Some times I feel down, it’s always happened, some periods have been worse than others, the ‘80s for instance totally sucked. The whole decade was just so awful and I made some terrible decisions that meant I was pretty unhappy for a lot of those years; not that I would admit it to myself at the time.
Sadly, 2011 has been pretty crap, mostly because of work. Strangely I used to quite like my job, but this year I haven’t and at times I’ve had that gut wrenching feeling when it’s time to turn the light out at night and I realise in a few hours I’ll be going back to that place. Right now I feel trapped. It’s getting me down.
The one thing that has helped me during these down times has been music; the early ‘80s may have seen the death of mainstream music, but it saw punk rock blossom in so many different directions and as the years passed I began to appreciate most of it. It saw my immersion in the local DIY scene and, along with Gaz, my venture into punk rock fanzine writing. Musically 2011 has been a pretty good one I think, and I’m still discovering new music that inspires me, and every soften I’ve discovered some old gem that slipped past me at the time.
Inspired by doing an interview with Martin Sorrondeguy recently, I started to track down some of the South American bands he mentioned, which lead to me discovering lots more and moving on to Spanish bands, of which there seems to be innumerable good ones about at the moment. It was during one of these searches that I came across The X-Preys on a Bandcamp page. Four songs were offered as a free download, and they proved to be so ruddy good that I had to find out more about this band. Being from Madrid they hadn’t yet reached the radar of my buddy Paul in Malaga, but then his heart is in Mallorca, so I set out on my own voyage of discovery. I found that they had an album, and once that knowledge had reached my brain it became a quest; I’m a little short of money at the moment, but all common sense went out of the window and I had to have this album. This has happened to me before, instinct takes over and I won’t rest until I have whatever release I’m after. It was initially pretty frustrating, I found the album on lots of sites, but it was always sold out. Then I stumbled onto Rumble Records’ site and saw that the album was also available on CD with extra tracks. Normally I’d choose the LP over the CD, but as I said, instinct had taken over and my instinct was to get as many songs as possible as quickly as possible. So I fired off an email and got a pretty quick reply from Pablo, so I paypaled my money over right away. With my needs satisfied I relaxed while I eagerly awaiting the arrival of the CD, reveling in the late ‘70s style gloriousness of the four songs I already had; these guy and girls certainly know how to inject urgency into their songs. I love it... When it arrived Pablo had enclosed an X Prays badge as well, obviously he knows I am also a sucker for a nice badge. There isn’t a lot of diversity on offer on this CD, but I wasn’t expecting that, and didn’t really want it either; I got just what I wanted, 15 tracks of stripped down punk rock that presses all the right buttons for me. Check them out.
I recently found some old demos in a crate that I hadn’t got round to sorting through since our move (yes, I know it’s been over a year). One of them I was particularly happy to see again, it was by the old Brighton band Nux Vomica, who featured Allen and Sam from our old favourites Sleep. I connected my tape player up to my computer and pressed play, recording as I listened. It all still sounded really good, so I didn’t mind when the first attempt to copy it didn’t work and I had to listen to it all again. I instantly wanted to share it, so I sent Allen an email just to check that he didn’t mind me putting it on the SD site. It was so long ago (Summer of 1992 Allen thinks), but I don’t remember Nux Vomica staying around too long, I have this demo, and I remember seeing them live at The Joiners, I even have a T-Shirt, but my memory tells me they were gone too soon, although Pete Zonked says he remembers seeing them in Brighton without Allen singing, so there’s a chance they carried on playing longer than I remember. Anyway, it’s good fast hardcore stuff so go to the SD site and check it out.
We finally got SD53 printed, and apart from one little niggly thing that’s annoying me I think it came out pretty well. It certainly seems to be popular with lots of interest being shown and people sending SAE’s, so thanks to everyone who has asked for a copy, and if I have said I’ll send you a copy (copies) please be patient, I’m getting there, but postage costs so much these days. If you want one then send and email to email@example.com and we’ll sort it out.
Ellis at Static Shock has given the wonderful Brain F≠ LP, “Sleep Rough”, a UK release. It’s a great record, so go grab a copy right away.
This past weekend I went to see Steve Ignorant’s Last Supper gig at the Shepherds Bush Empire, but I think that needs a blog entry of its own, so I’ll wait while I gather my thoughts before writing about it.