So, I'm starting a blog. My first rule of thumb with blogs is don't start your blog with "So, [insert recent news event or random thing you've been thinking about or doing]". It irritates me and what irritates me may also irritate you. I shall never ever do that. I promise.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been writing new music to feature in what will hopefully become a new album. I 'reformed' myself into Meiosis at Christmas for a bit of a laugh and I enjoyed it so much I have decided to keep it going for as long as it takes me to get bored with it. Most of the gigs so far have been pretty nostalgic for me trying out old songs, a lot of which were written when I was a teenager. I've loved playing these songs again and my only regret is perhaps not being more forthright in forming a proper band to perform them. It's difficult to promote a gig when you say you are playing along to backing tracks on an iPod but I painstakingly made every track myself and got it more or less exactly how I wanted it to sound. When you have a band egos and schedules take over. I don't have Sunday afternoons available to rehearse so this was the easiest and best way to do it, otherwise… I'd still be trying to form a band and not have those 4 or 5 glorious gigs under my belt. Meiosis would still be in the past rather than the present.
I have however tried to make up for the lack of musicians on stage by firstly playing as many different instruments as possible in the set and also by the presence of the official second band member, Snugglenolia The Little Giraffe who has been a great asset providing 'vibes' (a bit like Bez for the 2011 generation).
Christmas at The Head Of Steam was a lovely gig. Although the venue was getting shirty about the amount of cover versions being played by the support acts and myself… the night comprised of 4 acts playing original music and we all ended with a cover - it was Christmas! I think it's fair to play a few covers at Christmas. It was also rather cold, but there were only about 30 people in the room. Not enough to splash out on central heating! I did the old set with a few I'd never performed live before. We all went home happy.
The Bridge Hotel was next. I supported the great band I manage called Captain Trips (http://www.captaintrips.bandcamp.com). I loved this show. The venue was full, everyone laughed at my stupid jokes and I ventured into playing some of the songs I had written in the ten years Meiosis has been dormant. I did however play for a little too long meaning Captain Trips had to cut their set short but meh, who am I promoting here?
I then got the chance to fulfil one of life's tiny ambitions and play at World Headquarters, supporting the tribute band 'Viva Morrissey'. I'd put the show on myself and having contacted a few people to play as support to no avail, I decided that was the green light for me to go and do it myself! It was rather stressful trying to manage a complicated gig and play it as well but worth it in the end. Being so busy I didn't get the chance to get nervous beforehand but it may have worked in my favour to do so. I had planned to open with a Morrissey cover but wasn't able to see my lyric sheet in the darkness on the stage so had to drop it and launched straight into 'Thumper' instead. I then discover my 5 minute soundcheck was not quite enough and I could not hear anything I was playing on stage. I managed to get through my short set with nervous sweat dripping off my head into my eyes. The crowd seemed a bit hostile, after all they had come to hear Morrissey songs not mine. Snugglenolia The Little Giraffe offered no assistance so I wrapped up and got off the stage whilst the going was good. As soon as I walked off the stage I got more than enough admiration for my set with people approaching me asking me about my music and where they could find more. Note to gig-goers: please show your appreciation for the acts when they are actually on the stage not so much afterwards… it helps! Viva Morrissey were awesome. In my 5 or 6 years being a promoter this was the best gig I ever put on. That includes the two times I had put on Viva Morrissey in the past. The atmosphere in that venue was beautiful.
The latest show was at The Telegraph. It was a lovely night I'd organised as a bit of a birthday bash for myself. It was intended to be in the same kind of vein as the Head Of Steam gig at Christmas and I'd got a few of my favourite local acoustic acts to play as support. I was very tired. I played for an hour. I think only the hardcore were left at the end but that was fine. It had been a fitting end to a great bank holiday weekend and I was happy with what I'd managed to do. My old friend Stuart Walton appeared and we did a duet of 'Don't Let Your Son Go Down On Me' as an intro track with Stu as George Michael and me as Elton John. I wasn't sure about doing it but it turned out to be very funny!
I'm now writing and recording a new album. The working title is 'Where Reality Ends and I Begin'. It'll be my first album in over 10 years. I have had some difficulty writing lyrics in the past as I don't want to keep repeating myself (even though I am aware very few people have actually heard any of my songs). Recently, I decided to attempt to nail the subject once and for all and make the album a concept album about my own experiences with depression. Some might cringe at what sounds like may become a rather dark and ugly album. It's not. Depression is such a complicated condition it comprises so many elements of one's personality. I sometimes count myself lucky that I am manic depressive or bipolar if you like. Although sometimes the 'manic' element can be far more destructive than the depressive bit - it can also sometimes fit in with your life, and work in your favour. Same goes for the depression. But the real reason I am happy being this way is that it constantly reminds you to stop being a twat. And that can only be a good thing for one's personality and one's music too!
Three songs are almost finished. Two have titles; 'The Sober I Is Repulsed by The Drunk Me' and '1995'. I am writing and recording this album to be heard exclusively on vinyl. But you will have to pay for that. I'm hoping that for the rest of you it'll be on iTunes by the autumn. In time for the perfect Christmas gift for your manic depressive, obsessive, long-blog-reading friend.
Hear Martin ‘Meiosis’ Thompson’s music at http://meiosis.bandcamp.com
Website & Blog at http://www.musicbymeiosis.com