Thursday, 20 January 2011


the end of 2010, the beginning of january.

i, ii) family party near cheltenham. gigantic house, good company, great food and a time to chill out right off the back of leaving university for christmas after a pretty stressful project.
iii, iv) barn and farmyard buildings in the country near said house.
v) trees in reflection, house at cheltenham.
vii, viii) trainyard en route to london
ix, x) snow at southbank, view from kate's flat room at shepherds bush
xi) british museum, london
xii) £200 worth of fireworks, new years eve, dan's house
xiii) falmouth rooftops from upper street
xiv, xv, xvi) falmouth harbor, unearthing sunken rowing boat... again

i haven't really done a reflective 2010 post, but there's some images from the last of it. if i were to highlight... uhh, highlights, it would look a little something like this:

/ my first year of university passed; knowledge gained and a little more understanding of where and what i want to do unearthed. still worrying and doubting, but still searching and striving. the people down here and the place we are in inspire hope, no matter what happens the day after we graduate. until then, i'm trying not to take it all for granted (but i still sleep in a lot, sadly)

/ music: music is good. 2010 was a year for releases by 65daysofstatic, alpinist, fukpig, adebisi shank, talons, foals, calories, deftones, rinoa, rosetta, rolo tomassi, tubelord, devil sold his soul, tall ships, &u&i, year of no light, and so i watch you from afar, torche, celeste, daughters, thou, boris & ian austbury and probably a fuck ton loads more. pulling up my last 12 months list on reveals mostly all of that, but yes, fantastic year for music. the majority of that list is notably UK based, too: we've got a lot to offer, and i'm so thankful about that.

/ related, festivals: 2000trees, off the cuff, damnation festival, all tomorrows parties. not a band line up between them, 2000trees being the perfect summer festival for about 50 quid thereabouts to see a fuckton of great bands playing at an eco-friendly festival with no dickheads for miles. a bit of rain, but what of it. notable highlights: tubelord, and so i watch you from afar, 65daysofstatic, listening to maybeshewill play whilst juggling crates of beer in the que whilst being rained on, chilling the fuck out and being a drunken state of nonsense to the silent disco. ace!

off the cuff was a hot, sweaty affair of mostly big scary monsters bands but again... what of it? it houses some of the finest uk acts and seeing so many together over two days was intense. drank an obscene amount of red stripe to last me all weekend on the saturday alone and they even had a mint little bbq on the go outside. this is all in the best pub in birmingham as well, the flapper, which made it even better returning back there after so many years. i used to see bands like municipal waste and send more paramedics there, so there was high expecations for more no-barrier low-stage chaos and it delivered. notable highlights include hold your horse is, men, &u&i, bronze medals, tubelord (again), holy state, maybeshewill (actually got to watch them this time), tall ships. also met some great people so the chat was good all weekend.

damnation festival is always a hefty weekender, with it being an amazing time of the year to see old friends as well as to join them for a day of the UK's finest in metal. i cannot stress enough just how good this festival is year in and year out though i'd like to say this was my favourite of all the years, and not even nessecarily just because of the bands on. that said, highlights were easily fukpig and anaal nathrakh tearing everyone a new one and for the third time, maybeshewill, who just don't seem to disappoint with their live sound whatsoever. flawless musicianship, and the new tracks are sounding a treat, too.

i only attended my first all tomorrows parties last year and that makes me quite sad, as it's probably the best run festival i've been to, and whilst it might not be on the same ranks as the above for highlighting the best of the united kingdoms talent, it doesn't half go the extra mile to get some of the worlds best talent, and then go even beyond it by finding the worlds most ridiculous and mental to boot. what feels best here is the fact that at the end of every day standing up watching an obscene amount of anti-music is that there is a bed waiting for you in your chalet and a shower in the morning which just about makes you ready to stomach another day of noise and nonsense, though i still love the camping experience of a festival just as much. this year saw me catching godspeed you! black emperor creating a depressingly dense, thick atmosphere of strings and feedback to a visual backdrop of burning streets and steaming engines which was probably one of the most heartwrenching things i've ever seen or heard. neurosis stormed the stage twice to a similar visual accompaniment and though i liked neurosis to begin with, seeing them live really made me respect their back catalog that extra bit more and since, they've become a whole new band to me, for the better. wolves in the throne room was a time to sit at the back of a dark room and absorb a torrent of disgustingly grim woodland-themed black metal, and the rest of the weekend was a bunch of noise bands. which i love, don't get me wrong. the entire ATP weekend is an experience i'm going to keep attending every year because of that, and it helps when the folks you shack up with are the same mental pricks from damnation who make it even more worth it.

/ new hopes: meeting someone special and spending a fantastic couple of weekends together throughout november and december. hopefully more of that come this year, and that excites me thorougly.

/ i'd like to think my health has improved, or at least i'm eating a lot more healthy these days. on the occasion during crunch i have cans of fizzy drink, and on train journeys i think thats a good time to warrant buying a bag of crisps... and alright, i still eat biscuits with me tea but i blame josh and tom, but on the whole i've cut out a lot of rubbish and have also been introduced to a whole range of new foods that make my week more exciting for dinner time. when the weather brightens up a bit i'll be back on my walks and hopefully back on my bike, and if i can just stomach going back to wolverhampton and not feeling the need to drink when i go out, i'll be able to kick it all together... not that i want to sound like an alcoholic or anything. at uni it's easy to ignore, but going back to your old friends, the appeal of having a pint is often too hard to pass by. still, for the most part i don't feel the need to drink to have fun anymore, nor to just have it as a casual side.

/ i didn't lose anyone i hold close or dear to me. everyone of those folk and myself included made it through to 2011, and that's always a plus, isn't it? thankful for that. related, made a lot of great new friends and i don't like to think that i lost any old friends. hopefully not, at least. more of this for this year, please!

/ lots more stuff happened and maybe i'll edit this when i rememeber, but right now i don't. night!

THE NEW YEAR: flatlands s/t ep, dillinger four ''midwestern songs of the americanas'', mistress ''ii: the chronovisor'', ''in disgust we trust'', fukpig ''spewings from a selfish nation'', this will destroy you ''communal blood'', stalingrad research and reading, excellent food, the start of spring/good sun, country crisp flame raisen, promising start to the year with work to get going with, plans for the future......

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

thirsty and miserable

front and back cover of the new thirsty and miserable zine. first issue!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

we'll talk and talk though there's nothing left to say

as we come along the way
there's nothing here
nothing to say

FLATLANDS / 2005 - 2010

/ / /

this band have meant a lot to me the last year or so. frustratingly hard to follow and keep track of, but the unearthing of their releases really hit home for me upon first listen to the debut black sluice and it's only today that i received their first ep vermuyden and the recently released self-titled flatlands ep through the post and managed to sit down with all three in hand and listen to them across the span of their time around before, in classic yet tediously inevitable unique-british-band fashion, they split up. apparently this happened in october, though the first i heard of it was just the other day.

it's been a bit of a kicker, really. just that tad bit gutting to see yet another amazing act go down the drain. the other week it was throats, before that rinoa. what a horrible state of affairs.

in their departure, new life is breathed into the songs i held so dear to me these last few months. it gives everything that extra bit more meaning, that little bit more energy and emotion to really bring everything together as a wonderful piece of music. on the flipside to that, the bleak, harrowing and depressive tones of such tracks as the unbearable lightness of spalding and things to do in dunham when you're dead will still be the deadpan and downbeat tones of boredom and strife that the samples and field recordings make them, but that's what makes this band so appealing to me: the absolute loss of anything pleasant or hopeful in their words and musicianship... except for, of course, the fact and they're utter fucking riff masters and sludgy slabs of downtuned rumblings and wailing never sounded so good or apt to be the soundtrack to a band that wrote lyrics based solely around lincolnshire. a band with a truly monumental sound, cease to be.

rest in peace, you poor bored bastards.