Wednesday 1st October



Two hooded figures walk hunched up a dirt track between
autumnal oaks. High on clean air beneath a big sky of
broken cloud. The sun on their backs makes them glad
they left the house for once.
“We got to get out more maan” says the one, as the other
wheezes, staring straight ahead, wondering if he’ll make
it home alive.


Tuesday 30th September



The body went to bed heavy limbed, the throat woke up sore.
It’s been a long time since the years when it was perpetually
fragile & every vocal irritation developed into full blown flu.
Violent bouts of sneezing were commonplace & though the head
could never admit it the body was a fragile sponge, open
to every germ it soaked up in the night bars & alleys.
Spiced food always triggered sore throats & the inevitable
days of illnesses that followed, rendering me unable to sing
if we were recording, frustrating, isolating. Listen back to
those early albums & you’ll hear a blocked nose & a frail voice.
Weird then to wake up with a voice that’s stronger with age,
was it just a booze infection?


Monday 29th September



Our friends Efterklang have a web ‘radio’ channel
‘THE LAKE’ that I tune into it. Today provided them with
an introduction to their recording of THE NECKS
recent Roskilde festival performance. THE NECKS,
as you know is a band I had the privilege of
performing with in 2009/2010 as part of Brian Eno’s
PURE SCENIUS project. Each of them is an extraordinary
musician in their own right, combining to form
an improvising ensemble like no other I’ve witnessed.
It’s doubly special therefore for me to have been a part
of their group for the six performances we made
together in Australia & back here in England.
I really recommend you check out this recording & bookmark
THE LAKE, as Efterklang continues to describe ways in which
a ‘band’ can evolve & still remain exciting.


Sunday 28th September


UP! UP! UP!:

Sun shines on the fields of Essex, feeling fit to explode
with electric pure joy, kick-started on Friday night by
radio  dance-casts, surfing Saturday streets in the
back lanes of Norwhich, the thrill of so many
record shops, evocative vinyl aroma. Now, with
the sun stretching Summer beyond it’s promise I watch
tractors comb the dirt, softening the landscape,
preparing their canvases for next season’s exhibition.
The music of heavy diesels united with the Plaka
as Athen’s kisses Essex in the dust between the grooves,
the music of Alexis Zoumbas.


Friday 26th September



I don’t want to write ‘lyrics’ anymore, or ‘sing’ them,
or inflict them on good music. I’m tired of ‘vocals’,
bored with most singers & repelled by ‘frontmen’ who are
conscious of their identity.
Having been an abuser of all these at some point for years
I have come to a fork in the road – carry on doing things
the same or try to change? Change, doesn’t come easy
& there are no schools or night classes one can
attend in order to expand one’s mind, nor shops at
which to buy new tools & skills. Other ‘singers’
I have spoken to in the past have all expressed
enthusiasm for exchanging experiences & ideas,
but none maintain anything like the rigour nor sustained
dedication I crave for an open & continuous dialogue between
passionate & creative people. All too often their genuine
enthusiasm is set aside for the next scheduled record, delivered
in a style that perpetuates their image of themselves – I’m
tired of that process.

When UW MKII was first brought together by Rick there
was no place for ‘singers’, ‘lyricists’ or ‘frontmen’.
The industry rejected our music with an instruction
to ‘get rid of the singer if we wanted to make
dance music or get a drummer if we wanted to keep
the singer’. There was no place for me within that
current industry mindset & had it not been for Rick’s
open-minded willingness to experiment with the
‘idea of voice’, his skill in integrating ‘voice as a
sound source’ plus my desire to relinquish ‘singer traditions’
& be open to change UW would be a very different entity.

In revisiting UW of twenty years ago for the ‘Dubnobass..’
re-issue I’ve immersed myself in the mind-set of
twenty-year-younger-Hyde , the thoughts, influences, fears &
insecurities that drove him to break with his own myopic traditions
& try working without a safety net in order to bring what he did
to the studio for Rick to then create what remains the first of
my two favourite UW albums (‘Second Toughest…’ being the other).
I’m ashamed to say, I turned back into a version of the very thing
we were rejecting back then – a ‘singer-frontman-lyricist’.

My friends ‘Efterklang’ recently decided to continue as, but
stop, ‘being Efterklang’ in order that they might not become
a cartoon of themselves & I applaud them for what some may call
bravery, others stupidity, which to me is common sense.

As artist, people who live by creating new things, we have
to keep changing or our art shrivels up, becomes ‘imitation’,
a memento of a brand, a keep-sake, a souvenir fridge magnet.

I love words, love making sounds with my voice & love
using these things in public performance & the more ‘live’
the better! I have no idea where the other fork in the road
goes, I do, however, know where the ‘safe’ road leads
& I don’t want to travel it any more.


Thursday 25th September



The many hatted head bounces off the walls & rages.
A big fat cloud of ‘stuff’ hangs over the morning,
loading good cheer with heavy thoughts & rumbles.
I walk up to the cloud, stick my head inside &
there’s nothing there, just misty wetness & a
familiar aftertaste I can rinse with a few tools
from the guru’s toolbox. Behind the wheel I watch
hedgerows turn red to celebrate the sunrise,
driving deliberately slow to re-set a speeding head.
Drivers of heavy tracks smile & wave as I pull over
to let them pass & with each wave the mood gets lighter.