Tuesday, 29 March 2011

So, just who the hell do you think you are?

I'm not going to use this as an opportunity to promote lots of projects necessarily (although I will briefly mention names of things, just so you get the full expanse of what I have been involved with over the years), but, I thought I should really give you something of an introduction to ME. A little self-indulgence never hurt anyone. Well, it probably hurt lots of people, but then so many things do, so am pretty sure by now, this will make no difference. It won't hurt ME then, let's say that instead.

Here is a (semi) brief life story. I say 'semi' because I can never really do things totally in brief, much as I try to, or would like to sometimes... which is proven in point right there. In fact, I can probably bet confidently now that it will turn out totally the opposite, so let's just forget this paragraph even happened... except for that last bit confirming that it WON'T be brief!

I was born in Leeds, New Year's Eve 1976, late on at night. I was born caesarean section because the doctors and nurses wanted to go to their NY parties. I think it's had a massive bearing on some parts of my life that I was pulled out early.

I don't believe I developed any sort of real consciousness and awareness to my existence for a long time. Maybe this was a good thing. I hated most of school. I was bright, intelligent, knowledgeable, more than most in my schools, but the education given to me and the atmosphere I was suppressed within broke my desire to learn more, teaching me nothing but anxiety, hatred, cynicism, the knowledge of wanting to escape rather than join in. I guess when they say school shapes who you are as a person, they were right! For most of the rest of my time since then, I've been trying to undo what school did to me, and in recent years, my thirst for intellect has come back, so now I immerse myself in words and sound to gain a higher sense of self to keep me alive and sane.

I played a lot of snooker at home on a small, half-sized table in a back bedroom, I listened to the radio lots and discovered the music I wanted to follow up on for life earlier than most, I kept myself mostly to myself, and it was usually better that way. Other people were (usually) just trauma or saddening. At the age of about 10 or 11 I started playing on full-size tables in clubs with my dad, and I got pretty good pretty quick. I don't play snooker any more, it's been a few years but that part of my life is now dead and buried. I did win, and am very proud to say it, a lot of regional competitions, trophies, club knock outs and such like. For anyone who is interested in snooker, I was, at one stage in the top 8 in Yorkshire, won the Leeds City Championships, I once played Paul Hunter when we were much younger and won a frame, and have a highest break of 136. I'm pretty damn certain I won't beat that before my death.

I've been involved in bands and musical projects since the age of about 16, so now more than half my life. Amongst the gigging bands have been Bathroom City, Canvas, Tangaroa, Narcosis, Reth, and now Diascorium. I've played around 300 gigs all over Europe. I've also done recordings under the guises of Eye Of Phetkanha, Incandescence, Cerebral Constriction, Fucking Hostel, Sloth Hammer, as well as a few other jams / gig stand-ins and contributions to things. I also ran the Raw Nerve Promotions website / forum / club night / gig promotions outlet, as well as Lovely Time Promotions gig organisers / music blog, and was part of the team that put on the Devastator and Arise club nights here in Leeds. Busy, awesome, frustrating, life-affirming nights have been had over the years, and, whilst now I am only involved in a couple of things, I hope it can continue for a little longer.

I met Sarah in 2003 and, amazingly it was one of those 'Yep, she's the one' type feelings. I pestered a friend who I knew knew her for her number, and got in touch. We'd both been intentionally single for a while before this night, and so we started chatting but without any sort of inclination for getting together, just because it was 'right' to be talking. I knew though, and happily we got together not long after, bought a house a couple of years after, and got married a couple of years after that. As everyone does, we have our ups and downs, and we sometimes drive each other mad, and sometimes make each other sad, but then most of the time we make each other feel a lot better about life, our existence, our battles uphill against all things that come at us, and we love each other hugely.

Yes, I am a soppy git, and I don't care who knows it.

I've had tons of jobs in my life, many a year at the snooker centre where I also played in a team, I've done loads of agency work, doing cleaning, warehouse picking and packing, being a driver's mate (although that didn't go too well as I managed to get us lost on a trip to the midlands, and ended up not completing the job until gone midnight! That was one long day I can tell you!), doing security patrols, working in pubs, clubs etc., working for magazines and now, I work for a newspaper, designing adverts, proof reading etc. I've been doing this since around 2003, and, whilst it's not too bad, if I wasn't able to listen to music whilst at work I would have killed myself, killed others, smashed things up, for the atmosphere and tensions in an office environment can be a fair bit soul destroying.

now you're a bit more up to date, probably bored, but hopefully not, just in case though, I will lighten things up with something ludicrous...

A few other things to mention. I am a total grammar nerd, have OCPD to the extreme, I enthusiastically love all manner of musical styles, from classical, ambient, prog etc., right through to the harshest, most horrible extreme metal (death, black, grind, gore, sludge, doom etc.), I used to be a total number geek as well, bordering on autistic, but, I've not had to practice it so much in the second half of my life, so I'm losing my touch with that.

I wrote a book. If you'd like something fairly in-depth, intense, weird, surreal, prophetic, with complex grammar and rambles, then click on 'Day One Promise' on the right hand side. I hope you enjoy. It's not overly long, but I am most proud it eventually was completed exactly how I wanted it.

I am an antitheist, the quote that sums this up for me best is by Christopher Hitchens, (yes it's on Wikipedia, but it still does echo my sentiments most concisely) and he says 'I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful.'

Finally, I promise to not close with a George Carlin video every time to back up whatever it is that I've just rambled about, BUT... how could I resist including this one. Utterly inspired. Click the logo please.

This is me.
I hope you take sufficient interest in my words to stick around and see what other inanities I may utter.

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