Sunday, 13 December 2009

Astounding Poetry

Hi, I've got a new job at Holland & Barrett. It's something to do between stressing about real work, by which I mean uni, and being in a hotly-tipped indie band. It's good because I get discount off of food that I'd probably buy anyway. It's mainly friendly ladies that go in there. It makes me sad when they buy homeopathic stuff. Can I get sacked for saying that?

I've made a limerick:

There once was a man named Joyce
Who gave the city of Dublin a voice
He made it seem full
And sometimes dull
I like all his books they are nice

Monday, 7 December 2009


Oh, here's the thing, I didn't do my charity run that I was meant to in October. My mum drove me and Roz and Lib down to Portsmouth on the Saturday morning, we had to get up at 6. We got there just before ten, and the race started at half ten. On Sunday. I was twenty-four and a half hours early. We had a gig in Bristol Saturday night so we came back, and then I couldn't by any method get back to Portsmouth, not by train or coach or being driven by someone. It was shit

I have said that I'll do another one instead and this is true, but I have so much uni work that I think it will probably be next summer, which is really lame.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

I got called a mong in the library the other day.

We played a gig yesterday in Birmingham and it was ace.

Currently reading Manhattan Transfer. S'alright, s'pretty good even

Working at well-known health food chain (Holland & Barrett)

Recording Bumblebees in January hopefully, it's taking us forever to get organised but itll be so incredibly worth it.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Loads of Old Songs

I can see how people find this blog, like I mean what links people click to get here. Usually it's only read by my three or four friends but recently people having been coming here looking for new music. Which is weird cos I never ever really write about that.

Anyway here are five really great songs that I think are great and that readers here should check out by listening to.

Jennifer by RESCUE AID SOCIETY is cute powerpop that changes key a few times. I'm not very good at doing that normally so it makes me proud. I wrote it with The Lauras in mind, but Bert's songs were about a million times better.

The Stupidest Boy Alive by RESCUE AID SOCIETY is, or was, my attempt at a Timbaland production. I think it comes close in some ways, the fizzy synths, the kind of rollicking drums, massive overcompression, but far too twee and I don't shout "ey!" at any point.

Real Life by RESCUE AID SOCIETY is the best thing I have ever done, by a mile, and pretty much got me into uni. Dai, who I think is head of Arts at Brookes, said I sounded like Pete Burns. I couldn't convince him otherwise. God this song is so good. Where did those verse chords come from - heaven?

Right Right Now Now by RESCUE AID SOCIETY uses a Beastie Boys acapella and makes it amazing by putting my music underneath it. I did it probably a couple of months after the first Go! Team album came out, and then stuck the acapella on a bit later. I really think I could probably do this for a living...if I wanted to.

So When You Said by RESCUE AID SOCIETY is when me and Bert had this idea of getting loads of people to write songs every month and make it into some kind of club....or something. The first one was going to be about ghosts, so I did this one.

That's it. Oh and Don't Call It A Comeback by RESCUE AID SOCIETY is also great. With a guitar solo when you least expect it. It shocked me, anyway.

Every song by my favourite new band Rescue Aid Society is available here. They are all more than a year old because I don't have any ideas anymore. And I'm in a real band.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Football is Art

I had to do a composition in music yesterday. I did it based on the movements of the Argentinian football team during the build-up to their second goal against Serbia in the 2006 World Cup. I think it went down really well. Football is pretty much the best type of art. It's like jazz but doesn't make me feel sick.

My piece was partly inspired by Harrison Birtwistle, Morton Feldman, and Steve Reich, but mainly by this:

I'm really enjoying my second year so far. Mostly when I'm not studying I'm playing Mario Kart. But mostly I'm studying.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Mind And Senses Purified

There is a new ruling which might force manufacturers to limit the maximum volume on mp3 players. That is about time. Now I would like a similar law to limit volume at gigs and clubs. It's so annoying that like 90% of gigs (and 100% of clubs) are way too loud to be properly enjoyed, or even properly experienced. You miss basically all the stuff that isn't drums and bass. So drum'n'bass is safe.

Had my first day back at Brookes today and it turns out there is quite a bit of work to be getting on with. I think I have convinced myself that I want to get a first. Is that stupid? I think it might be. Maybe I should partially give up now. Roz is doing a Japanese module, and it is kinda making me want to learn it as well. Or it was until I found out they have three different alphabets.

Went to an 'I Heart 90's' night on Saturday.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Golden Egg

One more reason to download music illegally - James Blunt might lose his career.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


Hrrm. The Pitchfork reviews of the Beatles re-issues didn't really do anything other than prove that rating music out of 10 is entirely pointless, and becomes even more arbritrary when give pretty much all of them a 10.0 - it's such a big statement thing, designed to attract attention. Numbers are for idiots. And they give Let It Be 9.1, despite them slagging it off all through the review. It's a crap album, that doesn't need/deserve deifying. It makes me annoyed a bit.

(And then they gave the Stone Roses album a 10! What a flippin joke.)

I went to Bestival on the weekend. It was pretty good. The best band I saw was Kraftwerk. They were phenomenal. The next best was Dirty Projectors. The did a couple of new ones (I think) and the rest were from Bitte Orca. The harmonies are so incredible. It's like a different type of music. Wave Machine were also good.

Thursday, 3 September 2009


I've had some really great experiences in supermarkets the last two days. It all began in ASDA. I was heading to the broccoli and I noticed there was a guy already there. He was the saddest, most forlorn-looking man I've ever seen. I wondered what could have brought such misery to this man. He seemed to be dressed okay, and was clean-shaven. I looked at the broccoli and it was all a bit mank. I picked some up and it wobbled and flopped. The man sighed.

"It doesn't look very good, does it?" he said. I think he meant the broccoli, but he could have been talking about the future of mankind, for all the despair in his eyes.

"No. I guess I'll leave it," I replied, and I walked away, leaving him there wimpering for all eternity.


Last night Jon and I were in Tesco Metro on a date, and a middle-aged guy with an army coat and a bad moustache somehow got inbetween us in the queue. We got talking somehow, I think it was because Jon had a Coke Zero, and the old guy was saying how it was all the same shit, just more expensive. Anyway I paid for my stuff, and as this guy was bagging his stuff he realised he forgot something.

"Crap! I forgot the biscuits! Aw, damn," he muttered.

"Would you like me to get them for you?" I offered.

"Oh, yeah, great. Just own-brand digestives, the big pack." And he pointed me towards where they were, right at the other end of the shop. So I ran to get them. And I ran back, and gave them to him.

"No!" he yelled, "not that kind! The big pack!"

"That's all they have!"

"No, go back and get the big ones." So I had to run back again, and check they didn't have the big type. And they didn't, cos I'm not stupid. But anyway this guy wouldn't believe me, and was really annoyed, and thought I was a complete retard, but wouldn't actually go and check for himself, and so it ended up with me basically shouting at him "I bet you any money they aren't there."


And then today I saw this incredible carrot:

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Hunting: Against The Law But Not A Crime

I guess the only reason the BBC even mention this case is cos there's a quarter-celebrity involved (aging posh TV chef Clarissa Dickson-Wright) but it's pretty typical of how this stuff goes whenever it is brought to court. Hunting is kind of hard to prove in the first place, and what with the sad reputation that sabbers have the police, if they are even in attendance, are more concerned with keeping the peace than catching people breaking the law. It is pretty much only private prosecutions by animal welfare groups that actually get to court. In this case the hunters plead guilty, and were let off.

I dunno, to me the fact that these people were 'trying to stay within the law' is pretty irrelevant, but maybe that's because I am a bit into animal rights and think the whole thing is pretty barbaric regardless of whether it was technically illegal. My main point is that basically there's a big conspiracy because all judges are spoilt brats and all hunters are spoilt brats and they all go to a big Spoilt Brats Club and make sure that spoilt brats get to do whatever they want. But you already knew that. What other crime could you promote on a car sticker, like the 'I'm Still Fox Hunting' type ones you see around Oxfordshire? How many other crimes don't go on your cri
minal record? What other crimes can you openly, actively participate in, and not be convicted? Not flippin many, that's what! (the Crown Prosecution Service has said that only Hunt Masters can be convicted of hunting illegally, as members of the field are technically onlookers, while Nigel Yeo of the Association Of Chief Police Officers has said people with hunting convictions will not get a criminal record.)

Oh and check out the list of convicted foxhunters, and what they've actually been found guilty of. Nasty bunch...

Monday, 31 August 2009


We played Oxford on Wednesday, and London on Saturday. London was a really great alldayer. Trash Kit are my favourite band at the moment. We played a sort of mixed set with Michal and Lisa, playing two Corey O's songs (the closest I've come to seeing them live so far, sadly) and five or six of ours. Lisa played a drum pad thing [pictured], and I think it really suited us. We're gonna try it as a permanent thing, with our friend from Oxford playing it (but it's not really for sure yet so I can't say his/her name out loud).

Husbands were really good, Drunk Granny were great. It made me feel great about being on Local Kid. I wear my sticker with pride. Sometimes I think we don't fit in, because we aren't really very rocking, at all, but then most of the time I think that doesn't really matter, because we have other things in common. The best thing about our set was when Michal forgot his bit in My Kaleidoscope, and we stopped and looked at him. And then everyone clapped. And then Roz said "that's not the end", and then Michal played his bit and we finished the song.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Gross Overs

Anyway we played a gig on Sunday and it was okay. It was our first gig with just Roz and me, not including living room gigs and things. We played:

My Kaleidoscope
The Way
Internal World
Cool Science
Mysterious Guitar
Fluffy Clouds Of Joy

We played with this band Trash Kit and they were really good, their myspace doesn't do them justice right now. We spoke to the bassist and she was really nice, Michal said she used to be in Electrelane, which is cool, cos she seemed pretty much like a normal person. Some of our songs don't really work well with just the two of us, like Cool Science for one. It means I have to play guitar and sing for ages on my own, which is cringey. We have some new songs and hopefully in Oxford (Wheatsheaf, Wed 26th Aug) we'll be able to chop and change a bit.

In other news we had a practice with a drummer but nothing will come of it cos she is really busy. It was fun though, and we are looking to maybe try with some other people and see how it goes. If you know anyone....

In other news I've been listening to Perfect Fit by Clues a lot. Clues are a new band with Alden from The Unicorns in. I can't wait to have money to get the album.

In other news OH PLEASE DONT

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


Here are the things I have thought that I might be able to do for a living in my life:

1. Footballer
2. Musicker
3. Skateboarder
4. BMXer
5. Online Gambler/Poker Player
6. Some sort of vague online presence (I don't know, maybe writing a blog so good that people who don't know me will read it and click adverts)
7. Lecturer
8. Author
9. Game Designer
10. eBay Trader
11. Journalist/Critic
12. Chef/Restauranteur/Food Inventor (I have this idea for a vegan egg)
13. DJ (the radio type, not the Ibiza type)
14. T-Shirt Designer
15. Athlete (middle or long-distance running)
16. Gamer (I am pretty good at games that don't involve shooting or solving mysteries)
17. Charity Worker (the good kind, not the practically-molest-you-on-the-street kind)
18. Stand-up Comedian
19. Guitar Teacher
20. Some combination of all these things

Right now I am whittling it down to numbers 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18 or 19. Or 20.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


Practicing is what we've been doing. I think until recently we had a ratio of about 1 practice:1 gig, but we are quite keen to be better than we have been. And it's actually fun now. I'm a big stupid loser for a million reasons and The Bumblebees is one thing I really think I have done in my life. There isn't really a thrill from playing old songs, like the ones on the EP, but doing new ones is amazing fun, and always worth the depression and stuff.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Gene Simmons Fixes The Music Industry

This quotes are from an interview with Gene Simmons, in which he gives his opinion on the state of the music industry. I think he has something against freckles. And college.

There is nothing in me that wants to go in there and do new music. How are you going to deliver it? How are you going to get paid for it if people can just get it for free?
The record industry doesn't have a f*cking clue how to make money. It's only their fault for letting foxes get into the henhouse and then wondering why there's no eggs or chickens. Every little college kid, every freshly-scrubbed little kid's face should have been sued off the face of the earth. They should have taken their houses and cars and nipped it right there in the beginning. Those kids are putting 100,000 to a million people out of work. [I don't know where he gets these facts from - presumably nowhere.] How can you pick on them? They've got freckles. That's a crook. He may as well be wearing a bandit's mask.
Doesn't affect me. But imagine being a new band with dreams of getting on stage and putting out your own record. Forget it.

I open a store and say "Come on in and pay whatever you want." Are you on f*cking crack? Do you really believe that's a business model that works?
The most important part is the music. [Tiny bit of a contradiction there..] Without that, why would you care? Even the idea that you're considering giving the music away for free makes it easier to give it away for free. The only reason why gold is expensive is because we all agree that it is. There's no real use for it, except we all agree and abide by the idea that gold costs a certain amount per ounce. As soon as you give people the choice to deviate from it, you have chaos and anarchy. And that's what going on.
He says anarchy like it's a bad thing. I definitely have dreams of putting out my own record. But I don't have dreams of a major label putting it out, which the base he builds his whole argument on.

Anyway the point is this guy Joel Tenenbaum got sued far more money than he could ever pay for downloading (and uploading) some songs. And this is what Gene Simmons wants. Although maybe anyone who downloads Kiss songs deserves everything they get.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

New Islands Album

It's called 'Vapours' and it's going to be more electronic. Old news cos I'm slow and don't really read music websites. I suppose these top two songs are from it. They sound really boring. Islands/Unicorns are one of my favourite things ever and I really hope they haven't gone bad. But they kind of definitely have, right?

He always comes across amazing in interviews. But when we saw them live he was sulky.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Three Anagrams Of My Name




Friday, 24 July 2009

Oxford Brookes Halls

This post has nothing to do with anything else I have written about, I am writing in case someone finds it searching for information about halls of residence at Oxford Brookes. I dunno, they might be starting this year or something.

I love Brookes, I think it is a great uni, friendly and helpful, I like the library, I enjoy my lectures, I am even growing fond of the comprehensive school aesthetic. I would not talk anyone out of going there. But I would happily talk anyone out of staying in halls there. The rent is ridiculously overpriced - about £100 p/w, and that is non-ensuite in fairly old halls that are rumoured to be up for demolition next year. Internet is not free, it is £2.50 p/w, which adds up to about £70 for the year, and it is not wireless. They have keys to everyone's rooms and are not afraid to use them - during a room check I had a foldup mattress removed on health and safety grounds (Er...what? I would think throughout history mattresses have prevented more injuries than they have caused). I tried to move out cos I didn't feel it was worth the money, but I had to find someone to replace me and take over my contract or else keep paying it. This would have been almost reasonable if they hadn't had TONS of empty rooms already, making the chance of someone taking my room almost nil.

Just a quick comparison, in case newcomers to uni don't have one - Sussex uni halls cost £70 p/w for ensuite(!) and have two fridges and freezers per flat (with the same number of people per flat), free internet, and if you want to leave at any time you pay £30 and that is that.

I hope I am allowed to write this without Brookes kicking me out. Failing that, I hope they don't see it.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


I've started a blog to put stories I write on. I don't know if I'll write many because I only tend to do it when I feel like it, and I don't feel like it very regularly. I don't think they're high art.

Anyway it's here: BIGTIME FICTION

I think my writing tends to get influenced too easily. Pretty much you can tell what the last book I read was for each story, probably.

Good Brain

I had this idea for a gameshow where contestants have to open boxes to decide whether or not they have to kill minor celebrities. I am going to call it Dale Or No Dale

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Retro Email Convo

I was searching for something in my emails and I found this gem. It is something DCB Promotions sent out. It is amazing:

If any of you know any good young musicians in Bristol please pass this on to them

Hi All,
I need to put together a very specific covers band for an underage club night i am setting up in Bristol.
Read this and please pass it on to other members of your band you think may be interested
The band will play very current indie rock pop songs Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons, Foo Fighters etc
This will not interfere with any other band you are in and should be considered a bit of fun on the side,
the band will get paid and probably only play once a month, rehearsals will be once a week (paid for by me)
you must be no older (or look no older) than 21
look cool, funky, sexy with a strong overall image
good musician with own kit
must be able to make your own way to bristol with your gear when needed
Get back to me putting your name, number and personal myspace page against the position you could fill below,
if you haven't got a personal page put your band page pointing out who you are on pics, if you dont have a
website attach a picture, the look of this band is really important so i need to see you.
Lead Vocals -
Lead Guitar -
Rhythm Guitar -
Bass -
Drums -
Keyboards -
If you put Lead vocalist and can also play an instrument put you name against the instrument you play as well
Dave Brayley
dcb Promotions & Management ltd 30a college green, bristol, bs1 5tb 0117 9834503

I replied to it, and me and Dave Brayley (who I presume imaginatively named DCB Promotions after his own initials) had a little electronic conversation.

Me: WHY are looks so important?

Dave: i said look cool not have good looks

"the look of this band is really important" ...why are looks so important?

yes, the look, whats wrong with a band looking great

nothing, i'm asking why they HAVE to

because for this particular thing i want a band that looks good, why have you got a problem with that

because i think bands look good when they are being themselves, playing original music, not when they are put together solely because someone thinks they can make money out of it.

its quite clear what this if for, a covers band, if its something your not interested in then just ignore it, 99% of what we do is with original bands, this isnt

good point, it's not like you ever book cover bands at the fleece, is it...

oh sweet! hard-fi!

ok, send me a link to your band

really like it

can i have a gig then?

He didn't reply to the last one. Anyway I don't know if this proves much other than I used to be (?) a bit of a knob. It's a shame people like this make a living from music, but it's not the only way.... right?

Monday, 20 July 2009

Bachman-Turner Overdrivel

I have no money. But what I do have is enthusiasm! But not for getting a job. What I would love most of all right now is for someone to give me some money, enough money to pay my rent, and not want it back, ever. And for there to be no guilt in that.

My main idea is to get money for making hilarious tshirts, but I haven't sold any yet. Maybe it's cos they look like crap. My other idea for making money is to write a novel. I heard that was a quick easy way to get rich. Also I might become a DJ. I think I am suitably obnoxious. My only rule would be that I wouldn't talk over records, because that is the most annoying thing that DJs do.

I did sort of think that maybe I could be a professional footballer still, but actually I am in training for a run for charity, and judging by the massive pain I experience everytime I do exercise, maybe I don't have much chance. It's mainly my right knee rather than my aerobic fitness I think, so hopefully I can sort it out. The doctor wouldn't do anything though, would he or she?

Seriously now, my actual idea for making money is to make a living from quiz shows. Just last Thursday I went to Pinewood Studios near Slough to be on Wogan's Perfect Recall. I don't know if it breaks the terms of my contract to say if I won. But... I have no money, okay? It was kind of worth it though, for the experience of meeting possibly the nicest man in the world. Terry Wogan is seventy years old. I am going to apply for some more. The only problem is that it is not what you might call a guaranteed income. I might apply for 20 shows and get on none. Or I might get on 20 and win none. But I do think that the type of knowledge I have is perfect for quizzes - no in-depth understanding of anything worth knowing but a knack for remembering crap sitcoms, football team nicknames and the middle initials of US Presidents.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Non-Trophy Season

We Bumblebees have agreed to make a record of some kind with Local Kid, the nicest label in the world, who happen to be based very near us. We have been going kind of slowly recently, cos we can't commit to many gigs. Nat Jelas is playing bass for us in the absence of soon-departing Bert (xoxoxoxoxo).

My best gig with Nat and us was at OMG! in Manchester. It seemed pretty rammed, which is something I would happily get used to. I really want the summer to be super-busy, to make the most of the free time we have. I definitely feel like personally I have regained a bit of MUSIC DESIRE in the last few weeks and it is paying off in terms of new song quantity, at least.

The Local Kid record will probably be late this year, which seems a long time away, but actually isn't. We aren't getting any younger though, that's for true.

Monday, 26 January 2009

I Would Love To Be On This List

The 50 people who wrecked Britain

Read it as parody and it is possible to get to the end without wanting to kill the author. Princess Diana being on there is the most hypocritical thing in the history of the world, I would guess.

(I was imagining the author as really, really old, but then I realised that there is picture of him at the top of the page, and he is only 30-something. It is kind of sad that he has so long left to live.)

pt. 2 - Richard Dawkins is on it!


Thursday we got a good review from Organ magazine:

Us, 1 - The Jelas, 2


We have a gig at The Croft soon - there is a listings website that says:

The Bumblebees, Paraffins
The Brixfold-based four-piece.

What they've done there is looked at our myspace and taken 'lennie laptop' to be ....not a laptop, and Brixfold to be an actual place (it is just Bristol and Oxford mashed up together). And their description is not even a real sentence.

Really excited about the gigs. REALLY excited.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Worst Music Writing Ever

Drowned in Sound saves major label ass.

Who do they think they are, Panorama?

The user comments I read on this article are mostly right. The logically fallacies and absurd editorial style aside, the worst thing is that Sean Adams concludes by arguing ISPs should have full access to monitoring and control over how their customers use the internet. Net neutrality? Bah. The most important thing isn't civil liberty, it's making sure that everyone who downloads Viva La Vida pays their share to the record execs. This apparently 'indie' site condoning corporate control to this extent (and making comparisons to internet security in China with the implied message - "this is how it should be done"!) would be so off-the-mark as to be funny if it weren't for the possibility that someone might read the article and be convinced by it.

We have just sent our EP to Drowned in Sound hoping they might want to review it.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Sounds Illegal

There is a website called Legalsounds and it sells music downloads. For $0.09 (nine cents) you can get pretty much any track you like. You would think there must be some kind of catch.

They are selling Cool Science!! For $0.09 (nine cents)!

The most annoying things about this are:
  • It's the DEMO of Cool Science.
  • We gave away the demo for FREE.
Needless to say they didn't contact us for permission and won't reply to us. Don't think I will post a link to it but it is easy enough to find. Maybe your band is on there. I guess we should be kind of flattered but it is just really annoying that sites like this can exist and make money - nine cents seems like nowt but for them it is pretty much all profit, they only need a few hundred customers a day to make it a decent earning.

Anyway I don't think I had a really coherent point to make so that's this post done.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009


Listening to Einstein On The Beach, watching snooker on mute. And I still can't sleep. This should be some sort of literal impossiblity.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Iggy Pop Convinces No-one To Get Swiftcovered

Not a new year resolution to get on here again, but just a perfectly natural any-time-of-year resolution to stop wasting free time playing flippin' online games. What a loser. I must remember I have a lot of free time until February, but that does not mean I am not allowed to do anything productive. Quick Fire Pool is not productive, even if I'm on the high score list (I'm not, I just said that to make a joke).

Saw City lose to Portsmouth tonight (undeservedly - counter-attacks that fast should count as a form of cheating), the most interesting thing was the East End singng "we hate Setanta". The game was being broadcast live on Setanta. (For the uninitiated, Setanta is a paid subscription sports channel, I think the resentment comes from the price-to-games-shown ratio, seeing as Sky Sports is pretty similar but is treated with something approaching reverence. Or maybe people just don't want to shell out twice, and Sky got there first.) It is kind of brilliant subversion of what is expected of us as fans. Nick Hornby or Garry Nelson, I can't remember which, touched on the idea that the fans are essentially part of the product that TV is buying, and that consumers buy from TV. What can you do when the product revolts in this way? Fuck all, for now. One day it will be a offence punishable by lifetime ban to insult the sponsor.

I read 'A Confederacy Of Dunces' over Christmas. It is really amazing and brilliant, but I recognise Ignatius in my self now everyday. J.K. Toole must have done so also, which makes it more brilliant I think.