Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Being a Rock Star's Girlfriend

I know, I know, I shouldn't be skiving but I can't do much more now and I have been working for five and a half hours with only a couple of tea breaks.
Here is my rockstargirlfriendstory- or one of the many...
I was missing my rock star boyfriend, doing no gigs of my own, moping in my manager's office. 'Go to see him', she said. 'He will be pleased to see you'. I had no money but I sold my spare bass guitar and hopped on a Lufthansa flight to Hamburg, finding my way to the venue in time for the soundcheck. Yes, he was pleased to see me; but the horrible drummer was setting up his kit on stage, and unknown to him, the drum microphones were on. 'What's she effing doing here?' he snarled unpleasantly. His words boomed round the 500-seater at full volume, embarrassing everyone except him and me, for I knew he was an r-sole, and he knew he was one too and didn't care!

It rained and then it sunned

I'm on weather-watch because I'm going through the screen-edit of the book- all the missing references, and it's hell! On Monday, I went to the library to check on some old NMEs and ended up with a sort of autum leaf-fall of scrappy brown little ole NME flakes all over my clothes; today, I'm sitting in a mess of papers, books, empty coffee cups and pens, doing more, more, more. But nice things too- did an e-interview for PlanBmag about the Chefs and this long lasting cup of tea sure as heck tastes delicious. Got that nice gig in Camden to look forward to tomorrow, and was asked to play at the Resonance Benefit in April, which will be brilliant. They have the best parties in the world, apart from my ones of course.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I've got just as good rock'n'roll stories as Mick and Keef, and therefore I am as wealthy as them.
Unforchly, today I also have a red hot wire skeleton and therefore I am going back to bed.
Night night.
(Day day?)

Monday, February 26, 2007

And, and

Virtual Open Mic has 'Moses' in its playlist this week:

Chefs Myspace

The Chefs myspace is up: www,
Car'ls going to design the site properly and write the blurb, but the skeleton's there.


Putting a new song on Myspace in a minute. No picture. Too ill for the effort of scanning!

Exciting Eel Fight

Two conger eels, at loggerheads, wrestling to the death, writhing, thrashing. Between bouts, a lorryload of cold, sharp, wet gravel is tipped into the ring. Venue? My tummy, last night. Even my nocturnal attempt to calm things by flinging a globule of ghastly live yogurt at rocket speed (can't stand the taste) straight down the back of my throat failed miserably to kill the deadly bug. But today has to go ahead- into the library to look up more missing details for the book and then a radio interview that I can't remember the subject of. I was telling Katie P on Friday about being interviewed live for Woman's Hour; the presenter asked a question, I started to answer, and during the course of the answer, forgot what the question was! What a bloody panic! The sentence got longer and longer... I was looking helplessly at the presenter for clues, rambling, rambling, this and that... heart thumping, mouth dry... then it dawned on me: simply finish the sentence. Which I did.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Yurk glurk

Well it went well tonight, Peter thank you for cycling all that way from Epping... it was nice to catch up with you.
I've had to come straight home; I don't feel well. Me legs started shaking end song and I reckon I might be 'calling for Ruth' later on. But what a warm audience of smiley people all listening and friendly. I thought I was just going down there to say I wasn't going to play, but I'm glad I did now.
I'm just leaving details for Andy in case I forget tomorrow: it's Thursday, Folk in Cellar, The Constitution, 42 St Pancras Way, Camden. Free to get in. I'm going to see if Dubulah will come and play geetar on a couple of songs, if he's back from Greece, because he just lives down the road.
Excuse me now.

Electronic Snub

About 6 months ago, a really good pal swopped round their Myspace friends and took me out of their top eight, relegating me to the back room.
I don't know why I was so upset- I think I was going through a bad patch- and I spent the evening blubbing and the weekend under a dark cloud.
So Internet, you're not so harmless after all, are you?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Oh Bogger...

... forgot to mention I have a gig tomorrow night (Sunday) at Viva Viva in Hornsey High Street. Get there before 8, I have reduced-price tickets for food and drink.

Poor Spanish Musician

I hope you are all right, sir. He talked to me on the tube on the way home last night and was poking his head out the door to look at the train indicator and it bashed him as it shut on his head. Ouch!
Such a nice evening yesterday. Spinmaster Plantpot popped by to say hello; it was good to be at the 12 Bar again, as I haven't played there for over a year. But Andy is really friendly. Paul the Girl came down and I have been wanting to talk to her for a long time. Dan came down to say goodbye to his friends before he moves away.
Funny- for the first song I was quite nervous- I think it's because I automatically harked back to the last time I'd played there, I'd done so few gigs back then. But then I saw the light reflecting off the sound-guy's cheeks in his booth, and he was smiling, and he remembered me and my stuff, and I felt fine, and really enjoyed it; my fingers went in the right places and so did my voice, I felt very comfortable, even though I did my new song and it's not as good as I thought it was. At least I got it out of my system. And, true to form, when I got up (it was a sitsy-downsy gig) the stool had sunk into the sticky black tar on the stage (what the heck is it?) and I had to yank it up to get my lead out from under it.
And what can I say about Martin? He is just absolutely the best live performer I've ever seen. I was watching his fingers to try to steal some of his licks but he plays so bloody fast. And there's at least one invisible finger there I'm sure, because sounds happen and you can't see where they come from, no matter how hard you watch. He practically dances while he plays. And he could melt the ice at the North Pole with the warmth of his personality. I wonder if he is the cause of global warming?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Helen and the Horns

I have just put the two tracks from the CD that are Horns tracks on to Myspace with a lovely photo that the Helen and the Horns Dutch fan club took (yes! it's true! there was such a thing! they even had their own headed notepaper to write to John Peel on!)
Tom's digitised some old stuff but we missed each other last night when I tried to pick it up, so that will have to wait till next week. I will also put the French version of 'Footsteps at my Door' up there too but I can't find it at the moment. I'm sure I can find it tomorrow. And I will start putting Chefs songs on that page too, but I'm going to do that together with Carl and we should be meeting soon to decide what to do about that. Just thought I'd bagsy the name, tho' in case someone else did. Seems like a few people are interested in both bands now, which is funny, but I think perhaps everybody else from the 1980s is used up and they are digging a little deeper!

Posting from a tired person

Well, I think yesterday was a good day. Martin's talk went down well with the songwriters, and then we went to the West End, stopping briefly for a couple of Willy Mason's songs in Sister Ray's record store- I couldn't see anything but he sounded good; he has that rough quality that people spend ages sandpapering off. I hope he keeps it.
Then we went on down to Resonance FM, tumbling and shambolic as always but so friendly and efficient at the same time. A Spanish band was just finishing a live set and we fitted in around them. When it was our turn, Martin had to sit downstairs to play and I had to sit upstairs in tha attic to talk and sometimes we couldn't hear each other, but the good thing was that rather than just playing lots of tracks it made sense for him to play a mini-set of songs live in the middle of the show; all that sparkling geetar playing made the engineers grin from ear to ear. To my mind, it beats laptop stuff any day, unlss the laptop stuff is top-o-the-range. And the stories that go with the songs are part of the whole charm. And big up the engineers, who are all volunteers but who just do a brilliant job.
Possibly today we will be writing songs for an album in my kitchen which has a fabulous reverb; possibly he will need to sleep all day because it was hard work, travelling down from Inverness for all that. We'll see; at any rate, we are both playing the 12 Bar in Denmark Street tonight and will probably do a song together. I invited the Mad Professor, but he is in New Zealand.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dents in My Face

Bloody hell, I got up at 6 this morning and have been working on correcting my book for two hours already. It is 9 a.m.
The postwoman's been, the tide of school uniforms has swept down the road, the cats and dog and fish have been fed (dear Carrot-fish, bless!). I am wedged on to a cushion staring at the computer screen. My glasses have welded themselves to my face and slurp when I take them off, leaving deep red dents in my face. Princess and the Pea's got nothin' on me, mate.
Still... Martin has emailed a half-song so I can listen to that later at coffee-time (or elevenses, as the posh would have it). Enid Williams called last night; Girlschool are touring and might be away in June, but, go-girl Enid! She was chucked out for being fat, and here she is, back behind the bass, thumpin' her way round Europe!
Distractedly this morning I thought of a very beautiful and glamorous woman I knew, who let on that when her clothes were dirty she just got into the bath fully-dressed and washed both herself and her clothes at the same time. Wow. That's classy!
Friday, I am playing the 12-Bar in Denmark Street. I have been trying to learn the words of 'January in Paris' to sing there. I am on first- about 8.30, and Martin Stephenson is headlining. They have lifted the blurb from Wikipedia, the lazy lot, and make more of the fact that I have three names than anything to do with music.
Still, I have fulfilled my multiple-identity ambition to be an almostJamesBond.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I feel as though I am driving a very fast car, this week. Yesterday went brilliantly in the studio- Elle has a completely unique fiddle sound and she did three takes of the song, each of which has some fantastic features. The thing I like about her playing is that it sounds so physical- you can hear the wood of the fiddle and you can hear the arm movements in there- it's like someone's carving the sound out of a tree trunk, and somtimes even splintering it with an axe! I was not sure if there was room in the song for another instrument, but there definitely is space for that madness. It has made me feel unbelievably happy and excited!
I also recorded January in Paris, and although it was far from perfect, I think it is the best song I have written in my life so far. It is not a ballad (that's what I was trying to write).
This morning, the Chefs tracks that Carl has been cleaning up arrived. He has done a magic job of rescuing them. My voice sounds really terrible on a lot of them. I was just about to become very ill and all I can hear in myself is a terrible premonition of things to come. His vocals and the other instruments sound really good though; by then we had become really good players. Russ's drumming is over-tribal in some songs but we don't have to use everything.
I am at work now, eating a banana. Later, an ex-student who runs a mobile childrens' songwriting project called Rollingsound is coming in to do a talk. Then it's off home to burn pancakes, look at Joby's art student project, listen to a young genius whose music we will play on Thursday evening when Martin's on Resonance, and carry on correcting the manuscript for The Lost Women of Rock Music. More people are getting in touch saying they can come to the party- Poly Styrene too, I hope. It's gonna be a humdinger, almost worth a new tattoo!
Ahh... Friday, Martin's at the 12 Bar and I am playing too, and then I'm at Viva Viva in Hornsey on Sunday evening; please come to hear my new songs if you can, I need some people to soak up my extra energy and excitement, or I will burst!

Monday, February 19, 2007

One a Ponce a Time there were Smartees

After Joby and the Hooligans, and before The Chefs, there was an in-between band called the Smartees. We were Joby and Tracey (Preston, later of the Molesters) on vocals, Ricky on Drums, Steve Beardsley (later of the Accents) on guitar and vocals, Carl on guitar, and myself on bass and vocals. We didn't last for long- too much internal romancing (partly my fault, I confess, but I was a young and hotblooded thing), but we did some great songs before we collapsed. After that, I was at a loose end and Carl came round my house, having set a poem I wrote to music ('Food'), and we formed The Chefs with Rod on drums, who lived two doors down.
This is a picture of Carl and me rehearsing with the Smartees. I think Carl was about 17 or 18 and I must have been about 20 or 21.
This morning I changed the last song on Myspace and uploaded the demo of the song I wrote for Sara's birthday- very rough as I only hds an hour and a half to do it before work. I'll put another one there next week. Just off to the library to fill in all the missing gaps in the referencing for my book (what a BORING things to do) then picking up Elle Osborne and whisking her to the studio to play fiddle on Memento Mori (not boring) and possibly even recording the Paris song if there's time.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Years ago, before Blogger was a twinkle in his oddmummy and odddaddy's eyes, before he ended up at Battersea to be my chosen pain-in-the-arse dog, Chester roamed the earth. Chester was an English Bull Terrier with a nose that would have made the most bendy banana jealous, and eyes that any pig would die for. He was white, deaf, and as a vet told me, probably had the animal equivalent of Downs Syndrome. He used to sleep on his back, with his trotters in the air and his snout the same length as his trotters, making him look like the illustration of a set of factory chimneys in one of the books I had as a child. He was obsessive-compulsive, and the main target of his affections was orange-and-white traffic cones. He could drag you across the road in the chaotic rush-hour to grab one in his jaws, which then would lock, clamping the cone in a deathly grip; he would then try to kill the cone by whacking it from side to side as hard as he could, before coming to rest against the nearest wall, forehead pressed against the bricks, puffing and panting out of the sides of his frilly black lips, huff puff, huff puff, huff puff.
You couldn't go for a quiet stroll with him.
One day, we took him to Covent Garden. After an adventure in a shop, in which he grabbed a pair of yellow rubber gloves and wouldn't let them go, he managed to find a traffic cone and embarked on his ritual performance in a particularly energetic and alarming way, amongst the Saturday crowds. It was impossible to make any progress as far as hanging out and looking cool were concerned, so we gave up and tried to prise the cone from his jaws. I held his body, and my partner yanked at the cone, trying to coax it away from him. A tug-of-war ensued, which although we tried to keep it subtle, soon turned into quite a dramatic scene. A crowd gathered, completely ignoring the buskers, who became a little miffed at the change of focus.
It began to get embarrassing. I'd been wearing my Saturday afternoon dress, a fifties number that I thought I looked rather cool in. I had mud from his feet all up my arms and white scratches too. My partner was hissing endearments at Chester, who of course couldn't hear them, because he was deaf.
Finally, we worked it out. We would have to make him bark, and rip the cone from his jaws as soon as he opened his mouth. The only way to do this was to make him even more excited. My partner started grimacing and leaping, and gradually Chester's peripheral vision told him that there might be even more exciting things happening in Covent Garden than a traffic cone. At last, he got so worked up he barked, allowing us to part him from the traffic cone, which was disposed of as rapidly as possible.
We got a massive round of applause from the hordes of people who had stopped to watch; but it was us who went home with our tails between our legs, not Chester.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Small News Items

I have been asked for a couple of tracks for a compilation of women musicians, and more about that another time. And we are going to set up a Myspace page for the Chefs to put some archive stuff on the web ourselves. And I've got book proofs (or the first stage of them) to read over this weekend. And I think I'll set up a Helen and the Horns Myspace page too because i listened to an old cassette of ours and the horn sound was just great- it was from when Marc Jordan was our trumpet player, right at the beginning. I was talking to Morvern Callar yesterday (who used to be called Hazey Jane) and she really likes Helen and the Horns, and one of the artists she is working on at 4AD really likes the band too, so that's another reason to put it all there. And Elle Osborne's coming up to London on Monday to record a fiddle part for Memento Mori.
Phew. I think I'll go back to bed.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Last night after watching the Brits, I looked in the mirror, and saw that my hairstyle was exactly the same as Liam Gallagher's.
I'm not sure whether to celebrate the fact that I have grown to resemble a dadrock icon, or to be alarmed at this sudden turn of events. I will mull it over today, before deciding.
And, finally, here is my Grayson Perry lookalike doll, who I post here in tribute to my favourite artist and wannabe best friend.
I've worked out how to trick the computer into posting photographs, unfortunately too late for the Lady Policeman Photographing the Songbird Clubbers, I think.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Biddle Bros

Rowen came with me to Hackney last night- a swerving journey through the north east London suburbs in the rain. She had to be patient; I always get lost but factor that into the stress ratings of the journey.
What a sweet place- it was a bit like a boat- double-decker windows and a semi-glass roof to watch the rain through, and a relaxed atmosphere, a long thin room with battered armchairs. There was almost a youth club feel to the venue! The promoter, Nev, was really well-organised and good-natured and did a couple of songs himself at the beginning. There were loads of acts- first (and best, I think although the last duo were quite good too) was Chris Davis, who was a good guitarist with interesting song lyrics and rhythms. There was one I didn't like and I usually refrain from dissing (funky-baby) other musicians here but I minded this guy. It was the final lyric in his over-graphic song about sex where he faded out on his 'pumping shadow'- my ears begged for mercy, but there was no escape!
Overall though it was an interesting mixture of songwriters, with a piano-player, which is unusual. I enjoyed playing there, and although I was tired after work, the mistake-to-success ratio wasn't too bad. Couple of strong coffees and I can do it!

The picture is from an old American how-to-paint book; I have just put an old demo, 'The Properties of Chalk and Sun', on to Myspace. I think I'll finish it; it was inspired by Ben Cummin's Properties of Chalk and Sun Project (see He wrote a nice bass line to it (not on this demo). I might finish it properly this year.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I predict...

... in the future we'll all have relationships with music instead of each other. It will be easier, and that thing where music divides two people from each other will no longer happen.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Tomorrow's gig, 13th

I am playing tomorrow night in Hackney, at the Biddle Bros bar , 88 Lower Clapton Road, onstage 10.15, free to get in.

Good Morning, Blog

Oh it's early.
I woke thinking about S, my lovely art history tutor at Brighton Art College. He used to love my work, and at the end when my practical tutor, Brendan Neiland, was tellin me he'd marked me down to a Lower 2nd because I didn't turn into a painter as he'd instructed me (I was always an etcher and illustrator, but a Fine Art one), S was always coming out of the room where my drawings were because he liked them. I liked him, too. Eventually the External examiner graded me a little higher, but S's approval was what counted. He taught us all sorts of unusual things, like the fact that Victorian people would not be able to understand our conversation, as we talk and think so fast these days and our sentences are peppered with technological references that would be beyond their knowledge. He regularly went on shoplifting sprees in the bookshop his ex-boyfriend worked in, partly to wind him up but also because he loved books. His portakabin office was groaning with them and when there weren't enough chairs, you sat on a little tower of books instead. I learned not to moan about being skint, because I bumped into him in the street once and was wwrooying at him about having no money. we were stainding next to a cash machine. He got his card out. "I'm going to lend you sixty quid', he said.
His eyes used to dart about with intelligence. Later in London I used to just drop into his house at Crampton Street to see him; On one of those occasions he told me the warehuse where all his books were stored in Hastings had burned to the ground, roasting all his library to ashes.
You see, I did a search for his name on Google and I think he might have died. You can imagine how sad this maked me feel, because he was young.

My brain told me a crap joke, to compensate. I hear Joby's going to write his memoirs, all from being an anarchist and squatting activis, through being a thatcher, a deep sea fisherman, a local councillor, and now an art student. I thought it would be about as long as Samuel Pepy's diaries, and then I thought if Pepys had written his diaries in Morse Code, they would be clled Pepy's Bleeps.

Sorry about the spelling. It really is very early.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

All at Sea

Well, you yachtsmen, how corny can you be, calling your jolly newspaper All At Sea? There was Jon, resplendent in his cowboy shirt, and his trusty bro Pete (which cowboy looked more swanky?), celebrating his birthday at Shoreham Yachting Club. Luckily there were no spooky tanned characters in blue denim yachting caps with curved tobacco-pipes, otherwise we would have scarpered back to London toot sweet. I talked myself hoarse, even though there's no point talking when you do a blog because everybody seems to know everything already. But it was so touching- a friend of Pete's told me she still sings Chefs songs almost every day, and she sang Sweetie to me. Aah!
And today, well I was last night's home-driver, fuelled by red and black wine gums (no other colours please) and although my carful was a little drunk, they were interesting rather than boring and kept me awake with their verbal ramblings, in the fog and drizzle as I drove home too fast. Today has been Housework, half a bottle of champagne, scrubbing the floor, cleaning out the fishtank (stings the hands but I will cry when the carrotfish dies, he who looks at me with his rogueish black beady eyes). Does the carpet manufacture one pence pieces? Why are they there? Could it not be the 2 quid ones next time, please God?
O the cruelty of roaring around with the brutal Dyson when a delicate little song is whispering itself into your ear!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Breakfast on Saturday: posting, not eating

Aha, to amuse myself, I am going to start putting tracks on Myspace for a week and then replacing them- all the rejected recordings from Suburban Pastoral (the ones the listeners decided should not be on there), then the ones that I decided should not be on there, then all the new songs I've done, a week each.
It's Jon's party tonight, Jon who used to manage the Chefs in London after we moved to seek fame and fortune (we had a different manager in Brighton, Stu). He's a gardener now and sometimes when suburban life gets me down I imagine him roaring across flat green lawns mowing stripes into them on a motor-mower in the sunshine. I had been tempted to do an HND in gardening so I could cure the blight of gigantic coloured mega-warehouse outlets with greenery, but then I looked down at my hands, already wrecked in my twenties by dabbling them in acid and white spirit when I was an etcher, and thought about short fingernails on the left hand and long fingernails on the right hand. The long fingernails on the right hand wouldn't last very long, would they? I do so love grubbing about in the earth and sniffing the outside air, but one has to Focus.
Irritating, but the song I was writing about Paris has finished itself and has not lingered; I can't immerse myself in it any longer.
To work, to work, sending out more CDs in the vain hope of reviews, trying to get gigs, etc etc. thank you Martin, Arnauld, Bobby and Kirsten. As much as you help me, I help other people too, which is the best way I can think of to show my gratitude.
And thank you Caroline, who is helping to organise a fantastic dinner party for all the women I interviewed for the book, all together under one roof: now that's going to be one helluva do!

Friday, February 09, 2007


Well, that's annoying. I don't seem to be able to upload images at the moment- maybe it's just the ones from my phone. The policewoman wouldn't upload yesterday and my false Grayson Perry won't upload today. So just words, words, words...
I went to visit a place today where I'm going to play a daytime gig, a centre where people who have had brain injuries meet and create artwork, listen to music and talk. Their stories were really interesting and touching, and I know I will enjoy playing there in March.
Jamie wasn't well; we were supposed to meet for tea, and although it was sad not to see him, I've had a song nagging away at me, a song about Paris, and I came home to finish it. It's delicious to have an almost-finished song! Some of the words still aren't right, but it's on it's way. I haven't written a song like this before; Diana told me she'd like to hear me sing a ballad and I'm still not sure I know what one is, but this song is about feeling as much as melody, and is totally illogical; I think perhaps it might be a ballad!l. There is no chorus, but there is a middle bit that only happens once. When I sing it, I get transported back there, and time stands still, but it only lasts two and a half minutes. It's about something I saw in freezing France last winter at a cafe near that huge graveyard.
Yesterday, a young man and a young woman were pushing a massive snowball down the street. Mr Effoff (mentioned him a couple of days ago) was out helping the woman two doors down to move her car back into her driveway. He stopped for a while to help them roll their snowball, which was getting more and more difficult for them to push. I reckon when they got to the top of the hill, they could just let it go and roll up a mass of snow before it got to the bottom.
The snow made children out of everybody, I think.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Police Raid Songbird

The police raided Songbird last night; we'd seen Ambrosia Rasputin, a sort of more verbally aggressive Ivor Cutler who did a lot of spitting into his beard as he barked out his nonsense poems, but he was actually very funny and had a spontanaiety about him that kept everyone's attention. We'd seen Lindsey Woolsey, Elle Osborne on vocals and friend on laptop- excellent songs- and we were just deciding to go home (Mike and Emerald came along), when a rozzer walked in.
I think everybody there thought he was a fancy-dress policeman- it wouldn't be surprising- but he strode over to Diana and said 'We agreed there would be sixty people here and there should be no loud music and there are more than sixty people here and the music is loud so I must ask you all to go home!'. At that point, more police arrived and this woman policeman started taking pictures of everybody (diabolical liberty!)
The picture won't upload! Have the police done magic awful things to render them unuploadable?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Suburban life and a busy day

'GET INTO THE EFFING CAR YOU STUPID BUNCH OF THICK IDIOTS', screamed the man over the road to his children on the school run.
Today... sociable day! I went for coffee with Dan, there was something I meant to tell him but didn't, then I bought a ball of wool, then for coffee with Ian from Nude magazine so he could scan the Chefs photos to go with the little thing I wrote for the mag, then tonight out for dinner with Mike and Emerald, then to Songbird to see Elle play. She is brilliant, and she'll play on Memento Mori, which is very good news. I think I've drunk about 6 cups of coffee so far today and I'm typing very fast. I have started knitting a big cardigan with a logo on the back that has a greenish guitar, with an eye and an f-hole. I'm knitting it freehand, so it will look a bit strange but I don't care.
Once, when Helen and the Horns were in Amsterdam, I was knitting a jumper with a skull-and-crossbones on it. 'Whatever you do, don't let me knit when we get back and I'm drunk' I told the others. They didn't stop me, and in the semi-dark of our room we sat up talking half the night as the alchohol faded out of our systems, with my knitting needles clicking away furiously. I tried to go to bed, but they were talking such funny talk I laughed myself awake and threw up in the sink. The next day, my knitting was a complete mess, holes, tangles, mistakes, lumps, a complete porridge of black and white wool. I had to unravel it all and start again.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Orange and Green

I can't for the life of me remember whether I've already written about this... but I suppose it doesn't matter: if I have, you can always ignore it.
I borrowed a colour TV off Yvonne and Ghassam downstairs (they had a naughty dog called Toby; Yvonne used to ask it 'Do you want a smack?'. And what do you think it replied?).
It was orange and green, no other colours, but I got used to it and used to watch the football mostly, which always looked good in those colours. The problem was that it gave off large electric shocks if you touched it, and I took to turning it on and off with a broom pole. Imagine my joy when I discovered that I could lie in bed and just stretch over to change channels with the pole without crossing the room! When we are all much greener (if not orange too), just remember this useful tip. You will no longer need to use a battery-guzzling remote control for your TV.
Another thing is that Joby fixed an old-fashioned black telephone receiver to his TV to listen to the sound on, didn't you, Joby?

Monday, February 05, 2007


There we are, complaining about immigration while simultaneously flooding Spain with our elders...
An Egyptian doctor, visiting my dad, asked to look at my Geography homework. He roared with laughter: 'Fifteen years out of date', he explained.
Meanwhile, in Geography, we had been learning about how backward other countries were in comparison to clever old England. See what I mean?

Don't know if anyone's interested but I uploaded a couple of Chefs photos on to Myspace for the editor of Nude magazine to look at- they are posed ones, not live ones. I might start up a Chefs myspace soon but I haven't got time at the moment.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Ah Brighton, Brighton, you stale seedy old secondhand woman! Every corner I turned, memories hit me over the head, some too horrid to mention.
The flat above a restaurant where a cockroach ran across Tracey's face when she was resting her head on the arm of a chair...
The street where Charlotte marched up the road whacking men's bums one after the other in broad daylight to get her revenge...
The road where the police stopped us because I was singing the theme from 'Robin Hood' at maximum volume on the back of a moped at 2 A.M...
The night-time trees packed with squawking starlings at migration time, splatting their poo on the pavement, Brighton being the end of mainland England. 'What are they saying?', I asked Big Bruv. 'Each of them is shouting, 'SHUT UP! I'M TRYING TO GET TO SLEEP!', he replied.
The first party I went to at the Resource Centre, where a tall transvestite stood at a trestle table, her long blonde hair swaying from side to side as she mixed something sloppy in a bowl. I was fascinated by her thick makeup, her gingham dress, her frilly waist pinafore and her Alice Band. Eddie asked her what she was making. 'Peeaaancakes', she drawled theatrically...
The Fortune of War pub on the beach, where we saw a Frank Sinatra lookalike sing an entire set to his reflection in the massive mirror at the back of the stage, accompanied by Bill Oldie on piano, an ancient gentleman with grey fur sprouting from the neck of his shirt, who had to be helped up by two people from the piano stool when his lunch was ready...

Sara's party was lovely, she looked stunning, and there were people there that I'd thought I would never see again; we all survived the same strange happenings in the late 1970s, squatting, sharing food and experiences and danger (stabbings, smackheads slumped obliquely on the stairs, collapsing ceilings, electrically charged toilet handles that zapped you when you flushed, you know the sort of thing). Sara liked her song, and danced to it, and I was glad I'd written her some pop instead of a mawkish ballad.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Little Review

I had an email this morning on Myspace from Michael Gold Lion and he's done a little review of Heaven Avenue on his site,
Thank you. thank you, Michael Gold Lion. I will even find the envelope with html on it so I can make the link work properly, and do that programming tomorrow when I get back from Sara's party in Brighton.
I'm also going to scan some Chefs photos for the article in Nude magazine: I keep remembering more things and I'll have to edit down the verbal garbage a bit to get it all in! And the first Chefs manager, Stu, has been in touch because they are making a music site in Brighton and he wants some old Chefs trakcs to put on it; I will have to get in touch with Carl about that too.
It's all exciting! It makes me remember who I was before life happened and took it's toll. I have even changed my hair and when I went to work yesterday my boss did not recognise me. Whizz whizz energy!

Friday, February 02, 2007

A warning?

When The Chefs signed to Graduate, they had a big party in their mega-offices in Dudley; everyone got very drunk and partied in their mega-roofgarden. I went to the ladies, and found the catering company waitresses in their white pinnies guiltily decanting cheap fizzy white wine into empty champagne bottles. Maybe I was supposed to be too drunk to notice, but I wasn't, and I did.

Man-boob Mountain

Oh dear... I've just been watching it on TV, more ops to remove man-boobs. Where do they put them all?
A big slithery hill of them, somewhere where nobody goes?
Oh, bad dreams, bad dreams...
Think I might put Sara's song on myspace this weekend, just for a change- it's a bit rough'n'ready because I had only a couple of hours to do it before work yesterday but Tom's polished it up nicely. Time for Songbird to go, I think.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dan at the Betsey Trotwood

I went to see Dan play at the Betsey Trotwood. He's moving to Wolverhampton, destination town, and won't be doing the Song Club any more, which is a pity because the children love him. It was his last London gig before he moves.
Do you know, he really shows up that silly James Blunt with his voice like wet tissue paper. Dan has got a proper Voice that could blast the cork out of a a champagne bottle, with real emotions in it, and not pretend ones. He is also a really good songwriter and I spent the duration of the set doing a nerdy songwritery thing, sitting with my eyes closed trying to work out the chords of the songs. I was also trying to work out why he's not famous yet, and I think it might be that his style is too mature for what disgusting business people call 'the market'. I think people will grow into him.
On the way home on the tube, I saw that hypocritical 'Harrods Rocks' ad. When it sniffs a marketing opportunity it does, yes; but how can a massive department store, with a room full of effigies of Mohammed Al Fayed wearing a pharoah's head-dress, rock? Nadya told me they threw her out once for having holes in her tights. It couldn't rock if you threw a mountain at it!
Anyway, busy day today, recording this morning and at work with the fastest rapper in the Universe, JC001, and a bunch of aspiring songwriters this afternoon. It's all go, in the busy world of McCookerybook.
(I have shouldered a couple of professional disasters in January: fingers crossed that February is more generous with her luck)