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Jul 25 2013

Teenage Angst Didn’t Pay Off Well…


sadI always had a feeling that I would probably have died by the time I was in my late 20s.

I don’t really know where that came from, but it’s something that had plagued my mind since my early teens. Looking back I think it probably has its roots in the fact that I didn’t really want to be the person I was – perhaps I was giving myself until my late 20s to sort that shit out, I don’t know.

Anyway, having watched the wonderful Channel 4 film by James Rhodes, and finding myself breaking down into a blubbering mess on more occasions that I care to mention, I have been left feeling somewhat empty.

And it is, to some extent, wonderful.

Wonderful in the sense that it has made me, for the first time, admit to myself that I am not any of the persons I have tried so hard to be for the past 30 years. Maybe that is an exaggeration – I’m sure I did whatever the fuck I wanted to do as a child, but that soon gave way to shaping myself into a sculpture, a piece of artwork[ref]Albeit, a funny looking one[/ref], a scripted character, to fit the expectations and gain the approval of whichever group of people I needed to impress or be accepted by at that given time.

It’s something I imagine everyone does to some extent – a learned behaviour from adolescence perhaps? However, I have come to the realisation that it has been particularly detrimental to me – in fact I am shaking like a fault line just typing this out, such is the trepidation of this realisation.

It is also terrifying.

Terrifying because it is something I have to work on; work that will take a lot of time and effort, and probably cost me a lot. Terrifying because it is leading me to admit, also for the first time, that there is actually not a single person who knows who I really am – because I don’t either. The closest I can come to defining myself is based on realising what I’m not. That’s not good enough.

It has caused me to sink into levels of depression that I have told no-one about (not even my closest friend knows how close I have come to suicide; nor how often). Depression that has led me to do numerous things in my life I am incredibly ashamed of (which fuels further depression etc, you know the drill…).

My insistence on denying myself my own real identity has stifled me creatively too. I can think of no song I have ever written “from the heart”. I’ve always reflected the emotions that I think people want to hear about – I’ve been scared to say what I really think, so much so that I am not sure I know what I really think!

I’m sure I must sound like a whiny fourteen year old. Every fibre of my being is screaming at me to apologise for that, but it’s exactly that kind of shit that needs to stop.

So, I’m taking time out to figure out what it is I’m really like. Who do I actually want to be. I am sure there will be friends who will not like that person! Though, I hope that isn’t the case.

Please also understand that this is not a stunt for attention – it is quite the opposite. I am asking for space and informing those who know me that I’m in an extremely difficult place right now, and to plead for their patience – at the risk of sounding terribly dramatic, I am trying to save my own life.

There is certainly a lot more I could say, but I won’t – I have probably already said too much!

Please bear with me.

Jul 8 2013

5th July ~ Re-con


So… Ruben Seabright, (known also as @rubenseabright) is, I think, the most laid back person I know.

On Friday the 5th of July, Ruben, James Elliot-Williams, Rob Scott and I (known henceforth as Doctor Stanley’s Medicine Show) meet up to rehearse for the first time – for a gig that very evening! Ruben, having been getting his end away in Spain for the week (or sightseeing, I don’t bloody know) had returned with a handful of “new” songs for us to play that night – by new, I mean new to us as musicians.

Fortunately, Ruben, James, and Rob are extremely good at what they do; I am loud enough to compensate for what I bring to the table (except there wasn’t a table). The rehearsal went fairly well, and although there were a few numbers in which I hadn’t a clue what I was doing, none of the others seemed to notice – or at least if they did, they were British enough to not offend me by saying so.

A chinese takeaway later, we arrive at the venue: Malvern’s [no longer quite so] brand spanking new music venue Re-con.

A day of truly “scorchio” weather, and therefore presumably a plethora of heaving beer gardens in Malvern, left the venue fairly sparse while the two support acts played (“Inches From the Ground” and “11:11” – check them out!). In fact it wasn’t until part way through the second song of our set that a tribe of people entered, willing to dance, pogo, whoop and holler like the best of them.

It actually went really well, despite the lack of practice. It’s always nice to be playfully booed for not playing more songs after the encore. Unless you’re Justin Bieber – because that wonderful feeling is ofset by the knowledge of being Justin Bieber…

Drinks a-plenty afterwards and didn’t actually make it home until 5:30 am – sign of a good ‘un.

I’ll be back at Re-con on 31st August with my band, so stick it in your diaries and make sure you come along. And try and get there before the second song has started.