Gathering Shells

In a moment of dust and rain, the sandy beaches become 

compressed. Into the imagination of solemn strangers they

weep sadly for a day of sunshine lost. 

Their rust a wasted chain of unused footsteps. An imprint on 

its landscape so forceably removed. As if by nature’s will a 

terror devoid in its infancy. Blown away by the coolness of 

south breezes, that shook the floating Summer into action. 

Away from the soft waves, a clanging sound erupts into

magnificence. Its torture bore the scars of a season spoiled

of fruit and senseless anarchy. Its beauty retained in circles

overlapping the mirrors in your mind. A mind so warped but

held in its own pacifist grave for digging treasures relentlessly. 

The dust and strain that blew the green fields first becomes the 

wizardry of its time and place. Eloping into sweet indulgence

to plant the remaining seas with white waking grace. Fear of 

heaven held up to its skies, in the wrongful path of a season caste

in the weather of gentle nights. 

Mirage of beaches, mangled into the extreme of populist

approachings, removed from the excess scent of human skin

dawning forever on their enclosure. A Lonely wonder, so 

delicately fraught with the passion of an unharmed angel flying

over land and seas distraught. Turmoil of a mind so entranced

in its wept soil, to gather shells for eternity is all that’s left

before the fall.  

A Flame That Quenched

The mourners packed in, to welcome the final soul into

its light, Rich with the fullness of September’s rushing 

horizon and a tenderness ever so sweet divine. 

 The guidance of a lifeless aching, come crawling into serene 

splashes of facing, left then right then left again, never the 

two shall meet. Not at opposite ends of a laneway shall 

ghosts stroll to discuss daily news. Popular places to waste 

away, engaging in the remorseless human activity of dreaming. 

 A candle on a wall, where a young boy left his schoolbag to 

walk the mile away to home. From the seething voices of pain

telling him to stop his running rain. Tears that milk the skies of 

its morning newly sprung, and into desolate dispatches with 

his soul forever young.  

A poor child built on the blessings of an age, that fed him 

into rhetoric with promises of a change. Waking up a 

gifted forthright swine with rage, replaced these tears of 

sadness with a burning youthful face. 

 Flushed out with his memories into a new day of despair,comes

enthralling matinees’s of pictures and perfect sequences retained. 

A kid, a man, a gentle hand, a softly turning Autumn strand.

A flame, a light, burning bright. A rage that quenched the 

coldest end in sight.  

Eating A Virgin’s Honey Adored

Ripped out of precious raging, deeply disturbed human sanity scrawling, on blind paper for fools too useless to admire anything except their face on screens and their souls awash in the blood of anarchy. Time to sleep, to bed the apocalypse of our ageing, a prisoner bled profusely from his neck, the red rivers flow so graceful. 

Pyramids of finest liars, stacked higher than skies would suggest, the air thinner near the top to starve their lungs of oxygen and choke their blackness contrived and deceitful. Claimed and spiteful, forever in tombs enslaved in worthless craft, wrapped in cotton wool with terrible sins you can hardly explain, you can barely even begin. 

The body scars so destructive, ultimate terror wiped out on your forehead and bathed in Ash Wednesday cult status for relics that want to succumb but cannot find a mist, a fog, a clearing for angels to fall. Unfaithful and divine, uniform to pray for separation from a soul so equipped into its silver linings, shadows of its past remain the hardship of its glory caste and broken into stone, for cruelty of lies where all the perfect true hearts calmly reside. 

Elected tragedy to mask and cry and test our feelings against the falling skies, for when they come, epic with strength of purpose replaced by a syringe of poisoned blades and wishmakers entertainment, challengers focus their rage on the very thing we always want, a life that brings us love and scent, a version of existence free from remorseless feet bleeding torment and skin salvaging boredom. 

Take my body to a place where i am free, free of hate, free to drink the blood that gave me life and eat the virgin’s honey from a bowl that captured the world’s purity in its centre. Youthful wasting of tongues, lifeless liberty soiled and scorching, swollen limbs trapped into death to be replaced by machines for middle class work and money grabbing self interest.  

Betrayed by confidence as i search for my sanity, somewhere in the collapsed tombs there is a whisper that reaches me, forces my bleeding to stop and all wounds to close up as if by magic, as if my god was here to let me know he cares. He is back and loss is no more a lonely burden on my unforgiveness. I am awake but asleep, dead but alive, strong but weak, tortured but undaunted. 

Close up my heaven into a a clash of mysteries and offer up myself for sacrifice, to rushing through and back to life, to the solemn light, to live or die. From the space in between the stars and sky, my body goes to sleep at night. 

Sisteray, The Styrpes – A Mod Evolution or Revolution?

Whisper it loudly, in all the coffee shops still falling silently away into the new evolution of modern living and a torture of exclusive non-stop chit chat. The 2010’s are now the 1960’s again, its official! All we need for extra confirmation is a sudden surge in sales of Iceberg Wedge Salads and Beef Wellington’s and there we have it, the past is the present confirmed.

Somewhere between the glory of Summer’s spent in the rain and Winter’s spend freezing beside fire heaters more hazard than health, the glory of what the 1960’s gave us has been recreated in the most absurdly joyous of fashions. And this is a full on proper recreation, not a nod to it or a sympathetic handshake or look in its general direction. This is what the 1960’s were, what they dreamed of being always, a continuation or never-ending haze of drug fuelled endeavour and delicious living on the outskirts of society. 

So much has changed since then. Technology wise it’s another world, in fact its pointless comparing the two such has been the advancement in the interface between then and now. Fashion, food and Music have all evolved, become something else and reverted back to what it once was before evolving again. The world has turned, people have been replaced with other people, we exist to move on, to grow as naturally as any flower sprinkling through Spring’s early gates and into Summer’s flow.

Not all change is for the better, as we have advanced more has become less in so many areas of our lives. Musically speaking it rings truer than most. Sure the advancement in technology and widespread availability of music has afforded talented singers/bands/artists the opportunity to get their message out there to a varied and ever changing demographic and while, that has to be seen as a positive always, it also brings with it challenges, challenges to the record industry as a whole, challenges to bands to always be ahead of the curve and to fight ever more stoutly to avoid getting swallowed up in the vast quarry of shovelled music that now stretch genre’s and no longer remain exclusive of one club over another.

 

 

Pop is now dance, rock is now retro, indie is now alternative, everything is now everything and unless bands come with a clear identity they run the risk of alienating people not familiar with the sound they’re hearing. One sound that has evolved over time and will continue to evolve as each decade passes is 1960’s Mod. Coming as it did from a subculture of its time, it can be argued that itself evolved from even earlier guitar based bluegrass such as Chuck Berry and other such talented artists from before its time. It at least was a gloriously undertaking of a sound not heard before, one which heralded a new modern Britain, a Britain which had finally emerged out of the shadows of the World War II and was aching to express its vibrancy both culturally and intellectually.

Rock music of the time was seen as the preserve of the working classes and somewhat ordinary, not challenging enough for minds wanting to explore other avenues of discovery. Music that would give them ambition, a sound that could express to them a slightly wilder side. An urban cool that was missing. The 1950’s music of gentle love songs were a thing of the past and a new generation needed to express themselves in a more more modern fashion. 

Clothes, Music underwent a cultural revolution. Taken on by bands like The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Yardbirds and The Who, it was a time to feel modern, to act modern, to forget about the past and look to evolve in every possible way. As with all types of music and cultural revolutions it changed and the early 60’s mod was replaced by a more psychedelic rock from Jimi Hendrix etc. In the 70’s this changed into the first outrageous punk movement through bands like New York Dolls, The Clash and The Sex Pistols. It was a far more obscene and wild version of 1960’s mod, so far further from the urban cool that early modernists had ever envisaged.

The next real revolution in early mod came in the late 70’s, early 80’s with The Jam. At the time, it did get rather swamped in the changing technology that would accompany the production of music. Dance and experimentation were all the rage, new music was finding ways and avenues to express itself and it was seen as the new cool, the changing sound and finding ways to sound original and unique were as important as the end result. My first encounter with music was Wake Me Up Before You Go Go! As a 6 Year! Which in itself is a hard admission to make but one which has stood me in good stead later in life in understanding the hardship that first encounter can bestow upon you and how it can ultimately shape your musical choices as you get older!

My first real encounter with mod or what can be considered a version of mod was during my teenage years. As a child of the 90’s, my biggest musical influences of the time were Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene, Blur and Supergrass. They were the bands that drew me in. The fusion of R’n’B with guitar based harmonies always appealed to me. Like the most elegant of sounds sending out signals that would stay with me forever. The pop based melodies always captivated me and brought me closer to them and grabbed me, a constant expression of both anger and happiness. Feelings and emotions that stuck and were bound to cling on the part of my soul that can hear even the softest of whispers calling my name.

Although Oasis have often been compared to the Beatles, to me their early sound spoke more to the kind of vibe The Who were giving off way back when. That is a debatable point of course but an opinion which I shall always hold on to. From the late 90’s and into the early 2000’s several bands tried to perfect a new type of mod sound. The Strokes certainly captured the look perfectly and The Libertines mixed ideas in there but both had their own take on it with far more random and trashy guitars mixed in with the glorious harmonies. The album ‘Get Born’ from Aussie Band Jet is still a highlight from that time and mixes both The Rolling Stones freedom and The Who’s ability to capture a particular guitar riff. The Arctic Monkeys also arrived to mix styles and capture a harder element while also paying homage to those who had gone before. It was a sound that maybe had always been in vogue in various guises but was now being perfected and stylised.

For so much of the past decade music has enjoyed the most remarkable of revolutions or non-revolutions, depending on how you look at it. From the point of revolutions there has never been more sounds out there, sounds that were not even invented 15-20 Years ago are all out there to be heard but I guess many would argue that in fact, it alone means there is no revolution happening, that its merely 1 or 2 particular sounds mediocrely transported across different genres in some pathetic attempt to make it sound original. Music is changing so rapidly whether we want it to or not, its happening at a pace rarely encountered before which makes this current mod evolution/revolution all the more cherished. This is not simply just an evolution in music. Sure these new bands are all bringing their own unique style to it, to express their own thoughts and ideas on music and fully engrossing themselves in creating their own sound and making it their identity but this new mod is as close to the old mod as we have ever heard, in terms of sound, range and guitar play.

The Strypes, a four piece from Co.Cavan in Ireland have a distinctive sound that echo’s right through from way before their time. Its founded not alone in the 1960’s but from way before then. Influenced by artists like Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry so much of their sound is birthed from early bluegrass and R’n’B that was raw and un-tampered with. To see young artists play and create with such vibrancy and Skill is breathtaking and to be admired like you would the cold air on a freezing December morning. The rawness of it, the passion displayed, the fluency with which they move from chord to chord is a treasure so few bands who have been playing together 20-30 can testify to having. Their sound is old school, yet you never get the feeling they are trying to copy those bands. Moreover it’s where their music influences lie and where they are trying to perfect a niche for themselves.

It’s quite remarkable to think that London 4 piece Sisteray only formed in April 2012! They have already perfected a sound that resonates, and smacks of a band who have been learning their craft together, through years of pain and endurance. It’s a testament to their talent that they have already come together to create a sound that is both heavy in its melodies and rich in its design. I was passed on Happy Endings by a friend and I can honestly say I have not stopped listening to it since. The opening to the song drags out the most beautiful reverberations of Pre punk classic Rhythm and Blues foot stomping madness. It lends itself to so many thoughts, most of them involving a time in your live when you felt happy, felt alive and enjoyed listening to music that both thrilled and excited you in ways which you could only ever dream of. The deep influences of bands like the Kinks are everywhere to be seen and to be admired as if you just put on one of those those Vinyl records that you long since thought had disappeared from your collection. Just put it on, sat down and listen to it without interruption. That is what The Styrpes and Sisteray give you ; polished gems that somehow always feel unfurnished. It always feels like they were barely produced at all, that somehow they got together and just decided to play guitar, sing and hand it over, from a time way before there were 8,9,10 production meetings to discuss a strategy on how to go about producing a song! There is nothing like that here, they just play, sing, create, make music and nothing else matters. No attempt to create a multi-million pound Number 1 single, just a sound, a vibe that has echoed through half a century and they hope will echo through another half a century.

All told it can be argued that despite the amount of change we have witnessed over the past 50 or so years that so much is still unique to both ages. Back in the 60’s the modernist’s were trying to create a culture and sound that were unique to them but also one that got away from what they considered to be the bland love song culture of the 1950’s. Here in 2013 we are awash in the blandest culture of pop music that has ever existed. Not only that but  alternative sounds have now become hijacked and are almost being made into false cool sounds when they are much cooler left on their own. Without ill-tampering, this music could grow and have its own style but instead its now being mixed in with so many different styles that it’s become devoid of its own identity. Bands like The Styrpes, Sisteray and other bands like The Castellers, The Front and The Frescaders who are heavily influenced in music from times past are keeping the beauty and magic of those 1960’s melodies alive and inside us all to hold onto and to hope that new music, away from being wrapped up in so much sanitization of genres, can once again create its own unique place inside our hearts and forge an identity that is both relevant and consumes the passions that are within each and every one of us.

Columbia, I Am Home Now

I felt the taste of your fabric on the landscape of my 

lips and tongue and gums, the sensitivity of its ageing, 

a party to irrelevance in the background of midweek 

nights wiped out. 

Felt it for days as i woke up dead, hardly a reason to look

outside when all i see and feel is the cold shiver of wanting

it all to end. Like the most unwanted frozen pit of broken 

hell inside, chiselling away at my soul with granite rock and

jagged edges, each piece shattering evermore in the gradual

disintegration of a life fading out. 

A little fragment takes me without reproach, make me human at 

least, for all the world to see and hear, if just to laugh at how far 

i have come without the strength for turning back. As clean a room as only i would know, clean freak that i am, just as well this room is soundproof so nobody can hear me scream, the tears coming slowly, running red with the blood of those i killed. 

The victim’s names etched into memory, i say dead but maybe alive i feel their bodies burning within my soul, i feel such hatred spread like wildfire, ravaged and eaten everything in its wake, a rush of icy ocean spray build beneath the surface. 

Wearing thin, shorn of bones that work. Skin blotching daily, stylish substance of remorse. Cry for hours, kill myself for weeks, i hardly care, right now this clean floor is all i need. Hug myself invisibly, shake out my shame as it grips the last light in my soulless eyes. 

The final flicker of sanity’s strangeways come raging into tomorrow’s laughter and takes me with it to a safer place, to fucked up hate, to somewhere better, to my friends i tell them, “Columbia i am home now” join me here at peace forever. 

 This is about my college days and one of the many nights i spent out of my mind on cocaine and other such wonderful drugs!! Yes, great at the time but not so much afterwards

Neon Lullaby

A melodrama, music in the wishes from bedroom

eyes climbing into their comfort. Slices of alone, pampered

queen of the nightime folding stairs into forever. Bundles that

paper over cracks in love hearts, a flash of something dark and

restless and unique, a flash of anguish, tortured and extreme. 

A fading into sweetness, a distant boredom replacing casual

gruesome phrases. Make the day grow longer into its shell 

with packed tongues waiting to waste its shape into melting 

hearts that lie in decay, sick to death and so betrayed. 

In full health, it still felt the same. Catastrophic clashes burning

the veins into metamorphic tragedy. Grow out of sadness into 

happiness and out of happiness into the blackest rose that became reborn. A rebirth for the ages, a lifetime’s love awakened. Rusting chains grinding its haze into a fuller moment of rushing race and all the deep black flowers wept from their weeding graves.  

A neon lullaby, sing to us in your sleep, the saddest, sweetest song that comes deeply into souls, unloved and emptied over time. Recycled by the mess of half alive, partly overshadowed, cloudy by dawn and raised on hope that never knocked on doors. Melodies that strain the silence like string and scream at night like dying ghosts or strangers or anything. Dead or alive and always trying, cold and worn and vaguely smiling. In a room with no sign of sunlight, the music still plays where our hearts are weak and captured. 

 

Inside Thoughts

As simple as another day, comes into meaning and 

brings its own unique display. Of affection, smiles, and

earthly pleasures that never die, here to satisfy the twinkle

in a starlit eye. Scarlet love from when its force, held your

heart with a gentle hold, to sparkle and remove its core, to

love its rawness with calm assured.  

 Inside thoughts, circling like flocks of feasting birds, pecking 

at prisoners held in its glory halls. Taken to another realm to

be released like doves. Flights that light a mind on fire, with 

oxygen fuelling filled hearts so strong desires. Be captured in 

one moment and picture perfect night, engraved in memory 

and silence, its strength so undenied. 

The world a monster, travesty of its occupation. Stolen all the 

while, adrift in constant isolation. Away from hope, from dreaming

of a way to find, the sweetest calm, flowing in its river from now 

until the end of time. A weekend sleep-in aged and needed to 

breathe new life, into its rushing soul that runs so fast it someday

soon must die. 

 Inside all my thoughts are clear, the beauty of this day escaped 

into its sea, and gentle waves floated by my hands and feet, to 

be born again, not imprisoned with honesty and ease. Wake up 

every coast, the smiling dash of light, the love i hold. That perfect

outline of a calmer ghost, has taken my heart and mind and sleeps

so still within my soul. 

 

Sometimes its good to escape from a world that takes so much energy to get through and to just leave temporaily and exist only in your own world with your own calm and gentle thoughts. Thoughts of anything that affords you the chance to relax and be who you want to be. Love, live, life – happiness in all forms 🙂