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Delusions from my Adolescence

Message from Queen.jpg

I didn't have a venue as the gig was never actually organised, so I left a gap for it intending to add later.

I did not have other bands for this, as yet unorganised gig, but I was intending to include them here.

The Venus Equator was the name of a "band" (basically just me and my mate both playing guitar) that I was in at the time.

So I was having a bit of clean out and a tidy of my room recently, as is standard during lockdown (or whatever you call this weird post-lockdown thing that we're in right now), and I found a lot of bits and pieces of old projects that I had been working on when I was about 20 - 21, many of which never saw the light of day. It's always a weird feeling looking back at old artistic projects that you were working on when you were younger because on the one hand the life experience and maturity that you've gained since that time means that you are a very different person than you were back then, while on the other hand you're still enough of the same person to get a kick out of the stuff you were doing.


Ultimately however, one of the main things I think when I look at old projects is just that I wish I had had the discipline to actually get more of these projects finished. It took me till my mid twenties to finally develop the intrinsic motivation and working routine that was required to actually begin to get some more substantial projects finished and released into the world. Not only that, but the level of working discipline and commitment that it takes to complete things on a regular enough basis that you might actually begin to see yourself develop and grow artistically is something that I feel like I've only reached very recently.

What I'm left with then, is draws and draws of unfinished projects and ideas written on scrap pieces of paper. Projects that may have actually been good if I'd finished them, but which would be pointless to attempt to pick up now, as so much has changed about me as a person since and therefore I wouldn't even be capable of inhabiting the kind of mindset that allowed me to conceive of these ideas in the first place.

Delusions from my adolescence is an apt title for this page then because what I am attempting to do here is to give is a small window into the entire worlds of creative ideas that existed within my brain as a youngster, but that without the discipline required to actually stay focused on things long enough to complete them, unfortunately, for the most part, remained delusions.

Not all of the stuff I've included here is unfinished. The following is an entry I wrote for a zine caled "Opinionated Geordie Monsters Review the Local Band Scene"...

...If you were hanging around at the old Stepney Bank incarnation of Newcastle's Star and Shadow Cinema in 2011, or thereabouts, you might be familiar with "Opinionated Geordie Monsters Review the Local Band Scene." It was a zine published and edited by the local DIY small press and zine legend Mike Duckett; an open entry zine where anybody could submit reviews of local bands. Mike used to print huge runs of this zine on a photocopier and put them around town for people to pick up for free. The zine was an important contribution to the exciting music and art scene that existed around the Ouesburn valley at that time. A zine which I'm honoured to have contributed to. The entry pictured below is one that I submitted to the zine in 2011 about the 2011 Tusk Festival, an absolutely amazing Newcastle based experimental music festival that takes place most years.

Reading through this now, I can't help but be embarrassed about how nasty I was about Pulse Emitter. I'm not sure if he was a local act or not, but I hope he didn't actually read my review. I would feel quite guilty if he had.

My Zine article about Tusk Festival 2011

Gig Poster for a Bar Loco gig.

This is another piece of work that did actually get finished. On the 31st of July 2011 a "band" consisting of me and my mate, both playing distorted electric guitar with me screaming bloody murder over the top performed our second ever gig to an audience of 3 people. In Bar Loco (then Barkollo) on a Sunday afternoon.

The music we were playing sounded bloody awful, but that was exactly how I wanted it to sound.

Our first gig had taken place at the Star & Shadow Cinema a week or so before hand and had been organised last minute to be on a night when the Star & Shadow did not have anything else organised. For this gig, we were on the bill with some performance poets that we knew and had talked into performing as well. This gig was attended by about 10 people; the performance poets and their friends, my bandmate's mother, my bandmate's mother's friend from church and 2 or 3 S&S bar volunteers. 

The vast majority of these people did not like our music. My bandmate's mother and her friend from church found my screaming off putting and found the lyrics (that were legible enough to understand) distasteful. The poets and their friends believed my screaming to be too masculine and felt uneasy about how frequently I seemed to scream the word Penis.

After this first gig, the outer fringe of our extended friendship group began to see us more as the freaks that we were and became more aware of the lurgey that they may catch from us, meaning we became slightly less cool in their eyes. I viewed this first gig as a success however, and rushed to organise another one as soon as I could. That second gig is the one that this poster is advertising.

Unfinished posters, Zines and other stuff

Okay so here I've just decided to give you a random assortment of off cuts and papers and bits and pieces. These are all unfinished pieces of work that I was doing at the time. It includes the following:

Unfinished band posters and logos for bands I wanted to play gigs with

These are posters for gigs which were never organised or played. This also, somewhat pathetically, includes logos that I made for local Newcastle bands who were playing gigs around the city at the time, that I was fond of and wished to do gigs with. It's important to point out however, that none of these bands actually knew that my little band existed or wanted to do a gig with us. Doing logos for them to put on a poster was just premature wishful thinking on my part.

Unfinished stuff and plans for a zine I wanted to make

There is various stuff in this section. One of the things was gear reviews. This is because at the time I used to spend a lot of my time looking at pictures and reading about old vintage music equipment online, despite not having any money to buy any of this equipment. It is important to note here that none of the equipment I wrote about in this section was equipment that I'd actually had the opportunity to use and the reviews were purely based on what I imagined the gear would be like, based on things that I'd read.

Another thing here is some random cut outs for an article I was going to write for said zine criticising the architecture of modern shopping malls by comparing them to the architecture of Nazi architect Albert Speer.

Other things

Some other things I've included are random political parody (a collaged photo of British conservative politicians when they were in the notoriously elitist, upper class, Bulingdon Club, which I had added a picture of myself to because I thought it was an amusing way to poke fun at the British upper class elitists who were (and still are) running the country) and some bits and pieces of other art sketches and random stuff.

Musical Instrument

This thing here is actually a strange sort of musical instrument that I made around about this time. It's basically the speaker from a phone, with a cardboard covering and a small hole. How it works is you place a guitar jack lead in one side and stick it in with some tape, then run it into an amplifier via some guitar effects and put your mouth on the other side. You then hum into it and it makes your humming sound really weird and fucked up.

I keep weird things and I think I may be a hoarder.

For some reason I'd kept the bits of the old phone that I'd butchered in order to make the musical instrument pictured above, so I decided to pause my tidy out for a second and go into the garage to nail all the bits to a piece of wood and make a weird piece of art out of it. I'm not sure if I actually like this piece, but here are some pictures of it. This is the phone I was using around the ages of 18 to 20.