Wednesday, 27 January 2010


I'm (still) reading The Autobiography Of A Super-Tramp (1908) by William Henry Davies. It's highly enjoyable, though it seems to take me much longer to read a book at the moment. On average, I would say 7-10 days. That's too long. I should be averaging at least 2 per week. I must try harder.

Tomorrow I am going on holiday, to a beach, in Northumberland, in January. I'll try and speed read while I'm there.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

"Physically Sick"

Writing on his blog Darran Anderson had this to say about (an unedited version of) my forthcoming novel Richard: “It's a fantastic read and the man writes with such skill it almost makes me physically sick.”

Thanks Darran.

Incidentally, Darran's book Tesla's Ghost is out now Blackheath Books. Great, great poetry that's well worth five hundred of your pennies. Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls describes it as “Just fucking beautifully written. Truly. A great Irish writer.”

And she's right.

'Mock Duck'

Yesterday I received some book advance so went to Manchester and bought a can of mock duck. I put my best shoes on for the day but when I was in the Chinese supermarket the tip of one of my shoes got caught under a loose floor tile and when I turned to reach for the can of mock duck I twisted something and now my foot hurts.

The can of mock duck emerged unscathed.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

King of the Gypsies

Django Reinhardt is 100 today. I wrote this.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Melody Maker

The internet is 'ablaze' with talk of Melody Maker, the long-stnading music newspaper where I cut my literary teeth and got up to all manner of shenanigans between 1996 and 1999, somehow being resurected via online archiving. This is possibly only interesting to a select few people, but if you want to read more I refer you to the blog of my former colleague and now author of fiction Mark Wernham, who has typed some thoughts on the matter so that I don't have to.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Richard (A Novel): Updates

The cover image for Richard is done.
The jacket copy for Richard is done.
The final line edit for Richard is done.
The copyright clearance for lyrics is 'in progress'.
The proof-reading is, I'm told, 'in progress'.

All that really needs to happen now is for a few months
to pass and then the book will be available to purchase.

In the meantime I'm writing a new novel. Something different.
It is currently 69, 779 words in length and has three working titles.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

And they say the Off-Beat Generation is incestuous...

Lee Rourke has listed Richard as one of the 5 novels whose publication he is looking forward to in 2010. As fate would have it, I'm very much looking forward to The Canal by Lee Rourke, published in June by the venerable Melville House.

Monday, 18 January 2010

I just calculated that I am currently


somewhere 100 and 150 miles per month.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

New Acquisitions

In England by Don McCullin (below)
Arcadia by Adam Nicolson
Julia & The Bazooka by Anna Kavan
The Autobiography of a Super Tramp by William Henry Davies

The Inbetweeners (TV / DVD)
Bronson (DVD)
Ideal (TV / DVD)
Some Steve Coogan live DVD

Primary Colours - The Horrors
Amsterdam Shakedown - Solex Vs Jon Spencer & Cristina Martinez
Metal Box - PiL
20 Years Of Dischord (box set) - Various
...And Then We Saw Land - Tuung

Monday, 11 January 2010

Book stuff

It has been a week of business. Adult stuff. Working on the cover for my novel. Conversations with film people via my director pal Gustavo. Editing and proofing with frozen digits. The fine details. And trying, largely in vain, to work on my other novel.

And it was my birthday too. "Early/mid 30s". We went to arguably the greatest restaurant in the north of England, as recently seen on Gordon Ramsey's Fuckwad, or whatever that show is called, to celebrate.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Thursday, 7 January 2010

'The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle: Mk II'

Having first seen them play to about thirty people, then interviewed them at various points on the way to a £1 million record deal, I've written a piece about Gallows' 'Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle Mk II' for The Guardian. Here it is.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Amber Film Collective: A Retrospective

I've written a piece on Newcastle's Amber Film Collective for Caught By The

It took Channels 4’s retrospective in late 2008 to introduce me to the cinematic and photographic works of Newcastle’s Amber Film Collective. There were two surprises. Firstly, their films are amongst some of the best s I have ever seen, works of social value that are up there with anything by Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Shane Meadows Terence Davis and Don McCullin. Secondly – and on a personal level – Amber have existed on my north-east doorstep for longer than I have even been alive, and yet I had never even heard of them. Shame on me.

Read on...

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


I have drunk 86% of my second cup of coffee
and last night I slept for 33% of one full day.

My book Richard is, I think, 100% finished and
I am 73.4% of my way through writing a new novel.

I am 0% and 2.2% of the way through writing two
further books, though I think about them a lot.

I listened to Krautrock for 3% of every day in
2009 and ate chocolate on 94.5% of those days.

Yet still I shed 5% of my body weight - possibly due
to doing some sort of physical exercise 91% of the time.

This blog entry is only 66.6% true.

Monday, 4 January 2010

January 4th 2010

There is still much snow on the ground; it is
five below and the dog's teeth are falling out.

At dusk the hills look like they are pink and
orange but I know that it is just an illusion.

I had made new year's resolutions but I can't
remember what they are; nothing important.

I spend 25% of my time thinking about logs
and 25% about literature. The rest is empty.