A very enjoyable Graan gig in Herne Hill on Friday the 27th, as we used a London A to Z and the power of metal to summon Herne, so that he could grant the assembled audience the Freedom of his City. The heavy ritual went off very well indeed; many thanks in particular to Heather Lindsley (aka @random_jane), who filmed the whole thing for us, providing visual proof of the Hernetic manifestation. Oh, and she took some pics too – available here. Enjoy!
Well, last week was a very cultural week, with Michael Moorcock, Iain Sinclair and Alan Moore live at the British Library at one end, and Zali Krishna playing live at the Klinker at the other. I didn’t record any of the Moorcock / Moore / Sinclair triumvirate, but I did manage to get this – the opening section of Zali’s gig. Enjoy!
A quick post, as there’s much news at Allumination Towers this week. First of all, even as we speak the new Black Static is hitting the streets, with my story ‘De Profundis’ in it, plus much other groovy stuff. You can order it from the TTA Press website, and it should also be available in Borders any day now.
Secondly, the recent discovery of a new, super heavy element is actually a cosmic sign that, once again, there’s a Graan gig coming up. We’re playing the Drones Club on Friday, June 19th, at the Others – 6-8 Manor Road, London N16 5SA.
As ever I shall be on vocals, performing over ambient metal mayhem with (after this week’s rehearsal) possibly a bit of Fall fuelled Renaissance blues heaviosity too. I think we’re on at about 9.00pm – alas, won’t be too big a post-gig night for me as I’ve got to be up at 6.30am the next day to help row Henry VIII from the Tower of London to Hampton Court Palace.
And finally, interesting conversations happening this morning about a possible multimedia event in August. No final detail as yet, but it looks like it could be very cool indeed. Watch this space… (and, as ever, KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES!)
<EDIT> Black Static 11 is now in Borders Islington, which I assume means that it will also be in Borders across London and elsewhere, shelved with Interzone.
A very enjoyable night last night, as I hit the rather wonderful Book Club Boutique (and here on Facebook) for a London Short Story night set up and MC’d by Tony White. Some excellent writers – particular stand outs were Will Ashon‘s subtly fantastical biscuit opera, and Matthew De Abaitua‘s Ballardesque tale of North London inter-dinner party combat.
It also marked an allumination first. Inspired by Christian Payne on Friday, I’ve decided to start expanding my technological and media reach. So, I recorded Tony reading from ‘Albertopolis Disparu’; the video’s below. Visual quality is ok, but the sound is perfect, so sit back and enjoy:
The full text is still available here at the Science Museum – and I also managed to stop recording a little too early; if I hadn’t, you would have heard about an upcoming six zeppelin sonic attack…
First of all, Happy New Year all! An enjoyable and productive 2009 to all.
Secondly, a gig, a story and an interview. Graan are ringing in the New Year at A Music Club this Thursday 8th January – as ever, I’ll be adding spoken word to the heavy sounds, jah? Sehr gut. Also, my short story ‘Sohoitis’ – a psychedelic tale of drunken Soho gods, inspired by the ever-magnificent Julian Maclaren Ross – is now available in the latest Postscripts. And finally, my interview with Nebula Award winner Ted Chiang has gone live at the Nebula site.
And on weird pondering – H and I have just sat down to John Carpenter’s utterly compelling ‘Prince of Darkness’. On rewatching it, I was very struck by how interestingly it riffs on (amongst others) Nigel Kneale’s 70s masterpiece ‘The Stone Tapes’. But I’ve also just downed a bottle of wine, and on this cold, late night my lovely hot bath calls, so more on this in the next post…
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 Sisters. Listen to a couple of test runs for the night here (I’m on the A tracks, Stellas vocalist Tim is on the T track) – otherwise, see you there. You’ll know me, because I’ll probably be looking like this (ta Zali for pic):
It’s a little known fact that ‘Dark Magus’, Miles Davis’ 1977 live album recording a 1974 concert in New York, made it into Q Magazine’s 2001 list of the heaviest albums of all time. It’s a ferocious funk metal attack, with Miles soloing dementedly over the top, that more than holds its own against heaviosity from luminaries including The MC5, Swans, Black Sabbath and Metallica. And it’s only one of the highlights of his extraordinary ‘Electric Miles’ phase in the 70s, where – as Julian Cope put it – he worked his way to an ‘epitome of music shamanism’ by creating a series of astonishing double albums that rock harder than a flotilla of out of control battleships crewed by demented Zen masters on speed.
They’re also a great way of flushing out last night’s cobblers; but alas, I can’t put them up here. Rather – go explore! Here’s Cope’s full article on Electric Miles. And then, go buy! Dark Magus, Get Up With It, Agartha, Pangaea, Live Evil, On the Corner – all deep, dark, heavy and magnificent. What I can post is this, from YouTube – a rather murkily mixed 16 minutes or so of the Dark Magus band at its peak. Enjoy!
Well, it’s been a busy few weeks at allumination central; I’m packing the flat up ready to move, establishing myself as a freelancer, and (for various reasons) whizzing up and down the country between Hebden Bridge, Glasgow and London. So, alas, little time for weird pondering.
However, there has been time for music – and so, as a prelude to the full return of allumination, here’s some music from the mighty Zali Krishna. The clip below is my favourite one of his on Youtube; the rest are available at his channel page, here. Enjoy!
Well, hello all! I have returned from a truly fantastic two weeks in the States. We packed so much in, it feels like much longer – so where to begin when talking about it? Well, there were the wonders of Olympic National Park, the joys of Seattle, the sheer bounciness of meeting H’s various friends out there (hi all!), Halloween fuelled Queen / Elton John tribute acts, marvellous Northwestern booze’n’food, proper road tripping, New York haunted house mayhem, the nuttiness of Halloween (I have met Scrabble! And it wears very short skirts), much Met-ness, and of course World Fantasy Con, which was (unsurprisingly) just Fantastic.
So this is really a coming soon post, as there’s much to blog about having conned over the weekend. Again, where to begin? Ted Chiang set me straight on the relationship between science fiction and reality… I talked fiction-as-implication with Steven Erickson… Hal Duncan ranted unstoppably on the absolute need to read both Alasdair Grey’s ‘Lanark’ and Edward Whittemore’s ‘Jerusalem Quartet’… Lisa Tuttle was fascinating on her fictionally challenged Great-Grandfather… and so on…
All that’s coming up over the next few posts (coming soon!) – oh, and of course I’ve got to report back on the great Stellas comeback gig (one of the odder but more rewarding gigs we’ve done, it turns out) – but for the moment a very last minute plug for the great Jean Herve Peron (Faust bassist and all around Art Errorist), playing tonight at the Luminaire. Go here for details – what with the chainsaws, the solo-ness and the ace support, it’s going to rock (my attendance attendant on jet lag, alas…)