Thursday, 21 November 2013

Another story about a bus...

We do what we do to get by.

We do what we do to get by.

I repeat this to myself over and over, sometimes quickly then at a slow rhythm, rolling over the words like some old time dance. This calms me down. We are all flowing with the tide, I may not like or believe in half the things I’m doing, nor does the man next to me or the group behind us, we just need to get through the day.

The number 28 bus can be a minefield of extreme personalities at the best of times but tonight there seems to be added spark in the air. I would usually swing into the single seat behind the drivers booth on entering the bus but tonight its occupied. I’m filled with the same dread as when the self service tills in Tesco are off, I’m going to have to go in deeper, human contact becomes unavoidable. I catch the eye of everyone I pass, their gaze darts swiftly away, the last thing they intend is an invitation, and I cant blame them, in these cramped conditions no one wants an obviously clumsy six foot plus male with an over filled man bag as a neighbour. I awkwardly position myself in the first space I come to, one knee squeezed against the seat in front, the other one floating around the isle, like a hinged gate on a canal, occasionally pulling in to let the traffic through.

Three separate men with three separate Staffordshire Terriers have gotten on at the last three stops, each time a mini crisis ensues, barks and shouts, tuts and sighs of elderly indignation. The scene fades back to a tense silence in the time it takes each man to find his seat.

In front of me are two men, both of whom I would age between fifty-five and sixty, real working class former "lads", on route home from an afternoon of betting slips and flat lager in the dim corner of a timeless pub. I can’t help but eavesdrop on their conversation. I find myself becoming more and more endeared to them, I decipher that one is an eternal bachelor, the other a widower, both probably heading back to a one bedroom flats, to Fray Bentos pies and TV shows that they don’t really appreciate. There is a sadness in the manly bravado they try to put across to each other, the desire to remain masculine in spite of the ever increasing frailty of their age. I can’t help but see myself as them, in years to come when life has had its way with me, taking quiet joy in mid-afternoon socializing and evenings alone with the radiator.

Things then take a dark turn when a young couple get on at the next stop and sit in front of these two men. As soon as this new couple starts to talk it is apparent that they are not from round here, they speak in a language I can’t understand, which sounds Polish or perhaps Lithuanian. I now watch as one of my old gents aims a thumb at them and shakes his head, with a look of disappointed anger on his face, his friend nods in agreement. They say nothing, just gesture and nod. Surely they only thing worse than a racist is a cowardly, cloak and dagger racist. I think I would have almost preferred it if the two guys had had stood up and actually abused this couple, had thrown them off the bus and made a real scene, the way the actually conduct themselves is equally as sickening, but also horribly sad and dishonest. As the bus rolls up towards my stop I see one of the men make the shape of a gun with his fingers and aim it the couple in front, he pulls it back and puffs out his checks, quietly acting out gun shots, his friends smiles and quietly agrees. I step of this bus, angry and instantly reflecting on what I “should have” done. Tap these old bastards on the shoulder and verbally confront them? A firm slap across the back of both greying heads? I make the short walk to the front door of my building, having done nothing, and decide that it was possibly the best course of action. I kept my head down and I got by. The old men played their disgusting roles to each other, they feel personally impressive, and they get by. The couple know nothing of this episode and they continue living there lives. Three Staffordshire Terriers sit loyally by their owners. We do what we do to get by.

BELL STREET......................

We released a big bad new single called American Dreams this passed Monday. I wrote a little blurb about the song a few weeks ago, so thought I'd best do a similar thing for the b-side, Bell Street.

Bell Street is song about the fear that you might be losing your mind, as each new day blurs into the last. It was written last year when I had two weeks off work, and found myself spending each day sitting at my kitchen window, reading, staring outside and listening to my neighbours bump around up-stairs. Me and Mikey J used to live in a bottom floor flat in a pretty rough part of Dundee. Our landlord had given up on fire safety and put bars up outside the windows to stop people smashing them and breaking in. Each day I would have to look through the bars to see the world outside. Often I would spend hours staring at hole in the wall at the bottom of our shared garden, through which I could see overgrown weeds and grass, and dark wooden structures. I would sit and dream about the Narnia-esque world that might lay beyond that wall. Only months later did I take the initiative to go and look over the wall and through this hole, and was saddened to find a garden much like mine.

Sometimes when you've sat motionless for hours, looking between a phone, book and television you start to feel so numb that you need something to spark you back to life. Sadly that can often mean following some filthy white rabbit down an alcohol fuelled hole in the ground, into a wonderland of vice and stupidity. And in Dundee there is one place you are sure to end up if you get caught in the act of drunken foolishness, the homely police cells on Bell Street.

I made a weird DIY video for Bell Street, by filming my legs as I went about my day over a two week period. I then pieced it together into an odd, sea-sickness-inducing short film. The video can be found on Youtube. I would share the link, but my laptop is being difficult at the moment and refusing to open certain websites. I blame the computer, and refuse to believe that it has anything to do with my "interesting" search history.

I will sit and count the bars on my window
and start a faith from the hole that's in my wall.
I've been treading water like a champion,
I hear my neighbours but I don't know their names...

I'm running on empty,
I'm running on nothing at all,
running on empty,
I'm giving up....

I slept for twelve hours today
tomorrow I wont sleep,
I dream by day and choke myself at night.
The man in black says he's taking me down to Bell Street,
'cos I've been acting funny in the town...

I'm running on empty,
I'm running on nothing at all,
running on empty,
I'm giving up....

I'll stagger through this town,
a saviour is all I want.
Bad poets will turn into clowns,
what's freedom when there's no one around....

L O V E xxx

Monday, 21 October 2013

American Dreams.....

We shall be releasing the first proper single from our new album on Monday November 18th. It is a track called American Dreams, and features the song Bell Street as its B-side.

American Dreams is a song about all the throw-away, Americanized phrases and semi-emotions we use all the time to get us through each day, the things we say to make ourselves seem more interested in - and interesting to - those around us.

We are expected to always be on the point of some deep emotional conflict, always involved in some drama or melt-down. But generally we are not. It is more and more difficult to feel anything in the wipe clean, sterile society we now find ourselves, so perhaps exaggerating our emotions is the only way we can make ourselves seem human.  I'm not sure really, I could go on and on but my eyes are heavy and I only really sat down here to put they lyrics down in written form, so here goes......


Tell me do you mean a single thing you say,
or are you just leaking words?
Giving it a name 'cos everybody says,
"its the time for growing up"

I love you! I don't care! I'm excited! I despair!
Say, is this the dream America?
We can share our fears! You've got issues? Are those tears?
Say, is this the dream America?

Tell me things to make me feel better,
tell me I'm alright,
I love you, you make me feel better,
and get me through the night.

Watching from the front as a generation falls,
we're just looking up from bended knees.
I would rather die as a failure but a trier,
than be just another casualty.

I love you! I don't care! I'm excited! I despair!
Say, is this the dream America?
We can share our fears! You've got issues? Are those tears?
Say, is this the dream America?

Tell me things to make me feel better,
tell me I'm alright,
I love you, you make me feel better,
and get me through the night.

Bell Street is a song about thinking you may be losing your mind, but more about that later.

Big love,


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Number Two.

We have now finished the recording of our second album.
Still got one or two boring things and minor tweaks to add to it, but that is it pretty much complete. Eleven songs, just under forty minutes in length.

Now comes the hard part of figuring out what the hell to do with it.

As far as I remember we finished our first album on a Tuesday evening and it was up online and available to buy on the evening of the following day. This is probably one of the many reasons why it was only really ever heard by about fourteen people.
This time we want to do it properly, with an action plan in place, and get it out and into the ears of as many people as possible. I think its a pretty ace album, though I suppose I am biased.
After a few years of making stuff up as we go along we may now finally have some proper management in place, which will be a massive help. Nothing is 100% confirmed yet, but fingers crossed things will be sorted soon, then complete and unquestionable world domination becomes the primary goal.

For the moment we just want to play as many gigs as possible to get our match fitness up after a few months hidden in a dark studio. This is proving to be quite a difficult task, no one seems to want to book us, in my head we are some sort of cool mavericks like The Sex Pistols or The Jesus and Mary Chain, but in reality we are just not as sought after as we were at this time last year. We got a few nuggets of good press at the start of 2012, and then got picked for the T Break stage at T in The Park, so we were getting emails from all corners offering us lovely gigs a-plenty. But alas these days the same people that booked us last year don't even return my emails. I have made my peace with this fact though, and can sit somewhat contently on a bloody good album and a few other dirty little secrets, in the knowledge that the tide shall change back. Or at least it better, or I may cry.

Over the last few days I have started reading Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse, it is bloody wonderful. I have no idea how I have taken so long to read this book. I've done a lot of the great outsider novels, from the likes of Hamsun, Orwell and Dostoyevsky but seem to have ignored one of the masterpieces. I'm looking forward to getting proper deep into it. Then probably stealing some of the ideas in it for songs, ha ha.

We will hopefully have some clarity on what the future holds over the coming months or two, so keep an ear aimed our way.

Much love,
TMT  x

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Five go mad on mescaline......

Ladies and gentlemen, we have extended our ranks. Mr Ben Doherty has joined us on bass playing duties, giving me a free role to do some singin' and a-dancin' on stage.
Everyone knows all the best boy bands have five members. 5ive members.

We have also been powering on with the recording of our second album over the last couple of months. So far we have eleven tracks recorded, and will probably record another eight or nine songs over the next couple of months. We will then pick the best ones to go on the album. It is going to be a short blast of ape-shit pop music.
So many of my favourite current bands have been "growing up" recently and releasing very good, but very mid-tempo albums. Bands like The Maccabees, Foals, The Horrors and Bombay Bicycle Club have been making massive far reaching soundscape albums, I have loved them all, but I find myself longing for something more immediate. I want the songs on our album to be like short sharp rabbit-punches to the heads of all the horrible shit that climbs on top of us and pins us down in our modern lives. I want a two and a half minute burst of catchy mayhem to boot the testicles of our low paid jobs, I want a three chord rant to spit in the eye of council tax and unaffordable rent, credit cards and Twitter trends. Every track needs to be a fightback. The album needs to be a call to arms. Good old spunky youth and imagination is getting lost in these dark days, there at least needs to be an alternative to run to for solace, to get the fires burning. If we can provide that on a half hour album, or at a sticky gig in some shit club then my life will be complete. If we fail, then fuck it, at least we had a go.
Stay Young.