One band I have never seen live and actually want to experience is Alice In Chains. I was trading trans-atlantic demo tapes of these guys back when they were a very different looking band in the late eighties and nobody had yet coined the word ‘grunge’ as a handy term for any band with a guitar that came out of Seattle. So today, I decided to bite the bullet on this tour even though I despise Wembley with a passion:

The new album is a killer. Should be neat.

I’ve been chewing over how to boost my profile as a writer this week. There’s probably a million things I could do but as alluded to somewhere on this blog a year or so back, I see little point/mileage in doing such a thing through social media like a blind digital samurai throwing mud until it sticks so I started fishing with a long rod.

There’s a couple of radio stations out there that are decent, brave and forward thinking enough to have had poets in to talk about their work recently. In fact, some of them are turning out better programming than the BBC so that’s top of the list for me over the next week or so.

There are still a fair few indie bookshops around too that are worth investigating. The main drag now is to figure out exactly what it is I would do when I got there that's beneficial to them - because I don’t mind going anywhere for anything. So begins a tour of the internet in search of good ideas and then carving a hole in the calendar to how I can make it work.

I can see the main bone of contention being why anybody should be bothered going out of the house to listen to somebody talk and read that they’ve never heard of before. It’s a good question and one that I’ll answer with the assistance of a lot of coffee. I’ve probably got quite a decent amount of collateral if I look at it analytically enough.

Kind of associated - but only from the point of standing up in front of people who are waiting to be impressed - I decided I had best put a strap on a guitar and start working on my material standing up because trust me… playing standing up is way different from sitting on a stool. Everything is about is different as it can ever be. It’s getting there but then you introduce ‘the mirror’ into the equation and that’s a whole other ballgame in being self-conscious… well, it is when you’re not 14 anymore.

Then again, there’s only one way to move forwards and that’s by putting one foot in front of the other and as I said to somebody the other day who was having some concerns of their own: “There’s plenty of fucking idiots out there succeeding - I wouldn't worry about it too much. Don’t be a dick, be cool to people and do what you do... or don’t do it.”

Which is good advice for just about anything.

I’ll leave you with this. We just pulled together a neat feature to go into issue 300 of the mag on this guy - Andreas Vrontis - because anybody who can put a great tattoo of Hemingway together out of typewriter letters is worth spending time with. Brilliant.

Andreas Vrontis.jpg

Issue 300! That’s quite a landmark huh.