Saturday, November 29, 2008


My best friend and his girlfriend had their gorgeous baby boy today and I'm speechless with joy and amazement. The world is just about the loveliest it's ever been and I don't know what to do with myself!

Here's a brilliant song to celebrate the birth of sparklybaby! Have a drink for him as well - I just had loads :)

Aerospace, 'Pink Boy, Blue Girl'

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Sometimes I can't tell providence from the timetable of my train"

Stood in a corner in a tea shop in Nottingham on Sunday, I thought I was dreaming when I heard this.

Everything will be OK. It may not feel like it today but we are winning our small battles with sadness every time we listen to a popsong, even a sad one.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Podcast #7: Spine-tingling

You don't want to be anywhere near me when I'm listening to these songs. Or, I dunno, maybe you do.

Download it here (25 MB)

Tracklisting (31' 22")

The Orchids - I was just dreaming
Tiny Microphone - You disappear
Slumber Party - Never again
Tompot Blenny - Thinking of ways of keeping you warm
Secret Shine - Deep thinker
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Come Saturday
Pipas - Barbapapa
The Bird and the Bee - Again and again
The Wake - All I asked you to do
This Mortal Coil - Late night

Heh, now I remember Kip introducing 'Come Saturday' at their Nottingham show last year as "a song about coming". Mmmm... See you later.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All the good times we ever had

Suddenly there is this, the cutely-named Indiepopedia, a project started by Roque off that dreamy Cloudberry place. It looks lovely and I can’t wait to see it become big and exciting, a great companion to the Tweenet database (which was my Internet when I first logged in, in 1997. I didn’t care about anything else!).

For now though, I can’t even think about helping out or contributing anything. I can’t even bear looking at it. I don’t want to read about any new bands or discover facts about old ones. For now, indiepop has nothing to do with music and everything to do with the friends I’ve made, and the floors I’ve slept on, and the bright smiles hello and the hungover hugs goodbye, and the trains I’ve travelled on in the snow and the sunshine to be with them, and the bottles of vodka and JD we’ve shared, the teasing, the endless discussions and the silences, the dancing, always the dancing. My friends that understand why now is more important than anything, the friends I don’t have to explain myself to that have given me the biggest joys of my life without even realising, my friends whose eyes shimmer when they get tipsy and they smile and talk a bit faster, still sweetly. Whenever we are together I keep wishing for time to stop. But it never does, and it never will and maybe that’s okay because it isn’t forever and no indiepopedia will ever be able to record what we do. Oh but next time we wake up on a floor somewhere and stumble on each other on the way to a cup of tea, maybe that’s another one for our discography.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Silhouette town

The drive past the docks in Grimsby must be breaking the hearts of every single person entering the town. You've come all the way on the noisily unrewarding A180 just to be faced with a pile of derelict buildings left to be eaten by rust and grey skies. It's a hopeless sight. A town at the edge of not quite the county everyone thinks it's in, with its one amazing gift, the sea, being taken away from it slowly and painfully. When we were going past the docks on Saturday afternoon my head was filled with apocalyptic fear: I grew up near a port too. What if it ever ends up this way? It'd be the end of world, surely. But as we turn the corner, people are still there, walking, shopping, breathing, drinking and I realise I shouldn't be so melodramatic.

But there's still room for melodrama in North Lincolnshire. As we walk to Blundell Park, I realise that this is not like any other football match I've been to before. There's nothing festive about the atmosphere, there is no electricity, no expectation. Yet people sit and watch through those first 15 painful minutes, nearly quietly, murmuring swear words and instructions to the players under their breaths, occasionally uttering something loud enough for someone to hear. As Town is starting to make a bit of an effort, we get up to cheer and I turn to the left and catch a glimpse of the Humber Estuary. That's the melodrama of Blundell Park: as their team sinks deeper and deeper down the League Two table and the music of their collective voices gets more and more difficult to decipher from the sighs of desperation, there's still the twinkly lights of the Humber Estuary to look at during the season, there is some hope and there will be a happy ending. A happier ending rather. The floodlights and the glimpses of the Estuary and a team that can play football without resorting to diving, especially when it momentarily forgets about hopelessness; being surrounded by people who could seriously do with a big hug during these 90 minutes; being in a town that reminds me of where I grew up, only colder and quieter, all those things fill me with so much love for this place and this team that I nearly smile. I could do this every weekend just so I can be there at that moment when their fortunes are reversed and they can smile with me. Or so I can put my arms around them if things become unbearable. I want to be here when they finally get a striker who can take a chance.

GY, will you let me heart you?