Something about the school system has forged a link in me between Autumn and starting again. September has a strange sort of Sunday afternoon into Monday morning quality about it after the Saturday night party of summer, like a limbo space not belonging to one week or the next.
Everyone around seems to be hitting the reset button at the moment. Me I’m definitely drinking my pint of hangover water. It’s been an epic party, two and half years long and spanning more towns and cities than I expected to visit in a lifetime. I’ve met an outrageous number of excellent people, many of whom I’d love to still be friends with in the morning. Others will be remembered only as temporary legends blowing my mind with their awesomeness then disappearing into the night, but that’s cool too.
Since our last gig I’ve spent two weeks cleaning up, which is the aftermath of any self-respecting party. I hoovered in places that have never before seen a hoover – can you imagine their shock? I even cleaned out my old bedroom – oh man that was hard. Sacks and sacks of stuff I used to treasure all felt the wrath of my cruel hands at the dump and the charity shop. Gotta be done, gotta be done. Time to move on.
After all today is the first day of a new term and I’m excited. I’ve shovelled down a bowl of Weetos and chatted breeze with the usual characters on the bus to school. I’ve bought my new pencil case and reinforced my textbook with heavy card so the next goon can use it after me. I’ve got a new stationary kit and thrown away the second right angled ruler, as I’m unlikely to need more than one. I’ve not bought gloves, gloves are for pussies*. Bring it on!
Here’s what’s gonna happen. Each day I will drive, cycle or run to my mum’s attic, spend the day there writing, and then drive, cycle or run home. I’ll keep doing this until I’ve written enough songs for a banging album, or maybe two just to be sure. Then I’ll record it, release it and start gigging again. That’s the plan.
I’ve not written many songs so far this year actually, and that’s because with so many gigs I’ve only had the mental energy for a gradual continuation of what’s gone before. But a gradual continuation of what’s gone before just ain’t good enough baby. I’m after a proper phoenix ashes-to-shell sorta thing.
Why the need for that? Well for a while now I’ve looked at the music I play, and if I’m honest some of the music other people play, and just felt like we need to be better. The world is full of people seeking your attention – bands, companies, newspapers, Facebook… LOUD NOISES! PLEASE BUY MY EVERYTHING! Sometimes I’ve felt like I’m taking more than I’m giving, like I’m louder than I am good. If that was ever me and it annoyed you, I’m sorry.
Maybe the best test of music is whether it’s as good as silence. Silence is pretty damn awesome, so that’s a tough test. If I’m going to become one of those irritating characters again who bugs you about listening to the fings wot I wrote, I need to be able to back it up with something proper. Something worthy of your most venerable ears, something as good as a bit of peace and quiet. If I think I’ve got something, I’ll come back and ask for your ears. If not… well let’s stay friends anyway. There’s always the sandwich shop…
*Gloves aren’t really for pussies, that was just something I thought when I was young and inexperienced.
PS My friend Alex (who directed several of my music videos) made a puppet version of me with working mouth, eyelids and arms for a birthday present! Isn’t he talented?!