30/01/13 - MusicByMeiosis

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Wednesday 30th January 2013. Blog #71.


Could we privatise the government? We might have to pay more for it but we would get much better customer service. I think it’s time to take a good look at how much a government-run government is costing us and what we are getting back in return. I’m sure Virgin Government™ could run the country effectively and, perhaps at a small additional cost, give us some actual services. And when we feel let down we can write to John Stapleford and his nosey wife at Watchdog and get our money back, or some free vouchers for cigarettes and beer.

It would also please the trade unions as technically the trains, the planes, the banks, the power, the music festivals, the mobile phones, the cola, the gyms, the cable television, the radio stations, the internet and the hot air balloons would all become nationalised.

Obviously we wouldn’t be able to have elections anymore. No. Our successive governments would be determined by a series of takeover bids and management buyouts. This is fine because if the company… sorry… COUNTRY is making a profit and you are doing so well you can afford to buy it then the rest of us will be getting on just swimmingly as well. The police would have soooo much smarter uniforms too and they’d have massive red guns to shoot us all with when we don’t pay up on our increasingly high bill payments.

Oh hang on… isn’t this what America is like now? I have changed my mind completely. I have another idea. How about we keep the system we have now but instead of having some stupid filthy rich, mindless wankers run the place, we could have somebody decent? Dame Thora Hird could do it or Davey Jones from the Monkees? No wait he can’t can he? Terry Nutkins? John Peel? Wait… erm… Gene Pitney? No? There must be somebody who everybody unconditionally loves and trusts who isn’t expired. Jade Goody? Ah no – I said unconditionally loves didn’t I? – Jade Goody had to go to the bother of becoming terminally ill to make everybody love her so I can’t say I’d trust her to run the country. Not now.

I did not write this next bit… "Weed" is me…

In relation to another thread: here's the story of my trip to Sheffield to see Pulp on one fateful night in December.

You may or may not know that I bought my ticket off Weed - as he works on the trains and lives near me he very kindly offered to get me on a train for free (I just had to pay a tiny amount of money to get from Doncaster to Sheffield) - I gratefully accepted and so travelled with Weed and his group of friends, I'm not naturally comfortable meeting new people, but they were all very friendly.

Not knowing anyone else in Sheffield I got all clingy and hung around with them a lot.

I was staying in a different hotel to them - one with no staff which was quite cool, I went and dumped my bag there (well, after I found the hotel, they rather unhelpfully had a big sign for the hotel pointing up the wrong street), then met up with them and ate in a pub.

Then we had to get to the arena which was a fair distance from the city centre.

We found the tram stop in town, and waited there for a bit with a lot of other people, then someone suggested getting a taxi, we had to get two with it being a big group but it worked out cheap between us and got us to the arena quickly - it was a good decision.

Then in the arena we all split up because our tickets were for different areas. I went in and fumbled round in the dark for a few minutes getting increasingly embarrassed at my inability to find my seat (the short films had just started - it was pitch black).

I eventually was sat down and discovered my Christmas Card, which was nice.

Then I looked at the video screens and wondered why they were so small.

The gig was good. I'm pretty sure. It was like watching a puppet show in a shoe box and I couldn't work out where Jarvis was half the time - but it sounded good.

I did enjoy the gig, but by the time I got to bed it was like some dim and distant memory.

I came out the gig, found some of the group, we hung around a bit longer, eventually the group had all come together again.

Everyone wanted to go the The Leadmill (which used to be a flour mill), being rather anti-social; I'm not much into clubbing, but I thought I should make the effort. Damn it I thought - go to the leadmill! So I stayed with my new found flock.

Then Weed's complete twat of a flat mate said we should go and get a taxi rather than follow the crowds to the tram station.

(I'm aware the above sentence sounds rather harsh - read to the end of the story then decide if I am being harsh)

Around the arena there's two pubs, a tram stop and not much else. We went over near the Noose and Gibbet Inn (nice) and hung around for a bit, it quickly became obvious it wasn't going to be easy to get a taxi.

What followed was a long and complex series of conversations about how some people thought we should wait for a taxi (actually just one person, above mentioned twat) and some people thought we should go for a tram, conversations went in circles, Weed got irate with his flat mate because he couldn't understand why he was still so keen on getting a taxi when it had become so clear we weren't going to be able to get a taxi.

It was so bizarre and ridiculous at first that I couldn't help but laugh, in fact I got the giggles - but then these circles of conversation went on and on and on.

Half an hour passed with us still hanging around outside the Noose and Gibbet, occasionally (and for no apparent reason) we would cross the road and still not get a taxi.

Being a sort of guest in the group I felt a bit awkward saying anything but after a bit of getting nowhere I piped up and said lets just go for the tram, and Weed was in agreement and dipshit flatmate was like "Well fine go for a tram", Weed: "are you coming too?" dipshit flatmate: "no I'm getting a taxi" Weed: "But there's no fucking taxis to fucking get! But what the hell, maybe we can cross the road back and forth a few more times!"

Then somehow the march to the tram station hadn't happened, we were still outside the Noose and Gibbet (not even having a drink mind).

After a bit more arguing and road crossing it was said again by someone that we should go for the tram, we set off - fuckwit flatmate still waiting for his taxi, when one of the group said "this isnt right we can't just go and leave them" - it had slipped my mind that a few minutes earlier three of the group had gone over to a nearby burger king.

Eventually the burger brigade returned and we started walking, but not towards the tram station, we ended up in the other local pub - well not so bad I thought, at least it's warm.

After waiting to be served for all of five minutes we were suddenly leaving again, we'd walked a few paces from the door when someone said that someone had gone to the toilet and we needed to wait - fair enough I thought, I turned around and waited with the group - some of the group, I didnt realise at this point that the group had split up. Weed, idiot flat mate and one other had gone.

We eventually wandered off, found a bus stop but the last bus of the night had been and gone, we walked over to the entrance of the arena where some of the staff were hanging around waiting for a taxi. They gave us some numbers for taxis but it was an hour wait for one. We asked about the trams - they'd finished for the night as well.

It was  well after midnight now and we still hadn't left the arena. We started walking towards town centre - I don't know if we took the shortest possible route but it was a long walk - a really long walk. The wind picked up and it got colder and colder, a couple of the others asked if I was alright a few times - I must have looked miserable and couldn't summon up the energy to hide the fact. Some felt the need to apologise to me - like they weren't in the same boat.

One of them contacted Weed and co - they had managed to get a taxi just round from where they left us and were at The Leadmill. Good for you I thought, I just wanted to get to my hotel room by this point.

After getting on for an hour of walking past warehouses we spotted a Tesco Metro - we were unbelievably happy. I was too cold, tired and hungry to consider any of the sweets or chocolate bars, I picked up a bottle of water and shuffled round the shop a few times trying to find something - I spotted a chicken and mushroom pot noodle.  The Pot Noodle that saved my life.

We carried on walking - the city centre became more built up, we started to be a little hopeful, my phone battery was dead, without Google maps I started to wonder if I'd be able to find my hotel again.

Suddenly someone managed to flag down a taxi - we were nearly home but we didn't care - except there were five of us and only four seats in the taxi.

One of the group - Iam I believe (not a typo) - gallantly said it was ok, he'd walk the rest of the way - I was too fed up and miserable to be noble, to say 'no it's ok, I'll walk'  I just said thank you with as much gratitude as I could muster and turned towards the taxi, which was pulling away...

One of the group: "I told him to go because we couldn't all fit in. Sorry."

On we walked, but not far this time, we suddenly managed to flag a second taxi, we piled in, Iam walked off, our hero.

Taxi driver asked where to, I said the name of my hotel, he looked blank, I racked my brain trying to remember what street it was on

"Scotland road!"

"Scotland road? There's no scotland road"


"You mean Scotland Street?"

"Yes! Yes! Oh yes!"

The taxi headed off, I saw my hotel getting closer, the taxi pulled up, I threw some money at one of the group and got out, I think I may have said good night but I'm not sure.

I pushed the front door of the hotel. Locked. Bollocks.

I pushed again, harder, it opened. I was so relieved.

I climbed  the stairs to my room, clutching my pot noodle, suddenly thinking "Is there even a kettle in my room? Please let there be a kettle in my room"

There was a kettle in my room, I could have hugged it, I took it to the tap, it was too big to fit in the sink, several cupfuls of water later it was filled and slowly boiling.

I put on my pyjamas (yes I wear pyjamas - and this night I was so pleased that I did), I raided the wardrobe for blankets there were a few, I piled them all on the bed and climbed in. I sat watching Russell Howards Good News - not the classiest show on earth but it was like a comfort blanket.
I sat shivering, waiting for the kettle to boil, unable to warm up, my head was cold, I felt faintly feverish.

I finally made the pot noodle - my first in maybe a decade - and it was so good.

I finally started to feel human again.

Im sure if I hadn't had the pot noodle I wouldn't have slept and would have felt wretched the next day.

I actually got a good nights sleep after a bit.

My phone was dead (I forgot to pack a charger) and I had to rely on my alarm on my watch and was fairly certain I wouldn't wake up in time to meet the others and get the train - but by some strange miracle I actually woke before the alarm - something that never happens for me.

I set off for the station, got some Costa coffee on the way, things didn't seem so bad now but I still couldn't (and still can't) look back on the gig with any fondness given all that had happened afterwards.

I got to the station and found out I'd just missed a sighting of Jarvis, oh well, I wouldn't have had the nerve to speak to him anyway so wasn't too upset.

I found out that Weed had been kept up all night by noisy hotel guests (a rather unpleasant side of me thought 'ha!') but I didn't have any ill feeling towards anyone really (well, maybe one person, the advocate of taxis)

So thats that.

Weed doesn't really want respond to this thread but feels he must:

Weed's "twat of a flat mate" is actually Weed's "twat of a boyfriend". I think he's going to be annoyed when he reads this (I have to show him everything as I love him and we hold no secrets).

He works on the railway too. How do you think we got you and 10 others down there for (almost) free?

A text or a nice "thank you" may have done to say thank you for that - but instead you appear to have made a nice avatar to persuade me to stop smoking and written a very long thread about how horrible your night was.

I didn't really enjoy much time in the Leadmill - as I was mainly outside on the phone to Iam (your hero) worried about where you were. Iam used to live in Sheffield so he was most reliable. He was also pissed off his tits. He fell asleep when Pulp were playing and fucked off to the pub (around time travel time).

It's hard work to be responsible for 12 people, harder work when 3 of those are high on ecstasy, another 3 are so pissed they can't move, another 3 are sober, and 1 we felt we should look after. I guessed we were all adults and we could look after ourselves in the end.

You might have piped up about the tram stop though? You appear to be the only person who knew where the tram stop was.

Otherwise, Fred's (Dom's) story was pitch perfect. I'm going to publish this now. They will see it.

Worse things have happened to me.... Look for a life? Perhaps? LIFE?

Can we get back to Pulp now?

It’s been a busy week. I have played the MadHatter Festival in Newcastle and had an awful lot of fun in the process. This was a series of gigs organised by Ian Courtney (@cowandspoon on Twitter) all in aid of Northumbria Coalition Against Crime [http://www.thecoalition.org.uk] who are a brilliant little charity that help the unkool kidz who may be on the wrong track in life get themselves back onto the straight and narrow and become kool again. Meiosis played the Friday evening show in front what I think what may be one of the biggest crowds to witness my ‘Art Installation’ (that’s what I’m calling Meiosis now, rather than a solo act or a ‘band’)  since we supported Morrissey and David Bowie at World Headquarters (yes the fucking real Bowie & Morrissey – are you questioning me?!) It all set me in good stead for my next gig in Belfast and made me feel proud of this stupid little thing I am doing again.

Here is an audio recording of the full show. If you like it – maybe you’d like to download all my albums for free (this offer won’t last forever) from Meiosis.bandcamp.com and maybe I’d be so cheeky to suggest you make a tiny donation to Coalition Against Crime?


The Friendly Atmosphere Newcastle Music Scene Podcast Episode 3 will be out on Sunday 2 nd February. We have tracks from Andy Train & David McCann – who will be playing with me in Belfast on 3 rd March as well as an interview with Captain Trips’ Andrew Proud and something by Modern Colours, So What Robot & Pale Man Made. It’s lovely (and quite silly).


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