Saturday, 31 July 2010

My next madcap scheme

For the past week or so, since I decided to put the Glasgow Indie Eyespy Movie on hold, I've been having a bit of a dilemma about what my next 'thing' is going to be. I need a focus, I need a thing to do.

I was undecided between picking up the Teach Yourself Java book I'd acquired a few weeks back, or picking up my guitar again.

A friend had urged me to set up a Facebook fan page without specifying why, so I did and found that I could use it for posting videos and stuff, so maybe I could do something like my old video webcasty thing from Glasgow, but bang in the new decade, with just me playing guitar. Could I record a song every night? Even if its just a cover or something I'd written years ago. How long could I keep it going for? Would it become a thing that would help get me a slot at next years Indietracks? Would other people want to get involved? Some cute stripey-topped keyboard player, or a very tall bass player. Would it work?

On the other hand, learning Java would be useful, I could put it on my CV, or use it for building neat web apps, like one that would generate a heatmap for KML feeds from Foursquare, or some fancy automated way of compiling the list of videos from Indietracks bands by scraping some kind of feed. It could get me a well lush job guffawing all day on the internet and shedloads of money with which to redistribute to London's Indiepop music scene and purveyors of Xbox 360 Elites.

I couldn't decide, so I used the marvel that is Its a simple organic poll engine I fell in love with a week or so ago when I tried to find out what was the most pressing civil liberties issue facing the UK government.

Neglecting the use of the word 'madcap' I put up the question "what should my next time wasting/life enriching scheme be?", along with three options:-
  • Java
  • Video webcasty things of my playing guitar
  • Abusing other people's photies of Indietracks by using them to reenact South Park
The last option being a wildcard, cos I'm just a crazy kind of guy. AllOurIdeas allows respondents to add additional suggestions into the mix.

So after three days I find a clear favourite has emerged, one suggested by someone else.

They want me to have kids.

Could be difficult, cos its not really the sort of thing I can do on my own in my bedroom, like the other options, but if that's what the internet has decided for me, then so be it.

On the other hand, another received suggestion was to "quit the internet for a few weeks, see how evolve without it".

That would be weird.

Anyhoo, kids it is!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Indietracks 2010 - a review

A couple of folk have stumbled across my blog from google seeking a review of Indietracks 2010, so I feel I must oblige.

I was just going to scan in a list I made on the Saturday afternoon of folk who I know who I'd seen, much in the style of Indiepop Eyespy. But its hardly a review and a little creepy truth be told.

I didn't really go to see lots of bands, I've been to plenty of gigs already thanks, the bands I wish to see I've seen before and the bands I haven't seen before, I'm too far from the online social circuits to really appreciate. Instead I was at Indietracks cos I go to Indietracks every year and its a pleasant weekend.

We arrived on Friday evening, set up our tent, I checked in on Foursquare and wandered to the festival site in time to catch half of Allo Darlin'. They were good, better than they'd been the other night at The Luminaire in London, dropping in a short Bangles Walk Like an Egyptian interlude was a wonderful stroke of genius.

Anyhoo, I'd had a long drive and I needed beer, so we headed over to the Diesel shed for real ales and some of that lovely bumping into people we know from gigs.

Everybody was in the French Resistance... Now were on the outdoor stage when we emerged with beer. I can't say I quite 'get' any of Eddie Argos's bands. Art Brut are just kind of shouty and don't have any hooks that appeal to me, sure all the comics references are cool, but I've seen that before with the Plimptons. And so with 'French Resistance... Now whilst the historical accuracy of some of their songs is neat, they're just iconoclastic and affected. He's like a stand up comic in some ways.

The Just Joans were great, its been months and months since I last saw them. The newer songs "Why are we so lonely Steven" and "Stuart had a dirty book" and "Wee Helen Got Married" were neat additions to the Joans's opus. Earlier in the day I ran into Dave Just Joans and marveled at how great it would be to have hundreds of people singing along to their anthem "If you don't pull", Dave rolled his eyes.

And sure enough hundreds of people didn't sing along.

Its truly a great song, maybe not quite fitting in with the rest of their style, too coarse and vulgar, "I hate this place and all these people" is too much a roar of frustration from the next in line to the Belle and Sebastian/Camera Obscura throne. But they've never done the song justice, I've said it before and I'll say it again, If You Don't Pull needs a choir belting out the chorus, but more than that, it needs a Pavaroti opera singing "take my hand, lead me far away from here", and a 1987 Bill Drummond snarling the verses, can we get Edwyn Collins in to produce it? I'll pay for that myself.

But then it wouldn't be a Just Joans song.

After they played there was a frantic dash to the Outdoor Stage to catch The Smittens

At this point I hereby provide an interlude in the form of a guestpost that I found blowing down the street on typewritten sheets of A4:-
I wasn't saying that, I was just suggesting, I wasn't saying I was going to do it, I was just suggesting you don't use such harsh terms.

To describe someone who provides some entertainment and silly jokes, perhaps not taking themselves too seriously.

It was nice and there wasn't any fighting. There was an eclectic mix of people and the atmosphere was cheerful, excited yet relaxed and quite English despite the presence of lots of Spanish.

It was warm and yet if you felt the chill coming on you could disappear into a charming bar on a train where the barman was a bit eccentric and smelled of wet dog.

I can't remember about the bands, we didn't watch many of them, its not really my cup of tea. But I did enjoy The Just Joans having listened to them on my handsome and generous boyfriend's ipod for so long and also The Calles, The Smittens and The Primitives.

I feel it could have been improved by a campfire or the band Earth Wind and Fire. And also naked arm wrestling. That's what I wrote.

Look, don't publish that, all right.

Stop writing you bastard.

Money lost in the BP disaster

I caught the arse end of a tweet this morning, and having not done a ranty blogpost in a while I think it lit my fuse.

From: @mrrichclark
Sent: 29 Jul 2010 08:09

RT @BrandRepublic What could the money lost in the BP disaster buy? #oilspill #bp <--- A whole country, wildlife haven

sent via web
On Twitter:

I love stats and figures and graphs and stuff, but this brings the taste of ash to my my mouth.

Oil is great, its what makes the modern world go round. You can either have lots of men working in the fields growing crops to feed their families, or just one man driving a tractor running on fossil fuels, whilst the other men design HTC Desire touchscreen smartphones.

I see disasters like the Gulf Oil spill and the Exxon Valdez as part of the package, part of the risk and consequences we accept if we want ubiquitous touchscreen smartphone.

If you want to do away with oil, then chuck away your phone and get back to the fields, and if your crops die, you starve.

Sure, its not a black and white thing, you can tighten up legislation to reduce the risk of such disasters, but that like squeezing jelly. It'll put up the price of oil just a little, so that other sources of oil become more cost effective, such as biofuels and tar sands, but with them comes a whole raft of different problems, like pollution and energy efficiencies. These in turn you can tweak with legislation, which in turn puts up the price.

If the government tightens up controls too much, the oil companies will just break the law, or drill for oil elsewhere with less restrictive controls, or employ less scrupulous subcontracts. As long as we want our ubiquitous touchscreen smartphones oil companies will find a way, its completely unavoidable.

If you accept the package, you accept the inevitability of disasters, the best you can hope for is a decent regime that clears up the mess, an insurance fund if you will, that whenever a disaster occurs, can suck up the oil, hose down the seagulls and get those affected back to business as usual as soon as possible.

Such an insurance fund would need to be huge and inevitably funded by the oil companies. But the get their money from selling oil to us the punters who want smartphones rather than working in the fields.

But here in the UK, about 70% of the cost of fuel at the pumps goes to the government, not the oil companies. The government that legislates to control the risk and is ultimately responsible for clearing up the mess.

Which bring me back to that tweet, and the phrase "money lost in the BP disaster". Whatever money is "lost" to BP, it originally came from the consumer, and on the way the government took more than double that. If the disaster cost BP $30billion, the government has taken $60billion.

If there is to be an insurance fund, don't we already pay for it? Sure, it would be nice if there was a specific pot of gold set aside, but that's just office admin.

When the government started bailing out banks the other year, I saw a similar infographic and possibly a blogpost from Tim Worstall going through what that many billion would buy. Things like the International Space Station or writing off the debts of third world countries, and so forth.

But no, the guvmint chose to bail out banks with money that didn't actually exist. The UK government essentially took out loans to be paid back "in the future" to not pay for third world debt or cool stuff like space travel, but banks.

The government have got far more of our money than BP, we handed it over in good faith for them to spend wisely on making the world a better place.

The money BP get as a cut is exactly the value of the oil to them, otherwise they'd sell us something else. In the UK in return for £1 we get about 30p's worth of oil and 70p's worth of the government making the world a better place.

That's the package, 30p of ubiquitous touchscreen smartphone and avoiding work in the fields and 70p worth of government spending.

Having finally clicked on the tweet's link to Brand Republic I see they're using the loss in value of BP due to the oil spill, which amounts to $100billion, and lists items such as the following:-

  • A new home to replace all 275,000 homes lost in hurricane Katrina
  • An iPad for all US college students
  • 10 years clean water for each of the 884,000 people without access to it

Anyhoo, its all pish. At any point the UK or US government could, at the drop of a hat, take out a loan to buy any of these things, to make the world that much of a better place.<

But they don't, cos they know as well you do, that such gestures would lead to riots, fighting in the streets, buildings on fire, crops left unharvested, starvation and death.

I can't let it lie, every time I click post and walk away some more rantin' goes through my head.

How about this? Instead of paying £1 for petrol and getting 30p of oil and 70p of government spending, you could pay 30p for the same amount of petrol and keep the other 70p in your pocket and then spend that 70p making the world a better place by your own design. Rather than relying on the government deciding who is worthy of their largess, you can choose for yourself whether to give the money to charity, to buy clean water in far off lands, propping up dictatorial regimes, or hosing down seabirds or giving iPads to US college students and making Apple exactly the same amount richer.

I mean really, this lost BP money couldn't have been spent on anything else, there was never any plan to do things on that marvelous shopping list, no plans that have now had to be cancelled due to the oil spill.

Back home, I have these huge credit card debts racked up from a period of unemployment, and I really want an Xbox 360 Elite, my debts equal the cost of fifty Xbox 360 Elite, that's the scale of my disaster. So I can't afford an Xbox 360 Elite. If I somehow came across the money to buy one Xbox 360 Elite, I wouldn't buy one, I'd pay off a fiftieth of my debts.

If I came across enough money to buy forty Xbox 360 Elites, I still wouldn't buy one cos I still have more debt than money to buy an Xbox 360 Elite.

Strangely, even before I'd racked up the credit card debt I didn't have enough money to afford an Xbox 360 Elite. There were other more pressing things to spend the money on, like getting my car serviced, rent, food, flowers for my attractive young ladyfriend, and propping up a small fraction of London and Glasgow's indie music scenes.

Actually, I could, at any point just get an Xbox 360 Elite with my said credit card, whether I have the money or not. The fact there is a huge oil spill or outstanding debts has little bearing on whether I get it or not.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Indietracks 2010 videos

And here's a running list of all the Indietracks 2010 videos I can find on YouTube

Allo Darlin
Kiss Your Lips (psychodave0)
1 of 3 (eolrindebara)
2 of 3 (eolrindebara)
3 of 3 (eolrindebara)
My Heart is a Drummer (zondasights)
Tallulah (Galazoaimatos)
Lets go Swimming (ScaredToDanceClub)
Silver Dollars (ScaredToDanceClub)
My Heart is a Drummer (timothyahall)

Antarctica Takes It
Dunno (briantheoyster)

What's a girl to do (monkeyheads)
I've got pictures of you in your underwear (vegetubleman)
1 of 3 (eolrindebara)
2 of 3 (eolrindebara)
3 of 3 (eolrindebara)
dunno (vegetubleman)
Sex is Boring (pranceydog)
Indian Summer (pranceydog)
I don't have to stand here fighting with you about the size of my dick (pranceydog)
Essential Wear for Future Trips to Space (pranceydog)

Be Like Pablo
The Post-It Song (hipmat)
Julianne (eolrindebara)

Betty and The Werewolves
David Cassidy (acoustic) (randomname83)
1 of 4 (eolrindebara)
2 of 4 (eolrindebara)
3 of 4 (eolrindebara)
4 of 4 (eolrindebara)
Dunno (zondasights)

The Blanche Hudson Weekend
dunno (Galazoaimatos)
1 of 4 (eolrindebara)
2 of 4 (eolrindebara)
3 of 4 (eolrindebara)
4 of 4 (eolrindebara)
Crying Shame (thesage38)

Boy Genius
dunno (neonpike)
Scatterbrain (thedyingfly)
dunno (neonpike)
Ramona Saves the Day (thedyingfly)
dunno (vegetubleman)

The Calles
dunno (vegetubleman)

The Cannanes
Misery (antonyahall)

The Cavalcade
dunno (Galazoaimatos)
1 of 2 (eolrindebara)
2 of 2 (eolrindebara)

Clint (Play People)
1 of 9 (peterjh100)
2 of 9 (peterjh100)
3 of 9 (peterjh100)
4 of 9 (peterjh100)
5 of 9 (peterjh100)
6 of 9 (peterjh100)
7 of 9 (peterjh100)
8 of 9 (peterjh100)
9 of 9 (peterjh100)
dunno (eolrindebara)

David Tattersall
Dunno (neonpike)
Dunno (neonpike)
Dunno (neonpike)

Everybody was in the French Resistance... Now
With or without you (Galazoaimatos)
1 of 3 (zondasights)
2 of 3 (zondasights)
3 of 3 (zondasights)

The Felt Tips
dunno (alexbummer)

1 of 2 (eolrindebara)
2 of 2 (eolrindebara)

The Give It Ups
1 of 3 (eolrindebara)
2 of 3 (eolrindebara)
3 of 3 (eolrindebara)

Gordon McIntyre
1 of 6 (eolrindebara)
2 of 6 (eolrindebara)
3 of 6 (eolrindebara)
4 of 6 (eolrindebara)
5 of 6 (eolrindebara)
6 of 6 (eolrindebara)
Leave the earth behind you and take a walk into the sunshine (pranceydog)
Public Park (pranceydog)
I lost you but I found country music (pranceydog)
Independent Popular Music (pranceydog)

The Hillfields
dunno (eolrindebara)
Dunno (zondasights)

Internet Forever
dunno (hipmat)
dunno (pranceydog)

Jam on Bread
1 of 4 (zondasights)
2 of 4 (zondasights)
3 of 4 (zondasights)
4 of 4 (zondasights)

The Just Joans
I won't Survive (illandancient)
Why are we so lonely, steven (vegetubleman)
Wee Helen Got Married (timothyahall)

La La Love You
Sabes que te quiero (vegetubleman)

Linda Guilala
Dunno (zondasights)
dunno (rotherhams)

The Loves
1 of 2 (rotherhams)
2 of 2 (rotherhams)

The Millipedes
untitled (neonpike)
Zombies (neonpike)

MJ Hibbett and The Validators
1 of 4 (eolrindebara)
2 of 4 (eolrindebara)
3 of 4 (eolrindebara)
4 of 4 (eolrindebara)
My Boss Was in an Indie Band Once (ScaredToDanceClub)

Onward Chariots
dunno (neonpike)
dunno (neonpike)

The Orchids
dunno (Galazoaimatos)

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Come Saturday (hipmat)
Heaven's gonna happen now (tillernet)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (psychodave0)
1 of 2 (eolrindebara)
2 of 2 (eolrindebara)
Gentle Sons (Scared To Dance)
Come Saturday (suziecreamcheese1967)

The Parallelograms
dunno (Galazoaimatos)
2 of 3 (eolrindebara)
1 of 5 (zondasights)
2 of 5 (zondasights)
3 of 5 (zondasights)
4 of 5 (zondasights)
5 of 5 (zondasights)

The Pooh Sticks
On Tape (thedyingfly)
Susan Sleepwalking (thedyingfly)
Who Loves You (thedyingfly)
Heroes & Villains (thedyingfly)
Cool in a crisis (thedyingfly)
dunno (eolrindebara)
dunno (rotherhams)

The Primitives
1 of 3 (eolrindebara)
2 of 3 (eolrindebara)
Dunno (zondasights)
dunno (rotherhams)

Red Shoe Diaries
dunno (eolrindebara)
dunno (discobloguons)

Good Working Practise (neonpike)
dunno (neonpike)
Massive Haircut (neonpike)
Their German Disco (neonpike)
dunno (neonpike)

Secret Shine
Dunno (eolrindebara)

Mark E Smith (timothyahall)

Slow Club
Giving up on Love (Niceaction)
dunno (Galazoaimatos)
Wild Blue Milk (ScaredToDanceClub)

The Smittens
1 of 9 (zondasights)
2 of 9 (zondasights)
dunno (vegetubleman)
What Do We Do Now (timothyahall)

Standard Fare
Wow (timothyahall)

Stars in Coma
1 of 4 (zondasights)
2 of 4 (zondasights)
3 of 4 (zondasights)
4 of 4 (zondasights)

The Sunny Street
What is Love (thesage38)
Penguin Pool (emmapropella)
1 of 3 (eolrindebara)
2 of 3 (eolrindebara)
3 of 3 (eolrindebara)

Tender Trap
1 of 3 (eolrindebara)
2 of 3 (eolrindebara)
3 of 3 (eolrindebara)
Do you want a boyfriend? (thedyingfly)
Dansette Dansette (thedyingfly)
1 of 3 (zondasights)
2 of 3 (zondasights)
3 of 3 (zondasights)
dunno (rotherhams)

Veronica Falls
1 of 3 (eolrindebara)
2 of 3 (eolrindebara)
3 of 3 (eolrindebara)
Beachy Head (alexbummer)
Starry Eyes (alexbummer)

Alex Party cover (YokokoLIVE)
Cold Black Heart (YokokoLIVE)

Other Indietracks videos
Mark Zonda
HDIF 1 of 3 (eolrindebara)
HDIF 2 of 3 (eolrindebara)
HDIF 3 of 3 (eolrindebara)
Story of Sarah Records
Super Summer indiePop Photo Montage (psychodave0)
Have you ever heard a digital accordian (suziecreamcheese1967)

The Just Joans - Indietracks

Eeeep!!! Last weekend was Indietracks 2010, everyone's favourite indiepop music festival based at a railway museum in the Midlands.

And here's a video I took of The Just Joans playing their song I Won't Survive

Usually I record loads of video and string it all together to try and encapsulate the whole festival experience, but alas this year I was unable to.

Still, The Just Joans are great aren't they.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The end the Glasgow Indie Eyespy movie

Its been a couple of weeks now that I've been hard at work drafting a damnfool idea of a movie. Loosely based on a music fanzine thing I did in Glasgow in 2004, it was going to be my answer to the movie Almost Famous.

But I hereby give up.

Last night I was at the 'Allo Darlin' / Smittens gig at the Luminaire in Kilburn. As part of their set now The Smitten do a Just Joans cover, 'What Do We Do Now'. The song is about losing touch with school friends and the bands we used to love all splitting up. 'Allo Darlin' also check the Just Joans, referring to one of their song titles.

Anyhoo, for a moment I thought is this film a vain anachronism? A relic? The awkward pause at the end of the line?

But shrugged this off, the bands and acts who'd feature most prominently in what I'd written are still kicking about stronger than ever, The Plimps, The Just Joans, The Loves, MJ Hibbett, Camera Obscura, the story I'd tell is still relevant.

Today at work, in an idle moment, I went looking on Flickr for photos of the gigs way back when. I found some neat ones from the Camera Obscura/Ladybug Transistor show at the Cottiers, and I found RJG's secret stash of all the Winchester Club fliers. I'd been trying to track down Winchester Club dates months ago when I'd first discover songkick, so this afternoon I finished putting them all in.

For a few days now I've been trying to turn my notes for the the film into something more of a story, a better capture of what I saw as being the scene back then. Should I strap in more and more bands, more promoters and clubs, more and more detail. Then I had a brainwave, I could use Songkick to reel out a list of all the gigs I went to, then just check off which ones to include in the Glasgow Indie EyeSpy movie.

Two hundred and fifty gigs.

When I saw them all laid out, the film I had in mind dissolved. I realise now I just nostalgic, trying to get back to Glasgow, trying to get back to the friends I had five years ago.

Sure everyone's still alive, the bands are still gigging, but I ain't got no time machine.

So I hereby give up on the movie.

And move swiftly on to my next time-wasting project.

It either learning java or playing guitar again.

In the interests of creative liberation here's what I wrote-


GIES - The Treatment

We can see a computer screen in a dark bedroom, we do not see who is at the computer. The screen shows the AudioGalaxy homepage, as it is functional this dates the scene as being in 2002.

In the search bar we see slowly the text "13th note" is entered, the mouse cursor clicks on Search, and after a few moments one result comes up, an mp3 called "When the Supernaturals Went to The 13th Note" by a band called "THE HECTOR COLLECTORS". The cursor moves to over the download link and clicks, we see the download bar appear.

The scene changes to a drummer (GAV) counting out the start of the aforementioned song, on stage at a small venue in Glasgow, The 13th Note. The song is about a small Glasgow band who achieved mainstream success and now finds it uncomfortable to enter small music venues, and is full of references to the menu at the 13th Note and the clientèle.

As the music plays, the scene changes to seeing the lead of the film, CLARK Hampton, put on his black leather gig-going jacket and leave his flat, we don't see his face.

The scene changes back to the stage at the 13th Note, we see the bassplayer playing.

The scene changes to a street in Glasgow, where CLARK Hampton is walking downhill, past familiar city landmarks. The scenes continues alternating, showing the sound guy, BRENDAN at the mixing desk, the rest of the band and folk sitting or standing watching the band.

The scene changes back to the stage, the lead singer ADAM, is singing with the microphone close to his face, gurning at the as yet unseen audience.

Back to CLARK slowly making his way through town, as the sun hangs low in the sky.

Back at the gig, the guitarist, Iain, is playing ironic lead guitar, ADAM jumps past him into the audience. The few standing members of the audience lurch out of his way. He falls into peoples tables, spilling drinks the punters push him away.

CLARK reaches the door of the 13th Note, it is noisy inside. His left hand begins to twitch, just like with Tom Hanks at the start of Saving Private Ryan, we see him glancing down at his hand. A girl appears, she is short, busty and blond and called Lisa, slightly tom-boyish, and friendly, she is CLARK's girlfriend, she takes his hand and leads him into the 13th Note.

There's a poster on the door saying "Tonight:- THE HECTOR COLLECTORS, [and the other bands who played that night]"

Back in the 13th Note's basement ADAM is racing round the crowd, still singing, bumping into people and knocking over their drinks, some frown at him, most just laugh and take it in good humour.

At the the door CLARK and Lisa come in, see a note on the table saying entry is £3, CLARK hands over money for both of them to Paul Smith, who hands over change from a tenner. ADAM looks over at CLARK and Lisa, he doesn't recognise them. They take a place at the bar and look back at the stage.

CLARK looks around at the venue, spots the sound guy and confides in Lisa that he's the former drummer from Teenage Fanclub, she doesn't hear him over the band so CLARK has to shout they had some chart success in the mid-nineties.

The band finish playing, everyone returns to their drinks. ADAM is in conversation with Paul, glancing at CLARK and Lisa, talking about them, Paul glances back and shrugs in reply to an unheard question. ADAM eventually makes his way over to the bar.

He directs his questions to CLARK, asking who they are and what they're doing there. CLARK explains he downloaded the track, discovered the band were playing that night and so thought he'd come along, so essentially he's a fan. ADAM explains that everyone else at the gig is a relative or school friend, CLARK and Lisa are the first actual fans.

ADAM introduces CLARK and Lisa to other members of the band DUNCAN, CHRIS, IAIN, and points out GAV at the other side of the room, Their names appear in the air before us, within a circle labelled THE HECTOR COLLECTORS. Everyone's really pleased to meet them, drinks are bought, photos are taken, much laughter and merriment takes place.

Scene Two

The next scene takes place months later, its winter, its dark, CLARK is alone walking down a street in Glasgow's leafy west end, he wears his leather jacket, and is walking to a gig.

He spots Paul Smith on the other side of the street, Paul waves, CLARK nods and smiles. They are heading to the same place, and old church which is now the Cottiers Theatre, a bar/restaurant/events space. A board outside says that tonight Camera Obscura are headlining, with ROY MOLLER and Ladybug Transistor in support.

Inside CLARK stands at the door looking at who is there, he sees GAV the drummer from THE HECTOR COLLECTORS, who glances over and nods recognition. Paul Smith is at the bar with JOHN D and Graham PinUp deep in conversation. They are joined by hairy gentleman with a mohican and piercings, this is MARTIN Smith, he is drunk, loud and intimidating.

CLARK makes his way to the bar away from people he knows, and patiently waits for a space to order a drink. The folk in front are WEE PATRICK, PASTA, MIKE and BOYBOYGIRL, they take their time making up their minds and ordering. They are people from the Bowlie community messageboard, they gossip about music, friends and Belle and Sebastian, pointing out in awe that Stuart from B&S was outside.

The lead singer from Camera Obscura, JOHN HENDERSON, works round the crowd telling them the show is about to start. The Bowlie kids are a little in awe of him. On hearing his name it appears in the air before us.

Eventually they leave the bar, allowing CLARK to get a drink. People slowly go to another room where the gig is. It is very dark in the room, the queue in is very slow, CLARK shuffles in and takes a seat at the back, glancing at everyone he recognises, and notices that GAV from the Hectors is on stage as the bassplayer for Camera Obscura.

We see this last fact displayed in the air diagrammatically.


The next scene takes place several months later. It is spring, the sun is high in the sky, CLARK is accompanied by a girl called Sally, she is short, curvy, with permed hair and a huge smile, some would say she looks like Sally Field. They are heading to Strathclyde University' Student's Union building. CLARK explains that ADAM from THE HECTOR COLLECTORS wanted to meet him about a 'business opportunity' which CLARK doesn't know anything about, he briefly outlines to Sally who ADAM and THE HECTOR COLLECTORS are, bedroom-based John Peel fodder. Sally probes him for what they sound like.

The two of them enter the Games Room bar, it is busy, Stereophonics are on the jukebox, there is a bunch of rugby players being boisterous. ADAM sees CLARK and Sally, and comes over. MARTIN Smith is there too, reserving a table.

Introductions are made, CLARK mentions seeing MARTIN at the previous Camera Obscura gig. ADAM explains that he and MARTIN are in another band, The Plimptons, their names appear in the air before us, they're comedy rock, and they want CLARK to be their record label/manager. CLARK explains he has no idea what that involves and then explains what he thinks it would involve and how it would work “I've got no idea how to be a manager, I'd have to book gigs and speak to the guys who run the venues like Mig at Sleazys or ERIC at King Tuts or Brendan at the Note, and then you'd have to play out of Glasgow, at where are you from? Motherwell, well, there's Starka there, they don't have a gig booker but the barstaff take demos, and in Edinburgh, god I haven't a clue, there's the indie music society at the university who might be able to help out. But as far as releasing a CD or anything, I'd just have to burn it on my computer, I can print out pretty good quality inlays and order up a load of cases, but that would just be for a few hundred copies, any more then we'd have to go to a proper CD duplication place and printer, but that'll all be depending on how many copies you sell and how much you want to sell them for. Like the bom cost for homemade one's is about 50p. We'd have to send them off to John Peel, the Evening Session, Radio Scotland, XFM, NME, Melody Maker, Mojo, Q magazine, is Select still going? Comedy rock, maybe Viz too, is Oink comic still going? And then there's the drive round the country dropping off copies at record shops in Bolton, Manchester and Liverpool” He reels this off leaving the others somewhat surprised, they stop him and explain that's exactly why he should be manager, they get more drinks in. Whilst ADAM and MARTIN are at the bar, CLARK is scribbling notes on the back of a flyer, and bouncing ideas off Sally.

They explain they have a gig the next night at the RSAMD, CLARK should come along and have a listen.


At the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, CLARK wanders in to find ADAM, MARTIN and their keyboard player playing to a large room, with four people sat amongst many chair laid out in rows.

The Plimptons are performing their rock opera “The Captain August Trilogy”, its a slow prog-rock type piece involving some captain who gets eaten by a whale, then travels to the moon and become like king of the moon or something and then eats too much cheese so he falls back to earth and burns up on re-entry, then thousands of years later his DNA is used to clone him and so on. We only catch snippets of this as members of the audience come and go.

Afterwards ADAM asks CLARK what he thought and whether he has his car with him, as they need to go to the 13th Note cos The Poppadoms are playing.

They race across town to burst into the middle of the Poppadoms gig. They are a five-piece, with trumpet and trombone, lead by a singing acoustic guitarist, all dressed in paper boiler suits.

ADAM explains who the various members of the Poppadoms are, what bands they were in, this appears in the air before us. He points out that ROWAN the drummer is in THE BOY CARTOGRAPHER with DUNCAN from THE HECTOR COLLECTORS, this appears as a Venn diagram in the air before us.


A month or so later we rejoin CLARK in his bedroom, printing CD inlays and burning CDs on his computer, piles of half constructed CDs cover the bed. There's cardboard cut to the net for boxes to hold batches of CDs. There's posters on his wall of famous band managers, Kevin Sampson, Bill Drummond, Tony Wilson.

There's also a clock.

CLARK glances at it, swears, and quickly loads twenty or so completed CDs into a cardboard box, he pulls on his black leather jacket, and heads to the door,
rushing past his flatmate QUARKY who is playing Playstation with his feet up.


We see him hurrying down a street in Glasgow's leafy west end, its dark.

He runs down stone steps, and is hailed by a girl wearing stripey clothes, she asks directions for the Woodside Social Club, CLARK is going there and offers to show her the way, she is JOSEPHINE, she intends to meet up with some friends at the Woody.

They cross the mighty river Kelvin, and eventually arrive at North Woodside Road, outside the Woodside Social Club, there's a long queue and we can here New Order playing inside. CLARK and JOSEPHINE push in to the front of the queue.

Paul Smith is working the door, it is a National Winchester PinUp League club night, entry is £4, but you get a free cupcake. Paul asks about the CDs, CLARK hands him one.

CLARK heads inside. JOSEPHINE tags along with him. He quickly scans the room and finds ADAM and MARTIN, they greet him and ask after the CD, he shows them the box, MARTIN takes one gets up and heads to the DJ booth. CLARK points out people in the crowd to JOSEPHINE, Stuart from Belle & Seb is there, as are members of
Camera Obscura, and Franz Ferdinand and Arab Strap. Their names appear in the air before us.

JOSEPHINE spots her friends, the Bowlie folk, PASTA, MIKE, BOYBOYGIRL and PATRICK from the Camera Obscura gig, sat round their own table. JOSEPHINE introduces CLARK to them.

The DJ is GAV, John Hunt stands nearby, MARTIN Smith shows GAV the Plimptons CD single, GAV takes it has a look, has a quick listen on a CD walkman, nods approvingly, looks over to CLARK and ADAM, and nods.

MARTIN gives a big thumbs up.

The New Order song comes to an end, and silence fills the room as GAV puts on the new CD, in the silence people start grumbling, and turn to look at the DJ booth. GAV hits play, “Could I Be Loved” plays.

People in the crowd look at each other with 'what the fuck' expressions, then begin to smile as the hear the lyrics. CLARK and ADAM look anxious, but slowly relax. Kapranos, the singer from Franz Ferdinand, is stood nearby, a girl asks him to sign a Franz CD, and then goes away. We see that Kapranos is tapping his foot to the Plimptons song, CLARK notices this and tells ADAM.


A week later, CLARK is in his bedroom, CDs all boxed up, stacks of envelopes addressed to the BBC and other radio stations and magazines. A girl lies naked on the bed, she is LYNSEY, short, thin, with long dark hair.

CLARK is hard at work on the computer doing repetitive keypresses. Lynsey asks what's so important, CLARK explains that there is a vote on Radio Scotland, the Plimptons versus Glasvegas, and the Plimps are just about winning. How does he know, because he has graphs and a spreadsheet. Yes its cheating, but then so are Glasvegas. Its important, they'll get played on national radio. We've got an album coming out soon, it'll help.

CLARK puts the radio on, as Lynsey pulls on her clothes in a huff. A song by the band We Rock Like Girls Don't finishes, Lynsey leaves, slamming the door behind her.

The radio DJ announces that the Plimptons have won. CLARK runs out into the street to chase down Lynsey, but has lost her. He heads back inside, and is met by QUARKY who holds acup of tea and asks what that was about.


A week later it is the Plimptons album launch in Motherwell, the band are loading their stuff into Starka, the town's rock pub. CLARK pulls up in his wee car. He has a moustache and is wearing a businessman shirt and tie under his leather jacket. ADAM is at the door, peering this way and that down the street. They greet each other, CLARK asks who ADAM is waiting on, the support act.

Inside the band set up and soundcheck. CLARK sets up a merchandise table, and puts up posters advertising the album. ADAM walks past looking flustered.

At Motherwell trainstation, a train arrives, a gentleman step out, we only see he feet, and then as he walks down the platform we see he carries a large guitar case.

The pub part of Starka slowly begins to fill up with people. ADAM sees each person in through the door. CLARK carries a box of albums, sees MIKE, PASTA, and BOYBOYGIRL from bowlie. They recognise CLARK, comment on his moustache, to which CLARK launches into a cheesy sales pitch for the album, selling it like snake oil, promising it will change their lives. They take it in good humour and reserve judgement until after they see the band.

The mysterious gentleman from the station, is MJ HIBBETT, he walks slowly through Motherwell, putting his guitar case down to consult a map.

At Starka, the people in the pub slowly shuffle their way up stairs into the gig venue bit, CLARK pushes past in order to take up his position behind the merchandise stall. Paul Smith is manning the door, entry is £5. JOHN D and Graham come through, they reach the merchandise stall and buy a copy each for £5. ADAM is looking nervous and runs to look down the stairs. The sound man, a gristled punk, finds him and urges him to the stage as things are running late.

MJ HIBBETT arrives outside Starka, puts his guitar case down, looks up at the building, picks up his case and goes in.

ADAM on stage with the microphone, he explains that this is the Plimptons album launch, and blusters until HIBBETT appears at the door, ADAM introduces him as the support act. He takes to the stage, gets out his guitar and plays Hey Hey 16K.

Great time is had by all. After the show, ADAM, Mark and CLARK are chatting, ADAM introduces everyone. The MARTIN is dismantling the stage and equipment with Paul Smith, they shake everyone's hands. A lot of money has been made on the door, and from selling albums, the door money is liberally distributed. CLARK in full manager mode keeps a tight hold of the album money in a metal box.


The Plimptons are playing at the Tchai Ovna tea house in Glasgow's leafy west end, it is a small venue, the band look cramped at the front. The audience include JOE SUNSHINE and TOM SNOWBALL and a couple of random folk who've wandered in for a cup of tea.

CLARK chats with ADAM about a gig the next night, the gig is in Edinburgh, supporting Data Panik, CLARK makes out it is the biggest gig they've played so far, with a band that kind of played Top of the Pops. This could be the Escape from Glasgow that other bands never get, a whole new audience instead of the same people who usually show up, it could make or break the album.

The Plimptons start playing, THE MIGHTY SWORE messes up the keyboard intro to a song. MARTIN SMITH gets angry with him and send him out, swearing that they'll play the rest of the set without him. THE MIGHTY SWORE has another go at plying the intro, messes up again. MARTIN kicks him out of the band.

After the show CLARK runs round changing MARTIN's mind about SWORE and then persuading SWORE to play the next gig essentially as a session musician, and he'll be paid a guaranteed sum for it.


Gig at the Teviot in Edinburgh, Amanda Rin from Data Panik is pissed off that there are so few people there, the gig is running late and she wants to get home early, CLARK shrugs. THE MIGHTY SWORE steps in and suggests that Data Panik go on stage first. Amanda is not impressed and storms off.

The Plimptons play the gig to a crowd of five people. MARTIN gives a farewell speech for THE MIGHTY SWORE, the five people clap politely.

Afterwards ADAM and CLARK are chatting, well that was a bit crap, ah well, there's always the next album, its already written. What about a new bass player, something will turn up.


Months later CLARK drives to Manchester, Bolton and Liverpool, he is without his leather jacket. During the day he goes to records shops, dropping off copies of
the Plimptons album.

In the evening he goes to a gig at The Cavern, and meets a friend, Alicia she is ginger and glam, they are very familiar with each other, but not intimate. They have a couple of drinks, chat about old times and stuff.

“You're okay, but you're not a rock god like Simon Love, up there on stage”

A band take to the stage, the singer introduces himself and the band. They are The Cardiff Loves, they play songs from their last John Peel session. They're kind of sleazy glam pastiche. Alicia loves it, she rushes to the front of the stage and dances and reaches out of Simon the charismatic lead singer.

CLARK lurks at the back and glowers with jealousy. He wants to be the guy on stage with girls reaching for him.


Days later CLARK is in his bedroom, he fishes out guitars from under his bed and starts tuning them and poncing about in front of his mirror. QUARKY walks past the bedroom door with a cup of tea, sees CLARK poncing and roles his eyes.

QUARKY takes up his usual position in front of his Playstation, but has a bass guitar, he puts in some headphones and we hear him play The Plimptons keyboard
intro that THE MIGHTY SWORE had previously messed up.


City of Glasgow streets by night, CLARK is heading to Nice N Sleazys, but on the way he bumps into WEE PATRICK on a street corner, down the way from the Art School. He hails CLARK, asks about the guitar, CLARK explains he's trying a new career. WEE PATRICK asks where he's come from, Glasgow's leafy west end, has he seen Stuart? Why? They're gonna meet up with THE FRENCH GIRLS. Who are THE FRENCH GIRLS? Some girls who come from France.


Later it is the open mic acoustic night at Nice N Sleazys, a small venue in Glasgow with a similar vibe to the 13th Note, but a bit more Art Schoolie. The room is half full, the audience sits in silence.

Some weirdy beardies finish playing, the crowd clap enthusiastically. CLARK has spent ages in his bedroom practising for this, the compare calls out his name from a list, he gingerly takes to the stage, straps on the communal guitar, taps the microphone. The audience includes JOE OWSLEY SUNSHINE, TOM SNOWBALL and ALPHA MITCHEL, they heckle and jeer for CLARK to start. BOBBIE, a dapper fellow, lurks at the back, watching intently.

He launches into an out of tune, badly sung song about getting dumped on Christmas Eve in BurgerKing in 1993.

I got dumped for Xmas,
Now my baby miss her,
But she dumped me
In BurgerKing
On Christmas Eve
I just want to kiss you
Under the mistletoe
I want to snog
on the back of the school bus
But she dumped me
In BurgerKing
On Christmas Eve
I bought all these presents
I don't want to give them
I bought you sweets
and chart CDs
But she dumped me
In BurgerKing
On Christmas Eve
The crowd remain silent, then embarrassingly clap, JOE SUNSHINE heckles and TOM SNOWBALL laughs.

CLARK flees in embarrassment.


Weeks later it is the day of the Bowlie Alldayer at The Pleasure Unit in Bethnal Green. The sun shines outside, crowds of people drink, CLARK marches into the venue with an electric guitar. A sign on the door lists the bands due to play, including the Gresham Flyers, Brunettie, Wintergreen and "CLARK Hampton presents The CLARK Hampton Experience featuring CLARK Hampton".

Inside everyone sweats profusely, a member of The Gresham Flyers is the compare for the day, he introduces CLARK Hampton, the crowd falls silent, as CLARK takes to the stage. He plugs in his guitar, and slowly scans the crowd, see BOBBIE at the back, and also Sally, the girlfriend from the Plimptons manager recruitment evening, she's stood at the side, chatting to her new boyfriend.

CLARK starts cautiously, stops turns to the sound guy and asks if it sounds okay, he then apologises to the audience, explaining that its his first proper gig, he plays a song about a girl he met on a canoeing trip in the Lake District in 1995 who then went off with some other guy, the song is in G and has a throbbing driving bassline, it neatly segues into the guitar solo from The Stone Roses's Waterfall and then into You Shook Me All Night Long by AC-DC.

The crowd applaud politely after the song, CLARK shuffles from the stage, dripping with sweat. BOBBIE gets him a drink.

Time passes, DJs play music, people in the crowd dance.

Lisa is very friendly with everyone, but CLARK refrains from talking to her, occasionally they glare at each other.

Before the end of the night CLARK grabs his guitar and leaves without saying any goodbyes, just nodding to BOBBIE.


In Glasgow, on a Sunday lunchtime, CLARK is in the 13th Note cafe drinking cappucino and brandy, with a bowl of spicy chips. ROY MOLLER strolls in with his guitar and meets friends. Brendan the soundguy is at the bar chatting to FiFi the spunky barmaid. ADAM comes in with Andy from Q Without U. They greet.

Aiden Moffat from Arab Strap walks past, ADAM comments on this, Aiden Moffat seems to be everywhere in Glasgow. ADAM always sees him in record shops, CLARK
always sees him on Sauchiehall Street.

CLARK asks ADAM if he knows anything about THE FRENCH GIRLS. A band? No, just three French girls.

CLARK finishes his drink and wanders out, across the street to Mono. Members of Dananananaykroyd and The Errors are there, WEE PATRICK is working behind the

BOBBIE comes in, CLARK sees him, greets and then reels off everyone he's seen who he recognises. BOBBIE points out that Stephen from The Pastels is working in the record shop nearby, which is a better spot than Aiden Moffat.

CLARK starts talking about how if you were playing Glasgow Indie Eyepsy, you'd get more points for Aiden Moffat as he's had more recent chart success. The two of them start talking about Glasgow Indie Eyespy.

Then BOBBIE asks if CLARK is going to the big Belle and Sebastian gig at the Botanic Gardens a week later, there's going to be a Bowlie internet messageboard meetup at the Woodside social club later. CLARK should go, loads of people from the London gig will be coming up.


Party at BOYBOYGIRL's. CLARK turns up first with a four pack. He and BOYBOYGIRL sit in silence for a bit, she puts on music. Other people arrive.

BOYBOYGIRL, BOBBIE, SASKIA, GAV, CAMERA OBSCURA's JOHN HENDERSON, ERIC, MIKE, PASTA sitting round drinking, everyone kind of knows each other. Chatting about this and that. BOBBIE playing on a Casio VL1.

Doorbell rings, BOYBOYGIRL lets in three stylish looking girls, she does not know them, but they heard the music and thought there was a party.

When they enter the room with everyone else CLARK looks up, thoughtfully and says "Bonjour", for these are THE FRENCH GIRLS.

The party continues, more booze is drunk.

GAV, CLARK and ERIC talk about Glasgow Indie Top Trumps, what would the variables be? drunkeness, chart success, ubiquity? Start talking about ubiquitous Glasgow indie people. Then the idea of Glasgow Indie EyeSpy arises.

What about people you see in crowds who aren't in bands, but you still see them around, like THE FRENCH GIRLS. Who knows.


The next scene we see CLARK hunched over his computer in his bedroom at night, designing the fanzine of Glasgow Indie Eyespy, printing out each sheet, putting it back in the printer to print the other side, carefully cutting each page, folding and stapling them together, finally putting them in a cardboard box.

Flatmate QUARKY wanders in, asks if he's busy and offers to make PASTA for him.


The next day it is the big Belle and Sebastian gig at the Botanic Gardens the place is packed. CLARK paces around in his leather jacket, cardboard box under his arm, looking for people he know. He sees BOBBIE, and gives him a copy of the fanzine. PASTA and MIKE appear, he gives them copies too, they're enthusiastically devour it.

The bands play on stage, CLARK wanders the crowd, spotting Bowlie folk from the London Alldayer, and gives them copies.

Eventually he bumps into ADAM and MARTIN, and gives them his last copy, explaining the rules and everything. We can see in the crowd people with copies of the fanzine spotting other folk in the crowd, smiling and laughing. A couple of girls from Edinburgh are directed over to CLARK, they include Minnie who wears a large bow in her hair and a buxom dark haired girl called Claudia Tidalferry. They ask him for a copy but he has none. ADAM hands over his copy, the girls are very grateful.

CLARK is loving it.

Night falls, at the Woodside Social Club, the clubnight National Winchester PinUp League is going on, JOHN D is working the door, he has a stack of bootleg photocopies Glasgow Indie Eyespy with him, as he takes money off folk coming in £6 he's tries selling copies.

CLARK arrives, JOHN D waves him in, CLARK picks up the fanzine and laughs, JOHN D mentions a few bands who are missing from it. CLARK explains its supposed to be free, JOHN D argues the benefits of capitalism, and offers to buy CLARK a pint.

Dancing, singing and laughing. CLARK leaves on his own, smiling with pride, he has a success on his hands.


A week later CLARK is in Edinburgh, strolls past landmarks and wanders into a cafe called Chocolat or something. Claudia Tidalferry is waiting for him, she has ordered hot chocolate and belgium chocolate waffles for them both.

She has issues with Glasgow Indie Eyespy, isn't it just a stalker's charter, and intrusive? No more so than celebrity gossip magazines but this is directed at the local music scene, and whilst mainstream bands are covered, you get just as many points for recognising the smaller bands, which can only help them.

CLARK changes the subject and asks if Claudia is going to the Plimptons gig that evening, with the more popular act Data Panik headlining. She says no as she doesn't like The Plimptons, despite CLARK's patronage.

CLARK withdraws slightly at this.

That evening The Plimptons are in Edinburgh for a gig at the Teviot Student's Union. The gig has been put on by Edinburgh Uni Indie Society, the other girls from the B&S gig, they are happy smilie people.

He is introduced to David JUST JOANS, who has a demo tape, Last Tango In Motherwell. David is awkward and sheepish, the tape is just something he put together in his bedroom. ADAM points out he took five years to record it, CLARK's got to listen to it, and put it out on his record label.

The Plimptons are called to the stage and play their set to a crowd of about five people.


After the gig the band load up CLARK's car with their kit, bid him farewell as they head off to get drunk and CLARK is left to drive back to Glasgow, all the Plimptons kit is loaded in his car, he has to have the seat as far forward as possible. Its dark outside and raining.

After driving for a while in silence, he fumbles around in the Plimptons kit and pulls out the JUST JOANS tape, he takes a look at it, and slots it into the car tape player.

Friday Afternoons at the Union starts playing. The hairs on the back of his neck stand on end and he has to pull over to listen to it. His eyes well up. He closed his eyes and casts his head back.


Weeks later at the Tchai Ovna tea house in Glasgow's leafy west end, the place is packed JOHN D is there, Duncan from THE HECTOR COLLECTORS, MARTIN, BOBBIE, CLARK is there holding hands with a glamorous dark haired girl, SASKIA, he clutches a cardboard box of JUST JOANS CDs with “£10 each” scrawled on the side.

People are standing outside, clustered round the door trying to see in, JOE OWSLEY SUNSHINE and TOM SNOWBALL are outside chatting to ADAM about the gig.

ADAM squeezes his way to the front, where David JUST JOANS and Chris from THE HECTOR COLLECTORS are sat with guitars, facing the audience. ADAM picks up a microphone, and introduces the JUST JOANS. They start playing When You're Old and Lonely.

The audience are silent in awe, digital cameras poised. SASKIA turns to CLARK, smiles and hold his hand tighter. Goose pimples form on her legs.

Later CLARK is outside selling copies of the CD, he soon runs out of them, and starts taking people's money and they address to mail out copies later. JOHN D materialises and says be has a business proposition and to meet him at the 13th note tomorrow.

SASKIA comes out of the Tchai Ovna looking for CLARK as its time to leave.

CLARK, the Plimps and The JUST JOANS wander off into the night.


JOHN D, CLARK and ADAM at the the 13th note over cappucino, brandy and spicy chips JOHN D offers CLARK and the Plimptons their very own club night, just like The Zoo Club in Liverpool in 1979, where Bill Drummond had The Teardrop Explodes playing every night. JOHN D has a free night at the Woodside Social Club, they can charge as much as the like on the door, as long as the sound guy gets paid they can do whatever they like. ADAM thinks they should take it. CLARK isn't so sure, but acquiesces.


Montage of CLARK and ADAM and MARTIN putting posters up around Glasgow advertising the Plimp Up club night featuring MJ HIBBETT. We see them chatting to people, BOBBIE, WEE PATRICK, MIKE and PASTA, urging them to come along.


It is the night of the gig, at the Woodside Social Club. The place is empty, MJ HIBBETT finishes soundchecking talks about stuff with the sound guy then goes to the bar for a quiet pint. ADAM and CLARK are pacing around, checking out the door, but there is no queue. MARTIN is manning the desk where they usually take punters money, and has an empty tin. He says they should have made cakes.

CLARK gets on the phone to SASKIA, but she's in London for the weekend.

ADAM checks the street again.

PASTA and BOYBOYGIRL arrive for the gig, asks if anyone else is there, and hand over the £4 entry fee. They ask if there's any cake. They get drinks and grab a table.

Time passes, they drink more, no one else turns up.

MJ HIBBETT, the trooper, shrugs and takes to the stage, launching into his classic song of lover in the IT community It Only Works Because You're There.

After the gig, ADAM, MARTIN, CLARK and MJ HIBBETT are standing near the door, the sound guy is packing up his mixing desk and speakers. MARTIN's money tin bears £8, ADAM hands it over to HIBBETT for his taxi fair, wishing him a good trip back to London. He leaves with his guitar.

ADAM, MARTIN and CLARK bicker over whether cake would have made a difference, whether they put up enough posters, maybe 500 wasn't enough, what happened to everyone who said they'd come, etc, jesus christ, I knew this was a shit idea. I can sit in my bedroom and make stuff on my own, I can even make you guys sound good, but I'll be damned if I can make other people bend to my will. CLARK starts swearing.

The sound guy approaches asking for his money. ADAM, MARTIN and CLARK run like fuck.

A few streets away they stop and burst out laughing.


CLARK sits in his bedroom with his guitar, he strums a few chords but is displeased by the sound. He sets up his wee digital camera and presses record then strums again. He stops the recording, and has a look at the playback.

He is satisfied with the results. He records a whole song and uploads it to YouTube.

The next night he checks youtube again and finds that there's been a hundred or so views. So he sets up the camera again, and records another song, this time with an introduction. He fumbles his words referring the recording being live from Glasgow and like the one last night, last night from Glasgow.

The next day he checks youtube and sees even more hits, so he records a load more songs.

The next week he drags The Plimptons into his bedroom and gets them to record songs.

The youtube hits keep racking up

He brings in The JUST JOANS,

He shows bands what it looks like on his laptop in the 13th Note and so brings in The Owsley Sunshine and so on.

QUARKY sticks his head in every so often to ask about the racket.

After a montage of a few more bands CLARK gets in a bit of a state cos he's run out of bands he knows. He tells QUARKY of his problem, he says he'll see what he can do to help and fumbles in his own room for his bass guitar, hands CLARK a 'Lone Ranger' mask and starts calling people on the flat telephone.

In the next scene we see it from the camera view.

A four man band wearing black shirts and lone ranger mask, CLARK, with lone ranger mask and guitar introduces the band as The DEEP FRIED WOLFKNUCKLES, QUARKY is the singer, hollering in the rockabilly style reminscent of Billy Childish, but playing covers of Magnetic Fields.


CLARK, QUARKY and ADAM getting drunk round town during the day laughing. They end up at the Cottiers Theatre, TOM SNOWBALL on stage, he waves to CLARK. CLARK QUARKY and ADAM join JOE OWSLEY SUNSHINE at the bar, CLARK gets served immediately. More drinks are consumed.

QUARKY goes off with some girl.

CLARK bids everyone farewell, very drunk and heads back to his flat on his own.


CLARK stumbles into his bedroom, switches his computer on, then goes for a piss. When he returns he logs onto Facebook. Claudia starts chatting to him.

We see CLARK's fingers typing and his lips mouthing the words he's reading and typing.

His eyes well up.

He stands up suddenly, exasperated with what he's reading. He kicks his computer off.

A few moments later his mobile phone rings, he looks at the display then chucks it out of the house.

He fetches a bottle of vodka as the flat phone starts ringing. He hides in his room, under a desk drinking the vodka neat, sobbing.

Time passes. We see him stagger out of the flat, clutching the vodka, pulling on his leather jacket, fumbling for his car keys. He gets into his car and drives away from Glasgow.

He drives through the night, still drinking the vodka and wiping his eyes.

His DEEP FRIED WOLFKNUCKLES lone ranger mask appears on his face, and just as quickly disappears.

We see him driving from the same angle as the Last Night From Glasgow webcasts, playing guitar as he drives.

We see him spotting ROY MOLLER at the side of the road referring to the Glasgow Indie EyeSpy fanzine.

Still driving, we see him being handed a coffee by the Fifi from the 13th Note, but it changes into his vodka bottle.

His see is pushed forward by all of the Plimptons gear and kit loaded into the back of his car.

The sun rises and he still drives. Road signs show he is driving south.


It is the middle of the day, we see CLARK's car pulled over at the side of a motorway, he is slumped half out of the door, asleep in a pool of his own vomit.

He slowly rouses himself, mops the vom of his face, and staggers to his feet, distangling a foot from his seatbelt. He looks up to see a road sign announcing London is 20 miles away. He abandons the car and trudges south


Night begins to fall in Highbury, CLARK walks towards the Buffalo Bar, people are queuing outside.

CLARK glances down as his hand begins to twitch as it did before that Hector Collectors gig at the start.


Inside the Buffalo Bar, looks like the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks, flickering lights. The London Loves are on stage, they start playing She'll Break Your Heart as CLARK walks down the stairs. CLARK stands at the back and watches them, MJ HIBBETT spots him and says hi, then wanders off.

CLARK is stood at back, weeping.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Hot or Not for everything with All Our Ideas

I found a link to a really cool website, its called and its the greatest innovation on the entire internet ever, trust me.

Its like Hot or Not, but for opinions. Here, take a look at while I explain...

I've asked the question "What is the most pressing civil liberties issue facing the British Government?" And I've suggested three answers, smoking band, photography, cctv. The website offers you two answers at random and you can chose one of the other.

Or you can suggest something new, then the next people who visit the site can chose from those I suggested and those suggested by other people.

On the results page you can then see which answers are most popular and which are least popular.

In the case of the other week's government crowd-sourcing exercise in suggesting which laws to repeal, it was bogged down in thousands of irrelevant and dumb suggestions in a matter of hours. With All Our Ideas the best ones float to the top and the least popular ones sink.

Apparently the folk who created the site got the idea from KittenWars but the Hot Or Not site has been around for years. I'm just glad that someone has put together this sort of thing now.

It took me about thirty seconds to set up my this sort of thing is easy now. let me know if there's any other neat questions out there.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Glasgow music's Kevin Bacon

I got distracted at work and started putting together a Rock Family Tree of the Glasgow music scene 2002 to 2007. Not every band mind, just the ones I remember.

Vaguely bands can be split into are two axis, those with overlapping members of David Roy's bands:-

And those with overlapping members of Chris Elkin bands, namely

As far as I can find there's only one chap who's palyed in bands with both Chris Elkin and David Roy and that is the legend Duncan Robertson. He's like Kevin Bacon for degrees of separation.

My Duncan Robertson number is 2, I was in a band with Adam Smith who was in the Hectors with Duncan.

Although, rather than individual people, there are bands with overlapping members of both David Roy and Chris Elkin axises, like The Royal We and Sexy Kids.

Its too complicated to fit into a Rock Family Tree and a Venn Diagram isn't really going to do justice to all the linkery. Any suggestions?

There was the old Hectors family tree I ran up in '05, but its both inaccurate and too iconoclastic for my 2010 purposes.

Then again, until I dug it up a few moments ago, I'd forgotten all about Simplestorm.

I've still gotta figure a way to neatly weave it all in to my eagerly anticipated Glasgow Indie Eyespy movie, without iot become too much of a documentary. Its supposed to be drama. I reckon that in twenty years time, they'll be making movies about Dananananaykroyd's succession of lead singers and drummers, so why wait when we could get the hottest actors to play them now.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Sleepless and frustrated

I was up late last night, and then had a restless and fitful night. I had a piece I needed to finish writing, precious little time during the day when it wouldn't come. Doubt and uncertainty with the finished article.

Always doubt and uncertainty with finished articles. I'm tearfully grateful when certainty arrives.

Someone finally read my film treatment the other day, it was such a relief when they confirmed my doubts and uncertainties, I was grinning for hours.

Its just the awkward fraction of the autistic spectrum I inhabit. I could have just not bothered writing anything, written it off as another thing I'd planned to do, but didn't. It sure would have saved time and effort and made the world a nicer place.

But my head doesn't work that way, when there is an intention or a plan to do something right away then I feel the need to do it. That's normal right? Or no? The willingness to sacrifice the plan, that frustrates me.

Something that still plays on my mind even after many years was when I was helping a friend move from Glasgow to London. We'd hired a van and I figured if we drove at x miles an how, we'd get to London in daylight, and it would be easy to unload and have the job finished. The trip would use this much petrol, and cost this much money. But now I think should we have stopped more on the way, for lunch at a Little Chef, dinner at Watford Gap and who cares if we arrived at 2am and put off unloading til the next day? The journey would have been more pleasant, more relaxed.

Maybe we'd still be friends today, if we'd stopped at the Little Chef, abandoned the plan and loosened my embrace of the plan.

Anyhoo, about the frustration. I'd read a stack of blogposts, all during the week. Freakishly fast sprinter Usain Bolt can't run in the UK for tax reasons, under the UK government's tax regime, he'd be paying more in tax than he'd earn. Its a familiar story for the super-successful. I remember read that for years the Rolling Stones couldn't play in the UK because the tax and the costs would be more than they could make from the concert, regardless of how much they charged for tickets, the costs and tax would mean they'd make a loss. Government policy dictates the Rolling Stones tour schedule.

Elsewhere in the blogs was coverage of Vince Cable and the LibDems proposals for a graduate tax. I might have misread, and right now on a train, hammering this out on my blackberry, graduates would pay an extra 9% tax on their income, to pay for the ever increasing cost of further education.

Firstly, I'm sceptical of why the costs of further education keep increasing, what are they doing differently? Are the universities incapable of keeping costs down? Why does is cost proportionately more to educate a student now than it did ten years ago. Sure there are more computers, but entry level computing costs the same now as it did even twenty years ago, £300 for an Amstrad CPC, £300 for a crap desktop PC, £300 for ahalf decent netbook/laptop.

I'm not expert, but is it cos there are more university students now. That was some damn fool idea to get 50% of folk through university. Society doesn't need that many graduates, the population isn't smart enough for that many graduates. Everyone with an IQ of 101?

Or is it that further education costs more cos primary, and secondary education isn't educating enough, so now universities are have to teach people how to read and write, do addition and subtraction, derivatives and integration before they can start the meaty stuff of rocket science, particle science, manufacturing engineering and media studies?

I digress. Some spectacularly successful people didn't go to university and some did. Alan Sugar didn't. Anyhoo, at the top of the pay scale, high earners are going to be paying their 50% income tax, plus another few % for national insurance, say 10%, I dunno. But then some of them are going to be forking out 9% on top of that. Paying almost 70% in tax if you pay by the rules and neither avoid or evade tax. Its hardly an incentive to work at all.

Lower down the pay scale, a university degree is less of a benefit. You'll have half the people in the office are university graduates and half got where they are today by the hard slog of working on the shop floor, streets typing pool and getting promoted. These folk are all going to be doing exactly the same job, the same amount of effort day to day. Yet under a graduate tax system, half of them will be taking home less money for their labours.

The Daily Mash had it right with "the harder you work, the more you're taxed".

Some newspaper story earlier in the week about a Somalian family with seven kids who've been put into a huge £1,200,000 house in Kensington. Jesus Christ could they not have been deported to Hull and gotten a bigger place at the fraction of the cost to the taxpayer.

Mark Wadsworth can wade through the arguments for and against social housing and how in this case its just transferring money from the hardworking employed through government and a brief stop in the bank accounts of the residents and then into the pockets of the rich private landlord. Redistributing wealth upwards.

I was thinking, shit if I hadn't worked so hard in school and university and a succession of office jobs, I could be unemployed with seven kids in a huge expensive house.

Not only that but I often hear of families, living in accommodation paid for by various benefits who manage to run up arrears by not even paying the rent to the landlords, instead the money is spent on other things, fags, phones, plasma TVs and holidays abroad. I choke on my cappuccino til it comes out of my nose.

As an aside, during writing this I have now arrived at my destination, a pleasant bar in Camden. Last time I was here it was called the Oh Bar, now its called the Blues Bar. The barstaff, whilst friendly and helpful, don't remind me as much of the barstaff at the 13th Note in Glasgow like they did in the Oh Bar. There was one who looked like a b-movie Cameron Diaz, she is absent now.

Every blogger's favourite former ambassador was writing about slavery the other day, how folk work hard and forced by threat of violence to pay taxes to subsidise those who don't work. Those who chose not to work. The employed are the slaves now.

It was weeks ago that I came upon the realisation that I'm slaving away for forty hours a week to pay people who are getting more for free in benefits that I earn in a five years or something. It just seems a bit unfair.

Why more laws? Why more taxes?

That Somalian family in Kensington were offered other, cheaper places but turned them down. They didn't like the cheaper places.

Its a familiar story. This sense of entitlement from those who reside on benefits, that they are somehow entitled to free housing of their chosing.

Not me. I left home at eighteen to go to university hundreds of miles away, staying in halls of residences and flatshares with friends. The flatsharing continued after graduation. And as my friends peeled away for marriage and job elsewhere, I too left. I arrived in London with nowhere to stay, an afternoon on checking out different places within my price range soon found me a complete shithole of a flatshare which I tolerated for a few months until I found friends with a more pleasant flatshare.

Whilst I've always wanted a place of my own, with a garden and woodchip wallpaper that I put up and painted myself and walls lined with shelves, I know I can't afford it and so that's going to have to wait.

Not so for the unemployable who live on benefits, they expect the provision of their own houses, they demand it. Stamping their feet, and threatening to spawn. No thought of paying for it themselves or building their own route to the house of their dreams.

Its a minor bugbear of mine, the 'waiting lists' for social housing. Anyone can get on the waiting list, it would be really nice to get a nice house for free. When Camden New Journal says there's a waiting list of 18,000 people, I think is that all, there's only that many people who'd like a nice house for free?

So my solution to the ills of the nation is an income tax threshold of whatever the living wage should be, and then 40% tax, scrapping VAT and national insurance.

Or even just scrap National Insurance and make it so everyone has to get their own private medical and employment insurance scheme. Like you have for car insurance, the government doesn't run that, so why should they for health and employment. The voluntary charity sector can fill the gap for people who didn't insure themselves. Somewhere there will be a charity that judges even the worse case of self-neglect as worthy.

Its all bullshit this. Like Behind Blue Eyes, I look back at the city on fire and acknowledge my proxies. I'm not a high earner, nowhere near 50% tax, judging by my pay packet I earn so little I pay 17%. And my univeristy costs were paid off a long time ago. I escaped the benefits trap months ago, other than jealousy these issuesdon't concern me.

What frustrates me in reality is the huge credit card debts I ran up in my last tranch of unemployment. That's my own fault, I should have moved out of the expensive flatshare and found a cheaper shithole one instead of claiming Housing Benefit. I should have gone straight to Office Angels instead of the Job Centre Plus.

That's all in the past, now I just need to pay off my credit card. At the current rate I should be debt free by 2016. Sooner if I stop spending money on other things.

It not the folk who live on benefits or the government's tax regime, its just me spending, its entirely within my control. I can whine for days but its all bullshit.

Yesterday I bought a load of presents and for myself a new pair of shoes. Its debateable whether I need new shoes or not, where to draw the line, can I afford it or not, are the old ones a detriment to my employability and social or not.

No point even debating it. On Friday night I could have stayed in and not spent but instead I went out for a meal and then pints and pints, costing about the same as the shoes.

Even today, right now as I sup my second cappucino in the Blues Bar, ist cost me about the same. Could have stayed in my flat and not spent anything.

Sitting here in Camden cost me £3.20 for the train to Euston, £3.20 for the train to Camden, £5 for a couple of coffees and then maybe £3.20 for the train back home , that's 0.14% of my credit card debt.

More than getting over my creditcard debt, I really want an Xbox 360 Elite. Not some shitty red ring of death Xbox 360 Arcade, but a decent Elite with 120gb hard disc, that will play both new games and second hand original Xbox games like Warriors and Project Gotham Racing 2 where you can drive round cities like Edinburgh, Stockholm and Moscow. This Xbox 360 Elite will cost me around £150.

New shoes = Friday night out = 1/6 of a Xbox 360 Elite

My credit card debts = fifty Xbox 360 Elites

I'm a smart cookie. Sometime ago the computer I had that ran Quicken Accounts died a death, but recently on my wee netbook I wrote me some home finance personal household accounts software in Perl. I rule. It does neat graphs showing income and expenditure. How much and what proportions I spend on rent, my car, going out and pointless shit. I can easily see what spending needs to be reined in. And how to rein it in is all under my control, any reason not to is bullshit. I can reduce travel costs by moving closer to where I work, I can lower my communications costs by getting rid of this phone. I could live off rice and baked beans to cut down on food, or just sleep in my car to reduce my rent.

But I don't, for I am that Somalian family, stamping my foot, demanding this lifestyle and turning down the cheaper options.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Friday, 16 July 2010

Guest post: What passes for Community service

Guestpost that I found blowing down the street on typewritten sheets of A4:-
What passes for community service these days?

Today I was going about my business on an estate in Camden and I noticed a group of around 5 men dressed casually but with orange high visibility vests chipping away at a railing. They seemed to be removing paint in a very noisy and unproductive way. I asked a man who lived there what they were doing, and he said he assumed they were doing community service as they had been doing it for two weeks, and if they were council employees, then it was definitely not value for money.

I would have filmed this strange scene, but for the wolf whistles I received from them. I couldn’t see a supervisor to report them to, but it made start to think “what passes for community service these days?” I could certainly think of much more useful employment that would benefit both the ‘convicts’ and society