Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Newcastle An' That

Driftin’ in and out a fitful kip on the bus from Newcastle to London, having spent the weekend chewing on the wild, Bohemian pule of the former, bounding from this radical cinema to that indiepop disco, from one winding, gothic enclave to the next, from this gig to the other, and all a sudden snared twixt the pegs of a vision rising up off the shoulders of the fella sleeping to my left:

A portly gent clad in bloodied night-gown waddles a descent ‘long a flight of stairs all garnished with glass and sand and peppers. Swigging now and then from a bottle of Pulmo Bailly cough suppressant, grimacing and sucking at the air and patting at the sweat-embossed brow with the back of a dusk-hued hand, he staggers against the banisters, curses the saints, laments lost love, and all the while with the rectum hung out his arse like a length of frayed tow-rope.

On his face he wears one of my faces, and says he to me “Take heed! Little shy of drowning will blunt the knives like this concoction, but amongst the luxuries a man must renege for the grace of a codeine slump is the ability to pass more than a farten whistle ‘thout havin’ to push hard enough to force the ribs to the curves o’ the shins, bejeesus, and the throat to the soles o’ the feet. Like a man attemptin’ to coax pennies out his elbow - such is the man attemptin’ to shit under influence of this article here. Many’s the arse has collapsed under weight of the strain.”

In-between visitations from this raggle-holed phantom, I peruse the litany of scrawled asides and notes birthed throughout the course of the weekend:

“Gormley's blessed and Holy angel hauntin’ the landscape. Gormely - the patron saint of Singer-Songwriters, a man whose work stems from a fear that somewhere in the world exists a fella or a lass to whom the intricacies of his nudity are still a mystery…”

“Richard Dawson wringing from out his tongue all the devils and the demons and the hobgoblins in creation, the hoof-handed hoors scuttlin’ about atween his legs, skiting this way and that o’er the stage of the Star And Shadow…”

“Performing at the Head Of Steam. Taking a stagger backwards three songs in, near to fainting. Andrew Gardiner and Andy Warmington beating tambourines and tootlin’ trumpets respectively, Ryan H. Fleming blowing into a melodica - the three of them beside me, and the world dimmin’ for a time, the sharpness brought about by an attempted discontinuation of a particular mooder-upper nulled momentarily, and thinking aye, this’ll do… Two more copies of Yonder! Calliope? sold by night’s end. Fifteen quid shy of even, says Luke Page of Ex Libris Records. Relief…”

“A four-hour improvised folk ballad concocted in Andrew Gardiner’s kitchen, myself and Ryan H. tossing reels of filthiest, blasphemous rhyme from one end of the room to the other till well after 7 A.M, and These United States, Dischord recording artists and purveyors of the most sublime Americana / folk / electro a man might e’er stumble upon all sleeping far side of the door to my left. Thinking - pray God they heard none that verse about Oh perty Joan Of Arc c’mon on down from off that stake and make the sweetest love to me upside the face…”

“Two hours dissecting that Jeffrey Lewis song about maybe he met Will Oldham, maybe not, but whoever it was, he ended up shaftin’ him up the hole in a underground station… Playing Nuances by Madisson to Ryan H, saying what about that, sayin’ she’s gon’ play bass for me that lass, down South, speaks to me and everythin’, what about that?”

“Note regarding future performances - Myself, Ms M on bass, Sir Fleming (no relation to Ryan H) slatherin’ the stage in the thickest, murkiest of face-shreddin’ grinds, and someone, anyone, hitting kettles, Coke bottles and a snare drum alongside. Adverts on Gumtree - Person needed for to hit things roughly in time with what the rest of us are doing. Influences - Walter Benjamin, Whiskeytown, Jimmy Rodgers, Morbid Angel, Aphex Twin…”

“Beautiful souls - A punk with the head painted silver sat with eyes closed through a set by Chronicity… A man in direst need of the name of a musical instrument beginning with N - ‘Can’t think of any fucker of the kind for love nor money’… A woman at a filling-station singing Billie Piper songs to the A.M breeze…”

Flinging the notebook aside then, Sheffield nearing, and Townes Van Zandt perched upon the porch atween my ears singin’ of poor bedevilled Caroline, the daughter of a miner…