Tying up the loose ends of a life in hardcore from 1986 until yesterday lunchtime

'Punkier-than-thou' - The Wire, June 2013.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Conquest for Death video

I guess this is a bit of cheat, as I have nothing to do with this band other than they are my friends - but I feel my life in HC is inextricably linked with these dudes. I've known Devon and Craig for what seems like half-a-lifetime (and I take a perverse pride in featuring in one of Craig's legendary tour journals), and Shank had the pleasure of Robert - a prince among men - chaperoning us around the Bay Area when we were over there, the first of many rather lovely times spent in his company. We even ended up going to see Mike Giant together about getting tattooed, before he became an international art superking.

Anyway, this is an awesome video, with amazing footage of some of their outlandish tours - Namibia, China, Botswana, Mauritius - which foments two (kind of conflicting) thoughts in my head. THIS is what DIY touring is about - blazing new trails, rather than just trudging around the same well-worn sequence of Euro squats and municipal youth clubs. Secondly, while I'll never miss the tedium of  long-ass drives and the ennui of trying to fill the gap between a 4pm soundcheck and a 1am stage slot with anything other than alcohol or sleep, I do miss the camraderie of life on the road and the joy of hosting old friends who swing by your city on their tour or being hosted by them when the roles are reversed - and I miss these guys a lot, too.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Shank, Live in LA, 2003

Shank, Live in LA, 2003 from Jamie Thomson on Vimeo.

Been meaning to get this up on the web in some form for years - because it really was the highlight of our existence as a band. We thought Gilman St a week earlier wouldn't be beaten, but we hadn't counted on the LA kids. And it seemed the perfect way to bow out, too. This is the shortened version that starts about five minutes in, when it starts to get really nuts. It's not that the first five minutes are in any way dull, but who watches an internet video for more than five minutes, really? And I wouldn't want you to miss the real chaos. Some choice quotes from the crowd include: "You guys from Russia rock!", and "Somebody just broke a leg - yaaah!" (He didn't, but I don't think he was going jogging anytime soon either.) On a personal note, today I was actually wearing the very same grey shirt as in this video, cheapskate that I am (although, it does fit me much better these days). That makes that shirt nearly nine years old! Those Dickies guys, they don't fuck around ...

Why bother?

In my involvement in the hardcore punk scene - as consumer, spectator, active participant and, lately and most constructively, aged curmudgeon carping from the sidelines - I've accumulated a LOT of crap. Aside from the ludicrous impracticality of owning a large record collection (although shrinking by the day!) yet flitting from house to house year after year, I have countless boxes of MRRs, zines, tapes, flyers, shirts, badges - the detritus of a lifestyle that barely makes sense to me anymore, yet somehow still retaining a sentimental stranglehold, and making a 'clear out' far too brutal a prospect.

But that's not what this blog is about - instead, it's a clear out of creative detritus - a catch-all repository of the projects I've been involved in that never quite made it into the public domain, mostly musical (to date I've got at least two unreleased 7 inches and an album under my belt), but also videos, interviews, and quite possibly some photos, the occasional review (if I can be arsed), and - more than likely - the odd drunken late-night YouTube post of a Dictators song that is speaking to me profoundly at that particular moment in time.