Thursday, March 31, 2016


You may have noticed (hey, who am I kidding, I'm not sure anybody actually reads this blog) that I've put some adsense ads on the site. I'm not entirely sure why: it breaks the artistic integrity of the page (he said, snootily) and it's....well, it's a sell-out, isn't it?
But, in the spirit of change, I've decided that I might as well give it a go. My earnings to date, over the history of this little blog, have been eight pennies. So I'm not expecting fame and fortune. I just wanted to see what happens. Curiosity has got the better of me, again.
In other news, the lyrics to "Right Here Right Now" are going to be in The Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame. I'm sending them, via FedEx, tomorrow. Very odd to think that this little song, which Mike wrote in that grotty flat, at 210a Chapter Road, in Dollis Hill, has travelled so far.
Right, time to get back to CDNX stuff. I've not really explained a lot about CDNX, have I?
Well, it's a new Radio station. My third (or fourth) venture into the medium. There was Xfm, then NME Radio, then the Music Machine, and now this. I've been reading the music news bulletins for some time, and there's the very real possibility i might end up doing an actual show, later this year. I'll keep you all posted.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

More change.

..and one of the things that I'm obsessed with, in the process of change, is the personal challenge: can I do things differently? What happens if I change my behaviour incrementally? It's fun to know that I can - and that the process of change is seldom disruptive.
So - the latest lifetweak: read more books. Nice and simple. Went to the charity shop yesterday, picked up a copy of "A Town Like Alice". That's a good place to start, isn't it?
No screens at bedtime - no phone, no laptop, no iPad. Jump in the shower, jump into bed, read.
Will be interesting to see how long I can keep this up - and how many books I can get through.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

More rediscovery.

This article had me running back the The Sound albums. Boy, they were great. If you're not aware, I suggest you investigate, pronto.
Other things happened to me today. I was musing on how easily I'd been able to give up alcohol (for periods at a time, obviously), but how I still surrounded myself with things which didn't really do me much good. So, I'm cutting down on anger. On arguments, and negativity. All of those things create a climate of anger, which builds, and builds, until it dissipates, one way or another. Sometimes anger can be an energy (as someone famously said) but for me, I didn't like the unpredictable nature of release.
So - facebook groups that launch into arguments, bad drivers, internet comments - things will have to go.
And will I miss them?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Stormy Weather.

I'm not sure if it's a hurricane, or a tropical storm. Or a winter storm. Actually, I think it's "Storm Katie". Whatever, it's battering at the windows, as I sit typing this. I've always loved sitting watching the rain, through the garden windows. I did it a lot as a kid, and I still do it now. It's the juxtaposition, isn't it? Between chaos and calm, warmth, and cold. Wet and dry. To experience both states, at once, sort of.
The long Easter weekend continues, but with slightly less tantrums today. That's a blessed relief, let me tell you. And we get to cap it all off with a night out. We're off to the Caballo Lounge in Epsom, with Clare & Damien. Not sure whether I'll have Tapas (which I did before) or head off into the outer reaches of the menu. As long as I have my weekly drink with it, I guess I'll be OK.
Starting to think about my next DJ stint, which is at the BFLF gig in Hackney. My head's full of breakbeat hardcore, as I think what to play. No bad thing, I guess.

Friday, March 25, 2016


A couple of weeks with Marnie, and a long Weekend with Milo. so, as you might expect, lots of stress, arguments and tantrums. Hey, that's the joy of children, right?
It's been a long day - my UP thing tells me I did over 10,000 steps, and that was even after I'd spent a few hours in the cinema (watching Zootropolis). I'm now in bed, ready to sleep the sleep of the just.
Tomorrow night is a beer night! My first alcohol for over a week, how odd.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Idiot Box

If I'm thinking about change then there's one way that I've totally, completely changed. I never watch TV any more. This evening, I sat down, on my own (Philippa was off at a "Gym Parents" open evening) and turned on the television. I'd taped nothing that I wanted to see. I scrolled through the Sky movies. Netflix. The planner, the TV guide.
There were times when I'd watch soaps, or sports. Films, comedy, maybe just Sky News. Now? I need that big black box less, and less. It's not that I've replaced TV with other media - I don't watch endless youtube videos, or torrent the latest series.
In fact, in a world seemingly ruled by new entertainment series - I've withdrawn almost totally. I've never watched The Wire, of Mad Men, Or Game Of Thrones, or the Walking Dead.
My life now has nothing episodic about it, so I suppose that's reflected in the entertainment I do choose.
The music I love, the food I cook. The children I'm bringing up.
Bye, telly. It's been fun.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Life in Tokyo

God, I miss Shinjuku. just looking at the view makes me want to go back, as soon as possible. It's an odd feeling, I feel almost....homesick. Very odd, when it's not home.
I learned a lot about Tokyo on my visit earlier this year, but more than that - I learned a lot about myself. I learned how to be myself, to feel comfortable, to be self-contained. To stride out into the world, without fear or hesitation, without guile or invention. It's part of the reason I came back energised, wanting to change myself. not forever, but in the small, subtle ways which would result in a fresh way of thinking.
I'm getting there.
But I still need to get back to Tokyo.


Today, I've scientifically proved that leftover lamb, fried with a little ginger, and garlic, tossed in some sesame and soy oil, coated with a few spices, and given a slight drizzle of chili oil, is one of the greatest things ever. In other news, it would appear that in two short months, I've blogged more than I did in the preceding five years. That's an achievement, I think - don't you? I'm happy with the way I've changed myself, recently. The blog output is a conscious part of that, sure. I've intimated as much in previous posts. But there's more for me to do. I'm relishing the challenge of doing, feeling, experiencing more.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


That's a good way to describe today.
Last night was a large one - someone's fiftieth. So, I was drinking - it's my one day of the week. I found I enjoyed the drunk feeling, up to a point, but the hangover and lethargy of today wasn't a great deal of fun. I think the issue for me is that I like to drink, but can't ever differentiate between social bonhomie, and tying one on.
And that's what leading me to the conclusion I need to find out where that point is - identify it, and recognise it.
Otherwise, It's a regression.
Other things that happened today? Chinese food. A lot of it.
And this too -

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Another morning in the Gym

And again, another morning where i'm actually in the cafe, catching up on the CDNX content that needs editing, and taking a quick breather to blog.
There's definitely a sense of "pushing" to keep the blog going, at least for now, but i'm really happy to be doing it again. It's nice to unload, to vent, and to document. It's nice that I don't feel any pressure over how much I need to write, or about what. In some ways, it's easier than it was. Also, of course, blogging feels a little like last years social media activity, doesn't it? that's liberating, for me.
Any spotlight which might have been on me, is off. So I can do what I like. Instead of making me lazy, it's actually making me work harder.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Get Off My Island

I've been listening to the Dumptruck album "for the country", all day.
1987, what a year. I was working at Our Price, I was happy, settled, carefree. The songs I heard in 87 opened my eyes and ears to a world of possibility, of love and hope. The records from that year might not be the greatest records ever made, but when I listen to them now - they feel like that, to me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

We're back!

Today, I've been listening to the new Jesus Jones demos. there's a pair of new tracks ("How's This Even Going Down?", and "Fall") and a reworking of "Stripped". I have to say, the latter is just....amazing. It's noisy, unruly, and utterly ace. It's nice to think that they're the best things we've done for at least a decade.
Mind you, they're the only things we've done for a decade.
Anyway, now the real work starts: working out how to release it all.
Apart from that, it's chilli night. We had a lovely piece of topside for Sunday lunch, and the leftovers will be put to good use tonight.

Monday, March 14, 2016


I'm taking a little of the energy of my new-found sobriety, and channelling it. I'd like to see if I can do something. So, I'm picking up the guitar again. Time to dust off the Telecaster, and learn to play, if I can. I've spent the money I would have blown on booze, on a little practice amp - a blackstar, no less. So I can see if I can achieve something.
My goal is to take energy, and move it. From somewhere that was basically just a bit destructive, for me, into somewhere better. There are equals and opposites at work here, and I want to see if I can ride the tiger in a different direction.
Mind you - above all else, I do want to see if I can avoid being some preachy arsehole about all of this.
Drinking was fun. A lot of fun. But I'm having a different kind of fun. That's all.
And I'll still have a beer or three, once a week.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wanting more sleep - but, getting it? A different matter.

Philippa's got me trying her old fitness tracker thing. It says I slept for five hours last night, but I still don't really trust it. Within those sleep stats it appears to assert I never woke up, yet I did. The TV came on, twice, to try and update software (one of the mot annoying things, ever) and both kids came in to sleep in our bed.
So, does this tracker learn that sort of stuff? I'm not sure. Also, I feel like it's snooping on me. I guess it is, but I'm not entirely happy with it, so far. Maybe I need to get used to the whole thing.
Anyway - today? Not much, hopefully. A little light gardening, and roast beef for our tea.

Friday, March 11, 2016

time to sleep.

One of the things about having kids, is that I now want to sleep as much as possible. It's the end of a long, tiring day, and i'm knackered. Sitting in  bed, blogging, and about to turn out the light. At quarter to ten, on a Friday evening. How's that for rock'n'roll, eh?
Another thing that's got me wanting more sleep is the whole "not drinking as much" phase i'm going through. Or, is it just a phase? The funny thing is - there's a point where drinking less alcohol becomes mixed up with actually wanting less alcohol. That's where I am at the moment. Have I lost the taste for it? I'm not sure. Philippa was off out tonight, and took a bottle of gin with her, for the ladies of the estate. Before she went, I furtively opened the bottle, and took a sniff of that lovely gin aroma (not a sip, honest) The smell? wonderful. Did I want to take a shot? Well, to be completely honest, I didn't.
Blimey, maybe I am changing. Pretty seismic, if it's true.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Quiet morning

I'm sitting in the gym. Well, i'm in the cafe, anyway. Kids are in school, or the creche, so i'm free to work on the CDNX wordpress, for a while. I've also been sorting out JJ stuff - another two gigs in the pipeline, which is good news. Website looks set for a relaunch, and there's new material on the horizon. I know i'm bound to be biased - but it does sound really, really good. Best stuff we've done for 20 years.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016


Oh blimey, I just love this song. It reminds me of a specific point in my life (as so many songs do) and if I close my eyes, i'm right back there.
It's 1980, and i'm coming to the end of a number of things - my childhood, life in Wiltshire, my school was a transitional time. On top of that, my dad had just taken a new job, and had moved up to Hatch End. Mum, me and my sister were left behind, for about 9 months. This was primarily so I could do my O levels. My parents were convinced I wouldn't be able to handle the upheaval of moving schools, at such a crucial juncture, so that was that. We moved out of our house, into a cottage about a quarter of a mile away. It was cold, draughty, damp. The building seemed lost to the past, and time dragged when I was there. I would sit in my little bedroom, looking out of the window, listening to this, over, and over.
That sense of drift, and transition - of things stopping, and of what might be starting, haunts this song for me.

I know I've been a bit lax, re: updates

But it's odd to think that, during my *ahem* fallow period, about a dozen social media startups have started, been, and gone.
Mind you, i'm still getting emails from ello. what the hell happened with that? Anyone got any ideas?

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Guitar, Guitar.

Today has all been about the late, great Robert Quine.
Without doubt, he's my favourite guitarist of all time. The man was an absolute genius - a virtuoso - but what he did never ventured into self-indulgence, or noodling. Instead, every note has a purpose, and a heartbeat. There's so much dynamism, and energy, in his playing, that sometimes, it leaves me quite breathless. He's more punk than anyone else I know, yet he was a consummate professional, and on top of that, hardly fitted the "punk" stereotype.
I could write a million words - and still never make you believe. The only way is to watch him in action.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Monday, Monday.

It was actually a rather good day. Got lots done (always helps), and the Landscape team came over to fix the base for the new shed, so the garden is starting to take shape.
Things are afoot with the band as well, I've sent out the bat signal for the crew, for the upcoming shows, and i'm trying to get a nice project going, which could see Mike collaborate with someone very eager indeed. It's all a bit hush-hush, but it's looking....interesting.
In other news, the scab on my hip is finally fading away, and the ligaments in my hand seem to be getting better. However, it's a very, very slow process.
I'm also thinking about skating again. When I've not done it for so long, it's an itch that really needs scratching. plus, I get to play with some toys. I've got a nice OG Skaterbuilt 12" pig, which would make a wonderful carving machine. Needs some swiss in the BDS dubcons, and the risers need swapping out. Might have to sort the bushings, too.
Told you it was about playing with toys, didn't I?

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Something odd...

...has happened to me this year.
I've changed my relationship with alcohol. I've cut down, dramatically, over the last couple of months. Since the start of February, I've drunk alcohol on just five days. It works out about once a week. And now, when I drink, I don't seem to want to cane it, quite as hard as I used to. I'm liking the weight I've lost, the extra energy I have as a result, the deeper sleep, the calmer moods.
But - am I about to become teetotal? No, I don't think I am. I still like the taste (and, if I'm totally honest, the effect). But some sort of sea change feels like its under way.
Hey, I've had a lot of fun - more than thirty years of fun. Maybe it's time to slow down.
Let's see.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Now I got a reason

I'm listening to Never Mind The Bollocks.
There are very few records that can evoke so many waves of memories. It's 1978, and I'm in a Physics class at Lavington School, and I can't do any work, because this record is playing in my head, as it has since I first heard it. It was an album that distracted me, yet focused my mind at the same time. I fell in love with that Virgin label, spinning round and round. I loved the danger, and the frisson of fear, the absolute knowledge that every single adult in my life would disapprove. All of that 1977 rage crystallised for me in 78, I had albums to flesh out the singles I'd bought the year before. I love records that curl the fist, and put the teeth on edge. It's a snotty schoolboy sneer, and it's fucking amazing.
Once a punk kid, always a punk kid.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Almost 1984?

So, I did listen to the Red Noise album again, and was just overwhelmed by how good it was. Listening to "Revolt Into Style", I remembered hearing the line "...and though I know the time is almost 1984, it feels like 1965" for the very first time. I was born in 1965, and heard the single back in 1979. At that point, 1984 seemed like a lifetime away, and here was a record which was laying waste to the past - and my own past, at that - whilst presaging the future. It was a revelation for me back then, and it still sounds as breathlessly exciting as it did. Oddly, it hasn't dated either - despite those explicit references to actual years. It still sounds like it was beamed in from a future which hasn't quite happened yet. 
But, the one thing that really did it for me? The ending. Just listen to the last fifteen seconds. Just incredible.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Oh, and my apologies

..for farting around, constantly, with the template for this little blog, over the last few days. It's been a while since I blogged regularly, and firing it up, and seeing it in front of me, didn't feel as welcoming as perhaps it could have. So, I keep tweaking the design, to see if that helps. I guess what I really need is for the sense of familiarity to creep back. It'll take time, but it'll happen.

Another day

Sitting in the kitchen, breakfast finished. Kids getting dressed upstairs, so I'm grabbing a couple of minutes to update the blog. Thursdays are always busy - Milo is not in nursery, so we're off to the creche, after we've dropped Philippa at the station, and Marnie at school. Then there's Rainbows in the afternoon, and on top of everything else, it's world book day, so costumes are being worn.
I'm hoping it's a slightly better day than yesterday, weather-wise. We somehow managed to get caught in an insane hailstorm yesterday, and my trusty Spiewak Parka had to be deployed, as it was so bitterly cold.
And there was me, thinking that spring was on the way.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

A little relief

Well, the ligaments in my hand seem to be sprained, and not torn. That's pretty good news, and spares me the hassle of surgery (always a nuclear option, but one I was keen to avoid).
The downside is that, as the swelling subsides, the actual twinges of pain in my hand are slightly more intense. Time to grin and bear it, I guess.
Today? Need to tie up some loose ends around the JJ tour in November, and do some general life-laundry. I've been using Priority Matrix of late, but i'm still undecided as to whether it's helping me become more productive. That just might be a battle that software alone, can never win.
Music-wise, i'm determined to listen to Red Noise today. What an album. Can I just go on record here and say: it's all about the endings.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

In the wars.

I'm off to the hospital this morning - hurrah.
Due to a bike crash a week ago, I've got ligament damage in my hand, between the thumb and forefinger. I'm left-handed, and it's amazing how much movement, and ability you lose, as a result of even a minor injury. Apparently surgery is an option, though I'm clinging to the hope that some physiotherapy will suffice. I'll keep you posted.