“I might tell you to your face, but only when you’re gone…”

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~

Why are we here…
Don’t have too much time…

Ticking clock brings fear…
Inside the daily grind…

Embarked on a journey…
Dealt the dummy hand…

Doesn’t feel as funny…
When boy becomes the man…

We don’t know the truth…
No answer or insight…

Robbed of our youth…
On that dark November night …

Alone on this sphere…
Will we ever find out…

Will “they” make it clear…
Remove any doubt…

What is our mission…
The real masters plan…

A slave to suspicion…
Ramblings of a madman…

We’re just a speck of light…
A tiny piece of dust…

Some of us take flight…
Bystanders shall rust…

We believed it all mattered…
We cared what they thought…

Acquaintances now scattered…
Admiring trinkets they were bought…

They meant nothing to you…
But everything to me…

A moment so true…
Burnt into my memory…

We can’t comprehend…
Dare not shed a tear…

Drawn towards the end…
Another day, another month, another year…

 ~

“Without a scream, in the dead of night”…

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~

It’s as clear as purest Black…
And dark as sinful White…
Searching right into the day…
Looking left throughout the night…
It’s the only way to find it…
Wherever it may be…
The only way to feel inside…
But to never let them see…

It’s where you least expect it…
Where no life on Earth exists…
A memory you can’t explain…
Dark thoughts you must dismiss…
It demands you keep its secret….
A treasure chest of trust…
If it slips right through your fingers…
It’ll disappear like dead man’s dust…

It’s always in the beginning…
Yet the middle means so much more…
But when no one sees it coming…
The ending opens up a door…
It means the Sun is hiding…
When locked away inside…
Yet it is always shining…
Ensuring all your tears get dried…

Its eyes closed to the vision…
And minds blocked mentally…
Each heart afraid to beat in time…
Whilst falling accidentally…
Its playful spirit is unholy…
Any God would look away…
There will be no intervention…
No matter how much they all pray…

Because it’s now time just to listen…
And try to communicate…
Hear everything it has to say…
Before it’s much too late…
It’s as clear as purest White…
And as dark as sinful Black…
Just keep searching for the right…
One day you’ll claim it back…

~

“I might tell you to your face, but only when you’re gone…”

2013-12-17-DreamsCloudDreamInterpretationWhyDoWeDream1

~

Why are we here…
Don’t have too much time…

Ticking clock brings fear…
Inside the daily grind…

Embarked on a journey…
Dealt the dummy hand…

Doesn’t feel as funny…
When boy becomes the man…

We don’t know the truth…
No answer or insight…

Robbed of our youth…
On that dark November night …

Alone on this sphere…
Will we ever find out…

Will “they” make it clear…
Remove any doubt…

What is our mission…
The real masters plan…

A slave to suspicion…
Ramblings of a madman…

We’re just a speck of light…
A tiny piece of dust…

Some of us take flight…
Bystanders shall rust…

We believed it all mattered…
We cared what they thought…

Acquaintances now scattered…
Admiring trinkets they were bought…

They meant nothing to you…
But everything to me…

A moment so true…
Burnt into my memory…

We can’t comprehend…
Dare not shed a tear…

Drawn towards the end…
Another day, another month, another year…

 ~

“I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life”…

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~

There’s a man at the door…
Wants to buy your soul…
Says it’s worth double…
As it’s got a Black hole…

Got a big Black hole…
Deep down inside…
Been getting bigger…
Each time you lied…

Every time you lied…
The man here knew…
Made him smile…
As the Black hole grew…

The Black hole grew bigger…
Swallowed up your heart…
Covered up the truth…
Shot out a poison dart…

That poison dart…
Hit the one you love…
She took flight…
Like an escaping Dove…

That escaping Dove…
Has broken your soul…
All that’s left…
Is a big Black hole…

It’s that Black hole…
That this man wants…
Killing time in the shadows…
As her memory haunts…

And that memory haunts…
Stalks your hurting head…
You made the choices…
Now you wish you were dead…

You wish you were dead…
Because the living is hell…
Now the time has come…
And you’re ready to sell…

Yes you’re ready to sell…
Detach that big Black hole…
So just close your eyes…
And hand the Devil your soul…

~

“How I wish that I could do this again”…

Neil Finn – London

Neil Finn live at St James' Church Piccadilly

London. Beautiful, enchanting, evocative London. I keep saying it, I keep meaning it. The one place I feel at home. Truly overwhelmed by its majesty, truly enchanted by its spellbinding power. Apt that it was to be my last stop on my Forty for Forty quest. Apt the great Neil Finn awaited my presence.

It had been a tiring week. It was a very tiring day.  A multitude of things conspired, not least a delayed, then broken down train. I found myself in a darkened Kings Cross station, the sky had lost its light and the police were out in force outside, as were an army of Jesus worshippers.

For the first time ever, I chose to spend the night in a hostel. A mixture of adventure and cost cutting. It was easy to find and the receptionist was ultra-polite. My room, number 33, consisted of 2 bunk beds. Minimalistic I think you could call them – Dirty too.

Still, you get what you pay for and after dumping my stuff, it was out into the cold night air. Memories of my previous visit surrounded. Everywhere I looked, there was a reminder of my magical trip to see Nick Cave.

The tube wasn’t as busy as I had feared and with ears full of music, I wandered through the bustling underground until I reached Covent Garden. The gig was in Piccadilly, but I wanted to savour the sights and Christmas lights.

I found the venue and met up with the gathering Frenz. Tradition dictates now that we gather early for Neil Finn gigs. This is as much about community as it is getting a good view at standing or unreserved seat gigs.

This one was the latter as the venue, being a church, had no reserved seats, just pews. The Frenz were in good heart. And as I mentioned here – these people are amazing. And here we were again. Familiar faces, hugs and catching up on what had been going on since we last met.

And the Frenz had come from all over – A gathering of hearts and minds outside a church, But it wasn’t religion or a cult that bound us together in the cold evening air. But a love of music. Not just any music, but a love of Neil Finn. So at this point a reminder, there are gig reviews on the net – this is my experience, not a review.

We were stood outside for what felt like an eternity. Every so often, I would disappear to the venue and try figure out the best way to get my book signed. It was a small place, but 2 entrances. Neil Finn was already inside sound checking, but there was little chance of getting to him.

Even asking some nice church workers for help fell on deaf ears – this was proving to be just as hard as the Nick Cave gig. After hearing a song or two of the sound check, I gave up and decided to wait until after. Which wasn’t a bad thing and by the time my mate arrived with my ticket the queue was suddenly moving.

But it didn’t move far, just from the top gate to the door of the actual church, where we were made to stand around for another 40 minutes before the doors were opened an we entered the venue – all the good folk around me filled the first couple of rows, I was front row – great view other than Neil’s piano cover!

The church was decked out and ready for Christmas. Two huge trees stood proud behind Neil’s grand piano and the lighting made for a warm and welcoming environment. There were chairs for the string section and a smaller piano next to a drum kit. Quite a sparse setting really.

It was around 9pm that Neil finally entered the venue and by then it was packed. There was an eerie feeling in the room and a sense of occasion. This was a showcase for Neil’s upcoming album “Dizzy Heights“. Alongside him were a string section, led by the enchanting Victoria Kelly and a drummer named Chris.

Neil took a bow and sat at the piano, before launching into a song called “Divebomber”. An interesting song that has certainly divided the fans. It feels more like a movie soundtrack and sang all in falsetto, it was certainly a brave opening. Neil carried it off very well indeed.

The song was followed by the title track “Dizzy Heights”, which has had the opposite effect of Divebomber on the fans, indeed, the song has already become a clear favourite amongst many.

Still without really addressing the audience, Neil then went into “In My Blood”, another new song which went down well on the webcast, with such a catchy and soaring chorus about reincarnation. It was well received, as was “White Lies and Alibis”.

Neil was beginning to warm up now and the formal opening began to subside and the usual Finn wit that we have grown to love began to shine through. His next new song was “Lights of New York”, and he had sent out Chris, the drummer to go and get some city sounds to play over the top of the song – he recorded high heels!

Fellow New Zealander Connan Mockasin then joined Neil for a new song called “Gentle Dave”. An interesting one that will need to be listened to a few more times before any verdict is made for sure. The same can’t be said for the instantly catchy “Better Than TV”, which immediately hit home.

“Recluse” was then followed by an older song called “Sinner” – this is one of Neil’s best solo songs from the 1998 album “Try whistling this”. The church lighting went Red and it was played perfectly  – and in such a setting too. “Impressions” was the last of the new songs on the night.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do now” said Finn as the strings and Victoria Kelly left, leaving Neil and drummer Chris. The idea now was a shout out request show and all formality went out of the window.

However, Neil did start with an earlier request. It was our Frenz Val ‘s 100th live show and we had been tweeting Neil to see if he would dedicate a song for her and he did. A supreme piano version of “World Where You Live” leaving Val beaming from ear to ear.

My shout out request for “Faster Than Light” came next, at least, I think it was mine amongst the shouting voices. I claim it regardless!  A faultless rendition of “Message To My Girl” followed, before Neil went “Into Temptation”– once again, a church a rather apt setting for the nature of the song.

It was clear that poor drummer Chris hadn’t quite understood the delicate nature of the song as he thumped along to it. Neil had given him a couple of glances, but at the end of the song, some wag shouted “Taxi For Chris” to which Neil went into a really funny improvisation. Perhaps he realised and spared the drummers blushes.

Someone asked for the obscure “Blue Hotel”, to which Neil couldn’t remeber the words. He asked someone to sing the first line and from the back of the church came a really beautiful and brave voice. Infact, he did it twice as Neil asked him to, but when Neil asked if he could play it on the piano, it was a no – which killed the moment sadly – Neil really has to learn his back catalouge for the tour!

As ever, “Private Universe” was spellbinding, and Victoria Kelly joined the stage for “Anytime” and the final song of the night “Distant Sun”, which had the whole church singing as one. It was over far too soon and the whole audience were on their feet wanting more.

Neil left us hanging and will return next year for a full UK tour. For a showcase, it had a nice balance. I think as a fan, I would have preferred and have been to more looser shows. But todays music business as it is, I think Neil got the balance about right on this one.

And with that, my book signing quest was on. But once again, I have had to leave it with a manager and keep my fingers crossed that the postman will deliver something very soon. By 11 pm, I was heading into central London and enjoying the sights and finding some distraction. The night air of London had a much colder feel tonight.

Sadly, I did not enjoy the hostel and being forced to move rooms at 3am was not fun. Still, another experience to add to my collection! So the Forty for Forty quest is now *paused* till 2014. More on that to come later, but in the meantime, here is the aforementioned “In my Blood” from the night.

Enjoy

“I’m transforming, I’m vibrating… LOOK AT ME NOW!”…

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – London

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I am not sure where my love affair with London started. Perhaps it was on that long ago trip to see Neil Finn at the Palace theatre all those years ago. Perhaps it was something else. I don’t know or to be honest, overly care. I just know that I love London and for many different reasons. It is elusive, charming, magical – a living and breathing thing that draws you in and if you are not cautious, consumes you. It’s a place to be careful, but yet carefree at the same time and a place full of danger and risks. And on this occasion, Nick Cave too.

Out of all of my Forty for Forty thus far, this was by far the trip I was looking forward to most for various reasons. And frankly, despite all before, it was the gig I was looking forward to most and neither were to disappoint on so many levels. Wandering round the city the night before, there was a beautiful, surreal supernatural type of magic in the air. And on the day itself, I was consumed by everything around me.

Of course, Nick Cave features in my book, so the purpose of the day was split into two. My quest for a signature and of course, the gig itself. So, once again, I give you the standard warning – this is not a gig review, it is some of the experiences I had. Gig reviews can be found on Google and some people are really good at them. I sadly am not.

Nick Cave… Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The name just effortlessly inspires the mind. The music infects into deep dark places. “You’ll see him in your nightmares, you’ll see him in your dreams” is a lyric from Red Right Hand. And it’s all about lyrics with Nick Cave and me. His words drip from his songs and into my head. No subject is off limits, Love, Murder, Lust, Death, Depression – I connect with them all in some way and on some level. Cave is the master of darkness, a master wordsmith and very much a hero of mine.

Yet I have never seen him live before. I have seen live DVD’s, or caught him on the TV – but never had the chance to see him live. In many ways, I really should have tried harder to see him in the more local Manchester gig – but Nick Cave in London. A heady and danger filled mix if there ever was one.

The venue was steeped in history too, musical and personal. The Hammersmith Apollo as it is now known is a marvellous venue. The place that Ziggy Stardust played his last show.  (Then called London’s Hammersmith Odeon Theatre) 2 months before I was even born! The place where, in 2004, I spent nights with Neil and Tim Finn in the “Everyone is here” tour and then in 2010, I spent a magical 3 nights watching the mercurial Neil Finn and Crowded House waltz through their back catalogue.

That comprised of dashing trips from a family holiday in Kent to see the shows, 2  shows alone and 1 with my family – the last one led to front row seats for me and young Ollie and a back stage party that lives long in the memory too.  However, the venue is a fans nightmare when it comes to signature hunting. Security is tight and access to the stage door is blocked by huge electronic gates. Add in the, what appears, elusive nature of Nick Cave when it comes to signing stuff, then my book signing was to be my biggest challenge yet.

I arrived early. Too early, but I needed the distraction to aid and focus my tired head. The band were inside sound checking and light checking. I could not hear, but I could see the executive mini cabs as the security gates opened periodically. I pounced on the security men, but my plea fell on deaf ears. I pounced on catering staff – again, it proved fruitless. I bravely entered the venue and tried at the box office. Again, it was not to be.

The diehards were already gathering. 4pm for a 7pm opening, they stood huddled in the falling rain. It’s a sight I am not unfamiliar with. Had I not had a seat, I would have probably done the same. As it was, I left the venue and headed for food and coffee. By the time I arrived back, it was 645pm and the queue was 10 times the amount. As I followed a man with a beard and long hair, wearing a skimpy tight dress into the back of the queue  – this is London after all – the heavens began to open and I was feeling tired and frustrated.

Once inside, I figured I may have a opportunity to ask around to see if I could get my book signed. And as if by chance, a suited and booted and rather attractive man stood in front of me. I could see he had an access all areas pass, so with a bit of brave cheek I approached him. At first he was dismissive, but as I explained the nature of the book and what I was trying to do, he relented and whilst making no promises, gave me his name (Brian) his mobile number, took the book and disappeared.

From that point on, I could relax and enjoy the show. I found my seat where I was met by Jo. Now, I had to get my ticket for this sold out show via Twitter and Jo fortunately had a spare. Jo was a Twitter person, but we were both strangers in real life and it could have been awkward – but actually, it was the opposite and we sat and chatted for a good while before we were rudely interrupted by the support act.

Now, those familiar with my reports will know that support acts can be hit and miss. This one was sadly a miss – she had 2 out of 3 in her favour – brave with the crowd and a great voice – but her only instrument was a squeezebox and that killed everything. As Jo and I sat trying to block it out, we found ourselves applauding after her songs out of politeness – until we realised what we were doing and asked – why are we clapping this shit!?

Still, it was soon to be over and the stage was set for Nick Cave to make his entrance. The sold out crowd was mostly in – the standing stalls were heaving and I was partly jealous that I wasn’t down there, but partly glad as I was so tired. But around 9pm, the lights dropped, the Bad Seeds took the stage and they were swiftly followed by the man himself. Always impeccably dressed, he strode onto stage like a man on a mission.

From that moment, I was hooked and transported into another dimension of musical experience. Starting off slowly with the beautiful “We no who U R”, they moved effortlessly into “Jubilee Street”. I swear to god, it was like having a musical orgasm. As the tempo gathered, as Cave preached and danced, as the lights kicked in – it was one of the most incredible things I have witnessed this year at a gig. I feared that Cave had peaked too soon – but that was not the case… nowhere near the case.

Cave is a front man. No guitar in hand, but occasionally turns to the piano – so he has a style of singing. A stage presence that sees him get almost on top of the crowd. He stands like an evil evangelist preacher man would in front of his congregation and he connects  and commands with spellbinding power and witchcraft. Added in his enthusiastic dancing you have a pretty heady mix – and he held the audience in his sway with ease. It was a privilege to witness.

The songs rattled past – “Abattoir Blues”, “Tupelo”, “Stranger than Kindness”, “Mermaids” – time was just standing still as the impeccable Cave blasted them out and the Bad Seeds followed his lead. Like some demented conductor of his amazing orchestra. It was a joy to see.

Cave’s softer side was evident on the haunting “Love Letter” where he sang just him and the piano and then with minimal accompaniment on  “Far from me ” – before launching into the “Higgs Bonson Blues”, where even Miley Cyrus gets a name check!  And he asked the crowd “Can you feel my heartbeat” – yes Nick, we fucking could!  “The Mercy Seat” was all action and then a spellbinding version of the epic “Stagger Lee” was to follow, as shots were fired in the song, the lights flashed and the passion grew and grew, before he closed the first part with the intricate “Push the Sky away”.

All around us, the audience were with him at all parts of the show – one fella down in front had clearly had too much to drink and was up dancing in some strange trance like way for a couple of the songs before the encore – in which he was to feature more than he bargained for. A 5 song encore followed with “Jack the Ripper” and “Red Right Hand” the stand out tracks – And as the drunk man began to make enemies with his dancing antics, leading to things been thrown at him, Cave wrapped the whole thing up with a new song at the end of the show. “Give us a Kiss” sang Cave – I think I would have given him more than that at that point in time.

It was over far too soon. But my quest was not ended – I had to find the handsome man with my book and here in lay a slight issue. My phone battery was down to 8% and he was not responding to my texts. I frantically began to seek him out and nobody knew him. I was getting a sinking feeling – was this another instance of instant karma  – I seem to be having a lot of this lately. Had I lost my book ?  I waited for ages, to the point that there was no one left other than security men. Who then started to push me out of the building – but then I saw by chance a lady with an all access pass and asked her – wait here she said, I will help you.

After 15 mins of dodging security further, 2 younger girls appeared and asked if I was Brian’s friend with the book. At that point, it was explained that Brian was actually Nick Cave’s manager! My book was unsigned but safe – however they promised it would be signed and posted to me. What a magnificent ending to the night. However, I am now conscious that rather than a quick scribble and hand back, Nick Cave may actually take the time to read my words and that is quite disconcerting.

UPDATE:

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And with that, I was back into the magical London night air. I was high on the musical buzz, but so tired. By the time I was back to the hotel, my weekend was over and all I had were delicious memories burned into my soul. Forever. So, my Forty for Forty quest takes a break till the end of November, with a double trip back to London in a week – The Royal Variety show at the Palladium and then…. Neil Finn at St James Church in what promises to be…. Well, let’s not jinx it eh!  ?

So, thanks for sticking by this ramble if you have got to here – and yes, I know you have already had “Jubilee Street” recently on my blog, but you have now got it again and this time Live – As ever, I am thankful to fans at the front for capturing moments like this – I hope this transmits through, so please take a few minutes, crank up the volume and enjoy a flavour of the gig!

Enjoy!

“You can hang out with all of his friends”…

It is strange to think that this blog is still written very much in secret. Something that started out as a distraction, a place to come and vent whilst the world around me fell apart.

Whilst a couple of people in my life have read some bits here and there, those are people I trust immensely and they are the exception to my rules.

This blog and its rambles have become and remain a place that I can escape to without fear of being judged or condemned.

A tiny oasis in my life that I will never take for granted and a place that I get inspired by on a daily basis.

To this end, this ramble is just to highlight a few of you strangers out there, which I admire and appreciate.

I read as and “like” as much as I can in-between real life and writing, but I can’t get round all my followers – of which I am humbled to say there are far too many strangers out there subjected to my words.

There may be more reading, I don’t know, but I would like to point you in the direction of the following blogs and I hope you find a connection there too – I am not very good at “this kind of thing”, so I apologise for the lack of “this kind of thing” and these are in no order:

http://emma1951.wordpress.com

http://justme792.wordpress.com

http://stevehi312.wordpress.com

http://busymindthinking.com/

http://po3tic.com

http://chattyowl.com

http://greeneyedchess.wordpress.com

http://canuslupus420.wordpress.com

http://randomblurting.wordpress.com

http://heartafire.wordpress.com

http://www.thedrugstorenotebook.com

http://richardankerswrites.wordpress.com

http://apurvakj.wordpress.com

http://helenvalentina.com/

If your blog is not on the list, please feel free to leave a comment so people can find you, or just post some abuse, there is no moderation here unless you are spam!

Enjoy!