Posts Tagged 'aereogramme'

The Question Is Complete.

“Your lack of faith is useless…”

From “The Question Is Complete” by Aereogramme.

It’s that time of year again…the papers and television shows chronicle the highlights and lowlights of the year fading out.  We look back before looking forward.

How would you sum up 2009?  What words or pictures would you use?  What were the defining moments?  Could you make sense of them at the time?

Mine is here.  It’s a post I wrote on this blog back in April.  It all seems so much clearer now as another year ends.  The third interpretation in the blog post seems to ring true.  As 2009 ebbs away I have laid down worship leading and small group leading.  Family life will change in 2010 as we eagerly await a new arrival in May.  Work brings new responsibilities and new contacts – even with surveyors who share my love of surfing!

The lure of the sea with all its symbolism pans large on my horizon and I’ve been spending much less time on my blog and much more getting this off the ground.

Here’s to the New Year!



“So let me tell the truth
And let me come alive.
Let me build bridges
Into your life.
I’m sick of being born again and again
I don’t need conditions to let you in”.

From “Barriers” by Aereogramme.

I’m lucky enough to generally love my job.  I also love the ride there and back most days.  This videoclip of a TV advert currently showing in Scotland makes me smile hugely for the imagery and the fact that the song is by another friend of mine, Craig B.

Panic On

“Had a light one night in the dark.
It won’t show you too much of the future.
Let it go.
Let it fall behind.
I would never call on human nature.”

From “Panic On” by Madder Rose.


I love my iPod.  I love the way the shuffle function often catches me by surprise and transports me instantly back in time to a period when a particular song came to mean something.  Sign posts, stepping stones and mile stones.  Memories and emotions are re-awoken in seconds.

Sometimes my shuffle function seems to have a mind of its own as if willing me to rediscover an album that has been gathering dust on my shelf for far too long.  This week I listened to the wonderful “Panic On” album by Madder Rose in its entirety for the first time in several years.  I remember discovering it back in 1994 through airplay by John Peel and the odd track appearing on a steady stream of compilation tapes my friend Craig B would send me.  The album still sounds every bit as fantastic today.

Had the iPod existed back in ’94, I guess most played would have included:  Sugar; Pixies; Dinosaur Jr; Teenage Fanclub; Red House Painters; Smashing Pumpkins; The Breeders; The Tinglies; home recorded demos of Craig B’s; and Grant Lee Buffalo. 

I’ve attached a You Tube clip below of a song that still means a lot to me.  A monument or testament I can look back to and see I have happily journeyed with even if I couldn’t have seen much of the future back then.

Southern State

“Well, you’re sleeping in that southern state where the bars are filled with people you can’t hate.
But try as you try and you still can’t relate to them.
You drink that whiskey down as they ask you
Are you who you say you are?
The fact that we can’t tell makes us like you even more.”

From “Southern State” by Bright Eyes.


I remember that we had Religious Education on my first day at secondary school.  We were tasked with writing a short essay on the question, “Who Am I?”  I remember thinking it was an odd question, but I wrote down some thoughts about identity and self expression.  I loved doodling and the drawing which accompanied it was probably more telling of my worldview back then.  I recall it involving lots of people walking around – punks, casuals, trendies or old folks all with think bubbles asking “Who Am I?”  I guess that I linked identity largely with image or classification back then.

I remember being appalled when I read some literature accompanying an application form for graduate recruitment back in my student days which suggested that one could express their individuality through choice of silk tie, belt buckle and cuff-links.  I wanted to stand out more than I wanted to fit in.  From the photo above, maybe I’ve become that person…I do love the cuff-links my wife bought me for Christmas though…

Yet, if we are honest with ourselves, that question “Who Am I?” causes us all so many problems. 

After hearing of my friend, Craig B’s, answer in an interview in the Herald, I put the following question to the little small group collective who meet in our home: – “What five adjectives would you use to describe yourself?”

What would you say?

I came up with:

1) Father – I guess I see this as one of the most important and precious roles and tasks I have.  Maybe a better adjective would have been “parent” as I couldn’t imagine this role without the love and support and shared vision of my wife…Funny to think there was a time when the thought of being a Dad would scare me beyond belief…

2)  Gentle – I am gentle by nature and gently spoken.  Sometimes I think I’m perceived as weak in this way, as I find it hard to project my voice in certain environments or to engage and I have always been tall and thin.  I guess I’m just not “laddish” or “bloke-ish” particularly.

3)  Surveyor – whilst this is my job description, I don’t really define myself by this nor by my position in the firm I belong to.  Yet, I spend so much of my waking life (day time and many evenings) devoted to my work.  As I get older sometimes I wonder if I should be more engaged with this in trying to influence those around me?  I do try that in my own way – but I still sometimes wonder if I should admit that baldness is under everybodies’ hair, shave my head and try to fit into the corporate mold to a greater extent.  Again that just boils down to image, but it does affect how we think about ourselves…  I hope I am still growing into the person I am meant to be. 

4) Indie – I guess I have always been drawn to things that are counter-cultural.  Music, faith, films, etc.  Skateboarding changed my life and all the things that came from that culture – when combined with a free-thinking mind and a faith that is more real to me than anything – have made me into who I am today – contradictions, warts and all.  Yes, I know I should have put “interdependent” down as an adjective to demonstrate that I understand the need for church community, but, truth be told, I still love “indie”…Indie, indie, indie…

5) Anchored – I guess, I feel pretty secure in life most of the time.  I know where my hope comes from.  That’s not to say that I don’t get stressed or low, but above and beyond that I know God is God.

On reflection, I didn’t come up with a bunch of words that I once would have used.  Do certain words have meaning for a certain season and then develop us for something else?

My friend’s answers in the Herald were:

1)  Grumpy

2)  Grumpy

3) Grumpy

4) Grumpy

5) Ginger

I’d probably have given him the benefit of the doubt and supplemented one of them with “Genius!”

Cum On, Feel The Noize

“Cum on feel the noize,

girls rock your boys,

 We’ll get wild wild wild,

Wild wild wild.”

From “Cum On, Feel The Noize” by Slade.


I read this article in Friday’s Guardian.  Looks like I could be in trouble.


I was elated when I managed to secure a ticket for My Bloody Valentine’s Glasgow gig via ebay last year – the first gigs they’d played in 16 years.  I was also torn when I discovered it clashed with our family holidays and was at least glad that my friend, Craig B, was able to use it.  He sheepishly texted me after the gig to tell me about how amazing it had been and the aural hell the band had raised.  Maybe I should be thankful…

Teenage Kicks

I need excitement, oh, I need it bad

And it’s the best I’ve ever had”

From “Teenage Kicks” by The Undertones.

Today is the fourth anniversary of John Peel’s death.  I didn’t have a blog back then, but the photo is taken from a scrap book we were keeping at the time.

I still miss “The Peel Session” on Radio 1 and “Home Truths” on Radio 4.  I feel nostalgic and happy and sad all at the same time if I ever hear his voice broadcast.

Many of us will have our favourite Peel moments.  For me they include:

  • His broadcast of the Chemikal Underground Records 10th anniversary party where my mate’s band were introduced as “Cumbernauld’s number one death metal band” (no surprises to learn that they were neither from Cumbernauld nor death metal);
  • Dave Gedge of The Wedding Present’s brief chat with Michael Aspel on “This Is Your Life” which appears half way through this short you tube link after Mark E Smith of The Fall; 
  • My friend, Andrew, getting his first 7″ single played by John Peel;
  • Aereogramme’s live set at the Gronegan festival in Holland which had a particularly amusing bit when Peely was interviewing the band wherein some punters in the background started shouting, “John Peel – we’re not worthy!”, to which he dryly chuckled, “No, you’re not”.

The lyrics at the top are from what is famously known as John Peel’s favourite record.  Exact Science mentioned it in passing on a recent comment on my blog by noting, “Just to touch on John Peel, cause you mention him. In referring to Teenage Kicks he said that he didn’t think there was anything you could add or take away to make it better. I think that is the crux of all great art.”

John Peel carried a copy of “Teenage Kicks” with him everytime he was DJing at some event. 

What record would always make your playlist and why?


RSS What I’m Listening To

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
Blog for Amnesty - Protect the Human