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Posted on Jul 28th, 2009
Anxiety Dreams, Kraftwerk, Moon, Missing Apostrophe


I veer between “Wayne’s World” levels of confidence and extreme terror about the gig at the ICA. Ronan asked me why anyone would come along, and I said “What? You’re joking – it’s Spearmint! at the ICA! Playing “A Week Away” live! of course they’ll come!” He also asked me why anyone in London would bother coming to see a band from Leicester (The Junipers) and I confidently explained “Listen, when a band is that good, they are going to pull a crowd wherever they go!”

At other times I am worried about it though… suppose nobody comes, suppose we are rubbish… I had one of my recurring anxiety dreams last night: the one where I am being tormented by a large bee or wasp. Bridie woke me up because I was crying out and jerking about. My other two regular dreams are being naked in a public place and either having an exam or a gig that I suddenly realised I am totally unprepared for. I suppose the worst that could happen is a handful of people at the ICA watching me sitting an exam naked and unprepared onstage while being tormented by a large bee or wasp.

We have been very busy getting the album ready. I have just signed off the master and it sounds great. We decided to lose one of the extra tracks in the end (poor old “A Mild Mannered Man”) as it was getting too long to fit onto one CD. Jim is pulling the artwork together and had designed a very nice postcard which we will use to promote the gig. Still a lot to do for the artwork – we need to compile all the lyrics and images then lay out the booklet. Jim’s friends Jean and James are going to interview each of us for a short film which will show before we play the album live.

We went to see The Pretenders the other night at the Shepherds Bush Empire. They were great and I have come to really like that venue. Last week we took my mum to see a 50s show called “Dreamboats And Petticoats” at The Grand Theatre in Leeds. The show was good fun, but the main pleasure for me was going back to the Grand where I used to go to watch bands as a kid. It is a brilliant theatre and I always dreamed of playing there when I grew up. I still do. One of the things about being in a band is that whenever I go to see other bands I find myself wondering whether or not I would want us to play in the venue. Bridie and I went to see Kraftwerk at The Town Hall in Auckland last year. What a great venue! Just the shape of it is enough to dream of playing there. I don’t own any Kraftwerk albums. I have always quite liked them, but avoided seeing them live originally, thinking “it will just be four blokes stood there behind keyboards”. So we went along to give it a try, and when the curtain rose, there they were – four blokes stood there behind laptops. They were great though, and the robots did the encore. I must get the albums.
Also went to see “Moon” last week, which is a really great sci-fi movie, an instant classic, on a par with the best from the 70s. And there has already been a classic vampire movie this year: “Let The Right One In”. We also saw “Bruno” last week which was very funny, though I notice people are getting snooty about it, constantly comparing it to his other stuff, and saying it is disappointing. The fact is it is great and the first film this year I have immediately wanted to watch again. I remember when “Fawlty Towers” was first aired, on BBC 2 I think, it got a really bad response, with critics saying what a shame it was that Cleese had gone so mainstream after Monty Python. It was later re-run on BBC1 and suddenly it was a huge success. After a gap, they made series 2, and that got really bad reviews as apparently it was nowhere near as good as the first season. Critics – what is the point of them? “Anti Christ” is a cool film too. Thanks to the fuss about it being a genuinely graphic 18 cert, we were able to watch it on a big screen in town. It is great – proper film-making. Thank you Lars Von Trier.
Bridie has a flash new phone. My phone hasn’t even got an apostrophe in it. I get funny about other people adding apostrophes where they are not needed, but I have to leave them out where they are needed. It is the first phone Bridie has had with a built-in camera. So she is taking lots of photos, including those ones that look great but you don’t take, like of your foot or chin or the pavement… She is building up a great collection, but isn’t able to get them onto the computer yet, so I resort to including this shot I took of a laundremat in Innsbruck.

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