Friday, 30 September 2022


I walk past the car showroom and garage most days.

Often I look in the window at the muscle car for 30k

or the vintage Ford for 30k

and think:

Well, I ain’t a car freak or a petrolhead or anything

but they’re pretty damn smart to look at.

I also say this about the bloke on the mobility scooter

who has added a hard shell to it to protect from rain.

That’s bloody ace, too.

So that’s the extent of what I know about cars.

Today I had a little glance at the cars on display,

and a little worm from in my brain

waved at me

And reminded me that no matter what I think

I’m very unlikely to afford anything like that.

I don’t mind too much, I suppose. I’m not bitter

about it. I’ve had jobs that paid a lot, and been skint at times.

There’s not much I can do.

I don’t know why that worm came and chatted.

I don’t mind the concept that these things are out of reach -

at least for me -

I think.

I used to drive a little automatic Honda Integra

til that overheated and got scrapped.

Then I drove a horrible little piece of crap

which conked out when my friend put the battery back

the wrong way around.

I’ve never really wanted to have a massive house.

Just something nice and cosy and clean is OK.

It’s easy to say

these things

don’t matter to me. That they are, only, things

whether you have them or you do not.

But looking at the cars on the showroom floor

I know for sure I’m never going to stride in there

And drive one home.

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

I Am Gibbon

I am gibbon

spidered and sprung

frenetic and young

instinct shows me

every path through

the treetops

I vocalise

it is joy it is joy

it is freedom and joy

but my whoops

find no echoes

and so dim

But I am gibbon

Don’t say don’t look down

I have no use for ground

I wish to swing

forward swinging


My sharp throat

crackles dry crackles dry

parched soul wrung out dry



when will I fall

Sunday, 11 September 2022

Ghost Bus I

This is the true story of how a man left his soul

and everything he knew

in the middle of the road

on a ghost bus

in the verdant Shropshire landscape

and nothing was ever the same again:

he could not come back from that.

First we gotta rewind a little bit.

It’s rare that people love their work. Their job.

Rarer than it should be

but that’s how it goes.

We’re chasing someone else’s dream

and that ain’t healthy for anyone.

But sometimes, sometimes things just click

your colleagues are beautiful souls,

or idiots, and hopefully both.

And what you do, what you do with your day

is help other people realise

they can achieve something.

Cause by now we all know that the tiniest victory

is a timeless victory.

That seeing a light click on behind someone’s eyes

illuminates the universe.

In cosmic time, that’s nothing.

In eternity, it is everything.

And that’s how it had been that day

And our man’s soul was full.

He was proud that he could help.

He was a librarian

and he had started to realise

the history and the power of that.

But then he had to come back.

He stepped onto the ghost bus.

And sat down. And listened to a comedy podcast.

Then his phone buzzed and jumped in his pocket

and as he slid the touchscreen to ‘answer call’

his heart sank to his boots

and he heard what had happened

and he did not know how to react.

The ghost bus stopped at the crossroads

But there was no devil there

to offer a deal

Or to suggest a game of cards

that would somehow bring

his brother back

Because there was no comeback.

Cause there is no comeback.

You don’t come back from that.

And all our man had known til then

seeped out and was lost

sunk into the squidgy tarmac

of a beautiful summer’s day.

But it was not beautiful

and nothing ever could be again.

Not in the same way as it was.

How do you come back from that?

How do you come back from that?

You cannot come back from that.

The ghost bus docked in the ghost station

and our man floated somehow home

the world around him fuzzy

confusing and not yet sad,

because he could not, would not,

and still never will,

accept that his brother had gone.

But the coffin said differently.

And he knew there was no coming back.

Years pass. And, what else should they do?

There’s no meaning left

when all you can do is stand

and watch yourself enervate

and feel your dreams dessicate.

Years just pass. Years just pass.

And our man knew one thing

and one thing only:

one day it would be his time too.

And there would be no coming back.

You cannot come back from that.

And he welcomed the fact.

And he looked forward to that.

Friday, 9 September 2022

Keep your mouth shut, Joe. Keep it shut.

 As a mark of respect

I won't say how strange it is

that a heart charity

and a disaster aid charity

both have signs up that say

 "As a mark of respect

we won't be opening our doors."

(So if your heart is dicky

or you're in trouble medically

you'll just have to wait for a day)

 As a mark of respect

I won't say what I think

I am told I should grieve

I am told to believe

That state funerals must be paid

  As a mark of respect

I won't say how it feels

When they cancel all sport

And Facebook's wall to wall

With performative lickspittle whores.

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Art Brut at the Paradiso, Amsterdam (2004)

  An ace few days away and a fucking awesome punk gig at a great venue. I do regret one thing, which was not joining in the post-gig revelry with the band. But that's one hell of another story, and you won't hear it from me.

Art Brut

Amsterdam Paradiso

Sat 13th November 2004

Frontman Eddie Argos may be dressed something like a supply teacher, all cotton-trousers and sketchy shirt, and he may stagger a little on his feet; but when he and his colleagues smash out a set of such vibrancy, such sartorial misdemeanours are instantly forgiven. The upstairs room of the Paradiso is a curious blend of Londoners and Lowlanders, brought together for this electrifying and utterly compelling performance from a band whose delight in the form is matched only by the thrilling nature of the set. Every song, in truth, feels anthemic, from the shrugging-of-influence 'These Animal Meanswear' to the sweet-natured but media-cynical 'Bad Weekend'. In fact, as Eddie jumps up on monitors, there's more than a touch of irony in the latter track's insistence that 'Popular Culture No Longer Applies To Me'. Not least given that Art Brut spend the next five minutes bashing out 20 second snatches of music in response to the chipper vocalist's enquiry as to what various artistic styles sound like, from Van Gogh and the impressionists to pop art. On one hand, then, Art Brut are an act capable of sheer aggressive fizz-pop bad-bang Rock N Roll - final track 'Formed A Band' is as triumphant and uplifting as any track of 2004, by a mile - whilst at the same time playing with perception and culture. Not that they'd necessarily all admit to it, but there's something of depth here that makes them current torch-holders of some twisted, artsy-cultural Zeitgeist whilst concurrently revelling in the immediacy of their half-cut, crayon-scrawled mashmusik. Put simply, it's rough, it's fast, it's exciting, it's a whole lot of fun, and it rocks; whether it is art or not is debatable. Which is, probably, the whole point.

Joe Shooman

Kill the Young press release (2007ish)

 Another one I found whilst looking for something I needed. I forgot about this one, too. Great band, top lads.

This First Bit Is About Football Mostly, But It Says Where The Band Comes From, Which Is Pretty Customary In These Sort Of Cases.

THREE brothers.

From Congleton’s sticky, striking Northern-punkedup-streets.

Brought up – like all good United fans - on a diet of Cantona, Coogan and Cobain. Which just about covers it all.

Kicking around.

Mucking around.

Fucking around.

Playing football.

All the time.

Missing meals.

But mostly:

Missing meals through

Playing instruments.

Put the youngest one on drums and in goal. The oldest up front and up front and on guitar. The middle one holding it together in midfield with bass and box-to-box stolid stamina.

That analogy never really works. Let’s try it again.

This Is A Bit More About Kill The Young, And Has Some Flowery Shit In It.

A statement as fizzy and fractious and energetically confrontationally endearing as the music the band produces. Sometimes. When they’re in Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins mode rather than their Magazine, New Order, QOTSA, Led Zep moments.

If you want to know why they’re called KTY you’ll have to ask them about it.

Because a mosaic is made of different coloured gems and a bassline can boost, bubble and blast with bile as much as a vocal line can soar, sour and scream, and as much as a drummer can drive, or dink one into the top corner.

It’s about the hook, not the look; the power and the passion and the kicking out the jams, motherfuckers. It’s about doing things with melodies that are sexy and fine and relaxed and smooth as a red wine enema when they need to be.

Lead singer Thomas Gorman and bassist Dylan were both named after Dylan Thomas. This is trivia, and we’re not going to talk about it in this press release any more. If names really did have an effect on the way people lived their lives, there would be lots of boys named Sue knocking about. The band like Bob Dylan, by the way. Olly, the drummer, got the band banned from loads of venues in Manchester cause he was underage when the band started. It’s OK now, cause he’s over eighteen and everything. And Manchester has loads of places to play anyway.

Here Are Some Interesting Things That The Band Have Done Recently.

Since being spotted by French label Discograph, the group have added to their fanbase by recently clocking up their 500th gig. In 2006 alone KTY’s roadsmashing schedule totalled 160 live appearances across Europe.

The band have appeared at all the major rock festivals in Europe: both Rock Im Park and Rock Am Ring in headlining of the Alternative Stage at Rock In Rio-Lisbon, Transmusicales of Rennes, Solidays in France, 02 in the UK, Paleo Festival in Switzerland, Les Botaniques in Belgium, The Music In My Head in Holland. That equals over a million people in two months. Better than being on telly, almost.

Kill The Young’s debut album, which is called Kill The Young, was released in May 2006 and to date has sold over 30,000 copies. Most of which are not to family members.

That debut LP was produced by Dimitri Tikovoi (Placebo, Goldfrapp, John Cale, Alpinestars, Marc Almond), mixed by Flood (New Order, Depeche Mode, U2, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, PJ Harvey) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Björk).

Things Kill The Young Are Going To Do Soon

The boys’ new album was recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios, by Dimitri Tikovoi in association with hotfuzz new talent Robert Whiteley, who has worked as live and recorded sound engineer with… well, everyone really. You’d have to ask him, cause he’s done the lot. The new album will be mixed by Jacquire King in America, who got on board immediately after one short listen. He’s mixed loads of people. You’ll have to ask him. But it might include Kings Of Leon, Modest Mouse, Be Your Own Pet, The Features.

This summer the band play in billions of festivals across Europe. Not billions, literally.

But lots of them. The band are touring Europe in the autumn.

And there’s a single coming out, called _______________________

Things That Magazines Have Said About Kill The Young, Which Seem To Sum It All Up, So Maybe On Second Thoughts You Could Read This Bit First Actually.

Everything Idlewild were, and Muse tried to be” – Intro

A fucking good band that actually writes a catchy and memorable chorus!” – The Fly

Indie Rock riffs with immaculate pop vibes” – Rock Midgets

Rampant and eager with twinges of everything from Echo And The Bunnymen to Sonic Youth” – Disorder Magazine

Big Choruses and even bigger riffs leavened with a hefty dose of self-loathing” – The Independent

Bob Hoskins going mental in a dustbin.” – Kill The Young’s MySpace page

Tuesday, 6 September 2022

Whisper 3: Transcript

 The latest in an occasional series of whispers. Watch it by clicking here.


I don't want to get too maudlin now,

but it does happen.

I was on social media before and it was about something completely unrelated.



A picture of my brother popped up in a football match 

or something like that 

(I think it was football).

And I just thought:

it's almost unfathomable to think you'll never see...

you'll never see someone again.

you'll never talk to them again.


And some things...


it is an inevitability,

but the reality of it is,


maddeningly confusingly sad 

and frustrating.


if you don't have

a religion or a religious belief,

the worst thing is 

that you have nobody 

to be angry about (at) 

angry to(ward).

I don't know any answers of course