Friday 27th April 2001- we can perform under pressure

Today we had our audition and oh man we rocked! I’m hyper now! Got into school this morning and went straight to Mr Hendries room to squeeze in some much needed practice before registration. It was not looking good at all. We knew our individual parts but when it came to putting it all together we could not keep in time with each other. At interval it was back to Mr Hendries room for more practice and to let Jack hear the song for the first time. He didn’t practice at all but Tina assured me he is a genius on the drums. It still wasn’t looking too good, we were just so out of time and the closer it got to the audition the more nervous I felt. So we went up at lunch time to set all the equipment up in one of the music rooms. We didn’t even have time to run through once before Mrs Campbell came to hear us play. So Jack counted us in and we just threw ourselves into it. It was fantastic! Jack’s drumming was perfect and with him keeping the rhythm me and Tina were able to keep in time with each other. When I heard our music blasting out of the amps all nerves vanished and I was lost in the song. I really enjoyed it. It worked so well. It was such a great achievement for us to pull it all together in just two days. I’m so proud of us as we have shown we have talent and can perform under pressure. Wow! I’m going to get my own bass, but until then I have Tom’s. Oh what a brilliant start to our band!

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Thursday 26th April 2001- I have mastered the verse and the twangy chorus bits

More shit, you know the kind. I was carrying Tom’s bass around school today so I told those bullies I would hit them with it if they didn’t shut up. It seemed to work, they backed down a bit. Of course I wouldn’t do that really, it would cause them too much damage and more importantly I wouldn’t want to break tom’s beautiful bass. But the threat seemed to deter them, maybe I’ve found a way to make them get lost.

Anyway, today was a day of rehearsing like mad for an audition we have tomorrow and getting in a total state over it. We were using the school amps but it wasn’t looking good, we hadn’t rehearsed enough, and I only started playing bass on Tuesday. But I have mastered the verse and the twangy chorus bits which is amazing given how little time we’ve had. I was doubtful as to whether this whole thing would work but Tina phoned me tonight and made me believe we could conquer the world if we wanted to. She said we should just go for it tomorrow and see how it goes. She said I had done amazing and had great potential. We agreed that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we weren’t chosen to perform because as long as we do well then we have proved to ourselves we can play together and that will be enough. She was full of positivity and she’s passed that on to me. By the end of the call we were both like ‘yes we can do this, we are the best, we will show them just how good we can be.’

I had a seven hour shift at the Tryst after school which meant we couldn’t rehearse tonight but I’m confident we will do ourselves proud. We will succeed! I know we will1

Tuesday 24th April 2001- I’ve fallen in love with the bass

Oh how wonderful this is! I am currently in possession of a beautiful bass guitar, I am looking at it right now and I love it. It’s not mine though, it’s Tom’s, he’s let me borrow it for as long as I need it. He’s so nice, I love him, this is so exciting. Today was the first get together of  Left of Deviant so I must document it so we can remember the starting point if we ever make it. Well there was only me and Tina, we went to borrow Tom’s bass and he also loaned us a bass amp. Tina brought her electric guitar and Jack’s amp. What fun we had trying to get that bass amp up to my room, it was so heavy and a struggle. We just messed around and Tina showed me how to read bass tab. We didn’t get too far with the actual music but she is photocopying some of Bush’s songs for me to learn. We looked over my lyrics I had been scrawling during the holidays. Then we had s bit of a laughing fit because one of the songs I wrote starts with the line ‘nobody has mental balance, you have least of all’. I’m not sure why it seemed so funny but we laughed and laughed especially at the thought of it being the first song on the album and that being the very first line. Oh well. My room was filled with guitar stuff and amongst it was the two dogs wafting their tails about.  When Tina had to go we discovered getting the bass amp down the stairs was even harder than getting it up. We struggled down with it, almost crippling ourselves, and eventually got it out to the car. Oh how I need to properly learn bass and get one of my own. It’s so cool! I’ve fallen in love with the bass in the corner of my room! I don’t want to have to give it up when Tom comes back for it (though it does have a sticker on it which says ‘don’t be a dick’).

Monday 23rd April 2001- left of deviant

School was hell so you’ll understand why I don’t want to talk about it, especially when I have far greater things to relate. I am now in a band. Yeah you heard right! I think I might explode at the prospect. Tina is on guitars and vocals and Jack has agreed to drum for us until we find our own drummer. It’s all so exciting. Me and Tina have just ended a text conversation in which she suggested a name which is pure genius. We have called ourselves ‘left of deviant’. Why? Well apparently deviant means diverging from the norm   while we will also deviate from the usual alternative scene (Tina’s words not mine) so we aren’t just plain deviant but a little left of deviant. Brilliant! I am in a band! My songs can be used now. In assembly today Tina was getting so excited about the whole thing. She was shouting across the room to Tom saying ‘I got a bass player’ and hugging me. I love the bass. I’m picking it up really well. I have a theory on this; when I touched Taka’s hand at the gig some of his skills must have rubbed off. I’m so fucking happy I could cry. We have a title for our first album too- Black Doves and Broken Wings. It’s a product of both mine and Tina’s minds. How good is that? We’re going to make a great team. We will conquer the world with our creative genius and we will be huge. So here is to the birth of our musical revolution. Here’s to Left of Deviant.

Saturday 21st April 2001- A band!

Today we went to the forge shopping centre in the park head area of Glasgow. It was a nasty place and I didn’t like it one bit! Why? I’ll tell you why! It was like stepping into ned city! Now do you see why I didn’t like it? It was filled with evil looking people wearing baseball caps, socks pulled over their trousers and hundreds of gold jewellery (sovereign rings, hoop earrings, name chains, the usual) and amongst them all was me in my baggy combats, bandana and Feeder T-shirt and a skull chain. I was the only mosher in the whole place! I won’t be going back there in a hurry. On the way home we went the wrong way and ended up in the most foul estate I have ever seen. All the flats were borders up with their roofs missing, many had been burned out and all where covered in graffiti. It reminded me of how I imagine Edgefield to look like in ‘World Against Me’. It would be a good location for filming as long as the cameras didn’t get nicked! Tina phoned to let me know she wasn’t ignoring me last night, her phone had just ran out of credit. I talked to her about my guitar playing and how I seem to be inclined to pick out the bass parts of the songs and she suggested we could start a band and she could play guitar and I could try bass. I’m all for it considering it’s been my dream since the age of about nine. She says Tom (Jack’s best friend and bassist in Jack’s band) will let me borrow his bass no problem. A band! I know we won’t actually get anywhere but hey, what fun I used to have in our band in Newcastle with Laura even though we were unbelievably crap. It’s just a hobby, some messing about, that’s all.

Thursday 8th March 2001- School Revolution

School. Good God I hope the place burns down. I’ve often thought how funny it would be to start a revolution from inside the school. If every last pupil agreed to get up and walk out at the same time the teachers could do nothing. What fun it would be! Ha Ha! Of course, it might not be such a wise idea to throw away your education. No, not so wise at all. The closest I will ever get to a school revolution is the new novel I am planning in which the kids all walk out of school only in the story they actually have a real reason to do so. Oh well, I suppose the world pf fiction is the best place to carry such mad cap ideas. Thank God for my ability to write. And on that subject, my new song ‘Automated Happiness’ is proving to boast a beautiful set of lyrics. I showed what I have so far to Tina, and I got the impression she liked it even more than ‘Angels in Strait Jackets’. She says I have gone all philosophical, maybe I have. She says my lyrics are very similar to the things Barry writes (he’s in Jack’s band) because all of his songs are philosophical too. My lyrics have certainly grown since I first started writing songs. They didn’t seem to have any meaning before. They do now. They are very persona;l and men a lot to me. ‘Automated happiness’ is about my feelings towards Jack and all that’s happened involving him. Tina says I have earned a place in her book of quotes and that’s not easy to do!

Sunday 4th March 2001- Human Zoo

Some people were supposed to come and view the house today at 12 but they didn’t show up so we set out to go to Glasgow at about 12.30. We had to stop for some petrol on the way and when Mam went to pay for it she realised she had forgotten her purse! She did the same thing not long ago, got to the counter in Asda and realised she didn’t have any money to pay. Anyway, she had to fill in some forms and we had to go straight home so Mam could get her purse. By then it was about 12.45 and the people who were supposed to come at 12 appeared! Of course we couldn’t let them look around because we had to hurry back to he garage to pay for the petrol. They weren’t very pleased but it was their won dam fault for being 45 minutes late. Do they not realise we have other things to do other than hang around the house all day waiting for them? It’s getting really annoying, people expect you will govern your whole life around when they want to come and view the house. Sometimes you feel like you are in a human zoo, hundreds of people staring at you and inspecting the place you live, passing comments and making criticisms.

When we got to Glasgow I had to buy some blank tapes because Tina is going to copy the Feeder album for me. I need to get familiar with some of their older stuff before the gig so I can join in with that as well as the new stuff which I have been listening to lately. Today, instead of listening to the Pepsi chart show, I listened to the radio one charts because they are based entirely on record sales whereas the Pepsi chart is  also based on air play which I don’t think is fair. Still it was as rubbish as ever. I don’t know why I bother.