THE DEATH OF A PARTY
It’s now 5 years since I reformed myself into my former band which used to be and still is called Meiosis. I have spent some time looking back over what I have achieved during this time and, to me at least, it appears to be absolutely fuck all!
Of course, I am joking (or am I?) I set out to record 3 albums in 3 years in order to catch up on the 8 years of Meiosis wilderness that I had admittedly created myself by just not being capable of functioning as a bona fide musician in my own right. It turns out that I did 4 albums in 4 years, which I’m really bloody proud of.
So what’s changed in the last 5 years since I started doing this all by myself? Well… I have a sense of perspective now, I’m quite a lot older now and I think because I tend to organise a lot of my own gigs, I have much more respect for promoters and support bands than I used to. Not that any of them give a fuck, we’re all just chasing that same rainbow.
I’m not sure what I’m chasing anymore to be honest… I have thought hard about quitting doing Meiosis stuff again for another 8 or 9 or 10 years (mainly because I think I get more entertaining on comic value as I get older) but if I’m honest, I don’t know what I would do instead. So I blindly carry on, without ambition, into the oblivion that could either be a rainbow or just a mad pile of dead (or dying) mad giraffes. I thought carefully about making a new album and decided that, after having made 4 in 4 years maybe it’s time to give myself and the peeps who like my music a chance to catch up and cool down. I also thought that my hero, Jarvis Cocker, did not become remotely famous until he was 32 and that’s when he wrote his best and greatest-loved songs. So I set out to take a year out and write a new album from scratch. My only rule was that ‘I’m not allowed to include any old songs that I have simply re-recorded and that all new songs should be better than I have ever done before, making it MY own MEIOSIS’ very own definitive album that will be remembered forever and ever, long after I am dead and the album that will make the difference between me being a cult local musician to being a nationally renowned cult local musician.
Now that’s gone out the window a little bit as, although I have written and demoed 6 new songs since January (God help me, I used to be able to do that in a fortnight), I have recorded a couple of old songs too, so now I think it’s OK to include songs about the past, if they are relevant to the present… but I will still have to include the 10 new songs that I said to myself back in January that I’d be able to write. That’s OK though – I think I can do this.
Problems with that come at the same time as inspiration. I don’t seem to have any time anymore to write songs. New job (yeah , can you believe it that I still have a day job?!) – I don’t have the space or time to write music like I used to and because (and I am aware that this makes me seem like a self indulging twat) I find it hard to write songs when I have been relatively successful in the past. My last album, Something Funny Happened On My Way To Uptopia, managed far more downloads than I thought it ever would and more than quadrupled the download stats for any of my previous 3 albums all put together. So call me a perfectionist, or call me a bit OCD or whatever… I just want to try to do better than I know what I can do. I know what I CAN do…. I want to try to be better than that! I would be happy to be a ‘cult’ act in my hometown in Newcastle but I’m not even that… what I appear to be is a musician without any ambition, playing songs to people who are ambivalent – that will do me for now but I’d prefer it if we all step it up a bit (if I can find the time) to be less ambivalent and for me to have a bit more ambition, for me to become a cult in my own city.
This almost happened shortly after the Bowie Experience gig at The Cluny back in March. We made a success of that gig and I am pleased to announce that they will be back next year. I will candidly report that we received £2000 from that gig and I received around £700 from that - all of that money (apart from paying off my debt of drinking too much and chain smoking so much whilst being a stresshead beforehand) - went straight towards trying to do it all again with Blurd in November.
All of a sudden it’s November!
A new job and a new way of looking at life have not only taken up all of my time but also the quick passage of time has taken me by surprise and… I want at least 300 people to see us at the Cluny this Saturday.
As with The Bowie Experience, I took a long time researching what we could do next. Blurd seems like the obvious answer. I don’t like being so obvious, but I am guessing that the way my mind works is not so obvious to anyone else?
Blurd are the best Blur tribute band in the entire world ( I have checked for you) so let’s celebrate 20 years since Britpop died with a bit of Britpop in Newcastle ("These bands that I like never come to Newcastle") – ("No, they don’t – but here’s the next best thing"), ("Ah Ok... well how do I get the tickets?"), ("It’s £12 mind?"), ("That’s fine, I understand that you need to pay musicians, the soundman and the venue"), ("Oh! How refreshing. You’ll need to pay around £1.20 to whoever is selling the tickets too on top – still not as bad as the 5-10 charge they stick on top of the tickets at gigs at the Academy or the Arena").
Perhaps I have been working too hard but I perpetually just want to simultaneously give up and carry on at the same time!
I’ll break away from that conversation to explain… from the extra £1.50 or £1.20 you pay buying tickets – the money goes straight to the ticket seller. I only sell tickets via companies that I believe are right for my morals. £1.50 for hosting my tickets is fine by me. The rest (£12) goes direct to the gig and more or less direct to the bands playing.
…and it sounds like Blur, then it most likely is Blur! (Legal note: it isn’t. It’s Blurd – the next best thing…)
I suppose the most difficult thing for the Blur tribute band Blurd, is trying to figure out which songs to leave out of their set. Because I don’t think I’m standing on anyone’s old school Adidas’ here when I say that Blur have one of the best back catalogues of any UK band ever. Song 2, She’s So High, Beetlebum, Tender, Girls & Boys, Coffee & TV, The Universal, End of the Century, For Tomorrow – classics all – and the band showed that they are still dishing out the good stuff with this year’s very excellent The Magic Whip album. And Blurd will be doing full justice to the band as they’re the longest running and most authentic Blur tribute act around (even the official Blur fan-club frothed: "the hair, clothes, instruments, mannerisms and, most importantly, the sounds are all spot on. Britpop at its classiest". And this should be an extra special gig as also on the bill are Underclass and Meiosis ("Newcastle based Martin Thompson, one of the more idiosyncratic singer/songwriters in the region and one of our very faves. See you down the front.")
Blurd + Underclass + Meiosis, Saturday 21 November, The Cluny, Ouseburn, Newcastle, 7.30pm, £12. thecluny.com - The Crack Magazine, Newcastle November 2015.
It took me ages to work out what ‘idiosyncratic’ means… but otherwise, I’m happy that somewhere, somehow my music seems to be making some people happy.
I’m really looking forward to my night at The Cluny with Blurd and Underclass and (Do I?), (Yep) I get to play too? Honestly, Blurd are going to be awesome! – any self-respecting local Blur fan will be there - and I would never, ever let you down… when I say it’s going to be good.. it’s going to be freakin’ good! x
Doors open at 19:30.
Tickets for Blurd Live at The Cluny, Newcastle
are available from:
The Cluny in person, Ouseburn. Newcastle
RPM Records (Nr The Old George Pub)
Or Online: www.wegottickets.com/event/319071
So thank you for reading this… for frequent readers, I have been acutely aware that I hadn’t done a blog in ages. I’m sorry about that.
You can contact Martin at:
MusicByMeiosis at Gmail.com
Facebook: Martin Thompson