Desired Place

Four lovely but sombre pieces of subtle piano and mysterious atmospheric sounds. Nice artwork too.

I’ve sat on this album for a few years now. Half feeling it was unfinished and needed work and the other half just not feeling ready to release such a personal work. I am proud of this album and would like it to share it with others.

Desired Place was created using electric piano, loops and effects after an attempted suicide in 2014. It focuses on a dark period of my life; yet allows for a feeling of calm, hope and optimism.
Minimal tone clusters were chosen and expanded for four individual parts that were looped and mixed live. Creating simple, repetitive and focused sound works was a welcome distraction from destructive and spiralling thought patterns at the time.

Desired Place was both a negative and positive space I wanted to be in during this period. The album is part of a continuing process of creating sound as therapy and a distraction for coping with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.


Henry Blacker – CAG MAG

First tune from forthcoming third album by West Country power trio Henry Blacker. As they so beautifully put it –

“Inspiration comes from all the desert rock bands and angular punk rock bands that always get listed on these things, you can imagine. Bands that list bands on these things that they want you to think they sound like are ridiculous.”


The Fall on a Friday

“I think it’d be a sad day when The Fall packed up”

I have an erratic thing of posting the Fall on a Friday over on Facebook (where three or four people see it, soon to be one with the new tweaks to the newsfeed). It seemed I could hardly slack off on it this week. Here’s a cracking performance on The Tube, following a pretty decent interview with Muriel Gray in which Smith ponders the workings and future of The Fall. This would have been Friday tea-time/early evening when The Tube pumped a fair amount of unprecedented live music straight into the nation’s living rooms. It was erratic but also brilliant. I remember watching this and it’s almost certainly the first time I ever laid eyes on the group. I don’t remember the first time I heard them but I knew who they were and this added several new layers to my fuzzy conception of what The Fall was. Still, I’d be lying if I made out this was a hugely impactful thing or some kind of revelatory moment for me in the way people are prone to do in these situations. It’s never felt like one, not even now, but the interview was completely unlike others on the show and the black trenchcoat was striking in a somehow very ordinary way. I think I found it more like a puzzle I couldn’t solve than something different and exciting. I’ve no recollection of their first appearance on the show (below) introduced by an oddly attired John Peel and a still young and enthusiastic Jools Holland, although it’s possible I had seen that too. What I find weird about this is that ‘Cruiser’s Creek’ was the first newly released, current, Fall single I bought. It came out just before this appearance and either I’d already bought it and would have been thrilled to see them on telly or, more likely, I went and bought it afterwards because it was brilliant but I really can’t remember, it just refuses to sit in a normal time frame. The Fall are outside time. I’d heard Peel play stuff off ‘The Wonderful and Frightening World of…’ and ‘This Nation’s Saving Grace’, The Fall were always there, they just crept up on me. This idea of them being ‘outside’ is touched on in the interview and no-one seems quite sure how or why it works or what it is. In the mid eighties they had a few contemporaries who would go on to slowly lose direction, make dreadful records or stop altogether. The Fall never really did any of those things did they? Few slightly sub par moments but always moving forward. Thirty years on it’s a lot clearer just how great they were and it’s a sad day that the Fall have packed up.

R.I.P. M.E.S.

The sad but inevitable end has come. The Fall never were going to retire, he was always going to go to the death wasn’t he? Seems a little too soon though. New Facts Emerge is a fierce and still great record, had hoped against hope to see them again next year, fit and working again. Sadly not to be. The media eulogies are blankly amusing mostly because of the scorn he would plainly have had for them. So here he is baffling some afternoon festival crowd in Scandinavia with a tirade about how murderous doctor Harold Shipman could have maybe spared some of them drugs for ol’ M.E.S.

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