Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Rodney Mullen

I feel really bad because I completely missed October - in blog terms, at least. And November is pretty much gone too. These are the main changes in my life over the past eight weeks or so:

  1. I want to be a pro skateboarder.
  2. ......
That's it really, I desperately want to be a skater. I am not even sure why. It is some early-life crisis maybe, a reaction against academia and Oxford being full of bikes. I used to skate when I was 13 but stopped when after six months I couldn't even stand on the board for any length of time. I am a bit better now. Roz and I went to a skatepark in Hutton nr W-S-M, and I was okay at going up the ramp, turning, and coming back down. I could probably do it four times before falling over. Then I was really silly and tried to go down a quarter pipe just on my feet, and it was slippy and I fell and hurt my head. I am not put off though - I just need to find a helmet big enough for my oversized head.

Some of my time not spent dreaming about kickflips is spent doing People & Planet stuff, they are ace. I am on the committee which means I get to do grown-up stuff like collect the key before the meeting. Other time is spent reading, or eating cashews, or worrying about money. If anyone wants to come skate with me, that would be great, I am scared in case I fall over in front of strangers.

Today I have been mostly: Getting the 'k' and 't' the wrong way round and Googling "how to stake".

Sunday, 28 September 2008

I Wish I Was A Tourist

Uni is great and I am a real geek. I have been typing up my lecture notes and everything. Oxford is such a busy city. (It has a 'Past Times'! You know, that shop that sells quaint crap like wooden puzzles and soap shaped like gallows or whatever? Honestly, Oxford does not need a Past Times - every shop sells that crap!) Anyway there is a load to do here, I have been life drawing once. The shop I have been in most is Debenhams.

On my way back from Brighton (helping Roz move in) to Oxford (where I now live), I saw the most amazing advert in Victoria station. For those of you who aren't quite done mourning the death of the People's Princess.....spend your way through freaky bereavement with... THE PRINCESS DIANA TRIBUTE PHONECARD!!! I wish I could find a link but I can't, so you will have to believe that these exist. There are different pictures for £5, £10 and £20 cards. I don't think I will ever stop thinking about this.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Gormless Mallard

I have been at uni for a week now, pretty much. Tons of stuff has happened but in a way nothing has. Sometimes I feel confident but often I feel like an outcast. I feel like that in Bristol too though so I am not overly worried.

There are football trials tomorrow. I went and bought some boots today (I also bought Football Manager - what the hell am I doing? I have BILLIONZ of things to do and some part of me is instructing myself to fritter my life away! Seriously, it's not like I have a million books to read....I don't want to play that stupid game!) I am kinda scared about playing football for the first time in ages. I will report back.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Rest Day

We are home now. That means we have finished our tour. It was a good tour. We rocked seven cities. We caught all our trains. We saw many Starbucks. There were no massive peaks or troughs. I liked it in York when we were locked inside and had to lug ourselves and all our stuff out of a window. I didn't like it in Leeds.

Sheffield was a great line-up. My favourite band were Mexican Kids At Home. Pete described them as 'slacker pop on a tatty skateboard', and that is pretty much exactly what they sounded like. In a good way, obviously. We stayed at Pete's house and he made us the greatest (veggie) sausage bap for breakfast. He writes for When Saturday Comes! That made my tour.

We played in London at a place called The Macbeth. It seemed pretty trendy. Apparently the bassist from Radiohead was there. I don't think he watched us though. Most people just seemed to chat.

Our setlist by the end of the tour looked like this:

My Kaleidoscope
Perfect Holiday
The Internal World
Mysterious Guitar
Understanding Parents
(I Won't Forget) The Way
Fluffy Clouds Of Joy
Cool Science

I'm leaving for uni tomorrow, and I am not really nervous or excited or anything, just pretty tired.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

York Suspense

Our York gig has been cancelled, due to the promoter's brother needing an operation. There isn't really much you can say about that. Don't know what we will do instead, we already had the tickets so we are heading there right now.

Glasgow was pretty good. Support was The Paraffins, who are actually just one Paraffin, called Billy. I thought he was really great, kind of like Jonathan Richman mixed with Talking Heads, only somehow (despite wearing panda pajamas) a bit more sinister. We went on at about half twelve (in the morning!) having spent eight hours on the train. The crowd didn't seem very interested. We rocked it anyway. I did my usual trick of saying something fairly offensive without meaning to. Most of what we saw of Glasgow came between 3-5am, when we waited two hours for a taxi to take us to the promoter's house. Needless to say, it wasn't that pretty. Or warm.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Berwick Inevitable

We are on a train, and have been for about five hours. God has pissed all over Scotland and now we are waiting in one of his puddles for a man to drive to near our train, then walk to it, then pull us to Berwick.

So far the tour has been good to middling. Oxford was a pretty nice pub called The Jericho Arms. The headline band were massive pricks in ways that I can't begin to describe. Everyone else was nice.

Birmingham I really thought was fun. We rocked it. People did a clapping thing in the Cool Science breakdown. The band after us were called Ace Bushy Striptease and they were really cute. I loved them. Josh was there and he went round flogging our EP. It worked - we could really use him every gig. We missed Das Wanderlust cos we had to get our train.

Leeds last night was pretty ridiculous. We arrived at the Cardigan Arms and some locals told us to go upstairs. We were met upstairs by the sound of a vicious bark, followed by the sight of vicious fangs, owned by a vicious dog. If it weren't for the stool handily located between Cerberus and me, I am pretty sure I would be dead now. Someone upstairs gruffly pointed us towards the "Harmonic Room", which was mainly CRAP, with curtains made of rolls of paper. The sound engineer was quite keen to tell us stories of how notoriously useless the promoter was, and when Roz asked where he was, the sound engineer told her "Madrid."

The door was run by three of his friends who took the piss out of everyone who came in, and left before the last band had finished (taking with them the night's takings from the five or so paying audience. The other bands were pretty nice though, we sold a few EPs. I just don't see what the motivation is for Moog "Promotions" to put on bands is. The bands don't get anything from it, the audience is non-existent, and any money they are making is surely not worth the bother.

Glasgow later on should be completely ace, we played a new one last night (nothing to lose, really) so hopefully it will stay for tonight. If we get there in time.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Ellis Jones: Gig Promoter

We kicked off our tour with a Bristol gig last night. I put it on at The Junction. I really love that place. I don't think it is doing very well, I really hope it survives. I think they are offering free hire gigs now, so everyone should really take advantage of this place else it might not be here when you need it.

Roxy was her usual effervescent self. Attack + Defend were awesome. I felt like I put on a good gig. Our set was ridiculously shambolic. Mainly my fault. Maybe my future is in running a massive live music empire, not being in a massive live band. I doubt it though. Thanks to everyone who came.

We are leaving for Oxford today. There is still loads to do, and I am wasting my time and yours by filling up this blog! What a fool.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Strim

I was strimming some grass in the garden and it went wrong and I strimmed my toes. Roz had told me not to use it but I didn't listen. It was silly of me to forget how incompetent I can be. I'm nicely bandaged now though, and probably will be able to walk soon, hopefully.

The Jelas rocked it at The Junction on Wednesday. As always. Last night we went to the Thekla with Emlee and Bert and Jon. The music was pretty crap, or maybe very crap. The DJs were really utterly annoying. OKAY?

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Bye Bye Baby

We sent off our promo of Cool Science yesterday. We bought lots of envelopes, blank CDs, ink, and we wrote a press release. We done it proper. We sent it to lots of radio stations. We blanked out the 'fuck' so that it could be played in the daytime. I know, we are sell-outs. Roz did some lovely CD art. You can see a picture of just how lovely it looks on our Bumblebees Tumblr page.

Tour booking continues, it is getting shorter and shorter notice. I'm not we'll be 100% full. We have been offered a lot of gigs, but we really aren't very flexible with dates at the moment so we have had to turn a lot down. Hopefully it will make it easier for next time though.

We were featured on A New Band A Day today. That was very nice of them. However I'm starting to think I will never be happy with anything anyone ever says about us. The write-up is pretty positive, but it paints us as overly twee I think. What do I know, maybe we are...

Friday, 18 July 2008

Blood Smash

Bristol-based experimental boy/girl band The Jelas are readying the release of their latest EP "Blood Smash" on Ingue Records (pronounced 'ang'). Bert said to me when he heard the demo that he didn't really know how it could be improved. The answer, unbeknown to us at the time, was to get me in on the glockenspiel.

I feel like I have heard enough in progress to know its evolution a little bit, and I'm really suprised it's ended up sounding like this. There is more texture than previous Jelas, and I don't even know what texture really means. I just know that Blood Smash has it. I did a tiny bit of mixing and also some mastering on it which makes me proud. Hopefully I will get a copy but if not then I will buy one. And you should too.

The Jelas

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Friendly Blog

My friend Ian writes in a blog here. It is named after himself, I think. If you were about to read my blog then you should stop at the end of this sentence and go and read Ian's instead.

...

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Data Entry

I saw in the news today that Cherie Blair is scared for her children, because so many young people have been killed in London. I'm sure as rife as knife-crime is on her estate (different kind), her children are amongst the safest in the world. Personally I am more worried about London teenagers not related to an ex-Prime Minister.

I have been feeling pretty carp lately, I am right now working part-time in the field of Data Entry. My life is really shit for four hours a day. Still trying to sort a Bumblebees tour, it is fucking hard work and not the good kind. I try to be good and send lovely messages to promoters and stuff but pretty much all of them don't get a response. When they do it is usually 'no'. But from what I can gather (from my CONTACTS) this is pretty much the norm, even for better, more popular bands than us.

BORED

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Hampshire Retreat

We're going to the New Forest tomorrow. We're going for a week with Daisy and Oli (who are sort of like a better version of us - they gave us a thorough beating in badminton yesterday), and I don't know if the place we are going will have the internet. It probably won't. So this is my reason for maybe not replying to things. I hope it doesn't get in the way of the tourmaking.

I wanted to take a mic and get most of the vocals for the EP done, but I haven't even done the drums and guitar yet, so there's no point. Bought a new mic yesterday to record EVERYTHING with (it is an SM57, so far it sounds pretty good). I know it will be a fun holiday, but I can hardly wait to get back and start recording.

See you later.

Old 4

Just a different version of a folky guitar thing I posted before. This was an old recording of it though, which I did for college. It's way nicer. It is called Balloon Disaster.

Still tourbooking, going okay I think. It will be hard to tell until a couple of weeks time.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Hobbits / Century FC / Oldie

On Thursday we played Hobbits which is a rockclub in Weston-Super-Mare. I didn't really enjoy the gig that much. The crowd was quite young (average probably 14 or 15 years) and I don't think they liked us very much. Which I suppose is okay because I don't think I liked them either. They were doing a weird fake-mosh. They did the macarena to Mysterious Guitar. Thinking back, that is quite funny. I spent most of the gig thinking of the sentence that would most devastatingly show them the inane mediocrity of every facet of their lives. I am still thinking.

We don't have any more gigs booked, I don't think we'll do one now until Bert gets back. I confirmed our first gig so far in the tour - a clubnight in Glasgow. I just hope we can play some place somewhere between Bristol and Scotland.

Yesterday Steve and I went to be part of a Feral Choir, a hundred people doing vocal improvisations using signals and stuff. It was good fun. I don't know how fun it would have been to listen to, but some bits sounded really impressive from where I was standing.

Old song called Meter I have put up. Not really a song, just crap electronica/dance. A song, like most of mine, that if someone else had done I would think them a boring talentless hack. Not me, no way.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Classic 2

This song is a guitar instrumental. Probably inspired by Mogwai or something like that, and it is from when I wanted to be Johnny Marr. (I still love Johnny Marr, I just don't actually want to be in his skin.)

The title is a quote from A Hard Day's Night, the best film of all time. It is a scene where George stumbles into an inteview for a TV fashion show, the director of which doesn't recognise him, and proceeds to tell George how unimportant he is (the irony being HE"S IN THE BEATLES!!!). The script is literally amazing:

SIMON
We want you to give us your opinion on some
clothes for teenagers.

GEORGE
Oh, by all means, I'd be quite prepared for
that eventuality.

SIMON
Well, not your real opinion, naturally. It'll
be written out and you'll learn it.
(to secretary)
Can he read?

GEORGE
Of course I can.

SIMON
I mean lines, ducky, can you handle lines?

GEORGE
I'll have a bash.

SIMON
Good. Hart, get him whatever it is they drink,
a cokearama?

GEORGE
Ta.

SIMON
Well, at least he's polite. Show him the
shirts, Adrian.

A collection of shirts are produced and GEORGE looks at them. While he
is doing this SIMON briefs him.

SIMON
Now, you'll like these. You really "dig" them.
They're "fab" and all the other pimply
hyperboles.

GEORGE
I wouldn't be seen dead in them. They're dead
grotty.

SIMON
Grotty?

GEORGE
Yeah, grotesque.

SIMON
(to secretary)
Make a note of that word and give it to Susan.
I think it's rather touching really. Here's
this kid trying to give me his utterly
valueless opinion when I know for a fact within
four weeks he'll be suffering from a violent
inferiority complex and loss of status if he
isn't wearing one of these nasty things. Of
course they're grotty, you wretched nit, that's
why they were designed, but that's what you'll
want.

GEORGE
But I won't.

SIMON
You can be replaced you know, chicky baby.

GEORGE
I don't care.

SIMON
And that pose is out too, Sunny Jim. The new
thing is to care passionately, and be right
wing. Anyway, you won't meet Susan if you don't
cooperate.

GEORGE
And who's this Susan when she's at home?

SIMON
(playing his ace)
Only Susan Campey, our resident teenager.
You'll have to love her. She's your symbol.

GEORGE
Oh, you mean that posh bird who gets
everything wrong?

SIMON
I beg your pardon?

GEORGE
Oh, yes, the lads frequently gather round the
T.V. set to watch her for a giggle. Once we
even all sat down and wrote these letters
saying how gear she was and all that rubbish.

SIMON
She's a trend setter. It's her profession!

GEORGE
She's a drag. A well-known drag. We turn the
sound down on her and say rude things.

SIMON
Get him out of here!!

GEORGE
(genuinely surprised)
Have I said something amiss?

SIMON
Get him out of here. He's knocking the
programme's image!!

The underlings hustle GEORGE to the door.

GEORGE
(smiling)
Sorry about the shirts.

He is ejected through the door.

SIMON
Get him out.
(he stops in mid-shout)
You don't think he's a new phenomenon, do you?

SECRETARY
You mean an early clue to the new direction?

SIMON
(rummaging in his desk)
Where's the calendar?
(he finds it)
No, he's just a trouble maker. The change isn't
due for three weeks. All the same, make a note
not to extend Susan's contract. Let's not take
any unnecessary chances!

Anyway here's the song:

The New Thing Is To Care Passionately

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Oldies Classic Time

I got some of my old songs from Roz's old computer. Ones that I lost about two or three computers ago but had sent to her (I still never get round to backing things up because I trust technology too much). So for the next few days I am going to post songs that I have done ages ago.

This first one is called "Maybe I'm Like This All The Time". It was written before Roz and I were going out (which makes it maybe eighteen months old, probably more) and I wrote it to impress her. It is a song about her being a couple of minutes late when we met up one time.

Maybe I'm Like This All The Time

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Bee More Interesting

We played the Croft on Thursday, a gig organised in part by one of our friends as part of a monthly charity-fundraising thing. It was good fun. We had another new song, which is my favourite type of song.

This is what we played:

My Kaleidoscope
Understanding Parents
Fluffy Clouds Of Joy
Cool Science
Perfect Holiday

Mysterious Guitar

The Internal World


Things are looking a bit exciting for us at the moment. We're trying to book ourselves a tour for early September to coincide with putting out our first CD at about that time (I have made a massively exciting SPREADSHEET to hopefully keep track of where we can play and when). We haven't properly started recording yet but that might start this weekend. We've been asked to do a 7" for Cloudberry Records later in the year, and be on a Series Two Records compilation. Both of those we are probably going to do. Cool, right?

Friday, 30 May 2008

God Fearing

Roz and I watched Jesus Camp on Tuesday (after getting back from Deceptacon). It was one of the most disturbing things ever. It is a documentary about a summer camp run by evangelicals where they train kids to hate anyone different from themselves. They are taught to channel the spirit of the lord, misuse science, feel sinful for having natural desires, oppose abortion, etc. They are not ever taught to question the nature of anything, but to live by the fear of God alone.

These children are absolutely and completely used and manipulated in a completely calculated way. And these kids are helpless - they love being told how special they are and that they have been chosen to "take back American for Christ" (there is a horrible nationalist subtext behind most of the teachings), but you cannot help but find them unbearably smug and idiotic. (Christian children are the most annoying type of children, and evangelicals are the most annoying type of Christian.) I hope that at least some of them will grow up to question what they have been indoctrinated with, but some of them won't at all. So it will keep on going, for centuries at least.

If you haven't seen Jesus Camp then it is probably on YouTube, I'm guessing with hundreds of comments from godnuts countering athiests with stuff like "fine if u want the devil to have ur ass in hell fag" (that is a real comment I saw once). There is a nice cameo from Ted Haggard, who you might recognise as the anti-drugs anti-gay preacher who was revealed as a gay drug-user. Sweet.

It makes me happy that we have Cool Science, but I wish the lyrics were a bit more specific, a bit more direct. It is a bit of a confused song (like most of ours). I might change the words a tiny amount when we record our EP. I think that's allowed - like John Lennon recording Revolution twice and saying "count me in" on one version and "count me out" on another. He wasn't being careless or covering his back; he was documenting his own confusion on a massive issue that was impossible to cover in a three minute song. I want Cool Science to be accurate to us when we record it.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Second Ever Football Post

Bleurgh. This time regarding Wembley loss. I don't think football could make me cry, but it did come very close on Saturday. A sort of success beckoned that is not guaranteed to happen every lifetime (see Rochdale's 34 years without promotion or even relegation), and it is hard to not to get caught up. It is weird to pay to feel so crap, it is sickening to hear 40,000 people feel absolutely and truly jubilant. Wembley is tainted (until The Bumblebees play there).

There is always next year. But next year will be crap, I think everyone secretly knows that - sometimes this year is all you get. We went from being 1 game away, to being 46 games away, and that seems like a pretty huge jump backwards. Luckily I will be in Oxford next year, so I can watch us fail from a numbing distance.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Catch-Up Two

Last Sunday was SHOP, which is a sweet place on Christmas Steps, which is a pretty sweet place in itself. We played without the laptop, which was nice because we could rallentando our little hearts out. It went pretty well, we kept the banter to a minimum to maximise rocking time. Roxanne:theearlyyears played after us, with Chris, who is from New York. They were quiet and intimate, and probably suited the gig better than us. Roxy has a really nice voice. Winston Echo was generally great. "Bureau de Change" was my favourite.

Tuesday we played at St James' Wine Vaults in Bath. We played quite badly, and it was my fault. After us were Drunkard's Ball who we didn't watch cos we didn't like their soundcheck, Oxygen Thief who I absolutely loved, and Lego Castles who I got bored of quickly. Tuesday night was also the time that City beat Palace, so I was mainly interested in that, really. It was a potentially cool place to play, but we didn't have that much fun. Oxygen Thief (who is also sometimes called Barry) gave us a lift home, making me think him even more brilliant.

Dull catch-up complete. I have to go now THANKS.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Long Weekend, Check-In

One week of non-blogging has passed. So put the kettle on, I have lots of words to type.

Last Thursday we had our ONLY Bumblebees practice in preparement for three gigs in three days. We had three new songs to practice, and happily we pretty much made them sound good. We stuck to the same setlist for all the gigs, mainly because it meant we didn't have to swap the drum tracks around.

This was the setlist:

Perfect Holiday
My Kaleidoscope
The Internal World
Beachy
Fluffy Clouds Of Joy
Mysterious Guitar
Cool Science

The next morning Roz and I went outfit shopping, whilst Bert was at work doing whatever he does at work. We got some yellow t-shirts, some black ribbon, and some artificial flowers. We stuck the ribbon on the shirts. The idea was to be bee-like, but I'm not sure how well it worked. We only wore it on the Friday in the end, just cos it got really sweaty and the ribbon started falling off. I like the idea of outfits though - it's like being in the army, only fun.

Friday night we played at The Cooler. It's quite a big venue, but is never really that full, and is generally considered to be the loudest place in the world. So the sound is never that good, and it was not that good on this night. Some of our friends came and watched, but not as many as I thought might. I don't think they missed much though. We were a bit under-rehearsed, and it made us a bit lacking in confidence. Near the end I broke my D string. I didn't really recover. Arctic Circle were on after us and great as always. The main difference was the sharp upturn in danciness from their previous sets - I would say they are verging towards twee-funk. Or, twunk.

On Saturday we played our first London gig, supporting Zipper at Monkey Chews in Camden. (Venue fact: we saw an Amy Winhouse documentary the other night and someone was interviewed in the very place that we played! I'm pretty sure that means we've made it...) It was probably our most exciting gig so far. I broke my D string again, this time on literally the first note I played. I asked if I could borrow someone else's, and the guitarist from Zipper (whose name sadly I don't know and haven't looked up) said I could use his. Not only that but whilst we were playing he changed my string for me! The rest of the gig went really well I think. Despite no monitors or owt, the sound seemed really good from where we were standing, and we hardly mucked up at all. Zipper Man's guitar was really nice - apparently it is an old Spanish one that you can't get anymore.

All the other bands were really good (fuzzpop monsters Horowitz, indiepop troubadour MJ Hibbett, and especially Zipper, who literally made me dance). The gig finished with a disco - they played "Canada" by the Field Mice which was nice, cos I requested it.We stayed at Ian's house - he is one of the promoters, and probably is a frontrunner for the World's Nicest Person award. The four of us (three Bees and a Byrion, our friend turned keyboard-stand-carrier) stayed in his front room, which had a double bed in. Bert saw fit to share that with me and Roz. He snored loads.

Sunday morning we said our goodbyes to Ian and went to Camden Market (with directions from Ian's impeccable map). I think if there is a good way to visit Camden Market on a Sunday, it probably doesn't involve carrying guitars, rucksacks, a synth and a keyboard stand. And it probably involves knowing that Camden Town tube station is closed before lugging all the aforementioned equipment there. Still we got some food that was nice. We said goodbye to Byrion at Victoria cos he was going off to see a friend. The rest of us hopped on the Megabus and headed home, and more specifically to the Louisiana, where were the city of Bristol was gathering to welcome their heroes home.

When I say 'the city of Bristol', what I actually mean is Duncan, the sound guy. We were supporting Land Of Talk, an band from Montreal. This time I broke my A string in soundcheck. The other band playing were Meet Me Today, a POWER TRIO of 16-yr-olds playing their first ever gig. This meant that for the first time in Bumblebees history, we weren't the opening band. Hopefully this will happen more and more. They were what MJ Hibbett would call "professional, competent, rocking and tight". We were all that and more. I am really getting into Mysterious Guitar, I think it's great. Sadly not many people were there to witness it (only one member of Land Of Talk watched, I guess the other two couldn't find their way out of the dressing room). Land Of Talk were pretty boring, like a bland Rilo Kiley, if you can imagine such a thing.

We have now played six gigs in total, in about eight months of formal band existence. I think that is pretty good, but I would love to have more. Luckily, we do - one on Sunday in Bristol, and one on Tuesday in Bath! YES!

Friday, 2 May 2008

Bumblebee Gig Frenzy!

We have spent the last couple of weeks trying to get as many gigs as possible. This is how it is working out currently.

2nd May - The Cooler, Bristol. Supporting Arctic Circle at Espionage.

3rd May - Monkey Chews, Chalk Farm, London. Supporting Zipper, MJ Hibbett and Horowitz.

4th May - Louisiana, Bristol. Supporting Land Of Talk. They are from Montreal.

11th May - SHOP, Bristol. Supporting roxanne:theearlyyears and Winston Echo.

5th June - Hobbits, Weston-Super-Mare. Supporting some bands.

It's not bad going, but I wish there were more. Gigs are amazing fun.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Andorra-Out

Home and tired, tired and home. It is very nice to be back, I had started to forget what my dog looked like.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Andorra Settle

I had a dream last night that I was killed, strangled in fact, by a terrorist. I woke up this morning and it was snowing. Coincedence? You decide...

Either way it seems to be settling, so hopefully we can go tobogganing later. At the moment the snow is interfering with the TV reception. This seems like a pretty heavy price to pay for a little bit of extreme weather. If it's a choice between Going Outdoors or Watching TV, I know which one I'd rather sit around and do.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Andorra Infection

It has been a pretty lackluster couple of days - Roz and I have not really done anything fun for a while. I don't think I'm bored of the view yet, but I would like it to stop raining.

On Wednesday Roz felt very ill and was very sick on a very large number of occasions. So we went to the hospital and they gave her glucose through a tube and kept her in a bed for about six hours. I sat in a chair next to the bed, and also slept on the floor for a bit. It costs money to go to the hospital here. Quite a lot of money. Maybe that is something we will have to get used to. Roz is mainly better now, in case you were fretting.

I'm really slowly working on an RAS thing, probably an EP or something. I have done about two songs, but I think there will be five or six or seven. It sounds kind of echo-y but also cluttered. In a good way hopefully. It's going quite naturally. Anyway I will try and finish it before we leave but along with Bumblebees stuff I will probably start feeling unnecessarily stressed in about.....three hours. And I have started about twelve "EPs" before and always seem to delete them in a fitful click blizzard. It's an ego thing, probably. I want to be better than I am.

We have just finished watching Midsomer Murders. I had never seen it before, but I really liked it. That is my recommendation for today. Either that or watch lots of long-range swerving goals on YouTube. Or both.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Andorra Staggered

Our friends have gradually departed, and now it is just Roz and I in the house. Robin left on the 9th, Daisy and Lindsay on the 10th, and Bert left yesterday. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. We didn't get to do a huge amount of Fun Things, but it was still a Fun Holiday I think. We drank quite a lot, sometimes.

I don't know what we're going to do with the next couple of weeks. The only plan I have is to 'not do nothing'. That is a vague itinerary I can imagine modifying to involve watching Neighbours every day. Don't let me let this happen.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Andorra Parched

I have really dry lips. I yawned today and they started bleeding. It is pretty hot here so I suppose that explains it, although no-one else has it really. Maybe Bert a little bit.

Andorra is going pretty well so far. It is relaxing or strenuous, depending on whether you are walking up a hill or not. There are loads of hills. So far we have not got any Bumblebee things done really, after walking the dog twice and feeing ourselves and the animals, there is less time than you would probably imagine. We do still plan on making an EP or mini-album or something along those lines, but it is quite hard to be motivated here.

I think this picture is pretty cool, but we have quite a lot of pictures. It is probably our favourite activity, after eating. We will probably break Facebook.

Monday, 31 March 2008

Andorra-In


We got to Andorra yesterday. As journeys go, this was a tiring one. It is very snowy at the moment. This was the view from our window this morning. Because we are looking after the house so we have to learn what jobs we have to do whilst Roz's parents are away. One of them is cleaning out the cats' litter tray. Sadly Roz felt ill around this time, so went for a lie-down. Roz's dad showed me how to do it, then I had to do it. I think I did it okay. More soon.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Beatles Related Death

Neil Aspinall died today. Of all the Beatles entourage, he was probably one of the main ones. It makes me a bit sad whenever anyone dies, and especially when they were even slightly involved with something that I love. Neil Aspinall was probably no more talented or interesting than the average Liverpudlian, but he just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Well done him.

Oh, and my favourite quote from the BBC obit:

Despite no musical training, he sang in the chorus of "Yellow Submarine".

Can you believe it?

Andorra Approach

Roz and I leave for Andorra in seven days time, and we will be there for a whole month. That sounds pretty amazing, and hopefully it will be. I am no Magellan, but I think Andorra is the nicest place I have ever visited, and I am ultraexcited about going back there. It is possibly not the most exciting place in the world, but we have friends coming with us, so boredom is literally off the agenda.

Bert is coming, so hopefully we can get some Bumblebee fun going, possibly even making an album or EP or something. At the very least we need to prepare for a spate of gigging when we get back. We seem to be the sort of band that doesn't have regular practises. It's a bit weird really, cos we really like the songs, and we get on really well, so there is no reason not to. I guess with The Lauras and our other mildly time-consuming commitments, we don't want to make The Bumblebees start feeling like a chore. I feel like some of my songs especially could begin to grate very easily. Hmm?

Until Andorra all I have to do is get my haircut, go to the Post Office and play football once. It sounds like a really brilliant week.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

By Far The Greatest Team

I literally never write about football. And I don't really intend to make a habit of it (probably). But it is a really brilliant sport and if you don't like football then I still don't think it is very good just to say 'bleurgh' whenever it is mentioned.

Bristol City are the team that I support. They are currently doing better than they EVER have in my lifetime. Their amazing run of success has sort of coincided with me not really going to watch them anymore. During their third-tier years, I was a season ticket holder. I think I went to every home game for three years, as well as countless away trips to what Bill Bryson refers to as "northern B-towns" - those innumerable industrial outposts that make up most of Lancashire.

Anyway. I've put in the graft, is what I'm saying. And although I've only been to about five games this season, Bristol City are my team and this success makes me happy. We are six games away from our second consecutive promotion. I have probably just jinxed it. In fact, we seem to be on the verge of letting it slip through our fingers. (Is it possible to write about football without drowning in a sea of clich├ęs?) So this is just an advance warning that if we do indeed fail at the final hurdle(s), this may become less blog more rant.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

It Hurts To See You Blog So Well

Bert out of top bop-pop band The Lauras has created a blog. It is going swimmingly. You read it here.

He goes to Canada today. He is on a plane right now. Lucky!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Song-Write Why?

Writing songs does make me really very happy. But I wonder why I do it sometimes. I want to be writing songs basically all of the time, but I don't really know what I want out of it. I know what I don't want out of it. I don't want people to say it's okay, and I don't want people to be in the NME Cool List (unless I am number one). And I don't want EMI to say they would like to sign me up for a billion pounds.

I think I would quite like lots of people to like my songs, but I would much rather The Bumblebees were a few people's favourite band then one that lots of people quite liked. But that is obvious. I think it makes sense that I would write things that sound similar to other songs that I have loved. Because I want the same audience as the bands I like? Or because I what to feel what it would have felt like to write a song like that? Is it actually talent to re-organise your influences in an order that seems original? Or is that actually original in itself? Bleurgh. I write like Carrie Bradshaw.

I really love the challenge of writing a song. I would say it is like having a blank canvas, but it is not really. When I write a song, there are things that I know I don't want, and limitations to what I can make happen. For a Bumblebees song, for example, it has to be playable on the instruments that we play, it can't really have more than three vocal parts because there are only three of us, and it has to have a drumbeat that we can follow, because we have a drum machine. But those are fun limitations to have. We have chosen to be a quite normal pop band and there is a lot of flexibility to be a bit subversive and also be dancey and fun and accessible.

The idea of a song having the potential to be aboslutely anything is really scary and amazing. But everyone is limited by their brain.

I think I have quite often written songs that sound like someone else. I'm not really sure how I feel about that. I really absolutely love when you hear something in a song that you think is absolutely completely new. But I really like poppy songs that stay in your head. Is it a bit wrong to try and sound weird when all you want to do is stay in people's heads? Because I think if you try and be a little bit weird then you are not really trying to be that at all. Is it alright to try and be a bit weird just because you don't want to be boring, or bored by yourself? I hope not. We try not to be the same as anything, but we are definitely very similar to quite a few things that we like.

The only bit I don't really think about very much is lyrics. Lyrics and structure. I find that they are just true for me. I just do whatever words I think are the best and I write about basically whatever I am thinking about at the time. Usually that is illness and death, but sometimes it is just words for words sake. That happens less now though.

It is possibly a bad idea even to think about songs in such depth. But I can't help it now, so it's too late. And I think that it can make better songs. It is better than just knocking off songs like you don't care about them. I'm pretty sure every band I love has thought about their songs a lot, and it shows in a good way - they don't forced, they just sound considered. And that is fine. I like it when you listen to a song and think that every second of it has had hours of thought put into it.

I have made a couple of songs that I quite like recently. That helps me be a bit more assured in knowing that I can actually do what I want to do. I think of writing blocks as a bit like stages that you have to get past. Like on a game. And once you get past it, you are a better player.

Recorded Song

This is a thing that I wrote about two years ago and recorded yesterday. I have to play a piece at Oxford Brookes if I want them to let me in, so I'm going to play a slightly better version of this. The guitar I played this on has a weird disease where the fretboard has an allergic reaction to the body, so the action is ridiculously high once you get past the fourth or fifth fret. It's literally impossible to tune.

Anyway this is the most technically impressive thing I have ever created:

Railway Bridge Balloon Disaster 1949

I did quite a cool piano part on top of it but it sounds really cluttered unless you listen to it on headphones so I've left it off. It's probably worth warning you that this song has LOUD FEEDBACK at the start. Watch out for that.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Bad Lauras Review

As previously mentioned, The Lauras had a gig at the Thekla on Wednesday. Bert found a bad review of us today. I guess that it is fine if someone doesn't like us, but I do think published reviews have a responsibility to be accurate. It is hard to not to rail against a bad review without sounded embittered and righteous. So I guess I won't. But it's annoying.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Mulch Pt. 2

I still need to listen to the Jelas album, but my ears hurt too much. I am really gigged out. Bert and Byrion and me went to see them yesterday in a fishtank in Bath. When they finished we had to drink really quickly and then run to get the last bus. It is my new favourite post-gig activity.

It was the best Jelas gig yet. The most fun, I think. They are really good lyrically which is something I didn't notice the first couple of times. There is a really brilliant bit in Blood Smash that is one of those bits in music that makes me sort of fizz up and spasm a little bit. I can't really write well because I am aware that the Jelas might read this. The only other thing I will say is that most bands get much worse when you listen to them with earplugs in, but the Jelas got a lot better.

I've been listening to music with my eyes shut quite a lot recently. It probably makes me look like an idiot but you can focus on it a lot more and you don't get swayed by atrocious haircuts or whatever. I'm going to do it more from now on.

Thought-out posts coming soon.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Spineless Mulch Prattle

This week is kind of busy. Tuesday, Wednesday (yesterday), Thursday (today) and Friday I am/have going/gone to a gig. My ears are hurting already. Tuesday was Lands End / Fringes / Dressed In Wires. Fringes are really quite good I think. They are my favourite band with a saxophone in.

Yesterday we (The Lauras) played the Thekla, supporting Oh No! Oh My! I think we did pretty well, I probably enjoyed it the most of our gigs so far. We have a new song that is really fun to play. They all are really though, once you get into them. I was really amazed by how good Oh No! Oh My! sounded. Not that they were life-changing, but they were much better than what I'd heard before,

Today is Creationism, but we haven't done much promoting of it because it always shuts early. So we are just going to rely on Turbowolf bringing lots of people, and hope that we can keep them there with our wicked tunes.

Tomorrow is The Jelas in Bath. It will probably be brilliant, but I can't say for sure yet.

I have to write a story to send to Manchester Met, if I want to go there next year. So I've started that. It's quite good but I don't think it will be finished in time, so I will just have to send a poem that I wrote ages ago. Like most things I have ever written, it's about not being able to write very well (or at all). Hopefully it will be good enough to get me in.

There is always loads of stuff I want to do and I get round to doing about 10% of it. But I have even more stuff I want to do at the moment, so even if I do 10% of it, I will consider it a massive triumph.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Louisiana

I left my job on Tuesday. It was only going to be for a month more anyway, but I got very bored quite quickly, and I really don't value money very much, I don't think. I would much rather have my day free to watch Wipeout. I was quite enjoying doing the Lunchbox songs, but even that got a bit tiring because I didn't leave time to eat enough. I almost fainted one day, I think.

Tuesday was also the day of our Bumblebees gig at the Loui, which I enjoyed more than any gig before. I think it will keep feeling easier and better for a while, as we get used to the blinding lights. Talking between songs is still a problem, but I problem that I secretly sort of enjoy. 12 people came, three of which were our parents, three of which were Jelas, one of which were Byrion, four of which were Jon and his friends, one of which were Oli. We got paid £12, so all of those people can now lawfully consider themselves our employers. Or shareholders. We are going to use the money on getting the bus to Bath to see the Jelas play.

This was the setlist (which I have coloured maroon):

To Bee Or Not To Bee
My Kaleidoscope
The Velocity Of Money
Beetroot
Fluffy Clouds Of Joy
Beachy
Cool Science

Cool Science had feedback on. I was petulant.

We played with Nina's Cafe, The Bloody Tourists and The Monaros. None of them were amazing, but The Bloody Tourists were really nice. The drummer from Nina's Cafe said, as we were coming off stage, "we're probably the weirdest band on tonight". What a weird thing to say. We didn't watch them, we went to get some chips.

We won't be gigging until May now, due to various holidays and stuff, so we have plenty of time to make a couple of new songs, and possibly to try and find a drummer. If you are reading this and you are one, or know one, we probably want to know.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Lunchbox No. 7: New Forest Barn

Me and Roz have been away for the weekend. This song is about that weekend, in a vague way. I think it's one of my favourite ones so far! It feels like I've done more than seven. Do you like this one?

New Forest Barn

I am really ever so bored of work now, in a way that is unimaginable to the human mind. When I get some time I want to write about the last Creationism, and I want to write about The Jelas and Islands. Right now though we have to practise because the Bumblebees have a gig tomorrow! We truly are on the up and up. We got played on Radio Bristol at about 2am on Sunday morning. Hopefully that means we qualify for a rider now.

I might not have time to put up the Lunchbox tomorrow. See you all at the Louisiana!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Lunchbox No. 6: Office Talk

I didn't spend that long on this one, I was really hungry and sick feeling. It's vaguely about not really liking being in an office, but it's not really about anything. If you are only going to download one out of this one and the one before, make it the one before.

Office Talk

I think I will stop doing Lunchboxes for this week cos the park is getting a bit too busy. And I want to go to the pub for lunch tomorrow.

Lunchbox No. 5: Gown Lament

I am pretty pleased with this one, I don't know why. I think it sounds a bit more complicated than it is. I did the vocals today but all the rest of it yesterday.

It is based on a true story that happens every morning when I have to get out of my Mark & Spencer dressing gown and into my work shirt. Every day it gets colder (despite the popular myth about it getting warmer towards Spring) and therefore harder to make the transition from laziness to business.

Gown Lament

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Go Hungry

Oh. For anyone who has stayed up past their bedtime awaiting the next installment in my cult "Lunchbox" series, I'm afraid there is no lunch for anyone today. I made my usual trip to the park to do the song, but unfortunately it was buzzing with child-like flies. They were children. Sadly I had forgotten it was half-term.

I kept thinking they would leave for some food or something (they were all so fat I'm amazed they even thought of going to a park), but alas ...they didn't. If only I lived in Bridgend, eh? So I done all the music but I didn't do any singing. And it doesn't sound very good without the singing. So I'm going to finish it tomorrow, along with a WHOLE NEW LUNCHBOX! That's right, there will be two songs tomorrow. And if that doesn't make you want to kill yourself, I don't know what would...

Sorry this post is so late as well, I had to go straight from work to Bumblebees practise. I'm still hoping on getting another song ready before the gig, but seeing as it's only a week away and we're only going to have one more practise, and I haven't actually written the song yet, it's probably a bit optimistic.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Lunchbox No. 4: Art Loss Rep

I really didn't feel like doing a song today. I hope that partially explains why this is the worst sound ever created outside of a Kooks gig. I hope I don't have to work for much longer.

Art Loss Rep

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Lunchbox No. 3: Marmite By Blockbuster

Hullo! This one is a bit late cos I got a bus home (rather than a lift), and I've had tea and watched Fresh Prince and done some emails and stuff. I did it from about 1.10 to 1.55 cos I had to phone the Job Centre and have a satsuma. I did literally no mixing on it when I got home, cos it's quite simple. Anyway I quite like this one, it's based on a true story.

Marmite By Blockbuster

More writing soon hopefully, making this more blog less dumping ground.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Lunchbox No. 2: Notre Dame Valentine

I did this between 1 and 2. It's not so hot, but the brilliant thing about this is I always have a very good excuse for making a rubbish song. I did about ten minutes mixing on it when I got home cos it sounded worse than I remembered.

Notre Dame Valentine

Bye!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Lunchbox No. 1: Weird Spider Dream

I did this between 12.30 and 13.30pm, and I mastered it at ten past six, cos it took ages to get home and then I got some food. The last half hour I was figuring out how to put it on here. Anyway I've done that now. This song is about a dream I had last night.

Weird Spider Dream

I have to go do Bumblebees practise now. Hopefully there will be another song tomorrow!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Plan Of Attack

Yesterday night I thought of a really cool idea. I should take my MacBook to work and use it in my lunch break to make a song! I didn't do it though because I was really tired and forgot about it. So I'm going to do it tomorrow, and for every other day that I have to be in a boring office for ages.

It works this way:

1. I have all morning to think up a song, all the words and the tune and stuff.
2. In my hour lunch break I go to the park and record the song, all the singing and percussion and softsynths.
3. I can use the journey home to EQ, mix, compress, whatever.
4. When I get home I post the song here! The deadline is 6pm....or something

I call it "WHAT'S IN ELLIS' LUNCHBOX?"

You'll have to wait and see...

Monday, 11 February 2008

Quantity Street

Eurgh. Somehow, without trying very hard, I have found myself working 9 t'5 at an office. I sort of needed a job, but not badly enough to actually get one. But then the agency phoned with work and I found myself saying 'okay then'. So for the next few weeks I am ADMIN ASSISTANT first, musician second. Probably tea-maker third. I am in a Loss Adjusters, which is the most boring work in the world (no offence Jon- I'm sure it depends which office you happen to be in - mine is a dull one). It will last for a couple of weeks, which will pay for Andorra in April, and maybe some treats for the two of us.

Still, I didn't mean to start on a DULL NOTE - the last few days have been generally really good, some of the best in ages. Thursday was
our club night, and despite it closing early, I still enjoyed it. But we need to sort out how much control we actually have over closing time, because if we really pull out all the stops to get people to come and it still shuts at half twelve then we'll have been wasting our time and more importantly our friends and 'punters' money. People were coming around the time it was shutting, which just added to the annoyance. Matthew and Mike (Milky Way DJs) arrived just as they stopped letting people in and, having finished up, we met the Jelas on Park Street on their way to our now non-existent night. We wandered round with them a bit, and they gave us a lift home.

Friday, Roz and I went to a Pancake Party at Cafe Kino, with Daisy and Oli and Steve, who are all really nice. It was ALL YOU CAN EAT. The only problem was you could only order one pancake at a time, and supply was substantially outweighed by ferocious, ferocious demand. We got through a selection of toppings, sweet and savoury. Us two and Daisy and Oli went on to Start The Bus, which is new. The music was a bit loud. I thought I saw the bassist from Kotki Dwa. It was like:

"Hey are you the bassist from Kotki Dwa?!"
"No, but I am a bassist!"
"Don't lie! I know you are....what's your name then?"
"What should my name be?"
"Umm. I think it was Tom, or Tristan..."
"Nah, it's Ian."
"Oh alright. Someone thought I was in Munch Munch once."

A friend for life. Anyway we didn't love the place but the decor is kinda alright. We'd like to play there. We went on to Renato's and I did some jammin' blues piano with someone wearing a waistcoat (I think). It was a really nice night. We don't really go out very much but with the right people it's fun.

Went swimmin' on the weekend, it was like welcome to exerciseville. I think it is the sort of thing we (or everybody) should do regularly, so we'll try to. We also did a bit of work on the new Bumblebees' songs, they sound much better than before. I don't think they are worldbeaters (or as good as some of the old ones) but they are workable and I more excited less nervous about our next gig now, and less worried that I'll never be able to finish another song.

Anyway I'm writing here only because I've made myself, and it shows. So BYE.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Bouncebackability

Brrrr. I am still not feeling very great. I have felt much worse, but I have never felt so consistently low for this long. I have forced myself to finish some Bumblebees songs because we have a gig quite soon. They are okay. I have to keep telling myself that there is no way I would peak as a songwriter aged eighteen. I just have to relax a bit and be patient.

Roz and me have Creationism tomorrow. I really hope that some people come, and that those people enjoy it, because I really like doing it, and I feel like we've put enough effort in to deserve to have people there. It would be a bit much to say that doing a clubnight is difficult, but I wouldn't say that it is easy. Roz took about three days doing the poster (I spent about ten minutes making it FLASH in an extremely garish manner), we spent a day putting posters up around Bristol, and an evening handing out flyers to anyone who looked even mildly 'indie'. Since then we have been practising, worrying, and trying to find new bands that aren't Vampire Weekend. (I don't mind them, but c'mon, overhyped much? Paul Simon rinsed that hi-life shit years ago...)

p.s. If America really
has to have a President, I want it to be Barack Obama.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Crud

I always mean to write in here about the times when I feel rubbish and uncreative. But when I feel like that I tend not to feel like writing. I tend not to feel like doing anything, really, but sleeping and waiting until I feel better. When I feel uncreative I usually feel depressed, and vice versa.

Recently I have been feeling pretty uncreative a lot of the time - since Monday at least, and I think probably a lot longer. I have made no progress on any Bumblebees songs, and I have completed abandoned the Rescue Aid Society EP I was working on. I want to start that again because I never get tired with the
idea of putting out music. I just get frustrated with trying to make it. The Bumblebees stuff is quite important, cos we have a gig in a month and we really want new songs. Some of the current ones are just embarrassing. But the only ideas I have are reworkings of old ideas, and I can't even finish them. I feel like I am not creative at all.

Sometimes I think that I am just an assortment of other peoples' personalities, and that I don't have the potential to think up anything new at all. Most of the songs I write just sound like whatever I've been listening to lately. I think some people see the world in a unique way, and I don't think I am one of those people. (Here is the time to say that THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION is a really fantastic book that made me think about lots of things.)

Making music is something, maybe the only thing, that I can get absolutely lost in. I know I have a passion for music. I feel like one of those desperate failures on X-Factor who simply won't believe that they are not god's gift to pop music. Do you think they know, in the back of their minds, that in this instance Simon Cowell is probably in a better position to judge? I feel like if I were on a reality show, families would be shouting "GIVE UP!" in unison at their screens.

I'm sure not all musicians have a consistently inspired worldview. I'm sure some are just grafters; the musical equivalent of, say, Kevin Kilbane. People who wrote really good (and possibly very distinctive) songs by emulating songs they liked. Super Furry Animals or something. But Super Furry Animals never made me want to explode, and they never made me want to cry. Making a career out of decent power-pop is definitely better than filling envelopes, but I don't think I would ever be happy with myself.

I'll probably feel better soon, I usually do.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Custard Lovely Custard

The Bumblebees did our second gig ever on Monday, and it was alright. I'm getting a bit bored of having nothing very exciting to write about our gigs, which leads me to the possible conclusion that our gigs aren't very exciting. It was quite short notice because The Lauras were meant to be playing but Oli went on holiday instead so Bert said us 'Bees should do it, and Dean (promoter) said that was fine.

We played, lucky for us, with the mighty Jelas, Chipping Sodbury's finest deconstructivist power trio, who are not only brilliant, but really nice. They brought us a keyboard stand! They don't even have a keyboardist! They did a really good set, better than last time I saw them. I was quite jealous. JELA-ous. Yeah?

Despite not exactly setting the place alight, we got through all our songs without dying and I didn't say anything horrendously embarrassing between the tunes. I think I get into singing a bit too much, but I can't really help it. It just seems like it matters a lot.... maybe it doesn't. But it felt like a proper beginning for us, a more 'real' gig than the Oxford one. We're going to do some new songs (because I feel a bit embarrassed by some of them) and then start gigging pretty much anywhere we can.

I've been sleeping quite badly recently.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Don't Call It A Comeback

I didn't write here for a bit because I wanted to do other stuff. Mainly I didn't get round to doing anything other than eating, sleeping and talking. So here I am back with my tail between my legs. Christmas was quite fun, New Year's was rather dull, nothing mind-blowingly fantastic to report.

But other than WASTING it, here is what I've been doing with my time:-

APPLYING FOR UNIVERSITY. I decided to apply at the last minute, mainly because I thought I might end up regretting it if I didn't, and decided I want to go in a few months time. But now I've finished applying I'm actually getting quite excited at the thought of it. A new city, new friend(s?), new clothes! I've been waiting to re-invent myself since I was about eleven. I am taking English Language and Literature. I will probably not be at a particularly good university, but that is because I am not very good at learning. Mostly I want to go to Manchester, I think.

PRACTICING FOR THE BUMBLEBEES GIG. We have a gig on Monday at The Croft, at about a week's notice. It was meant to be a Lauras gig but someone (who I won't name but whose name is Oli) booked holiday without knowing or remembering that we were meant to be playing... So Bert suggested the Bumblebees step in and so we are going to. It's not the ideal way to play our first Bristol gig (we wanted to write a few new songs for one thing - a couple of them I am just EMBARRASSED by) but it will help expel nerves and it's better than staying in on a Monday evening. We made a myspace as well, it's
here.

TRYING TO MAKE SONGS. This is the thing that has taken the most time, and the thing I've made the least progress with. I have done about three songs, none of which I am really taken with, but I think I am beyond the stage of wanting to like my songs. I am just going to finish what I told myself I would finish and then 'release' it. I think I am going to release it properly, as in send it to places that will review it and to places that might play it. This means organising myself properly and trying to think, at least slightly, in a business mindset. (Not in the "all very good, but will it SELL?" sense, but just keeping track of how much money I'm losing.) This excites me quite a lot because
as previously mentioned, I have always wanted to start a record label. So that's all been planned a bit, which I will write about another time.

Anyway it seems like all I've done in the last month is let my writing DETERIORATE so I'll leave it here for now. If you happen to be reading this before the Bumblebees gig, please come. Thanks.