Saturday, 23 December 2017

Damn, You Are So Lucky!

Today is your lucky day. You may have literally made the most important click of your life by selecting this blog as the next webpage to grace your computer screen.
"Why?", you may ask. "I could be looking at cats; or dogs; or my friend's social media; or naked people; or a decent band's webpage; or hacking various government's internal security systems." All those things may be important, but they don't even compare to what this blog is about... dancing.

Now I can hear your whirring brain click into place. "Dancing, of course! That makes sense." There is literally nothing more important than that. However, despite the ridiculous importance of dancing I have been noticing something terrifying at our shows, that may well shock you. Everyone seems to have forgotten how to do it. Unless flinging debris at the band counts now; or looking on with disgust; or even worse, just bobbing your head along without moving a single atom of your body at all below the neck. We appear to be in a crisis.

I'm not going to pretend that I'm the world's best dancer, or the second best or the third. As the fourth best dancer in the world though, I feel I have the expertise to guide you back from the depths of darkness where you (the world) seem to have fallen. I have an endless arsenal of dance moves at my disposal and I feel it best that I explain as many of them to you as I can. This way, next time you find yourself at some sort of music show where the beat is pumping through your limbs and you're scared and confused at what to do, you will be absolutely and completely prepared to deal with it in any situation.

So without further ado, I will go on to explain this blog's dance move: the lawnmower.

The Lawnmower

This dance move is prestigious and iconic. It has stood the test of time from all the way back when people started using lawnmowers to now. Yet it is simple and easy to employ for all you novices to dancing out there. The only thing you need to have done to be able to utilise this dance move, is used a lawnmower. That's a pretty broad spectrum of people right there. If you haven't used one and you're not in a third world nation and haven't spent your entire life in poverty, then you're a bad person. Go away and mow a lawn, now.

Now for all of you that have used a lawnmower it is practice time. There are two different parts to this move that can be employed at different times in a song. The first part: pulling the starter cord. It is time to employ that valuable mowing experience we mentioned earlier. All you have to do is: from a relaxed standing pose, imagine you have a lawnmower in front of you. Now, reach down (physically) and pull the imaginary lawnmower cord. Now, keep pulling. The imaginary lawnmower in question is a hunk of junk so you're going to have to keep pulling that starter chord over and over in time to the music. Do it for as long as you feel is best, but I like to go for a verse at least. Occasionally, i'll stop and kick the imaginary lawnmower (also in time with the music), before going back to pulling the chord.

Ok, now part 2. This is where your frustration is finally released and you get to mow. It's usually good to transition to part 2 when there is a transition in the song, maybe going from verse to chorus. Now, keeping in time with the music your going to pull one last time, give a single satisfied nod, then begin to mow stepping in time. Mow your way around the dance floor, which is now a lawn, before the imaginary mower inevitable breaks down again and you go back to pulling the chord.

And that's it. Completely simple and easy to do. You can keep repeating it for as many songs as you wish, it'll just keep on going, as it's imaginary. I realise that the world will need many more dance moves as it is completely and utterly void of them at the moment, but for the present this is a good starter. Practice it everywhere you can and you'll get it in no time: you could lawnmower your way to work; through a boring meeting; to the shops -wherever! Needless to say, I will be very disappointed and enraged if there is not a vast increase in people doing this within a realistic time-frame of this post inevitably going super-viral. Have fun!

Friday, 1 December 2017

Lyrics - Icebreaker

I feel like it's time to talk about lyrics. Or rather, my lyrics. Or rather, what the hell I was thinking when I wrote my lyrics. For a lot of songs out there, it seems there are many different, valid interpretations for what a song is prattling on about. For ours I would definitely encourage that and if people feel a song is about something the writer didn't intend, then go with it. In the end when a song is being listened to it's the meaning for the listener that is actually important. Yet, I know for some people that understanding the original intent behind the song is important, so here is my attempt to explain Icebreaker..

Now it's important to note that a lot of the lyrics I write are very intuitive, so there are many cases where I haven't realised what a song was about until the Bridge started forming, then I'd have an aha! moment and realise what I'd been on about up to that point. Icebreaker wasn't like that.. and it wasn't called Icebreaker until recently (all hail working name "Dynamic Song').

I started writing the lyrics for Icebreaker in the darkened, dingy depths of a student house in Leicester, fondly referred to as 'Edward House'. The guitar was already drafted out as per usual before I begin lyrics and I was watching an anime called 'Soul Eater'. Specifically, I was wondering what traits I found inspiring in a character called 'Blair'.  If your reading this and you haven't seen Soul Eater I recommend you do (ignore the nude scenes), if you have seen Soul Eater you will know that Blair is a magical cat that can turn into a human. So this is where the beginnings of the song come from.. a magical cat.

Although, not exactly. It was more what I found inspiring in Blair, which is a character that has an uncanny ability to have fun and focus on "living in the moment" as it were. Not on some great career path or love pursuit or divine mission or whatever, just simply being themselves and enjoying life in the best way they can, for now. So a song came from that that celebrates the people in life who are exceptional at having fun and letting go, in the same way that people who are exceptional at motivating themselves or love or succeeding in more traditional ways are celebrated.

That may not make sense, I'm not sure but basically the song outlines the thoughts and feelings of someone inspiring in this way, in the sense that some people can be inspiring for being strong, smart or caring, who I would want to emulate. It starts with an imagined scenario where this fictional character wakes up after a night where they were embarrassed and hurt and how they dealt with that. Then goes on to explain there reasons for the way they act. "And I know I may have hesitations about wasting time after new sensations" - this line refers to the time that is "wasted" chasing after fun and the pressure they take from others to do something more tangibly worthwhile. "I'm just a debug away from new sensations" - refers to the need to get rid of any beliefs that are preventing them from new experiences. A lot of the song talks about overcoming a struggle to let themselves pursue what they truly value, despite that not being seen as an important goal in their life and despite being informed there are realities which they need to address and pursue: like getting rich or getting married. It's an Icebreaker in the sense that it's almost as if this person is introducing themselves and what they're about to someone they've just met.

Anyway sorry if I've confused you, the song is open to interpretation and is a celebration of these traits, I'm not saying everyone should emulate them but that I'm glad there are people that do, as being exceptional at having fun is important.

Here are the lyrics for Icebreaker:

Verse 1
Strip off, this old lost love,
Take on, the world like I knew I would,
It’s an irony line, I don’t wanna make you jealous,
I’ve taken time, to love like no-one ever,
Look in the mirror, I see nothing perfect,
But that smile, knew it was worth it,
To hit the ground last night knowing the risks,
A tip-top way to marry a tiff,

And I know I might have hesitations,
About wasting time after new sensations,
It’s not that I’m scared of me,
It’s that I take my time clearing these realities,

I’m just a debug away from new sensations,
It takes a long, long time to fill it with my expectations,
I’m not worried about my life, I know that everything’s alright,
In fact I could stand here all day, running around after nothing today,

Verse 2
Stretch out, any tear toxic garbage,
Roll away, it’s my new day!
I run around like I’m nothing else,
And take the time to enjoy myself,
It’s my time to shine as I wish,
It’s my life to do as I see fit,
And I know I can take it slow or fast,
Who knows? How long I’ll last?



Alright, I just said,
Some thoughts that whirl around inside my head,
And as I take my time to share my life,
I'll find a clue that leads to extraordinary things,
Or I'll tell you a lie and see if you believe,
It seems I run,
On expectation,
It seems I run,
On expectation,


Police Thieves and Merchants - Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Can We Move?

The four thieves had been walking for miles, completely separated from the rest of their “band”. Each individually contemplated leaving the others to go alone and each realised they didn't want to. The large pine trees rose up around them, reducing the sky to splinters of sunlight shining through the tree-tops. All four remained fairly unaware of the land yet felt at home in it's wild and mysterious nature, the peaceful quiet around them giving their journey a slightly mystical quality.
How far north is this city?” the youngest of the thieves questioned. He had light hair, was fairly tall, though not as imposing as Crole, and displayed a curious and sly nature in his movements as he explored his surroundings.
Stop asking questions and get a move on,” answered Borg: a small, squat man approaching middle age. He wore a ruffled, dark, brown beard with a long ponytail swinging down his back. He had also constantly worn a scowl over the course of their collaborative get rich quick scheme, Sedrick noted with mild interest.
We'll know when we get out of this forest.” The darkened trees that impenetrably surrounded them reinforced Borg's mood. Alone without the rest of the band, they stood less of a chance of finding this supposed city in the north where the purses of the wealthy eagerly awaited them. In all honesty they had never these cities before. The only resemblance of a city they knew of came on the coast to the south of their land, still far enough away for them to not be overly familiar with such a sizeable settlement. They were used to living in a land similar to this dotted with trees, hills and small settlements.
Just such a settlement came crawling into view within an hour as the trees that clamoured around the thieves began to thin and spread apart to form a clearing with a village at the far end from the thieves approach. Upon further inspection, 'village' proved too generous a word to describe it, it was more a small collection of houses perched on the edge of the clearing. Nevertheless, it provided an opportunity to the thieves for food either through money, guile or the provision of a small service for the inhabitants. Sedrick quickly opted for guile and disappeared into the tree-line. As always he wanted to see on what adventure his unique skills could take him and far he could push them. The others left him to pursue food through another means. They stood discussing the situation within the forest, just out of sight of the small cluster of buildings.
What money do we have?” Borg queried, looking up at Crole.
A little... enough for food certainly but we don't know how many days we'll be on this trek,” was the hesitant answer.
I'm starving, I'm up for money if it's quickest..”
And we don't want to be around if Sedrick gets caught...” chipped in Laurel.
He's not stupid Laurel..”
Then he can get my dinner.”
Just fucking decide already,” snapped Borg.
Do you need us to decide for you, because I think that requires some serious consideration.”
You do know I have killed before Laurel.”
So you keep telling us master murderer but I fail to care,” Laurel smirked honestly. He didn't care, in fact there was only one member of their foursome who had never killed – and that wasn't Laurel.
Before Borg could retaliate Crole said matter of factly:
Look, if we're doing this together let's just vote on it and do whatever comes top.”
Money,” Borg spoke instantly and Crole shifted uneasily.
The money will need to last a while.”
Service” stated Laurel, not realizing in his need to annoy that he wasn't satisfying his own hunger pangs.
After Laurel made his decision a harmless, innocent woodcutter emerged from the buildings opposite the huddle of thieves. They looked up, sensing the movement within the still, tranquil scene. Thunk after thunk resounded around the clearing as the stranger merrily hacked at his wood. Borg glanced at Crole who frowned at Laurel and let out a sigh.
Fine, money it is. Let's get some food and shelter.”
Immediately, Borg strode from the tree-line towards the chopping sound. The woodcutter stayed focused on his work and didn't notice as Borg continued towards him. Thunk, thunk, thunk the work was consistent, practised and cheerful as Crole and Laurel followed Borg across the clearing, feeling the grass sweep gently against their dark trousers. He didn't look up once. Thunk and thunk, he could do this for days, the man was a pro- content in his simple, harmless life. Thunk...thunk... this happy chopping put a spring in Borg's step, each of which brought him closer to the promise of delicious dinner. It had an honest tone to it he thought, reflected in the peaceful, simple scenery that surrounded the workplace and sent the noise ricocheting back at them. One more thunk and the worker looked up, staring straight at Borg. There was the softest of clicks followed by a great, sudden bang echoing into the thieves ears with more force than they had ever known. An echo which continued with sudden, epic force onwards around the forest as the woodcutter's head exploded.

Kendra was strolling along the forest path as a colourful variety of scattered leaves fell before her, clutching at her boot as she passed by. Sandra hopped after her, a messy debris left on the forest floor as she passed.
Where are we Sandra?” Kendra asked, a tone of authority in her voice.
You know I know where I am.”
Where are we Sandra? What would you call this collection of trees thrusting up out of this muddy surface we call the ground?” Kendra continued regardless.
I have trouble focusing, I've made you aware of that in the past..”
That's not an answer Sandra,” Kendra stated unhelpfully.
A forest.”
A forest! Fucking brilliant Sandra! Now, what do people tend to do in a forest?”
Chop wood.”
Something to do with animals Sandra,” Kendra persisted in her unhelpful, authoritative, exaggerated tone.
Watch the birds.”
Your not getting the game Sandra, I ask you a question and you tell me what we both know I want to hear.”
And what do hunters leave?”
Traps,” Kendra said in a resigned tone.
Now you know! Now you know Sandra. After this lesson how can you possibly manage to wander into a trap again!” Kendra finished, her voice brimming with sarcasm.
My leg hurts.”
Kendra quickly glanced down, her attention from the path ahead briefly interrupted before quickly focusing back.
That's what snares do I'm afraid, but you're up and you're walking with bearable pain so that's good enough for me to keep chasing after those thieves. That item our clients want back is clearly precious and could cause more trouble for us if we let just anyone get their hands on it.”
Sandra kept moving, contemplating whether she should mention that she hadn't heard the description of this mysterious, precious item. She thought better of it, refusing to give Kendra another reason to humiliate her. Her loose, cropped hair drooped down over her face as she looked up at the sun. Still plenty of day left, as long as it continued to act normally. There was a general buzz in the back of her mind, as she guessed there was among everyone's, as to what had happened to the sun. The possibilities of why it had disappeared were endless to her, so she had decided to focus on hoping that nothing dangerous would come of it and try not to let it bother her too much. The conflicting theories of the merchants amused her still though, as her lip curled in spite of the stinging area where the snare had wickedly clawed into her left calf.
A few hours later the stinging had eased and she had promoted herself to hobbling over half-hopping/ half – lurching up the path.
Kendra may moan a lot but at least her partner had decent first aid skills”, she mused as the path evened out after another hill. The woodland continued to stretch out before them, continually littering the path with the colourful leaves. Her reverie was smashed as she heard strained voices further up to the left of the track. Kendra didn't hear, she in turn was wondering if she should call a halt for the day so Sandra's leg could heal better, when she quickly shot her arm out- tensed horizontally to the left. Sandra instantly thumped into it and collapsed back onto the floor.
Pit trap,” Kendra stated. She had only just seen it at the last moment before she herself had triggered it, the slightest of patterns in the leaves revealing that they had intentionally been arranged. It was huge, covering almost the entire path. Most likely designed for a bear she thought, slightly confused.
There are voices,” a voice murmured from the floor.
Which way?” Kendra asked, trusting her partners ears without question.
Sandra got up and motioned to go quietly indicating where the sounds were coming from. She had to be guided by Kendra around the trap for fear of worsening her leg. Once they were beyond it Sandra crept forward confidently and silently through the trees, Kendra rustling quietly just a few steps behind, her ears pricking up as the voices became louder the closer they came.
They were coming from a clearing where three men surrounded another on the floor with knives in hand. The man on the ground had deep cut marks and bruises where he had been gruesomely assaulted by his assailants. Kendra wondered how he managed to keep himself from falling unconscious as he looked up, blood oozing from a cut on his lower lip.
Tell us where to go!” one of the knife wielding maniacs commanded, blood dripping from his knife onto the tranquil forest floor. The scene looked horrific, but Sandra did note at least that the injuries were still relatively minor on the victim, if they could just get him away he should be able to make it to the nearest medical attention.
We have to intervene,” she whispered to Kendra, focusing on keeping her breathing subdued and quiet. Kendra had already formulated a plan, as well as noticed the purple wine jars stacked next to the thieves' baggage and supplies.
Make your away around silently to the opposite end of the clearing,” she ordered at a minute volume with eyes focused in anticipation. “Once you're there stay out of sight and ready to make your move. I'll try and draw them away, once I do get the prisoner and the wine and head north. There's a village a few miles from here, do you remember?”
Correct, take the merchant there with the wine, I'll follow you once I've gotten rid of these... scum.”
Sandra nodded and made her way around the clearing. Her blue top and leggings contrasted amazingly with the green scenery so she kept her movements slow and precise around a path which kept her far enough from the clearing to remain hidden. Meanwhile, the merchant continued to be questioned and take a beating. Kendra lost sight of Sandra as she got closer to the opposite side, it was now up to her intuition to time her move just when her partner was in position. She ran through the plan once more in her head. It could be better, but she trusted in her speed, intelligence and natural ability to improvise to get her out of any setbacks. The only worry was that if the thieves didn't go for her. The seconds ticked past and as the thieves moved in for another attack on the gentleman she decided to move.
She stepped into the clearing perpendicular to the thieves' vision the jagged edges of the stones she clutched digging into her skin. Being so intent on their prisoner she had a wine jar under her arm and a stone ready to hurl before they noticed her. Her first stone crashed into the nearest thief's face as he turned to face the threat. He was tall and gangly in shape lurching backwards as he yelled out, a hand clasped over his face. A string of foul language erupted from the thief stooped down to cut at the victim as a stone zipped into his teeth. Kendra laughed merrily and galloped off into the trees. The stooped thief spat blood onto the already blood spattered floor.
Stay here!” he shouted at the unharmed thief as he stepped forward.
We'll go get her and she can join him,” he muttered nodding to the groaning man on the floor as he followed his taller comrade into the woodland.
The remaining thief wiped a baffled look off his face before standing guard over his prisoner, a knife at his hip Sandra noted.

Could be worse”, she thought. “At least two of the criminals had gone after Kendra's diversion. Time to improvise, I guess..,” as she felt around for a decent grip on the large chunk of wood in her hand and glared at the thief.