Steed woke me this morning with a gentle paw to the face. And I feel shitty, not hungover shitty (which is a surprise) but “bollocks, I’m coming down with my friend’s head cold” shitty. Still, a hot toddy and toast sounds like a good first meal of 2018. And then an epic walk along the Rame Peninsula in Cornwall where we’re staying in a cottage in the woods by the sea. Look, there it is... Amazing, huh?
And, well, another year has gone and what have I done? Not written enough: check; seen shitloads of live music: check; supported Frome’s fab Westway cinema: check; finally gone on holiday: check.
Best gig of 2017: Hmmm, well whilst Sweet Baboo, John Mouse and the marvellously mental Farm Hand at the Komedia in Bath was a pleasant surprise in its almost private view format - there were more staff and band members in attendance than punters - and discovering Lanterns on the Lake at Bristol’s stunning St George’s church, I think I’m gonna have to pick Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the BIC - moving and epic: a magnificent performance. I pray the venues they use in future don’t get bigger, though. Live, I like to see the whites of the musicians’ instruments.
Song: well, that has to be a toss up betwix Beckie Margaret’s Cars & Catacombs and UNKLE’s Sunrise - cheers, as always for the heads up from Radio 6 and the always inspiring Mary Anne Hobbs to both. Or was it Steve The Mac who played Beckie first? Can’t remember, but hope she tours the West Country this year.
Film: Blade Runner 2049, no question. I was so worried they’d fuck that up, but it is a perfect sequel and an anti-blockbuster gem - slow, majestic and captivating. Star Wars The Last Jedi, on the other hand, was so disappointing - almost as bad as the Prequel Trilogy - too many fucking Disney critters and bad continuity and even worse CGI.
TV: Twin Peaks - The Return. David Lynch, Mark Frost, you are geniuses and all 18 little art house movie episodes were trippy flashback forward and sideward headfucks and I love them. My mouth hurt from so much grinning. More, maestros, more.
Books: hard one as I read and have reread so much over the past 12 months, but I have to say it’s JK Rowling’s Harry Potter saga - only ever read the first one, The Philosopher’s Stone, in the past - but each one improves so much on the last and it is really interesting to see how she hones her craft and develops as a storyteller.
Drink: Mena Dhu - Cornwall’s own stout - I need this on tap... in my house... now.
On the domestic front, I’m officially a shepherd as I’ve ended up fostering a wether - so ask me about stock fencing or hydrated lime or their taste (I should say his) for dried apricots. Go on.
Back to my study on the 5th with pen poised - that deadline set by my agent is looming like a leviathan emerging from a black ocean of despair. I’m gonna need a bigger boat.
Hello 2018, be nice...