Friday, 29 May 2009

We Only Did What You Told Us To (Again)

It's back, and now with more YouTube links than you could ever want to visit:

We only did what you told us to
We placed our hands and we sat down
We only did it because it was you
We did it all and without a frown
We woke Boo, to the tune of Song 2
We chose life and look where it got us
We lived common and fought Foo
We spent Saturday night alone on the bus

We, who were stupid girls and nancy boys
Loitered in spaces, opened wide with poise
Struggled with individuality
When we needed solidarity
We argued over the latest Blur versus
And hid from all the boyband curses
It was Tit for Tattva tit
We knew you’d save us from all this shit

No silver spoon and no life on a plate
Addicting ourselves, as our lives stagnate
Soul novocaine, grass that was super
Any old drugs that didn’t work
We’d kill time, while in a stupor
Columbia’s economy wore a smirk
They knew we’d buy anything
As long as it makes us sing

We got sorted and caught by the fuzz
That was the chemistry between us
We got our teeth kicked in as a warning
And then awoke unto our pure morning
Pushed into the realms of insignificance
Back from the limelight and magnificence
Breakfast was coffee and TV
Bought with peaceful profits, there are none

We turned to electricity
Do the best with what you’ve got and have fun
The sun hit the sky, the shit hit the fan
Who orchestrated this unwritten ban?
We looked to the world and got annoyed,
We looked to ourselves and got paranoid
We helped the aged and heard them moan
We looked to you when we felt alone

We were the mis-shapen, beautiful freaks
This is a low, there are very few peaks
Our whole lives ahead with destiny calling
Resigned to our lives, success rates are falling
We lived in parks, lapping up the rain
Learning to fly and spotting that train
Ignoring that vicar and part-time flasher
Our thirsts abated with brimfuls of Asha

We came back to what we knew
And something really had changed too
Symphonies weren’t bitter sweet
The world was no longer at our feet
We all met up in the year 2K
A hundred and one methods to pay
End of a century and we feel like trash
Ending it now doesn’t seem so brash

We made it this far, to the end
On this learning curve, we’ve rounded the bend
We expected enlightenment and answers
All we got was cover versions and bad dancers
Our design for life was doomed to fail
Last reminders pile up in the mail
Heart-felt sun has now been stolen
A comeback tour by the sisters Nolan

We girls and boys we must unite
In the end it’ll be alright
Together we make our stand
Divided we would fall
We’ll issue our demand
Now This is a call
Rise up now, don’t take any of this crap
Unless you wanna endure another lap

We only did what you told us to
We only did what you told us to
We milk cartons, we’ll keep Moving
And hope it’ll start improving
Where did it all go wrong?
Who invited Steps along?
We who are still here, we are hardcore
Well, we got what we paid for

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Deceptions - Rehearsals

Rehearsals continue apace.

After a week away I was back at rehearsals today. So Day 2 for the understudies is Day 7 for everyone else. It feels like we're playing catch-up.

Line learning is the order of the day, however you choose to number it.


Meanwhile the A team have begun their promotional onslaught.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Deceptions - Full Tour Schedule

Those Deceptions tour dates in full:

10th June to the 20th June
Mercury Theatre, Colchester

22nd June to the 27th June
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

29th June to the 4th July
Theatre Royal, Brighton

6th July to the 11th July
Richmond Theatre, Richmond

13th July to the 18th July
Theatre Royal, Norwich

21st July to the 25th July
New Theatre, Cardiff

27th July to the 1st August
Hall for Cornwall , Truro

3rd August to the 8th August
Theatre Royal, Windsor

10th August to the 15th August
Malvern Theatre, Malvern

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Deceptions - Audition & Readthrough

Last week I auditioned to understudy the part of Adrian Wainwright in Joe Harmston's production of Deceptions, a new play by Paul Wheeler. I was offered the part, but I've never had to think so hard before about whether I wanted to do a job or not. On the one hand it's money coming in when times are hard, a chance to work on a tour the scale of which is new to me and with an impressive cast and crew. On the other hand the idea of learning half the lines in a play with the possibility of never going on is a strange one. Since I've never understudied before I thought I'd give it a go.

Yesterday we had the initial readthrough. It's the first readthrough I've been to without being called upon to read a word. It was a very peculiar sensation being read to.

Deceptions stars Michelle Collins and Rupert Hill, is written by Paul Wheeler, directed by Joe Harmston and may well be coming to a theatre near you soon.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Parked

The entire Finsbury Park gig was made available on video as The Park Is Mine. Later released on DVD as the less imaginatively titled Ultimate Live, this time coupled with a gig at London Brixton Academy on the 21st of December 1995.

The Brixton gig interspersed with monologues about touring written by the members of the band and delivered by Robert Hulse was previously out on video as F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.I.V.E..

The tracklisting is:

1. 'Do You Remember The First Time?'
2. 'Monday Morning'
3. 'Pencil Skirt'
4. 'I Spy'
5. 'Sorted For E's & Wizz'
6. 'Something Changed'
7. 'Live Bed Show'
8. 'Acrylic Afternoons'
9. 'Babies'
10. 'Disco 2000'
11. 'Mis-Shapes'
12. 'F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E.'
13. 'Underwear'
14. 'Common People'

The tracklisting for The Park Is Mine is:

1. 'The Fear'
2. 'Do You Remember The First Time?'
3. 'Dishes'
4. 'Seductive Barry'
5. 'Sorted For E's & Wizz'
6. 'TV Movie'
7. 'A Little Soul'
8. 'Party Hard'
9. 'Help The Aged'
10. 'Sylvia'
11. 'This Is Hardcore'
12. 'Glory Days'
13. 'Common People'
14. 'Laughing Boy'
15. 'Something Changed'

'I'm a Man' was performed between 'Do You Remember The First Time?' and 'Dishes', but it was edited out because Jarvis Cocker didn't feel it was "up to scratch".

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Uncommon

Picking up where Glory Days left off, here's more from Pulp's Finsbury Park Concert, here's a clearly crowd pleasing performance of Common People.

This was the best gig I've ever been to. I say that not just out of nostalgia, but as a challenge to any future gigs I attend: here is the benchmark, try to improve upon it.

Of course it is ludicrous to suggest that you can challenge a gig, it's like trying to talk to a Thursday. A gig is something you are part of whether you are performing on stage, jumping up and down at the front, crowd surfing towards it or walking past and complaining about the noise.

I'm glad I was a part of this one.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Glory Dave

I'm in this. Did you see me?

No?

I'm the one in the crowd.

Inspired by the reaction to We Only Did What You Told Us To and the fact that Jarvis Cocker has a new album out very soon. I thought it was high time to post this.

Recorded live at Finsbury Park on 25th July 1998. By this time Pulp were Jarvis Cocker, Candida Doyle, Steve Mackey, Mark Webber, Nick Banks and to all intents and purposes Richard Hawley too.

I was there.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Monday, 4 May 2009

We Only Did What You Told Us To

I am not a poet and this is a fact I am all too aware of.

See how little of that rhymed?

However I have dabbled, and since I haven't been in a position to include Writing posts on here for a while I thought maybe I'd dust off this example of such dabbling.

Picture the scene:
The year is 1998ish, Britpop has been and gone, Blur versus Oasis, Pulp, Jarvis Cocker briefly shared the stage with Michael Jackson, Supergrass, Placebo, Radiohead. All of it gone, and in its wake we are left with wall to wall boybands and the beginnings of the Reality TV dross we are so accustomed to now. Nothing stayed at Number 1 for more than a week and successes seemed scheduled. Then for a brief period, the bands of Britpop have a comeback in the offing. Fantastic albums like This Is Hardcore, Do It Yourself, Urban Hymns and Blur's eponymous fifth album are all released reminding us what we were missing and with them is a raft of new bands like Gomez, The Supernaturals, Catatonia, Cornershop and Ultrasound.

For a while there was hope. And then nothing. As good as their efforts were, the public just didn't seem to care. Incensed by this, I wrote a poem. Re-reading this for the first time in years I don't think Carol Ann Duffy's recent position is under any threat. I was also under the misapprehension that the various references to song titles and lyrics were much subtler. Subtle they ain't. Amazingly the world around me failed to change overnight. Here it is, but be warned, the world around you may fail to change overnight:


We only did what you told us to
We placed our hands and we sat down
We only did it because it was you
We did it all and without a frown
We woke Boo, to the tune of Song 2
We chose life and look where it got us
We lived common and fought Foo
We spent Saturday night alone on the bus

We, who were stupid girls and nancy boys
Loitered in spaces, opened wide with poise
Struggled with individuality
When we needed solidarity
We argued over the latest Blur versus
And hid from all the boyband curses
It was Tit for Tattva tit
We knew you’d save us from all this shit

No silver spoon and no life on a plate
Addicting ourselves, as our lives stagnate
Soul novocaine, grass that was super
Any old drugs that didn’t work
We’d kill time, while in a stupor
Columbia’s economy wore a smirk
They knew we’d buy anything
As long as it makes us sing

We got sorted and caught by the fuzz
That was the chemistry between us
We got our teeth kicked in as a warning
And then awoke unto our pure morning
Pushed into the realms of insignificance
Back from the limelight and magnificence
Breakfast was coffee and TV
Bought with peaceful profits, there are none

We turned to electricity
Do the best with what you’ve got and have fun
The sun hit the sky, the shit hit the fan
Who orchestrated this unwritten ban?
We looked to the world and got annoyed,
We looked to ourselves and got paranoid
We helped the aged and heard them moan
We looked to you when we felt alone

We were the mis-shapen, beautiful freaks
This is a low, there are very few peaks
Our whole lives ahead with destiny calling
Resigned to our lives, success rates are falling
We lived in parks, lapping up the rain
Learning to fly and spotting that train
Ignoring that vicar and part-time flasher
Our thirsts abated with brimfuls of Asha

We came back to what we knew
And something really had changed too
Symphonies weren’t bitter sweet
The world was no longer at our feet
We all met up in the year 2K
A hundred and one methods to pay
End of a century and we feel like trash
Ending it now doesn’t seem so brash

We made it this far, to the end
On this learning curve, we’ve rounded the bend
We expected enlightenment and answers
All we got was cover versions and bad dancers
Our design for life was doomed to fail
Last reminders pile up in the mail
Heart-felt sun has now been stolen
A comeback tour by the sisters Nolan

We girls and boys we must unite
In the end it’ll be alright
Together we make our stand
Divided we would fall
We’ll issue our demand
Now This is a call
Rise up now, don’t take any of this crap
Unless you wanna endure another lap

We only did what you told us to
We only did what you told us to
We milk cartons, we’ll keep Moving
And hope it’ll start improving
Where did it all go wrong?
Who invited Steps along?
We who are still here, we are hardcore
Well, we got what we paid for

Friday, 1 May 2009

The Romeos

Looking oddly like we've formed a boyband, (from left to right), Alex Eisenberg, Zack Polanski, Peter Aers, me & Matt Trueman were the Romeos for Dora Garcia Lopez's project as part of the Musac Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León's exhibits at last year's Frieze Art Fair.





Charged to infiltrate the art fair and engage its patrons in polite conversation. Never acknowledging why we were there.

Until now, here's me breaking cover.