I went to see Puressence at Oran Mor last night. I’m not really into obscure bands; generally I feel if a band hasn’t really made a reasonable impact on the public’s consciousness it’s because their songs are shit, but this isn’t true in the cast of Puressence. To my knowledge they’ve only been mentioned by name on television once, back in 1998 on Live and Kicking I think it was. Their single, the beautiful ‘All I Want’ was subject to a scathing review by Steps’ H, in which he said it “was a bit depressing and not my kind of thing.” Needless to say after this glowing endorsement, I went out and bought the album the song came from.
At that time, two years after the release of the Manics’ meisterwork Everything Must Go, I was still under the slight delusion that there might, somewhere, sometime be an album released that was better. ‘All I Want’ gave me the impression Only Forever might run it close; it didn’t, but it’s still a pretty good LP in its own right.
I haven’t heard the band’s first album, and they played quite a lot of stuff from the upcoming fourth album, so I found I was a little lost and only really enjoying the gig when they were covering the middle two releases. That said, they only played an hour set so there were a lot of great songs, songs I really enjoy, that they didn’t play; ‘Never Be The Same Again’ for instance. Though James Mudriczki has such a skyscraping, tremulous voice, it was good to actually be standing a few feet away from him watching him do his stuff. Recordings don’t do him justice to how powerful his singing can be at time. And his banter with the crowd was quite amusing at times, especially as the new(ish) guitarist was struggling with his equipment.
The gig was over by ten, so I went home. There, it’s been said. I was in the single most romantic part of Glasgow, where seemingly anything can happen, and I was alone. In that situation, you really don’t want to spend to long there, having your inability to form even the most basic of relationships with people rubbed in your face. I caught the subway (oh, be still my beating heart!) back to Buchanan Street before driving home, stopping off at Tesco to get a fuck off big cream cake. Yes, I comfort eat.
I’m having a period of intense self-contemplation. Or, I’m feeling sorry for myself. Last month I felt like I’d finally gained a finger-hold in the sheer face of life, and now I seem to be back at the foot of the cliff thinking ‘It’s too bloody high!’. I’d applied for a permanent job where I’m currently temporarily employed; it’d been implied to me that I would be a shoe-in if I did so, and this would lead to me training in an appropriate discipline within the department, as many others have done before me. Not a bad back up career to rest my pipe dreams on top of.
And at the same time, I’d gone for a drink with Michelle. I didn’t feel it went that badly, but as you’ve probably gathered by now, I’m absolutely atrocious at judging people and situations, especially when it requires reading between the lines. As such, despite the fact we’ve carried on texting and mailing each other, and despite me asking her if we’ll be meeting again, to date we haven’t. Which is a bit of a shame, mainly because…well, I don’t know quite how to say this, but I don’t often find myself stumbling into the Goldilocks zone.
NaNoWriMo beckons in another six weeks, and I think I’m going to enter it again this year. The purpose of the contest is to try and write a novel(la) of a minimum of 50,000 words in just 30 days. I entered it last year, and managed to complete a children’s story on the day of the deadline, so I’m positive about the chances of writing a sequel this year. I’ve continued to work on my ‘proper’ novel, and I recently hit the 70,000 word mark. I’m hoping to try and get as near to 100,000 before the 1st of November as I possibly can. I know you shouldn’t hold too much stock in the number of words you’ve written, but for me it’s a psychological issue; if I can hit six figures, it’ll go a long way to proving my stamina as a novelist; that’s probably the most difficult aspect of writing books, I would imagine. It’s also worth noting that I’ve written around sixty thousand words in the last 18 months, compared to 12,000 in the nine years before, when this was just a word file on my old computer, something that existed in the back of my mind, mainly I suspect so I could tell people I was ‘working on a novel’. There’s still a long way to go however; I’ve been writing it in sections, almost like a tall building in reverse. Most of the rendering’s done, now I just need to create the steel frame to hang it on.
I’ve been doing a few reviews as well. I’ve got a load of stuff to review for the website ‘God Is In The TV’, and I’ve done a couple more for ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’ or whatever it’s called this month. And I may be commissioned by UNS to photograph Hamish Stuart next month, so everything’s looking mildly positive in that respect. I just have to continue to be mildly tenacious.
I’m feeling the healthiest I’ve been in years, apart from the piles which have been playing up this week. About six weeks ago, John and a few others from work decided to organise a Tuesday night game after work, to run in tandem with our Thursday lunchtime games. I’ve been playing in both of them, and I really have started to feel the benefit in recent weeks. Most of the guys are 20 years older than me anyway, but it’s only been in the last couple of games that my relative youth has started to prove its benefit. That just goes to show how unfit I was when I started playing there. But it’s great; a fortnight ago my stamina emerged after years in exile, and on Tuesday, my game fitness joined it. It’s always good to feel fit and healthy I think; it’s just a shame I loathe exercising.
So that’s pretty much my life at the moment. It’s Rachael’s second birthday on Saturday, and she’s really starting to grow up quite quickly now. Her vocabulary and perception is improving all the time, to the point where we all think she’s a genius. Well, we all were at that age, weren’t we? Especially in the eyes of our relatives. And speaking of relatives, my father seems to have got his divorce and house sale sorted out, so that’s encouraging.