Saturday, December 23, 2006


Last post before I board up all the windows and retire from the world to a darkened room for a few days. Fortunately I'll have things to do - in particular, finishing the mixing for this new album for which details will be posted soon. Anyhow, whichever way you choose to spend your holidays, I'd like to take the opportunity to say thanks for reading this blog, for all the kind comments and mails (yes, even you, 'rootmarm'!), and for hearing the music - it really means a lot. Have a great time.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Please indulge me this one last broadside, I do solemnly promise this to be the absolutely final blog entry regarding The Wire magazine.

Our school head, a patronising maternalistic old dragon, often tried to force us to eat the weekly shepherd's pie, which all of us hated despite her it's-good-for-you exhortations and yet I did really use to love the rice pudding. Especially with a blob of jam. So anyway, as I was tucking into a third bowl of the goo, Martin, a nice kid with good intentions, who regularly used to sit at the table opposite me, would contort his face, and say, 'William, I don't get it, I just don't understand how anyone can eat that muck, it's disgusting, you're crazy!'. He couldn't get his head round it and that was an early moment I realised how people can be such prisoners of their belief systems, anything that doesn't fit into their narrow worldview is incomprehensible to them.

Keith Moliné, please tell me how much your article helped to pay a bill. Tell me how much sex it'll help you get. Tell me how it's improved your journalistic CV. Tell me how it's helped you do a bit of networking. Tell me what success really means to you as you stop and reflect that this is not about us, it's about you. And in the meantime, while you rewrite your 1,000 words on 'Noise and the Failure Imperative', I'll just sit here and enjoy my rice pudding.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


We once played at Thekla, a boat venue in Bristol, and I recall an amusing story Philip told me about some old (and unspectacular) graffiti by Banksy discovered on the hull. Of course, Banksy has now gone on to far bigger and better things and so, during a recent refurbishment, the painters had to carefully work around his old tag which was along the lines of 'TUPAC ROOLZ OK'. Here's some street art, some of which is admittedly quite funny.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


There's a marvellous documentary on the philosopher Jacques Derrida which, while not comparable to reading the books, does amply demonstrate what a wonderful human being he is. A man with a rare depth, an unpretentious elegance, and an always playful sense of curiosity. The DVD comes with lots of fascinating extra footage of him giving responses to questions on specific topics, and for all you fans of Straw Dogs (the John Gray book, not the Peckinpah film...), his response to the topic of 'animals' is priceless, extremely touching, a defining moment that sets him far apart from the dreary humanist tradition of his profession.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Another serial killer and another sorry slew of expert hypotheses stretched out across the pages of our newspapers and TV news channels like the Suffolk police combing a muddy field for clues. The one thing you can be sure about these armchair detectives' so-called revelations into the mind of the murderer, psychological profiles, criminological deductive pattern analyses, and all the other tasseomantic nonsense, is that they'll be way off the fucking mark when the killer is caught. By accident. And it goes without saying that it won't shame these CSI fantasists into keeping their mouths shut next time around.

So, right on cue, in today's Daily Mail, that ubiquitously touted rogue Colin Wilson crawls out from under his stone to take a stab at it (forgive me for the mixed metaphor, I couldn't resist it). Wilson's dabbled in philosophy, fiction, non-fiction, mysticism, true crime, the occult, to list but a few - and I've read much of it. Am I alone in thinking his work is as lightweight and unbelievable as it's poorly researched and articulated? In fact, to me, it's just more voluminous rubbish.


Predictable and, of course, under-reported update to the story behind all the nonsensical 'security' at European airports these days - featuring that very same numbskull with the big gun who's still itching to start spraying bullets in the direction of some 'terrorists' (read 'holiday-makers').

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Being named after a 40-year-old Velvets' song is the giveaway.

If there's one thing I really have a problem with in music, it's this cringeworthy veneration of the distant past. It's like one of those 'legends' football matches where some fading star like Beckham gets to have his teenage idol Pelé in his team.

And I'm sorry to say this but ATP is the modern-day equivalent of the fucking revival cabaret tour. There's no irony lost on these guys, they even take place in Butlins holiday camps. It's bad enough when all those godawful 80s bands like Flock Of Seagulls and T'Pau come back to haunt us but this ATP stuff is arguably worse: it's predominantly the 60s and 70s. It's at the level of Elvis impersonators. It's fucking nostalgia unlimited.

I can hear some hecklers saying, well, you cunts did ATP in London, you're just bitter 'cos you got bottled off the stage. And there is some truth in that because, for fuck's sake, Whitehouse is 26 years old, and at the time I do admit that concert was a totally frustrating and depressing experience, albeit compounded by the breathtaking incompetence of that legendary numpty, the ATP stage manager. However, on kinder reflection, I look back on our premature exit as a vindication of sorts. A reassuringly healthy disrespect for 'tradition'.

And bear with me a bit longer while I'm still ranting on this topic (it's one of those days, I'm afraid); it's really disappointing, for all the above-mentioned reasons, to hear about Thurston Moore showing old Come Organisation videos at last weekend's bash without even asking for permission (which, by the way, wouldn't have been given). So there.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Love it or hate it, we've all grown up with the hamburger culture that is McDonald's. In Brighton for such a long time, the only place to hang out for a milkshake was the appalling Wimpy joint, and when McDonald's wanted to open up a restaurant in Western Road, there were even quaint street protests about it. Fast Food Nation should be enough of a deterrent.

If aliens were to visit our planet (and surely they've got better things to do with their time), they could be forgiven for thinking, judging by the advertising, that today's Mickey D's was a leading health food chain - until it became glaringly obvious that not one single child ever ever EVER orders the fucking carrot sticks or the fruit bag.

So yes, how times change. Here's McDonald's first ever TV advert - it's from 1963 when Ronald hadn't yet quite perfected the serial killer chic of the clown.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


For so long I had such a yearning to visit what was the USSR, then, as soon as the Communist regime capitulated and the union began to split up, sadly, that desire also waned. It's weird, because nowadays it's pretty hard to remember that era having existed, and it's only occasionally you're reminded of the curious romanticism of those times. This was certainly true whilst compiling for the Extreme Music From Russia project - there still exist elements of artistic and cultural isolation that have the real power to intrigue, and another example is with these almost unearthly buildings.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Thanks once again to Piers for creating another wonderful Cocadisco experience on Friday night in London. Hearing those magical sounds in a club setting is a forceful reminder of my long-held capricious wish to spend 2/3 months exploring the sights, sounds, and flavours, of the length and breadth of Italia.