Thursday, 30 June 2011

Obscene Extreme / Snooker / Incandescence - You don't see THAT combination very often.

Here's a bit of a self-indulgent post.
More of an update / journal entry rather than about anything specific I think really, but, hey, I'm sat here and it feels right, so let's go with it and see what occurs.

I've been continuing to 'clear the decks' and get everything up to date, completed, laid to rest, whatever is required of each project and scenario.

Last night I put to sleep the semi-dormant music project I've done since 2003, INCANDESCENCE. Style wise it was ambient, electronic, weird, experimental, dark, minimal, noisy, soundscape, film soundtrack style outpourings, sometimes songs would last for 30 seconds, sometimes 70 minutes, and it is something I am very proud of in all honesty. There's even a recording called 'Purging darkness from thine own bones', so, everything has always been about getting things out of my system I suppose.

I had a few bits and pieces just languishing in a folder that I had been working on, some remixes, but I wasn't 100% happy with them, and wanted to go back, sort them out, do some more, but I've thought about it and decided it was time to distinguish its flame. I've had some good times with this project, always a solo, recording only project, despite having been asked a few times if I was going to do it live, and half considering it, but in the 8 years, I've recorded 9 full albums, 1 EP, 1 split release and a remix album, so I feel I've managed to do enough with it to let it go. I uploaded one final track, a remix of a band called Discordance Axis. In there is the final 'epitaph', a collection of some artwork and a few other bits and pieces. I feel, as the name of the game states, purged. As I put in the epitaph, it feels good to be able to decide myself when something needs to end, as usually it's either out of my control, or just gets forgotten about and drops into a comatose state. I intend to continue this on with a few other bits and pieces.

Even things like getting my music collection properly organised, or my own art collection, or the image library I have collated for use on flyers and stuff, it's all starting to make a difference. I've still got quite a few things to get in order, it's going to be a long hard slog, but, it's starting to take shape, and my brain will hopefully feel the benefit. It always feels like, to me anyway, that if the little stuff is all out of order or in a state of disrepair, then I don't know how to tackle the big stuff, so, it's just one small step at a time. I've left a huge trail of unfinished debris over the many years I've tried to be productive, and now is the time to fix it all.

Click here, then click in 'My Personal Recordings' for this and many other things I've done over the years.

On another note...
I used to play a lot of snooker, between the ages of about 7 and 25. From the days of having a 6 foot by 3 foot table in a back bedroom at home and playing every night in there, to then playing on bigger tables when I turned about 12, to then playing for the local team, to winning club knockouts and leagues, to then winning trophies in city wide singles, doubles and team competitions. I eventually won the Leeds City Championships in 2002.

My highest break (in practice) was 136 (for those who don't know, the maximum possible is (technically 155, but realistically) 147, and I had a few 75+ breaks in competition as well. I carried on playing on and off for about a year, but that was my pinnacle. I won around 20 trophies in the years I played.


Since then I've had a few frames here and there, mainly against my friend Jim (the guitarist from my previous band Reth). Last weekend we played, for the first time in a couple of years, and ended up playing for 4 hours, the longest I've played for nearly 10 years, and it was almost like I hadn't stopped playing at times. I had a 55 break, a couple of 30 plus breaks and managed to confidently play all the way through. I'm not considering playing again 'properly'. I used to play every day. I'm thinking every couple of weeks though it would be quite good to had a couple of hours playing again. It's something I've always enjoyed doing, and even though I've not watched snooker on TV for more than 10 years, and don't really intend to, it's fun to play.

For those of you not into snooker, that was probably a very boring paragraph, but, I felt the need...!

On another (completely different) note...
On Monday, me and my wife Sarah, and a large bunch of us from all the UK will be flying to the Czech Republic. We are going for the OBSCENE EXTREME FESTIVAL, it's the 7th time we've been in 8 years and I can't wait, to get out of this country, to forget about things at home and work and life, for a week, to be in the Czech Republic, my favourite country that I've been to so far. It's the 9th time I've been. The seven times for the festival (which is in Trutnov, a small village 3 hours outside of Prague) and we've usually had a couple of days in Prague before and after, I went once with Sarah in the middle of Winter for New Year, and it was in minus degrees the whole time, dropping to -12 at one point, and the first time was to play two gigs with Narcosis. I could have, quite simply, put that I've been to the Czech Republic 9 times and I love it, but that seems distinctely insufficient for me.

It goes from the scenic quiet setting in a remote forest area up in the hills...

to this madness...

and it's fantastic!

Anyway, the festival is, as the name probably suggests very strongly to you, an extreme metal festival, and is tons of fun, ludicrous music, in a great setting... I can't wait!

Here is a picture of some of our mates 'getting into the spirit of things'!

And, on one final, completely different yet again, note....

Cheers for reading, please click 'follow', and it's goodnight from me, and goodnight from him!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Gnashers of doooooooooooooooooooooom!

So, it's been a bit of a silly week or so in Priest-land! Mostly revolving around tooth pain and problems, which means I am going to ramble on about teeth right now.

To prepare you, or to give you more in-depth reading afterwards, here is a huge wikipedia page about the human tooth...

I'm getting pretty sick of things to do with my teeth, I've always looked after them generally well, nothing out of the ordinary but enough for them to be okay, or so I'd think, but I've had nothing but trouble with them. Recent escapades with LOWER LEFT FIVE have just been ridiculous.

It broke a couple of months ago, leaving about half of it left, quite sharp and painful, so at the dental hospital, they did a root canal and filled it, temporarily, until a further decision about either re-building it or taking it out was to be made. It seemed fine for a couple of weeks, until the filling came out, taking with it a bit more of the tooth and pain started up again. I went back to the dental hospital, where they re-checked it, wondering why I was still having pains when there was no root, and they found a second canal where there was root growing, so that was hollowed out and a date was set to continue the re-building. For the next couple of nights I was in excruciating pain, to the point where I thought I'd had a stroke or some kind of aneurysm, I felt delirious with agony and had no sleep. Then my face swelled up and I looked like something from a David Lynch / John Hurt film collaboration. Back to the hospital I go, antibiotics prescribed, one of which gave me crippling stomach pains (Metronidazole, steer clear folks, it's bad mmm'kay), so I had to stop taking that. I continued with the other antibiotic and as many painkillers as I could muster, the swelling went down and I finally had the tooth removed.

I wish I could have the lot whipped out.

Too much hassle.
Far too painful.
Anyone who hasn't experienced severe toothache just really cannot comprehend what it feels like. At one point I actually thought I was dying and having some kind of out of body experience, it was that intense. At others, as I say, I thought I was having some kind of stroke or reaction. It's ludicrous.

I just want to take a month off work at some point, have them all taken out, have chance to recover from the immense amounts of pain I'll be in from the removal process and have false teeth made. It just seems to make far more sense.

I am just amazed that via the process of evolution, human teeth haven't improved much, granted, it's all very clever how two lots grow in your life, small ones when you're small, big ones when you're big (which makes us DIPHYODONT, yes indeed!), but, why not three or more (POLYPHYODONT), (don't say you don't learn anything from this blog!)? or why not one 'super set'? If the roots are the root cause of the pain, and they get taken out so often, why do they have to be linked directly to your brain's pain receptors, or, whatever the mad crazy science and biology is that I don't really understand...

At least my teeth don't look like this... this picture is GRIM!

I recently did an interview...

...for a fantastic ex-paper Zine that has now made it digital as well, called Load Of Noise, which is put together by the ex-vocalist of EVISORAX, and was a cracking little publication when in print, and is taking shape nicely online now.


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Return:- Time for the giant steps to be taken.

Well, I failed. As per usual.

This blog originally started as a 'new beginning'. An outlet to quench the desire to shout and bawl and get upset and get it all out of my system. It was all going so well, and then real-life and other 'stuff' halted it in its tracks, then I got out of the routine of posting, then I completely forgot about it, then it just became another one of those projects that I started, and didn't continue with or get it to a 'final state'. I even had draft posts semi-written up, almost ready to get added to my rantings, but never quite managed it.

What an idiot.

It's weird though, in the last week, three different people have asked me about this blog. I'm not going to say 'This post is dedicated to you, you know who you are', well, I MIGHT, but I still remonstrate defiantly that this blog is more for me than for you, or you, or you, or you (I pointed at the 4 'corners' of the globe there, how very old school, biblical (and of course, uninformed) of me.

Read about the origins of my old-schoolery here

Today, I have made the decision that this blog needs to carry on, spewing forth its late night rambles, its angst and its concerns for the universe, its despair at the auditory drivel that some of earth's creatures allow themselves to be subjected to, its nonsensical insanity and its semi-senile, prophetic disillusions. I am at THAT 'crossroads' in life, where I need to prioritise, where I need to get all the unfinished projects to a final point, tidy things up to a point where I feel I can let them rest, or, stop dwelling on them completely and call them dead and buried. All the unfinished, messed up nonsense is getting in the way of the life I should be living.

I've been at that crossroads many a time, and failed every time, or have begun to get things in order, but then forgotten what I was doing, and let things get out of shape and all wrong again. Not this time. This time I mean it. I think. Yes, yes I am sure. Totally. Well, hopefully. For definite.

I am about to embark on the biggest 'project' of my life.

The culmination of all I've learnt, all that I've seen, all the things I've wanted to do for a long time.
I am currently in the middle of looking at setting up my own business. With me, the outspoken 'director' of a team of hugely talented individuals, all with a similar drive and passion to me, all who have the desire and potential to work for themselves. It's been something long in the making, revising, streamlining, forgetting about, resurrecting, revising, streamlining, learning for, but I think it's now starting to approach something like a real possibility.

All this coming from a very poorly educated background. Not saying that I am, personally, uneducated or stupid. I know I'm not, but, the education I received from school did more damage than good, and the grades I got, and, more-over, the qualifications I DIDN'T get, speak for themselves. Even though I was semi-autistic at Maths as a kid, I got a D at GCSE level. Even though my grasp of the English language is, and always was, very high, I got 2 B's (Language and Literature), whereas I should, really have gone on to do both at A Level. The only other thing I 'passed' (C or above) at the simple GCSE level was Computer Studies, and I don't remember anything about it. It was a year long course, and we were pretty much given the answers to the exam, and, it was in 1992/3 and there were hardly any computers even in the school, and it certainly isn't anything like the computer world that is out there these days, so it's pretty much an irrelevant accolade.

We did Business Studies. I hated it. I didn't understand a lot of it, and, again, I don't remember any of it. I got a D. So, why in that void beyond the clouds am I thinking I can run my own business. Well, I doubt myself every day, and every time I think about sitting down to do work and reading and finding out and self-educating about the whole subject, but I'm still here, with this in my hands, heart and mind as a major possibility.

The whole plan started back in around 2002-2003, and then came back for round two a couple of years later, a team was sort of set up, things were starting to take shape, research was done, meetings were had, but, it didn't happen. In hindsight it was a shame, but, in hindsight again, I don't think it was the right time. Now though, around 6 years later, the idea is still more than relevant, and it's been burning holes in my sanity all throughout, so, I have re-assembled something of a new team, (with a couple of people from the original line up), and there is currently a lot more work being done with a view to get this show firmly on the road, with an unstoppable entourage of ideas, passion and hope at the core.

You will see I've given absolutely nothing away. Not yet.

Hopefully soon though, this plan will come into fruition, whether it does or it doesn't though, I'm definitely going to have a bloody good go. I don't want to leave this earth, (for good, in a final state, on my only attempt at life, I'm not coming back, I've not been here before, I'm not going to another plane), having not 'gone for it', having not made some kind of impact. It's just not how I am.

First though, I am on the mission to sort out everything outstanding, to fix everything that is wrong, to finish or bury everything that is unfinished. To leave me with just a few things in my life that are the most important to me, and to make sure all is well, healthy and 'normal' even. Fresh clean slate of a start, and then I can get on with the rest of my life, knowing that I am the best I can be, ready for just one final challenge. If it can help stand me in good stead to get out of the rat-race of 'working for the man', and also take a few awesome people away from it at the same time, then bring it on. I'm ready.

Onward and upward so they say.