real life drama, idle fantasy, and stupid from the second lowest tier of the music business. because urgghhh.
but i’m sure what everyone wants to hear is a bunch of weepy depressing songs right? i think i’m allowed to talk about this now:
i’d like to point out this is my third ever show and i’m pretty much eating my own hands out of nervousnessness.
clearing out old harddrive, found photo from The Myspace Era of a guerrilla art installation I made for a Cliff Richard show years ago. The bears are wearing Cliff Tshirts and they have pins for eyes. This was sadly removed by cleaners who don’t know social commentary when it’s literally stabbing them in the hands, but the giant upside down crucifix made from 70 of those smiley cliff face pictures (just out of shot) survived for a good couple of years after. If you’ve never worked for Cliff Richard you no right to judge me here. Rudest fanbase ever. ikr.
So last saturday at midnight, i smoked a joint and walked the length of Broad Street, something i haven’t done for at least 7 years, or since XLs closed down. Jesus, Birmingham, what are we now..
My name has a dirty secret, I found out a couple of years ago. I’m the last Berrow here by a good 150 miles now, but up until 3 generations ago my family where one of a handful who ran central Birmingham’s nightlife. They branched out from bookies and mild gangsterism, I think they understood community. They’d let local bands rehearse on the empty stages in the day, in exchange for working the bar or the door in the night. Live bands were waaay more popular in your grandparent’s era. And it got to the point in the mid seventies, where their clubs were too popular; where their reputation had overpowered capacity and the exclusive proto Studio 54 atmosphere of Rum Runner on Broad Street was ruined by the uncultured masses wanting to get in.
So they built another nightclub. A cheaper nightclub, that could divert the influx of curious latecomers who just wanted to get drunk enough to pull, so they didn’t have to keep replacing smashed coke mirror tables and clean up student vomit. Local musicians were retasked to bricks and mortar, the cheap club was built and Rum Runner and later the equally discotastic Barberellas became the twin hubs of a massive Birmingham glam scene. Birmingham. Glam. Say it. My uncles were promotors, hustlers, sons of the gangsters who owned the properties. They saw the potential. They started managing Rum Runners’ house band, renamed them after Barberella’s arch enemy, and within 5 years they had homes in LA. They had fucking yachts.
Anyone with passing knowledge of The Eighties probably knows more about this than I do. I’ve never spoken to my uncles; my family doesn’t do transatlanticism well. I have memories of PA systems buried in gardens and optics in the spirit cabinet and everyone making jokes about insurance companies i didn’t understand. I remember being at a funeral and my dad having to explain to me that the two guys who turned up late and wore sunglasses and left in matching range rovers with blacked out windows weren’t the blues brothers. When I was 18 I lived with my grandad for a bit, he’d occasionally get drunk and tell me I was the wrong side of the family to be messing around with eyeliner and electric guitars but he’d never elaborate, and every few months someone will forward me a contact for one of Not The Blues Brothers. I’ll write, but I never hear back; i just piece the backstory together via wikipedia and various mutual passing acquaintances.
And like, Backstory is all it’s ever been. I still can’t believe how i wrote “massive birmingham glam scene”. That time, that money, that atmosphere, it’s long gone; has little bearing on my nightclub days and probably even less on yours. um, all apart from that cheap club. That purpose built social cattle market, built by musicians who dreamt of speedboats. outlasted the mirror tables and the dreams and all that tacky decadence. My family sold it. Someone else’s family sold it. C4 set a TOTALLY UNDERRATED sitcom above it. Your parents danced there. It got sold again, they stopped having bands. Someone died and someone bought it. It’s still there. for him, wednesday means one thing.
And they’ve never changed the name. Great sense of humour, my family
Please help us find our dear friend Mark. Share / reblog / tell your friends.
Please, he is such a wonderful man.
I’ve just spent 7 straight hours working out how to use this bastard app like an MPC so I can play yr friends stuff on my tablet like a smug modern man. I’m so totally terrified of the stupid big festival set I agreed to play and this is gonna add a whole other set of things that can go wrong and if it does go right then people will think I’m singing to a backing tape whilst playing candy crush or something. BUT I WILL KNOW.
That horrible moment when a musician’s/band’s music is ruined for you because you find out that you actually can’t stand their personalities (e.g. Los Campensinos, Johnny Foreigner)
so last night i pure couldn’t sleep and went looking in an old drawer i hadn’t used 5 years and hadn’t sorted out, ever.
and i found all this stuff:
this end is a beginning lyrics (and two more dead songs way too embarrassingly bad to show)
djs get doubts lyrics
demo track listing and first attempt at salt pepa words. i do all this stuff on laptop notepad now, and i’m kinda sad i’m never going to experience this history rush again.
and then underneath them (and a pile of old bills) were these kawaii little guys:
the future of portable music, 1997 - 2001.
and, like a weird musical Mr Driller trip, underneath that;
so that there pile of dead media is, every song i recorded on my own from 1998 - 2001, band demos from 1996 and 1997, home made stuff from 1998-2000, gigs and rehearsals from the band i was in (with tom calories) 2001-3, a panda love unit show from the jug of ale in 2004 and a load of mystery labelled stuff like “NOT ME” and “super awesome don’t” and “1-12 man talking and 13-24 weird shit”
there was also a Pixies compilation kelly made me, but in the case of a Twist compilation kelly made me. So someone somewhere was invariably disappointed
i’d forgotten so much of the music stuff existed and thought i’d lost the rest. i think it’s gonna make for mostly embarrassing listening, as soon as i can rob someone with a minidisc and tape player, but i’m weirdly glad i found it all.
idk what the point of this post was. i think i feel obligated to document it more than sticking it on a memory card and putting it back in the drawer.