Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Driving Me Crazy

Last night I dreamed a wonderful thing. It was good news for musicians. Tucked away in the fine print of the Coalition Budget was innovative Arts and Culture legislation reclassifying the musician as a haulage contractor. Yes! We’ve known it for years and now it’s official. Music is a driving job.

I used to be a bass player, and now I’m a long distance Crotchet haulier. I’m excited just thinking of the service station perks - shower facilities, sleepover parking, meal deals. Mmm, I pondered, as I loaded the music into the Volvo this morning, I’ll definitely have the double gutbuster as a main, but what then? Shall I have the key lime pie, or the hunk of mature cheddar and biscuits, or the hunk of mature hooker in the lorry park?

Golly, look at the time! I wouldn’t be stopping at all if I didn’t get a shift on. So difficult to know what to take on these jobs. A country wedding, I was told, with just two hours on site delivery time, but no tempo variation chart or indication of repertoire was given, so I had no way of predicting what sort of Crotchets I’d need, or how many. In the end I took them all, just to be sure, making room by chucking out all the Quavers I’d already packed. Never much call for them, anyway. At the last minute, on a hunch, I squashed in a box of Minims and then a pair of G Pedals. You could never tell when you might need one of those.

It should have been an easy journey, ninety motorway miles in the middle, with fifteen miles of good A road at either end. But what with the speed restrictions, forty and fifty all the way down the M1 and round the M25, and heat-induced prangs clegging up the roadworks, and all the sat navs conking out in the heat so all the arses in the world were driving round in circles looking for their elbows, it was three and a half hours before I got to the lovely West Sussex barn.

“Where have you been?” shouted the vocalogistics person as I wrung myself out of the car. “Typical of you lot. Moan on and on until I put your money up, then you’re late anyway! I hope you’ve brought the right stuff, at least? Last lot of Crotchets we had were all different sizes. No use to anyone!”

I made some reassuring noises about commitment to vocalist satisfaction, ability to work with other contractors, and Crotchet quality control. “Hmmmph!” he declared. “There are plenty of Bulgarians out there who’ll do twice the Crotchets at half the price. Don’t know why I bother with you lot!”

Someone should tell him that the Bulgarians were cheap for a reason. Their Crotchets were in fact Quavers stuck together, and in odd numbers, to boot. If they set down a load in 13/8 you’d get 6 Crotchets, but you’d keep getting left with a spare Quaver. So it was a false economy, in the long run. Also the Bulgarians sped up uncontrollably, everyone knew that, so even if you thought you were getting twice as many, you were always running out.

Oh no! There was a vehicle I recognised, from a firm I dreaded working with. The lettering on the side said it all.
“Long Distance Piano. No Cluster too small. Specialists in Random Chromatics. Time no object.”

As I watched the bearded grunge unload his stacks of Upper Structures, my heart sank. Where would I put my long fat Crotchets? Then I spotted my old mucker Basher Bates unloading his Paradiddles and Skip Beats and I smiled, because me and Basher always had fun together, whatever interference we got from the piano.

How did the gig go? Well, it went. We all arrived late, but still started on time. There were enough Crotchets to go round, and I used every Minim in the box and both of the G Pedals. No-one seemed to notice the absence of Quavers, the vocalist calmed down, the clients got married and were happy, and we had fun and got paid.

It’s now 9.30 pm. I’m sitting in stationary traffic on the M1, thirty miles from home. How has my first day been, overall, in the haulage industry? Here’s the breakdown:

Crotchet Delivery at Venue...2 hours

Crotchet Loading(either end).2 hours

Time on Road (no stops)......8 hours (still counting)

Total..12 hours

Fuel Costs................. £30

Meal costs (no time to eat)..£0

Car Depreciation

(Vehicle is worth nothing)...£0

Job Fee......................£150


Heck, that’s £10 an hour! Nearly twice the minimum wage. I‘m doing really well. Of course I did have to work continuously for twelve hours with no meals to achieve this privileged rate, and in the Big Account Book in the Sky I’d have to allocate some of this profit to the setup costs, you know, the thousands of hours of training required for basic Crotchet delivery, but down here on the ground things look pretty good.

So I’m chuffed with the Coalition, overall. If my dream is anything to go by, I think they’ll make a real difference to the life of the Artist.

Tell you what, though. Tomorrow I’m leaving twice as early, so I can get some of those haulage perks. Might even leave the night before.

© Nick Weldon June 2010

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Monday, 31 May 2010

Swingin' the Blues

Mainstream Jazz Day with Malcolm Earle Smith was great!  Check out the first video on YouTube -  Swingin' the Blues 

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Monday, 10 May 2010

Greek Song

Check out the video on YouTube!


Amid the global turmoil of the early 21st Century, with the Nations of the World ravaged by War, Famine, Terror and Slump, millions of small personal stories played themselves out to an audience of one. These we are happy to forget.

But let us now begin to remember the strange tale of one Dozee Raasclaat, Poet Laureate of England, just as we have always remembered the apple of Harold’s eye, the arrow falling from the tree, and the wart on Jenkins’ ear.

A culture of drug, alcohol and burger abuse, combined with the softening of the brain synapses from prolonged exposure to pap, had created a huge surge in dementia. We began to be old much younger; so much so, they say, that forty was the new eighty. Care Homes were in crisis. They could not cope with the influx of the new geriatrics, nor with their lifestyle. For this generation of wrinklies had been raised on MDMA, Hip Hop and Vodka Red Bulls, and had little interest in Jigsaw Puzzles, Val Doonican or Horlicks.

Enter Dozee Raasclaat. In an inspired stroke of the turntable, this gifted poet transformed the frenetic hustle of Grime into something sexy and beautiful; a new beat for a new time.
He called his music Dubcrip.

yeah man, slow it down
slow it down
know what I’m sayin’
know what I’m sayin’

Narrow-minded critics and prudes attacked him; he had enemies among the Establishment. But none could stand against the wave of love that flowed towards Dozee Raasclaat, as he worked tirelessly to bring the rhythms of Dubcrip to every Old Peoples Home in the country. Soon the man they called the Jolly Rapper was made Poet Laureate.

As quickly as he rose, he also fell.

Here is how it happened, in his own words....

let’s slow it down, man
let’s slow it down
know what I’m sayin’
know what I’m sayin’

Know what I’m sayin’, know what I’m sayin’
My operation is hip
My name is Dozee Raasclaat
My music is Dubcrip

They’re wiggin’ it and diggin’it
Where the Jolly Rapper roam
Cos it’s slimy and it’s grimy
Like a Old Peoples Home

Me cyaan believe they ‘cuse me
O’ corrup wrinklies wid me rhyme
It’s their last bit o’ sex an’ violence
Before they run out of time

I am the Poet Laureate
Soon I should be knighted
Me cyaan believe that Englan’
Wan let me be extradited

Judges call me evil
And traitor to the Crown
It’s because the lady love Dubcrip
That’s why they wan’ bring me down

They don’ like me rappin’
It goes against their grain
They don’ like sexy music
I know you know what I’m sayin’

Know what I’m sayin’, know what I’m sayin’
I’m sayin’ my operation is hip
I’m saying my name is Dozee Raasclaat
I’m saying my music is Dubcrip, Dubcrip, Dubcrip

All them TV people
Don’ know what they’re talking ‘bout
This is how it happen
Straight from the donkey’s mouth

The Acropolis nightclub
Wan’ me for a guest
To play my Dubcrip music
They know I am the best

So I’m chillin’ and swillin’
With a cold beer and sarnie
The sun is very hot
An’ I fancy some punani

An I’m chattin’ wid a lady
Who wan’ see me decks
An’ I offer her some Es
In return for oral sex

Den her bruvver come at me
Give me grief for a full minute
He cuss me mum and sister
So I cut his head off, innit?

I excape the club security
Like fallin’ off a log
But before I leave the country
I rape the lady’s dog

Payback for her family
For lack of politesse
That’s why I done the poodle
An’ left the bruvver in a mess

But this poodle was a mongrel
An’ a slapper on the sly
She would drop her panties
In the blinkin’ of an eye

An ‘she goes blinkin’ an’ droppin’, droppin’ an’ blinkin’
Over and over again
Now poodles don’ have panties
But I know you know what I’m sayin’

Know what I’m sayin’, know what I’m sayin’
I’m sayin’ my operation is hip
I’m saying my name is Dozee Raasclaat
I’m saying my music is Dubcrip, Dubcrip, Dubcrip

Because o’ my drug history
I ‘ave a bad case o’ HIV
An’ so do all the dogs in Greece
All because o’ me

Now this little nugget here
I ‘ave it from a vet
A junkie dog owner
Share a needle wid his pet

An’ soon in short order time
His Aids become full blown
His Brain Box ‘ave flown open
His brain cell all ‘ave flown

An’ this man go crackers
When an’ where he wan’
But he was a manager
Of a Nuclear Plant

An’ because o’ all the virus
He get from the poodle bitch
The man become confuse
Wid the button an’ the switch

That was one big explosion
Blew Athens into space
Now God and Mister Plato
Are talkin’ face to face

Nuclear conflagration
Is not insured by Lloyds
An’ all them lickle islands
Turn into asteroids

An’ as for Mister Icarus
The one the sun cremates
He’s unexpectedly joined in ash
By millions of his mates

Me I’m back in Blighty now
Me Auntie’s on the phone
She say ‘Turn on the telly
There’s a hole in the Eurozone’

Me legs are all atremble
It’s exactly what I feared
Me turn on the telly
An’ Greece ‘ave disappeared

Rap rap rap at the front door
The pigs wid their mornin’ knock
Babylon arrest me
Put me under key and lock

But me laughin’ in the courtroom
When they call me the next day
For the Greek legal system
Is in the Milky Way

There’s no way they can get me
There’s no-one to complain
I dispose of all the victims
I know you know what I’m sayin’

Know what I’m sayin’, know what I’m sayin’
I’m sayin’ my operation is hip
I’m saying my name is Dozee Raasclaat
I’m saying my music is Dubcrip, Dubcrip, Dubcrip

But by some European pokery
They jigger me right through
International Tribunal
Or some such motley crew

An’ even though I ‘pologise
For the junkie and his pet
An’ though they owe me big time
For clearing the Greek debt

An’ even spite I change my plea
To musical insanity
The court ‘ave found me guilty
O’ crime against Humanity

An’ now they extradite me
I’m sayin’ Toodle Pip
Me gwaan away a lang lang time
All because the lady love Dubcrip

Anyone like sexy music
Get ready for some pain
The state will victimise you
I know you know what I’m sayin’

Know what I’m sayin’, know what I’m sayin’
I’m sayin’ my operation is hip
I’m saying my name is Dozee Raasclaat
I’m saying my music is Dubcrip, Dubcrip, Dubcrip

Know what I’m sayin’, know what I’m sayin’
I’m sayin’ my operation is hip
I’m saying my name is Dozee Raasclaat
I’m saying my music is Dubcrip, Dubcrip, Dubcrip

And so we said goodbye to the Jolly Rapper, the man who gave a whole new generation of geriatrics a whole new beat.

As the remains of Greece finally drifted back to Earth, pieces were collected, collated and
reassembled, this time in the form of a gigantic prison island, the first of the Jumbo Jails with which we are now so familiar.

Fittingly, Dozee Raasclaat was the first, and for many years, the only inmate.

But early onset dementia swept through Europe, and gangs of senile pensioners for a while took control of the shops and shires. Eventually military rule restored order, and Platoville (as it came to be known) became the designated home for the hordes of feral fogies made prisoner in the brutal crackdown.

Global warming cheered everyone up, and in this new relaxed atmosphere, Dozee Raasclaat was appointed Head of Music and Rhyme in the Prison City of Platoville. He spent his last years as happily as his first, once again bringing jolly sexy music to the oldtimers of Europe.

“... Know what I’m sayin’, know what I’m sayin’
I’m sayin’ my operation is hip
I’m saying my name is Dozee Raasclaat
I’m saying my music is Dubcrip, Dubcrip, Dubcrip....”

© Nick Weldon May 2010

Posted via web from nick weldon's posterous

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Election Song

Check out the video on YouTube!

Gordon you cowson
You don’t talk for me
You have no idea
What a working man can be

You and your mate Tony
Have turned a new leaf
Made of the Red Flag
A tart’s handkerchief

Cameron you muppet
You can’t pull the wool
You’re more left than Labour
And that’s a load of bull

You’re all rights and fairness
And sharing out the dosh
If you was back in power
We’d be under the cosh

Apart from Vince Cable
The Liberals are a mess
And he’s a lone teabag
In the wilderness

Conservation people
Get right on me wick
The only time I’m green
Is when I’m being sick

I am a member
Of a Party maligned
By joker journos
Of malignant mind

Who misjudge our actions
And misrepresent
Our national pride
And noble intent

A People’s Party
Sons of honest toil
Scraping out a living
From the meagre soil

Foreigners invade
Rulers for a day
We the true people
Will never go away

We fight in the markets
We fight in the hills
We fight for the right
To live from our skills

We fight for our genes
To keep ourselves pure
We fight for our culture
So she may endure

We fight for children
And mothers and wives
The fight for freedom
Defines our lives

I stand before you
A decided man
Come the May Election
I’m voting Taleban

© Nick Weldon April 2010

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Thursday, 25 March 2010

Duvet Song

Check out the video on Youtube!

Here at Chilcot, we work to a very simple plan
To keep the English people as toasty as we can
It’s an ancient technology, brought on the long boats
When the Vikings invaded, in their pink duffel coats

With their snuggly pillows and fluffy eiderdowns
We became so warm to dream, and soothe our Saxon frowns
If we leave one sorrow writ upon History’s final page
‘Twill be that duvets were unknown till after the Ice Age

We let the dinosaurs take power, ceded them the light
While we huddled in our caves, too freezin’ cold to fight
You’ve got me started now, on my high pet hobby horse
I should be in the here and now, not reminiscing with the Norse

We’re in the twenty tens now, the Chilcot clan is keen
We have a new appointment from Her Majesty the Queen
To keep our leaders cosy, this is our commission
To cover their arses in the chill wind of rendition

Special thinking was required, and specialist advice
For duck and goose and derry down no longer would suffice
To heat the blood of Englishmen with murderous chilblains
And frozen hearts, and madness and slush throughout their veins

And Chilcot made a duvet, and according to the logs
We soon achieved a factor of seven million togs
By working in secret and total obedience
And using the finest human ingredients

Our donors are raised in the desert and mountain air
Which explains the high quality of the harvest of hair
And the skin so elastic, the bonemeal so plump
And the flesh so succulent cut from the rump

And the blood and saliva we turn into dyes
And the buttons and poppers we make out of eyes
And zippers constructed from fragments of teeth
And pockets excised from dark corners beneath

On this urgent mission we send our armed forces
To collect these precious human resources
In the Afghan passes, on the dunes of Iraq
The peasants give their lives for the warmth upon our back
They give their wives and children, they give their final breath
All for the Chilcot miracle, the duvet of death

Round here, people like their music in seventeen four


© Nick Weldon March 2010

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Thursday, 25 February 2010

Tyger Song

Check out the video on Youtube!

Tiger Tiger in the rough
How many holes will be enough?
What immortal bunker shot
Could stop your gonads getting hot?

How many eagles lifted high
Could distract your roving eye?
How many birdies on green sward
Could make you sheath the old pork sword?

No flag exists you cannot find
Is this done by power of mind?
Or does each pulsing hammer blow
Issue from a realm below?

Tiger Tiger in the rough
Your face is made to polish muff
Thence your cheeks most holy shine
Your perfect round of sixty-nine

You're the one the girls all like
Driven as the balls you strike
Men feel you enrich their lives
Unless by chance you shag their wives

You're the best we've ever seen
Straight and true from tee to green
Your message must not be denied
By second comings multiplied

Tiger Tiger in the rough
You cannot be a powder puff
Your place is in the mad abyss
Not in cosy household bliss

In our ordered neighbourhoods
Your are the monster in the woods
Shred the captain's tidy coat
Eat his nuts, rip out his throat

We watch you, we who are so chaste
With mix of envy and distaste
With horror we admire the beast
But all wouldst gaily share the feast

Drives approaches chips and putts
Merge into the lips and butts
Of women you would some day woo
Hence your aim so straight and true

And many trophies on your shelf
Symbols of your inner self
Of tournaments of sexual fun
Objects once pursued and won

Tiger Tiger under par
Whom you do is what you are
No skill you'd have, or wondrous craft
But for the hands around your shaft

Tiger Tiger in the rough
How many holes will be enough?
What immortal bunker shot
Could stop your gonads getting hot?

© Nick Weldon February 2010

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Sunday, 14 February 2010

Onion Song - a poem from Oedipus Interruptus, the Jazz Cook

Check out the video on Youtube!

My mother spoke her love, but not without contradiction
For she was a writer, surrounded by her own fiction
When I was a nipper, imprisoned in my local school
One fine spring day, I was made to appear a fool
It was the time of the daffodil competition
In which I had the hopeful and tender ambition
To have a tall strong yellow flower, to be the best
But my shoot was very tiny, when compared with all the rest
The judges nicely do not laugh, instead they bite their lip
They say "that is an onion bulb, we recognise the tip"
My mother lives in many worlds, and all inside her head
She lost my daffodil, and planted onion in its stead
I left my manhood in the earth, it is such a shame
My shoot is dwarf and shrivelled, my mother is to blame

I have discovered since, my Ma is not so silly
For like the daffodil, the onion is a lily
Asparagus and garlic, and also the shallot
Are also family members, and this explains a lot
Narcissus, the daffodil, stared much into a lake
Obsessed with his appearance, and this was a mistake
For men do not need mirrors, they must find themselves in action
When my mother killed my daffodil, this was a benefaction
For when I found the onion, I also found the route
To be a man, shape the world, however small my shoot
Now I have my restaurant, with its four Michelin stars
My mother has a chateau, and I have thirteen cars
"Don't remain a child", my therapist gave me warning
Now I love onions, and I chop them every morning

All because a little bulb my mother once mistook
I'm Oedipus Interruptus, they call me the Jazz Cook!

© Nick Weldon February 2010

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Friday, 12 February 2010

Piggy Song - a poem from your MP

Check out the video on Youtube!

I am the MP for Northampton South
My existence is mainly hand to mouth
All the fruits of this wonderful land
Go into my mouth, out of your hand
You scrimp and you save, I know what that means
I use your moolah to butter my beans
I thank the Lord for this garden of earth
I thank him again for the gift of your birth

Too lazy to think, or bother your heads
You just want to drink, and stay safe in your beds
Begrudge me my castle, my KitKats, my moat?
You lurk in allotments, too sluggish to vote
I get to banter and barter and preach
While you dream of futures beyond your reach
I have the power, the glory, the will
You have your leisure, and my hefty bill

I have expenses, they're part of my life
I have horses, and children, and a greedy wife
Her club is Harrods, her tits are divine
As long as there's cash, they will always be mine
She runs the office, employed by the state
To type, make tea, and copulate
She's my PA, my harlot, my friend, and my nurse
Her undies are silk, from the people's purse

I often get lonely, so far from my home
The castle near Scunthorpe, apartment in Rome
Town house in Mayfair, flat in South Ken
I tire of my travels, and now and again
Ski-ing in Verbier, on the beach in Peru
I lay down my snorkel, and I think about you
I'd like to be poor, and hang up my socks
Down by the arches, in my own cardboard box

But my job description is to speak for you plebs
While pounding the flesh of grimy celebs
And cruising the Strand in a luxury car
With cocaine dispensers, and caviar
And boys in white satin, champagne on tap
And cabinet documents deep in my lap
I've read the outlines, no time to read more
Tomorrow is Thursday, we're going to war

Tommy is off on a mission to Hell
He's English and barmy, he does it so well
National Pride has been slipping of late
Soon we must pay him a half decent rate
But this is a cost we shall quickly recoup
By halving his kit, and feeding him soup
The comfort of Tommy is high in our thoughts
We'll send him to battle in T shirt and shorts

As the gunfire rumbles, my belly rumbles too
I wave the people's chequebook, I know just what to do
Hungry little piggy, snozzle in the trough
Snuffle in the truffle, just can't get enough
It's an arrangement of culture and class
You pay for the pleasure of wiping my arse
I salute the Nation, it's you I have to thank
Cos I'm a little piggy, and you're my piggy bank

© Nick Weldon February 2010

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Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Sperm Song - a poem for John Terry

Check out the video on YouTube!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Brawl in a Phone Box

On the way to some work in Cardiff last week, and dropped in at Bristol's WelshBack Club to catch some of the encounter between BristolPro Build and TWP St Georges Hill in the Premier Squash League. The second string match was fascinating - Mohamed El Shorbagy was brilliant, erratic and loopy, while Tom Richards was organised, efficient and deliberate. Shorbagy has been active at a high level on the International Tournament circuit and seemed a bit stiff and tired, but nevertheless has new reserves of pace and quality to fall back on, and this just turned the match in his favour in an entertaining 5-setter. Some of his shots were breathtaking, and one in particular - a topspin backhand volley kill that simply skidded out of the nick!

The final match of the evening, the first string match between Adrian Grant and Daryl Selby, was full of superb squash. There was also, initially at least, humorous banter from Daryl as he teased the officials over their decisions. But Adrian Grant was moving so smoothly, retrieving so well, and applying such consistent pressure, that Selby quickly became tired and frustrated, and began a rather ugly campaign of disruptive let-seeking. Grant was playing well within himself, and should really have won the game in three, but weak refereeing allowed Selby's ridiculous claims of interference to succeed, and he managed to spin it out to four. Time after time, when the ball was buried in the back, Selby contrived to wrap his racquet arm around Grant rather than just going to get the ball. It was blatant gamesmanship, born of fatigue and despair, and only made possible by the indulgence of the referee. Amazingly, Grant kept his cool, and his sense of humour, only once popping out of the court to ask the referee "Haven't you worked it out yet? You're being mugged!". Anyway, he always knew he was going to win.

Normally we're keen for the matches to go on a bit longer, in the PSL seats, but in this case we were all eager to see it over, as it was a depressing and faintly disgusting spectacle. Perhaps that's one of the reasons we'll never get to the Olympics. Yes, squash is not the most televisable spectator sport for those who don't know the game, and that may be one factor working against us. But I suspect that there may be a more compelling argument against us, which is that too many squash matches lack the nobility, dignity and morally uplifting quality demanded by the Olympic ideal, and resemble nothing so much as a brawl in a phone box.

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My dark and hilarious novel Idristan is still for sale on Amazon.  Here are some free excerpts.  Happy reading!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Bass Beginnings

Here's a story about how I learned to love the double bass...

Friday, 1 January 2010

Nick's Bass Journal

Tips on working for singers

Bill Le Sage

Bill le Sage Interview

Happy New Year!

Weather Report

Here is the weather
For the Arts in your area
The outlook is dark
And is getting much hairier

Olympians are cool
Their games need subsidising
The Arts are now iced
And the tide of tosh is rising

Playwrights and poets
Will feel the cold bitterer
Shakespeare's left the room
His replacement is a twitterer

Bands of low pleasure
Bring gig fogs and session mists
Tributes, pastiches,
By foolish impressionists

They've issued for Musos
A severe no gigs warning
Eat dry bread by night
Sing the Blues every morning

My Mum was a Diva
But now they have sacked her
For failing to impress
In the first round of X Factor

So goodbye small jazz clubs
Fare thee well Covent Garden
Philistine New Labour
Is our cultural Bin Laden

With their freezing storm
Of petty legislation
They petrify the Arts
And stupefy the Nation

Artists, that's your lot
You've had your chips, and double!
When the snow is round your ears
Your bollocks are in trouble

Here is the weather
For the Arts in your area
The outlook is dark
And is getting much hairier

© Nick Weldon December 2009

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