made it (24/July/18)

hey kids!… you think being young is a bitch you should try being a grown up…… you think it’s rough now, you just wait, it’s nothing compared to what happens later when the excrement not only hits the fan but every conceivable other place, and it ever stops…… I once knew someone, called Malcolm, I can remember his name which is quite a feat, who at the tender age of 19 carried the firm committed belief that if he hadn’t made it as a musician by the time he’s 21 then he’d kill himself…… understandably to anyone reading this is may sound shocking and a bit melodramatic, which of course it was.. for starters he hadn’t qualified as to what he defined as ‘made it’, truly, what does that even mean, and as it luckily or unluckily as it turned out depending on your point of view his 21st birthday came around and went without a hitch nor anything decidedly terminal happening…… a sigh of relief maybe, though I think he then extended his deadline to his 25th but had wisely lessened the consequences if having not ‘made it’ by then which was to sell all his guitars and assorted musical equipment and abandon music entirely, which itself is extreme but at least less no-coming-back-from about it…… certainly he was being absurd, somewhat petulant, definitely selfish but I can understand the passion that perhaps drove such thinking, and he was a passionate guitarist, albeit not a particularly special or outstanding one which is probably why he never did ‘make it’ in music… as for whether or not he sold all his stuff I’ll never know as he dropped out of my orbit before that as time and people by then had moved on… in a strange twist to this tale the keyboardist of the very same band he was in and for which I was roadie and part time guitarist sold all his equipment lock and stock after some bizarre and decidedly questionable religious epiphany, but then he was also a strange fruit…… a reluctance to get older maybe, grow up, face maturity perhaps, although the whole maturity thing is somewhat misinterpreted, misunderstood and definitely misappropriated time and time again, so perhaps I’ll leave that one out for now, needless to say, yes it can be crappy being young, a child, a teenager, a twenties young-gun, entangled in the puberty years, the heartbreak years, the first love “boo-hoo, oh I will never love again years”, the expectation years, the worlds you oyster and anything is possible years but you wait, it’s all part and parcel of that inevitable decline into the grown-up years when things truly get messy and you can see whether or not you’ve ‘made it’

© 2018 robert greig

when is small small? (23/July/18)

no one can really decide or agree on exactly what a boutique festival is, giving a name to something that’s been around for years, decades of decades, perhaps it’s yet another marketing opportunity, exercise in rebranding through the back-door, essentially re-inventing the wheel over and over again… some even given what’s become a now over-used and overly familiar moniker of (insert name here-)’stock which automatically comes custom-made to sell because of its history in the first ever and one and only Woodstock Festival of 1969… I haven’t yet comes across one called Stockstock but I wait in bated anticipation… the term ‘boutique’ tends to describe small, perhaps intimate though not really, and that is quite possibly the only thing they all have in common, although some aren’t as small as they claim to be, but then I suppose that relies on your definition of small, how small is small is dependent upon how big is big, or when is small no longer small?…. one could get in quite a muddle nailing that one down…… small here usually means small in actual size, usually inhibited by the physical space, as in place, they inhabit but also the number of people and thus tickets available, the hundreds or at most the low, single-figure thousands, though like I say I’ve seen festivals number over 10,000 sometimes claiming the title of boutique…… boutique festivals are also, though not exclusively, use a theme as their jumping-off point which can as and often is, as loosely-defined as you like… themes can be based on their location, say a woodland or a by a river, canal, or could commandeer a time of year, such as midsummer, start of spring, midwinter, while many round upon a genre of music which is very common… then there are those focused on an art perhaps or an activity, spoken word, books, Morris dancing, clog dancing, sci-fi, surfing, comics and a plethora of beer/ other alcohol-related festivals …… it can though be fairly random and many rarely continue beyond their first, second or third year at best and of many that do fall down the rabbit hole and expanding into near-unmanageable behemoths like Glastonbury which itself began as boutique-style though back then this airy near-meaningless term wasn’t used, it was just a festival… most are outdoors but not all so that’s not helpful, although some are exclusively al fresco others are equally exclusively indoors while other do the mix-n-match…. so what is a boutique festival?… and when does a boutique become not?… and when does it become a fringe?…. oh no, that’s just muddied the swamp somewhat……… how small is small anyway…?……

© 2018 robert greig

a two-step too far (21/May/2018)

can you teach me how to dance real slooooooooow?……. really?…. you think, with these two left feet, these two left might-as-well-be facing-backwards feets?…… it’s always the left feet equated with clumsiness and never the right, I wonder why…… bear in mind I’m less the dancing on the ceiling type and more the dancing in the dark, the very dark, the pitch black dark out of sight, invisible to one and all…… I wonder if I had two right feet would that make me an outstanding dancer…?… worth a ponder…. but I don’t and all these years I’ve never managed to achieve anything but either flailing wildly in rock discos when I was younger or at Hawkwind gigs which I still go too those  slightly less flaily… slightly…. yes, I know, embarrassing… or, or I’d be sedately bouncing, as in very sedately, from one leg to the other mostly in time… mostly…. I was never the first on the dancefloor, nor quite often the last, usually sat torn between do I wander on, find a spot first then begin dancing or, do I start as soon as my first (left) foot hits the dance floor and whirl as delicately or as bison-like to somewhere on the floor I can hide as best as possible, or next to someone even worse than me which is the only way I could conceivably shine, or flicker at best…. I’m far too self-conscious, too easily embarrassed like I say, too worried about making an arse of myself even though I do that every time I open my mouth or step out of the front door, but this kind of arse-making exercise is a (two-)step too far…… to my eternal regret I never learned to dance, to do something I admire hugely in others, that freedom, the way one can express so much so fluidly and emotionally…. it’s a regret I will no doubt take to my grave as perhaps, perhaps, at a stretch of the imagination my body might be able to achieve something almost definable as dance, my mind will always step in and go “no, no, no, no, you look ridiculous, now go sit down where it’s safer for everyone, stick to what you’re good at,sitting”……… so you think you can still teach me how to dance?…… it would take a tutor with the self-belief of a planet to manage that Sisyphean task…

© 2018 robert greig