Friday, 29 October 2010


So I haven't posted for a few days. Sorry about that. Here are the reasons for that.
* Been sorting out my student loan.
* Had a meeting with Blessing Force and helped to set up a house for a party.
* Finishing poems for another performance I did at Betsy Trotwood last night.
* Going to the house party (at which Pet Moon, Chad Valley, Jonquil and Jack from Fixers all played very good sets), dancing and getting far too drunk. It was a pretty epic party. Oh, and a journalist was there from NME covering it along with a photographer who took a big old Blessing Force group photo (which I'm in!) AND a journo and cameraman from Vice TV were there to cover it too. We all put on our best of party behaviour for them.
* The party left me hideously hungover for the whole of yesterday.
* I had to go to London yesterday for above mentioned Betsy Trotwood performance. I had to finish two of the poems on the coach and was late due to two accidents on the M40 and of course, I was still hungover. I thought it went badly, but seemingly no-one else did. Massive compliments from everyone and I'm doing next months too.

I am still hungover from the party. I haven't had a two day hangover since I stopped drinking vodka. I'd forgotten just how truly unpleasant they are.

I'm sure I had more to say but I can't remember it now.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

I Can Haz Tumblr?

I was thinking recently that it might be a good idea to have a separate place to put up my scraps of writing and everyone seems to be getting a tumblr these days, so I thought I’d try it out.
So, the plan is that this will be where I keep some of my creative writing bits and bobs. Poems, etc, and all that. I decided it might be a good idea to keep this stuff separate from my personal blog. I’m not entirely sure why I thought that, but I did, so here : : is my new, other blog.
My personal blog still lives here and will still have all of my pointless ramblings posted onto it, so don't you worry about that.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Another Little Bit Of Truck.

There are a couple of really awkward "Oooh, I'd better act along to this a bit" moments in this one. I don't do that anymore. I learned from that mistake.

Pet Moon/Trophy Wife/Braindead Collective, Bullingdon Arms, Oxford, 24/10/10.

It's been a while since I wrote a gig review on here and the gig I went to last night was fucking awesome, so I'm gonna write about it. Even though I've already told you how great it was. If you don't want to read a clumsily written, wanky, fairly sycophantic gig review, you can pretty much stop here.

Normally when I'm enjoying a band and someone keeps telling me how rubbish they are, it really annoys me. Fine, I get it, you don't like them. Now can you shut up and let me enjoy this please? However, the level of hatred my girlfriends sister had for Braindead Collective was hilarious. I have rarely seen someone enjoy something so little while being so amusing. At one point she said something like "It's like having really fucking noisy worms in my ears playing random scat-jazz."
I really liked them. They reminded me of this band called Fraud. Fraud released this really good and slightly mental sounding free-jazz/funk/punk album a while back and won massive acclaim, especially for their live shows, and a load of Jazz awards, then just kind of disappeared. Apparently they haven't officially split up, they just do other things at the moment. Anyway, Braindead Collective reminded me of Fraud, and I really like Fraud, so I got pretty into BC's locked groove jazz noodling (is "locked groove jazz noodling" a massive contradiction? Well, I can't think of a better way to describe it, so that'll have to do), even with the running "They're fucking awful" commentary coming from others. It's inevitable really that this style of music will split opinion, especially in a crowd that haven't come to see that kind of thing. Well, I liked it, so there.

Trophy Wife pull off a trick of sounding like a lot of bits of other bands while not sounding enough like any of them to make you think "Oh, they're just another so-and-so." So you get elements of, oh bloody Hell, I had a list in my mind of all of them last night and I can't remember them now. Hang on, that's a good thing. Trophy Wife aren't a band that should be watered down to comparisons as in their own right they were pretty bloody good. Decent guitar pop songs on the slightly mellower side of "math" (whatever the fuck that means now, I only use it as it's a tag that people recognise) with a nice 80's vibe to them. And the drummer (appropriately named Kit) looked like he was having the best time of his life. Good stuff. Definitely worth keeping an ear on.

Ah, Pet Moon. I think I read somewhere that Pet Moon is like a white electro indie rock take on R&B, or maybe I said that and wish I hadn't. As a sentence, it's very on the side of wanky, and its also not wholly accurate. There is a definite R&B influence on some of those beat constructions, and there is an indie tone to the vocals and delivery, but to simmer it gently on a low heat down into that as a pigeonhole statement does what this music actually is a disservice (although at some point I guarantee someone will say/write that Andrew Mears is or has become a singer songwriter for the post-dubstep generation. Eurgh, music journalists...). These are well thought out, meticulously crafted songs that are just themselves rather than being of a style per se.
For a first gig, this is remarkably on it and together. I don't think I've ever seen a better debut performance. As a starting point they really couldn't have done much better. Very little could be criticised (who's gonna niggle over a couple of technical problems, really?) and it will be very interesting and exciting to see where this goes. Great songs, great show, great third thing I can't think of right now (coz these things have to be done in threes, OBVIOUSLY. I mean, like, durrrrrr). Yeah, Pet Moon = Fucking Great.

Yeah, now I remember why I stopped writing gig reviews. I'm not very good at them.

Friday, 22 October 2010


Today I was walking to my Mum's and I was walking near two men. There was a woman walking ahead of them. One of them was talking on the phone. A few seconds after he finished his phone conversation, he looked at the woman then turned to his mate and said:

"Aw mate, that is givin' me a trouser tent, that."

Yes, he really did.

I know.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Open Letter.

Dear Bruce Springsteen,

My bum is better than yours.

With Sympathies,


Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Dear Cafés.

When I come to you to buy a hot drink, amazingly enough I am actually expecting it to be hot so I don't need you to tell me to 'Be careful, it's hot.'

Seriously, do we REALLY need to be told that hot things are hot so we don't burn our mouths? I mean, I know I'm not always very complimentary about the general public at times, but that's just venting of frustration. I refuse to believe that the general public actually are THAT stupid.

Monday, 18 October 2010


Ribena berry berry very very nice yes.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Oxford's About To Take Off.

Check it:

"ISA ISA Baby."

If I worked for a radio station and was doing some kind of live advert for a bank/building society/whatever the fuck Halifax actually is, and someone suddenly brought up Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" and started singing "ISA ISA baby" over it, I would fucking punch them in the mouth, not look like a smug fucking prick.
When that song came out, I was 9 years old. I came up with a version that went "Ice ice baby, never get lazy, or you'll have a baby with the town's Miss Lady." That nonsensical, juvenile shite has more value than that fucking Halifax advert. THAT'S HOW BAD IT IS.

ISA ISA baby can just fuck fucking off.

If you like that advert, or any of the Halifax 'radio station' adverts, then you are a fucking idiot.

Now, if you need cheering up after that rant, go and check out Hatebeak. A heavy metal band whose vocalist is a parrot. Now THAT'S funny.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


Today I saw a friend of mine across the street and waved at her.
She didn't wave back.
'How dare she ignore me,' I thought and made my wave more exaggerated. She would have to wave back now.
She did.
Then I realised it wasn't my friend, but a very similar looking woman. Except this one looked a little bit freaked out.


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Happy Birthday To Crisps.

Yesterday evening I was in a pub for a friends birthday and I decided I would sing 'Happy Birthday' to their packet of crisps. 'Happy Birthday to crisps / Happy Birthday to crisps / Happy Birthday dear cri-isps / Happy Birthday to crisps.'
Now, when you sing Happy Birthday in a place where drunk people are, some of them will no doubt join in with a cheer and applause that seems to have become customary to do when someone has Happy Birthday sung to them. But I was singing Happy Birthday to a packet of crisps. No-one would applaud that, surely.
Well, actually it seems that no matter what you sing Happy Birthday to, surrounding people are seemingly conditioned into responding to the melody itself. People in the pub who didn't know me were applauding the fact that I sang Happy Birthday. To crisps. They were applauding crisps.
I thought that was quite funny.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Just Checking In.

Saturday was drunken, Sunday was a hangover and Monday I was back at college. I tried to write a post yesterday about a t-shirt I saw that I hated, but time and cider had turned the amusing post I had in mind, into a curmudgeonly rant that just made me seem like a joyless old tosspot, so I deleted it.

I have no idea how to finish this post.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Rapture Comes To Oxford.

No, not the band. Although I did see them play a gig in Oxford and they were awesome. Anyway they've split up now. Or have they got back together now? I remember hearing something like that a few months ago, but I don't know if I believe it. I'd like it to be true tho.


No, the Rapture I'm talking about here is the independent record store in Witney, which is apparently the only independent record store left in all of Oxfordshire. How fucking depressing is that? Anyway, for 3 days they are taking over the old Videosyncratic store and Oxford get an indie for a weekend. I popped along today and I had honestly forgotten how much I love music shopping. It was so nice to be able to do something I used to take for granted years ago. I knew that I miss it, but I didn't realise how much I miss it. It felt really good to be excited by music shopping again. It's kind of ridiculous how good it made me feel. I bought a copy of what they were playing because what I heard of it sounded really good. It's an album by a band called Fool's Gold (no, it doesn't sound anything like The Stone Roses) and I'm really looking forward to giving it a proper listen.

I could go off on one here about memories of music shopping and how I grew up doing it and all that stuff, but that would probably just be really boring for you, so I'll skip that bit.

I find it really depressing that there are no places like that in Oxford anymore, more so after today and the fact that by Monday it'll all be gone again.
Well, thanks anyway Rapture. Thanks for giving me that feeling again. It was awesome.

Hmmm... I just read that over and something about it seems very... odd. Oh well, I mean it and I'm not gonna not post this just because I can't word it right.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

A Poem. Ish.

As a little experiment, I gave myself an hour to write a performance poem. This is what I came up with. It may not read well, but I think I can get it work on stage. Anyway, any feedback any of you have, I would like to hear/read/whatever it.

On The Tube.

Mum, why does the train make so much noise?
Mum, why does the train stop so much?
Mum, are there there four stops left or three?
Mum, are we getting off here?
Mum, why does that man look so grumpy?
Mum, why are those two holding hands?
Mum, can you hear that? It sounds like a guitar. Why is there a guitar playing?
Mum, why is that man singing? He can't sing. He'd be rubbish on the X Factor.
Mum, when I grow up, can I have a farm and drive a tractor?
Mum, can I have a Mars bar?
Mum, why are we getting on another train? I don't want to get on another train.
Mum, why was Daddy so angry this morning? Is it because he hasn't got a job anymore?
Mum, what does Tampax mean? That lady has a box that says Tampax in her bag. What is Tampax, Mum?
Mum, am I going to die one day?
Mum, is that man a lady?
Mum, are pirates real?
Mum, can I have an iPhone? Simon's cousin's got an iPhone. They're really cool. You put your finger on it and things go whoosssshhhh, whoosssshhhh. Can I have one, Mum, can I?
Mum, I'm sure that man is a lady.
Mum, when I grow up I can fly an aeroplane can't I?
Mum, can I have an XBox for Christmas?
Mum, did you know that there's a big telescope that can see everything in space? Do you think they can see our house with it?
Mum, when will Daddy get a new job?
Mum, why do people believe in God?
Mum, why is Simon's Mum younger than you?
Mum, why do cats have claws?
Mum, why are there criminals?
Mum, why do you always make that look?
Mum, Mum, this is you Mum. 'Urgh. Stop asking so many questions Johnathan because I'm really boring and smelly. Blah blah blah blah blah.'

Yes Mum.

Sorry Mum.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

You Think You Know Somewhere...

I was born in Oxford and I've lived here my whole life. The last 22 years or so of that have been in the Cowley Road area, specifically either in or just next to the area with the shops towards the Plain roundabout, so it's safe to say I know the area between the Plain and Howard Street pretty well indeed.
A couple of weeks ago I was walking up St Mary's Road, and saw something I've never noticed before. Right near the corner, as St Mary's Road goes onto Magdalen Road, opposite the convent there, is what is essentially an extended bungalow. (Here endeth the tedious Geography part of the post.) I've walked past this many, many times, but I've never noticed the sign before. The sign that says 'Church Of Christ.'
Now, I can't get this out of my head. This church looks so inconspicuous. It looks like you could fit no more than about 20 people in it. It looks like the kind of place that gets investigated on Dispatches for bizarre and unsound practices, or the sort of church that secretly hides some bonkers American cult or religious offshoot that you'ld see some crazy news story about secret incestuous practices happening there.
I also can't find anything about it on the internet, which just makes me even more curious about it! I really wish I had to guts to take a Sunday off work and just go there one day to see what it's all about. What it's deal is. But I just don't. What if they're insane? What if... Oh just what if?!

I haven't been this curious about a church since the old Spiritualist church just off Cowley Road up by the petrol station. It's not there anymore, well what intrigued me so much about it certainly isn't.
It was such a plain looking building apart from the fact that it used to have a red crucifix at the top ot it, which they would light up at night if a service was on. Again, this really intrigued me. I wanted to know what what going on there, but I was never going to be able to actually go in there through the same fear that keeps me from ever setting foot in the one on St Mary's Road.

But why do I want to? I'm not in any way religious. There is just something that really intrigues me about it. Something about the plain-ness and that unknown fear. I just want to know what is going on there, because it's something I never knew was there in an area I know so well.

What is it?!

UPDATE: No, I didn't go there, it's nothing that exciting, but my Dad got in touch leaving a comment on this post to say that he's found their website! Although this does mean the mystery is somewhat taken away from the place, it's still pretty interesting just to find out a tiny bit more about the place, and for you lot it means you can see the place I'm talking about. Go here if yer at all interested in seeing what a church that looks like a bungalow is like. I was pleased to see that in the photos section, it does pretty much just look like the inside of someone's house.
So yeah. Thanks Dad!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

My First Review!

I'm pretty excited because my performance at Edel Assanti has been reviewed. This is my first ever review and guess what? It's pretty good! Here's what it says about me:

"Although poet Paul Askew left his poetry without film, its short, unusual nature made an appropriate opener to the night. 'Crow' was a particular highlight and was delivered with a delicacy that made the obscurity of his imagination truly magical."

That's pretty good, yeah? Go me! Yeah!

Read the whole review (which will tell you why they felt the need to point out that there was no visuals with my performance) here:

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Almost Missed It Today...

...but here I am in the nick of time. Today's post is very short. I recently found a haiku in my bureau that I wrote at Truck festival on the Sunday afternoon. At the time it was fucking hilarious. I publish it here in the knowledge that it won't carry the same sense it did then, and may in fact even come across as pretty lame, but at the time it was perfect.

Tom Cruise.

Tom Cruise falls in love
with a dead duck, fucks it and
takes it to the moon.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

This One's Called 'Things I "Irrationally" Hate.'

Working in a shop makes me really hate a lot of things that I wouldn't normally even give a second thought. Today I decided to note some of those things down as they happened, so I could present them to you in this blog. If you do/are any of these things I've listed, chances are that I hate you.

* People who say 'Amex.'
It's 'American Express' you goons. Abbreviating it to 'Amex' makes you no better than people who say 'Lol' in conversation. Actually no, that's not fair. It makes you far worse, because people who say 'Lol' just say it. People who say 'Amex' say it in a really fucking smug, superior way that makes me want to bash their brains out on the counter. If you say 'Amex' then there is a 95% chance you are an absolute wanker.

* People who chuckle when you give them a penny change.
What? A penny not good enough for you, is it? Is it so beneath you caring that you find a penny ridiculous? Why don't you give it to charity then, hmmm? No, you'ld rather be all smug about it. 'Oh, it's almost not worth me bothering, ha ha ha!' Tosser.

* Daniel O'Donnell fans.
I know that, you know, taste is all subjective and that, but sorry, if you are buying an album buy Daniel O'Donnell then you are in NO position WHATSOEVER to criticise any other music, ESPECIALLY not Bach, you simpleton fuck.

* People who say they need a bag and then put that bag in another bag.
'I'd better, I've got food in there.' What, do you think your cd case is going to somehow penetrate your tins of fois gras and boxes of bruschetta and spoil the flavour? Are your bangers and mash somehow going to be tainted by the plastic wrapping of an album? NO! THEY'RE NOT! GROW UP, YOU FUCKING IDIOTS! HAVE YOU HEARD OF A LITTLE SOMETHING CALLED 'THE ENVIRONMENT'?! STOP BEING A TOTAL DICKHEAD!

* People who say something as a statement when they mean it as a question.
It has somehow become acceptable for people to ask questions without asking them. For example, someone came in the shop today and said 'Frank Sinatra.' That was their way of asking either if we have any Frank Sinatra cd's or where would our Frank Sinatra cd's be. This is how so many people enquire about things. Do they ask all questions like this? Do they stop people in the street and just say 'Time', 'Lighter' or 'Magdalen Road'? No, if they wanted any of those things from strangers, they would at least word it in the form of a question, not just disrespectfully bark out what they want and expect that person to bend over backwards to help them. But of course, I work in a shop, so it's somehow acceptable for me to treated with as much respect as something they just trod in. THIS IS NOT ON. It shows a fundamental lack of human respect. Make no mistake, IF YOU DO THIS, YOU ARE A CUNT. YOU ARE A CUNT AND YOU DESERVE TO DIE A VERY SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH BY HAVING YOUR INSIDES PULLED OUT OF YOUR ARSEHOLE, YOU TOTAL, UTTER CUNT.

A-hem. Sorry about that. Actually no. I'm not.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Just Another Quickie.

Last night went really well. Gonna blog about it soon. Maybe tomorrow.
Going to see Plaid play at the Oxford Playhouse tonight with the Southbank Gamelan Musicians. I'm really excited coz I've been a fan of Plaid for about 10 years now and have never seen them live.
I've also wanted to see some Gamelan musicians live for a while too, pretty much since I first found out about it. I love percussion and percussive instruments. Gamelan is the sort of thing that's right up my street.
So yeah. Tonight should be fucking awesome.

Also, See Tickets are bastards. They sent me an e-mail asking me to phone them and when I did I was on hold for over half an hour (at 10p a minute) and didn't end up speaking to anyone. That's over three pounds I've spent on being dicked around. Thanks See Tickets, you bastards.