My favourite song this time last year

Not long ago I couldn’t possibly have told you this. Now I go to and start exploring. Russell’s sat opposite me, and just done the same thing.

I haven’t come close to thinking about what data access really means yet. I have flashes of it, thinking about layering the context of an article to a further degree than simply an ‘I listened to this…’ link, but what does that really mean? Where’s the story?

I ‘discovered‘ ‘Some Indulgence’ in Sweden last year, arriving at the SPX after party with Marc, Adam and Anna ahead of the others. Drinks in hand we just sat soaking up the view from the Kulturhuset for a while, thinking about how strange and brilliant it was that comics had taken us there. I hadn’t started the second phase of We Are Words + Pictures by this point, and the trip – along with Phonogram vs The Fans – started me thinking about what I wanted to do with small press work. I was incredibly happy, especially with those people, but my notebook just contained urgent scribbles demanding that I do more and not just tag along anymore. In so many ways ‘Some Indulgence’ was a perfect counterpoint for all of that tension and urgency, because it just made me want to dance. We did. And it was great!

I continued to discover ‘Some Indulgence’ over the next month, eventually listening to it on Spotify rather than CD. Calling it up on a whim was clearly fabulous, as I could slip it alongside The Clash and The Apples In Stereo without thinking twice. I don’t really remember those moments, but given that I would have been staying in a box room at my Dad’s for a bit, with all my belongings boxed up around me, I had a need for music with momentum to it. I was also drawing to a close my time at The Opera House, and the bounding optimism of ‘Some Indulgence’ or ‘Beautiful Machine’ suits sunny springtime and impending adventure.

And ideas. Searching my inbox for things this time last year tells me that I was in The Charles Lamb on the 29th with Matt Jones, Matt Webb and James Bridle, the first time I’d met the latter two. So much spilled out of a few hours of increasingly inebriated discussion that I floated for weeks on the drive from it. ‘Some Indulgence’ has the kind of rhythm that you can go for months on. Much like ‘All Night Disco Party’ or ‘All My Friends’ you simply wouldn’t mind if it played for six hours; some latent part of my brain is telling me that’s because there’s a suspended chord at work, but I quite clearly don’t know what I’m talking about there so I might be wrong. Anyway, BERG’s launch was a tilting point last year in terms of what I was engaging with, and James remains a model for anyone making a living out of being interested in things. There’s rarely a post on his booktwo blog that doesn’t make me think ‘I need to do more and I should do it now’.

And then, looking at the plays again, ‘Some Indulgence’ kicks me into gear on the morning of May 1st too. Important day that. It was a friend of mine’s birthday, to which Quinns and myself rocked up carrying a huge bottle of whiskey and some halloumi. We browbeat anyone in earshot while getting progressively drunker, and I before I realised it I was on a bus home reading a text that said “You should have kissed me.” I’m spoiling nothing by telling you it wasn’t from Quinns (who at this point had fallen asleep on a bus which took him to Victoria; he was aiming for Old Street). I followed the advice of that text the very next night.

A year on and I’m living with The Girl, running Drop In + Draw comics sessions, printing anthology newspapers and writing this in the BRIG, meters from the desks of James, RIG and BERG. Last year kicked into gear in Sweden, a glass of beer in hand, watching the sun go down over Stockholm with some very good friends, and in some ways the last twelve months tilts around ‘Some Indulgence’ and the moment I grasped hold of that feeling.

Maybe it’s just coincidence that this soundtracked it, but you should scroll to the top of the post and play it again just in case.

2 thoughts on “My favourite song this time last year

  1. Having some sort of record of your life (and your life in music) is I suppose one of the benefits of living your life on the Internet. Archives! Old emails! Technology!

    I am sad that you are done with this just as I was sad when I was done with it. It seems to have done its own bit of magic in my life, pulling me back into thinking and talking and writing about music–getting freelance projects, getting interview requests to talk about music, meeting A Boy Who Does These Things. Pulling out the old Sleater-Kinney record, remembering how much I loved it, going out to run with it in the headphones and thinking about how the dissolute college student I was Back Then would never be jogging at 8 AM but the power is retained all the same.

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