Friday, June 24, 2005


Circle guitarist Jussi Lehtisalo emailed a few days ago to say that the band are in the UK for a handful of dates next month:

08.07. Bristol / The Cube Cinema
09.07. London / TBA (UK) *****(with Jean-Herve Peron)
10.07. Brighton / The Engine Room

By coincidence, I shall be in Bristol on business that day, so will more than likely be in attendence (The Cube is a great little venue, if you've never been there!), if anyone cares to join me for the evening, you'll be more than welcome.

If you've never seen Circle and you're a fan of Krautrock, Motorik, tripped-out Space-Rock (or you just fancy coming out and getting blatted for the evening), etc then I seriously recommend that you get your arse down there. Trust me, Circle are terrific live. And the Cube sells absinthe.

(Sorry, but I find it impossible to be even vaguely subjective about this band...)

(Above: Circle in action in Exeter last year, as seen thru a haze of dry-ice and, er, gin...Tommi, the drummer, plays standing-up, which is often a good thing, I think...)


Spike suggests that you check out the film-trailer for PKD's "A Scanner Darkly" here.

There's also some stills on the website here.

"Looks pretty cool," he reckons, "but not out til next year tho..."

Spike then adds:

"PS: we are selling our Camper Van and getting a smaller one... We're getting the new one in September and it's called a "Mazda Bongo", which, of course, was the inspiration for The Fall song...Bongo Mazdas Breakout."



It’s all my fault. The rain, I mean.

Around 8:30 yesterday evening, I ran past my startled wife (who was sat drinking Krug on our Art-Deco patio, gently stroking the mane of a gene-spliced Gryphon), leapt onto the lawn and started my annual rain-dance. This consists of breaking assorted Maori/Sumo dance-shapes, putting a piece of green B&Q garden-furniture on my head and grunting, wailing, moaning & howling at the very Heavens themselves. This year, a partially-deflated red football was also involved.

“Made the deadline for that article, did you?” said my wife, drolly, as I cavorted around the garden, scaring the neighbours. She’s totally unfazed, almost bored, by this kind of behaviour.

Around 10:30pm I go for a ride on my bike and large rain-drops start falling. Nah, I think, surely not…

At 2:30am I’m awakened by an electrical-storm of near-apocalyptic proportions. Sheet-lightning, forked-lightning, the whole kit und caboodle. Hahaha, I think to myself, smugly, that’ll teach those fuckers at Pilton…I was about to roll over and go back to sleep, but then I suddenly noticed: the thunder was all wrong… it was like ‘God’ had remixed it a hurry for the b-side of a Primal Scream twelve and, you know, couldn’t really be bothered, ‘cause, well, it’s just a Primal fucking Scream single. It sounded so much like a large plastic garden compost-drum rolling around on some concrete that I actually thought it was our large plastic garden compost-drum rolling around on some concrete…it was thunder, alright, but really crap thunder…the EQing was all wrong, not enough reverb, etc.

It was then that I realised my Voodoo had rebounded back on me. But what had I done wrong? Then I suddenly remembered: that bloody plastic football had unbalanced the ritual. Now I was as fucked as the thousands of Cockney students laying cold and unloved in leaking tents at Worthy Farm. (Heh: at least, the night hadn’t been a complete waste…)

3:35am and I’m still awake. The storm’s slowing, but I still can’t sleep. Then Kid Kid Kid Shirt wakes up and starts crying, so I decide to sleep downstairs. Sleep eludes me, but I get a great, great idea for not a comic-strip, but a TV-series, or maybe at least a pilot for one: characters, plot, vast swathes of dialogue stream into my head unbidden. Us writers dream of moments like this. Fantastic, original, incredibly funny: BBC3’ll be giving me free corporate blow-jobs when I pitch this (it was that good)…you realise, of course, why I can’t share my uber-concept with you, ‘cause you’ll fucking pinch it, o ye Unwashed Hordes…an entire TV series: this is all very good, but I’d rather be getting some kip.

Around 4:45-ish, I almost doze, only for another fake-sounding storm to start up. Bah!

Finally get to sleep for about 3.9 seconds before the kids get up. Ah, fuck...still, at least it’s raining at Glastonbury, I console myself. And it continues most of the morning, with infrequent bursts of lightning that black-out parts of Yeovil and leave me suspecting that this is actually part of a plot by The Yellow Claw to take over NY, but I know it’s not really, ‘cause it was me wot did it…I made it rain!

But now, an angry mob of villagers (mostly students) have assembled outside the house with pitchforks and burning brands, as if they’ve come to lynch the Frankenstein Monster. “Come out, you bastard,” they cry, “We know you’re in there!” A brick comes through the window with a note attached, which reads: Why have you got to be so nasty all the time? Can’t you just chill out for once? Why do you have to make it rain at Glastonbury every year. For God’s sake, have you no pity? Flinty’s there, and Simon Silver Dollar…

They boo and jeer as I appear on the balcony. “Silence, you pathetic peasants,” I snarl, pouring a cauldron of boiling urine on them. As they run, screaming in panic, I pick them off with a crossbow. “Stereophonics!” I hiss, petulantly, and a bolt thwacks into the skull of a pretty blonde 17yr-old from Bromley. “The Kaiser Chiefs,” I snarl, and a first-year Engineering student collapses with a punctured-lung. “Babyshambles!” and some pimply little nobody who’s hitched-all-the-way-down-from-York-and-is-hoping-to-get-his-end-away jerks and spasms as a fountain of red erupts from his carotid-artery. I’m laughing now, high on the slaughter, each word punctuating the death of another clueless teenager: “The Kills! White Stripes! Athelete! Groove Armada! The Futureheads! Franz Ferdinand! Tom fucking Jones!”

I’m in amongst them now, brandishing a culling-club and razor-wire gloves: “NME dot fucking Com,” I scream, as the Red Rage takes me: “Corporate-branded dance-rock-shite…you just don’t get it, do you? You're just encouraging them, you brain-dead idiots…” and Andrew Stevens, 20 in march, falls in a dark smear of blood, holding his own severed ear. He is still a virgin.

I walk amongst the twitching survivors, finishing them off with head-shots from an antique revolver. The rush is slowly subsiding now. I leave one alive as a witness, a testament to my displaced wrath. He pisses himself as I hold him up and look him straight in the eye, my fingers biting into the skin above his jaw. “Look at this,” I say, pointing at the ruinous carnage around us (He tries to nod, but his collar-bone is broken): “This…this is what happens when I don’t get enough sleep.”