Hey there I’ve not managed to send out one of these missives recently as, sadly, real-life got in the way, and my creative flights of fancy had to take a back seat. (Some might say that’s a good thing).
However, it’s now time to jump back on the newsletter horse*. It’s a slightly longer edition than usual so strap yourself in, and hopefully, some of the forthcoming content and attempted quippery may produce a smirk in you, the reader.
Because it’s nice to smirk.
But first, the sad bit…
Been pondering about whether to include this, but I can’t not. And what is more important than typing a few words about your mum? And how she was the best mum. Coz she was.
But unfortunately, she recently lost her three year battle with cancer and passed away on 10th May.
We knew it was coming, but it was still a shock. Although painful, there is comfort in knowing she is now at peace, and on Sunday, we said goodbye to our Queen with a small service at home.
Family and friends gathered, and then her four grandchildren scattered her ashes in the woodland behind the cottage, where Mum loved to watch all the wildlife from the kitchen window. Little birds swooping down to feed on bird seed, a procession of pheasants, rabbits, and little fox cubs rolling in the grass. But the star attraction were the twelve deer who had made this little spot their home too. And every morning, they would come out and graze right near the window.
And if you kept really quiet and still, you could almost touch them. But one fatal cough or hiccup or sneeze or fart (smirk), and the deer would startle and bolt. But what a thrill to watch these beautiful creatures up close.
So it was a fitting way to say goodbye to Mum. I still can’t quite compute she is not here and find myself staring at photos of her, wondering where on earth she has gone. Am sure she is just in another room.
Here is a photo of us from 1993.
It was taken on a family holiday in Corsica. It was bloody hot with wild boar running around Asterix-style. And something about this photo captures the lovely easiness of Being With Mum.
Not being able to phone her or give her a hug will be hard. But now time to harness the sadness and get on with life.
The show must go on.
And the show is literally about to go on.
So like a stretched elastic band, let me ping it in your direction and tell you all about that…
In happier news.
This is now on sale.
|Find out more / Buy Tickets|
Yes, this is the exciting news that I have adapted my book Anoint My Head – How I Failed to Make it as a Britpop Indie Rockstar into a one-man-show and will be performing it live at Edinburgh Fringe this summer.
It’s a full run which means 25 shows over 26 days. And each show lasts 52 minutes. The venue is 60 capacity, so I got to shift about 1500 tickets in total. And I only know about three people in Edinburgh.
So if you know anyone that lives in Edinburgh, please forward this on. Or why not come to the festival and see my show 25 times?
Adapting a book from the page to the stage has been fun but also something of a challenge. It’s hard to know what bits from the book to leave out/keep in.
And if/how many pointy birds (non)hits I should perform. Should I play Married to a Squirrel? And/or Pube on My Lip?
I’ve also been arm-wrestling with myself about whether this show should take the form of spoken word or stand up comedy. Or dramatic monologue. Or is it a Ted talk on failure?
And I have tied myself in a few knots about the dynamic between me and the audience.
Plus, I’ve entered a few foxholes about how to bring out the main themes of failure, striving and delusion. (Clue: Show don’t tell)
Coz I’ve not really done anything like this before.
But hey ho, I’m in too deep now. And we are where we are.
Thankfully I am being ably assisted by my good chum Jason Watkins who just so happens to be a BAFTA award-winning actor of stage and screen and is jumping on directing duties. Thanks, Jason.
So the aim is to perform a heartbreaking work of staggering genius with the odd nob gag thrown in that scoops the Perrier award. There is, of course, the very real and constant waking at 3 am fear that it might be a 52-minute self-indulgent shambles to no one consecutively night after night like some recurring nightmare on repeat.
But reassuringly, someone told me that actually self-indulgent 52 minutes shambles usually win the perrier.
So that’s good to know.
If the whole thing is a disaster, at least I have material for the next book. It will be a natural sequel to Anoint My Head picking up the story 25 years later with our protagonist still doing it. How I Failed to Make it as a Perrier Award-winning Comedian at Edinburgh Festival. Or somesuch. I can take that to Edinburgh next year – it might get very meta.
Over the next month or so, I will be stepping up the promo and doing some secret Edinburgh warm-ups so let me know if you have a gigging opportunity in your area.
ANOINT MY HEAD – FRENCH TRANSLATION
In other exciting news, Anoint My Head is currently being translated into French by Olivier Scott Veyret.
The Full Title is
CONSACREZ MOI – Comment j’ai échoué à devenir une rockstar Britpop indie-rock!
Got a certain Je ne sais quoi to it. There is talk of doing a launch show in Paris, and one drunken idea is to perform the Edinburgh routine in French. Eddie Izzard style. The only snag is I can’t speak french. Unless I’ve had a few beers. And then I am pretty good. Or should I say tres bon.
There is also talk of possible German and Japanese translations.
Berlin and Tokyo, here we come.
Anointy world tour!
ROCK N ROLL BOOK CLUB FOOTAGE
Penultimately, I enjoyed being a guest author at the Dublin Castle Rock n Roll book club back in April, which seems a lifetime ago. I chatted about the book with the very fab and well researched host-with-the-most Tony Gleed. The night also included some book readings, a Q&A and then I picked up the plectrum and sang some old Pointy Birds songs. First time in nearly 30 years. They had to drag me off stage.
But I had a ball, and the flames of my rock n roll delusions have been fanned to dangerously hot levels.
I can feel my inner Horace rise.
Must keep him at bay.
If you didn’t make it or would like to relive it, then never fear; you can enjoy the whole thing right here:
And here are some pics from the night to give you a flavour. Nice that our old manager Ricky could make it.
And lastly a quick reminder you can buy Anoint My Head book on any format at my payhip store. You can also read one of my Made-up True Short Stories which take about 17 minutes of your time and are currently free to download.
Ok i think that’s enough shameless self-promotion for one day.
Until next time
“Captures the time and the aspirations of a young band brilliantly. A great eye-opener into the absurd thought process of what it might take to headline Glastonbury!” Steve Lamacq BBC 6 Music
“You’ll read this book in one or two sittings – it’s pure pleasure. All the fun of youthful dreams and the poignancy of disappointment – plus a remarkable A-list cameo. Magnificent.” Phil Harrison Time Out / Guardian
‘If This Is Spinal Tap is the quintessential rock mockumentary, Anoint My Head is the closest you’ll get to that in book form.” Loz Etheridge God is in the TV
“Anoint My Head is a great read which rips along at pace and would make an excellent dramatisation or comedy series.” Iain Key Louder Than War
“Hilarious warts-and-all story of a Britpop band whose big ambitions did not meet their talents” Dan Carrier Camden New Journal
“Very good read. I read the book over the weekend. Some really good memories I had forgotten about. Great days. I hope it goes on to sell millions!” Saul Galpen Nude Records
“Super-evocative, Proustian and a wonderful walk down memory lane.” Mark Bowen Wichita Recordings
“This heartwarmingly tatty ‘Withnail & I’-tinged glance back at a time before innocent indie dreams were stolen by digital streams is a must-read.” Simon Williams fierce panda records
“A healthy measure of Nick Hornby with a dash of Adrian Mole had he joined an indie band. Just the tonic for these serious and uncertain days. Bottoms up!” Josh Levay Pointy Birds keyboardist/naysayer
“If Spinal Tap had been an indie band in 1990s Britpop London. Brilliant!” The MacLadd
“Bland and inoffensive with a seriously over-acting singer” NME
- is it a horse? I dunno.