Thursday, 21 July 2016

There's no such place as far away

Some song lyrics that appeared in my head last night. If only i could play the guitar and get the tune laid down to go with them....

I think of you more when I know you sleep
Because in my head you are vulnerable and weak
I need to hold you tight, from any danger keep
But also your nipples I would tweak & never let it go

When you sleep, you will never go away
When you sleep there is nothing more to say
When you sleep, when you sleep
There’s no such place as far away

I like to think of you when you are asleep
Into your bed I imagine I creep
And into your dreams my mind would sneak
Writhe in ecstasy make your body leap, never let you go

When you sleep, you never go away
When you sleep there is nothing more to say
When you sleep, when you sleep
There’s no such place as far away

I like to think of you mostly in the dead of night
Because in my head you are back in my sights
And into your world I don’t have to fight
And into your arms is my place that’s right  

When you sleep, you will never go away
When you sleep there is nothing more to say
There’s no such place as far away
There’s no such place as far away
There’s no such place as far away


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Dub Pistols - the interview!

So I'm lucky enough to be doing these festival reviews for festivalsforall.com

This year among other festies, I asked to go to Beatherder, as I had heard so many great things about it. It certainly did not disappoint. It was mega immense adn a spectacular festival.

I had an absolute privilege of being asked if I wanted to interview anyone and requested two bands:
Good Foxy - a young rock and roll band, very much up & coming.
Dub Pistols - an established jungle dance ska mentalist band I have followed for almost twenty years.

I was ecstatic to get a yes to both requests. It turned my sual organised festival antics upside down.
And led to a #40newthings experience i did not expect.
It led to the time of my life.
It led to that euphoric feeling of living the absolute dream

You can find the Good Foxy full interview here.

But this one is all about the outstanding Dub Pistols...



Barry Ashworth was so cool and focused, and Seanie Tee who was so gentle and kind yet had no idea what I was asking at times and Andreas Jensen who just laughed at me, were the most accommodating hosts. It might not have been the best interview of my short career so far, but it was by far the best conversation I've had with a band as yet.

Kudos to the band for making me feel like my usual nutty self and not throwing me out of the luxurious hospitality tepee. It was a heart pumping, heart racing experience for me that I will never forget, even the cringe moments.

After a little bit of back stage organisation and check point passing, we were officially escorted towards a beautiful large tee pee. As I bent in, with excitement soaring through my bones, I looked up into the cigarette smoking face of none other than Mr Barry Ashworth.

I kissed him and hugged him and reminded myself to let go quick!

We had an easy-osey chat with Barry about festivals, fun and their journey to Beatherder (Bulgaria, Macedonia and then Clitheroe) and were quickly joined by Seanie T and Andreas.

Barry got all serious on me so I went for my note book while I tried not to get my knickers in a twist and Barry openely admired my beautiful assistants kinky fluffy knickers!
Naturally she wiggled her ass in his direction.

Lou: Can I have my pen please darling?

Nin: (pulling pen from between her corset cleavage) You certainly can! (turns to band), my job here is done

Lou: so why Beatherder? You do so many festivals, whats special about here?

Barry: Well they ask us back! We feel really welcome here and its practically been built up around us really. But we love going back to the festivals. We understand we are as much a punter and as much part of the culture.

Seanie T: We feed off the energy of all the people, likeFrankenstein'ss monster, you come alive.

Barry: Yeah what people give us out in the crowd, we give them back, we get a real high from it.

Lou: are you aware of how much the crowd want to hear Messy Weekend?

Barry: Its MUCKY Weekend!! 

Lou: (hangs head in shame) I know, I’m sorry. I’m a bit mucky already, truth be told

Barry: Ha ha! Well its one of our anthems innit? We can relate to it and everyone knows the words, its sets off their weekend.

Andreas: The thing about playing at festivals and being in Dubs is that once you check it, you cant check out. You just miss it too much.

Lou: You have so much energy on the stage, you give it everything and its clear you are larging it up for the crowd. They love it, we love it. How on earth do you prepare for that, or get over that? 

Seanie T: We just want to go back and do it all again.

Lou: So you’ve been all round the world, you are a festival must have, what are your hopes and dreams with the band going forward?

Barry: Well we try and keep it fresh and always try and mutate our sound towards the popular dance sounds we love, and that people love. 

Lou: I agree you have certainly evolved over the years. When I think of the song I played in Rome at the Coliseum, from the album Six Million Ways to Die…

Barry & Seanie: Its Live!! 

Barry: FFS! How many of our song titles are you gonna get wrong luv ha ha ha? Six million ways to live!

All band members are laughing at me.

Lou: (bangs head off table) alright, alright, I’m so sorry. Im not exactly in music encyclopaedia mode right now, giza break, I’m a bit mucky!

Barry: ha ha getting back to your question, Worshipping the Dollar would be the album when we changed from creating songs for an album, to creating songs to sing live. And then we really got into touring

Lou: But you so rarely come up to Scotland!

Barry: Well its our 20th Anniversary next year, and we will be releasing tour dates in March, including Scotland.

Lou: Yes! Well that’s me lads. Thanks so much. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and I am sure I will enjoy the set even more now. Thank you so much. 

We all shook hands and went outside for a quick photo shoot.
I demanded a kiss from Barry which came with a hug and a compliment.

Another bonkers Beatherder memory I will never forget. Absolutely living the dream.
Needless to say, I absolutely floated about for the rest of the day. Sunday was Pistolero’s day. There was nothing else I cared about doing,  other than see them play live and show them my love and support and have a bloody good dance.

We caught up with the rest of our gang who were very disappointed in my blag skills, to see us on grass and not later on stage with the Dubs. But I suspect the Dub Pistols get that all the time, and who are we but two star struck, slightly mucky, inept reviewers? So we all caught up on each others news, sat in sun, explored a little more madness and pitched our selves centre stage at the front.

They came out big and  with a bang. Immediately everyone was on their feet. We were surrounded by professional cameras in the pit in front of us and yet not one of us could be bothered to stop dancing and get the pro cameras out! No crowd surfing from bad boy barry, which was very unusual. Perhaps a little travel weiry, or the crowd wasn’t thick enough to confidently support him. Who knows, but he came and shook hands while in the middle of a song.






Bass player Dave Budgen came out and got in on some quality posing action whilst strumming the bassline right through out chests.





And after the obligatory ‘Mucky’ Weekend, not many of us had our voices left and some of us were a bit bruised from the incredible jkangaroo man who used the front barrier to bounce into the air, for every beat, like he clearly didn’t care. He was fascinating and hilarious!

All in all, a typically banging set from the undoubtedly incredible Dub Pistiolero boys. My heart is still all a flutter.

Good Foxy - the interview

So I'm lucky enough to be doing these festival reviews for festivalsforall.com

This year among other festies, I asked to go to Beatherder, as I had heard so many great things about it. It certainly did not disappoint. It was mega immense and a spectacular festival.

I had an absolute privilege of being asked if I wanted to interview anyone and requested two bands: Good Foxy - a young rock and roll band, very much up & coming.
Dub Pistols - an established jungle dance ska mentalist band I have followed for almost twenty years.

I was ecstatic to get a yes to both requests. It turned my usual organised festival antics upside down. And led to a #40newthings experience i did not expect.
It led to the time of my life.
It led to that euphoric feeling of living the absolute dream

You can find the Dub Pistol full interview here.

But this one is all about the incredible Good Foxy...


Finally in the right venue for Good Foxy we were not surprised at how quickly the place filled up. I knew the band were local lads from Clitheroe, so were bound to have a local following at their gig. And I was not wrong.


When they came on their long sultry bass line immediately lifted everyone and the whole place surged to the front. Smiles galore and an electric atmosphere, when they launched into ‘Down the Rabbit hole’ with the carnival intro lyrics sung by bass guitarist Freddie, the place cheered and jumped about like crazy. George's range on his voice is incredible and he can captivate you like Jim Morrison and scream like Zed.


Again such a mixed crowd, which I think is down to their fantastic rock and roll old school sound, mixed in with the originality and quirky style that you soon come to know can only be Good Foxy. The skills of all the guitarists, the vocals they all add in at different places gives every song a depth and intrigue you dont get with a single front man. James ability on both keyboards and the harmonica are amazing. And its just drums drums drums all the way through from Calum.


I lost all sense of concentration when they played one of my favourites, Gone West, as it has such an incredible heavy bass opening and the young crowd were mosh pitting all over the place. They even got split up by security, which I thought was a damn shame as they were just having a jolly good time.

In no time at all, the set was over, the lads managing to squeeze a beautiful instrumental piece into their last three minutes before the plug was pulled. And then it was time for me to jump over the stage and meet the band back stage with my lovely assistant!

So first up we spoke to Henry Crabtree on lead guitar and vocals, who spends most of the set shaking his luscious locks in big sweeping head banging circles, clearly enjoying himself. We shake hands and he is clearly beaming from ear to ear.

Lou: Very well done, that was an incredible performance; you must be feeling really high right now. Can you explain that feeling?

Henry: Its awesome! We get just the best vibes from the audience.

Lou: Have you ever performed at a gig where the mosh pit got split up?

Henry: NO! I didn’t realise it did. Ha ha

Lou: What are your hopes and dreams for you and the band going forward?

Henry: Keep credible, keep having fun, keep stepping up.

Next up we spoke with the calm and collected lead vocalist and guitarist George Banks. His style and verve was dripping off his cool exterior and charming manner.

Lou: Very well done, the range in your voice is amazing, such a wonderful sound and a brilliant entrancing performance; you must be feeling really high right now. Can you explain that feeling?

George: Thank you, that was a great feeling. It really is like nothing else. I feel pretty euphoric. It really is the best drug.

Lou: I can imagine. Are you aware that the stewards split up the mosh pit?

George: No way! Ha ha ha

Lou: So what are your hopes going forward?

George: I just wanna play all around the world and not have a job!

Lou: Best of luck with that, you are doing something right because you all have such an energy on stage, you are all clearly having fun together and you already have a great following. Good luck.

George: Yeah that’s awesome thanks, we just all enjoy it.

Next up we caught up with James Robinson - Keyboards and Vocals stealing him away from helping pack away the bands equipment. Smiling and charming as he promised to be back and continue carrying drums to their van.

Lou: Thanks James for giving us some time. Great performance, outstanding skills on the harmonica, you must be sky high right now. Can you tell me how that feels for you?

James: Aww man thank you, that’s really kind. Glad you enjoyed it. Yeah well, we have great people, it creates a good energy.

Lou: It really does, I wish you all the best and expect you all to go as far as you dream.

James: Its just this really. What more could you want?

Finally we spoke to Callum Sykora who plays the drums and percussion. Another talented lad with a happy moon face and manners you could woo your granny with. He was a delight to speak to, gracious and down to earth.

Lou: So Calum, that was an awesome performance, you look like you enjoyed it immensely and must be flying quite high right now. How are you feeling?

Calum: Absolutely buzzing! This is a great festival for the energy and the people here. We are dead chuffed that we got asked back.

Lou: I am so in love with the sound that you guys produce. i was recommended your debut album at another festival a few months ago and since I acquired it I have been listening to it over and over. It’s an amazing sound you all create.

Calum: well thanks so much, that’s so nice, great to hear. We all have such different ideas really but we are great friends and we just put all our ideas together to make this sound.

Lou: Well it is definitely working for you all. What do you do then if you disagree about something?

Calum: we just have a row! Row it out, then hug and make up and sort the rest out from there.

Lou: Brilliant, row it out and get on. What are your hopes and dreams going forward Calum?

Calum: I just want to carry on doing what we are doing, having fun, make a living from it.

Lou: I'm pretty sure you will. Its been an absolute pleasure. I’m delighted that seeing you live is more impressive than listening to the album, and I shall keep my eye out on the circuit for you and definitely hope to catch you all again somewhere in another field. Say thank you to Freddie Bruhin-Price on bass and vocals for me. (He was buried in the back of a yurt surrounded by friends but we managed to pry him away for a quick photoshoot.)


The overall feeling when you listen to Good Foxy is how polished and eclectic they sound. Yet when you watch them they look like they are doing nothing other than having fun doing something they each individually love.

When you speak with each lad, it is clear that they all have their own ideas, they all have their own distinct characteristics, yet somehow they make it all come together in an incredible sound we will all soon come to know and love as the one and only Good Foxy, One of the only solo artists in the world with five heads.

My recommendation for the band to watch because they are going to soar. Or perhaps scamper foxily from field to field.

The Good Foxy debut album is available on their website at www.goodfoxy.co.uk

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Time is precious, but passing quickly.

My clock is ticking. 
It is driving me mad, consuming my thoughts and making me feel unfulfilled in my every day life. It’s been ticking for quite a while but I have sedated it with interesting life activities, with journeys and wanderings, with charitable donations, building meaningful friendships and adventurous frolics. Yet it ticks on, louder and louder in my ear.

It is not the tick tock you would think. 
Yes, I am forty and I have already chosen not to have any children of my own. I have stated my reasons for this before. But the tick tock clock I hear every day is the ticking clock of my own mortality and the calling, the NEED I have to get out of this rut and bloody well do something of meaning.

The world is a sad and terrible place right now. A place I am glad my mother did not live to see. A place where all her efforts of taking aid packages to war torn countries, working as a nurse in A&E, volunteering to support those suffering from the loss of family to addiction, a place where all the good work she did has resulted in the world being in a worse state. She would be distraught. I feel her dismay from beyond the grave.

Our political systems are fucked, we are too greatly influenced by the lies of people we cant relate to, by the lies of the TV, the media and social networks. People actively show hatred and ignorance daily, not just in their personal circles but in public, in people’s faces and online where their putrid opinions circulate and re-circulate the world.

We are polluting this beautiful planet and ultimately our food source, we are mass farming animals for slaughter, we are killing bumble bees, illegally fishing tuna from oceans with increasing radiation levels. And the food we do provide we pump full of chemicals, to make it last longer, to make it more profitable, to make us develop cravings and withdrawals and habits that we feed feed feed.

We are making love to money and taking love right out of everything.

People are swapping common sense and integrity for possessions and belongings.

No one is grateful for their daily bread, they all say thanks to the supermarket instead.

We do not work for the right things, strive for the right things or respect and praise the right things for which we are lucky enough to receive.

People increasingly don’t know how to build a fire, cook in the wild, get through each day on the bare minimum. And more than that, there is so little respect for diversity, individuality, for being unique, different and a singular part of a collective whole.

As a human race, we are missing the point and I am at the point of despair. And my clock is ticking.

I feel responsible for my part in this rat race, I want to do more. I am caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, a rock and a hard place. When all I actually want is to live simply, to be wholesome and content, ultimately contribute in some way to make a difference towards the plight of the human being and the saving of mother earth.

I watch the clock from my kingsize bed, as I get up for work, filled with nothing but dread. I watch the clock on my pc from my office chair, the slowest place for time passing, trying to do my best to make a difference but really no one cares. I watch the clock on my mobile as I eagerly leave to go home, a whole load of strategic meaningless nothing completed today that prevents nothing, helps nothing, and actually means nothing. I do a meaningless job and I feel it too.

I am just two days back from two weeks off and I couldn’t be more distressed at the months ahead.

I need to figure out fast what I should be doing instead.


Time is precious.

Apparently stress is caused by being here and wanting to be there, I am not present in my own presence. I am thinking forward. And I feel stress. My mind is projecting two years ahead when I will qualify and can leave this job. When I will feel more in control of my own destiny. Once time is my own, once bills are less, once uni is over, once life costs less. My mind is projecting forward to an unknown time when my GF will be fully en femme, fully confident and we can then attack life, go places, do things, travel, help, donate, live without the looming worries of prejudice, inequality and discrimination. Maybe as women we will never fully experience that level of freedom and acceptance but in my mind it is out there, ahead. I project to a time when we live on our country land, with sustainable food sources, generating our own energy, when we are off grid and low impact living.

But if I was there now, would I be content? I am unsure. The state of the world troubles me deeply. The hatred I hear nudges me to get up, step out of my protected space and shout back, LOVE LOVE LOVE you fools! We are all one! These are your brothers and sisters. We share a home with these ur creatures and these beautiful diverse humans.
When you harm them, you harm yourselves!

What I want to be doing right now is helping, preparing, building, giving, learning how on earth we can survive this attack from all sides, suppressed from the top down and literally blown apart from the bottom up. How do we override these lords and ladies who think they are our voice? These structures that govern us in ways we do not agree, with weapons we do not want.

I need to be travelling the world and helping war orphans, bringing clean water devices to far flung third world villages, campaigning against arctic fuel drilling, against arctic blasting, fighting against killing the Bee’s with GMO crops, protecting endangered species and standing against those who abuse the vulnerable. Campaigning for more renewable energy use, for better green policy in our governments. Working abroad where these things are better implemented and learning to bring back home. Making chutney, digging emergency shelters, moving to a region where the Green party exist.
Doing a damn sight more than I am doing sitting here.

As I ponder my discontent I hear the clock tick tocking. The clock of once upon a time: ‘once I have the money’, ‘once we have moved’, ‘once I have qualified’, ‘once the family has…’

BOOM

Before you know it, it will be the end of time, no more once’s to consider before I do something bigger. No more time to help. The waiting is over. It is over. Not enough people rose to the occasion, there was no revolution, everyone was too busy trying to survive, the end is…well it is the end.

Or BOOM I will have died. And it is still the end. My sixty three years foretold and gone, my contribution nothing but a wasted hope and dream left for me to repent in the next life.


If there is such a thing.