THE SAME BUT BETTER
I appear to have quite a lot going on at the moment. I’m considering a small Meiosis UK tour for the Spring, I’m constantly editing live music by other bands I have recorded, I have begun the writing process for the next Meiosis album & I’m fighting off the idea in my head to do a silly free Christmas gig in THAT Newcastle. Along with occasionally recording cameo bits and pieces and finding the time to start an entire spin off album with a very worthy artist and somewhere in-between holding down a full time job, I’m kind of pleased Meiosis has led me this way but also daunted by the fact that I have to undertake all of this within a certain amount of time.
The reason I write, record, manage, promote & organise everything myself is because I like to do everything on my own terms and because I may be a bit of a control freak. I have a few people help me out with a few things but I think even they would agree that I do just about everything it’s possible for one man to do in all this big Meiosis thing that I have now found myself doing.
I set myself the target of doing 3 albums in 3 years and I think we’re now much closer to the end of that than we are to the start. We’re now in a strange routine of fashioning different hats at different times of the year. Days turn to weeks & weeks turn to months and before you know it another year has gone by and you’ve moved on by about 2 inches. I’m now facing the decision whether I should call it a day after the 3rd album or carry on in this cycle. It’s tough. Do you push it as far as it’ll go (if you’re asking about 8 inches) or do you cut yourself off before you’ve peaked? (which is always frustrating).
To compound my musical workload we started making a podcast almost a month ago. It’s a proper podcast about the Newcastle music scene and it’s called ‘Martin Thompson’s Friendly Atmosphere Newcastle Music Scene Podcast’. We’re recording the last little bit next week. I didn’t realise it would be so difficult to do this bit but it is. We had a dry run (I say dry but I was as drunk as a skunk) and decided the demos we’re playing and the chit chat between needs more work. So bands of Newcastle (and beyond, we’re not being too strict on that) we need you to send us some decent music to play on it. We’re aiming to play 5 or 6 unsigned bands on it and also make it entertaining to listen to - if you feel enabled to send us something to play, then email me some information and attach your music to said email to musicbymeiosis at gmail.com .
Our next gig will be at The Bridge Hotel in THAT Newcastle on Saturday 17th November. I’m very much looking forward to this one as we have Gin Girl – who we just kinda met on Twitter but never seem to be able to twig when I’m face to face with her, she has some awesome tunes and quite a beautiful voice. Then we also have Captain Trips, who are the band I managed for 18 months before I finally had enough, but still find them wonderful company and awesome musicians and also Bernaccia who were formally The Out Of Towners (which I think is a better name) and the first band I ever put on when I decided to be just a shat upon, in order to get back into live music as promoter in 2007. As well as my good self playing – this appears in theory to be a great union of the past, present and just having a lovely evening. I’ve been looking forward to this gig since I booked it.
I’m very proud to have managed Captain Trips for that short while. I think I got them through a difficult period in their musical career where they didn’t know what to do next. If nothing else, I feel I’ve set them off on another path, when otherwise this awesome band may have burned and died out. I did tell them they sound a bit like The Bluetones though – in a nice way. All being too young to remember, none of the members of Captain Trips have any knowledge of The Bluetones. The Bluetones were probably one of a handful of Britpop ‘indie’ bands who had the song-writing capability to sustain a career by carrying on their work far beyond the era in which they became famous. I own none of their albums but saw them live many times & always enjoyed it. And then I got them a review in The Crack, our respected and loved local free music magazine, with more knowledge and sense than money, who also said that Captain Trips sounded a bit like The Bluetones! I guess that means in all respects I was right – whatever I was doing – because somebody else, with no prompting at all and without even thinking about it thought the same thing as I did. Captain Trips would probably embrace this – but as I say, they prefer Jimmy Eats World and Blink 182 and the like.
It’s ok though, Captain Trips. You may not get the ‘people keep saying I sound like The Bluetones’ references. People keep telling me I sound like David Bowie, whom I think you’ll find has sold many more records :)
In other news, the first line of my latest album dictates that “I have got to stop smoking”. I’m not doing well but I’m pleased I have reached the point in my head that I want to. I have been trying very hard. Imagine how many awesome gigs I could put on with the extra money! However if anybody asks me about it – it just annoys me and makes me want to smoke. So please don’t do that. The second line of my current album dictates “I’ve got to stop drinking”. I’ve tried that and it’s awful but I am drinking a lot more non-alcoholic beer at the moment. If this stops me feeling depressed and having almost constant anxiety, and paranoia with added panic attacks, then I guess it’s the road I have to go down. I was recently complimented by a friend of mine who is in a reasonably successful band. He said that what he admired most about me is my motivation and productivity. If I told him it took me 48 hour days, 50 cans of shit lager and endless cigarettes to achieve that then he’d probably not aspire to it so much. Perhaps someone somewhere will take something out of that. A lot of the work you do when you’re all DIY and independent and do everything yourself is in solitude. It’s also very often very very mundane. Playing live is probably the only time you get a chance to reap any reward from that and often you leave that feeling disappointed and isolated. The last couple of gigs I have had have been among my best ever. We’re still not making money – but I feel I am at least getting people to come out of the house & come see me instead of watching Simon Cowell tell somebody to ‘fuck off’ on prime time television. I hope when Simon Cowell dies, he is convicted of being a cunt.
I was standing outside the venue I was playing a couple of weeks ago, in the darkness, puffing away on a guilt-ridden cigarette when a handful of people walked up the opposite side of the road. “That music by Meiosis man is playing as well tonight” said one of the ladies in the group. “Have you seen his blogs?” “Yeah”, said a man, “what a dick”. I did not hear the retort as they walked into the venue – she may have agreed. All I know is that I had a massive smirk on my face & guessed I probably wasn’t meant to hear that. It was a lovely gig – so I don’t care either way.
So I guess, in conclusion, if you were considering coming out to see a Meiosis gig with a nice local acoustic act and a couple of great local bands, you should do so now. I might be shite in a year. I was shite a year ago. I think I’ve peaked at what I’m doing now. It may be time to move on, although moving on takes me a long time to organise, for now… This time is mine.
So I guess this time is the only time I will get the chance to show Captain Trips that they unintentionally happen to sound a bit like The Bluetones. Andrew, Rod, Matthew & Steve, here are The Bluetones: