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Old News: September - December 1998


15 September 1998
Afternoon all... you find me in GRATE spirits because I've just finished the main bulk of WORK for the next single, and i am BLOODY RELIEVED. It's been a couple of weeks of DOOM getting stuff together, shovelling out huge sums of cash and various other Hefty Stuff (like me and Rob spending three hours putting the damn things together), but it's now just about done! This afternoon i sent copies off to the Lovely People at Overground, along with a vast batch of promo copies, and all i have to do now is sit back and wait!

Well, that's not all really, there's still some gigs to do and some plugging of my own, but that's all FUN and won't be keeping me up until the early hours every night like this lot has done. There's only one gig actually properly done at the moment, at the Garage on October 1st, but hopefully over the next few days I'll be getting some done in Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and maybe Peterborough and Birmingham too. Most exciting of all is the possible possibility of some in Glasgow and Edinburgh, which would be FANTASTIC, but we shall see. They'll all be around the time of the single, which in case you were unaware is "Born With The Century" (backed with "Billy Jones Is Dead" and "Another True Story") out on Artists Against Success (of course) on October 12th, distributed by Shellshock, catalogue number AAS014. So now you know.

A little bit further ahead is the MAYBENESS of LollopaLeicester - this was going to be a one-day Leicester Fiesta covering several venues, but for two things - a) there aren't that many venues in Leicester and b) i really can't be arsed. So instead, if current inter-record-company negotiations come to fruition, it will be a fortnightly SHOWCASE for Leicester labels, mainly run by AAS and Sorted, hopefully with stuff too from the likes of Fortuna Pop!, PickledEgg, Magic Teapot, and Tube Bar recordings. It all rather depends on the venue we want getting a licence and the aforesaid various other people wanting to be involved, but they are JOLLY DECENT CHAPS, so I'm hopeful they will.

The big news on the My Stuff front is Twofold. Firstly, THE SONGS ARE BACK! For the past few months I've written about one song every five weeks, but over the past fortnight about EIGHT have dropped out of the sky, which is BRILLIANT. Once I've written this bit I'll be sticking some of them onto the lyrics pages, so why not pop over and take a GANDER?

The other possible possibility is an ACTUAL ALBUM. Over at AAS we're very busy at the moment (split single with Lazer Guided and Stumble out September 12th, Pala single in January), and one of the More Thrilling things we're in negotiations about is a Johnny Domino album. I'll leave the details to the AAS pages, but as far as pertains to MOI goes, it's given me the GRATE IDEA of doing a Proper CD album. Oh YES! This IDEA has been helped along by the KIND WORDS and CONSIDERATION of The Validators (i.e. Rob and Tim) who both seem fairly keen on the idea, so we shall see, we shall see.

Perhaps I'll be able to afford it with the VAST ROYALTIES that will doubtless accrue when Born With The Century makes the Radio 2 playlist. Hmm.

That's about it for this time then - if anybody's still reading this, apologies for the delay in this update, and see you at the gigs!

2 October 1998
Hallo boys and girls - am feeling Most Peculiar at the mo, as it is the morning after the GRATE AAS Showcase Gig at the Garage, at which I played along with Our Boys Johnny Domino, Stumble, and Lazer Guided. Top top top night out, if rather worrying - waking up to feel like you weigh about 2 pounds is a sure sign that you have been living under the Yoke Of FEAR for too long - see the ROCK page for details of what occurred, in an amazing Actually Updating A Page shocker.

Similarly Regular Viewers (ho ho) will no doubt have noticed that FINALLY i've gotten round to moving the site here to the lovely tripod, who are ace. In celebration I've added some bits and bobs like the Guestbook and the PageCount thing you get by ticking the green tick wotsit at the bottom of the page - is all quite groovy and all FREE which makes me happy. The huge amount of free memory I now have may encourage a GLUT of extra bits. Or I may just not be arsed.

"Born With The Century"'s still not out for another week or so (October 12, Buying Records Fans), but the SMASHING Overground have got them zinging around the Nation's radio stations, and some GOOD feedback is already coming in - check the LINKS page (when I get round to doing it) for some of the people who've liked it. Special mention goes to C4 Radio who came and interviewed me last night, which was a whole lot of fun Anyway, as said, is not out yet but seems to be getting a bit of play - hopefully more news as it happens...

You know all those gigs I was on about organising? Guess how many have come to fruition? YOU GUESS CORRECTLY! Unfortunately I was so harrassed by BUSINESS I couldn't be arsed to sort them out, but you never know, they might come good. But they probably won't. Oh well, maybe some HAPPY PEOPLE will offer me something when the single gets Radio 2 playlisting, but until then we live in hope of LollopaLeicester coming off - we have a venue who seem happy to do it, but unfortunately they don't yet have a performance licence! Oh well, we shall see.

The Maybe Album has moved a step closer too - recorded a demo of all the songs we might be doing, which has gone forth to Rob and Tim for consideration... if all goes to plan we MIGHT actually get round to practicing this month. You never know.

And I think that's it - it's all quite exciting at the mo as it's THAT TIME just before things start happening, and HEY! I have a good feeling about this one... who knows what the next news will bring?

21 October 1998
Well well well, here are again with not an awful lot to talk about I fear my darlings... Born With The Century's out there in the world, it's selling OK, people seem to like it and HEY! That's what's going down. The radio station responses are pretty cool, though they do keep mentioning this Billy Bragg fella, and the ones who like it apparently really
like it, so that's nice. Not sure how many we've sold yet though, so DOOM may yet be on the horizon.

Managed to stop my Obsessive Compulsive Steve Lamacq/John Peel listening, which has been a relief. I firmly believe that the Reverse Psychology Voodoo thus employed will work it's DARK MAGIC and force them to play it soon - I had a TAROT reading last week (yes, JUST LIKE JAMES BOND) which said I would soon get unexpected financial security from creativity ... spooky huh? Sure enough a few days later my first ever PRS payment came through - fifty pounds and 18 pence! Taking away the fee for joining PRS, this means I made an 18p PROFIT! Somebody call Arthur C Clarke, this is TOO SPOOKY.

Not much else really... LollopaLeicester poddles along, searching in a Battlestar Galactica Stylee for it's mythical home - we should
have some news on that in the next couple of weeks (along with a webpage), but I do tend to keep saying that. Also THE ALBUM is still waiting to get started. I am currently trying to book a practice around Rob's trip to LA and Tim going to the CMJ. Oh, and also avoiding the days I go to Melton Mowbray, which is frankly MUCH more glamorous. No really. Anyway, should get going soon, and think we will have a BASS player too, thus making us able to do an Actual Gig with the full band, which should ROCK - see gigs page for possible Actual Gig action. Once again, there's a few things up in the air at the moment, but very little actually confirmed. Ho hum.

And that's it oi reckon - hopefully next
time there'll be something a bit more concrete, but don't hold yr breath eh kids?

12 November 1998
Hello my friends, you see me BURNING WITH THE FIRES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS for LO, last night i went to see Billy Bragg... hmm, i'm sure nobody would have GUESSED that i like him... anyway, he was GRATE, tho the whole experience filled me with THOUGHT with regards to the VALIDATORS i.e. i'll not be suggested we extend songs to three times their normal length through the use of MANDOLIN, as that would be right out.

Oh YARSS, we finally got round to having a practice for the VALIDATORS, and it was GRATE. I, of course, remained completely cool during the whole thing and IN NOW WAY grinned like a twat the whole way through and said "That was brilliant! Wahey!" I experimented with the use of Verbal Eno Cards, for example Tim The Celebrity Drummer asked how the songs went and i said "As if you have a great big moustache. At a wedding." Oh yes, this is a MIGHTY METHOD for PRE-PRODUCTION. We worked out Hey Hey 16K, If You Need Loving, Where Do All The Women Go To, and Friday 13 with more to do next week. Unfortunately it looks like i'm going to end up playing the BASS rather than just doing my AHEM LOVELY SINGING, but still, i'm sure all will be well, and LO, i am EXCITED.

The other Exciting Thing is that me and Mr Fleay MIGHT be going and doing a Radio Session down in That London in a couple of weeks - ICR (which is based at Imperial College apparently) asked if we could do one, and of course i said "YES PLEASE!" That should be SMART, maybe even get to do some Quiet Ones for the ALBUM, who knows? This all came about through the Wonderful Work of the Beautiful People At Overground, who are plugging Born With The Century. Comments are still coming back, and it's all very lovely - comparisons so far are Billy Bragg (doh!), Donavan (cool!), The Kinks (the similar!) and SUPERGRASS?!?!? The nicest bit is that some of them mention Songwriting, which being an OLD GIT makes me happy.

LollopaLeicester bounds along still, with bands being pretty much confirmed for the first couple of nights - i have been MOST VIRTUOUS and not booked myself in, so i STILL have sod all in the way of gigs, but i'm vaguely trying a few Avenues Of GigNess. On the AAS front, i've been WORKING HARD rejigging the sleeve for the Pala single, and took part in a SURVEY for that Robots and Electronic BRANES fanzine. It is OK, but i look a bit of an OAF cos (like a few people) i thort he was just asking ME, so went on a bit... still, the Stereolab Gag is still VALID. Finally there's ANOTHER new song in the offing, which will embarrass my Little Brother NO END, with about five First Two Verses sitting impatiently in my kitchen, waiting to be finished off. Be patient my proud beauties, your time will come.

And that's the way it is today.

26 November 1998
Morning all ... why is it every time I get round to writing this bit I have an rampant HANGOVER? Believe me babies, my life is usually one of PURITANISM and brisk walks through the early morning mist, but unfortunately not today.

For LO! there has been another journey down to That London and as usual I suffer the consequences. Mr Fleay and I headed down to Imperial College to do our SESSION, and got delayed by the tube having broken. We arrived to find the keys to the studio unavailable, so it was HO for the PUB where we paid London Prices for some grub and BEER and was stunned. An hour later we headed back, pausing only to STARE at the thinnest house in the world, which is very long but only about 2 foot wide. Anyway, the STUDIO rocked mightily, and in the course of two hours (about half an hour of which was spent working out what things did) we recorded THIRTEEN songs! Yes, EAT MY PRODUCTIVITY. Rob took his trumpet, and also a penny whistle and a mouth organ, all of which he used, the best bits being a ROCKING version of "Another Man's Laundry" and a groovy JAZZTASM of a solo in "Say It With Words". I was mighty chuffed with the whole thing, and so we went to the Union for more BEER of a rather cheaper variety. I was ASTOUNDED to see they have started letting SMALL CHILDREN into the Union, but could see no students. IT WAS FULL OF CHILDREN and I was SCARED - eeeerily enough a direct lookalike of My Baby Brother sat with us, it was SCARY.

And then it was over to the Bull & Gate for to see John Sims and Airport GURL, tho we spent most of the time CHATTING and wandering about, and missed Airport GURL anyway because we had to get the train... oh well. Sportique were good, in a Looking And Sounding Like A Slightly Older Buzzcocks kind of way, which is a GOOD THING. I love London gigs cos you get to bump into loads of people, tho I do wish someone could get the bands to Turn It Down A Bit - honestly my dear, you have to shout to be heard over the top of them!

SO that is why I am feeeling RUM today. Didn't get a chance to listen to the SESSION very much, but we should be getting a copy of it soon so MAY be able to use some on the ALBUM - this, by the way, is coming on nicely still. We did a couple more songs (I Knew It'd Happen To You and also hot new one The Black Hair And Glasses Brigade) last week, and have finally got hold of Si Marmite, who's playing BASS from next week. I am EXCITED, not least cos spent a LOT of the last practice not playing guitar NOR NOTHING and just doing my Beautiful Singing oh YES. Oddly, the guitar parts sound much better when Rob plays them. Funny that.

In other news, LollopaLeicester will be happening SOON (week after next in fact) and is looking good - unfortunately EFFICIENCY means that the AAS slot is booked up until about March, so I can't get myself on there... bugger... I really must get a move on and get some GIGS, but it is so HARD... anyway, i've been working hard on Revolution 9, and after HOURS of listening to it i've done my ARRANGEMENT of it, which you should be able to read around here somewhere.

Other than that, there's a few HALVES of songs bumping around that I need to finish off, and the Early Stages of Now That's What I Call VALID, the AAS compilation album, in the offing, so MY GOODNESS the next update of this will be exciting. Possibly.

9 December 1998
Hi Kids... three weeks into the MONTH OF ACTION and i'm starting to flag a bit - it's NICE to be busy and dashing around DOING STUFF, but blimey, it doesn't half wear you out.

One of the main things I've been up to is sorting stuff for LollopaLeicester, the first of which went off on Monday, and BLOW ME if people didn't actually turn up! I think I have thus managed to isolate the JINX on gigs that I organise - if I play, nobody comes, if I don't play, people do. Was all very satisfying anyway, especially as we seemed to mostly get people coming to see a GIG, rather than just the usual people who always go to stuff... we are spreading the cleansing power of ROCK to The Kids, you know. BEST bit for me was the Durham Ox Singers though, it was really cool. Practice have gone really well, and we all managed to stay TOGETHER for the actual performance, which ROCKED. Looking into the audience all you could see was stunned faces, and it was all VERY quiet while we were on. The avant gard acapella revolution starts here...

Meanwhile the ALBUM SESSIONS (hem hem) progress nicely - we're up to about nine songs now, with another practice this week. It's all starting to gel, as The Validators get used to the idea that the Best Idea is to completely ignore the hamfisted attempts at Rhythm that I do... it all sounds v nice anyway. Off to a Big Meeting next week to find out how to apply for Lottery Cash, and if that works out then HOPEFULLY we should be able to start recording perhaps maybe in February - realised today that it's nearly a YEAR since I did Home Taping! JINKIES! Still, there's been 3 singles since then, so I guess it's not too bad...

Talking of which, got the final campaign report for Born With The Century - it may not be selling TOO fantastically, but it's nice to know that most of the people who heard it really liked it. The best bit is from ICR (who I did the session with the other week) who said "Great Guy - even more fun in the pub than with a guitar!" Aaah! Bless! My first review for Being In A Pub! It's a shame i'm not a multi-millionaire really, it'd be nice to put another single out but I can't afford it... maybe someone will BEG me to let them put one out, but as it's not happened before I somehow doubt it... oh well, ALBUMS, they are the FUTURE.

Other than that it's all been dashing around doing AAS stuff - it looks like the Johnny Domino and Pala PRODUCTS are nearly done, so we'll soon be moving on to getting the Compilation Album sorted out.

Meanwhile on the SITE there should be some more LYRICS - the SCORE for Revolution 9 is bouncing about, and there's a TOP new song called "Saturday Lunchtime Wrestlers" on the lyrics page... it's also nice to see that some people who aren't ME have been reading all this lately, so if yr one of them, please say hello on the Guestbook won't you? Especially whoever it was from the US MILITARY, cos I am now SCARED....

Should be another update before Christmas, though I don't think anything particularly thrilling will be occurring before then, but whatever happens, keep warm, and HEY! Be beautiful to each other babies...


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