‘Upon These Might We Brunch’

Well, there’s been much musical joy at allumination central over the last few days, as Zali Krishna has launched his new album, ‘Upon These Might We Brunch’. It’s available for free download here, and is well worth checking out. Rather than write about it, I went and filmed an interview with him, for this short […]

Friedman, Capitalism and Fantasy

Fantasy’s often condemned for ignoring reality; but much supposedly rational, descriptive writing can have a tenuous relationship with reality, and with the fundamental structures of reality, too. Stories of the fantastic at least have the virtue of being honest about their fictive nature. Take Milton Friedman, for example. I’ve just been reading ‘Capitalism and Freedom’ […]

We gig Friday

Well, continuing my tradition of only announcing gigs on here at the last minute, a quick one to let you know that I’m performing spoken word with Graan at the Klinker this Friday 15th. The night begins at 8.30pm, at Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, London N17 6QN – nearest tubes Tottenham Hale / 7 […]

Momentous moments of mirth

A quick post today, highlighting a superb article from Tanya Gold in The Guardian about that uniquely British phenomenon – the Carry On movies, a set of (very cheesy) UK comedies made in the 50s, 60s and 70s. If you’re British, you don’t need me to tell you about them. If you’re from anywhere else, […]

X Factories

I used to quite enjoy the X-Factor (UK’s Pop Idol equivalent) audition round; the combination of the deluded, the talentless, the clearly taking-the-piss and the odd gem was just wonderful. I think the first time I saw it was about when I was running a cabaret night down in Brixton – as a rule, I’d […]

Your 20th century boy

In the context of yesterday’s comments about the self-justifying self, I’ve been thinking about Michael Moorcock’s ‘Between the Wars’ series of books (‘Byzantium Endures’, ‘The Laughter of Carthage’, ‘Jerusalem Commands’, ‘The Vengeance of Rome’), dealing with the adventures of Maxim Pyat in the 20th Century. Maxim’s a fascinating character. Both naïve adventurer and lethal manipulator, […]

Martians kill Humanism

I finished off a collection of Leigh Brackett’s Martian romances over the weekend – ‘The Coming of the Terrans’. Some great stories in there, but there’s more going on than just pulp mayhem. Brackett’s Martian stories are set on an exotic, faded Mars. In her world, humans arrived there to find an aeon-shadowed (thanks, HPL) […]