Day Ninety: I came across this post late last night just as I was preparing for bed.
I met Rick Ingham, the man behind TinB, at the spoken word night The Confessional at Adelphi. Since lockdown I haven’t been keeping tabs on his work but it appears the influencers at BBC 6 Music have been, and are right behind Someone Just Pressed Pause by Hull musicians The Broken Orchestra featuring TinB. So I invite you to listen to the track now (with headphones or speakers if you have them) and enjoy the way the music builds throughout. Note the repeated phrases that get right to the heart of how we all felt, and how we feel now teetering on the edge of lockdown. Despite being recorded end of March, long before we knew the full scale and horror of what was to unfold, the words perfectly reflect the world so many of us haven’t seen for months.
Someone just pressed pause…
Day Eighty-nine: Okay so I’ve just finished watching Almost Famous, the movie about the young journalist on tour with a rock n roll band, crossing the states in ’73. Naturally that’s my cue to write about my love affair with Hull’s live music scene.
It was in 2004 I think that I first saw Blue Sand at the Adelphi. I’d been with ThisisUll for a few months, and they encouraged me to check out local music and write about it for the website.
I loved them the minute I heard them, a four piece outfit from With. (most bands are a four piece) playing guitar and bass driven indie tracks tinged with anthemic melancholia. I’ve still got the car window sticker their manager gave me, I never had the car to put it in. I have their first EP Changed Names and Slaves, and all the demos that followed, I’ve even got a recording on cassette of them debuting a new song during a local radio interview. They played The Cavern Club in Liverpool one Saturday night and I had a place on the bus from Hull with all the other Blue Sand fans: what a thrill that was.
There were lots of other bands too like the Dirty Dreamers with their own brand of sleazy rock n roll, I followed them to London and the Cavern. I had the picture I took of the guitarist below in 2005, printed onto a t-shirt that was the level of my fangirlness. (togs… would you describe that as an early version of a filter?) There was the Johnsons (who I spectacularly failed to manage for six months – I knew nothing about managing bands) who opened the first UK Tsunami Benefit Gig just a few weeks after the Boxing Day disaster, and their mates Park n Ride who upset the local Lib Dems, with their oh so similar branding that kept appearing on lamp posts all over HU5. I famously got left behind at The Cavern Club once, when I got distracted at the end of the gig, trying to interview the owner and the two coaches left without me. Thankfully he saw I was in a bit of a state and very kindly put me up for the night.
The life of a would be music journo, exposed me to so many different types of music, indie, rock, punk, electronica, glitchtronica, shoegaze, techno, Emo, dream pop and every crossover genre you can think of. And also so many names and faces who at the time meant the world and more, but have slowly faded from memory. I used to joke it’s okay for you, you only have to remember my name, I’ve got the guitarist, the lead singer, the bassist, the drummer, the keyboard player, the song titles, the gig dates, maybe the manager’s name, the name of the artist who did the cover artwork… let alone all the fans.
I wasn’t a good critic, I was a fan. I loved the music. I believed in the dream, the bands were like one big musical family to me. You would find me in the venue down the front, dancing and singing their words back to them, at the top of my voice. Every week you could see someone play: every day if you had the will power. Monday night was Adelphi Musicians night, Tuesday was the Sesh, Wednesday maybe Ringside, Thursday Sweet n Sour @ Welly, Friday Music Man, Saturday yo-yo @ Welly, Sunday if you were still alive, Sunday Sesh on Bev Road. For a short while I had a Wednesday night at Silhouette called Indecent but it never took off, a few good gigs though Black Wire, Alpha Nine, Turismo I’m pretty sure Blue Sand played one night. And not forgetting ThisisUll Live year long gig series last friday of the month at Adelphi in 07/08 something like that.
I got lost in it all for a while, I failed not to take it too seriously, like Penny Lane guards against in the film. I lost sight of what it was I fell in love with right at the beginning of the rock n roll ride.
I had many favourites Kill Surf City changed my life – that’s how it felt at the time – but my absolute favourite was Ernest: and I’d have them on my Desert Island playlist for certain. They were a Hedon group with a flair for theatrics and damn fine funky sounds, as the buzz around them grew they developed both a smoke and bubble machine for their stage shows which, were getting more and more epic by the day. They were the criminally underrated stadium funk rock band, that never quite got their recognition and reward.
There were so many bands that I thought with a a bit of luck, the right bit of luck and a fair wind behind them perhaps could have contributed to creating a city sound to rival that of Manchester or Liverpool at the time. So many great bands, I just have to dip into the box of demos upstairs, to remind myself I was there. I guess with lockdown there’ll be lots of people doing the same thing, spending time with all those treasured mementos from years gone by. No gigs for the foreseeable, it’s a hard pill to swallow, for the bands, the fans and the venues.
It’s only rock n roll… and I Love it!
Day Eighty-eight: A writer friend asked me, ‘How do you feel abut JK Rowling’s comments/essay Michelle?’ I responded that I liked her books, the ones about the Boy Wizard anyway. I’ve never felt inclined to read any of her others. I don’t think I would like her company. As someone with such a high media profile she shows a distinct lack of awareness… but perhaps she’s made her money and then some, for the rest of her life so she no longer lives in the real world. I find it all rather exhausting, the dog whistle comments and articles deliberately baiting diametrically opposed communities to drive online traffic. Focussing energy on one person’s vendetta, rather than addressing discrimination and prejudice, violence and misinformation seems pointless to me. It’s like worrying about statues or television shows, when people are dying every day. It is deliberately missing the point and allowing yourself to be led by the mob.
I also think she does this every so often, in order to appear current, no such thing as bad publicity. As a writer does she owe something to her readers? I don’t know, as an author you have the right to offend, to challenge readers… There are some who would challenge the state of womanhood for women who do not have children of their own. Without feeling I have to defend myself, and now defending myself, you know my story. I didn’t choose this, I don’t think anyone does. This is how I identify, it’s who I am… but I am fully aware that as a constructed female, my body doesn’t work in accordance to biological females… and here, as soon as you start using words like female and biological you run into trouble. Its exhausting isn’t it. My point is that there are far more important things to get worked up about, if one had to respond to every bilious comment, then life would be extremely tiresome don’t you think?
In other news I took a walk today, a circle or two around the park and an ice cream in the rain: we had to stand outside the shop because the little kiosk wasn’t open. I enjoyed crossing the new footbridge over the ponds, and I look forward to seeing the park in all its new splendour with the new conservatory and flower beds. That is of course, if the nitwits don’t spoil it before we’ve even had a chance to visit. To the people stealing the plants out the ground, you really need to have a long hard look at yourself. Every time you see that bloom in your own garden, I hope the guilt eats you up.
I was joined on my walk by this beautiful boy called Reggie… I have decided I will bubble up with him as I said to a friend the other day ‘Doggie hugs are best..’ I am moved to add the following to my list of lockdown lines. These are overheard comments or ones of my own seized upon and filed away. ‘..deceiving a collie cross bubbling up with a whippet for the weekend.’
Regular readers will have noted there was a post missing. Wednesday night I spent the evening until the wee small hours devising a new piece for performance… be patient, you will find out all about it by following the blog (stepping out of the airlock on this one that’s for sure)
Enter your bubble like you mean it this weekend