Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Cine Salon

A very welcome addition to our living room, a great big telly, has kindly been donated to stand by the window and provide what I hope will be many nights of amusement.

The plan is this: to host a regular series of film screenings and cheese-and-wine parties for Dundee's arts community and anybody else who might be interested. These events should be ready to begin next week, and any ideas and guest curatorships will be most welcome. I'll post more details up as and when I've got them. Watch this space!

Tuesday, 30 October 2007


My grandmother's funeral today, which was a really lovely service, and a very enjoyable afternoon spent with various relations. About to head out for a meal, I think at an Italian restaurant called Salvo's, which should be good too.

Not much more to say, but please do stay tuned for whatever may happen soon.

Monday, 29 October 2007

the 12th man

Back to Leeds later today for my grandmother's funeral. Despite being a sad occasion, it'll still be good to get all the family together in one place. Because of that I'm really rather glad to be going home.

Meanwhile this stirring account does some measure of justice to the recent revival of Leeds United's fortunes.

"The fans do not just sing the songs; they are foot soldiers in Leeds' relentless march too."

Sunday, 28 October 2007

flying, always searching

Right now I'm really digging this lush disco track from tragic pornstar and aviation superhero Dennis Parker - Like An Eagle

Saturday, 27 October 2007


Not been fit to do a right lot today, kept busy nursing a hangover from last night's engagement at the Union. Which was quite a good laugh; completely dead, and with an appearance by a live band who were quite monumentally rubbish. Think Limp Bizkit performed by scallies in tracksuits, and you'd be getting there.

So today just been following the football results, and downloading the rather lovely soundtrack for the French animated film Le Planéte Sauvage.

Friday, 26 October 2007


Was supposed to be helping out with a DCA event this afternoon, the Big Draw at DPM park. It had to be called off due to the pissing rain, though.

Instead I went to see Control, the Joy Division biopic. It doesn't really add much to the sorry tale except to write another chapter of rock-star mythology in Ian Curtis' name. A shame, as I did enjoy Deborah Curtis' book, and the scenes of live music are quite exciting. Toby Kebbell steals every scene as Rob Gretton. This review from the Guardian Guide gets it about right, with praise a bit more qualified than in other write-ups. "He's certainly lost control now", indeed.

DJing at the Union later for Freak Scene. Not been darkening those doors in a good long while, and who knows, it might even be fun.

Thursday, 25 October 2007


To Aberdeen for an installation at the Limousine Bull artists’ space by Miranda Blennerhassett and Kevin McPhee. That these two Dundee-based artists should collaborate together does make a degree of sense. Both had previously made work individually that staged interventions within interior spaces, producing dislocating and unsettling effects. Rooms would be made unhomely through the shadows of marauding plantlife cast against the walls, or by the spilling of reflective black liquid across the floor. The impression was of trinkets being toyed with by poltergeists, and of decorative surfaces doubling up as doppelgangers.

The untitled, very minimal installation here saw the artists deal with spatial relationships, specifically with positive and negative space evoked through two and three-dimensional means. A large angular turquoise shape rested against one wall, while opposite a painting was rendered directly onto the wall and floor in flat, institutional greys. The display saw both artists execute a slick show full of formal élan. Still, I left feeling nostalgia for the discomforts of triffids and ectoplasm.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007


While I'm deeply absorbed in Michael Bracewell's account of the genesis of Roxy Music, I've been compelled to dig up this post from k-punk's blog. Riffing on Bryan Ferry, Grace Jones, Visage and er, Moloko, it's a brilliant text that puts Bracewell's chronology into a wider context.


Please accept my most heartfelt apologies for not having posted much lately. This is due to a number of factors; I've been sat rapt reading the wonderful new Roxy Music biography, I've been drinking far too much booze over the past few days, and I can feel some kind of profound existential crisis creeping up on me... yet again. I'll be here with a much more fulsome post sometime soon, I promise.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

for your pleasure

Arrived home to find Michael Bracewell's new Roxy Music biography waiting on my doormat.

"... their constitution of balanced but opposing opposites... of nostalgia and the avant-garde; of heterosexual eroticism and ambiguous sexual identity; of artifice and authenticity; of fast and slow; of warm sensuality and a cold, machine-like perfection."

Friday, 19 October 2007

the drift

Not felt like doing much today, just switching my brain onto stanby and drifting through it. Mostly been sat downloading bits of music on my brother's PC. Lots of minimal composition, Charlemagne Palestine etcetera. Nothing to do with raves in Berlin warehouses.

A return to Dundee tomorrow for a screening at the DCA, then later calling in at the Hot Club.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

in peace

By the time I'd arrived back in Leeds yesterday my grandmother was in a very bad way. At that age a major five-hour operation was too much even for her, and she passed away peacefully late last night. I'll be down here another couple of days and the funeral's scheduled for a week on Tuesday.

I'm not really able to write much else without lapsing into Hallmark-card cliches. Rest in peace Nan Clarkson 1914-2007.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

hit the north

Met today to discuss future plans for Yuck 'n Yum, Dundee's premier (indeed only) art fanzine. Watch this space for more exciting news once things start to take shape.

Getting the train down to Leeds tomorrow morning in order to visit my grandmother at the LGI. She's been through all sorts these past few days, but happily her condition has now stabilised. Just so long as she manages to pull through, I'm greatly looking forward to the trip.

Monday, 15 October 2007

the eternal

Can it really be the best part of two months since disaster struck? I'm still spending inordinate amounts of time discussing what happened, sometimes with friends, sometimes with strangers.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

family ties

Distressed to learn that my grandmother, 93 years old, is in very poor health. She is an amazing woman, the person I admire most in the whole world. It's so frustrating being stuck up here so very far away, but I gather she's insisted I shouldn't travel all the way down to Leeds. I'm also told that despite it all her mind is still characteristically sharp as a tack. Although I'm not keeping vigil by her bedside, she's in my thoughts.

Saturday, 13 October 2007


Spent much of the day in the pub watching the football, so in the absence of any meaningful post here are a few photos.

Friday, 12 October 2007

waiting for-

Sartre's really not a name to conjure with these days, though a few observations made in Nausea still bear up well. My copy's back home in Leeds, but I do remember there being a passage about time that resonates. As I recall, the point is this: that most of life is spent waiting for something to happen, while only a small fraction of it will be spent living the life, the action if you like, that you've invested so much time in waiting for.

So, waiting for the day to pass. Invigilating at the Generator this afternoon, heading out this evening for some sort of charity event at Dexter's that my flatmate's organized before heading on to DJ at the Art Bar later.

Booked an appointment with the careers advisor next Tuesday. Anything so long as the waiting's no longer done in a call centre.

Thursday, 11 October 2007


Approaching, smiling and saying "hi" in a voice that thaws whatever was frozen weeks before.
Responding, an exaggeratedly awkward "HI" back, playing the moment for its latent comic potential, elongating the vowel and stretching it out, reaching out and testing, testing, one two, one two.
"I like your hair"
"Thank you"
"So, have you had any more writing published lately?"
An answer is jabbered back, and a smile maintained while eye contact allowed to break off.
On my part, that is.
It somehow feels like a reprieve, though from what I couldn't possibly say. At least now there can no longer be any secrets.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007


Just working, mostly. It's in the distant future... but the other day I made a poster for the forthcoming NEON gig that I'm most happy with.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Video Club

Very pleased to have bought a great Italo record for a reasonable price. I'm unsure as to how well it might work on the dancefloor, but those ethereal vocals and washes of synth certainly do it for me somehow.

The eBay listing puts it quite nicely:

Monday, 8 October 2007


I went along to the DCA today for this talk about potential education and social work, only to find about 20 other people had been invited along as well. Still, my name's down for the future should anything come up. In the meantime I'll be stuck in a Kafkaesque routine updated for the new century, sometimes known as the call centre coalface. Doing so much overtime it's hardly possible to think about being creative. Bah!

Sunday, 7 October 2007


Alongside the Generator's Sarah Tripp and Robert Orchardson exhibition, the DCA will be screening the Jim Jarmusch film Coffee And Cigarettes on the 20th.

I remember the whole thing being a bit uneven, but this scene with the Wu Tang Clan's RZA and Genius/GZA meeting Bill Murray is pure gold.

Saturday, 6 October 2007


I've just been listening to the forthcoming releases from our friends at Mighty Robot Recordings, the essential Scottish electro label.

Junior Rafael - Pump It, Milk It and Gladio - Fighting In The North. How to describe this sound? Dark, intense, raw, jacking, a soundtrack for the leather bars of Ancient Rome in a parallel universe.

Friday, 5 October 2007

the spectacle

Scott brought this article to my attention the other night, tucked away in a corner of the newspaper. Scary and depressing it may well be, but I'd still be interested to know if this would be documented anywhere. I'd very much like to see it with my own eyes.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

the signs

Feeling a bit rough today.

Last night's party was fun, full of young people being observed by our coterie of jaded artist types sat in the corner. My friend pointed out one particular young person sat across on the sofa opposite, wearing a Thundercats T-shirt despite being plainly too wet-behind-the-ears to remember the original glorified toy advert.

What would the logo mean? This is a generation brought up before an endless parade of interchangeable signs, emptied out of whatever little meaning they may once have had. Amy Winehouse sang a lamentable pastiche of 60s pop-soul standards in the background. What might the role of the artist be in this ersatz scenario? I'm not sure, but it is disturbing.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

dear diary

Flat warming party tonight, and I'm hoping to get all the artwork in the front room configured into a satisfying display. Is it acting like too much of a poseur to have the paperback of Ballard's Crash lying around next to the painting? Yes, probably.

Nothing beyond social functions happening in the coming days. Not doing any more overtime for now. Although I've a meeting at the DCA next week to see about doing some teaching work, I really ought to get started on the
hunt for a proper job.

Despite my being near-enough totally brassic just now, there's quite a social calendar in order this week. Party tonight; cooking a meal for friends then a noise event at Drouthy's tomorrow, and Soulstice at the Function Suite on Friday.

Monday, 1 October 2007


Friday's NEON turned out to be a successful one, with a brutal live set by Savier and a busy dancefloor getting down to some quality disco sounds. This was followed by a lengthy after-party that's left me feeling a bit scrambled.

Tonight there's a live event at the DCA that promises to be interesting, though I may just stick to the fruit juice for it.

I've been compiling an autumnal wardrobe of sorts. This season's look will be heavy on the vintage Pringle jumpers with strange geometric patterns, to be financed by offloading more unwanted vinyl once the internet's back up and running.