Monday, 12 June 2017
Ocean in a Bottle - From Choirs to Dischoirs - Part 1 Tears from Heaven
Pure emotions is what a friend who heard the early mixes of the new Ocean in a Bottle or actual tears falling back from the heavens themselves.
But what is emotion? Is emotion a sound itself or a feeling that comes somewhere in-between tapping on the edge of your conscious until it provides a different feeling altogether that may start off as sadness but becoming something else altogether.
The new Ocean in a Bottle EP ‘From Choirs to Dischoirs’ actually began off as a experiment with choir like sounds, starting off as something else altogether and building up with layer after layer until the emotion it began off ended up in a different place altogether staying in the genre of Ambient but building upon it until it became as much about memory and sadness as well as music itself.
Free download from https://oceaninabottle.bandcamp.com/album/from-choirs-to-dischoirs-part-1-tears-from-heaven
Girl with a suitcase - Spoken Label Podcast June 2017
The latest podcast from Spoken Label is with performance artist Jenny aka Girl with a suitcase.
Borrowing directly from Jenny's website her work is described as 'These days my work can be defined best as 'performance art' and can be subversive, hilarious, painful... or none of the above.
My passion is to create work around mental health, challenging the silence and stigma that surrounds the issue. Humor is at the centre of my practice and I want to create work that is accessible to everyone.'
More about her work can be read at her website -www.girlwithasuitcase.co.uk
The podcast be streamed or downloaded for free from https://spokenlabel.bandcamp.com/album/girl-with-a-suitcase-spoken-label-podcast-june-2017
Sunday, 11 June 2017
Over the past few weeks, I have received a few questions about Ghost Story IV after my blog from April for NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) concluded. I won’t name the people in question but firstly they asked when Ghost Story is completed would I try writing in another short burst like this say for example a Western or a love story under the rules of NaPoWriMo.
I must admit, I have had a go at writing in a love story some years back and the first two parts of it got published in a little zine Unsung. Writing it at the time, if I am honest in hindsight, I simply wasn’t ready to do a longer sequence of poems like I did and I did maybe half a book of it over a few months. Doing The End of Summer and my Edge of the Flames sequences, both from my last book The End of Summer proved a learning curve how to start doing a slightly longer curve, and certainly when I did Ghost Story, I really started to learn how to write sequences and quicker also.
In short, it’s something I would consider in the future certainly but Ghost Story has at least another two parts to go, and outside of that over the rest of the year, I’m currently working on another huge sequence called Role Reversal which all I will say at the moment is I am onto Part 31 of this sequence and each piece will have 6 lines and has a bit yet to go I think (Not quite sure if it is a poetry sequence or something different altogether) on it as well as a fantasy novella (which I originally wrote when I was 17 and recently re-found and am up to Page 81 on it and am really pleased with it) and my epic poetic series The Wall. (Part 2 is halfway now Surivors of the Wall) and my my third (and likely last full length poetry book) From the Diabetic Ward book is still pending possibly for next year or 2019.
Secondly, Why did you decide to set Ghost Story in
A lot of this simply comes from something that grabs my attention really and the fact I wanted to use
Manchester as a backdrop to the full story as
I hadn’t seen anything tackle this before. There is a very old horror film from
the 1970’s called the Living Dead of Manchester Morgue (also released as Let Sleeping Corpses) knocking around which was filmed in Rochdale
actually, but I wanted to write something that was set straight in the heart of
modern day Manchester.
While Part One and Two were reaction pieces, Part Three and Four in contrast have been completely different as my brother got me a book called Below Manchester for Christmas between the writing of Part Two and Three which went on about the tunnels and secret bunkers below the centre of Manchester which led by chance to where I was going to next, and is referenced about four times in the sequence.
This year’s Part 4 really is set in a gig venue on Oxford Road which of course I won’t name and of course, it is not a dig at that wonderful venue as I have seen countless excellent gigs there, but the research really came into through Pendle Witches came by accident again, and will be mentioning again in Part 5 next year which will go in a direction hopefully nobody will be expecting, and who knows over Part 6 in 2019.
Lastly, why wasn’t Andy in Part 4? What has happened to him?
That’s coming in Part 5 I can promise and with a few other mysteries answered of course
Or maybe not…. (:
Thursday, 1 June 2017
From 1996 to 2017 (An emotional history off tragedies in Manchester looking at things from the outside)
In 1996 when the IRA blew up the Arndale
I was barely able to leave my house
After getting mugged the night before
Which left me with a major limp
For the next 18 months or so
And forced me to ring around friends
That I knew would normally be there
Praying they would be at home.
In 2007 I got led out of my works
Viva an underground tunnel
I hadn’t known about previously
After it was deemed unsafe outside
To walk around the corner as normal
When a hurricane dragged a bollard
Through the Chief Exectuive’s car
And other cars onto the next street.
In 2010 I ended up leading three women
I worked alongside at the Co-operative
To Manchester Piccadilly Train Station
Like James Bond mixed with the Pier Piper
Avoiding all of the bars laced with drunk fans
Just before Ranger’s Europa Cup final
At Manchester City’s Ethiad Stadium
Just before it exploded into chaos.
In 2011, I was getting drove back home
By a kindly Ambulance Crew
Hours after getting registered with Diabetes
When we drove into a gang of youths
And barely reversed out alive
Looting a shop I used to go in for
A sandwich nearly every morning
On the way into my work.
In 2017, I walked past
Manchester Victoria Train Station
About a half a hour before
A terrorist took the lives off
22 people including children
And left me barely able
To sleep for two days afterwards
Laid in complete shock.
Each tragedy or event
No matter how close
I was to the action
Into frozen images
Stuck in time
Reprinting each day
Over and over
Into a compressed version
Of Groundhog Day
Shooting grief from my heart
No matter how close to the front I was
Or whispered in braille rain
Tapping in shadow like tears
Brining my eyes
Pushing my grief aside
And carrying on
Like so so many others.
Sunday, 14 May 2017
After a break after the end of NaPoWriMo, I am pleased to now announce a new project which all been well will be a new monthly audio podcast talking about comics and the comic TV / film industry with my friend Michael Bradbury.
I met Michael Bradbury around a year or so through the literture scene in the Greater Manchester in the process discovering that Michael also has a interest in Comics from Marvel and DC among other comic industries.
Recently as a few of you will have known, I did a podcast with Michael where we talked about him as a person and his writing (https://spokenlabel.bandcamp.com/album/michael-bradbury-spoken-label-may-2017). Less known on the way to record to the podcast, Me and Michael both decided it could be fun to record a podcast talking about comics and the comic industry with their involvement in the TV / Film Industry.
Comics Unity which came from that original discussion was recorded a week or so later will be a monthly (roughly) will be a new series where we will talk about comics news, films, a discussion over a comics related topic, reviews and a reading recommedation.
The first episode recorded in May 2017 contains as well as comics news - contains lengthy discussions on the trailers for the up and coming Defenders mini series on Netflix, the up and coming films on the Dark Tower and Wonderwoman and the recently released film Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as well as a discussion about the difference in relaunches between DC and Marvel and what works and doesn't work.
More links will follow over the following few months but initially it will be available to stream / download on
Sunday, 30 April 2017
The more regular viewers of my blog will have noticed I’ve been quiet for a few weeks now knee deep in poems for NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month). NaPoWriMo (or National Poetry Writing Month) as a poet is always a challenging time of the year where you have to write a poem a day throughout April. It may sound easy to some people out there, but let me gently say it is not. I first attempted this in 2012 by following each one of the prompts on the excellent NaPoWriMo website on a daily basis throughout that April and struggled like heck with it. It didn’t help that was for sure I was working in a job at that point which left me exhausted some days by lunch-time and trying to focus to write sometime over lunchtime was let’s say was very hard work indeed and so in the result I produced a very mixed bag of poetry indeed.
2013 I followed the same rules again and although I found it hard again, I came away with around 1st drafts of a good half a dozen poems which eventually made The End of Summer but like last time burnt me out completely, it took me about two months to actually start writing poetry again.
I changed my perspectives in 2014 in the middle of March by deciding to try to focus the poems into a circular narrative which became Ghost Story.
The origin behind Ghost Story was only slight. Although I had wrote a number of sequences by that point, for example the four poems that made up the end of summer, trying to do a thirty part poem was a challenge that goes without saying, let alone trying to tell a tale which I would have got away in a novel or a novella possibly better.
The names of both characters if my memory is correct didn’t reveal themselves to me until several pieces, and I can’t remember why I chose them both like I did. The location of course at the metrolink (or tram or light railway stop) near my works and I was stood there a few days before 1st April and came up with the gory thought what if I was due to get on that next metrolink and a Ghost stopped me.
That first year was difficult as I didn’t know where the story was going, let alone who the characters were until halfway through the story and I treated it as a one off and gave them a strict one off kind of feeling.
In 2015, the origin of Ghost Story II came simply from walking across a certain major train station in the centre of Manchester a few days before, and I looked up at the roof and thought to myself why if a rifle man got up on the roof and started picking people off and Andy was in the train station and Michelle came to him again.
Last year 2016 and 2017, Ghost Story III and Ghost Story IV both were planned a bit more but not blogged until 1st April in both cases, in the case of III with my brother buying me an excellent book about secret tunnels underneath Manchester and for this year, I thought about some over the top rock bands I’ve seen over the years and thought what they would be like as Vampires with their myths set among the Pendle Witches.
All been good, Part V will follow next year with the story at least starting in Altrincham and we’ll see what horrors I can drag the characters through but part of the fun with NaPoWriMo at least for me now is seeing where the story goes for myself as well as everybody who reads it and all being good, there will be at least another two or three years’ worth of stories to come for Ghost Story and then perhaps health permitting I’ll start something else.
Ghost Story can be read at:
Ghost Story I
Ghost Story II
Ghost Story III
Ghost Story IV
Ghost Story V (** Forthcoming April 2018 **)
Ghost Story can be read at:
Ghost Story I
Ghost Story II
Ghost Story III
Ghost Story IV
Ghost Story V (** Forthcoming April 2018 **)
Monday, 3 April 2017
Anybody else doing NaPwrimo this year? (A poem a day throughout April).
Here is my blog so far. I am going to do as a 30 poem story. 4th in a series.
Friday, 24 March 2017
Pushing and shoving on the dance floor
We must have looked a right sight
Ducking and diving next to the waves
Of distorted guitars and tribal like drums;
Our Hair blowing wild in the over ripe summer air
As we laughed at the singer
Stumbling at his words for a few seconds
Before carrying on, pushing each other
Up and down the dance-floor
Your hair was punked up, dyed bright purple
And resembled Sonic the hedgehog a little
Whilst I ended up got stuck at jury service
I was attending up the road
Until just before we were due to meet,
Leaving me with no choice but to turn up in my suit
Which drew some curious looks
From the bouncers at the front door.
The first beer went down, a bit too well
In a full measured stroke
As we both laughed at the support act
Pulling time, with a casual swagger
With how I dodged a horrible case
In the morning, only to end up on a botched robbery
That went on and on and on and on
While you carried on moaning
About your boss who was about to leave.
By the time the band you wanted to see
Came on, we were both half cut
On three and a half pints of Skullsplitter
Which left us wobbling all over the club
Stitching our drunkness
In out of synch singing
When-ever the band started songs
You said you knew,
Ribboned in energy.
When World upside down came on,
I stuck my head up with a primitive yeah
Adding unwelcome backing vocals
With a drunken slur
Gliding over the guitars
And drums bursting into life,
Only for you to fall into me
And sending me spinning
All over the place.
Waking up afterwards
I was told I had fell backwards
Spinning around in a huge circle into
A small group of chairs
That could have seriously hurt me
If the drummer hadn't leapt from his stool
Like an Olympic diver,
In a frantic panic
To make sure that I was okay.
I found out afterwards
That was John Lever.
(John Lever was most famous for being the drummer in 1980’s and early 2000’s Manchester, UK band The Chameleons which was my favourite band but also played in bands such as Chameleons Vox, Sun and the Moon, Weaveworld, The Professionals, Wilson and others I no doubt have forgotten about. This story above was a personal memory put into a poetic form about a gig I saw at the Band on the Wall in Manchester in 1997 when he drummed for Wilson which has been wrote upon hearing of his sad passing recently).