Thursday, 23 May 2013


Since the Fall/Rupture/Event, Dave Keenan has been plummeting backwards through key moments in his life. It's not an uncommon phenomenon, given all the people that were living in the past when the rift opened.

For Dave, though, it's different. For Dave always loved music and always wanted to be a musician, but he lacked the dexterity or discipline required to learn an instrument. So instead he would listen alone and air guitar and picture himself performing for all the people who never took him seriously. How naive of him to think musicians would be held in any higher esteem than the rest of society.

Since the Rupture, though, this is exactly what Dave has done. Now a virtuoso guitarist, he jerks backwards through time, playing gigs to the people in his past, accompanied by a fleet of the finest musicians. The following are transcripts of his liner notes, including personnel and set lists.

Note on text: 'played spontaneously' indicates where a member of the audience stood up and played an instrument that appeared in their hands. The majority of those involved reported the experience as being a positive one and many went on to take up an instrument for real.


Dave - Vocals (but where stated) & Guitar
Ricardo - Vocals & Guitar
Sid (½ of SidLee) - Vocals & Bass
Andy - Drums
Dee - Vocals, Keyboards, Strings, Guitar & Banjo
Lee Mai (½ of SidLee) - Wind & Brass

Where I came in. Can't say when. Sam was there. Murray & Sarah too. Can only have been days before. Making peace.

Ever have that dream where you're caught jerking off in public? I felt like that, standing there, holding something in my hand, everyone looking at me. Instead of my dick, though, it was a guitar I was holding. Nylon strings. Rico asked if I was ok. He started to pound out the rhythm again and I somehow knew what to do. From there, we did a great gig and none of it seemed odd for an instant.

Dave and Ricardo

Diablo Rojo - Rodrigo y Gabriella
How Does it Feel? - Roy Harper
Tom Tiddler's Ground - Roy Harper - Lee Mai handing out recorders to some of the kids and showing them the melody to play along.
By the Riverside - Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee (Rico - vocals/guitar, Dave - harp)

Four Piece

Song for the Dead - Queens of the Stone Age (Sid - Vocals) - These first few songs are about us establishing our authority over the audience. Then we can start bringing people in with us.
No One Knows - Queens of the Stone Age
Machine Men - Bruce Dickinson
Down Payment Blues - AC/DC
Gone Shootin' - AC/DC
Bad Boy Boogie - AC/DC (Rico - Vocals: Dave - Lead Guitar)

Full Band

Great King Rat - Queen - Lisa spontaneously played acoustic guitar in the middle. We hugged at the end and she kissed me and said she'd forgiven me.
My Fairy King - Queen (Dee - Vocals) - Rico's out in the audience. Couple of guitars with people out in the crowd, hooked to up a short delay to play the middle section. Each sequence of notes are played forwards a couple of seconds before the reverse comes into effect through the speakers. He used to the same with the Beatles, 'I'm only Sleeping', though we don't play that one so much these days.
You Don't Understand Me - Raconteurs (Dee - Piano/Vocals) - Just the band here. Gives them a break and you find at this stage that they admire just watching you play.
Top Yourself - Raconteurs (Dee - Banjo) Sid's brother's mate spontaneously bashing away on piano at the end there. Not much of a trick to it, any chord in key will do.
You Know You're A Man - Captain Beefheart (Rico - Vocals) - All kinds of brass action and other spontaneous shit going on all over these Beefheart songs. We love playing Beefheart, the possibilities in his music are endless. With just about everything else we play, the instrument is played by the same person for the duration of their part. The Captain won't be restricted to such narrow roles though, and his music flies all over the place, three notes played by this person here, next four played at the end of the room. Not even the band play every note. The rest of the evening is almost in our complete control, but we throw these songs in to mix things up for ourselves, as much as anything. It's terrifying. Also exhilarating.
Bat Chain Puller - Captain Beefheart
Grow Fins - Captain Beefheart
Big Eyed Beans From Venus - Captain Beefheart
Big in Japan - Tom Waits - Waits songs are all about the journey into self. We don't have to do anything special here, just play, sing the words and watch everyone spacing out on the trip of their lives. Occasional spontaneous players emerge from their trance to play.
Clap Hands - Tom Waits
Tango Till They're Sore - Tom Waits
God's Away on Business - Tom Waits - This one goes all Beefheart. The brass is all over the audience. Have the 'Ha!' in the middle down pat, so that I can make it ripple through the crowd, like a wave.
Talking At the Same Time - Tom Waits
Bad As Me - Tom Waits
Satisfied - Tom Waits
Brown Sugar - Rolling Stones
One More Weekend - Bob Dylan
The Man in Me - Bob Dylan - Everyone singing, La-la-la etc. Piece of piss.
Sabotage - Beastie Boys (Sid - Vocals) - Everyone shouting, Listen all of y'all there's a sabotage etc. At this point, we're very much phoning it in.
2 + 2 = 5 - Radiohead - Rock out. No other reason.
Down is the New Up - Radiohead - We do this one with a double orchestra of audience members. Dee conducts, me on piano, Rico making other electronic noises. Brought the house down tonight.
Jigsaw Falling into Place - Radiohead - More rocking out for the hell of it.
Why Don't You Write Me - Simon & Garfunkel - Member of the audience spontaneously plays one half of the intertwining sax solos with Lee Mai. One of John's mates this time, I think.
Superman's Big Sister - Ian Dury & the Blockheads- Double orchestra again. Same setup.
Cleaning Windows - Van Morrison - Lee Mai and three specially picked brass players. Girls she was at college with.


Give Us Bubblewrap - HMHB
Depressed Beyond Tablets - HMHB
When the Evening Sun Goes Down - HMHB (Lee & Dee on penny whistles with the kids)



Dave - Vocals (but where stated) & Guitar
Ricardo - Vocals & Guitar
Sid (½ of SidLee) - Bass
Andy - Drums
Dee - Keyboards, Strings, Guitar & Banjo
Lee Mai (½ of SidLee) - Wind & Brass

I was in a bad place right about now. Drinking too much. Not working. So lazy, I didn't even bother the stand up to go through my one man mime act. I spent most of the time slumped down in a bean bag on the Xbox, same playlist ringing in my ears hour after hour, half singing, half growling, breaking off from Gears of War now and then to take a solo, giving two fingers to the fuckers who got me sacked. Depressing, when you think back. To be honest, if the world hadn't ended, I'd probably have ended myself.

In the rerun, things played out much better.

Four Piece

Grind - Alice in Chains
Hollow - Alice in Chains
My God is the Sun - Queens of the Stone Age
Beanman (Camera Part One) - Apes, Pigs & Spacemen - For me it's always been about the lyrics. All about singing the words I love best and communicating them to new ears. These A, P & S songs are all off their second albums, Snapshot. It's virtually unknown, which is bullshit, 'cause it's one of the best collections of sustained lyrical brilliance that I know.
Monster - Apes, Pigs & Spacemen
Blood Simple - Apes, Pigs & Spacemen - 'I've always known ya stubborn and malicious and pathetic, but I didn't realise until know exactly how stupid'. Take that bitch!

Full Band

Hollow - Apes, Pigs & Spacemen - Violins spontaneously played by Lisa's mates
Trouble - Apes, Pigs & Spacemen - 'An innocent observer, rather like poor Joesph K, I find I'm implicated from a thousand miles away'. Come on! Got the audience doing all kinds during this one. My mate Mike did all the mournful moaning, spotlit, while Dee played the glockenspiel parts on the back of a T-Rex skeleton.
Sixteen Saltines - Jack White - This turned into a bit of Jack White mini-set. Blunderbuss hadn't been out that long.
Hypocritical Kiss - Jack White
Weep Themselves to Sleep - Jack White - Loved playing the duelling solos here, me and Rico fading reappearing in other parts of the hall with each distorted back and forth.
Old Enough - The Raconteurs (Dee - Violin)
Top Yourself - The Raconteurs (Dee - Banjo)
Carolina Dream - The Raconteurs - Another la-la-la singing crowd moment. Hard to get these wrong. Remembering all the lyrics is tricky. Just got through it.
Nadine - Chuck Berry (Rico - Vocals)
All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix (Rico - Vocals) - Weird shit
Twice As Hard - Black Crowes
Thick n Thin - Black Crowes
Duquesne Whistle - Bob Dylan- Song was a year of so old at the time, but no one in the band had actually played it before. Could we get it right first time? With a little help from the audience, yes.
You Know You're A Man - Captain Beefheart (Rico - Vocals) - Time for things to go all Beefheart. Love it.
Bat Chain Puller - Captain Beefheart
When I See Mommy, I Feel Like A Mummy - Captain Beefheart
Nowadays a Women's Gotta Hit A Man Captain Beefheart (Rico - Vocals)
Too Much Time - Captain Beefheart
Big Eyed Beans From Venus - Captain Beefheart
Sympathy For the Devil - Rolling Stones
Paint it Black - Rolling Stones
In the Dark Places - PJ Harvey (Dee - Vocals) - This gave me Goosebumps, I will confess.
Weird Fishes - Radiohead - Like Waits's songs, Radiohead is all about taking people into themselves, rewiring them and sending them on their way anew. No one leaves a worse person than when they arrived, and that's our guarantee.
Bodysnatchers - Radiohead
Jigsaw Falling Into Place - Radiohead
Down is the New Up - Radiohead - Same way we always play it, but with a new twist. We take them in to themselves with Radiohead and we bring them out, to find themselves sat in a horseshoe in tuxes and ball gowns, each tuning up an instrument. Dee steps forward, lifts her baton, and we're off.
New Shoes - Crazy Gods of Endless Noise - Sudden desire to play a couple of Crazy Gods songs. Wondered what would happen. Not as much as I'd hoped, though we did get very literal for a second there, every line triggering a vision in air that dissolved and reformed as the song moved on.
Trapped Water - Crazy Gods of Endless Noise - Ditto
Just A Man - Faith No More - Entire crowd coming in as chorus at the end here. Great way to end.


Enjoy Yourself - The Specials- Specials songs jump all over the crowd like a Beefheart song, but with a lot more predictability. Good fun just to watch it running through people.
A Message to You Rudy - The Specials
Gangsters - The Specials
Ghost Town - The Specials  



Dave - Vocals & Guitar
Ricardo - Vocals & Guitar
Sid (½ of SidLee) - Vocals & Bass
Andy - Drums

Ah yes. This was the week '90 Bisodol (Crimond)' came out, I discovered Half Man, Half Biscuit (HMHB), and played little else for months. Little happened here of note, except for the simple joy of singing some great lyrics ('at the end of the day, just like I say, we'll take each Armageddon as it comes'). Everyone should know of the Biscuit.

This Leaden Pall - HMHB
Numanoid Hang-glide - HMHB
Even Men With Steel Hearts - HMHB (a rare appearance tonight by Lee Mai on trombone)
For What is Chatteris... - HMHB
Shit Arm, Bad Tattoo - HMHB
Surging Out Of Convalescence - HMHB
Upon Westminster Bridge - HMHB
Joy Division Oven-Gloves - HMHB
Depressed Beyond Tablets - HMHB
Bogus Official - HMHB
We Built This Village On A Trad. Arr. Tune. - HMHB
Give Us Bubblewrap - HMHB
Evening of Swing (Has Been Cancelled) - HMHB
Bad Losers On Yahoo! Chess - HMHB
Took Problem Chimp To Ideal Home Show - HMHB
Totnes Bickering Fair - HMHB
On The 'Roids - HMHB
Tonight Matthew I'm Going To Be With Jesus - HMHB
Them's the Vagaries - HMHB
Thy Damnation Slumbereth Not - HMHB
When the Evening Sun Goes Down - HMHB (Lee Mai playing two penny whistles at once)
Left Lyrics in the Practice Room - HMHB
Rsvp - HMHB
Tommy Walsh's Eco House - HMHB
Joy in Leeuwarden (We Are Ready) - HMHB
Rock and Roll is Full of Bad Wools - HMHB
Paintball's Coming Home - HMHB



Dave - Vocals (but where stated) & Guitar
Ricardo - Vocals & Guitar
Sid - Bass Sid (½ of SidLee) - Vocals & Bass
Andy - Drums
Dee - Keyboards, Strings, Guitar & Banjo
Lee Mai (½ of SidLee) - Wind & Brass

She was still on my mind, but there was a new love in my life, Lisa. Beautiful, beautiful Lisa. It all frittered away to nothing in the end, but I did end up using her as substitute for Sam, carrying on the same arguments that were still raging in my head.

By now I've come to see this experience as a journey into redemption, a chance to make amends and no excuses for leaving loose ends. Previously I arrived back a day or a few hours before each gig. Here it was a week. Just enough time to set things right and move on. If I had to pick, of all the gigs we've done down the years, this is the one I had the most fun performing. Big sloppy grin on my face all night.

Dave and Ricardo

Diablo Rojo - Rodrigo y Gabriella

Four Piece

Wynona's Big Brown Beaver - Primus (Sid - Vocals)
Song For the Dead - Queens of the Stone Age (Sid - Vocals)
No One Knows - Queens of the Stone Age
Careful With That Mic. - Clutch (Rico - Vocals)
Red Horse Rainbow - Clutch
Cypress Grove - Clutch
Promoter - Clutch
Snakecharmer - Rage Against the Machine (Rico - Vocals) - Lisa loved Rage and Dub War and Rico spent longer on the mike than usual tonight as a favour to me. In total command, he was, though. Made every womb within a half a mile radius flutter (as usual).
Tire Me - Rage Against the Machine (Rico - Vocals)
Down Rodeo - Rage Against the Machine (Rico - Vocals)
Enemy Maker - Dub War (Rico - Vocals)
Silencer - Dub War (Rico - Vocals)
Can't Stop - Dub War (Rico - Vocals)
Spiritual Warfare - Dub War (Rico - Vocals)
Fool's Gold - Dub War (Rico - Vocals)
Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix (Rico - Vocals, Dave - Toilet)

Full Band

This Must Be the Place [Naive Melody] - Talking Heads - After a slow start with the spontaneous events, they now take a hold with a vengeance. All kinds of electronic action going on here, keyboards flying around all over the shop.
Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
Beanman (Camera Part One) - Apes, Pigs & Spacemen - I see this song as anticipating Simon Cowell by a good decade: 'He rubs his hands together on what's rightfully theirs, and tells the stars it's he who makes them shine'.
Blood Simple - Apes, Pigs & Spacemen
Hollow - Apes, Pigs & Spacemen
Trouble - Apes, Pigs & Spacemen
Three Changes - The Good, the Bad & the Queen - From Three Changes to I Want to Be Straight, the music wouldn't stay in the same place for ten seconds. Hard to keep a hold of the reigns with all that's going on. Thank heavens for Andy! Steady as a rock.
Gangsters - The Specials
Dance Little Ruddy - Ian Dury & the Blockheads (Rico - Vocals)
Mash It Up Harry - Ian Dury & the Blockheads (Rico - Vocals)
I Want to Be Straight - Ian Dury & the Blockheads
Superman's Big Sister - Ian Dury & the Blockheads - Double orchestra. Kick ass.
2 + 2 = 5 - Radiohead - Introspection time. Mind blowing.
You and Whose Army? - Radiohead
Knives Out - Radiohead
Stop Whispering - Radiohead
Mississippi - Bob Dylan
Summer Days - Bob Dylan - Here, we play the rhythm sections and let all the little guitar licks dart about the crowd.
Bye and Bye - Bob Dylan
Ain't Talking - Bob Dylan
Grow Fins - Captain Beefheart (Rico - Vocals)  - Beefheart time. Madness and we're gone.
When I See Mommy, I Feel Like a Mummy - Captain Beefheart
Nowadays a Woman's Got to Hit a Man - Captain Beefheart (Rico - Vocals)
Too Much Time - Captain Beefheart
Big Eyed Beans From Venus - Captain Beefheart



This one happened a few days before I found out what she'd been up to. This time, of course, I already knew. I arrived forty eight hours before the gig and had it out with her, and I wasn't even a dick about it. It was still bitter, some things you can't change, but more amicable. Less hateful. They came to the gig, and I still wasn't a dick. They even joined in on a couple of numbers. I heard both learned to play after. Formed a band. Good luck to them. I'm not bitter. Not much.

Longest set we yet played, over three hours. Good night. Good to see the look on their  faces. I took some pleasure in that. But then, I still had them to deal with. Always there's another angry couple that I have to set things right with.

Dave - Vocals (but where stated) & Guitar
Ricardo - Vocals & Guitar
Sid (½ of SidLee) - Vocals & Bass
Andy - Drums
Dee - Keyboards, Strings, Guitar & Banjo
Lee Mai (½ of SidLee) - Wind & Brass

Dave only

Black Eyed Dog - Nick Drake
Working Class Hero - John Lennon

Dave & Ricardo

Going to California - Led Zeppelin
That's the Way - Led Zeppelin

Four Piece

Travelling Riverside Blues - Led Zeppelin (Rico - Vocals)
All Your Love - John Mayall & His Bluesbreakers (Rico - Vocals, Dave - Lead Guitar)
Safe As Milk - Captain Beefheart - Here comes the Captain Beefheart , Crazy Bonanza ][
You Know You're A Man - Captain Beefheart (Rico - Vocals)
Down Payment Blues - AC/DC - Full on rock out
Gone Shootin' - AC/DC
Riff Raff - AC/DC (Rico - Vocals, Dave - Lead Guitar)

Full Band

Fearless - Pink Floyd - Just for the mischievous pleasure of making the entire crowd, even the Mancs, sing 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.
San Tropez - Pink Floyd
Great King Rat - Queen - Got him playing the acoustic part. Got a nod of approval from her.
Stone Cold Crazy - Queen
New Feeling - Talking Heads
Harry Rag - The Kinks
Big Black Smoke - The Kinks
Sunny Afternoon - The Kinks - Entire front row taking the accordion part. Quite a sound.
Autumn Almanac - The Kinks
Big Sky - The Kinks - Roof opened to the heavens, hall bathed in blue, clouds drifting in, until we feel like we're performing on top of the world.
All of My Friends Were There - The Kinks
Five Years - David Bowie - For all of these Bowie songs, we got other people playing the acoustic part, while I ran about like a dick, singing with my arm draped over each new guitarist, clothes and make-up cycling through Bowie personas. The guitarist here is Len, a guy I used to share a pedestal with at work.
Queen Bitch - David Bowie - Guitarist, Sam.
Rock n' Roll Suicide - David Bowie - Guitarist, my brother, Tony.
Fixing a Hole - The Beatles - Ghost of Mozart on the harpsichord
Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite - The Beatles - Like what we do with 'Down is the New Up', only 60s, la. Psychedelic baby. Groovy.
I'm Looking Through You - The Beatles - I took a little pleasure directing this one straight at them, knowing their turn would be next. I know where this is all going now.
Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles - Imagine how crazy the next two songs could possibly get, multiply it by a hundred and you still won't get close to what happened here.
I Am the Walrus - The Beatles - Beyond words.
Paint it, Black - The Rolling Stones - Ditto
Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones - Mind blowing        
Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones - Ditto
Captain Beefheart - The Floppy Boot Stomp - **??*?
Street Fighting Man - The Rolling Stones (RATM version)
Into the Mystic - Van Morrison - Lee Mai has got incredibly inventive with her brass arrangements by now and these Van Morrison songs get complicated, one section of the audience playing off against another, point and counter-point.
Cleaning Windows - Van Morrison
Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan - We get so many people involved on this one, so many people playing bits of percussive kit, that it ends up sounding more Tom Waits than Dylan.
Outlaw Blues - Bob Dylan - Introspection time. Everyone experiences this differently.
Tombstone Blues - Bob Dylan
Just Like Tom Thumb Blues - Bob Dylan
Visions of Johanna - Bob Dylan
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat - Bob Dylan
Most Likely You'll Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine - Bob Dylan
Obviously 5 Believers - Bob Dylan
I'm So Bored With the USA - The Clash (Rico - Vocals)
The Ain't Half Been Some Clever Bastards - Ian Dury and the Blockheads


Kick Out the Jams - MC5 (Rico - Vocals) - We hadn't planned on a encore, but everyone was so deep in trance this night, that we had to play MC5 to wake them all that. If that hadn't worked, it'd have been Slayer next.



The Year of Her. I was there a couple of days before & glad to get out almost as soon as the gig finished. That was the night things came to a head. It had been coming a long time. I guess it was mostly my fault. My jealousy and maybe if I'd ended up with her instead of Murray, it would of been him and Colin walking and me and Sid forming a new band with her. As it was, me and Sid walked, bruises inflicted on both sides.

Half of which must be wrong. I mean, I wasn't in a band, was I? It was all in my head. Gets so hard to remember what used to be fantasy and what was real. All the same thing by now, I guess.

Nothing strange happened. Not that rerun. I made my peace with all three of them and we played a killer set and I moved on.

Dave Keenan - Vocals & Guitars
Murray Anderson - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Sarah Dodd - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Sid Taylor - Bass
Colin Anderson - Drums

Misery - Soul Asylum
Shut Down - Soul Asylum
Promise Broken - Soul Asylum
String of Pearls - Soul Asylum
Nothing to Write Home About - Soul Asylum
Runaway Train - Soul Asylum
New World - Soul Asylum
April Fool - Soul Asylum
Without A Trace - Soul Asylum
Richard III - Supergrass
Sorted For Es & Whizz - Pulp
Zero - Smashing Pumpkins
Bullet With Butterfly Wings - Smashing Pumpkins
Galopogos - Smashing Pumpkins
X.Y.Z. - Smashing Pumpkins
Sting Me - The Black Crowes
Remedy - The Black Crowes
Jailbird - Primal Scream
Rocks - Primal Scream
Would - Alice in Chains
The Bends - Radiohead
High & Dry - Radiohead
Fake Plastic Trees - Radiohead
Bones - Radiohead
Just - Radiohead
Sulk - Radiohead
Street Spirit (Fade Out) - Radiohead
Hold Me Now - Elastica (Sarah - Vocals)
Waking Up - Elastica (Sarah - Vocals)
Connection - Elastica (Sarah - Vocals)
Give the Anarchist a Cigarette - Chumbawamba (Sarah - Vocals)
Timebomb - Chumbawamba (Sarah - Vocals)
Mouthful of Shit - Chumbawamba
Bad Dog - Chumbawamba (Sarah - Vocals)
Enough is Enough - Chumbawamba
Stitch That - Chumbawamba (Murray - Vocals)
Alice What's the Matter? - Terrorvision
Oblivion - Terrorvision
Pretend Best Friend - Terrorvision


Take Our Sorrows Swimming - Apes, Pigs & Spacemen
Open Season - Apes, Pigs & Spacemen
Come Around the World With Me - Apes, Pigs & Spacemen
P.V.S. - Apes, Pigs & Spacemen



The Cultural Fascists' first gig. We were all 17. Just the lads. One tight four piece, the way we liked it. No one else chipping in either. Arrived back a few days before the gig, in time for last rehearsals in Murray and Colin's dad's garage. Good times.

Again, nothing weird happened. We just played.

Gig was at our old Bell-end School. We were not what they were expecting. But we made them listen anyway. Mwohaha etc.

Dave Keenan - Vocals & Guitars
Murray Anderson - Vocals, Guitars & Keyboards
Sid Taylor - Bass
Colin Anderson - Drums

Prowler - Iron Maiden
Waking the Dead - Suicidal Tendencies
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - Black Sabbath
Epic - Faith No More (Murray - keyboards)
No-One Came - Deep Purple (Murray - keyboards)
Stone Cold Crazy - Queen
For Whom the Bell Tolls - Metallica
Fade to Black - Metallica
One - Metallica
Sad But True - Metallica
South of Heaven - Slayer
Reign in Blood - Slayer
Souls of Black - Testament
In My Darkest Hour - Megadeth
Dawn Patrol - Megadeth
Got the Time - Anthrax
Anti-Social - Anthrax
Broken Doll - Wolfsbane
Twice As Mean - Wolfsbane
Crucify - The Almighty
Overkill - Motorhead
All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
Crosstown Traffic - Jimi Hendrix
Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones
Mr Brownstone - Guns n Roses
Back in the Village - Iron Maiden
Still Life - Iron Maiden
The Phantom of the Opera - Iron Maiden
The Call of Ktulu - Metallica
Am I Evil? - Diamond Head



Oh, right, this. If I tell you I was ten. It was our class's turn to put on a turn for assembly. Halloween was nearly upon us. Michael Jackson ruled the Earth. Thriller. Oh the horror.

I still sometimes have nightmare about that performance. Not because of the make-up (though I remember some of the kids had nightmares in the weeks after, the gimps). No, just the sheer, tacky, poorly co-ordinated horror of it. If anything, going through it a second time was worse than the first time, but at least I didn't really know what I was doing, which if anything, improved matters.

On the plus side, it was good to just be lads with Colin and Murray and Sid for a couple more days. Simpler times. Enough to make you remember all the mistakes you make. The mistakes you rectify.

The day of assembly and the whole school joined in, even the teachers. Even the parents. Think of that prison that did it in Indonesia, years from here, and then think bigger. Think, actually everyone becoming undead for nearly six minutes. Feeling what it's like to actually be a zombie. Not pleasant.

Then we heard the sound of Vincent Price's manic laughter echoing across the playgrounds and fields and, for me at least, the whole scene faded to black, and the next thing I knew, I was grown up again.


Dave Keenan - Vocals, Guitars & Keyboards
Murray Anderson - Vocals, Guitars & Keyboards
Sarah Dodd-Anderson - Vocals, Guitars & Keyboards
Sid Taylor (½ of SidLee) - Bass & Vocals
Colin Anderson - Drums
Lee Mai (½ of SidLee) - Wind, Brass & Vocals

Murray and Dave - The Musical Slammer

Okay, so this mini set stemmed from when I met up with Dee and Rico. We got to talking about whether you could recreate the olfactory experience through music. Like, songs that represented different ingredients in a meal or on a plate. That led, inevitably, to the same conversation, only with alcohol instead of food, and we finally settled on the motif of the Tequila slammer. Three songs, performed or played in quick succession, each representing one ingredient. This is what me and Murray came up with:

Salt: Tonight Matthew I'm Going To Be With Jesus - HMHB
Shot of Tequila: Blue Valentines - Tom Waits
Slice of Latin Lime: Diablo Rojo - Rodrigo y Gabriella

Full Band

Really tight on these new songs now. Played them often enough.

Talking Post Apocalyptic, Time Travelling Blues (Keenan)
Hypatia (Dodd-Anderson: Sarah, Vocals)
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - Black Sabbath
Epic - Faith No More (Sarah - Keyboards)
Operation Moorcroft (C Anderson/M Anderson/Dodd-Anderson/Keenan)
Centre: Level: Roar - Youngblood Brass Band - This is Lee Mai's baby, but we all join in, playing what instruments we please (Andy tonight guesting on drums), farming out the rest of the parts to members of the audience.
Neophyte (Sid/Lee: Sid -Vocals)
Interject (M Anderson/Dodd-Anderson)
Evolve - Ani DiFranco (Sarah solo)
My Fairy King - Queen (Sarah - Vocals) - An old favourite, done exactly the same way as always.
Promises Broken - Soul Asylum - Crowd broken down into sections for this one, me, Murray, Sarah & Sid each leading a section. Results are amazing.
Whither Be My Wonder? (C Anderson/M Anderson)
[think up title] (M Anderson/Keenan)
NO MAYO (Dodd-Anderson/Keenan)

28 minute, freeform jazz improv, utilising half the audience, playing everything from sax to vibraphone.

Bat Chain Puller - Captain Beefheart - Usual Beefheart craziness
Big Eyed Beans From Venus - Captain Beefheart
Time - Tom Waits - It's why we're all here.
The Changing of the Guard - Bob Dylan - A three song finale, packed with more brass than a meeting of three star generals.
Where are You Tonight? - Bob Dylan
N.F.Y. (Normal For You) (C Anderson/M Anderson/Dodd-Anderson/Keenan)

Spent. Couldn't play an encore if I tried.

Peace, I'm outta here.


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Saturday, 11 May 2013


*From an idea inspired by Tiernan Douieb

[scene: reception of a futuristic looking office building]

Man: Good morning.

Receptionist: Good morning sir, how can I help you?

Man: I have an appointment at ten o'clock to see Kirsty Wallbeck.

Receptionist [picking up phone]: Certainly sir, I'll ring through and let her know you've arrived. Can I just take your name?

Man: Yes, it's [shouting] FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES.

Receptionist [stammering, puts phone back down]: I'm sorry? Could you maybe repeat that?

Man: My name is, [sighs, then shouts] FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES

Receptionist: Your name is Findus Crispy Pancakes?

Man: No, not, Findus Crispy Pancakes, [shouting]  FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES

Receptionist: Sir, there's no need to shout, I can hear you perfectly well.

Man: No, you don't understand, it's to cover yourself, there's a court order you see...

Security Guard: Is there a problem here Karen?

Receptionist: Oh hiya Chris. This gentleman is here to see Kirsty, but every time I ask him his name, he says its...


Receptionist: [shouting] FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES

Security Guard: Karen, really. And sir, there are people trying work here and you're making a scene. I'd appreciate it if you could speak, not shout.

Man: But I'm only telling you my name.

Security Guard: And your name is, that, is it?

Man: [shouting] FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES, yes.

Security Guard: Sir, I don't want to have to tell you again.

Man: But that is my name, said in exactly that register. There's is a court order which states that every time my name is spoken aloud, it must be spoken in a fortissimo register.

Security Guard: Court order?

Man: Yes. It's part of the terms of the sponsorship deal.

Receptionist: Sponsorship deal? With who?


Man: Take a wild stab in the dark.

Receptionist: Oh, oh right, of course.

Security Guard: So what happened? How'd you end up being called, y'know?

Man: How does anyone end up with a dumb name?

Security Guard: Parents?

Man: Couldn't decide on a name, so they put it out on Twitter.

Receptionist: No?

Man: Yes.

Security Guard: God, that was a barbaric decade. Glad I wasn't born yet. Such a senseless waste.

Receptionist: And to call you [whispers] Findus too. After everything that's happened.

Man: Welcome to my life.

Security Guard: But why must you shout?

Man: Marketing. Story goes that the draper in charge of the Findus account needed a new idea to make pancakes relevant again. Came home from a night of coke and champagne & goes on Twitter on one of those touch screens, the retro ones the kids have these days.

Receptionist: I've got one. It's a jCloth. Love my jCloth.

Man: Anyway, someone he followed retweeted my parents tweet, and he came up with a plan to call me what I am called and then he rigged the vote & then made my parents sign a sponsorship deal they couldn't refuse.

Security Guard. But don't [whispers] the Findus Corporation, sponsor you then?

Man: They do, but the money all goes towards servicing my legal costs.

Receptionist: Legal costs?

Man [wearily]: I hate my name. I spent years in and out of courts battling, Them, over the rights to what I can be called. But the contract's watertight and eventually they priced me out of the case and so now not only am I, and all other sentient beings, required, by law, to pronounce my name in a fortissimo register, but anytime anyone asks for my name, under the terms of the contract, I have to answer. I wish I was dead.

Receptionist: But why don't you just.. erm... well... no, sorry, ignore me.

Man: What?

Receptionist: No, it's ok. I thought I had a thought, but it's silly, you'd have thought of that.

Man: No really, please, go on. I'm open to suggestions, [hollow laugh]I'm desperate.

Receptionist: Well, could you, maybe when you're shouting, like, whisper at the same time?

Man: Whisper?

Receptionist: Yeah, so like [whispering & shouting]: FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES

Man: Oh right, so more like, [trying but still quite loud]: FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES

Receptionist: No, more like this, [whispering & shouting]: FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES

Man: Ok, so, [whispering & shouting]: FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES

Receptionist & Security Guard together: That's it.

Man: [whispering & shouting]: FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES

Receptionist: That's exactly it.

Man: I don't know, what do you think? Do you think it makes me sound more or less like a mental person?

[together]  Receptionist: Less   Security Guard: More.

Man: One saying more, one saying less.

Security Guard: Well actually I just thought you sound more mental, but at least you sound mental to less people at once.

Receptionist: Actually, that's a good point. Chris made a good point.

Man: [whispering & shouting]: FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES, FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES. You know what, I think it might work. 

[security guard wanders back to his post]

Receptionist [picks up phone]: Hi Kirsty, it's Karen. Your ten o'clock is waiting for you in reception. [cups hand over receiver, whispering & shouting]: FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES, that's right, yes. Thanks Hon. [whispering & shouting]: FINDUS CRISPY PANCAKES, Kirsty will be down shortly, if you could just sign in on the screen to my right here.

Man: Certainly. All in CAPS?

Receptionist: Please.