I sat on the stage at the corner of the bar,
through acrid fag smoke picking at my guitar
and mumbling songs about tarts and their cheating,
but omitting the parts of how I had treat them.

The revellers didn’t hear me,
my words hid in corners of the room,
but for hours I kept at it,
spreading my knock off brand of gloom.

I near blubbered at skirts hiked up legs twirled in dance,
to songs that weren’t mine, that sauntered romance.
My whimpering tunes lost amongst their chatter,
drained all my energy and made me sing flatter
and cower to a whisper, and soon just a spatter of hard aching breath,
that beat out with my heart in tandem, straining all it had left.

I strummed the same two chords feeling sorry for myself
and the merry lizards clinked glasses, saluting good health.
Staring down through my thighs I glimpsed feet caught up in waltz
and heard their long thin tongues disguise their own faults,
their spinning and entwining in false jawed jubilation
coaxed my spirit up my chest and I raised my head in revelation.

The dry moss in my throat began to crack and flake
and sharpened notes rang out for self-indulgence sake.
I hit all the right minors and they consumed the crowd fierce,
the patrons stopped moving as harmonies pierced
their frivolities and drained them to absolute silence,
and I paused, grinned inward, then unleashed a toddler’s violence.

I sang so hard I split my lip
and spat blood at the crowd with each note I hit.
I cried for my mother and howled to be loved
and I barked at the master looming above.
Each string snapped off under my heavy hand,
which left just my voice, commanding and grand.

For the short time I felt it, truly absolute power,
a leader of little men, self serving and dour.
Held aloft by the hordes I became complete
and with definitive punctuation, they threw me out in the street.

(I’m already feeling apologetic for posting this.)


The sun rose from behind a cloud and disturbed me from the paper I half-heartedly pretended to read. I was keeping an ear on the chap behind me, measuring how the fruit machine was treating him. The new birthed warmth was comforting, I’d spent the last hour in this pub listening to old people’s conversations, their topics stilted and overlapping with an ease that only comes to a group of people when they’re mostly talking to themselves, and all of them about the black and white long-gone past.

I put on my glasses to study the sun-bathed street, the movement of the crowds livelier than it had been when I was amongst them earlier. Sprightly footsteps brought on by the probably brief change in weather. Clunk, clunk, clunk – that was another three quid the guy had chucked into the fruity, I still hadn’t heard anything chunking back out the other end. I might be able to afford another couple of pints if he kept this up.

A girl came out of an empty shop opposite with a bucket in one hand and a stepladder clumsily dragged over her shoulder. The clothes she wore were outrageous by my hand-me-down tweedy sense of style, all knife sharp blacks and brush strokes of sultry neon colour, the likes of which I only ever experienced when a Japanese correspondent on the telly reported on the latest trends in the hyper-cool corners of Tokyo.

She parked the ladder next to a window and climbed up with a bucket and sponge in tow. She slopped soapy water about the top of the window without much conviction and the fading light glittered off her thighs. They were a strong set of thighs, fit to burst through her leggings that were made of leather, or fake leather or spandex or something. But whatever they were they started somewhere hidden in her skirt and ended above her ankle, showing that tiny bit of bony flesh before you got down to her purple tartan daps. Her skirt was short enough that if she climbed any higher up the ladder it would allow me a good view of her arse. I waited patiently for that.

Really long, dark hair covered up her face from my angle, though I got little teases of her bold features, prominent and sexy even though veiled. I couldn’t help but make a game of guessing her ethnicity, piecing it together from these brief glimpses of her and my strained eyesight. This game was concluded when my intellect finally managed to grab my libido’s attention and point out the sign above the takeaway noted that they specialised in food of Korean origin.

Clunk, clunk, clunk – yet another three quid. I watched all stalker-like as she went back inside and got to work on the tiled floor with a mop. I resisted draining off the last of my beer and instead decided to leave it at my table to watch over my junk. Gathering myself as I rose from the chair, I straightened my tie and pushed my way through the doors outside determined to make a bold entrance. Losing my nerve within two steps outside, I stood and watched her for a minute or two, half-heartedly sucking on a cigarette. She was gorgeous.

Cigarette finished, I stood up straight, crossed the street and again boldly pushed my way through another set of doors and into the takeaway. She looked up, startled, and I struck my best gallant pose, confident in my own mysterious appearance.

“Sorry, we’re not open yet.”

“Oh, I know that.”

I paused to flick an imaginary lock of hair from my brow with an alluring wiggle of my neck.

“I was sat in the pub on the opposite side of the road and I couldn’t help noticing you.”

She looked in the direction of the pub following my outstretched arm and then looked back at me, hesitated slightly.

“Oh, okay…”

I found my mouth opening, my chance to plug her jarred reaction and seal my way in.

“Yes, your mopping technique is awful. I’m a handy sort of guy, I could show you how to do it properly, know what I mean?”

She came at me fists first, a blur of marigold and soap and then I was on my arse in the street. The door slammed, glass rattling in its frame. I picked my ego up off the ground and dusted it off, made my way back to the pub with my eyes pointed straight down at the floor. I nursed myself in my chair with the remnants of my pint, no better time than this to just drink some more I thought. Chunker-chunker-chunker, chunker-chunker-chunker – I looked at the fruit machine and the guy had bloody hit the jackpot. I packed my bits into my satchel – now was definitely time to go home.

Check out the latest sci-funk mash up from my Bobby’s Tips cohort under his geek pleasing alias Mondo Prime.

Use the force, fight the power! Huh!

kapow! a playlist

I’m still loving spotify and I’m not yet bothered by the adverts, which I’m quite surprised at, and along my ride on the enjoyment train I’ve of course been making playlists.

This playlist is based on the name of the blog, so under250 becomes under2:50, or under 2 minutes and 50 seconds! Yes, slightly lame, but as we all know the perfect length for a song is somewhere between 1:17 and 2:50, so logically it follows that this playlist will be plumped full of perfection.

Pink Mountaintops – New Drug Queens
Cliff Richard & The Shadows – In The Country
DOOM – Lightworks
Limp Bizkit – Break Stuff
U.n.p.o.c. – Jump Jet Friend
Petula Clark – Zing Went the Strings of My Heart
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – Wah-Watusi
Bobby McFerrin – Drive My Car
Dusty Springfield – I’ll Do Anything (To Get You)
Prefab Sprout – Whoever You Are
Depeche Mode – I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead
Bascom Lamar Lunsford – Jennie Jenkins
James Yorkston & Bill Duncan – A Calvinist Narrowly Avoids Pleasure
Supergrass – Caught by the Fuzz
The Bluetones – Freeze Dried Pop (Dumb It Up)
Clark – Springtime Epigram
Regina Spektor – It Ain’t No Cover (Live)


I’m childishly proud of myself for including both Cliff Richard and Limp Bizkit, both ridiculously uncool and yet so close together on the playlist and making a sandwich with big ol’ DOOM as the filling.

As long have you’ve installed Spotify and registered you can just click on the link above and you’ll soon be listening to the perfect soundtrack for alphabetising your severed finger collection to. (This one for instance was lost in a freak banjo playing accident.)

hollow words

There’s flash of disappointment as her features switch from contented adoration to bricked up fury.

“I was blotto last night, I can’t even remember saying that to you.” I tell her.

She’s visibly scouring her frustration for the words that won’t express the full extent of the damage I’ve done. She’s no good at it, I might as well have stuck a knife in her.

“That’s not nice,” there’s a thick pause as she tries to muster a sentence more capable of conveying how a big a prick I am. “You shouldn’t say those things to people if you don’t mean it.”

I impotently mouth bubbles of explanation at her frozen stare, it’s a while before she gives up and goes to make another drink.

By the time she gets back from the kitchen I’ve composed myself and boiled my speech down to two sentences, including a short confession to being a manipulative bastard. I relayed this with determined eye contact.

We sat in silence for a while and I only chose to pick up a train of conversation just before Doctor Who came on. It was the season finale and I was excited.

cool for cats

Squeeze and Kenny Everett together, it doesn’t get a lot better than that does it? The man was a bleedin’ genius.

The Thames logo at the start takes me back, I’m not quite sure where, makes me think of Thomas the Tank Engine and Ringo Starr’s silvery tones though.

bang! a playlist

I discovered Spotify last week. I was a bit suspicious of it when I first heard about it, in my old age I’ve gained the ‘orrible tendency to psshaw new technology through snarly automatic off handedness, but it’s a fantastic bit of kit. It’s the program I’ve been waiting for since I first got into mp3s all those years ago (Could it possibly be ten years now? Crikey).

For those not in the know, though I’m sure I’m the last to hear about it, it’s basically like those mp3 jukeboxes, but with infinite credits. From what I sludgily understand it works on a streaming peer-to-peer system, a bit like bittorrent. The only concession to be made is the obligatory ad spot that gets chucked in every couple of songs on the free membership, but that’s a trifling hardship for what you’re actually getting. You can also get yourself a paid membership which eliminates the ads altogether, but I’m far too cheap to recommend you do that.

It also allows you to share playlists you’ve made with other users and even create communal playlists that others can add to. Being the ever vigilant procrastinator, I’ve knocked one out (A playlist, obviously.) to get me in the mood during this recent spell of sparkling, sunny spring mornings. Though of course, now as I’m typing this it’s beginning to rain. Sod it, here’s the tracklisting, now go and have a boogie.

bang! it’s morning, it’s spring!
Martha & The Vandellas – (Love is like a) Heatwave
The Doors – Touch Me
DJ Format feat. Abdominal – The Hit Song
Freddie Notes & The Rudies – Montego Bay
The Delfonics- Funny Feeling
Billy Joel – Tell Her About It
Dizzy Gillespie – You Stole My Wife You Horse Thief
Gary Numan – We Take Mystery (To Bed)
Royksopp – Remind Me (Live)
Weezer – No One Else
Passion Pit – Sleepyhead
Steve Miller Band – Abracadabra
The Zombies – This Will Be Our Year (Live)
Nilsson – I’d Rather Be Dead


As long have you’ve installed Spotify and registered you can just click on the link above and you’ll soon be doing the good thing on the bad ankle with all the other kids.