Wednesday, 27 April 2011


You're round inside.

Just like me.

And when
it's dark inside,
a little shape begins
to form.

Like a
before its blossom;
I curl up
a silky ball
within your
to your gentle

Your words
a handsome whisper
to my perky
to which
I wish
for you
to hang

And with your

we bounce together...

... f  o  r  e  v  e  r.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Time is a Gift to Some

We are born and then we grow.

We'd grow regardless if our awareness of time existed or not. But time seems to be inevitable. So the question is - how do you use your time wisely? How does time benefit you? And when you take the time, what do you do with it?

Wise folk say, live in the moment. I honestly try doing that. I have to admit, if I didn't live in the moment as much as I did, I would be pretty darn stressed. But I'm also human and sometimes my mind can get the better of me and once the too-much-thinking-of-things begin, so does the speed of my heart rate increase and all of a sudden the doubt creeps in and the many questions drown me and not much long after that, it's the crumpling on the bed, rocking back and forth and asking why why why can't I just be like every other joe schmo and join the rest of the heard... ?

Now here's the thing. I was born. Fact. I moved away from home the minute I got out of high school, because I longed for something different. Fact. I was never going to take the easy route and I was always gonna make it challenging for myself. Fact. So I choose not to have a choice but to continue what I started. Because I can't quit. Because if I quit, I have nothing and I will always ask myself, if only I didn't quit, what would my life have been like...

So I go on with my mission. And this mission will beat me down, it will try and make it so fucking hard for me, because only those who never give up are worthy of the golden gates. Do you think awesome things are just handed down to you? No. For the real zaftig shit, you gotta work your cute ass off. You gotta learn to sacrifice your time for loved ones, including yourself.

But alas. All of this is only so good if there is a balance. Balance is harmony. And without this harmony, even sacrifice will be pointless and only cause heart ache.

Time and sacrifice... For some reason, those are two entities that seem to kind of love and hate each other simultaneously. Recently I've come to learn that great things also come with sacrifice. I'm a pretty hungry, greedy little child and I keep thinking I can have it all, at once, right then when I ask for it... But I've come to realize that that's not always possible, that sometimes the good stuff happens a little bit later down the time line and that's why living in the moment, with a bit of sacrifice, can bring these gems to fruition.

I hear people say  this a lot - I will be happy when I have achieved X Y and Z. The thing is, if you think of happiness in future terms, then these 'happy assumptions' will forever stay in the future. Think of it as a carrot on the end of a stick that you dangle in front of a donkey in order to keep him moving. Happiness is the carrot and you're the donkey...  Happiness will forever just be the carrot you see but is just out of reach for you to eat.

True happiness is living in the moment and being happy right here and now. The more you get used to doing that, the more happiness your future will literally have.

For some people time is a gift - When they know they have everything to lose, they crack on and make the best out of the time that they've got. Maybe think of it this way - if you were to die tomorrow what would you do today to make this day the fucking best day ever?

Having chosen to be a creator of various things and sometimes even a philosopher on mild occasions, I find time invaluable. I also try to see time and my various realities as games to be played, because every human has their own world they live in and with every world, they have the power to manipulate it however they want.

Nothing's for certain, safety and the reality you were brought up to believe is an illusion created by others.

Why not create your own illusion and live it by your rules.

No one else has the power over you but yourself.

I am Master.

I am God.

I am my world.

Repeat those lines to yourself every day and true empowerment will come your way.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

VENTENNER comes up for Air from the Underground Music Scene! (Interview)

This is another piece I wrote on Ventenner - The publication I sent it to is still developing their website. So I thought to publish this for now until their website's up and running... Enjoy!

It's Friday night in good ol' London town and I'm heading down to catch the much anticipated Ventenner show, but on arrival I'm bombarded with stressed musicians rushing to get their gear out of the venue. Pushing myself through a sea of rockers, I find Ventenner aka Charlie Dawe, leaning against the bar. His expression looks dark with disappointment but once our eyes meet, the gloom melts away. I ask him what happened and he explains that there was a leak in the venue, water was everywhere and the show was cancelled… Well so much for reviewing the live show of one of my favorite DIY artists in 2011. To try and lighten the mood I offer to buy him a drink. His favorite? Whiskey coke. We manage to find a booth and together with his latest addition to the band, his guitarist Rob Wacey, we get chatting. I ask him to remind me of how many records he's released since Ventenner started. Taking a sip from his drink, Charlie explains that he's released a few demos in 2007 just to get some "feelers" out and observe the reaction of listeners; creating what he like to call an "audio diary". He releases his first album 'Dead Reflections' in 2009. His second album, 'Oblivion Revised' was born out of various re-mixes of his songs from other artists who showed interest in his music, something he never expected and is obviously flattered. 
So how's the DIY working out for you?  Rob gives Charlie a quick glance as he seems equally curious as to why Charlie never tried getting signed by a major or Indie label. Charlie clears his throat, " Well, having total creative control is obviously important. Not all labels threaten that, but a lot do. Sure you get the promotion and the management and the big tour with a big label, but handing in an album and having it given back to you with a post-it saying "change it" must be soul destroying. Indie labels, well, they're not all bad, but a lot of them believe their own hype. I hate pretentious arty indie labels."
But did you even try to get signed? "No major labels have ever approached me but I hope they never do. Because if a major label thinks they can sell what I am making as the next big thing, then in my mind I've failed. I'm never gonna sell out Wembley. Not because my ambition or talent is weak, but if I've achieved that level of mainstream popularity I'll have probably stopped being true to myself."
There's something to be said when artists sole integrity is to create art the way they want to without plaguing their minds with thoughts of 'making it' or not, it's clear that for Charlie 'making it' isn't the number on his bank statement, it's the journey of the artist and how he conquers this journey. I ask mister Dawe how it was going with Rob, his new guitarist? Rob being rather silent on the matter gives Charlie a sly smile. Swinging his arms around Rob's neck and giving him a squeeze, Charlie says that it was going great, that Rob gets it spot on, not like other musicians he's worked with, "When you're a solo artist control freak like me, you don't want to be onstage giving it all you've got and maybe noticing that your drummer played seven beats instead of eight in that bar. That's why I've ended up doing a few solo shows."
How are you finding yourself fitting in with London's music scene? In the past you mentioned it to be rather 'close-minded'. Do you still feel this way? "Haha, yes, I've been very vocal on this in the past. It's not just London, it's England's music scene that has turned quite redundant now. Over the last few years it's become increasingly fashionable to be in a band and subsequently there's a lot of people out there polluting and diluting the music scene with utter crap. I also feel that the rock genre has lost all danger to it. There was a time in the 90's when MTV was actually cool to watch and you knew the bands epitomized the idea of rock n roll because they knew no other way to live. As artists we do what we do because we need to express ourselves, it's our air to breath. Being part of a music project isn't an act or a gimmick or a way to meet girls. That's why I love playing with bands who may not be in the same genre as me, but have the same sound. I guess that's our definition of being alternative. We're something different."
I ask Charlie how he would best describe his sound since he has been lumped in with other industrial goth bands out there. He says if people would listen closely and know music as well as they say they do, they should hear Blues and Grunge in these songs. And what can we expect from Ventenner in the near future?  
"I've just finished a remix for a guy in the States called Knoxband. We've been fans of each other for a while, I especially liked his record 'Equinox'. He's releasing a remixed version of it and I did one of the tracks for it. For Ventenner I'm working on a new album, which is going to be very different from anything I've done so far. Another project that I'm working on is called Pixie Ribs with a remarkable singer, Lux, who's pure rock n roll through and through."
Charlie's third drink is coming to an end and I can see Rob is itching to get to another bar, as the scene in this venue has suddenly been swamped with 'suits' so I make my last question brief; What are your thoughts on the future of the music industry? Charlie takes the last swig from his drink and explains, "What I don't like is people hating major labels for the sake of hating, it's a waste of time. As I see it, if you wanna get rich and famous quick, get signed. But if you're serious about being an artist and working your way up, go independent. Who knows, if more artists keep turning down the labels, maybe one day the labels will be interested in investing in the actual artistry of a band or solo artist. I also think this hype to be in a band and make music, no matter how crap you are, will die out eventually and what will be left behind are those bands who survived because they did it right, because they actually have something to give."
I can only hope he's right!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Sunday Metal & Booze (Live review from Sunday 27 March)

This story's a little late in getting published, but the online mag that I pitched it to didn't seem interested and since I didn't want to waste good writing, here it is! A little late, but, better late than sorry!

It's Sunday night in London, the air has bits of spring in it, warm enough to get away with just a t-shirt and a leather jacket. As I turn the corner onto Hoxton Square, the row of open deck bars, Sunday hangovers brightly chirping over pints of ale, I reach the end of the lazy murmur and am soon confronted with the site of long haired metal heads soaked in leather, studs and silver rings. Yup, I've arrived. On tonights bill are opening act Dark Matter, followed by Seven7, with main support A New Tomorrow and headlining four piece, Achilla.

It's not usual for me to spend my Sunday hangovers listening to live heavy music, but it's not long until I begin to enjoy the cosy surroundings of Hoxton Underbelly's underground music venue, as I take a sip of my creamy Guinness.

As the first act of the evening hits the stage and not knowing what to expect, I am pleasantly blown away by Dark Matter. Their sound's a calming mix between classic heavy metal riffs supported by bluesy undertones. The frontman plays chords of post blues American rock, supporting it with a vocal tone of sensual crooning whilst the hard guitars, groovy bass lines and none-obvious drum kicks, effortlessly fill the silence. Dark Matter write songs that are broken up with a mixture of heavy riffs and slow, elegant licks between the guitar and bass. If you like metal with melodies but that are not lacking in high-tension, I suggest you check out Dark Matter.

Next on were four piece Seven7 and this band is all about prog-metal-rock through and through. At first it takes me some time to get into them, mainly because of the different taste-buds that I have in music… However, gradually as the band bounces around on stage, I become seduced by their noise, especially the fast drumming and the tickling licks of super sonic guitar playing. Over all this is a band who plays tight and rocks out on stage. I enjoyed it as much as I was enjoying the cool grasp of my second pint.

A New Tomorrow it is. I almost found this band to be a little out of place sound wise, although there were moments in their songs where glimpses of heavy metal riffs would explode from the ether whilst Alessio Garavello's vocals cut through like a bat out of hell. I think what struck me the most was how mainstream their sound was in comparison to the bands earlier… Not a bad thing at all; I would say they're a clash between Foo Fighters meets The Smashing Pumpkins. And having listened to A New Tomorrow on myspace, I find Alessio's vocals very similar to the style of legend Billy Corgan. The fact that I am reminded subtly of the Foo Fighters was probably due to their bass player wearing a David Grohl t-shirt and kind of sporting a similar look as well… As a show however, this band gets all the top marks and I am sure we will hear more from them in the not so distant future.

And finally, the stars of the night, Achilla. I tried looking up the meaning of the bands name, I even tried translating it from various languages into English, but the closest I got was Achilles, some kind of Greek Warrior… If this has any relation to the bands seemingly meaningful name, I couldn't say… However I did find the very influential front lady Martamaria, quite the Greek Warrior indeed.
    The band start their set with some wild metal twists on the guitar, heavy breaths vibrating from the bass as the kick drum steers the night into action. Martamaria elegantly and with full force, gets on stage and lets her svelte body lean backwards and forwards, the blond wisps of her hair flying as she hones into the microphone, crooning out seductive lyrics. This woman knows what she's doing.
    As they're just about to hit the second verse of their second song, something happens. Power cut. And yet somehow, I'm not surprised. Yup. A band like Achilla, with their energetic sound, would suck any city dry from electricity. Without the usual flapping and panic stricken faces from less professional bands, Achilla remain cool, calm and collected. And whilst the sound engineer's pulling fresh cables onto the stage as the guitarists check their amps, Martamaria  grabs the microphone and banters on about t-shirts for sale, cities they've toured and how much their album costs. Not much later - Power's back on! And with the show saved, Achilla continue the second song from their set, blowing up every note with purpose as if their lives depended on it.
    And when I'm not pleasantly distracted by Martamaria's performance and natural edge, guitarist Daniele and his speedy scale playing during the solo parts is  so fast, his fingers become a blur.
    Having been on tour for some weeks, this band doesn't falter. Their professionalism is what makes them stand out as the real thing. Their consistency in playing their instruments with confidence is refreshing, whilst the strength of their performance is entertaining but not at all contrived.

My Sunday evening of metal and booze comes to an end. And as I hit the streets, the evening air soaking the shadows as the orange street lights bounce off the cobbled pavements, I can't help but think, this was definitely an unconventional Sunday night indeed and I look forward to more.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Ventenner Arise! (viewer discretion is advised)

It's Wednesday night and I'm headed out to the Comedy pub in central London. I've heard some pretty bad reviews on this place from bands who have dared to play there in the past, so I'm curious to see what all the drama's about. I'm out to see one of my favorite underground bands of late, Ventenner, recently signed to indie label, Sonic Fire Records. I'm also incredibly excited about seeing them with their second addition to the band, Rob Wacey!

I arrive at the venue a little late, just about missing the first band on. But from the bands that follow shortly after (Ventenner NOT included), I can safely say, I wasn't missing much. What I WAS missing was a good part of a pound when I paid 4.50 for a pint of extra cold Guinness. Are you kidding me? I asked the bar maid with outrage and she shrugged her shoulders and said 'I'm afraid so…'

Turns out The Comedy pub is pretty much the grimy red grotto of misfit bands I was warned about. The place reeks of mediocre and unoriginal sound, whilst the promoter greedily rubs his hands together like a pimp promoting prostitutes who've sucked one too many cheesy cocks in their life time.

Just as the second band comes on stage, I manage to squeeze past people and give ol' Ventenner a hug. Before I'm able to get into small talk, bluesy notes come flying at me as Le Moho time warp me back into an age where rainbows were within reach and pigs were flying…
    This band appears to have watched one too many Woodstock revivals. Their gooey mixture of Creedence Clearwater, Jefferson Airplane (minus the female vocals), a twist of Jim Morrison and possibly a hint of Pink Floyd, makes me want to politely vomit into someone's hair - not because I dislike those bands (very much on the contrary), but because Le Moho are a carbon copy of the true greats and their sound is recycled and overly obvious, leaving none to the imagination.
    The best part of the show is when the front man moseys his way into the crowed with raised arms, hailing for Jesus to save his hippy soul whilst simultaneously trying to excite the audience into singing along with him… erm…
    I will give them points for trying to look and sound so hard like the greats that they almost had me fooled…

Time literally drags on and I'm suddenly awakened by the cheesy groove from The Wild Archive. Their pop rock sound slowly grinds me down into a sobbing pulp as I observe some old timers shaking a hip. I guess if you took Ronan Keating's brain and the bodies of Kings of Leon of late (not back when they were cool), I guess that's what The Wild Archive are like… Oh and don't get their name confused with Arcade Fire…

Finally Ventenner hit the stage. They start off a bit rocky due to technical problems. The anticipation rises as the sound engineer runs back and forth trying to fix whatever needs to be fixed. Then finally, the sonic wall of distorted beats and atmospheric vibes increase as their sound pumps through the speakers and Ventenner come to life, starting with my favorite song 'Incubator' - a song that had been stuck in my ears for two days running. And although most catchy songs are the cause of most aneurisms, 'Incubator' doesn't have this effect. Instead, the reassuring beat, the simple but effective vocal melody, calmly sits in the forefront of my mind and with its hypnotic noise, I find it relieves me from any induced stress.
    I'm happy to report that Ventenner's new addition, Rob Wacey aka guitarist extraordinaire, was the best choice the band could make. Having followed Ventenner when it was just Charlie Dawe rocking out on stage, I find Rob, although this being only his second performance, appears to be very confident. And as he plays, he sways forward like a true grunge rocker, dipping his head, one leg forward, swaying back and forth with meaning and precision. Charlie starts off playing some guitar, but into the second song, he holds onto the mic for dear life, sometimes hanging his head low as his arms keep hold of the mic stand; it's a dramatic look, but it's done with sincerity.
    Ventenner's incredibly minimalist when it comes to their set up, something that fooled me when I first heard them on their website - the walls of distorted sound, the overlaps of guitars, heavy hypnotic beats, you would think they'd be a band of four. But Ventenner rock up with one lap top, two guitars, some pedals and LED lights. Simple yet effective.
    What is surprising is the warmth their sound has live and the atmospheric beats pumping from the laptop, shake the floors of the Comedy's grotto, increasing the adrenaline and all I want to do is shake a pretty leg to their sound.
    Unfortunately, because the previous bands decided to plague the stage and take their time to rape the ears of the uneducated of what decent music is, Ventenner had to shorten their set by 10 minutes. As the lights go up and the manager of the Comedy's brothel of bullshit claps his hands viciously to kick us out, I give both Rob and Charlie a squeeze before I hit the streets home.
    One tip to any of you who dares to support any live acts at the Comedy pub - if you want the cheaper pint - don't buy it in the downstairs venue, buy it upstairs in the pub area - I did and saved myself 65 painful pence.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Moans of the Night

Lucinde waited for
the stars to fall
again as
shadows cast their
evening blue,
the horizon now
a crimson glow.
There was a ghost,
deep in her closet...
It seemed a friendly one.
Maybe just a face?
Lucinde couldn't quite tell.
And from all the odd places,
why was
the ghost hiding
amongst her clothes?
Waiting for its appearance,
Lucinde wondered
if the face of this ghost was
reaching out
to tell her
And what about the fear?
The fear of the unknown?
Somehow this ghostly face
was all too familiar,
and as Lucinde
looked deep into
the white eyes
of her new comrade,
she saw
She saw


I have often wondered
do all the
after her summer
hides behind
the winter frock?
On the days of falling
when slugs
become frozen deep,
I often wonder
where do the
Asleep in their

A Little Soul

No matter how big or small you are, no matter how much time you have or think you lack, no matter the reasons you tell yourself to do or not to do something; I always find that everything always ends up coming down to one thing and one thing only, the 'now'.

A little bit of empathy and love to you and others, a little bit of common sense, a little bit of education and self awareness, are some of the ingredients you need in order to help figure out  how to achieve your ambitions.

Could it be that we sometimes make things more complicated than we need them to be? I find I do, sometimes, question and maybe confuse myself more than is healthy. And you know what? I ask myself honestly what it is I want, then, I find practical ways in how I can achieve these things. Sometimes the part on 'getting what you want', can take a bit of time. This is mostly because things need to take their natural time to grow. We also can't always be certain on how things will grow, but rest assured, things grow regardless and it's up to you to make sure you pay attention to its developments and to seize the moments.

There was a time where I was conflicted with ideas of what I truly wanted and what I thought I wanted. It's only natural to sometimes feel a little 'lost' because we're constantly being bombarded with information on how to be and what to be and what true success is. Point is, no matter how 'new age' this might sound, success really comes from within. I'm rich, not by numbers on my bank statement, but by the people who surround me, the art that I create and share with people, the love I receive and give... The list goes on. But the point is, true beauty, success, the path you choose to take is

and always will be

relative to you.

We all have the same powers.

It's up to you to know how to use these powers to your advantage.