all over the landscape. It was quite something to see.

Kickstarter Update

I’ve added a new reward and changed the title of the Kickstarter and removed the emphasis from ‘Book KluB’ to vinyl. You can now pledge £18 for the vinyl album only.

PLEASE NOTE: You can change your pledge anytime if you only want the album on vinyl but have already pledged for the reward including book and cd.

The album will be super cool and very rocking! In the meantime, here are 4 new heavy duty kraut tracks, and they’re all free.

Stick It On The Roses…

For those of you that don’t yet know, I’ve started another Kickstarter campaign HERE

At the moment it doesn’t look like it’s going to get anywhere near the funding I need. To be honest it was a bit of an experiment and if it doesn’t get funded then I’ll release all the parts separately anyway. It’s an experiment and all experiments are allowed to fail. 🙂

I’ve written 3 books. Short books full of lyrics and poems and sometimes pictures. They are called:

  1. Somewhere Between The Horror And The Love (finished, printed but not released yet)
  2. Run It Through Your Horse And Stick It On The Roses (OUT NOW PEEPS!!)
  3. Lonely As An Anchor Fallen Of Its Chain (being written, not yet quite finished)

I’m not sure people are going to be interested and it’s something new, albeit something I’ve always done, writing lyrics and poetry. I have to admit that people are probably more into my music than my words. It’s difficult starting something new when you rely so heavily on the people who are into what you have already done. Hence this email..pure salesmanshit.

Anyway, I have just put the second book, Run It Through Your Horse And Stick It On The Roses, out through Bandcamp at a price I can’t really make money from. Why you ask? Well, I’d just like people to give the books a chance so I’m practically giving one of them away. It’s yours for under a fiver and you get 3 downloads with it too. The books look and feel great and they are professionally manufactured and bound and they will make you chortle. Hopefully.

Please support a starving punk poet by clicking HERE to buy. It would make a great present. (I’m trying!)

Thanks! Here are a couple of poems for free:

Malcolm McDowell

When I get old I wanna look like Malcolm McDowell
I want a head of grey hair and an icy stare
I wanna look like death don’t mean a thing
Like an old and hard and lived in Sting

Without a double chin
Without a walking stick
Just an old grizzled geezer
With a straight up dick

When I get old I wanna look like Malcolm McDowell
I wanna be shovelling cocaine in by the trowel
I won’t have no cancer that’s testicular
Cause I’ll be fucking like Caligula
I’ll be a Droog with a big white phallus
I’ll be ice cold and cool
Just like Alex

When I get old I wanna look like Malcolm McDowell
From back end to front
Being a dude and acting the cunt

Gears Of War

You’re my fifth gear
When I’m going fast
You let me coast
You make me last

You’re my second gear
You get me going
You steady my nerve
Before slipping me into third

You’re my reverse
When I need it
You can get me out
Of a tight spot

When I need to go
You get me started
You help me steer
You’re my first fucking gear

Yes, you’re my first, my last, my second and third
My fourth and fifth and my reverse

And when my driving gets too brutal
It’s you that pops me into neutral

Notifications On

I went to see Underworld at the Ally Pally
It was ever so good

I got down the front and I moved and I danced
This time without Ecstasy and my Fitbit went crazy
40.000 steps…

My friend went to see Ed Sheeran at Glastonbury
Her Fitbit went crazy too, it kept telling her to move
It said: Go for a walk! Time for some steps!

She looked around and she was not alone
Then the Fitbit took on a life of its own…

It flashed and shook and beeped and said

‘Stop this now; time for bed’

I Went To Bed And Woke Up Dead

I Went To Bed And Woke Up Dead

In my dream I could hear me scream

“Oh no, I’m not ready yet!”

“Shut up” said Death

“You asked for this, now get out of bed”

It’s true what they say about when you dream your own death

There I lay fast asleep

With you beside me, snoring idly

Then Death came into my slumber

To carry me to that place down under

[By that I mean I was going to hell

My life had been deemed a failure

Death wasn’t taking me to Australia]

 

I grabbed my chest and heaved and grasped

“This is it, this must be it at last.”

My body dropped my soul took flight

And I drifted off towards the light

And there it was

The end of me

But please don’t worry

I was in a hurry

And I felt quite pleased

For I had

Motor Neurone Disease

Headphones

I walk across town because I have to
Like so many others it seems, I have somewhere to go
I shut the world out because I choose to

Like so many others I see
With headphones, red and black and tiny little white leads

It’s early, they must be off to work

They pass me by and I pass them
I like to nod I like to smile to see if I get a reply
Some people nod while others look bemused
A woman with a pram, a man with a beard

One guy looks back with a view to a kill
While another smiles and looks quite chilled
A woman smiles back like she wants to invite me
A man looks up like he wants to fight me

I just go about my way
Smiling at them as I go
I don’t care, I’m not afraid
Today I dig this world I’m in
I’m listening to a bit of Aphex Twin

He’s banging this and banging that
And I’m walking around

Like a twat.

 

RED

 

Now that the MuZiK KluB is coming to an end I’ve been going through some of the releases to find ‘band’ projects that I did during the four years of the MuZiK KluB so I can perhaps have a go at remastering them and presenting them with their own individual bandcamp page, available as a free download.

The first of these will be a project I called RED which came out with MuZiK KluB Release number 20 back in February 2015.

With the MuZiK KluB, because I was doing so much music, I often bought instruments off eBay and then used them to make sounds that would take me down a different road than the one I normally would go down. Usually I would sell the instrument a few months later and try to buy something else with the money to try a different approach again. This often resulted in me kicking myself a year later and wishing I hadn’t sold the drum machine or synth as I would have liked to do another album of a specific project.

With this project I tried to do an electro version of Talking Heads meets Joy Division with a 303 bassline synth and 707 drum machine and also a Novation synth. Everything was recorded live onto my 8 track recorder and mixed later on a computer. What I ended up with was an electro kind of dark gothic funk which sounded like The Human League with Peter Hook playing all over it!

Have a listen and decide for yourself. I have remastered the original as I have different monitors now but other than that I have not changed anything. I’ve tagged it under ‘Alternative’ and ‘Coldwave’ in Bandcamp.

It comes in three formats: FREE download with PDF lyric book, black vinyl CD in manilla discobag and deluxe jewel case limited edition signed red vinyl CD with 8 page lyric book.

I’ve also got all the original 8 track stems which I will email you if you want to have a go at remixing the album yourself (if you buy one of the formats!).

I hope you like it. It’s free but please donate if you like it enough to listen to it more than once. I loved listening to it on my headphones walking to the post office, it’s very groovy baby.