Gig report: Dragons, cloven feet and Lord Flasheart

We had a good gig on Saturday, a jolly audience including a lot of folk I’d never seen before. I was exhausted when I first tuned up to the venue. I’d been working all day, lugging stuff to Tottenham and back. The cats I’d been hallucinating in the corners, turned in to dragons, small dragons, but very fierce, perhaps they helped me find enough energy.

Dagma was excellent doing the door, even though she can’t count British coins, she is from Austria and was only visiting for that weekend. Marina came along later and helped selling merchandise, which was good as I completely forgot about that after the gig.

The swamp monster artworks went at the start, to those who knew her name is Gertrude. There is just 5 of them in existence so those who have them make sure you take care of them!

Folk tell me that the performance was very sinister, very “Birthday Party”, and someone thought my feet were cloven, which perhaps they were that evening. At the very start of the performance the buxom Gardyloo Spew was giving me attitude so I had to slap her around the face and blow raspberries at her. Jowe was his usual sinister self, doing a most convincing impersonation of a Golem. Dr Cos held things together triumphantly, with added panache, as only he can, whilst the Drummer, dressed in just clingfilm and gaffa tape, told the audience off, gave me a bottle of red wine, then attempted to roll me over his back whilst I was singing, which made the dragons roar around the edges of my vision. An interesting experience that should be tried again.

Oh and the audience were fabulous at Woofing! Such sexy hip jolting and pelvis thrusting! I’m sure Lord Flasheart would be proud.

The other two acts, David Cronenberg’s wife and Dirty Viv, were splendid. Viv looked beautiful in his wig and incredibly skimpy pvc skirt and the music made me think perhaps drum machines aren’t so hideous after all. Tom from David Cronenberg’s Wife was smartly dressed in a red and black suit and the band played with exquisite vigour. I’m a bit of a fan of Tom’s dark storytelling with guitar, which is difficult to hear when done as a full band, but the band’s punch and excitement made up for it.

We also had DJing from Enri and sillyBoyblue. I love dancing to Bowie!

I had several curious propositions after performing that night, to which I can only reply “what does your girlfriend/wife/mum/bank manager think about that?”

And Lord Flashheart has read my blog and wants to apply for the job of perfect lover.

xx

Next performance this coming Friday (29th March) at Scaledown, upstairs at the King & Queen, Fitzrovia, near Goodge st tube, London. Just me and Dr Chapman doing an acoustic set.

Photo by the wonderful Michael Antony Hyman.

Woof!

I played two gigs last night, and somehow strutting my stuff on stage, singing, prancing and telling folks dark stories from my psychological diseased pit, seems to bring me back to a level zero where everything is…alright. After an unpleasant week at work that finished with a batch of seizures it might seem strange that two gigs be the thing to bring life back to stable, but it seems it is.

The first gig was with Dr Cos and Gardyloo Spew. It was at the Hundred Years Gallery and it was delightful. Playing to a home crowd as they say. Cos was on acoustic guitar! He has never played acoustic live before so this was something new. The security of those very many pedals was not there! He played very well, as did Spew who played percussion on a hardboard box that is actually a plinth but makes a good percussion instrument. Also, Graham, The Lovely Management, lent Spew a nice looking percussion instrument, I can’t remember what it was called, but it sounded good. Thanks to Mark and Noel for organising this, an event to remember Danny Pockets who passed away last year.

The second gig was up in Holloway at the Owl and Pussycat. This time it was just me and Dr Cos and his many effects pedals. A crowd of strangers, and interesting they were too. Some were dressed up in really fanciful costumes with feathers ( the theme was night owl) and glitter whilst others were dressed really casual t-shirt and jeans. The age range went from early twenties to late sixties. I quite liked the inconsistent dress of our audience. They were a well behaved audience, the acts on before us had been good quality story telling which meant the audience were good at listening. The small well groomed room was packed out. They sat silently, applauding at the correct moments, and were pretty good at the Woofs as well.

Woof!

( and thrust the pelvis forward, Lord Flasheart style)

So next gig is this coming Saturday (23rd March) at the George Tavern. Practice your pelvis thrusts and be there!

Photo by Mat Green in the Library of Obscure Wonders

Wednesday’s child is full of woe

This week it was my birthday week, and despite it being a truely lovely week with lots of friends and cards and presents, I am still feeling down today. No idea why. Absolutely none. I mean I could blame Brexit, the global environment situation, the violence and wars, I could blame any of those, but it’s not. The sewage has not returned, my brain hasn’t been playing up too much and the hallucinations are mainly just cats, and for now I have just enough work to keep going. It’s not even the fact that I’m getting older, i don’t mind getting older, I mean we all do it, and I’m quite enjoying the confidence that comes with age. So I’ve no idea. It is a deep ocean of sorrow lurking beneath the service that I can’t seem to shift.

This is why, as the queen of everything, I’m going to have an official birthday party on the 23rd March, where I will celebrate life, and spring and the coming of summer. New beginnings and life escaping the grip of winter. Yes. We shall dance and sing and know what it is to be fully alive!

I shall officially celebrate it on the 23rd March with the Rude Mechanicals gig at the George Tavern of Commercial Road, London.

I’m 107 years old, according to Facebook. I feel about 107 today, but I will be 23 again on the 23rd!

I was born on a Wednesday, maybe that is why my birthday makes me blue. Though I am also a Pisces. I had my students draw mackerel on Friday. What beautiful creatures they are, incredible colours. One day I’ll move from London and live near the sea, somewhere warm maybe, where I can swim among the fishes.

As a Pisces I’m a fantastic day dreamer.

And here fantastic fishes duskly float,
Using the calm for waters, while their fires
Throb out quick rhythms along the shallow air.

The Flood

The sewage back surge from the flats where l live burst through my bath plug hole, filled my bath, flowed over the edges leaving the remains of someone’s dinner on the side of the bath, and flowed determinedly onwards into my hall, bedroom and kitchen.

The unwell monster that seems to live under my bathroom floorboards, was exploding. Her vomit filled my world. Several of my books, my slippers and the laminate flooring was ruined. No insurance.

Being a council tenant feels very like being a third class citizen. Council housing was a brilliant idea, affordable housing for the workers, those that keep the city running. Makes sense doesn’t it? But now the stocks of council houses have been hugely run down by selling them off to private owners, so you only get one if you are in a very bad situation ( I was in a squat, diagnosed with a potentially fatal brain disease and uncontrolled epilepsy, when a heroin addict smashed up the place). These days buildings like the current one I live in, a 1960’s tower block, are allowed to fall into disrepair and the councils aren’t given money for required maintenance of them. And these days the workers – the cleaners, nurses, teachers – can’t afford to buy housing and can’t get council housing. They either end up getting into huge amounts of debt they can never pay off, live in bad quality shared accommodation or move out of the city. This will of course mean a lack of cleaners, nurses and teachers in a city that desperately needs them. The government bring out various policies to try and attract more nurses or teachers and allow them to afford homes, but surely there was a policy already in practice, that worked, called COUNCIL HOUSING. It has an absurdity that sings like an intro track to The House of Cards.

But then I can’t make any sense of our current politics. A friend asks me why I don’t write about politics much in my blog. Because it makes me miserable. Life essentially is a beautiful thing, difficult and painful sometimes, but at other times just astoundingly beautiful and wondrous. Politics and the News seem to concentrate on the horrid stuff, which gets me down. I don’t know, perhaps I should have more political rants, but then it all seems so absurd and out of control at the moment that it seems more appropriate to draw silly cartoons instead (see below). So I’ll stop with politics there and talk about magic instead.

Magically this last climax of the sewage seems to, and here I cross my fingers, seems to have solved the problem.

No more can I hear groaning and gurgling, no longer does sewage spew into my bath. Hurrah!

And it seems to all be thanks to the hazel trees.

There is a couple of hazel trees in Newington Green. Small things, cropped into bushes underneath a London Plain. I go to talk to them sometimes, when I need someone to share problems with.They don’t respond, obviously, which is often a good thing. Anyway, on the morning in question I’d had enough of the sewage problem. Two months it had been. I was fed up of never being able to shower or bath in my own flat without wading in other people’s shit. I explained this to the hazel trees and asked if please, if possible, could something be done about it.

That evening came the flood. Horrible. But it has meant that Islington council repairs team actually got it together to sort out the problem and now I am sewage free.

Never underestimate a hazel tree.

I’m going to celebrate being sewage free at the Rude Mechanicals gig on the 23rd March.

Yes, I will give out free swamp monster original prints (worth thousands of pounds, obviously) to the first five people who can tell me the name of the monster that lives under my bathroom. Any guesses? Keep it secret and turn up to the gig early to tell me and collect your present.

Below is something like my understanding of current global politics

I want someone who…

I want someone who wants me for what I am

I want someone who wants me for what I am not

I want someone who doesn’t run away when I get ill

I want someone who doesn’t see my brain disease as a romantic novel

I want someone who does see my brain disease as a romantic novel

I want someone who is strong and decisive

I want someone who doesn’t tell me what to do

I want someone who is rich

And unattached

And good looking

And kind

And open minded

And generous

And intelligent

Has several PhD’s and a professorship

But understands that they are still a fool

I want someone who knows that I am Queen of Everything!

Handmade book by MissRoberts

February Blues

February rushes along. The sewage saga continues, I’ve now contacted my MP who is helping pursue the issue and Toynbee Legal advice centre are writing a stern letter to my council housing repairs team.

But my health is not good and it is all getting me down somewhat.

Everything feels so grim, the sewage, the weather, my health, work, the no deal Brexit shenanigans.

And it being February as well, a cold difficult month full of remorse and heart break.

Still I’ve had worse February’s, like the one I had an operation, which was very painful, and the one where, due to a doctor’s misdiagnosis of medication I had kidney failure. So far this February has been a lot better than those two.

So, the good things about this February-

1. I’m not in hospital. Hurrah!

2. I’m enjoying playing around with animating some old stories of mine. All stop frame paper cutouts and badly done, but good fun!

2. I’ve managed to get a friend to read Geek Love, and he phones me almost every day to remind me how good/funny/dark/disgusting it is.

3. I had a one eyed alien come and visit me the other day. Very large, neon green and rather a blob of a creature. Incredibly frightening during the visit but now it seems ridiculous, like a children’s cartoon character.

4. I’m also hallucinating lots of cats everywhere at the moment, which is a bit distressing because I think I’m treading on them, or knocking them off of things, but a bit nicer than the the normal insects.

5. Listened to Begotten’s track recordings the other nightwhich sound surprisingly good.

6. I’m playing with Gardyloo Spew and MFU in an improvisational band in Brighton this Sunday!

7. I’ve decided to create a tape recording of Miss Roberts stories, with various invited musicians to do sound effects and backing.

8. Have broken at least half my New Years resolutions and am feeling surprisingly satisfied with this.

9. There is now recorded a new Rude Mechanicals single, all ready and waiting to be launched in the next couple of months.

10. I quite enjoy writing relatively pointless numbered lists

Found this picture earlier, it is surprisingly like the alien that visited me, funny, I drew it about 15 years ago for a children’s book I was writing. I long for summer days walking through long grass, eating strawberries and spending long evenings drinking cocktails on some terrace somewhere exotic…

A green one eyed alien splodge I drew for a children’s story years back.

Mid-life Crisis

So here we are at the end of January. It has been a difficult month for me, and my neighbours sewage is still gurgling and grumbling it’s way into my bath. I’ve called it Gertrude.

Will be seeking advice from lawyers and MPs this week.

A friend of mine was discussing the possibility of him having a midlife crisis. To do something exciting and life changing now. I think I am having the opposite to that, I had my mid-life crisis in my twenties and became Miss Roberts. Now I find myself attracted to the idea of a steady job, owning my own house in the country with some cats, a dog, some ducks, a goat. There would be a wood at the end of the garden so I could sit and daydream or forage for materials to make paints. The problem would be that I’m not allowed to drive (epilepsy) and I like being near my friends, so I will have to take them with me. A small commune in the country…

My first mid-life crisis was when I got diagnosed with this old brain desease of mine. They said the creature was very big and buried very deep in my brain. They said I would have to have 6 or 7 operations followed by laser treatment to zap it which would all take years and years, but if I didn’t have it I would be dead in 10 years. After a lot of indecision i decided not to have the treatment, I enjoyed my life and didn’t want to spend it in hospital on what was only a 50% chance of being cured.

So, I thought to myself, if I’ve only got a little while to live I’d better do something exciting with it. Now I’d been a quiet child, and a sulky teenager, I barely spoke, but I loved the stage. The idea of getting up on the stage and performing thrilled me. I said to myself “well Roberts if you are going to die in a bit you’d better get yourself a wig and a fancy dress and get yourself up on that stage”. It was an excuse to misbehave.

So Miss Roberts arrived, and slowly the world around her became a somewhat less terrifying place, people (some of them) became worth talking to, and the monster, although it has given me occasions to think “right this is it, it’s going to kill me now” hasn’t yet, and ten years has come and gone.

Maybe I’ll marry an accountant or lawyer, that would be a good turn around for me.

Below is a picture of me as a child. A friend on the phone last night was telling me how he was a happy sweet child with lots of friends. I was the opposite to this, I was the scary child who never smiled and wore a black coat with hood up that I never ever took down.

Oh, and just thought I’d mention I’m making short video logs every evening (well most) that I’m putting on YouTube. The are on my channel, though I’m not sure what that’s called or how you get to it. If you find out let me know.

Dressed to stalk