Friday, 28 May 2010

Random Notes From: Here

* Picador recently ran a Twitter-based competition to win an advance bound proof copy of Richard. I however missed it as I was up a hill most of the day. Congratulation to whoever won it.

* Someone else is selling an advance bound proof copy on Ebay, for a starting bid of £29.99. 100+ spelling mistakes are included for free.

* I recently ate my first McDonalds meal in 8 years, late at night, at one of those weird faux-American strip mall / retail park places that seem to be filling in all the gaps between our towns and cites and the countryside. It tasted of alienation and despair, and salt. I may wait another 8 years before the next one.

* I've been listening to 'Alone Again Or' by Love most days. And also - still - a lot of Right Said Fred. The Fairbrass brothers remain under-rated. I'm not even trying to be clever; not much rock music is doing much for me at the moment.

* 'Awaydays' is definitely the worst film I have watched in a long time.

* I'm excited to see that a book that I had never heard of by Knut Hamsun has recently been published.

* And I'm reading a very good book about life in Medieval (ie, circa 1300-1400) Britain called The Time Travellers Guide To Medieval Britain by Ian Mortimer.

Perhaps for the first time in my life I feel myself simultaneously drawn to both "pop music" and "British history". It feels mysterious and exciting.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Things My Dog Has Eaten (2009 - 2010)

1 x used / full condom (car park, Skipton)
1 x soiled nappy (tow path, Hebden Bridge)
1 x used sanitary towel (location unknown)
12 x tyre-flattened dried frogs (various locations)
sheep shit (West Yorkshire, Northumberland)
cow shit (West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, Northumberland)
horse shit (steaming, various locations)
1 x cat's tail (the football field, Mytholmroyd)
1 x cover of 1970s hardback book about serial killers
1 x toilet roll
1 x pair of unwashed underwear
1 expensive Brazilian flip-flop
15 x dried pig's ears
dog food (in the kitchen)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Straight From Our Fridge

Adelle has done a piece about the inside of our fridge for Other magazine.

It looks deceptively healthy, I think.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Coming Soon...

Dwang #2 from Tangerine Press.

The second Dwang journal. Pre-orders and enquiries welcome. This literary anthology will feature new work from:

James Kelman, Billy Childish, A.D. Winans, Gerald Locklin, Salena Godden, Fred Voss, Adelle Stripe, Rob Plath,  Ben Myers, Joseph Ridgwell, Jenni Fagan, Charles Plymell, K.V. Skene, and many more...

More details as and when I have them....

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Interview for Beat the Dust.

In something of a role reversal I have been interviewed by a musician about writing, for the new issue of Beat The Dust. For once it wasn't me asking the questions. The interviewer was my friend Mike Title, hell-raiser, writer and most recently singer for the band Dead Kids.

Click here to read the interview.

Friday, 14 May 2010

'All Your Cash Is Mud Lost'

Other Other is a new online arts and literary magazine. I created piece of art for them entitled 'All Your Cash Is Mud Lost'.

Here it is.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

"We must always think about things, and we must think about things as they are, not as they are said to be."

~ George Bernard Shaw

Friday, 7 May 2010

A Nature Book Reader

Caught by The have published an online compendium concerning the best books about nature. It is entitled A Nature Book Reader and I have written a piece for it about Henry David Thoreau's Walden; or Life In The Woods  (it's on page 23 of 39 if you wish to find it).

Other writers include Bill Drummond, Marc Riley, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Martin Noble (British Sea Power), Chris Yates, Jimi Goodwin (Doves), Kate Rew etc. It's a great read and will be expanded upon as more contributions come in.

It can be downloaded for free here.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Some Thoughts On Life Under Labour

Whatever happens today / tomorrow, life under Labour has for me at least, been generally good. I have to admit that. Because when things are good one should say so, just as one does when they are bad.

Politics is about the personal and personally speaking I went from being a broke student in my final term in May 1997 to almost constant (self) employment. I've gone from a rented house to a squat to being able to afford to buy somewhere to live (then back to a rented house again).

I've travelled, published books, run a record label whose start-up was partly-funded by regional Arts Council funding and just generally scraped by on a minimum wage.

I'm not sure whether any of this was because of Labour, but it at least happened under their governing. In fact, any good fortune was more likely due to a lot of luck, hard work and the support of my parents. I've never signed on, never received a penny of tuition fees. When I needed assistance from the police after some robbers tried to take my head off with a brick, they were fucking useless. Couldn't have been less interested.

But still. Working in the creative industries and now living in the post-industrial heartland of Yorkshire, I know that things would (and possibly will) be much worse under a Tory government

I'm not even saying I'm voting Labour. But please. Anyone but the Conservatives (and UKIP. And the BNP).

There was the war of course. Teflon Tony's big bullshit war. And the abolition of student grants, the scapegoating of asylum seekers, the dawning of the big brother / CCTV age, the failed ID scheme, the 10p tax, rising crime etc. And more. Much, much more.

But that will all seem like a walk in the park if Cameron and his cretinous Conservative party gain power over Britain tomorrow. I grew up in the north-east of England in the 1980s.

I haven't forgotten what they did. And what they are still capable of.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


Currently reading

A Year In The Woods by Colin Elford
The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy
The Hillside Stranglers by Darcy O'Brien 

Currently listening to
all the early Beach Boys songs about surfing, girls and surfing girls
'Headbutt' by The King Blues (below)
Pampidoo (below, below - thanks to Tony O'Neill for the tip)
politicians' hot air

Currently watching
the changing weather