MEIOSIS IS NOT HARD WORK
I’m aware that I have chosen a stupid band name. Nobody on the internet appears to be able to spell it and it leads to confusion. It is not even a nice word to say out loud. I chose the word when I was 16 – looking through an encyclopaedia for band names.
I was attracted to the name because of its meaning. Meiosis is the sexual cell division which forms gametes, which in turn creates the process of forming a cell that forms a plant, or bacteria or the male human sperm. And then after that we all know what happens! Sexy sexy time and then we are born etc etc. I chose the name because it means something that is significant to life and the answers to life as we know it and perhaps on my own level within my songs I’m searching for that answer. Not on the same level of the meaning of life, the universe and everything… just on a level. So anyway, you can spell it correctly from now on and know it is a special word that I care about and not just something that was plucked from the air. (That was patronising wasn’t it?)
We had a lovely gig at The Central in Gateshead on Saturday evening. I think it was lovely, I didn’t feel like I was really present. A few things went wrong at the last minute and rather than dealing with them I just though ‘meh’ and thought I’ll just do that bit myself. I do this far too often with gigs. It tends to turn out that I am running everything single-handed, some of my friends often help out but I end up running around like a dick trying to control the door (thankfully not enough people turned up to make this too much of a problem), controlling the sound (which I’m too impatient to do properly), organising the tables, timing the acts, doing promo, playing a set myself, drinking enough Guinness to make me feel cocky enough to perform, having lots of wee wees and smoking like an idiot.
Of course it is all worth it and I’m guessing that you know I love to sing and play guitar badly in front of people but perhaps the way I do things should change a bit as it’s hard to put on the show I’d like to put on when I’m doing almost everything myself.
On the other hand, I’m really grateful for the fact I can put on a gig now and not lose money. It seems that I’m rid of the days when I was playing to 3 or 4 people. We had 25 people in on Saturday. For a gig I hadn’t really bothered to promote I’m quite happy with that – and those 25 people were the correct 25 people. They all appeared to enjoy themselves and were respectful of the music and the acts. To be fair 5 or 6 of them WERE the acts but that’s not the point!
I don’t really know what to do with Meiosis at present. I have fulfilled the ambitions that I set for myself 3 years ago, namely 3 albums in 3 years and play some cool shows. The logical step would be to end it here when I’m happy but perhaps the least logical step works better – that’s how the whole thing of me playing and recording my music like this began again back in 2010. I have been doing so much in the last 3 years, possibly because I felt I was chasing my tail without all the crap I could have churned out in my late 20s, when I was either too depressed or too drunk to write & record music.
I think my greatest achievement that has come from the last 3 years is that I have started writing songs regularly again. Being able to write songs for myself means everything to me and I guess the only reason I stopped was because everything I wrote was vaguely about the same thing, however so they should be. They document my life much better than I could if I was just writing a stupid diary or a half arsed blog on the internet. I’d never continue writing a stupid blog. That’s just what an idiot would do.
I’m sorry that this blog does not contain loads of swearing or ranting about Tories and the X Factor television programme. I’m sorry if that is what you were expecting but the fact is – I just don’t care anymore. I have not given up hating them – I just think that by now you might have got the point and that by now you are intelligent enough to be able to put up with a few boring blogs from me about my life and what I am doing, knowing that in the back of your mind, that it’s only a matter of weeks before Christmas and I’m bound to break my politeness and go mental at some point before or during that. To that I say ‘Pah! Is it so bad that I have finally found a balance in my life? I have found the love of reason and ignoring everything I hate about life – no longer wanting to seek controversy?’ – but at the same time… these are the psychopaths that society should watch. So if there are any unexplained murders in your community over Christmas you should immediately blame me as the culprit. You won’t have to look far. I’ll probably blog about it.
Anyway, I think I’m going to do a little Meiosis release soon. Not a whole album but a little EP or mini album of some new songs. I have to write and record it all but I think I can do this over Christmas when you lot are all enjoying yourselves. Next week, we’re also going to record a new episode of The Friendly Atmosphere Newcastle Music Scene Podcast with a view to doing another series of 6. They’ll be 30 – 45 minutes each this time rather that 1 – 2 hours in the last series! They’ll have less music and more of The Golden Swan and me pissing about in them and be rather more entertaining.
The other and final thing I have started working on is a Meiosis package that gives you my last 3 albums on CD while somehow giving you the 3 old albums (perhaps on a DVD in MP3 format, they are too shit to commit to the costs of CD burning again!) plus some interviews & videos & live stuff all in one go – if I can keep the purchase costs to under a tenner would anyone be interested in purchasing such a nice package of everything Meiosis?
I’m not sure what to do with Meiosis as it stands. I set my goals and I achieved them. I feel a little old and self-conscious now to carry on in this vain way but I’m still only 31 years old and Jesus was 33 before anyone took any exception to his work & in a way I feel my life and work EXACTLY mirrors his. Oh hang on... not Jesus. I meant Mark Morriss of The Bluetones… no - sorry, I was right the first time - I meant Jesus. I’m not giving up. I will carry on – but perhaps in a different way with more people involved & those people feeling like they want to come along for the ride with me rather than feeling forced to do so out of politeness. This business of wanting to be a popular music act is completely at odds with leading a life that demands much more love, friendship & wealth than it can ever offer to me.
In most of my blogs I appear to have been obsessed with the fact people are not coming out to gigs and are staying home to watch The X Factor or going to stupid nights where the drinks are so cheap that they can get out of their minds for almost free. I am not obsessed with that! I am not… I am not! It just frustrates me. However, because I live in Newcastle where the council actively promote that as a reason to come here it kind of annoys me.
Lots of decent venues where musicians around my kind of level (which is nowhere) would normally play live. The volume of Wetherspoons is almost equal to the amount of Greggs in the city centre – not that I’m averse to either but everywhere appears to be being eaten up by capitalism. I’m sure this happens in other cities but Newcastle is not a very big city. This week 2 venues have closed of which I have fond memories. Legends was a nightclub that I think took upon the legacy of The Mayfair, and Trillians was… let me start a new paragraph to talk about Trillians.
When I was 18-22 there were no ‘indie’ clubs or nights. Meiosis played at ‘rock’ nights. We didn’t fit in and we mainly got laughed at. We played in pubs in Newcastle & Durham. A step up from playing those pubs was to play Trillians. It was a mythical and fantastic place to want to play. There was no other option really if you wanted to step up to a bigger venue. It was (presumably still is, as the last time I visited was to put up posters for Bowie gig) a great room with a nice big stage as the focal point and good in-house PA. I guess it has been bought up by some corporate chain and sold for profit because it’s good & therefore easy to sell. It’s just a shame.
I am careful to choose my venues now when playing live – although I might only be able to drag 25 people in. That’s 25 more people than they would have had – all hopefully buying drinks to support that venue. I thought World Headquarters was the only ‘big’ venue I could seriously do anything ‘big’ at but even if I considered my options they are becoming more and more limited. Venues tend to be less open to your ‘vision’ or artistic value. They tend to just piss you off by being unnecessarily awkward. My last 2 gigs, being at World Headquarters and The Central have been wonderful as far as the venue has been concerned and both have put me in mind to do more with them in the future. This autumn, I booked 4 gigs I had to ditch before I even started because the venue started acting like dicks. In the past I would have just pandered to them and eventually done the gig on their terms but I’m too old, too bored, too up my own arse, too much not wanting to drag people out in vane to a venue where they are going to act like dicks and generally too jaded by them to not happily upset their diary by just telephoning and saying ‘actually, no!’, ‘I’ll take my 25 people somewhere else!’ That’ll show them.
So I headlined a gig for the first time in ages on Saturday. I played a few covers as I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s Saturday night by playing my own awkward stuff for an hour. It turns out that my 25 strong crown were up for it and could have withstood a bit more obscurity – It also turns out that the venue’s curfew was later than I thought so I need not have rushed through things.
For all I have worked though in the last 3 years – I am proud that it has been ethical, correct, not overly promoted and at least, I think, clever.